Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Paul Eats Vegan Food!

A few months ago, my partner Paul relocated back to Memphis after a year and a half of living part-time in Nashville for work. During the time he was living in Nashville, he was still coming home every other weekend. But now he's back full-time.

It's great having him back. But I'll be honest — I'd grown quite used to living by myself, with only my messes to clean and my food in the fridge. As a someone who grew up as an only child, I'm completely happy being along most of the time, and I'm not that good at sharing. Cohabiting again has been an adjustment for me, and I told Paul before he moved back that it'd be a lot better if he would at least try to eat vegetarian food at home. I wasn't thrilled about the idea of having meat in my house again. To my surprise, he said okay!

Now, I should clarify that he, by no means, is going vegan yet. Maybe someday, but Paul will need a big wakeup call before that happens — either a health scare or maybe a visit to a farm animal sanctuary. I've tried to make him watch slaughterhouse footage to no avail. But I do think the seed is being planted, and that's a big deal.

Every morning, Paul starts his day with Chocolate Banana Smoothie with almond milk, banana, wheatgrass, and protein powder (currently whey protein because he has a giant tub that needs to be used up before he buys plant protein powder).

Paul's very favorite meal has always been Spaghetti with Mushrooms, so we're having that pretty often. He doesn't even miss the meat here since he's always preferred vegan spaghetti.

I've had to simplify my cooking a little and repeat meals more often than I'm used to. But his tastes are expanding. Just last night, he opted for quinoa over white rice with his Mandarin Chick'n Vegetable Stir-fry. I used the Gardein Mandarin Chick'n for this.

I made BBQ Tofu Nachos a couple weeks back since he loves the BBQ tofu nachos at RP Tracks. Mine were much lighter since we air-fried the tofu rather than deep-frying like Tracks does.

One night, I shared my leftover Curry Tofu from Mulan with Paul. He really liked that.

One of his favorite meals since moving back has been this Buffalo Tofu Bowl with mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn. His bowl was kale-free though. This is a picture of mine.

Paul did eat Kale Chips at Next Door American Eatery in Crosstown Concourse though! Kale chips were a big step for him. He hasn't quite graduated to steamed or sauteed kale, and raw kale may be years away. But kale chips are a good start.

This is a huge change for a guy who typically eats Taco Bell beef burritos, canned ravioli, fish sticks, and frozen pizzas. He's still having those things on occasion, and Paul typically orders meat when we eat out. But he starts his mornings with a vegetarian smoothie and ends most nights with a vegan dinner. He's on his own for lunch at work, but he occasionally sends me pictures of salad or whole avocado that he eats for lunch. On days he doesn't send pics, I just assume he's eating McDonald's. Ha! Baby steps!

I will say that this isn't the first time Paul has experimented with vegetarian eating. He did a vegetarian 'til six thing a couple years ago, but back then, I wasn't cooking him dinner because he was too picky to eat the things I was eating. He was subsisting on smoothies and black bean burgers during the day back then and eating meat at night. Now that his tastebuds are expanding, I'm able to share dinner with him and have him actually eat it. We'll see if this sticks!

Speaking of Paul, he and I are going to Imagine Music Festival in Atlanta tomorrow, so I won't be posting here again until at least Tuesday night (maybe even Wednesday if I'm feeling lazy). See y'all then with a festival food recap!


Susan said...

Living alone is quite wonderful! I miss it. Of course, I mean alone as the only human. With cats. ;)

So great that he is willing to be vegetarian at home now that he is back full time.

Unknown said...

I'm so glad to hear he has moved back!! That back and forth distance isn't easy.
And wow that is really a HUGE commitment to be vegetarian at home! (And i am with you, dunno that i would be able to be ok with someone cooking omni protein in my kitchen....) I think it's really a testament to your fantastic cooking and his willingness to have an open mind- i really believe that every single cruelty free meal anyone eats makes a difference.
I do my part to share delicious vegan dishes and be enthusiastic about new finds- i love that a few of my omni coworkers now regularly eat vegan lunches at the new Beyond Sushi that i introduced them to.

I can't recall if you're near a trader joe's...? Their frozen chickenless mandarin orange dish is just like the Gardein version (might be the same), only a lot cheaper.

Jennifer Bliss said...

That's a HUGE positive with him eating veg at home! WOW! My hubby will NEVER do that - even if he has health scares (and he's had some already). The pic with the kale made me chuckle. He seems like quite a character! LOL

Trixie said...

I love this!! My husband isn't vegan, but I'm the cook in our household so that's what gets served. He's been super supportive about it. If he wants meet, he does so out of the house. Luckily most of the time while out he orders the vegetarian or vegan option. Go Paul! He's lucky to have a great cook like you.

Amey said...

Aw, what a wonderful post. I remember being so surprised when I first read how picky he was with his diet, I always assumed he was eating all your amazing and delicious food with you. good for you for asking him to make a leap, and good for him for taking it! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE if Musty when veg or vegan, but I don't think it's likely. He actually talks about it, with maddening regularity, but hasn't yet made the shift. That said, he loves my cooking and totally loves all my vegan cooking. So, our solution is that he can go out for lunch and eat his meaty whatevers, and then we have a great vegan dinner together. It took several years, but now he even loves kale salad!! So there is hope for Paul!!

Sarah said...

I love this post! I am glad that he is back home and while I know it is an adjustment I'm sure it's a happy adjustment to make. That is wonderful that he is so open to eating vegan at home. You guys are such a great couple :)