Sunday, March 27, 2011

Surprise! Still not potatoes.

When I plan my weekly menus, I normally try to make meals that I know my husband will enjoy.  But sometimes my tastebuds can be more adventurous (and healthy) than his.  I learned early on in our marriage that I couldn't express how much I was looking forward to making whole-wheat penne with arugula, pine nuts, and Gorgonzola for dinner without immediate groaning and the inevitable question, "Is there meat in it?"  I was laughing the other day, because I've realized that I have some strategies for those nights when I introduce a new meal that could bring a negative response.

I like to fix vegetarian dishes at least once a week.  But it's never the same day of the week.  There's no "Meatless Mondays" at our house - that's just asking for trouble.  I also tend to be very vague on vegetarian nights when asked about dinner.  Veggie lasagna becomes "lasagna" and mushroom-feta quesadillas become "quesadillas".  If there are further inquiries, I don't lie about the contents of the meal, but why open that can of worms unnecessarily??

Another strategy is to say, "Just try it first and let me know what you think."  This is the calm smile approach.  This is how he tried steamed turnips with butter (surprise! not potatoes).  Unfortunately, this is not the best method of introducing new foods.  If he's questioning me as soon as he sees it, I know it's a longshot.

Most of the time, I don't say anything at all until dinner is over - or until he's consumed a decent number of bites.  I certainly don't point out the parsnips that I've added to the roast (surprise! still not potatoes).  Or I pretend not to notice the asparagus tips in the spaghetti sauce (those must have slipped in there...). 

While there have been some failures, many of these once-secret dishes have become family staples.  Now, you may be thinking, "I can't believe Alex is so awful and forces her husband to eat foods that he doesn't like." 

I would like to play the helpmate card here. 

Taking care of my husband's nutritional needs is one way I feel responsible for him.  He knew what he was getting into when he married a dietitian.  Of course I don't ask him to eat anything he doesn't want to, but I do like to challenge his tastebuds.  And my husband is so very gracious to me and will eat whatever I make for him.  Usually it's a food that I know he loves. 

But every once in awhile I throw him a vegetable-topped curveball.


Annette said...

that is awesome! You are such a sweet and wonderful wife!

sabrina said...

Ok you really have to start sharing recipes. I did not know you were into cooking, and with you being all about healthy food I am realizing you are going to be a great source for healthy new ideas!! So start sharing!!

And meatless nights do not go over well AT ALL in the Pate household.

Gina said...

LOL!!!! That just gets me in trouble if I try those things...I would say the only times he's really really gotten angry at me were over me "sneaking" healthy food into stuff.

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