Ms Betterhome

Cooking, shopping & eating in a mixed marriage.
October 8, 2009, 5:43 am
Filed under: about me, food, love & relationships | Tags: ,

Ok, we’re not married. But we had very different food habits prior to shacking up.

I eat vegan about 97% of the time (the 3% is my fortnightly 100 grams of vegetarian goat cheese, and whatever random ‘traces’ of egg & milk I imbibe in store-bought food). I like to cook – it relaxes me.

Mr B was raised a meat & potatoes boy, but was never a fan of big hunks of meat (ie steaks). He also doesn’t much enjoy cooking, though he is a perfectly competent home cook.

So, I cook our dinner most nights, and have developed a repertoire that suits both of us. He does the dinner dishes, & we each make our own lunches & breakfasts. He eats a *lot* more veggies than he did before, and I eat fewer ‘all veg’ meals for dinner than I once did.

I have discovered a set of pretty much fool-proof dinners (through the process of compromise/ trial & error). They’re mostly ‘one dish’, all reasonably frugal, and generally involve cheap, seasonal fruit & veg plus bulk-purchased pantry supplies. Unless they say ‘with cheese’, they’re vegan.

Some typical dinners:
Baked field mushrooms, stuffed with a mix of sautéed spinach, onion, garlic, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts or walnuts, home-made bread crumbs (sometimes I add 50-100 grams soy or goat cheese). Roasted rosemary potatoes.

Veggie stir-fry with marinated tofu, hokkien noodles & mushroom ‘oyster’ sauce. (Mr B usually makes this)

Risotto with cubed roasted pumpkin, toasted pecans, chopped rocket or spinach (& sometimes 100 grams of goat cheese).

Home-made lentil/veggie burgers with salad & home-made oven-baked potato or sweet potato chips.

Chickpea, pumpkin & spinach curry with basmati rice, home-made apple chutney & store-bought mango pickle.

Veggie pie – a mix of sautéed veg, bound with blended cannellini beans & walnuts, or tofu & almonds, in a (frozen) puff pastry crust.

Main meal salad (greens, chickpeas, avocado, steamed veg ie green beans or asparagus, toasted nuts, roast pumpkin) plus a bread roll.

Veggie wraps: a ‘wrap your own’ assortment of oven-roasted or barbequed veggies with hummus, avo and/or salsa, served with warm tortillas or mountain bread.

Soysages (usually just the Sanitarium bbq version) with green salad, and a side of mash in winter, or potato salad when it’s warmer.

Chilli beans, 2 ways: The core filling is kidney beans, tomatoes, onion, garlic, spices & cubed sweet potato, which I cook for 6-8 hours on ‘low’ in my slow cooker, and freeze in meal-sized serves.

For ‘bean wraps’, I mix this with a sautéed combo of whatever veg we have to hand (zuch, broccoli, random garden greens), and wrap in small parcels, using mountain bread. I smear this with a 3rd of a jar of salsa, cover, and bake for about 30 mins, and garnish with sliced avocado, & fresh coriander (if we have any).

For tacos, we heat the beans, & serve with a variety of salad ingredients, sliced avo & salsa and grated cow cheese for Mr B, and Cheezly vegan cheese for me.

We get most of our groceries at Aldi, though I make special trips to Chinatown to stock up on sauces, noodles & Mr B’s fave marinated tofu. I buy rice & chickpeas in 5 kilo bags from the local Indian grocery. I buy mountain bread in bulk online & freeze, and bake loaves or rolls about once a month using my breadmaker & the Lauke Barossa Rye mix. The soysages and bread mix usually come from one of the ‘big 2’ supermarkets, ie  Coles and Woolworths. I try to buy in bulk when there’s a sale.

For fruit & veg, we shop around at the local fruit shops, the food co-op, or markets, but I’ll grab big bags of avos etc at Aldi if the price is good. The vegan cheese comes from the local health food store, on their monthly ‘super sale day’. I tend to use either the health food shop or the co-op for things like spelt flour as well.


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