My husband sucks when it comes to eating on my timetable. He married a perfectly good woman who loves to cook and gain approval from words like “Mmm this is delicious,” or seeing him go back for seconds. On a rare occasion he will go back for seconds, and that occasion is usually cheese laden and/or a quiche. I am always on the look out for recipes that will appeal to both of us and meet all of our needs, which are complex.

I am a vegetarian with a bend towards eating healthy and for my recently more active lifestyle. I prefer to eat pretty soon after getting home from work or the gym because I am HUNGRY. I do love sweets and to bake and make my own cookies, brownies and ice creams. Husband is a Type I diabetic who bicycles 3+ miles to work nearly every day and doesn’t like to eat until rather late at night and gets so caught up in his tech-geek work that he loses track of time. You can see how I have problems getting our eating schedules and tastes aligned.

The ideal situation that I would like to someday achieve is that we would both eat at the same time, together(!) at the dinner table at least on most weeknights. I can count how many times I’ve accomplished this on one hand, and we will have been together for five years this May. We split our cooking duties in a very scientific manner that we reached pretty quickly in the relationship: He grills, I do everything non-grilling related. It’s worked out pretty well for us so far, though I have called on him to do some non-grilling related tasks in the past when I am down and out. His successes include toast, soup and preparing an exquisite glass of chocolate milk.

Often times, I will prepare a dish and eat my share, put some aside for lunch the next daya, and will let Husband know what offerings are available. Sometimes he’ll taste it, sometimes he’ll eat a whole portion, or other times he will bypass it completely in favor of a dinner consisting entirely of salted meat. This is where I start to get concerned because well, salted meat. Only. For dinner. Probably at 11 pm. Every part of that is pointing down a bad path that I feel like it is my job as the chef-wife to correct. The other day we were discussing this as he was carrying a freshly grilled steak out to his man cave to eat and I half jokingly said, “Well, I’ll miss you when you’re gone.”

You may be wondering how I handle meat as the primary cook and as a vegetarian. The answer is that I don’t. I don’t know how to cook it, don’t want to cook it, and he entered into the relationship knowing that if he wants meat, he makes meat. He will taste and often enjoys some of the meat substitute (aka fake meat aka “feat”) and tofu experiments that I perform in the kitchen.

I need more recipes that will be man approved that aren’t all slathered in cheese, salt, high cholesterol and heart disease. I want to cook meals for him that will lure him to sit down and savor them with me. This is an undertaking I really want to commit to, so I will be testing lots of recipes in the near future and marking their success as man food accordingly. Have any good vegetarian man meals that I can try out?

(Pear & gorgonzola salad from zpizza in Lexington)