Tuesday, September 6, 2011

mmmmmexican. :-)

For the Labor Day weekend, my darling hubby volunteered to make us a wonderful Mexican meal. (He's a much better cook than I am. I have trouble boiling water.) As sort of an after-thought, he had me do a little searching on the Internet, to find out what they put in the tasty burritos we occasionally get from Chipotle Mexican Grill. If we'd thought of it sooner, they would have been a closer match, but all we had were re-fried beans, and we get black beans at Chipotle. But no matter - the burritos he fixed us were amazing! So I thought I'd share. (Well, share the picture, anyway. Sorry - the burritos are long gone.)

That amazing burrito above is made with a nice big flour tortilla, beans, rice, corn salsa, tomato salsa, lettuce, and vegan cheese. The rice is basmati, seasoned with a little lime juice and some finely chopped cilantro. The tomato salsa was made from home-grown tomatoes, red onions, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, lime juice and salt. The corn salsa is the same, but with corn instead of tomatoes. (Rice and salsas are more-or-less based on Chipotle's recipes, found online.)

There are two reasons I wanted to share these with you. First, I actually found a vegan cheese I like. It's made by Daiya (I used their mozzarella-style). Now, I have to admit that I haven't had "real" cheese in over 11 years, and I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've had vegan cheese. I tried it when I first went vegan, and decided I was just as happy to go without. Well, either vegan cheese has improved since then, or my taste buds have become less picky, but I really like this stuff! I found it at a local Kroger's, but if you Google Daiya, you can find their website, and search for locations that sell it near you. (Sorry - having trouble with the link tonight to their website, for some reason.) It melts pretty well - not perfectly, and it takes longer to melt than real cheese, but it does eventually get all gooey-chewy. (It makes awesome nachos!)

The second reason I wanted to share is this: I know I'm not the only vegan to find themselves married to an omnivore. My hubby is very supportive, but does not feel the need to follow the same path as me - and that's fine. Some vegans would have trouble being married to a non-vegan, and that's okay for them. But I get enough e-mails to know there are other vegans struggling with a partner who doesn't share their veggie lifestyle. I recently had someone share with me that they would like to go vegan, but their significant other made it impossible. "You can't just make two different dinners every night, and I feel guilty if I don't eat the way he eats". Well, there are ways to work around this. One is to make a single meal, with a few simple modifications. My hubby and I do this all the time. Some examples:

Burritos: mine had vegan cheese, his had dairy cheese. He could have easily added meat if wanted to, and/or I could have added veggie crumbles.

Pizza: one of my hubby's specialties. He likes to make it from scratch - dough, sauce and all. I splits the dough in half and makes two separate pizzas - same sauce, but his has meat and cheese, and mine has a ton of veggies.

Burgers on the grill: our BBQ grill has a dedicated "meat" side and dedicated "veggie" side. We've been enjoying it all summer. It's just as easy to grill a Boca burger along with whatever meat hubby chooses to grill. We often take some sliced peppers and onion and grill them on a piece of foil - we both enjoy that as a topping.

Spaghetti: hubby is actually perfectly happy with a meatless sauce now, but it wouldn't be hard to add a little meat, or some meatballs, just to his serving.

Chili: same as above - the "base" can be vegan, with meat added to half of it later.

There are lots of ways to make one meal with two slightly different finished products. There's no reason for anyone to have to compromise. I will say that after all these years, my hubby eats a LOT more veggies than before he met me. But it was never a forced thing. He eats what he wants, I eat what I want, and we live happily together. May all of you find the same peace in your relationships.

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