Thursday, July 12, 2007

What's For Dinner?

"What's for dinner?" is a loaded question at my house. No matter what the answer, someone is going to roll their eyes and give me "that face". When Offspring #1. is a vegan and Offspring #2 is a carnivore, there is no way to please everyone. Husband leans more toward the carnivore side but sometimes it is possible to sneak in a vegetable or two. In an effort not to starve anyone on a regular basis (some nights one or the other resorts to cereal), we have "assemble your own dinner" meals - taco salad is a great example of this. You want meat? Have meat. If you don't, have beans. The choice is yours. However, even I get tired of taco salad and I am willing to alternate between the meat version and the beans version and call it two different meals Because of these incompatible eating habits, there are nights when we do not all eat at the same time, though most nights we do all sit down at the table together.

Tonight I managed to create a meal that everyone, including the dogs, was happy with. The current issue of Woman's Day magazine contains a recipe for Asian lettuce wraps. They are made with ground beef seasoned with Asian spices and brown rice. I know, you are wondering how this pleased the vegan. She wanted me to make zucchini "hash browns" (shredded zucchini that is seasoned and cooked in a skillet as you would hash brown potatoes). She substituted the zucchini for the meat in her wraps and the rest of us, minus Offspring #2, ate it as a side dish. We also had an awesome loaf of homemade (by Offspring #1) sourdough bread. George Bush would be so impressed with our family mealtime - not our conversation, just that we were all here together.

We all sat down together and everyone was happy with what was on the table. What a feeling. There were no real leftovers to speak of - a spoonful each of the meat, the rice and the zucchini. I mixed it all together and gave it to the dogs. They too were licking their chops, and the empty plates as I placed them in the dishwasher.

This seems like such a simple accomplishment, and it may be, but it rarely happens around here so I am celebrating!

I am leaving for an overnight trip tomorrow. I am sure they will all resort to cereal and other random culinary combinations that may or may not contain any nutritional value. But hey, I am not the responsible adult for approximately 36 hours. Anyone can live on cereal for that little time and not suffer any long term effects.