Cooking for someone who has a laundry list of items they don't like feels like an impossible task here in this house. KnyghtMare and I have very differing tastes when it comes to food. Just as I could eat breakfast any time of day, meals are for specific times in KnyghtMare's mind. We never have sandwiches for dinner or pancakes for lunch. His idea of a meal must have meat in it, in a decent quantity to count as a meal at all. And vegetables? Forget it if they don't come in a can. Yeah, it's a complicated day when I make the meal plan.
Do you have a Dominant that you are finding hard to please both of your palettes? Then you aren't alone. One of the most common differences in partnerships is food preferences and people's opinions about foods. I've come up with ways to work around the limits placed on me when I cook and I thought I'd share a few of them here.
1. Make a meal plan. This is vital to know if the canned veggies he prefers can spread to several meals, while the vegetables you'd like will also work. When you have a meal plan it can often get pre-approval before shopping so you can change meals around if one gets vetoed. I often ask for him to look it over if I have a new recipe planned. A few fantastic meal planners available for download for FREE can be found on MoneySavingMom.com
2. Cook in batches. I love veggie casseroles of many types. As I said above, KnyghtMare prefers canned peas, beans and carrots (that's it). So when I'm in the mood for veggies I make something that freezes and reheats well. A few of my favorite stand-bys are Orange Glazed Candied Carrots, Broccoli Casserole or Zucchini (Eggplant works too) Lasagna.
3. Make Extras. If you don't go for boxed mashed potatoes then make your own but make enough for leftovers. That way when you want one thing but he wants another, it doesn't require extra cooking time. I'm okay with leftovers, KnyghtMare not so much so the extras are usually my dishes and that's okay with me.
4. Simple and Elaborate. Sometimes you just have to make separate meals - if that is the case, make your meal simple to put together. This saves you time in the kitchen. We have surf and turf night quite frequently at our house. I'm not a big steak eater and KnyghtMare won't eat seafood. So my dish is usually easier to prepare. Even easier if I reheat a veggie dish that I portioned and froze and serve him those darned boxed potatoes!
5. Go out to eat. Not all the time of course, but when you do pick places that will cater to your foods that your partner won't like but has something for them to love. That way you have less separate cooking to do at home and you still get the spicy Mexican enchiladas or Chinese Chicken when he's eating yet another steak.
6. Food bars are your friend. Mealtime salads require very little quantities of ingredients and you can often find other uses for them before they go bad. Not everyone's salad has to look the same either! Having a baked potato bar works to add variety to your meals and again it's personal to their own preferences. Hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta and stir fry are all food bars that can cater to everyone.
Of course, these aren't all. I'm sure you have other ideas so please share them in the comments!