I had big plans for today's post: I was going to write about the delicious Zucchini Ragout I made for dinner last night, and how we all devoured it joyously, and how I'm trying to save some money by making occasional meatless meals, so that we can afford to get some high-quality meat every once in a while.
That's what I was going to write about. But then we actually had dinner. We all (except Einstein) ate the Zucchini Ragout enthusiastically (he ate it later for a before-bed snack....). Unfortunately, all that joyful eating was prefaced by those 7 dreaded words from my husband: "Does this have any meat in it?"
"No, but it has cheese..." (we've had this conversation before.)
"Cheese is not meat."
"It has animal protein...and you had meat for lunch..." (pulling out all the excuses that I know won't work.)
"Haven't we had this exact conversation before, and I told you that when we have vegetarian dinners, I'm starving again in a few hours?"
"But... it has cheese?"
Suffice it to say, we will be abandoning sneaky meatless meals for the foreseeable future. Yes, we both know half the world survives with limited meat, and a whole grain plus a legume makes a complete protein, and we are horribly irresponsible stewards of the Earth and destined for early death for consuming animals from concentration-camp like factories, etc., etc., etc.
I'm sorry, factory-farmed chickens. I care about you, I really do. I just care about my husband more.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not abandoning real foods, I'm not throwing in the towel on healthy eating. I'm just choosing which is more important to me: my healthy eating goals, or my respecting my husband's needs. And I think it's a pretty easy choice.
Yes, I do all I can to make sure my kids are getting a minimum of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and the like in their food. But isn't it just as important for them to see me honoring their father, and to see the compromises and loving discussions that result?
My husband very kindly and graciously eats all kinds of horrible nearly meatless concoctions that I try to pass off as dinners, and he is careful to set a good example of appreciation for the kids, even when he is not particularly delighted with my culinary offerings. So I don't think it's asking too much for me to make sure there is at least a little bit of meat in most of our dinners. I may not be saving quite as many tortured chickens this way, but looking at the big picture reminds me that there are more important things.