Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Vegan Meal for My Steak and Potatoes Man

People are often surprised to learn that Brian isn't vegetarian, let alone vegan.  I get a lot of questions about what we eat for dinner and how we handle our different diets.  I even had some strangers ask me recently if I was vegan when I met Brian if we would even have gotten married!  (Uh, I think our shared love for Ben Folds would have trumped the dietary differences, thank you very much!)

Sure, there are times when Brian and I don't eat the same thing for dinner.  Sometimes I'm in the mood for a big salad and Brian will order a pizza or pick up a sandwich from Potbelly.  Sometimes in the summer he'll get something meaty to throw on the grill alongside my black bean burger.  Although more and more he wants to eat the black bean burger himself...

But over the past few years, I've began to refer to Brian as an "at-home vegan".  He's swapped his 2% milk for almond milk, butter for Earth Balance, chicken for chickpea cutlets, and scrambled eggs for tofu scrambles.  Brian certainly didn't turn into an "at home vegan" overnight.  It's been a gradual transition.  I can honestly say I haven't been pushy about him eating vegan (right, Brian?) and he's been really accepting of my choices and open to trying new foods.  We plan and prepare meals together so I'm making sure they are meals he enjoys, as well. 

All that being said, Brian still loves meat.  I mean, really, what guy doesn't?  If he wants to cook up some meat for himself, fine, but obviously we aren't going to share that meal together.  So when we found the recipe in The Happy Herbivore Cookbook for portobello steaks that promised to be a great replacement for a meaty steak, he was very excited to try it.  We made it once and had it on ciabatta rolls, which was pretty good, but last night we had it the way it was meant to be eaten - with rosemary roasted potatoes and asparagus.  Sooooo goooood!  Even if you aren't a meat-lover at heart, you'll love this hearty home-style classic.  

We used very small potatoes, called "creamer potatoes".  You can use either Yukon Gold or red skinned potatoes.

For the Portabello Steaks: Get the recipe at the Happy Herbivore blog.

For the potatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Rinse potatoes and cut in halves or quarters, depending on size.  Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray and lay potatoes in a single layer.  Spritz with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and fresh snipped rosemary.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning every 10-15 minutes or so until crisp and browned on the outside, creamy on the inside.

For the asparagus: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Rinse asparagus and snap off the ends.  Line a baking sheet with olive oil spray and lay asparagus spears in a single layer.  Lightly spritz with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.  Roast for 15-20 minutes.  Drizzle with fresh lemon juice.

Making Your Mixed Marriage/Relationship Work
  • Don't be pushy - you wouldn't want him to force you to eat meat; don't force him to eat tofu.
  • Cook meals where you can have both meat and veggie options, such as tacos.  He can have ground beef and you can have tofu, TVP, tempeh, or just beans and veggies.  (FYI - that's what we used to do and now Brian doesn't even bother with the ground beef so you never know what may happen down the road...)
  • Get him involved in meal planning - he's more likely to want to try new things if he helps pick out the recipes.
  • Cook together - Brian and I have so much fun in the kitchen and we never cook without good music in the background.
  • Find vegan replacements for favorite recipes.  Try Two-Bean Chili, Chickpea Cutlets, and Black Bean Burgers.
  • Let him eat cheese!  So he's vegetarian, not vegan.  That's pretty damn awesome.  
  • Don't judge him for ordering a burger or steak when you go out to dinner on the weekend.  If he makes plant-based decisions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week, let him live a little!  I do. 

What vegan "steak and potatoes" meal would you feed to a non-vegan?


  1. Great relationship and food advice!

  2. I would serve "Sausage and Mushroom Etouffee" ( It is easy to make, visually appealing and tastes really good. I used Gimeelean sausage, cut it in 8 slices, baked it till crisp and then added it to the gravy.

    1. I'll have to try that. It does look tasty!