When I told my parents that I had decided to go vegetarian, they were supportive... yet slightly puzzled. My parents couldn’t imagine not eating meat, especially since my dad’s favorite breakfast food is bacon and as my mom said, “I couldn’t do that… I like my hamburgers too much.” When I came home for winter break, I was excited to cook my parents my favorite vegetarian meals in an attempt to prove to them that it really is not that difficult and still very appetizing! I think they mostly just enjoyed having someone cook them dinner regardless if it contained meat or not.
Also, when I told my mom and dad that I was writing this article they took it very seriously. My mom made sure I displayed my meals neatly on the nice china plates and my dad (and my mom) gave relatively serious feedback. In the end my dad ranked the order from his least to most appetizing meals. Bon Appétit!
4. Tofu and Mushroom Pasta
This meal consisted of wheat spaghetti noodles topped with sautéed mushrooms, onions, and tofu and drizzled with olive oil. The last rank came at no surprise considering I don’t think my dad has ever seen tofu before, let alone tried it. My mom made spaghetti sauce loaded with sausage as a backup… which my dad did end up eating. I will give him credit though, he ate at least four solid fork-fulls of my tofu pasta before switching to the spaghetti sauce. He declared, “I would eat it… but not when there is something else to eat….” On a happy note, my mom loved it!
3. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Lettuce Wraps
Out of all the meals, this one is the easiest one to make. It is cooked cubed sweet potatoes and sautéed black beans and onions on a lettuce wrap (and I also would recommend adding sliced avocados and feta cheese). My dad’s plate started with three full pieces of lettuce as the base and ended with two and a half pieces of lettuce. His excuse was, “I am really not that big of a lettuce fan in the first place…”, thus placing it at number three.
2. Classic Black Bean Burger
I make my black bean burgers with black beans, carrots, an egg, bread crumbs, and various seasonings and use lettuce as a substitute bun. Again, the lettuce bun lasted one bite before switching to a nice fluffy bread bun. While I used avocadoes and tomatoes as toppings my Dad would recommend dipping in hot sauce and possibly using it as a taco filling… along with beef.
1. Zucchini Pizza Wraps with Pesto and Mushroom Flatbread
The winner is baked zucchini that is wrapped around mushrooms, tomatoes and onions topped with pizza sauce and cheese! And on the side, is simple flatbread with pesto and sautéed mushrooms and onions. I asked my dad the last time he had zucchini and in deep thought he replied, “Two years ago… your mom and I went to somebody’s house and they were making something or another with zucchini… I don’t know, I went for the beer.” We later confirmed it had been last year when my aunt made zucchini brownies. Nevertheless, my dad decided that it would taste even better if I had added pizza sausage.