Mixed Marriages: Omnivore vs Vegetarian

vegetarian vs meat eater, omnivore vs vegetarian

credit: Cavemen Times

by Matthew Petrelis

When I venture out to eat, I enjoy being seated at a table and getting a plate of whatever offering of offal is being served. I also do not mind one bit having this brought to me with the evening’s charcuterie. I am also aware I will be eating this all alone, as I am married to a pescetarian (a vegetarian who eats seafood).

While it’s a much easier road to navigate when ordered off a menu, the differences of diet between two spouses can be more complex than heading from point A to point B using Apple Maps app. Which begs the question: is it possible to find a balance that satisfies both omnivore and vegetarian meals on a nightly basis when cooking at home? The simple answer to that is yes.

Being in a relationship with someone who does not eat meat can be an opportunity for a meat eater like myself to form new ways of looking at meals and how they are concocted. Finding suitable substitutes that are not necessarily trying to imitate meat, but rather work to provide a feeling of fullness and satisfaction is the goal one should strive for. There are many vegetables and grains which can take the place of the main attraction to a meal … portabella mushrooms, quinoa, barley, and the like. (I know. Hearing and seeing those words in relation to my dinner used to make me scared too.)

Additionally, since I had the option to incorporate seafood into the meals at home, I took full advantage of this. It took a while for my husband to get over the idea that I wasn’t cooking the seafood in an “appropriate” way, but once he realized I was doing it correctly, he trusted my seafood dishes more. I learned how to shuck oysters in the right manner. I can make a filling dish with grilled shrimp kabobs as the main treat. Baking a fish fillet provides a great outlet for making it through a meat craving.

In warmer weather, I can grill up vegetable burgers next to real ones. Cook pork sausages beside tofu dogs with sides of grilled corn and zucchini. After more than ten years together, I think we have a system down that compliments both of our palates and nutritional needs. It can be a frustrating situation at times, but overall, if you take the time to think meals through and have room for compromise, you might find that as a meat eater, you don’t crave meat as much as you once did. And that’s not such a bad thing for your health.

Matthew PetrelisMatthew Petrelis is a … deep breath … Blogger/Writer/Photographer/Cardiac Sonographer/Food Creator/Food Destroyer/Cocktail Drinker from Massachusetts.” Follow Matthew on Twitter at @petrelis.  What do you think of his omnivore vs vegetarian post?


  1. says

    We also have a mixed household. I’m a lacto-ovo vegetarian, and my two boys and husband are omnivores. We have been married for ten years, and it still is challenging, but we find a lot of freedom in eating Mexican inspired meals because you can make them based with vegetables and add the meat later. That is what we normally do.

    For instance, if we are making taquitos, I cook the black beans, sweet potato, cilantro, onions and corn as my filler, and then when I go to bake them, I put chicken in the boys’ portion and put it in a separate dish or mark it with toothpicks. If the meat threatens to contaminate my food, then I bake it in a separate dish altogether.

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