His & Hers Dinners: How To Make 2 Meals Without the Effort

by Lauren on September 27, 2012

A question that I often get from readers is if Toly eats the same meals as I do.

The truth, no.

I’m planning on doing an entire post dedicated to a day of Toly’s eats eventually, (he doesn’t know this yet) but for the most part his typical day consists of a bowl of cereal and bagel for breakfast, a turkey and cheese sandwich for lunch and whatever dinner I put in front of him.

But on the topic of dinner, you get to see most of what I eat every day but the question arises as to whether or not I’m making two meals, one for me and one for him.

I admit, my husband has come a long way in terms of being adventurous with his food choices but lets get real, a big plate of vegetables is not going to cut it.  The boy likes his meat and potatoes.

While I love him dearly and aim to please, I also know I don’t want to spend hours over dinner making two completely separate meals, so I have a general rule of thumb.  I take one central concept and customize based on tastes.

Let’s take a look at tonight’s dinner as an example.

(This probably isn’t the best example seeing as it was one of those “make whatever is fast and easy since I’m not really in the mood to cook” nights but you’ll get the idea) 

Dinner Concept:  Omelets

His: 3 egg, turkey, cheddar and tomato 

Hers: Egg white, turkey, spinach, zucchini, goat cheese 

The Ingredients:

I lay everything that I will need out ahead of time which is key.

The Sides:

His: Roasted Potatoes 

Hers: Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Same concept, same cooking time, different vegetable.

The end result:

His:

 

Hers:

Again, not the most picturesque meal, but quite delicious.

So essentially, I was able to cook everything simultaneously and adjust the ingredients as needed.  For the most part, Toly and I eat the same “meat” with every meal, but I usually alter the sides.

On a night when Toly is not home, you’ll most likely see me eating something more like this….

Acorn Squash, Apple and Brussels Sprout Saute with Apple Chicken Sausage

Acorn Squash, Apple and Brussels Sprout Saute with Apple Chicken Sausage
Main Entree
1
 
Ingredients
  • ½ of a small acorn squash, cubed
  • ½ cup brussels sprouts, sliced in half
  • ½ gala or honey crisp apple, cubed
  • 1 apple chicken sausage (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, heat coconut oil. Add squash, salt, pepper and cinnamon.
  2. Cook squash for 10-15 minutes or until it begins to brown and soften.
  3. Add brussels sprouts and chicken sausage and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Add apple and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, combine balsamic and syrup. Add over squash mixture.
  6. Let the sauce come to a soft boil, reduce heat to low and let the sauce reduce, about 5 minutes.

Roasted fall vegetables and I are in a serious relationship at the moment.

As much as I love to cook for two, sometimes it’s nice to only worry about prepping, cooking and cleaning one dish.

Before I go, I just have a few things to note: 

1. Am I completely naive but how did I just find out that Starbucks is doing away with free perks for their Gold Card members?  I about died when the woman told me today that as of October 16th, I will no longer be getting my soy milk for free.  The catch is I earn a free drink after 12 stars rather than 15!  Someone please tell me how that benefits me?  I’m pretty sure soy milk is an extra .60 so if I get that 12 times that comes out to an extra $7.20 and I didn’t even count the flavored syrup.  You better believe my free drink is going to be an expensive one!

2. A new blog that I am LOVING is the gorgeous work of Jackie at Pham Fatale.  Jackie recently created an incredible granola bar recipe with the Granola Basics which I just posted about earlier this week.  She also is coming out with her second cookbook this December and we are giving away 3 copies to NAG readers.  Head over there now and leave a comment for a chance to win!

3. The new Mumford & Sons album is rocking my world.  It’s the best $12 I’ve spent in a long time.

And with that, I’m calling it a day.

Enjoy your night friends!

Question:  Would you like to see more of Toly’s meals?  I think I may start including a His/Hers demo every week.  Thoughts? 

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{ 26 comments }

Sana September 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Def do both meals :)

laura September 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I know I have requested this before, so I am all about seeing more of Toly’s meals! As a girl who is OFTEN cooking separate meals, it’s nice to know we’re not alone! I usually do the same protein and veggie, but our starch is always different. It really isn’t as hard as it seems, but sometimes I find it annoying I have two pots on the stove–one with rice and one with cous cous. I wish we could just like the same things, but I guess there are worse things in a relationship! I am lucky my boyfriend will eat almost any veggie, just not into acorn squash, tofu, cous cous, or quinoa. He doesn’t know what he’s missing :)

Cellabella September 27, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Why don’t you eat whole eggs like Toly? What do you do with the extra yolks? Do you just add them to his omelet?

Lauren September 28, 2012 at 7:51 am

Hi Cellabella! I do sometimes eat the yolk but last night we only had 3 eggs left so I wanted to give them to Toly. I use liquid egg whites (that I usually keep on hand to throw into oatmeal or for baking) so I used those to make my omelet. It probably would have been better with the whole egg though. ;)

Cellabella September 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Yeah, I always get frustrated when I don’t have enough eggs for a recipe. It’s sweet that you gave the eggs to Toly – tell him you deserve a foot rub ;)

Lauren September 28, 2012 at 8:37 pm

;) I hope he reads your comment.

L September 28, 2012 at 8:15 pm

I was curious too, why not just use whole eggs instead of just whites? But you were being kind :) Do you usually make omelets with the whole egg when you have enough?

Lauren September 28, 2012 at 8:27 pm

I do! I usually use 1-2 whole eggs (depending on how hungry I am) and 2-3 egg whites per omelet or scramble.

Floey September 28, 2012 at 5:12 am

Hi Lauren! Okay, I have a question so unrelated to all this. I feel like you are a great speaker since you’ve done conferences, etc. How would you suggest I practice for interviews?

Lauren September 28, 2012 at 7:50 am

Hi there! YES! I actually wrote an entire post on this. http://www.saywhatyouneedtosayblog.com/2011/09/26/5-tips-for-a-successful-interview/
I used to teach this course to high school students and interview college students regularly so I do have some good experience. Let me know if you have any specific questions and GOOD LUCK!

Floey September 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Thanks dear! Yeah…I mean, I feel like those are things that I’m aware of. I think my main problem is that when I actually go into the interview I get nervous and sometimes I’ll blabble or repeat myself, and I feel that a lot of my answers don’t have much structure or aren’t as good as they can be.
Also, I think I have a problem with remembering to use specific examples — I get nervous and tend to just say general things and forget the little details that might be useful.
Also, I hear it’s important for me to express to the company how I can really help them….

Thanks for all your insight!

Lauren September 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Yes, you hit the nail on the head. JOB SPECIFIC answers are key when it comes to interviewing. Think of it this way. ANYONE can say “I work hard” but think of it in terms of specific things you do that supports that statement. For example you could say, “I’m a hard worker because I never miss a deadline, I show up with a positive attitude, and I’m able to manage multiple tasks at one time.”
And always make them feel like you would be an asset to the company. Talk about things you would do or ideas you would bring that would benefit them. I can actually give you a good example of this.
Yesterday, I interviewed for a wellness coach position at a health club. I gave them some ideas that I could do presentations for their clients on healthy eating demos. This was not in the job description but the woman said they were looking for new ideas to gain new membership and ways to keep the current members motivated. She LOVED that I had something to bring.
You’ll be great no matter what. Just stay confident and never ever make it about you. ALWAYS make it about them! :)

Erica @ For the Sake of Cake September 28, 2012 at 6:26 am

I love this! Although Chris and I generally eat the same meals, I’m not always in the mood for something so big and heavy, but I feel like that’s what I have to make because it’s what he likes! I definitely see how I can just adapt the same meal 2 different ways!

Erica { EricaDHouse.com } September 28, 2012 at 6:28 am

I’m a vegetarian and my bf is not so we always make separate (but complimentary) dinners! Usually he’ll grill up chicken on Monday and add that to whatever I make for the week for myself. Or, we’ll do something customization – like Tostadas. Most often we’ll make a main dish and veggie side and I’ll eat primarily the veggie side and he’ll scarf down the main dish (usually pasta!)

Sara @ sarasmiles September 28, 2012 at 7:45 am

That acorn squash meal looks absolutely amazing…I can’t wait to make it!

I love the concept of his/her meals. If I was married (assuming one day I will be? Let me get a boyfriend first) I would find it very resourceful. I’ll start taking notes just in case.

It’s on my bucket list to see Mumford & Sons live in Scotland. I have only heard a couple of songs from the new album but I like it so far!

Danielle @ clean food creative fitness September 28, 2012 at 8:00 am

Love the example of two separate meals! Right now I’m just cooking for one but I imagine someday I’ll have to do some changes of my own! Love the acorn squash recipe! I’m loving all the squash that’s in season right now! Perfect fall meal!

Karen @ Runner Girl Eats September 28, 2012 at 8:56 am

I have to do the same thing with my BF! I can be completely happy with a huge plate of veggies but Matt doesn’t consider it a meal unless there is meat on his plate. I think both of us would be happy with the acorn squash recipe though :)

Addison September 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I love showing the his/her meals! It’s so helpful to be thinking about navigating cooking for two someday. :)

Jordan @ Whimsical Desperation September 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I’d like to see his meals as well. All the more ideas. :)

Natalie @ Free Range Human September 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm

My husband and I are very very similar to this. I do a lot of “general concept” meals. It does work really well!

RunEatRepeat September 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm

That squash recipe looks delicious!

Katie @ Talk Less, Say More September 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Regarding this whole Starbucks Gold Card thing – I AM BUMMED! Like seriously disappointed and I don’t think the free drink after the 12th vs 15th is enough incentive for me to WANT to keep Gold Status. Especially since I’m working at a family owned coffee shop, my treat for coffee on a day off is less likely to occur at the ‘buz. Personally.

And Mumford & Sons – YES, YES, YES!!!

Maria September 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm

I would love to see more his/hers meal ideas. I try to keep a veggie diet, but I know that he likes meat and sometimes it’s just hard to find a compromise that doesn’t involve five dirty pans. Thanks! and yes, so glad that Mumford’s CD is out!

Lauren September 28, 2012 at 8:32 pm

I know, sometimes the cleanup is the worst part! That is why I LOVE summer for the grill. It’s so easy to customize meals without any cleanup when your grilling everything.

jessie ann james September 29, 2012 at 2:07 am

yum!!! that recipe looks to die for! and your blog design is darling!

Lauren September 29, 2012 at 7:38 am

Thanks so much!

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