As you found out in his guest post, my husband is an engineer. He sees things with a scientific, rational, logical mind. Me? I was an English major, a Psychology minor, and got my doctoral degree in the Sociology and Philosophy of Education, heavy on the Philosophy. I see things through the lens of metaphor, I am more likely to be emotional even when I'm being rational, and I am drawn to ideas about culture. The difference offers us balance, most of the time, like when I want to cry about laundry detergent. (Maybe sometime I will tell you that story, but not today.)
My husband is a carnivore. He would be perfectly happy with a meal of hot dogs and mashed potatoes. In fact, Thanksgiving at our house falls just short of a world war every year because though I am not exactly a vegetarian, I often eat that way, and I am the lone voice protesting the preponderance of starch and animal protein. (A meal of sugar and fat, though? Oh, ho! Not a problem.)
Unlike most of our differences, which are completely surmountable or even useful, this last difference presents a challenge given that the CSA share is ... well ... full of vegetables. And not just the flexible jack-of-all-trades vegetables like zucchini and tomatoes, but things like napa cabbage. And eggplant. And tomatillos. I am way too lazy to make stuffed cabbage, and the idea of a whole head of cabbage worth of stuffed cabbage makes me a little weak in the knees. I have eaten more baba ghanouj this summer than I thought possible, because everyone else who lives here thinks that eggplant is slimy. And will someone please tell me what people do with tomatillos besides make salsa, or throw them in stew, which I really would prefer not to do when it's ninety degrees out?
I love my CSA. LOVE, love my CSA. But this is tricky business.
I remember having long conversations with a former colleague about her split household, and how she managed, as a vegetarian, to cook for herself and her vegetable-hating husband (not that my husband hates vegetables ... he just doesn't love them like I do). At the time, they seemed like perfectly reasonable solutions: add beans to one half the meal, meat to the other. But sometimes, like when you have a cabbage to contend with, it works less well.
You can, however, take a deep breath, compromise a little, and present your husband with a rack of ribs to grill as an enticement to eat said cabbage. Which is exactly what I did.
Napa Cabbage Salad with Red Bell Pepper, Cilantro, Almonds, and Dijon-Ginger Dressing
(Adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen)
1 medium head napa cabbage, chopped (about 5-6 cups chopped cabbage)
1 red bell pepper, very thinly sliced into same-length slices
1/3 c. thinly sliced green onion
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
1/3 c. chopped almonds, toasted (or roasted, salted)
2 T rice vinegar
2 tsp. grated ginger root
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp. sesame oil
1 T. agave nectar or 2 t. honey
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
3 T. light olive oil
Stir together the rice vinegar, grated ginger, Dijon mustard, sesame oil, agave nectar/honey, salt, and pepper, then whisk in the oil one tablespoon at a time. Set aside and allow flavors to mingle.
Toss together the chopped napa cabbage, red bell pepper, green onions, and chopped cilantro in a medium-sized salad bowl. Add desired amount dressing and toss to coat the salad. Place in salad bowls and top each serving with chopped almonds. Serve and eat immediately, since the cabbage will begin to wilt in the refrigerator.