My husband likes to eat. He is a meat ‘n potatoes kind of guy. Fancy, vegetarian, ethnic, soup/stew, seafood are not his idea of a meal. Beef, pork, and the occasional chicken next to a starch and a vegetable is about my normal plate. He can’t boil water and doesn’t want to try. The last time he tried (re-heating leftovers) the Great Dane nudged the baby out of the room in case he got a wild idea to give the baby food. Obviously, making him cook isn’t going to happen. Yes, that was my solution too. How can I make interesting, healthy dishes? – Some Like it Hot, Las Vegas, NV

Julie Anne Rhodes with actor Rupert Everett and her non water-boiling ex husband, Nick Rhodes

Okay, I think I’ll break your query down into two parts. Part one is how do I deal with a picky eater while I’d like a little culinary adventure at mealtime?

The Personal Chef Approach™ will help you avoid becoming a short order cook to please differing palates at the same dinner table in two ways. First, many recipes can be easily adapted to give you the variety you crave while keeping his more basic tastes satisfied too. For example, you could make my apricot lamb chop recipe, omit the cinnamon on his lamb chops, and remove his from the pan before adding the sauce. Then package, cool, and store them separately. He gets his plain meat and potatoes, and you get a more sophisticated dish with virtually no extra effort. The same goes for anything on the grill or broiler – just cook his plain seafood, poultry, or meat next to your lovely marinated piece.

Curry Rub for Grilled Lamb Chops

For recipes that are harder to separate like soups and stews, keep in mind that the PCA™ means you will have a variety of meals already prepared to choose from. You could eat both portions of the Chicken Marrakech Stew in the week, while he eats both portions of the Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken.

Use the recipe scaler to easily alter the number of servings you want up or down to suit your specific needs

Or, you can easily adjust the number of servings with the recipe scaler on the new website of each recipe you plan to make that week. If you know he won’t eat the Crispy Ginger Tofu make only enough for yourself, and add a portion of one of the recipes you know he will enjoy to cover his meal that night. You can also make extra portions of his favorite meals to freeze for a later date, or a stash of more exotic recipes in the freezer for yourself. Then when you prepare something he won’t eat – you defrost and heat something he will (or vice-versa), without having to cook an extra meal. In fact most nights you won’t have to cook at all!

Jewels giving advice

As for the second part of the question, both the “build your own menu plan” tool and my weekly menu plans come with easy to follow heat to eat instructions. He will be able to get dinner on the table. In fact, we even coached a husband (his wife thought he was incapable of boiling water too) through preparing an entire week’s worth of food in the forum last year when his wife fell too ill to cook for the family! He can do it, and you both can be satisfied at the same dinner table without driving yourself crazy trying to keep everyone happy.

My Crispy Ginger Tofu recipe is both a member and client favorite. Try it, and if you like it, join to unlock all the fabulous recipes, menu plans, and get advice directly from me and the wonderfully supportive community. Stop worrying about dinner and start enjoying it! What’s your favorite PCA™ recipe?


When Tatjana and her friend Leah gobbled these lettuce wraps up before I could cool the recipe long enough to store it, I knew I was onto a winner. This scrumptious, low-carb, vegan dish can also be adapted for you meat lovers out there too!

This post was first published November 2, 2012


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