Southwestern Spaghetti


One of bigger challenges I have encountered since embracing veganism is the fact that Husband wants to continue eating animal products. Satisfying solutions aren’t always easy because I want to be fair and respectful to him, and I want to compromise because I value my marriage, but I also want to be fair and practice compassion towards animals. I have read some articles and discussions about managing this conflict of interests – some helpful, some less so because people can be really nasty about non-vegan spouses/partners. I’ve also listened to podcasts by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau that have addressed this issue for guidance and ideas. The most helpful kernels of wisdom that have emerged for me are to be patient, compassionate, remember that I too was a carnist (so I can identify with his current attitudes and beliefs), and that delicious food is my best advocacy tool.

One of our long-standing food habits has been eating frozen meals for weekday lunches. Since going vegan, I rarely eat these kinds of convenience foods anymore. I still keep one or two vegan frozen meals in the freezer, but usually I’ll have leftovers of something I’ve cooked, or a PBJ. Hubs has continued to rely on frozen meals for lunches though. The ones he likes all have meat, and I have continued to buy those for him. Naturally, I would prefer not to buy them, but I am trying to focus on the positive changes he has made, while I identify possible alternatives that will make us both happy.

One idea I had was to make more meals that could be portioned into single servings, frozen, and easily taken to work, since delicious food is the best advocacy tool. When I suggested this to him, he was receptive. Although he’s not making a conscious effort to reduce meat, he does want to eat more fruits and veggies, and fewer processed foods. This recipe for Southwestern Spaghetti was our trial recipe, and he really liked it. He took it for lunch a couple of days last week, and also had it for dinner a couple of times. We’re making this up as we go, and trying to figure out how to compromise on these new issues, but delicious food is something we can agree on.

Southwestern Spaghetti
Southwestern Spaghetti

Southwestern Spaghetti

2 tablespoons evoo
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, crushed or minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. zucchini, coarsely chopped
1 can diced chili peppers
1 can pinto beans
15 oz. can crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted
15 oz. can diced tomatoes, fire-roasted
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 package Upton’s Naturals Chorizo Seitan (or other vegan meat of choice)
10 oz. spaghetti
Daiya pepperjack shreds

1. Saute onion and bell peppers in evoo until vegetables begin to soften.
2. Add zucchini, and continue to cook until zucchini softens.
3. Add chili peppers, beans, tomatoes, spices and seitan. Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
4. Cook spaghetti until al dente.
5. Remove vegetables from heat. Add spaghetti, and combine.
6. Serve with Daiya shreds.

* I was going to make this a casserole, mixing in cheese and baking as a last step, but the night I made it, it ended up being too late, so I didn’t bake it. We’ve been serving it with vegan cheese sprinkled on top and reheated. I think the cheese is much better when it’s melted.

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