Do any of you remember that episode of The O.C. where Seth asks Sandy what he and Kirsten have in common, and Sandy replies “Uhhhh…. you”?
That’s like me and JZ. We have very little in common in terms of interests. He likes Metallica and Alice in Chains; I like The Shins and Elliott Smith. He likes coding and techy stuff; I like cooking. He likes going to rock festivals; I like going to food festivals.
Our interests in terms of food are diverging too. He’s much more of a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy, whereas I (as you can probably tell from my blog) like eating more plants and less meat. So coming up with meals for the two of us means needing to find the middle ground.
I’ve found that middle ground with hearty vegetarian dishes that make you forget that they don’t contain meat. Eggs and cheese are the key ingredients here – they add that comfort food factor without needing any meat, leaving us both happy and satisfied.
A prime example is this Mexican sweet potato skillet hash. I was actually taken aback after I made this dish on a whim and got extremely positive feedback from JZ. I wasn’t expecting him to praise it with so much gusto – but I can see why he did. With crispy sweet potatoes coated in Mexican spices, a fried egg (or two) in the centre, and a layer of melted mozzarella cheese on top everything, it’s vegetarian comfort food at its finest!
- 1 small sweet potato, cubed
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ¼ small onion, diced
- ¼ red pepper, diced
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- Couple pinches of salt
- 1 large egg
- 3-4 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- In a steamer (or in a mesh strainer placed over a pot of boiling water), cook your diced sweet potato for about 10-15 minutes, or until soft all the way through.
- Heat up the olive oil in a skillet and add your onions and red pepper. Cook for a few minutes until soft, then add the sweet potato, spices, and salt. Continue to cook until sweet potato gets crispy on the outside. Then spread everything evenly in the skillet and crack an egg in the centre. Cook on the stove top until the egg white is almost cooked through, then top with the shredded mozzarella and place under the broiler until it is melted.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
Do you cook for someone with different tastes than your own? How do you find the middle ground?