“What’s for dinner tonight?” my husband asked, inhaling deeply as he lifted the top off a simmering pot of tomato sauce.

I shooed him away.

“We’re having Spaghetti Marinara.”

“Cool,” he said. “But I thought we were eating gluten-free?”

“We are,” I assured him.

“But pasta isn’t gluten-free.”

“It’s not actually spaghetti,” I said. “It’s Veggetti.”

“Veggetti?” he repeated.

“Yeah. It’s fake spaghetti made from vegetables.”


He made a face only his mother could love and then backed away from the stove top as though I had said I was boiling slugs for dinner.

“That doesn’t sound very good,” he said.

“I promise, it’ll be ve-licious,” I smiled deceptively.

He looked at me glumly. I had been on a gluten-free, dairy-free, meat-free diet for a month  to see if it made me feel better. Not that I had been feeling bad in the first place, but after a friend touted the health benefits of going everything-free, I thought I’d give it a try. Unfortunately, my husband was often an unwilling participant in my dietary experiments, so this was not his first food rodeo.  I’ve done high protein-low carb diets, no-sugar diets, grapefruit diets, and something he nicknamed the Disgusting Vegetables Diet which consisted mainly of lima beans and beets.


With that in mind, I tried to make this latest food journey interesting for him, but so far my husband felt that in addition to being gluten-free, dairy-free, and meat-free, most of it was also taste-free.

This from a guy who believes ketchup is a vegetable.

He let me know he didn’t like the meatless meatballs, the fishless tuna, and the chickenless chicken nuggets. He was not a fan of facon (fake bacon), or fauxgurt (fake yogurt) or nawsages (not sausages). I made a gluten-free, dairy-free macaroni and cheese, which essentially, was a bowl of nothing. He gave me two thumbs down.

Then I tried giving him some Nearly Beer with his Not Dogs, but he was Not having it.

He was not a fan of facon (fake bacon), or fauxgurt (fake yogurt) or nawsages (not sausages)

“What’s a Not Dog?” he had asked.

“Hot dogs made of, um, something other than hot dogs,” I’d replied.

He cut a piece of it and put it on the floor for the dog. The dog sniffed it and walked away.

“If the dog’s not eating it, I’m not either.”

This about a dog that eats underwear.

“I need something real,” he finally complained.

“Okay, I’ll make you something I promise you’ll like.”

I perused my cookbooks and the internet for gluten-free, dairy-free, meat-free dinner dishes and finally settled on a meatless meatloaf. It looked great in the photos and got a ton of rave reviews.  Even meat-eaters loved it.

The recipe was easy. It called for chickpeas, beans, garlic, onions, green peppers, and oats.

I followed the instructions precisely…

And then I drowned it in ketchup.


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  • Deborah Lohr

    Thank you for making sure I laugh at least once a week!!!!

    • Tracy Beckerman

      Glad to have you stop by!

  • Cindy

    I look forward to your happy and funny writings, it makes my week, THANK YOU!!

    • Tracy Beckerman

      Thanks for subscribing Cindy!

  • Susan W Goldstein

    Your poor husband sounds like mine! Mine usually says, after hearing what’s on the menu: “Don’t worry about me, I can fix something myself” and he goes into the freezer and takes out Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese. We’re both happy!

    • Tracy Beckerman

      That would work for me, too!

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