A week with Maia & Pat

Meet Maia & PatMaia & Pat

Where do you live? Cincinnati, OH

How long? 1.5 years

Favorite foods? Maia – chocolate, Nutella, crusty French baguettes, full-fat Fage yogurt, strawberry ice cream, anything with coconut, lamb chops, veal cutlets, short ribs, duck breast and poached eggs (and I could think of more if I had time!); Pat – steak

How often do you eat together? We eat dinner together almost every night, and we usually eat brunch together on the weekends.

Who’s the cook at your house? Pat is the fried egg & grill expert. Maia takes care of everything else.

What’s your go-to meal(s)? We love lamb burgers with some baked sweet potato “fries” on the side – amazing. We’re both big fans of steak. We might have a filet mignon with a side of asparagus on the weekend, but on a weeknight we’ll go for a simpler version of that dish – like flank steak with a big salad. Lately, we’ve been making our version of a Greek salad almost every night, with tomatoes, cucumbers, sauteed bell peppers, and a generous slab of feta cheese on top (even better when it’s roasted in the oven!). Maia’s Bulgarian, so she’d call this a shopska salad, but Pat’s christened it the “Maia salad.”

What’s your ideal meal? Maia – it definitely involves lots of tasting and sharing, and some good friends. A tapas style spread with warm olives, a couple of good cheeses, some cured meats, grilled flank steak, roasted peppers, an arugula salad and some good crusty French bread would do it; Pat – steak.

How has your relationship influenced the way you eat? Maia – When I was living alone, it wasn’t uncommon for dinner to be made up of a couple of types of cheese, a couple of slices of that crusty baguette I’m obviously craving and a glass of red wine. In the last year and a half, we have had a grand total of one meatless dinner. And Pat limits his intake of refined carbs so the baguette is out too. We eat more meat than I did before, and probably more salads as well. We eat fewer sweets (not counting the ones I sneak in at the office), almost no bread, pastries, rice or potatoes, and almost never go out during the week. But we can blame our puppy for that last one – we hate to leave her alone at night after being at work all day; Pat – I eat significantly better than when I was by myself, and I find myself much more interested in food and trying a wider variety of foods.

What surprised you about each other’s eating habits after you moved in together? Maia – I had no idea that Pat was so disciplined!; Pat – I had no idea that Maia had such strong feelings about bread!

What are your guilty pleasures? Maia – I sneak in most of my “bad” eating at the office. If Pat didn’t see me eat those three Ferrero Rochers, they don’t count, right?; Pat – If I’m stressed, I can eat large quantities of food, and it isn’t always good for me. I can go through half a box of girl scout cookies if it’s a stressful time.

What’s one thing you can’t agree on? Maia – Pat is very disciplined. If something isn’t good for him, he won’t eat it – at all. I’m much more moderate – I like to eat everything and I don’t feel badly about it, but I do try to keep the proportions on the healthier side. (Pat agreed!)

Any dietary restrictions? If so, how does it impact your meals?  Maia – Pat avoids all the tasty starches: bread, rice, potatoes, anything with flour in it, etc. We pretty much don’t keep that stuff in the house and substitute with more vegetables, fruit and meat. Full disclosure though – I’ll indulge when we are out; Pat –  I agree, Maia is much more moderate than me and does a good job of trying to keep up with my diet. If I’m around it, I’ll eat it and she is pretty considerate about not putting “it” in front of me.

Let’s see what was on their table…

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