I guess it should come as no surprise, but I am in charge of food in our house.
Wait a second, my husband went to culinary school… well.. we won’t go there– butter and bacon are not my “go-to” ingredients (nor are they his anymore), but I sure wish I had his culinary expertise. He’s knowledge of spices, blends, and all cuisine is effortless. A minimalist myself, I am happy with some Celtic sea salt, olive oil, lemon, and fresh cracked red pepper. Which also makes my job as Food Ambassador in the household a bit stressful.
I am a “vegan” in a family of carnivores, with a taste for… well… a taste for greens does not come to them naturally. My responsibilities as official lunch packer, grocery shopper, dinner planner, and chef for our household can get tricky because they expect meat to taste good, and vegetarian cuisine to be boring, or “too healthy”. They also expect dad’s food to taste good (healthy or not). I enter the kitchen with the preexisting word “healthy” etched on my forehead. I could be holding a block of cheese and chocolate and I am still at a slight disadvantage.
This past week, without even realizing it, I created a vegetarian menu. No fish. No Chicken. No eggs. The only thing keeping it from being vegan was the butter and cheese. I decided not to make any mention of my little secret until we reached Friday.
Here is how it went down. I apologize for the amateur photography.
Spelt Tortillas, raw corn with a dash of celtic sea salt and ancho chili pepper spice, freshly made guacamole, sauteed red peppers and yellow onions with vegetable broth and spinach, baked blue corn tortilla chips, roasted portabella mushrooms with ancho chili pepper spice and cumin, and pinto beans with seasonings (we could have left those out of the line up).
My little girl’s plate– with a special request for carrots (even though she claims she does not like carrots)
Baked Potato Night!
With the oven set to 350, I sliced potatoes and sweet potatoes into medallions and tossed them in 2 tbsp of olive oil, and freshly chopped garlic. For the sweet potatoes I added in ancho chili pepper, and cumin to season it. I added a generous amount of Celtic Sea Salt to create a “french fry” effect. Also on the table was fresh frozen peas, steamed on the stove top, freshly steamed broccoli, and as usual, a salad with lemon juice and olive oil.
I had a special request for a baked potato from my youngest boy. He wanted me to photograph his plate.
Easy Southwestern Soup Night!
3 cans of Amy’s Organic Vegan Southwestern soup. Prior to the opening the cans, I sauteed celery, onion and garlic in a little bit of olive oil (same oil used in the soup), and also added the leftover peas to the soup once it was done cooking. We added the ancho chili pepper and cumin, and black pepper. Though I am not a fan of canned goods, this was a fast supper with a salad to start the meal off. The soup is very thick and creamy, and it contains no dairy.
We are getting close to the weekly finish line and no one has noticed yet…
Roasted Cauliflower Mac n’Cheese
There is no way around it, the kids love mac and cheese. In our cabinet we have Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese that we save for the moments we need a no stress meal. Instead of milk, I use water, and 1-2 tbsp of organic butter (depending on the amount of boxes). We used 3 boxes here. To start I preheat the oven to 375 and chopped the cauilflower florets into bite size pieces. I then tossed them in 1 tbsp of olive oil and sprinkled them with 1 heaping tbsp of freshly chopped garlic and celtic sea salt. (No I did not have the ancho chili pepper this time ). When the cauliflower and pasta were done, I added in only 2 packets of the Annie’s cheese mixture (instead of all 3) and tossed all of my roasted cauliflower in with the pasta in a glass baking platter. I sprinkled with fresh grated parmesan cheese and tossed back into the oven to melt for a few minutes. As usual, there was a salad and steamed broccoli to balance the act.
Mac and Cheese…
Make Your Own Pizza Night
We had a competition. I asked them to pretend we are opening our own restaurant and we need some really fancy gourmet pizzas. The more toppings you add, the better! (And no.. cheese and sauce do not count). I got 2 pre-made whole wheat pizza dough balls from Whole Foods and the kids went to town.
Our buffet line up consisted of:
And the winner is…
The 6th grader’s pizza. Nice work.
While the pizzas were baking… you guessed it! SALAD!
It may have been a cheesy week… but I think the kids are starting to see, vegetables have flavor too.
We had fun. I think I am going to try for it again this week.
GUESS WHAT: When I told them they ate vegetarian that week, they just smiled. I think they were proud.
Want to hear from the oldest this month?