I’ve told you before, I’m a pretty decent cook. I’m not Top Chef quality, but give me a recipe and I do all right. I’m also a fairly balanced cook. I make healthy meals most of the time, but I’m not afraid to bust out with something ultra naughty when the occasion calls for it. Sometimes low-fat plain yogurt, apple sauce, and egg whites just don’t cut it. You need slabs of butter, oil or sour cream. Not often, but sometimes. I tell you this so you realize I’m not a hardcore health nut who eats nuts and grasses foraged from the forest floor all the time. It’s important you remember that.
If you’ve been reading wishfit for awhile, you know I’m trying to bring healthier foods into my household. I read books about our country’s food supply, I get organic food and local dairy products delivered, and I make the best choices I can when purchasing meat, eggs, and fish. Of course I also order Papa Murphy’s pizza on a fairly regular basis, but that goes back to the whole “balance” thing.
One area I think many Americans are off-balance is meat consumption. We eat too much of it. Red meat isn’t a staple at my house, but we eat a lot of chicken. I’d guess about five of our weekly meals center around meat. I think that’s a lot, though I haven’t set any serious meat reduction goals at this point. I do look for recipes that are yummy, filling, and meatless, however, and recently, I tried two. One was a hit, one, eh, not so much.
First up, the bomb: Braised Greens and Cannellini Bean Paninis. Sounds fresh and gourmet, huh? Well, I liked it. Especially the cannellini bean spread, (which I saved used as a sandwich spread for several days). When Mike saw the greens braising in the pot, he said, “you’re going to feed your kids that? If you told anyone you thought your kids would eat that, they’d think you were crazy.” Geesh. Kinda harsh.
When he saw the look on Garrett’s face as I placed his sandwich in front of him, he had to turn the other way and pretend to fiddle with the t.v. so Garrett wouldn’t see him doubled over with laughter.
Even though he clearly didn’t love the sandwich, he did eat the whole thing (without any coaxing). That’s my little rule follower.
Graham initially declared he loved it (probably to annoy his brother), but after a few more bites, did this.
Mike laughed and said, “Well what did you expect? You’re serving your kids boiled kale and bean curd.”
Nice. I suppose they could survive on a diet of crackers, humus, hot sauce and meatballs, but I suspect all of their hair would fall out.
The second recipe was much better: Rice, Cheddar and Spinach Pie. I didn’t get pictures of that one, but if you click on the link, there’s a photo.
Everyone ate it, liked it, and I will make it again. Quick, easy and satisfying. Plus, I think you could add any veggies you need to use up, like broccoli, squash, or red peppers.
I’ll never be a vegetarian–I like meat too much–but I would like to explore cooking with more veggies, and replacing meat with other forms of protein. So, it’s likely I will subject my family to more meatless experiments (though I doubt I’ll ever go back to tofu). How about you, readers? Got any favorite meatless meals?
Btw, if you’re interested in reading more about why it’s a good thing to reduce the amount of animal protein in your diet, check out this article for more info. and some great tips.