Tag Archives: vegetarian

Quinoa For Dinner

This week’s vegetarian meal was an experiment. Since I don’t have a lot of vegetarian recipes my family likes, I have to experiment.

I made quinoa with vegetables. Really simple, just cook 1 cup of quinoa in two cups of water about 20-25 minutes. Rather like cooking rice, and in fact I used my rice cooker so I didn’t have to pay much attention to the process. It worked.

Cooked up some veggies, put them together with some spices and olive oil, and that was the main dish for dinner tonight.

The baby loved it, but then she loves anything she can fit into her mouth, even dirt.

My son didn’t like it.

My oldest daughter didn’t like it either. I honestly didn’t think she would, as the taste is rather nutty and she loathes all nuts. Except once in a while when she admits to liking cashews or filberts, but in between she loathes all nuts, including those two. But I didn’t warn her about the flavor beforehand.

My husband liked it. He felt the taste was rather like cashews.

But he also made his usual comments in the vein that comes out every time I make a new vegetarian dish. He thinks quinoa could be really interesting in meatloaf. Or perhaps with lamb.

You know. With meat.

He does that every time I make a new vegetarian meal. It’s gotten so that I expect it. But at least he eats them when that’s what I serve for dinner.

I’m determined to keep experimenting with meatless meals once a week for my family, no matter the resistance. There has to be more than one that suits everybody!

Make Your Meals Meatless Once a Week

As I mentioned in my One Small Change Challenge post, I’m trying to go one meal a week meatless for my family. It’s a bit of a push, but I believe that we can do it. This first week was an easy one, just an old family favorite, Sand and Shells. I’ll be trying new recipes out in future weeks.

But why is this a good thing to do?

Meat has a fairly high environmental price. It takes a lot of resources to feed whichever kinds of animals. Huge amounts of water, crops and land go to it, and the animals aren’t even always treated very well.

Add in antibiotics use in animals and the pesticides they consume from their feed, and meat gets less and less appetizing. Now add in the amount of fossil fuels used for producing meat.

You can buy organically produced, free range meat if you like, but there are still problems with that. Free range means they take more land. The meat itself will likely be better for you, but still consumes quite a bit of land.

Even if you aren’t ready to go vegetarian or vegan yet, you can cut down on how much meat your family eats. Simply start going without meat one day a week.

Eating less meat isn’t just eco friendly. Done right, it’s also good for your health and your wallet.

Vegetarian meals cooked with a focus on being healthy help you to lower cholesterol and reduce your chances of a heart attack, strokes, cancer and more. It doesn’t mean these will never happen to you, but lowering your odds is a good thing.

There’s nothing boring about vegetarian fare. People who say that haven’t done much searching for interesting recipes, of which there are plenty online.

In terms of money, meat is far more expensive than many vegetarian ingredients. Cook beans of one sort or another and serve them with your favorite vegetables and grains. You can have a meal that looks and tastes amazing, and have spent less than on a simpler meal that included meat.

Make your meatless days fun. Have chopped fresh vegetables ready for when you want a snack, as well as for a great addition to any meal. Cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, snap peas and others are wonderful, and you may not even need a dip to make them interesting.

It’s also great for parents who want to expose their children to a greater variety of foods. Meatless meals can be challenging with picky eaters, but you can work with them to make it more fun. Have them help you pick the ingredients. Have them help you prepare the foods. Talk about where food comes from, and why you sometimes go meatless.

All this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. You can. It takes some time to adjust, but if that’s a step you’re ready for, go for it. If not, try working up to it!

Another alternative is to simply cut down on how much meat you include in meals when you use it. Don’t have it be the main dish. Have it be a small part of a side dish. You can satisfy that urge to have meat while eating a meal that is overall better for you.

And of course remember to keep your kitchen eco friendly where possible. Try organic produce, eco friendly cookware and so forth for your health and to be kind to the environment.

One Small Change Month Three & Month Two Review

Month three of the One Small Change challenge already? How did that happen?

Month two’s challenge of washing my hair with baking soda and vinegar went pretty well. It’s a different feeling, and one I’m still experimenting with. Hair still comes out soft, but a different kind of soft that takes some getting used to.

This month’s challenge is going to be a bit more difficult for me. I want to get my family to eat at least one vegetarian dinner a week. Getting others involved is always a little more difficult.

The hard part about this is how my family generally reacts to vegetarian meals. There’s one that everyone enjoys, Sand and Shells, but that’s it.

My husband always says either that it would make a great side dish or suggests adding something to it, such as chicken, bacon, ground beef… you get the idea. He’ll accept the occasional vegetarian meal, but as a weekly thing may push his habits a little.

The two older kids are each challenging for this in their own way. Neither likes beans just now, although my son used to utterly adore them.

My oldest daughter loves barley in soup but not otherwise. She hates all nuts and nut products, except once in a while when she will enjoy cashews, but is just as likely to hate them the next day. She loathes couscous.

My son is just plain variable in what he will eat on any day, even favorite foods. He’s still highly resistant to all unfamiliar foods. On the plus side, he would take peanut butter as a food group if I let him. Except when he wouldn’t. He enjoys couscous sometimes.

I have some hope that a recipe with lentils will do well. They’ve all enjoyed those in homemade chicken soup, to the point that my daughter begs me to make it. Might be possible to get them eating lentils in another recipe.

I’ll probably start the first week with Sand and Shells, just because they go over well and the leftovers go into my daughter’s school lunches. Very easy lunch for her to bring, something I really appreciate in a leftover. This will also give me time to start looking up recipes and getting any ingredients I don’t already have on hand.