Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Time for a change...

Change has been on everyone's minds the past few months as the campaigning for the democratic nomination surges ahead. (But I don't want to talk about that right now. It turns out I have a lot invested in this race, in a whole new way, and I have some not too rational feelings about it.)

So the change rhetoric got me thinking about changes that can be made at home, which got me thinking about my family's diet.

I try really hard to cook with organic, healthy foods. I use whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and low or lower fat dairy. I try to ensure my family has several servings of fresh or steamed fruits and veggies at each meal. I stock the "snack shelf" in both the pantry and the fridge with fruits, yogurt, and cheese. My kids don't get chips and candy and other fatty snacks very often at all. We eat fast food and take out less than 5 times a month.

However, I realized we are still not eating very well. We still use meat as a staple, instead of a garnish, and we still eat less fiber and veggies than we should. This means more fat, and less nutrients. Therefore, yesterday marked the beginning of my new plan for feeding the family.

Last night I opened my Vegetarian Cookbook.
I baked an acorn squash sprinkled with cloves and cinnamon in 1/4 of orange juice and 1/4 of water. I made an Arugula salad with Pear slices, lemon juice, pepper and parmesean. I baked a Mushroom Pate, made with Portabella mushrooms, baby button mushrooms, red pepper, white wine, garlic, onion, red kidney beans and 12 grain bread crumbs. All told it took about an hour to prepare. However, I have pate leftovers galore, so it will make me a yummy lunch, and an excellent appetizer for dinner tonight.

Best of all, everyone loved it. Lee talked about how rich and creamy the pate was, and how filling the meal was. Even Monkey and Otter gobbled the pate up, lip smacking the whole way. I mean, my six year old ate something made with red peppers in it!!

My plan? I plan on buying a copy of the Enchanted Broccoli Forest and the Moosewood Cookbook. The I intend to base every dinner on a healthy vegetarian recipe, and to add a garnish of meat to it from time to time. If I can get my family to eat low fat, high fiber vegetarian dishes with just a touch of meat on them, then I will know I am doing my best to feed them healthy and wholesome foods.

I plan on making lots of leftovers, so the complicated dishes can last more than one meal. It will help this be less of a PITA (Pain in the ...). Tonight I plan on preparing a wholesome and creamy chickpea based soup.

Num num.

8 comments:

Catherine said...

I don't know if you have something similar there, but we get door to door organics delivered weekly. A box of fruit and vegetables shows up at our house. It's really increaded the variety of vegetables that we eat. It's fun to be surprised! And it's fun to try to make a meal out of a refrigerator full of shiny new veggies.

Amy Y said...

I would love to try to switch to vegetarian meals for the majority of our food as well, but haven't yet made the leap. I'm nervous about getting enough protein in our diet and even more nervous about my kids actually eating what I cook. I will have to do some research on kid~friendly veggie recipes and see what I can come up with. Thanks for sharing this, and I'm anxious to hear more about how it goes for your family!!

Woman with a Hatchet said...

You rock! Come cook for us! We'd love to try your veggie recipes, but it's hard enough getting Eric to remember there should be anything on the plate OTHER than a slab of meat or fish.

Slab o' fish. It's what's for lunch!

To which I replied, "Uh, honey? Where's the rest of the food?"

He looked at me like I was the crazy one.

Catherine: sounds like you have a CSA! Community Supported Agriculture/farm subscription. Good on you!

Ahem: waving my blog entry moment!

Maria said...

I so wish that would fly here. My kids would purposefully starve.

Anonymous said...

Anyone interested in reliable, time and taste tested, nutritionist approved (and developed) vegetarian recipes should take a look at “American Wholefoods Cuisine.” In print for more than thirty years it is considered the “vegetarian Joy of Cooking” by both gourmet and health writers. See also "The Good Breakfast Book." For more info go to HealthyHighways.com

Scylla said...

Catherine, door to door organics sounds fantastic! I should see if there is something like that here!

Amy, If you use beans, legumes, and other protein subs, you can get enough protein in a veggie diet. Especially if you keep eggs and milk in the diet.

Tracy, I would love to cook for you baby! Although you are the Uber-Foodie, so I am a little intimidated.

Maria, it has taken years of Dinner Table Hell to get Marlena to the point where she would eat anything unique and veggie filled. Having her help prepare dinner seems to help a little. For the longest time, all I did was puree steamed veggies and add them to sauces on the stuff she would eat.

Anon -- I will look the book up, thanks for the tip!

ellen said...

I love both of those books! I also highly recommend "Feeding the Whole Family". I have it if you'd like to brows through it.

Red Flashlight said...

I've never been a fan of meat loaf. Moosewood's lentil loaf, on the other hand, is amazing!

Search Me