I Said I Would and Then I Didn’t*
There is a package of tofu in my fridge.
There has never been a package of tofu in my fridge before. I think I’ve said previously that I grew up in the Midwest (still live there, in fact), and people in the Midwest in the 80′s didn’t eat tofu. They ate green bean casserole, tuna casserole, chicken divan casserole, pizza casserole, and pot roast on Sunday.
I blame the tofu on Meatless Mondays, which have become less a novelty and more a part of our routine around here. We’ve even had some meatless Thursdays and Saturdays, because I’m finding it interesting and challenging (in a good way) to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our family rotation. Since my last post, I’ve begun to find it easier to plan an entirely vegetable-based meal and not have it feel like just a collection of side dishes. My husband has stopped taking his heartburn medication, and my kids (oldest, especially) have begun trying more of the things I put on the table. I promised in my previous entry to keep you up to date on what we’re eating, and then I didn’t. (*”I said I would and then I didn’t” is a quote from my favorite movie – bonus points to anyone who knows it!) So here’s a look at some of what I’ve made lately:
- Barley Risotto with Parmesan Cheese. My daughter helped with this, and it was a great meal paired with a thrown-together green salad full of dried cherries, pears, pecans, and shaved parmesan. Though it took a little longer than traditional risotto, my whole family loved the toothiness of the barley, and the whole grain is a bonus!
- Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew. This was the first thing I made that felt like a full meal all by itself, though I served it with some rustic bread for sopping up the stew.
- Falafel with Hummus. This was OK, but not up to par with the hole-in-the-wall Middle Eastern place we used to frequent in Ann Arbor. Anybody have a better falafel recipe?
- Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread (via Smitten Kitchen). THIS. Is changing my life. I made it exactly as written the first time, but have been making it weekly since and tinkering a little each time. Not that there’s ANYTHING wrong with the first version, mind you, but it’s strictly white flour, so I’ve adapted a whole-wheat version and just now I’m have a raisin-pecan loaf rising in the kitchen for tomorrow. The speedy version is awesome, too, for those days when I don’t want to wait 18 hours for my bread to be ready. In fact, one of my favorite meatless meals this last month has been sandwiches I made with slices of this warm whole-wheat bread, spread with pesto, and filled with slices of fresh mozzarella and veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, tomatoes) that had been grilled. A hoppy IPA, some grilled asparagus on the side, and I was happy!
The tofu is because tonight I’m making Smitten Kitchen’s peanut sesame noodles, in hopes that my children will go for the familiarity of the peanut butter and tolerate the vegetables. It’s a gamble, and the safer bet would be nightly chicken nuggets or grilled cheese, but it’s a gamble that we’re having fun taking together.