Saturday, September 26, 2009

meatless supper #1

Enviromom is hosting a little "meatless supper club" for the next 8 weeks and I have volunteered to be a part of it. The point of it is to reduce our reliance on meat for dinner because let's face it, meat production is hard on the environment. (You can read Enviromom's original post on the supper club here). I've been cooking occasional meatless meals for a number of years now but am excited to get a little more focused on that again and share my experiences with you too. These first few weeks I'm going to re-visit some old favorites I haven't made in awhile. Later, I'll branch out and try some recipes from my newer cookbooks.

Tonight's meal was Tofu with Peanut Ginger Sauce. The recipe comes from Eating Well magazine. This is quick and easy to whip up and I love that it has so many veggies in it. This is how I love to get my veggies--as part of the main dish.
Basically you mix up the sauce ingredients in a little bowl and set it aside. Chop you scallions and mushrooms and break up your tofu.
Fry the tofu in a little olive oil until it is nice and toasty. After that it is very easy and it goes fast. You just add all of the vegetables (the spinach looks like it will never incorporate because there is so much of it, but it does) and the sauce and stir it around over the heat until the spinach wilts a little. Done!
I served this over brown rice and with a green salad. I usually keep the side dishes very simple--especially when the main dish has so many veggies in it already. I always set out fruit as well--on this night it was some nice organic pears from Trader Joe's (my little boys eat them up!)
I made dessert too, just for fun. Carrot Oatmeal cookies from 101 cookbooks. Yum and yum! These are super healthy--no sugar, no white flour--and they are full of good things: whole wheat, carrots, maple syrup, oats, and coconut oil (which is actually quite good for us--you can read about that in Real Food or Nourishing Traditions). These will be part of my regular cookie repertoire from now on.

Some thoughts:
:: Ben and Faith both ate this dinner up; Faith loves this dish in particular (they're both 16).
:: The little boys (age 4 and 2) not so much. Although I will say, Rainer ate some, especially the rice. Dieter ate a mushroom and a piece of tofu, which he did NOT like.
::Both little boys ate fruit and a selection of vegetables from the salad.
::Everyone loved the cookies and drank milk.

Having both teens and little ones makes me a bit calmer about the fussy eater thing. I think no adult likes to see a small child not eating his dinner (I don't), but for years now my philosophy has been to keep cooking healthy meal after healthy meal and keep plunking it down on the table with fruit and salad and not buy junk and the healthy eating will follow. I have to say our teens are pretty healthy eaters and eat more foods than some other teens they know.

More meatless meals here:
rustic lentil soup
cheese fondue
black bean enchiladas and etc.
zucchini quesadillas
grilled veggie sandwiches


Jennifer said...

That looks delicious, must try it soon. I love asian flavours so this looks like it might suit us well.

Tammie said...

this looks great.
we have meatless meals pretty often around here, maybe i should hop over to enviromom and see what this is all about.

i totally agree with you on your philosophy about kids and eating. i try to never make an issue about food, just constantly provide the good stuff. i have to admit that i questioned myself numerous times when my oldest was little and i watched him pick at his food. but i stuck to what i thought was right and now i have an eleven year old that eats pretty well and will try almost everything. he actually requested we make split pea soup today. knowing that makes it a little easier to watch my 4 year old pick and choose her foods. her time will come. :)

Jane said...

Thanks for sharing the recipes-the tofu dish looks yummy!

Jessica said...

We probably have more meatless than meat meals here but my old favorites are getting rather 'loved.' This recipe (well the entire meal, really!) looks so tasty! Thanks for sharing!!!

Anonymous said...

I cook meatless probably 2 nights a week. I'm pretty much a vegetarian (I tried the vegan thing and I actually GAINED weight -- not good!). It can be tough b/c my husband and son are very much meat-eaters.

This looks delish! Another meatless dinner I want to try is sweet potato burritos. I've heard several people rave about them!

MondayCampaigns said...

This looks great! I love that you are encouraging your kids to eat healthy. If you want more ideas on going meatless occasionally or cooking with your kids check out This week we have a great recipe for PB&J pancakes!

Christine said...

oh, thanks so much for these recipes. exactly, what I've been looking for.