What's for Dinner?

Since we started eating more veggie-based, almost all of our meals now are bowl meals. We almost never eat "meat and two veg" style anymore. You can round out any meal by adding a whole steamed artichoke, an ear of corn, a baked sweet potato, or a side salad, if you feel it needs more.

So many things accommodate this kind of eating:

rice or noodle bowls
polenta with toppings
taco or enchilada

Try to experiment and mix it up to your own taste. I might read something that pushes me in a certain direction, but I will mess around with it as much as I can. I will think of a general dish and wonder, "What can I add (or take away)?" Start with the vegetables. I might decide that we will have carrots, or sweet potatoes, or green beans, and then start looking through the refrigerator and pantry to see what's available. Then I'll think of a direction to go with it--Mexican, Asian, Indian, Thai, Italian. Use it as a jumping off place, but make your own.

To get you started, some easy things to eat for dinner (or lunch):

Tacos--Soak some walnuts for 2 hours and drain. Put in food processor with taco seasoning, use for tacos or taco salad. Top with tomatoes, salsa, onions, shredded lettuce or cabbage or kale, avocado, cheese, etc.

Another taco--smear inside of a warm tortilla with avocado, use cooked butternut and black beans mixed with taco seasoning, top with shredded cabbage.

Butternut Turnovers--Use puff pastry to make pockets of cooked butternut, walnuts, thyme, jack cheese. Brush with egg white and cook at 350 degrees until nicely browned.

Noodle bowls--soba or other noodle (even spaghetti works), in a clear veg broth with ginger, sesame oil, lemongrass and garlic. Top with chopped or shredded carrots, celery, bean sprouts, cilantro, peanuts.

Enchilada bowls--simmer beans and rice in enchilada sauce, top with corn, red bell peppers, green chilies, avocado, onions, a little cheese. Serve warm.

Pasta with green veggies--boil and drain any type of pasta, keep warm. Melt a generous amount butter and/or olive oil in a large pan. Add chopped garlic, just warm through (do NOT let it brown). Add all the green veg that you can find--asparagus, edamame, peas, snow peas, green beans, spinach or kale, etc. After you take it off the heat, add basil and Parmesan.

Manicotti--use crepes to wrap around a mixture of ricotta, chopped spinach, basil, Parmesan, and garlic. Cook in marinara sauce topped with a little mozzarella.

Stuffed sweet potatoes--cook clean sweet potatoes in 350 degree oven until tender. Top with black beans, mozzarella, and chili powder.

Calazones--use pizza dough to wrap around ricotta, bell peppers, olives, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, sauteed fennel, onions, mushrooms, etc. (You can add a tablespoon of pizza sauce, but no more, it will make it soggy). Cook in a 450 degree oven until well browned.

Greek Stuffed Peppers--mix cooked quinoa (or other grain) with kalamata olives, feta, diced zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, Greek seasoning, fresh basil or oregano. Stuff inside a steamed and gutted bell pepper, top with a bit of cheese and cook in 350 degree oven until brown and bubbly.

Yellow Indian Curry--saute a mixture of of vegetables, like diced potatoes, little corns, butternut, garbanzo beans, carrots, kale, red bell pepper, fennel. Top with packet or jar of yellow curry sauce and simmer until cooked through. Serve over brown rice.

Mexican casserole--cook a meaty bean (we use scarlet runner beans) by boiling them in a pot of water until cooked through. Mix them with sun-dried tomatoes, cooked butternut, and a jar of salsa. Top with a layer of polenta and a little shredded cheese. Cook in the oven at 350 degrees until cooked through.


Anonymous said...

The butternut turnovers sound good, I might have to give it a go sometime this week!


kathy rudd said...

Great idea on the walnut tacos. I am definitely trying that recipe. I like that you supplied plenty of ideas while explaining how to achieve a satisfying veggie based diet.