This week is an experiment in vegetarian eating, except for 1 day. And I am hoping Ethan doesn't read this blog post until the week is over. He isn't anti-vegetarian, he is just pro-meat. And I cut him some slack because as a caterer, every meal must be complete in the way the rest of the world thinks. Protein, veg and starch. Bless his heart, he has a hard time when that isn't the case at home. My children do just fine when I don't cook meat. They don't mention it missing. I would say on average, we eat 3 meatless meals a week. But this time, I am going for 6. And I don't think it will be a problem, especially because my grocery bill will be cut by a lot because I won't be putting much meat in the cart.
One might ask why I don't like us eating too much meat. Here are my reasons: (BTW, this part might get long. Skip ahead if you wish.)
1. Meat costs a lot. And good quality meat costs even more. The sad fact is that the more expensive chicken has such better flavor. I like better flavor, less often if that is the way it has to be. And think about ground beef. What if you don't have ground beef for a week or two and then have a big flank steak marinated and grilled? Worth the wait? Yes!
2. The food system us American's have created is incredibly screwed up. The way food is produced and distributed is unhealthy. The way American's think a meal isn't a meal without meat is unhealthy. One of the most important things for me to implement in my children is eating habits that will keep them healthy all through their lives. And I think one of the ways to do that is by having them see that a meal doesn't need meat all the time. I want them to be familiar with vegetables and whole grains. I have three friends that are brothers and sisters and they share morbid obesity, early stages of diabetes and high blood pressure and all at a young age. I know the way they grew up and none of them were ever taught how to eat and what food is for. I would rather my children not have to experience a huge lifestyle change to avoid these terrible conditions.
While I find healthy food choices important for my children, I also think diversity is terribly important too. I don't want them to scoff at a quality medium rare ribeye or crispy fried chicken. I want to keep their minds open to the food available to us, but also be very aware that we are what we eat. And with that in mind, am I a prime ribeye once a month or a giant hormone-grown chicken breast everyday?
Monday: Sweet Pea's Meatless Monday Challenge Baked Penne and braised kale
Tuesday: STEAK AND CAKE! Prime rib by Ethan, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and green beans by me and cake by Kalli. (One would think I am obsessed with Kalli because she seems to be the only friend I mention on this blog. Either that or I have no friends. Maybe both.)
Wednesday: Baked artichokes with lemon garlic mayo and bulgur pilaf with almonds and red peppers
Thursday: Tortilla and black bean pie and Mexican rice.
Friday: Potato leek soup and rolls from Lehi Country Bakery (the best) and pumpkin pie (for good reason. It's the 28th of October. More on that later.)
Saturday: Lemon and thyme pasta and steamed broccoli. And BTW, whole wheat pasta is an abomination. Just thought I would let you know.
Sunday: Ethan is in charge. Probably meat and potatoes.
Monday: Slow-cooker tortilla soup. Using this recipe for the first time, omitting the chicken. And probably cornbread or something to go along with it.
Does your family have any certain vegetarian dishes they love? Anything incorporating whole grains? I would love to know what they are. Please share.
BTW, the recipes underlined are cookbook recipes. And they are great. Just so you know.