I realized I’ve been spending much more time on Instagram rather than blogging. It’s quick and easy and I’m finally getting the hang of it. That said, I haven’t been able to share many recipes of what we’ve been making. So here were some of our foodie highlights and family favorite of 2016:
Prix Fix Vegetarian – so a nice prix fix is fun and sometimes fancy. This used to be for special occasions with my husband and I. However now my kids appreciate these dinners as well. Our favorites this year were vegetarian and vegan meals from The Whale Wins and Harvest Beat in Seattle. Also musician, Moby’s, L.A vegan restaurant, Little Pine.
Cholula – my son has always liked hot sauce and hot peppers, but since discovering Cholula it’s on the table at every meal from eggs in the morning to nachos and burritos at night. My husband got into the act too. Yes, the hottest trend at our house.
Tempeh Bacon and other vegan mysteries – this year marked the switch of my daughter from eating a vegetarian diet to going vegan. We’re discovering more and more plant based foods and meat alternatives all the time. My daughter loves when her aunt and uncle make fake bacon, however I never got the hang of it until recently. This time I watched my sister and brother in law. Basically you cook it in a pan in a bit of oil for much longer than the package instructions. Then it gets crisp.
Avocado Toast – my daughter has always enjoyed avocado on everything. However once I started working at Juice Girl, not only do I make avocado squares for others I make them at home too. The bread is key. I am also amazed at all the creative and beautiful looking toasts on Instagram. Great inspiration.
Kale – like everyone else we are on the kale bandwagon. Whether it’s sautéing in garlic and olive oil, chopping fine for a salad or adding to soups and smoothies. Kale is here to stay in our fridge.
Spiraling – I didn’t think I needed another appliance but we’re having such fun with this. Kids are eating lots more veggies and they love making the noodles. They even shape the left-overs into interesting sculptures. Our favorite is veggie noodles sautéed in garlic and tossed with spaghetti noodles.
Messes – I am very excited to have my kids cooking so much. Also fun to see our Cook This Book! published and being used by friends and family. However in 2017, we’re going to work more on the clean up. Teaching to clean up as they cook has been a challenge as dishes and ingredients pile up everywhere.
Peppers are great little colorful bowls to put some healthy fare. It’s a great way to use up ingredients in your fridge or reinvent some left-overs. Any grains will do as well as sauteed veggies, meats, tofu, etc. The good thing about these is they can be made easily for everyone’s tastes and dietary restrictions. Last night I sauteed some ground turkey with fresh thyme and garlic. Then cooked some black forbidden rice. I combined the rice and turkey and added some spinach chiffanade and filled the half sliced pepper. I topped it off with a bit of parmesean cheese and put it in the oven to bake for about 35 minutes. These are quick and easy and pretty too. They went with tomato soup and a crusty french baguette.
(As for those dietary restrictions you may notice something from the photo. Two are without cheese – my husband is cutting back. Two have just the rice mixture without turkey – for my daughter. But it was easy to please everyone.)
Some evenings I just get too overambitious. Today I just don’t have a clear focus and instead of having a meal plan, I keep cooking and cooking. Hopefully something will come together. I’m having trouble settling back into the mealtime routine after being on holiday and now getting the kids homework and activities in before dinner. These are some photos of my kitchen right now at 6:24 p.m.
I just finished making maringues for my daughter’s kindergarten class. However I’m already second guessing them and may make something else. That’s more like 10 pm tonight.
I realized I thawed out pork chops for dinner this morning and actually had a plan for them. However I remembered my husband saying he didn’t want to eat meat. Call it a resolution. Anyways I called to get clarification. Sure enough when he said meat he didn’t just mean red meat but pork too. OK. But I can’t waste food. So I’ve cooked that. Even if we don’t eat it tonight, at least I can now freeze it. Tip: I could not have put it back in the freezer without cooking it. Since it came from the freezer already. However after cooking it can then be warpped and frozen.
Now I’m creating a vegetable stir fry.
And for another protein for those not eating pork, I’ve made some marinated tofu.
So now the plan is a stir fry over rice noodles. You can pick pork or tofu with your veggies. That will have to work. Did I mention I did all this is about 45 minutes? My family comes home from my son’s Tae Kwon Do in about 10 minutes…