Saturday, March 17, 2012

Vegetarian Challenge for the Family...

This past week I challenged the family to eat all vegetarian dinners.  A family of four, my younger son and I find this rather natural (I was vegetarian through college and grad school and once I included meat in my diet after marriage I still pretty much never ate red meat....I might be able to count the number of burgers and steaks I have had since childhood on two hands...), but my husband and older son are total carnivores.  However, they have become increasingly open-minded in the past year or two.  :)

Here is our dinner menu for the week!  The entire CSA box was used up before picking up the new box late Thursday.  :)

veggies for soup

SUNDAY:  Vegetable Soup (made with vegan broth, onion, carrots, celery, swiss chard stems chopped finey, tomatoes, potatoes, herbs and a tiny bit of wild rice.  Served with homemade cheesy garlic biscuits.  They LOVED it!
MONDAY:  Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn courtesy of Leo Babauta from The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life).  Sour cream on the side plus salad.  They devoured this!
TUESDAY:  I made the Kale and Potato Casserole that I posted about earlier, except that I substituted my swiss chard leaves for the kale.  Everyone also got half of a cheddar cheese quesadilla (I think hubby got three halves!).  They LOVED it.
WEDNESDAY:  Asian-style stir-fry over brown rice.  The recipe I built this around is here.  This dinner was not loved, but it was agreeable and all eaten.  They also got homemade banana bread (recipe here) so that always helps.  ;)  Both dinner and banana bread were vegan.
THURSDAY:  Crazy day and late appointments.  Dinner was grilled cheese sandwiches for most (I had greek yogurt with granola) plus a yummy fruit salad I had made with oranges, grapefruit, apples and strawberries.
FRIDAY:  Homemade cheese pizza and salad.  Smiles all around!

homemade cheese pizza
Cooking from scratch and eating this way forces me to be more creative.  It also does require a bit more prep work than I am used to and sometimes after work I honestly just want to collapse because I am so tired!  If anyone has suggestions to help with this, I would LOVE it.  But I think that moving toward more vegetarian cooking will help the carnivores eat more of their share of veggies, help with everyone's overall health, reduce the grocery bill, and fit a bit better with my overall values.  We will see!




  1. Sounds like a lot of great meals. Too bad about the stir fry, that's one of my family's favorite things. I think the secret is making sure you add plenty of sauce, which I usually make out of combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, seasame oil, ginger, garlic, and lime.

  2. I have a suggestion about how to help with your prep issues after work. Chop Once, cook twice. On a day when you do not work, you could chop all the veggies for something (like stirfry) and also chop all the veggies for the soup and freeze in a ziplock. Then, on work nights, use your pre-chopped veggies for dinner. Also, look into freezer meals for the crockpot. This is new for me but a MOST wonderful idea. This might help with work nights. You will ahve to find what recipes would work with this method, as frozen veggies can have a different texture than fresh.


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