Monthly Archives: August 2015

FIRST Fish Stew

ffsDoes this happen in your house?

“What would you like to take for lunch next week?”

[deafening silence while the wheels in the little 13 year old brain of My Faithful Assistant churn…]

“I KNOW! Let’s make something that has ingredients that spell out FIRST!”

Oh. Yay.

The boy knows his mom and I do love a culinary challenge. So here is our FIRST week of school FIRST Fish Stew.

FIRST Fish Stew
2 lbs fish of choice (F)
1 lb Idaho potatoes – chopped and roasted (I)
1 red pepper, chopped (R)
1 bunch of scallions, chopped with at least an inch of the green part (S)
1 tsp Tumeric (T)
1 can coconut milk

1. Chop the fish and combine with the roasted potatoes, scallions, tumeric, and coconut milk in a large skillet. Cook until fish is done. It took mine about 20 minutes because I cut the fillets  into smaller chunks to fit in a thermos.
2. When the fish is done, add the chopped red pepper and simmer for another 10 minutes. The peppers will still be slightly crisp.
3. Serve!

This was a really delightful stew, if I do say so myself. The coconut milk made it very aromatic. It was filling but not too filling. In my opinion, it is a perfect lunch food. Lots of protein and veggies. Good stuff! Of course, when it came time to actually make lunch, My Faithful Assistant decided for his old favorite, Practically Instant, Homemade Potato Soup. Oh well! It was still fun to make the stew!


Rice Breakfast Bowl

rbbLately, a couple people I know and like very much have come under fire for their Vegan eating. It was suggested to one that her child’s broken bone was a result of their animal free diet. Another posted a picture of some vegan food and it was suggested to her that she should really come to Texas and EAT MEAT.

This challenging of another person’s lifestyle choices really grosses me out. People can and do eat how they choose and just because you may not be able to comprehend a life without meat, cheese, eggs, and dairy doesn’t give you free license to criticize another person who can.

As I age and my body chemistry changes, I notice more and more how different foods effect how I feel. I have adjusted my eating habits accordingly. Those eating habits include many vegan meals with food that is as unprocessed as possible. One new breakfast dish I’ve been enjoying is this Rice Breakfast Bowl

Rice Breakfast Bowl (One serving)
1 cup prepared rice of choice – I have been using brown rice
Fruit – I used a nectarine in the pictured dish
1/4 almonds
1/2 cup coconut milk – You can use the milk of your choice
Pinch of cinnamon

1. Combine everything in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes.
2. Remove and stir to make sure it is heated through. If not, heat for another 30 seconds.
3. Eat up!

I’m sure you could prep several of these bowls to grab and go. I don’t because I have built time into my morning to make a breakfast and lunch to go.

If the idea of rice for breakfast doesn’t appeal to you, of course you can use oats. And if you prefer something sweeter, you can add a little sugar or whatever you like. I was planning on adding a little maple syrup but I decided it didn’t need it. The fruit was enough.

This was very filling. I think the days that I ate this for breakfast this week, I didn’t feel hungry for lunch until close to 1:00 PM.

I hope you’ll feel brave enough to add a few vegan dishes to your meals. My family has gotten used to them and are almost starting to look forward to them!


Berry Banana Smoothie

bbsWhile I don’t think I could eat an actual banana anytime soon, I have gotten used to the taste of them in my smoothies. I prefer to use them frozen and usually grab the last two before they get too brown and throw them in the freezer.

We had a bag of mixed berries from our berry picking adventure earlier this summer. Not enough for a pie or bread, but plenty for a smoothie!

Berry Banana Smoothie
1 frozen banana, cut into five or six pieces
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 cup coconut milk, yogurt, milk, or whatever you prefer as base
1/2 cup water – you may need more if you use yogurt
1-2 tbsp flax seed – if you have it and want a little extra fiber and some Omega 3s

1. Put the ingredients in a blender in the order needed.
2. Start blender on low and slowly increase speed until smoothie reaches desired consistency.

I made my smoothie with coconut milk. I like the way it tastes. My family will drink them this way too but only without the flax seed. It’s an acquired taste and they haven’t acquired it yet. As the school year approaches and our schedule is about to go into overdrive, I need to make sure I have lots of super healthy recipes on hand to get My Faithful Assistant through a busy 8th grade schedule and three nights a week of swimming, plus music lessons and Confirmation.

Should be a fun year but we’ll be ready!


Brussels Sprouts and Brown Rice Saute

bsbrsIt’s the time of year when summer is winding down and we’re all trying not to panic about fall and all the chaos that ensues.

My fall is going to involve some change as The Teenager heads off to college and My Faithful Assistant starts swimming year round. Time to step up my game in the “prep food in advance” department. Or at least my “fast and healthy recipes one.

I saw a couple posts on Facebook this weekend that intrigued me. The first was for 31 days of slow cooker meals. I didn’t love them. I liked the idea of them. Chop some meat and veggies, bag, and freeze. Grab a bag. Throw it in the slow cooker and VOILA! Dinner is served. If only I could get off so easily. There were maybe two recipes that my family would love. And we do like a vegetarian meal once in a while and this collection had no vegetarian options.

The second post was five ways to make lunch from a big pot of rice. This one I could appreciate. It provided some basic ideas for using rice in several different ways, several of which could be made without meat. Happiness.

The first idea was a basic rice bowl. Rice, veggies, some herbs if you like. I could do that. I decided to make one with Brussels Sprouts and Brown Rice. Yum!

Brussels Sprouts and Brown Rice Saute
1 leek, chopped and rinsed
3 cups of Brussels Sprouts, Chopped
2 packs of pre-cooked brown rice – 3-4 cups
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinaigrette

1. Saute the leeks in olive oil on medium heat until the whitest parts start to get translucent.
2. Add the chopped Brussels Sprouts and cook until they start to wilt.
3. Add your rice and stir until warm.
4. Drizzle with Balsamic Vinaigrette and stir.

I have a problem with those little packs of pre-cooked rice. I love them. I do not love making rice and I don’t really want another small appliance so I will not get a rice cooker. I do make rice in the microwave and that’s okay. But these little packs are so much more convenient. I really love them. Really. A Lot. Have I made my point yet?

Believe or not, everyone ate this. I think The Teenager did it grudgingly because one of his friends had dinner with us and he didn’t want to look like a wimp. I didn’t care. Victory was still mine. And I have enough left for at least two lunches.

And FYI – vegan. Super healthy. Low in fat. SO GOOD!