February 9, 2014 by CJ
My first week of no meat is over. It was more complex than I thought it would be. While I did talk about this happening with my husband and kids, they went into shock with the first meal. I typically make a more complex meal for Sunday dinner. The week before I made a yummy lasagna and the week before that I made some other time-consuming meat filled dish. When Sunday dinner rolled around last week I decided to combine something they loved, with something new. I made baked cheesy macaroni and cheese and kale salad. I used a recipe a friend gave me.
1 bunch kale (or other leafy greens)
1 ripe avocado
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
dash of salt
1 handful of either chopped dried figs, or dates, or raisins
1 handful of chopped walnuts or pecans
1 capful of raw apple cider vinegar
Chop kale into bite-sized pieces, then place into a salad bowl.
Squeeze lemon/lime juice over the kale.
With your hands, add the avocado and mash it together with the kale, making sure you incorporate it completely with the citrus juice. This makes a creamy dressing for the kale.
Add a dash of salt to taste.
If you want more of a sweet/tangy/savory taste to your kale salad, add the handfuls of chopped dried fruits and nuts of your liking. Since eating raw kale can sometimes be too bold for some, adding a capful of raw apple cider vinegar into the mix will smooth the bite.
I waited and watched their faces and they loved it. They actually even requested that we have that again. BUT, later that night my husband said he felt like he was missing something. While he was full, he didn’t feel satisfied without the meat. The next day I baked fish (I figured it would be best to go 100% meat free every other day. We can eat some type of fish a couple of times a week to keep them from going insane). The next day I made this dish I saw on pinterest. The actual recipe can be found here.
The recipe called for sausage but I thought I’d just leave it out. Other than that, cheese tortellini, baby spinach, diced tomatoes, sounds delish, right? Not exactly. This was a slow cooker meal. I used frozen tortellini and cooked it for 6 hours. The pasta came out too mushy. And all night I kept hearing, “This would be good with meat.” I’m going to make it again, once I add meat back in our lives. I’m just not going to do it in the slow cooker and I’m going to use a vegetarian meat flavored product. Pretty sure they won’t know the difference. I finished out the week with tuna fish sandwiches, vegetable soup, fish sticks and of course my favorite, fend for yourself night (my son is obsessed with quesadillas and makes those whenever he can). Not great, but it kept them somewhat quiet and the complaints to a minimum.
Last week I faced two major challenges too. The first, happened at work. My boss offered to order lunch from my favorite sandwich place. They make the best over-stuffed sandwiches. I LOVE going there. After scouring the menu and deciding not to cheat, I opted for the spicy seafood gumbo (I verified only contained seafood). The next challenge occurred with the family. We decided to see the 1030am showing of the Lego Movie (pretty funny, by the way). After the movie we walked the mall and tried to teach the kids the fine art of window shopping. We all decided we wanted to eat something and headed to the food court. The kids went straight to Five Guys. I was really hoping they had a fish sandwich, but they didn’t. They do offer a vegetable sandwich, but I wasn’t in the mood for that. I slowly walked past each stand, hoping for something the caught my eye. Fortunately I found it at Bistro Sensations, which is a salad place. I got the Thai salad, which was really good and filling. I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself for pushing through those temptations.
This week my menu plan is a bit bolder (I’ve pinned most of the recipes if you are interested, as I find them I’ll post there too).
Sunday- Bean, Kale Egg Stew
Monday- Tacos (going to use chopped up chipotle black bean burgers from Morning Star Farms)
Tuesday- Homemade Seafood Gumbo
Wednesday- Oven Baked fish (I plan on using a seasoning I ordered after trying a sample in my Love with Food box-Dizzy Pig)
Thursday- Romanesco Broccoli Rotini
Friday- Fend for Yourself (maybe a romantic dinner will be planned for me)
Saturday- ??? Who knows
Wish me luck!