Monday, April 18, 2011

The Menu

I'm pretty excited about this week's dinner menu!  After a successful week going pescatarian (that's  vegetarian with some fish) to test my willpower, I went a whole second week as a pescatarian with great success!  Again, I only had a couple meals during the whole week that contained some kind of seafood.

When I was a vegetarian in a previous life, I wasn't familiar with many vegetables, beans, or alternative sources of protein.  I didn't like cheese (I was only really familiar with Kraft singles and Kraft mac and cheese, neither of which is really cheese) unless it was on pizza.  I ate a lot of breads, pastas, and cereals.  It wasn't exactly nutritious.  Fortunately, a few years ago, I had to give up a lot of breads and pastas in favor of sprouted grains on a diet to help reduce my cholesterol.  Since then, I haven't had much of an appetite for the pastas and breads I once depended on for sustenance.  I've also been introduced to a number of lovely vegetables, legumes, and fruits that make a vegetarian menu a lot more appetizing and satisfying.  I have even developed a taste for many delightful cheeses (keep your nasty bleu!).

Of course, this week we have the Dan.  Fortunately, he's a really good eater and always tries everything on his plate, even if he's tried it before and doesn't think he'll like it.  We have a couple tricks, one is colored salt which is helpful for eating vegetables he doesn't like after trying them.  We usually just sprinkle the tiniest bit and that's all it takes for him to happily dig in.  After a couple times, he usually eats the vegetables without the colored salt (we use pink Himalayan salt, but have neon purple food coloring and sea salt on stand by).  We also have flavored bacon bits (read: not real bacon) as another trick, also to be used conservatively.

The downside is Dan has been having a ton of respiratory issues the last several months.  So far he's tested negative to all environmental allergens (although these tests are not always 100%) and next I understand there will be additional testing to determine any food related allergies.  In the meantime, his parents have agreed to impose a dairy-free diet for him to determine if that is a trigger.  It's at least a good idea while he's having respiratory issues since dairy products cause increased mucus production.

So this week, we're meat-free and dairy-free!

We did pick up a couple of soy cheeses just to try what's out there.  Although we have to be super careful on this!  A few weeks ago, we made a pesto chicken recipe the Dan loves with a rice-derived cheese.  We thought it was dairy-free, but I recently learned we should have checked the ingredients a little more carefully!  Oops!  We picked up a mozzarella and a cheddar flavor of soy cheese, happily both without dairy of any kind!

So here's what we're eating:

Monday: Black bean tacos with avocado, bell pepper, tomato, onion, garlic, and cheddar soy cheese.
Tuesday: My famous spicy black bean burgers with mozzarella soy cheese, beet chips, and grapes.
Wednesday: Baked acorn squash stuffed with vegetarian baked beans and bacon flavored bits with roasted asparagus and artichoke with vegan butter (I <3 Earth Balance)
Thursday: Shrimp with noodle and vegetable stir fry
Friday: Teriyaki tofu with rice and edamame (a Dan favorite)
Saturday: Macaroni and butternut squash with spinach salad and steamed broccoli
Sunday: Easter dinners, who knows but we'll have to ask our dads a lot of questions about what's in all the food!

I also made dairy-free bread loaf for sandwiches and French toast.  I always use Earth Balance in lieu of butter, but this time I replaced the powdered milk with almond milk.  It's nommy.

So far, the black bean tacos were a major success.  All three of us helped in dinner prep which was a lot of fun.  I'm really looking forward to all our dinners this week.


PS_Iloveyou said...

Sounds delicious! I'd love a step by step recipe of those tacos! Maybe with pictures taken by your awesome camera??? *hint hint*

Mica said...

Eek! I should be better about that! I promise to be better with pictures, I know I'm kind of lazy about that and the cooking area of our kitchen doesn't have good natural light so I have to use the flash, which isn't as pretty.