At the end of last year Scott and I went out for a big fun day date. As we thought back over the year and looked ahead at the new year we talked about things we wanted to do differently in the coming year.
Scott had a few suggestions on the food front. One was that we eat more meatless dinners. He was not advocating we go vegetarian…(good thing too b/c this meat and potato loving gal would have surely lasted all of 2 days at best) the other was that we starting eating more fish. And, truthfully, eating any amount of fish even once would have been significantly more than we’ve ever eaten. Because, to be honest, I don’t like fish and therefore I don’t cook fish. I hide behind the fact that since I don’t eat it, I wouldn’t know how to cook it… but truthfully, it’s because the look, smell, and texture disgust me.
But, I was willing to give it a try. Because I love my man.
I decided to instill Meatless Wednesdays at our house and to cook fish for dinner once a month. 6 weeks into the endeavor and we’re having some successes. Actually, more successes than failures!
To be honest, I was skeptical at first. But, then after scouring the internet and calling on my face book friends, I’ve found it really fun to come up with a whole slew of new recipes to try. I didn’t realize I had been in a rut, until I discovered how much fun I was having stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things. I picked Wednesday b/c it is a night that we are all usually home for dinner. I didn’t want to launch any new meals when I was flying solo for dinner or when we were eating in the gymnastics waiting room.
Though part way through the month I realized Meatless Mondays would have had more of a ring to it, with the alliteration factor and all… but we’re kinda all stuck on meatless Wednesday and when you gotta good thing, you don’t want to mess with it. (in fact, last week when Scott came home and saw our dinner he said, “Oh it must be Wednesday’!”)
Anyway, I thought I’d share some of our successes and failures for Meatless Wednesday
Squash Ravioli—this was delicious, it was so sweet and everyone in the family loved it. I was delighted to find Safeway carried in their own generic brand. Not only is it meatless, it is easy.. Boil water, pop in ravioli, 7 minutes later serve with melted buttered on top. (definitely added to our meal rotation)
Sweet Potato Burritos- another hit. This tasted like comfort food to me. My oldest son loved it as did both my husband and I. The girls and my youngest ate it, not their favorite, but not a huge fight put up either. Have already served it twice and will continue to serve it regularly. It is quick, easy, and also great for eating on the go… like say, at gymnastics….
Mexican Pierogies.- hmmm, not such a hit. I knew well enough to serve the ingredients individually rather than all together when serving the kids. Which helped… the girls don’t care for potatoes so needless to say they weren’t so fond of the pierogies.… they ate the noodle on the outside. My oldest son loved them. When I served them for Scott and I by combining the tomatoes, beans and pierogies, I kinda messed it up, so it didn’t turn out quite right. All that to say, I can see pierogies. making another appearance, but first time around wasn’t a smashing success.
Squash Tortellini- I tried a variation on a recipe from Wegmans which for some reason won’t link up right now… basically I served normal tortellini, using squash soup as the sauce, with chunks of squash in there too. Scott wasn’t a fan. He felt the squash soup was too sweet and too much for him. I am wondering if he would have liked it better with the goat cheese stuffed tortellini. But, I didn’t think the kids would. The kids didn’t really care for the soup either. I didn’t mind it, but didn’t love it either. Probably won’t be serving that one again.
Pad Thai with Tofu- this was so, so good… basically peanut butter sauce over noodles, was how I described it to the kids. The boys both devoured it, as did Scott and I. The girls ate it. Didn’t love it, but ate it.
Tofu-Veggie Hotdogs- I made these for the kids tonight to eat at gymnastics. My oldest daughter loved them. She said they didn’t taste like the normal ones, but she still liked them… and ate 3. No one else cared for them. And I gotta say, they smelled bad. My son said, “What are these? I know these aren’t made of pig!” I think next time we’ll try grilling them and serving with toppings rather than just plain. But, truthfully, I think they are going to be a hard sell.
Fish Nuggets- I tried these at lunch a few times. The only one who likes them is my 4 year old and she LOVES them. But, I think she has proven to be the fish eater of the crew. She begged for more last time we were at Trader Joes and happily eats them for lunch while the others eat “real” nuggets… aka chicken
Then there’s fish. I had heard that tilapia was a good fish for those that don’t like fish. Since that described me, that was the first fish I opted for. I baked it with lemon pepper seasoning and served it to the kids and I with ketchup for dipping. Scott and my 4 year old LOVED it, going back for more on their own free will. The rest of us ate it. Which, truthfully is a success.
So….. we had it again in Feb already. (I’ll be honest, I kinda try to serve it early in the month to get it out of the way, b/c when I make my monthly meal plans I get excited about certain meals, eagerly looking forward to making/eating them… fish isn’t one I’m excited about so I don’t want it hanging over my head all month). I went with tilapia again b/c it worked last month. This time, I baked it with seasoned salt for the kids and for Scott and I , I sprinkled seasoned salt and then poured salsa and shredded cheddar on it. Next time I make it, I will not put the seasoned salt on it… too salty. Otherwise, Scott loved it and I was able to eat it without ketchup. This time all 4 kids willingly ate it all without complaint. Next fish I’m going to try is white ruffy. Someone posted about it on face book, so being a fish novice, I wrote it down when I saw it and bought it next time I was at Trader Joes.
So far, I am enjoying spicing up the menu with some new things. And the family seems to be embracing it well. Meatless Wednesdays and Monthly Fish dinners, just might be working for me at the circus!
Any of you have any favorite fish or meatless dishes to share? I’d love to add them to our menu!