Saturday, March 12, 2011

Food on the Table

One of the greatest challenges we have faced so far in our road to recovery with William is the restrictive diet we've had him on for eight months. I've bought a million cookbooks that are of little to no use to me, because the meals are either disgusting (to me or my kids), unhealthy, or unsafe for William. If I toss the cookbooks and go with packaged foods, we're spending three times what we normally do at the grocery store. So, since I end up adapting every recipe I find anyway, and we hardly have the budget for prepackaged gluten-free nonsense...I am sharing my own info for:

1. The parent who is overwhelmed by a $10 gluten-free frozen pizza.
2. The parent whose kid won't eat strawberries. Strawberries!
3. The parent who isn't excited about spaghetti squash.
4. The parent who is tired of spending hours every week researching recipes and then spending additional time adapting them.
5. The parent who refuses to feed his/her child french fries and Rice Chex for every meal.
6. And finally, the parent who is SO. HUNGRY.

From now on, my posts will also include my recipes for the week. Here's what I did this week:

Protein-Veggie Quinoa
This one is something I pulled out of the air when I was low on groceries and didn't have a car to get more. :) It can be a vegan dish as well if you use vegetable broth. I used quinoa instead of rice and threw in black beans and almonds to up the protein factor, but the veggies are interchangeable. In the future, I'm probably going to try roasted red peppers and cooked broccoli. Use what you've got on hand. My kids liked this. I actually liked this.

2 1/2 c chicken or vegetable broth
2 c dried quinoa, washed well
1/2 c black beans
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 c baby spinach
1/2 c diced onion
1/4 c raw almonds, processed into coarse pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano

1. Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan. In the meantime, saute onions in hot olive oil, about two minutes.

2. Add almonds to onion saute. Saute for five additional minutes, or until onions are translucent and you can smell the almonds toasting.

3. Add quinoa to boiling broth, cover and reduce heat. Simmer on low to medium heat for 12 minutes.

4. Add onion/almond saute to quinoa. Add tomatoes, black beans, spices, and spinach. Keep mixture on heat until spinach has wilted, about 3-5 minutes.

It's quick, you know? A lot of these recipes require an investment of like an hour and a half. That's silly to me. Who has that kind of time?

Almond Chicken and Roasted Green Beans

I serve this with brown rice and a salad. William doesn't like salad, and we're trying to get him to fall back in love with green beans, but the rest of us enjoy it. Plus, if he decided to try some when we weren't looking, it wouldn't end badly. :) My kids always eat this up, and it's one of my husband's favorites. Prep time: 20 minutes. Total oven time: 45 minutes.

1 lb.-1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg
3/4 c raw almonds
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. salt
2 c fresh green beans, washed, ends snipped, and snapped to 2-inch pieces
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Put almonds, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. rosemary in food processor. Process to fine crumbs, about 1 minute. Beat egg in small bowl. Pour crumbs into a separate, larger bowl. Set up breading station: egg bowl, crumbs bowl, baking pan sprayed with olive oil.

2. Butterfly breasts in half or pound them to 1/2 inch thickness. Dredge them through egg, crumbs, and position in baking pan. Bake 25-30 minutes.

3. While chicken is in the oven, put green beans in a mixing bowl and mix with olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Toss to coat. Cover baking sheet or jelly roll pan in foil, shake green beans out onto foil, trying to keep them in a single layer.

4. Pull out chicken and change heat to 400. Roast green beans 15 minutes.

We also ate a lot of pan-fried chicken and my homemade pesto this week over Tinkyada pasta. :)

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