For the month of January, I decided to make more of a conscious effort to make plant-based dinners for my kids. While I have no problem eating my veg’s…they do. Like most kids, they would prefer goldfish crackers over raw broccoli BUT I know that they are healthier and better behaved when they have less crap. I downloaded the Oh She Glows app and planned a week of VEGAN’ish* dinners (*I new it wasn’t going to be 100% vegan but was aiming for more veggies and less meats and grains). Here’s how the week went:
Sunday – Vegan Enchiladas. This was surprisingly a hit with EVERYONE! I added a bit of cheese into their’s (anticipated going cold turkey with cheese might not be possible with my little mice, at least not in one week) even hubby was pleasantly surprised on how delicious and filling these were! I had left-overs for lunch the next day and they were just as delish reheated!
Monday – Veggie Heavy Spaghetti. This was a guarantee! I used Ezekiel pasta for kids and spaghetti squash for hubby and I. I blend the veggies into the sauce so finely they haven’t a clue how many actual veggies are simmered into this delicious sauce. Day 2… on a roll!
Tuesday – 7 Veggie ‘cheese’ Soup. 3 out of the 4 of us enjoyed this meal. The veggies were blended in so again you couldn’t tell there was was 7 different kind of veggies.We thought it tasted like a healthy bowl of gravy (yum!) the only person that needed a bit of convincing was my (picky) 5 year old and agreed to eat with a few crackers. I added a 1/2 a side of grilled cheese on sunflower flax sour bread and all was well in the world again. I added some Stock Exchange bone broth to the base for the added health benefits and flavour.
Walnut Lentil Loaf Fish ‘sticks’. OK while fish is technically not ‘vegan’ but it is a healthier fare. Made from whole wheat bread crumbs and baked in oven (dipped in flour then ground flax and water, then bread crumbs) I didn’t realize how long the lentil loaf was going to take until I started prepping so decided to prep it while made the fish and have an easy reheat the next night. Done and done! Added a side of rice and steamed green beans.
Thursday – Lentil Walnut Loaf. I thought this recipe sounded amazingly delish but hubby was skeptical, of course. He told me NOT to have high expectations and expect the kids to not eat it. Thanks hubby for the vote of confidence! A simple reheat, since I made it in advance on Wednesday. I added some roasted potatoes (half sweet potatoes and half regular as one kid only likes sweet potatoes so this is my ‘middle’ ground to appease all tastes in one meal) + steamed broccoli and…. hubby LOVED it! My toddler ate it like he does anything else and well my 5 year old took her time eating it but she did;-) Very similar texture to meatloaf. Definitely be doing this one again!
Friday – Tofu stir-fry. Freestyle recipe. My kids love tofu (use organic brand and don’t have soy too often). I added some Ezekiel noodles into the stir-fry, sliced peppers, broccoli and carrots tossed with a bit of Tamari, fresh ginger, garlic and oil. Easy peasy fri-YAY din!
Some other healthy additions:
- Toffee Oat Bars for snacks with my new french press coffee
- Perrier in a wine glass. Why have I just discovered this amazing way to have your faux wine?!? Love!
- Vegan Cupcake. While I know that may not seem completely ‘healthy’ it was Vegan (Kelly’s bake shoppe) and was very much enjoyed on my birthday. Life is about balance, right?
- Nightly meditation. I received a Bellabeat Urban leaf from my hubby for my birthday. The app comes loaded with some meditations and made a point of doing a 10 min practice before bed to help with some blissful sleeps. Stress levels currently 6% !!
Overall, I would say the week of family vegan dinners was a success! Sure, it may take more convincing to convert them over permanently but it was a nice change-up and to try out some new healthier recipes.