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alexsmom
02-07-2019, 10:39 AM
Im trying to ease my hubby into eating healthier food, including moving away from white rice and pasta in favor of “wholer” starches. (Subbing it for white rice garnered zero interest and some resistance.)
Does anyone have recipes that might get a meat-n-potatoes kind of eater would enjoy? Vegs are still a challenge for him - he eats them more often if they are integrated unavoidably into the food (and coated in sauce).
Couscous recipes might work too! (Im going by size, shape, and sort of texture.)

inmom
02-07-2019, 11:45 AM
We absolutely love this recipe. We don't miss the meat at all.

Quinoa Chili

Ingredients


1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (4.5-ounce) can diced green chiles
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder, or more, to taste
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced


Instructions


Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
Stir in quinoa, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, green chiles, chili powder, cumin, paprika, sugar, cayenne pepper, coriander and 1-2 cups water, making sure to cover most of the ingredients; season with salt and pepper, to taste.( Note: I usually don't add that much water. I think it's all preference and how you like your chili.)
Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir in beans, corn, cilantro and lime juice until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Garnish with avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream - if desired.

inmom
02-07-2019, 11:48 AM
Do you need instructions how to cook basic quinoa when prepping for it's use in recipes, or do you already have that figured out? (I only ask because I had to look it up myself when we started using it.)

NZ_Mama
02-07-2019, 01:45 PM
Sorry I don't have any quinoa specifc recipes as my kids don't like it. But I have found the book Wholegrains for a New Generation to be really good for various wholegrain recipes. It includes a chapter on how to cook each of the different grains at the start. I also have Ancient Grains for Modern Meals but have not used it as much. Does your library have either of those?

We cook >90% vegetarian and are dairy free. We eat pasta and rice all.the.time. I don't think they are inherently bad. But we do choose the wholegrain varieties (brown rice and 100% wholewheat pasta).

As a general for vegetarian/vegan cooking, I find many people forget to have a lot of variety in their meals because they think that the veges are "done"/included in the meat replacement dish. However, its much more interesting for your palate if you still include all the same sort of things that you would have in a meat meal. So we make a vege protein dish (e.g., nut mince, bbq beans, refried beans, chili beans), a vege carb dish (e.g., rice, pasta, kumara, potato, crepes, tortillas, couscous, polenta, bulgar wheat), a vege vegetable dish (e.g., salad, steamed veges, stir fried veges), and then some sort of toppings/dressings. With the toppings/dressings, its great to add any of something crunchy (like nuts or seeds, roasted or plain), a fat (e.g., avocado or cheese if you can eat that), and something with bite/acid/hotness (like a relish, hot sauce). Adding something crunchy is great because veges often all have the same texture. Another way to do this is to have a mix of cooked and raw vege dishes. Then with all that you have all the different layers of flavors and textures and even those who don't like veges tend to find they like it.

Then once you get a few different recipes you can mix and match what you make for the different vege dishes, and you don't have to be limited by having set recipes for an entire meal.

NZ_Mama
02-07-2019, 02:08 PM
Another recipe book is Ancient Grains: Whole-food recipes for the Modern Table.

RTB
02-07-2019, 05:02 PM
I don't have a specific recipe for you, my family are not big fans. But, I have had it in a couple of recipes (not my own) where I thought it was tasty, probably because it was not the star. One was in chili (like Inmom posted) and the other was a corn and potato chowder (they used tri color). I would think that you could add a cup of the cooked grain to a soup or stew you already make.

alexsmom
02-07-2019, 07:56 PM
Thanks! Chili is on the list for next week. :) (I hope nobody tries peeling avocados! Even Alton Brown was clueless how to manage the little green gems.)
I will also keep it in mind for a soup!

Ive got Wholegrains for a New Generation checked out now, thanks for that book! The other one isnt owned by the library I use, alas.

Im not opposed to white rice and pasta, but we just have so much of it, and I dont see a lot of “slow carbs” or fiber in hubbys meals.
I bought some quinoa pasta to make with the yummiest vodka tomato cream sauce ever - I just hope the extra processing doesnt get rid of all the benefits of choosing quinoa over wheat. (We tried brown rice pasta before, and even I admitted it was pretty yucky.)

Wish me luck!

alexsmom
02-11-2019, 08:35 PM
The chili was a hit with me and the boys! Super Yum! (I dont like corn, so put red/orange/yellow baby bell peppers instead.)
Hubby said it wasnt bad, but was probably better for him than my regular chili. I havent told him what the grains were yet.
5243

Thanks for the recipe!

NZ_Mama
02-12-2019, 02:33 AM
I am always impressed how you act on things quite quickly AM (if it was me, it would linger on my "I should try this list" for month). Well done making it and that your family enjoyed it. I

inmom
02-12-2019, 07:02 AM
So glad you enjoyed it! The nice thing about chili is you can make so many variations, tailoring it to your family's tastes.

alexsmom
02-17-2019, 11:05 PM
I love Wholegrains for a New Generation! She has such confidence and ease about the ingredients, and the recipes are all so normal!

Ive also been reading vegan and vegetarian cookbooks - it seems they use processed soy/tofu for everthing! Which is a little creepy to me. Cow milk seems more honest than overprocessed soy combined with thickeners and chemicals to mimic milk which often isnt even the goal of the end product - I would rather use hummus as a sandwich spread rather than gum-filled soy “mayo”. Id rather have an apple cobbler for dessert than chocolate flavored “vegan” ice cream.
Flax seeds for eggs is fine if its a cooking replacement.... but not to try making an omelet!

Anyways, Ive been doing a lot of reading, still looking for good recipes.

I read that people need about 10-15 good recipes that they cook a lot to not get tired of, and that seems to be about right for us. So if I could gradually nudge in and replace bad recipes with good, I think it would be a win for all our health!

ChildoftheMoon
02-17-2019, 11:34 PM
We mix quinoa in with our brown rice to cook (in the rice cooker). This is then used as a base for many things: Mixed with beans in a tortilla in all the variations, add in casseroles, use it as a base for stir fry or we have it simple with butter and salt, with sardines or canned salmon, topped with eggs and pesto. My kids handle the quinoa much better if it is part of our rice.

It is really good not mixed with rice to make into cold salads. If you are doing it this way it is best rinsed and dry toasted in a pan before cooking it. Mix in finely chopped carrots and or cucumber and dressing made from minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and tamari.

NZ_Mama
02-18-2019, 01:56 AM
I love Wholegrains for a New Generation! She has such confidence and ease about the ingredients, and the recipes are all so normal!

Ive also been reading vegan and vegetarian cookbooks - it seems they use processed soy/tofu for everthing! Which is a little creepy to me. Cow milk seems more honest than overprocessed soy combined with thickeners and chemicals to mimic milk which often isnt even the goal of the end product - I would rather use hummus as a sandwich spread rather than gum-filled soy “mayo”. Id rather have an apple cobbler for dessert than chocolate flavored “vegan” ice cream.
Flax seeds for eggs is fine if its a cooking replacement.... but not to try making an omelet!

Anyways, Ive been doing a lot of reading, still looking for good recipes.

I read that people need about 10-15 good recipes that they cook a lot to not get tired of, and that seems to be about right for us. So if I could gradually nudge in and replace bad recipes with good, I think it would be a win for all our health!

Glad you like the book. I like it too.

Yes that sounds about right in having a stable of recipes that you know really well how to cook. Then you find you can adjust the flavorings a little and combine them in different ways to come up with "new" meals that are really the same. Our weekly dinners pretty much are always based on pasta, pizza, rice balls, fritters (carrot, zucchini, tuna, or corn), tacos, omelette or frittata, roasted root vegetables, brown rice, polenta, or bread + soup. With added beans where needed for protein and whatever is in season for salads and sides.

Yes, I have not had any luck finding vegan/vegetarian cookbooks. We pretty much never eat the substitute whatever (cheese, meat, etc.). We usually use hummus, avocado, nut butter, or coconut "butter" (just blended up coconut) for a spread. There are so many non-wierd alternatives but maybe they are more expensive to make or don't have as long lasting shelf lives? Like we eat eggs so usually have regular mayo but if we are out of egg, I just make it out of sunflower seeds. It tastes different but has a similar texture and fulfills a similar space in the meal. But its not like it needs thickeners.

I keep meaning to try out some plant-based cookbooks as they may be better but I would have to go into the central city library to look at them. Maybe your library has some? I just searched for "plant-based recipes" at ours and they have lots but I am not sure if they are of the additive free variety.

We do drink soy milk and I have since it became easily available in NZ (my early teens?) and I have never had issues from it. So I think it is fine to drink even though it is processed, but I don't like the additives and the packaging waste. I do prefer it over other dairy alternatives as it actually has a high protein content. I have just been trying to make my own so it is additive free, and finally got it down to a method that produces a nice tasting milk. Which I guess is where its "processed" image comes from. The beans have an enzyme in them that reacts on contact with water to produce beany-tasting compounds. So to avoid this you have to deactivate the enzyme by heating the beans to boiling at an alkaline pH (I add baking soda to the water). I guess that type of thing does not bother me as a chemist. It is just food chemistry. And even cow milk that you drink is quite processed to ensure it is standardized and has a good shelf-life.

When I was a kid we used to have juice in place of milk, on cereal and everything, so I am surprised I don't have more dental fillings! My parents even bought a herd of dairy goats so we could have goat milk but I could not stand the taste of it, and I have found as an adult the times I eat goat feta, it upsets my stomach as much as cow milk products.

I have other issues with cow milk that extend beyond not being able to digest it. Its a huge polluter in NZ and has completely transformed the landscape in NZ over my life time and not in a good way. It has had a huge ecological impact on various ecosystems and waterways. But that is not really an issue with individual consumers of dairy milk, it's the dairy company in NZ that has turned it into this huge profiteering thing that churns out various byproducts (milk powder, formula, casein, etc.) for international markets. You drive through parts of NZ that used to be quite idyllic and nice in the past and nows its just all agriculturally exploited land with polluted waterways and covered in dairy cows and dotted with mega-factories producing byproducts. I know the soy bean industry is not great but dairy (at least for the majority of it in NZ) is not honest, the majority of what they produce is not unprocessed, and I don't think soy bean processing is that bad (its been done in various Asian countries for a long time). So that is just a different pov on the subject.

Sorry for the detour! The dairy industry in NZ really annoys me.

NZ_Mama
02-18-2019, 02:03 AM
Oh, the one good vegetarian cookbook I have is called Olive Trees and Honey. See if your library has that. Its old Jewish recipes and its completely free of modern weird replacements.

NZ_Mama
02-18-2019, 02:06 AM
And if you want to read about the dairy industry in NZ, there is a little on Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_dairying

NZ_Mama
02-18-2019, 02:50 AM
Thinking about our stable of recipes more, I think tacos comes under flat breads, as we also regularly do crepes, socca, naan, roti, or pita bread in a similar way to what we would do with tacos. I find it easier to group them together rather than think of them as separate recipes, which can be overwhelming. It is easier to approach thinking carb = flat bread, and look in the pantry and decide what type I will do and what protein I will add (egg, beans, nuts?) and veges.

alexsmom
02-18-2019, 01:04 PM
I didnt know people could actually make soy products! One of my distrusts of them was that edamame in no way resembles tofu.... or any of the other white products it gets processed into.

In January, I read Penn Jilette’s Presto! book on how he lost about a hundred pounds (and saved his life) in three months.... and it got me reading all sorts of books on plant-based nutrition. Under the direction of Ray Cronise, Penn took 2 weeks to refresh his taste buds and learn he had control over his eating by eating exlusively potatoes, no additives, salt, anything. He then went to nutrient-dense (plant based), low calorie foods until he reached his target weight. Then for maintenance, he added energy-dense plant-based foods (whole grains, fruits, nuts). So, he has gone Vegan, except for “Rare and Appropriate” ocassions where he indulges in whatever. (Hes also not an ethical vegan - he says he does it only for nutrition.) Cronise is anti-meat, anti-dairy (it has “active hormones”), and anti-added oil. He says the Furhman diet is close enough to optimal nutrition that those recipes can be used.
The Furhman food pyramid is here: https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/eat-to-live-blog/90/dr-fuhrmans-nutritarian-pyramid

That school of veganism goes by Nutritarian, or sometimes Paleo-Vegan. Maybe that would help in the cookbook / recipe search?

I cant see myself becoming a vegetarian or vegan (Im too fond of butter, heavy cream, cheese, and sour cream), but maybe if we shifted in that direction, we would be healthier. Thats my current goal, at least.

Sorry you hate the dairy industry there!

RTB
02-18-2019, 04:48 PM
AM you might want to look into The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen. It has been one of my favorites - several different grain, salad, and vegetable dishes as well as dishes that are low meat.

alexsmom
02-19-2019, 04:23 PM
Coolbeans! I have a hold on the ATK book - approximate wait time is 5 weeks, so I wont be getting back to you real soon on how I like it.