Like most families, we are trying to make healthier choices these days, and being more conscious of how much meat and processed junk is in our diets. So when my husband, who is already fit and health-conscious, was found to have slightly elevated LDL cholesterol levels, I knew I needed to be even more careful. I set out to find a few fun, creative, meatless meals that the whole family would love. Here’s what has been on the Manley menu lately:
This is so indescribably yummy I can’t stop thinking about it, which is rare for me. It has just enough spice to make it appealing to grown ups without turning off kids, and the whole family loved it. The best part – prep time was less than 10 minutes! I served it with a salad and cornbread.
1 1/2 tsp red curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen brand)
1 tsp ground cumin (I was out – gasp – so I used curry powder)
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup uncooked wheat bulgur (sold where the rice and grains are – so useful and quick cooking)
1/2 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed, about 2 cups (I used a whole one – just over 2 cups)
1 large green pepper, diced (about 2 cups)
3 cups cooked kidney beans (about 2 cans), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup light coconut milk (Thai Kitchen Organic)
2 cups tomato sauce or puree
1. In a big soup or stock pot (4 quarts is what the recipe calls for – I used by Le Creuset dutch oven) add the curry paste, cumin, and a splash of broth, and mash mixture around until it dissolves.
2. Add remaining broth, bulgur, potato, and bell pepper. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Add beans, coconut milk, and tomato sauce and stir. Cook uncovered for 7 minutes until bulgur is tender and chili thickens (mine never did – maybe because I used sauce – but it was still so yummy).
4. Garnish with scallions and black pepper, if desired. (I skipped this step).
Another recipe from Clean Eating… I improvised a little, and it’s so easy and yummy.
1 box of whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 8 oz package of shredded mozzarella
1 4 oz package of crumbled blue cheese
1 box of frozen spinach, thawed
1 jar of marinara sauce
1. Boil whole wheat lasagna noodles according to package directions. Grease the bottom of a casserole dish and pour in a thin layer of pasta sauce.
2. Squeeze all excess moisture out of the spinach, and combine in a bowl with egg, blue cheese and mozzarella.
3. Lay one lasagna noodle flat. Place a log of the cheese mixture on top. Roll up. Place in casserole dish, seam side down.
4. After all of the rollups are finished, pour the marinara sauce over the top, being sure to cover all of the lasagna so that it doesn’t dry out. (My addition – we had a few crunch noodles).
5. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.
Thai Vegetable Curry with Jasmine Rice Cakes
This recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated… The white rice cakes are a treat, in our house, since I usually only serve brown. They are better than candy to me.
2 packs Uncle Ben’s Jasmine ready rice
1 large egg
2 tbs all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can coconut milk
3 tbs thai green curry paste
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 cup frozen peas
4 tsp lime juice
1. Cook rice according to package directions. Pulse 1 packet of rice in food processor until coarsely ground, then add to bowl with rest of rice, egg, flour, salt and pepper. Form mixture into 4 patties.
2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add patties and cook until browned on both sides, 3-6 minutes each side. Transfer to plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
3. Whisk coconut milk, curry, and fish sauce in skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and peas and cook until veggies are tender and sauce is thickened, 6-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Serve veggies and sauce with rice cakes.
These sound great. I have never used bulgur before. I will look for it over the weekend. I know the rollups will be easy to fit into the meal plan for sure.Thanks!