Monday, August 8, 2016

I Deleted Cornbread From Sunday's Dinner Menu

My kids are hearty eaters and knowing that I typically reserve Sundays as my day to go all out, they start inquiring about Sunday dinner a couple a days before. I on the other hand was rather finicky as a child but my kids seemingly don’t know nuttin bout that life. It’s a wonder they don’t bang their silverware on the table screaming, “where’s my dinner woman?”

 In an effort to eat healthier and make better food choices which I think is an ongoing and consistent mission which one just has to commit to, I’m using more fresh veggies and fruit instead of canned and/or frozen.
Sometimes I do well and other times, I digress. But I said early on in the summer that I would commit myself to not just tailoring meals at dinner to be healthier but my kids lunches and being more conscious about setting the example for them. As I was preparing dinner last eve, I realized that I almost always have some form of bread. My kids LOVE cornbread and no sooner had I planned to add it to the dinner lineup, than I decided you know what, cornbread is not the healthiest of options. I decided instead to go with a pasta salad infused with quinoa which is a much healthier grain. I’ve fallen head over heels in love with quinoa as of late and that which I used to pair with white rice, I instead pair with quinoa but it’s also a great addition to certain dishes to give it more abundance if you will. A pasta salad can sometimes seem measly but the quinoa makes it appear to have more volume thus enticing my kids more which when it comes to healthy eating, enticing them is key to them not turning their noses up.
This is a very simple mostly improvised recipe that doesn’t require exact measurements. I eye-balled mostly and then upon tasting, if you feel like it needs more, add more. But you can’t really go wrong. I cooked an entire pack of pasta because I wanted leftovers for both lunch and dinner.
The recipe follows:

1 14oz. package of whole wheat spaghetti – whole wheat pasta has more fiber and is more nutritious
(Follow package instructions for boiling)
1 C. of quinoa
(Follow package instructions for preparing. I use white quinoa and boil in 2 cups of chicken broth which adds way more flavor than using just water)
While boiling, chop the following:
1 zucchini
1 tomato
1 green pepper
2 green onions
and add:
1 can of kernel corn (no chopping required)
NOTE: I also added roasted broccoli simply because I LOVE it but it's an extra step and not necessary unless you are obsessed like me. If you would like the recipe, please just comment below.
By this time, the spaghetti should be done. The quinoa may take a bit longer but will be done by time you are ready to add to the dish.
Pour the water off of the spaghetti or strain and dump into a bowl.  Afterwhich, add your chopped veggies and prepare to season your noodles with the following:
½ C. Olive Oil
¼ C. Soy Sauce
1T. Garlic Powder
1t. Ginger Powder
1t. Five Spices Chinese Powder – this is an Asian space which has a great flavor
Pepper – season as little or as much as you like
Dash of Red Pepper – season as little or as much as you like depending if you like it HOT
Pinch Kosher Salt
1t. Spike – this is a multi-purpose seasoning similar to accent but less salty in my opinion
1T Rice Seasoning – This is an Asian spice used in sushi dishes. It can be a bit tricky to find, check the Asian food aisle. It lends great flavor to salmon and tuna dished especially.
Add quinoa

Toss altogether and let sit so the noodles can absorb the flavor. I let mine sit in the fridge for about 2 hours and then stirred it up again prior to serving. The great thing is that this dish can be enjoyed cold or room temperature and it lasts. And it taste even better the second day.

How do you infuse healthy/eating options into your diet? I can use new ideas all the time.

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