quick one-dish meals

being at my parents' house for the holidays is nice - not very relaxing, though, as we work all day at their organic and natural food store. So making dinner at night is a rushed affair - we are all tired and very hungry, as we spend all day looking at food. I have to be creative at home with quick meals, because there is one thing I love that my mother does not: the one-dish meal.

My mother likes having sides, salads, thick crusty bread (my mother would like thick crusty bread with every meal, if I'd let her get away with it, no matter what - stir fries, curries, tacos) with her entrees. One-dish meals don't do it for her. So this entry is in honor of the thing I can't have until I get back to boston (tomorrow night): The one dish meal.

I don't have a recipe for one-dish meals. Some, like this oriental-style millet, comes from cookbooks - this is from Christina Pirello's cooking with whole foods.

But I can give you a basic guide to a one-dish meal. Take a grain, any grain: quinoa, millet, amaranth, rice, pasta, couscous. While the grain is cooking, saute some veggies - carrots, celery, and spinach are my defaults, because they go with any kind of cuisine, but mix and match! - with a protein (tofu, beans, or nuts) - and then the third and final element: a flavor. Christina Pirello's is sesame oil and tamari, or you can do pesto or tomato sauce, or a store-bought stir fry sauce, curry or chili powder, or even a salad dressing - and you have a one dish meal!

mmm, fennel pesto pasta...

In ice-cream news, I DID bring the ice cream home - I packed it in a plastic bag filled with snow, and it made it through the four-hour drive home without melting at all! I had a tasting with my vegetarian aunt, my vegetarian (almost vegan!) mother, my non-dairy meat-eating brother, and my vegetarian-starting-on-new year's father. The chocolate was a hit all around, as was the pumpkin (in fact, dad, who won't eat non-dairy ice cream under normal circumstances, attacked the chocolate late last night) My non-dairy vegetarian mother LOVED the pina colada. The raspberry won fewer accolades, but that disappeared last night, too.

internet in cooperstown is a dismal situation - this took, I kid you not, two hours to finish : / I'll update again after christmas - in the meantime, have a great one!


bazu said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh man, you and your mom are women after my own heart! I love one-dish meals, sides, salads, crusty breads... the whole thing! Your fennel pesto noodles look so good. Oh, and how lucky you are that your parents own a natural foods store- you must have access to lots of cool products.

Happy holidays to you. =)

ChocolateCoveredVegan said... Best Blogger Tips

Yay for one-dish meals!
And I agree with bazu-- what a cool job your parents have!