By: Corey Etherington
Wow, Nutrition Month is flying by!
This week’s theme of trying something new was not one I was super excited for, especially considering I’m nine months pregnant. It took a little persuading and a lot of motivation but I’m proud to say I made it through with the added bonus of learning some great new recipes, here’s how the week went:
Monday: Shrimp & Kale over Cauliflower Mash
Ross & Corey’s Rating: So tasty! And so easy!
Edie’s Rating: Yummmm! Edie loved this meal.
I don’t generally cook with kale because I find it’s either or over or undercooked depending on the day, but with this simple recipe, it came out perfectly. As for the cauliflower mash, where have you been all my life? It was so good and also so easy.
Corey’s Tip 1: One head of cauliflower makes a lot of mash. If you don’t plan on using it again the next day you can probably use half the cauliflower and have enough for dinner and a bit left for lunch the next day.
Dietitian Tip: Corey is right one head of cauliflower gets you a great deal of bang for your buck. Cauliflower can last up to 10-12 months in the freezer. Chop the cauliflower or “rice” it, use what you need for dinner and place the rest in a plastic freezer bag. One mess for more than one meal!
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Lentil Soup & Marinated Skirt Steak
Ross & Corey’s Rating:
Soup – Flavorful and delicious!
Steak – I had to make a few modifications and it ended up being not as flavorful as I had hoped.
Edie’s Rating: I LOVE STEAK!
Corey’s Tip 1: The slow-cooker is always a good idea! This soup is full of vegetables and tastes amazing. I didn’t have ‘herbs de provence’ and even though it was on my grocery list I forgot to buy it. A quick Google search and a dive into my spice rack was all I needed to create something similar.
Corey’s Tip 2: I recommend skirt steak, as called for by the recipe, as opposed to another cut of meat. We had flank steak on-hand and it didn’t come out quite as flavourful as we’d hoped.
Dietitian Tip: Getting to know how to substitute cuts of meat can be very useful, but don’t be shy: ask the butcher at the grocery store what they recommend as a substitute.
Wednesday: Fish Taco Bowl
Ross & Corey’s Rating: Insanely delicious!!
Edie’s Rating: Edie ate fish!! Edie ate fish!!
I sometimes find fish to be a challenge in the kitchen, but this recipe gave me a huge confidence boost because it came out so well!
Corey’s Tip 1: Cut the spice down a bit if you think your kids will eat it. I used 1.5 tsp of chili powder and it had some kick to it. Edie still ate it but I probably could’ve done 1 tsp and it would’ve been just as good.
Dietitian Tip: It’s important not to give up immediately when toddlers don’t like certain foods. They may have to be presented with that food 15-20 times before they learn to eat or enjoy it. Your best bet for success is to have that item at a family meal, enjoy it yourself but avoid applying any pressure to your toddler. Remember those little people are allowed to have preferences too and they may just not like that food!
Thursday: Braised Chicken with Vegetables and Rice Noodles
Ross & Corey’s Rating: Ross is not a huge stir fry fan. Probably because it was the only thing I ever made when we moved in together and it wasn’t very good. But… this recipe was delicious!
Edie’s Rating: More chicken please!
I always want to use rice noodles in stir fry but I always ruin them. As it turns out, I’ve been missing one key step – soak the noodles in cold water before cooking with them!
Corey’s Tip: Add whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. The sauce is light and flavorful and tastes great on all vegetables – I added broccoli and water chestnuts.
Dietitian Tip: Stir fry is the best way to empty out your vegetable drawer!
Week four has been another great week. I tried new ways of cooking and I gained confidence in the kitchen. I was also able to make more dishes that did not require the slow cooker!
With all that we have learned over the past four weeks – meal planning, the importance of quality ingredients, portion control and now trying new things I really feel like we can make this stick. We have been eating well and saving money but most importantly we have been enjoying quality family time, can’t wait to invite the newest member of our family to the dinner table!