Dinner Tonight, Inspired by: Extending the Table, A world community bookbook

For a while now we have been making changes in our eating habits and in our living habits.  Influenced heavily by the dawning understanding that what makes my life convenient usually comes at someone else’s cost – someone unseen, likely forgotten.

It has been a slow process through several different season in our life, and in each season we have made the changes we could handle making at that time.  I am entering a new season, one in which I am more able to make bigger changes in how much time I have to spend planning and preparing our food.  So I am starting… slowly… and more meals will be made with less convenience foods.  Especially as I learn how to find foods within our means, and as we teach ourselves to enjoy different flavors.  Thankfully, my kids are really good at trying new things!  (Probably more so than my husband and I are…)

Tonight was one of several new attempts. I had to use what we have on hand, as I haven’t gone shopping this week and I am potty training a not-yet-two-year-old, shopping isn’t going to happen until the weekend.  So I wasn’t able to use recipes from my favorite cook books, but from the repsons I got from my family I think it was okay enough to share here!

Garlic Coconut risotto-style Brown Rice (my own recipe)

In a med. size sauce pan heat on low, 32 oz chicken stock (or veggie stock)

1 & 1/2 cup brown rice
2 TBLS minced garlic
1-2 TBLS olive oil

In a deep frying pan add oil, garlic and brown rice.  Cook on med. heat until rice is lightly browned.  Add:

3/4 cup water

As liquid is absorbed add 1/2 to 1 cup of broth at a time, each time letting the excess liquid simmer to almost gone – do not allow to become completely dry, this will burn the rice.

When there is about 1/2 to 1 cup of broth left add 8oz to 16oz coconut milk or cream to heated broth.  Stir, and continue adding liquid to rice until it is all gone and rice is soft with a tiny bit of chewiness.  Consistency should be between dry and soupy, based on your taste preference. Add salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp to 1tsp)

This dish takes about 45 minutes to make, but as liquid is being absorbed between each addition, you can ignore it.  (about 5-10 minutes each time)

Ginger Curry Cod (my own recipe)

In a small bowl mix together

2 TBLS Crushed garlic
1/4 TBLS Crushed ginger
3 TBLS Curry powder
A dash or two of hot sauce (any kind)
2 tsp olive oil
1-2 TBLS soy sauce (we use Tamari)
Salt and pepper to taste
enough coconut milk to make it slightly soupy, (about a tablespoon or so)

Place thawed Cod cutlets in a container w/ a lid or in a gallon Zip lock bag (I used just two cutlets, but I could have easily had enough marinade for four) and add mixed marinade.  Let it sit in fridge until nearly done with the rice (cook time is about 8 minutes, depending on thickness of your cut).  Turn over at least once at some point so the marinade soaks in evenly.

When you are ready to cook, heat your favorite cooking oil (we use coconut or olive) until wooden spoon sizzles in a med. size fry pan.  Place cutlets in pan and cook aprox. 4 minute on each side, or until it looks white and flakes easily.  (I also cooked it in the extra marinade, which is what is in the picture below)

Herb & Olive Oil marinated Oven Roasted Veggies (do first part at lunch time, or nap time)

1/2 lb finger potatoes (or any kind & amount you like)
2 snack pack baby carrots (about 18-20 – or as many & size as you like)
Several stocks of broccoli cut down to bite size pieces.
Lipton seasoning mix (I love the garden Herb mix, and the Onion Soup mix)
About 1 TBSP olive oil (I just drizzle it in until veggies are moist enough for seasoning to stick)

Wash and cut all veggies into bite size pieces and place in a ziplock bag.  Add season packet  & oil ( I have also mixed my own seasonings when I have more time, and just add it with the oil then. Fresh herbs are amazing!) Mix around – let the kids toss it 😉  and then let it sit in your fridge until ready.

When ready (after rice is started) heat oven to 300, and lightly spray a cookie sheet with olive oil or Pam. Spread veggies out in a single layer, and place in oven.  Use a wooden or hard spatula to mix veggies around about 10 minute in, keep in a single layer.  Total cook time aprox. 20 min (depending on how thickly you cut your veggies.

Mostly-handmade Focaccia Bread

Trader Joe’s Pizza Crust is the base here!  I hand spread it on a baking pan and drizzled with olive oil, salt, cracked pepper and fresh basil, then baked it on 400 for about 8 minutes.   It was crispy and soft and amazing!!  I have also made it with thinly sliced tomatoes, cheese & garlic.

And the result:

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