I wish I could form one or two well-written paragraphs about how our eating habits are changing here at UtHC. I keep procrastinating over writing anything because I don't know where to start and there's so much I want to say, but not enough time to devote to this space.
If I had a quiet afternoon to write, I would begin by filling you in on how our family table (and pantry, fridge, etc...) has slowly been evolving into more nourishing food, even though the rare (we're talking twice in 8 years) appearance of glazed doughnut would make it look otherwise.
In those paragraphs, I would paraphrase the many conversations Danny and I have had over what we put into our bodies, feed our kids, and the small, but steady steps we are taking to improve our families diet.
I would aptly summarize my myriade of thoughts after watching programs like Food, Inc. and Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food, conveying my ragged emotions after each one finished, (cried myself to sleep after Food, Inc, no joke) and my square-shouldered determination to DO something. For myself, for my family, for my community.
(Oh, not to mention this book club with the enlightening and deeply disturbing-yet-inspiring, In Defense of Food. There would be a pretty long rant about the state of our grocery stores these days.)
Then, if anyone besides my mother was still reading*, I would formulate a moving conclusion to my post by sharing some of the steps we are taking to eat more nourishing, real, food, as well as daily making choices with our fork to help change our sadly derailed food system.
Things like Meatless Monday.
I brought you The Beef Chronicles** which honored (and rightly so) the locally raised, grass-fed Angus, and now I'm swinging the pendulum and introducing a new series called Meatless Mondays.
You can call it contradictory OR balanced, either way I'm still going to be eating one more vegetarian meal a week, so it doesn't really matter. Why says you can't have a meat-lovers series and a vegetables series on the same blog anyway? (OK, so it's a little confusing.)
I'm going to try my darnedest to share the dishes with you every week, which may end up being every second week... I think we all know that the new baby gets all the attention--and there's not a lot of leftover time for older siblings.
I'm aiming for a Sunday posting, so you can add the recipe to your weekly menu plan.
We'll see how it goes.
OK, about this weeks recipe. We enjoyed it, but then again anything with a cumin/lime/cilantro combination, I pretty much flip over. Add toasted coconut and mango, and it gets added to our regular repertoire stat.
You know what the thing is about this recipe, besides the brilliant flavor profile, of course, it that it is CHEAP. Plus most items are pantry stapes, making it a good choice when the fridge is bare.
Give it a try. Give Meatless Monday a try. Be a part of the solution***.
Coconut Rice & Beans
adapted from this recipe, originally found in Southern Living.
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/4 cups uncooked basmati rice
1 small onion, chopped
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black eyed beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 red pepper, chopped (optional)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Toppings: lime wedges, diced mango, sour cream, cilantro, green onion.
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted. Cool.
2. Bring broth, coconut milk, salt & pepper, 2 Tbsp. butter, and 1 cup water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender and water is absorbed.
3. Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; add onion and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in beans, chili powder, cumin, and 3/4 cup water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
4. Grate zest from lime, avoiding pale bitter pith, into a bowl; squeeze juice from lime into bowl.
5. Fluff rice with a fork. Fold lime zest and juice, coconut, green onions, and cilantro into hot cooked rice. Serve bean mixture over rice with desired toppings.
*My mother doesn't read. That's right, you heard me correctly. It's kind of hard to when you don't have the Internet. I'd like to see you try.
** The Beef Chronicles are alive and well, on our table, anyway, if not on this blog. We ordered another half-cow, having plowed through all 120-plus pounds of Angus over the winter. It's currently at the butcher, getting divided up into future ossobuco and roast beef dinners.
***Meatless Monday: a worldwide movement to reduce consumption of animal products in favour of more plant-based meals to fight global warming and improve personal health.