This Week’s Meal Plan and Rabbit Rice

Okay, so I don’t know how it happened. And I’m not totally sure how I feel about it. I guess I’ve been heading in that direction for a while. But I wasn’t really ready to commit. It seems, however, that the decision was merely the natural progression.

I’m afraid I’ve become a vegetarian. I don’t think it’s wrong to eat meat. I like the way most meats taste [though I think veggies taste way better]. But the less meat I eat the less meat I seek. The more meat I eat the more meat doesn’t seem like a treat. [So Suessian of me]. Basically, the less I eat meat the more it makes me sick when I do eat it. So it feels easier to limit my meat consumption. It doesn’t feel like a big deal to me, but I think it’s because we’ve had such a slow regression in our meat consumption. But I’m not going to make that decision for the kids. I don’t think eating meat is a bad thing, so as long as they want it, it’s theirs. I’m also not sure why I feel the need to justify my choice, but there it is.

Onward and upward: let’s meal plan!

real food meal plan for a family of four

Sunday: Leftovers again. I feel like building this day of rest into my meal plan seriously helps keep the meal plan going every week.
Monday: My in-laws had an open house for Christmas so we did a light dinner. The kids had some frozen veggies and the parents had some snacks at the party.
Tuesday: Rabbit Rice. I’ll explain later. Yum.
Wednesday: We mixed the meal plan up a little and had pizza on this night. I’ve been wanting to try Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough; anyone a fan?
Thursday: Rabbit rice leftovers. Just as good the second day.
Friday: We decided to brave the mall so we got home a little late and had tacos. To make the tacos I cooked some sweet potatoes in the microwave. When they were done I mashed them together with some spicy red lentil chipotle hummus. You are welcome [so good]. Then I chopped up some tri-color peppers, onion, and tomatoes. I rinsed and drained a can of black beans and added that in. I seasoned it with chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cumin. It’s such a quick dinner. We topped it with feta in our tacos. Which seems like a weird cheese choice for tacos but it goes so well with the sweet potato [we use it in our sweet potato burritos, too].
Saturday: Sweet potatoes back to back! Chuck’s cousin sent me a recipe for sweet potato soup and as soon as I read it I knew it would be something we’d all love. We’re going to use a sweet potato/butternut squash combo because we’re trying to use up all of our food before we leave for Christmas vacation. Here’s a version of the recipe. As recommended I’m going to blend it up with my immersion blender. Thanks for the recipe share!

So, as I mentioned above we had Rabbit Rice twice this week. And, as I mentioned, we’re trying to use up what’s in the fridge before we leave to celebrate the holidays. Rabbit rice to the rescue. Here’s the gist: cook some rice. Saute or simmer all the random bits of veggies you need to use up. Add some broth. Combine. Serve.

SONY DSC

Here’s what our rabbit rice looked like [yes, I’m totally mocking the fact that people say vegetarians eat rabbit food].

Rabbit Rice
Serves 6-8
2 cups wild rice
4 1/2 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon salt

4 carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, ends removed and diced
2 onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 scallion, diced
10 oz sliced mushrooms
1 lb green beans, ends trimmed
1/2 cup diced celeriac [celery root] [you could use any root vegetable here: potatoes, turnips, etc]
salt and pepper

I started by putting 4 1/2 cups of water in my pressure cooker. My cooker asks that you bring the water to a boil before adding the rice so as soon as the water began to boil I added my green beans for 3 minutes. After that I added my rice and salt and closed the cooker.

I took the green beans to my dutch oven and sauteed them in some coconut oil. After they were cooked I took them out and set them aside. I added a little more oil and a little water and cooked my onions. I then gradually added in the carrots, celery, garlic, and scallions. I let them soften and then added the mushrooms and celeriac. With them I added some broth so that everything was just covered and the veggies would simmer and cook down some. You can season as you like. We only did salt and pepper because those silly children of ours have been rejecting anything seasoned beyond that [sigh].

While my rice was finishing up I added the green beans into my veggie mix. After it was finished, I added the rice and served everything up. The broth thickens a little while it cooks down so it gave the whole thing I gravy effect*. I loved it.

rabbit rice

[We also make this rice when we have leftovers from holiday meals; it’s even easier then. Cook some rice and throw in all of your random leftover bits.]

I intentionally made this a bigger meal and it gave us two dinners and one lunch for each of us. I appreciate it because it’s one of those meals that fill you up but don’t leave you feeling heavy. Maybe those silly rabbits are on to something…

*I know I speak of the glory of pressure cookers quite often, but I’m a big fan of using them for this recipe. The pressure cooker uses a lower temperature so you don’t lose all of your cooking liquid and you have a rice with a stickier, almost pudding-like consistency. It’s enough to make you want to eat rice for every meal.

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