Meat Free Week #4: Cashew! Gesundheit…

Mmmmmmm toasted cashews. I love me some nutty curry. Apologies for the lame joke, this 2 weeks at home with a snotty 10 month old for company means my conversational skills are plummeting. We did manage to get out of the house to take my bestie some coffee and cake for her birthday! Happy Birthday Sweetpea!

Tonight’s Cashew Curry was so simple and tasty. A no brainer, thankfully! And a Possum success! The recipe only has cauliflower, beans and tofu as the curry fillers so I added red capsicum, zucchini and carrot. Possum ate two pieces of tofu and plenty of veg (except for the cauliflower and beans).

Legoman liked this straight away, and thought it was one of the Spice Tailor packets. I take that as a compliment as they are super tasty. The crazy thing is, I used Keen’s Curry Powder. That wonderful flavour mix that is normally reserved for curry egg sandwiches (one of my favourites, on fresh white bread with crispy lettuce). No fancy curry powders or mixing or grinding needed. I would highly recommend this as a family meal.

Cashew Curry

Affordability : EXCELLENT. Expensive items were a handful of cashew and some organic tofu. But still works out cheaper than eating meat.

Time Factor : EXCELLENT.One pot wonder. Quick prep. Then let it simmer in the pot until veg is cooked to your liking. I cooked it a bit longer than the recipe suggests to get the veg nice and soft for Possum.

Complexity : LOW. Super easy. Use whatever veg you have available or is cheap.

Deliciousness : MODERATE. A lovely mild curry that everyone will enjoy. The cashews give the curry some lovely buttery sweetness.

Mess : LOW.One curry pot, one rice pot and a chopping board. Hurray!

Tummy Filling Factor : EXCELLENT. I was nice and full after a bowl but was hungry again an hour later, but a little piece of my fudgy choc-orange slice filled the gap well.

Possum Friendly? YES. Not too spicy for bubs, loaded with good fats from the coconut milk. Just don’t give whole nuts until a few years old. Possum enjoyed the variety of veg in tonight’s meal, you can tailor to suit your family’s likes and dislikes.

Would I make it again? Yes. A great midweek simple meal. If you were having meat and time was tight, you could pick up a BBQ chook and chuck that in (obviously not whole, that would just be ridiculous. I kind of wish someone would do that now).

***BONUS QUESTION! Did you miss the meat?Nope. Legoman did though. Personally, I quite like tofu in meals. It tends to just soak up sauces and flavours nicely without over powering. Seems that Possum quite likes it too.

Cashew Curry

Cashew Curry

And a little touch of cuteness…. Here is Possum gazing lovingly at a photo of her playdate pal from yesterday. Awwwwww.

Friends

Friends

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Meat Free Week #2: I’d pay money for that

We are certainly off to a good start this week! Tonight’s Space Curry is a real winner! I knew we were onto something good when Possum wanted seconds, and thirds. Legoman said “I don’t even care there’s no meat!” and “I’d pay money for this!” as well as “I’d serve this to guests, especially *insert vegetarian friend’s name*!”. The way to a woman’s heart? Multiple compliments on her cooking. I sat there, my shirt covered in Possum’s snot, my hair half pulled out (thanks Possum), my teeth not brushed, I can’t remember if I showered today. But I was smiling.

Thankyou Meat Free Week!

The snot fest that is my daughter continues. And with it comes horrendous cabin fever. I had had enough today and so we ventured out to soak up the wonderful sunshine and for me to soak up some human contact (even if it is just with the lady that makes my coffee). Made the world of difference and Possum slept on my back on the way home. Added bonus was running into two mummy friends, a lovely benefit of living in a village.

I will apologise for the lack of food piccies tonight. Just as I had served dinner and was about to take the photo, my phone battery died. And I wasn’t going to wait for it to charge enough to take a piccie before eating. But picture this… A bowl of golden rice gently spiced with cardamom, coriander, cumin and turmeric. The rice cradling a rich curry with warm autumnal colours of garnet, terracotta and deep aubergine. A burst of freshness on top with a few leaves of fresh coriander. Contrasted with a tangy dollop of fresh yoghurt.

Or I could show you a picture of Possum’s dinner (whoops!).

Space Curry

Space Curry

Space Curry

Affordability : EXCELLENT. Cheap vegetables, canned chickpeas and some store bought curry paste and chutney. Made up a large batch and will absolutely be making this again and making use of the curry paste (I used Tikka Masala) and mango chutney.

Time Factor : MODERATE. Chopping and prep was pretty quick today (hurray!). I chose to cook this a bit longer than it said to in the recipe (I like curries the longer they’ve cooked for generally).

Complexity : LOW. A nice simple curry to make. I realised though that the recipe asks for spices and lemon rind but then doesn’t say what to do with them. So I googled the original recipe and found the answer. It goes in the rice! Here is the original recipe for your reference.

Deliciousness : EXCELLENT. This is a winner, a keeper, a recipe to share. Legoman was super impressed. He normally makes his views against chickpeas well known whenever I make something with them in it. Tonight, not a peep.

Mess : MINIMAL. One pot wonder and a rice pot.

Tummy Filling Factor : EXCELLENT. I guarantee you will either go back for seconds despite bursting at the seams or be sensible but happily satiated.

Possum Friendly? YES. She loved it! Especially the eggplant and the chickpeas, which surprised me. She also had a bit of yoghurt with her curry too (an essential addition I think).

Would I make it again? Yes, will have to invite some vegetarians over to show off this winner of a recipe.

***BONUS QUESTION! Did you miss the meat? Not at all.

To make up for the lack of food piccies today, here is possum attempting her escape… to get the magpie in the garden. She worked out she can slide the screen door open (not that hard really, might need to lock it soon…).

The Great Escape

The Great Escape

Let the meat free games begin!

Day one of meat free week! Oh the buzz! The excitement! The anticipation! I must say, I had a lot of fun finding recipes for this week (thankyou Blue Mountains Natural Parents for your bevy of wonderful ideas, I really need to figure out how to print that thread!). I’m not sure which night I’m looking forward to the most… which one would you choose?

We have started on a good note. Hurray! Tonight’s Baked Cheese Ravioli with Broccoli and Spinach was a success. Lots of good noises from Legoman and he even thinks I should make it again (normally I just get a shrug of the shoulders when I ask). Personally I would’ve liked a bit more flavour in there, maybe in the form of anchovies. This was Possum’s first experience of ravioli and she loved it. She even started clapping after her first one! Was pretty darn cute. Wasn’t so cute when she wouldn’t eat any broccoli unless I tore it up into tiny little pieces. Poor thing is still sick though, so I’m just happy she ate.

Possum's Dinner

Possum’s Dinner

The fudgy choc-orange bars I made yesterday are super amazingly yum. Will be making those again for certain! Legoman ate his at work but didn’t want to tell anyone else about them in case they wanted some. A good sign 🙂 It was great being able to eat one of these instead of chocolate when the afternoon came around today. Much more satisfying too, and no yucky feeling like I sometimes get after eating sweets.

Leaning tower of choc fudgy goodness

Leaning tower of choc fudgy goodness

May the good food vibes continue!

Baked Cheese Ravioli with Broccoli and Spinach

Affordability : MODERATE – EXCELLENT. The ravioli cost $5 from the local fruit and veg. You could use any ravioli for this dish, a nice pumpkin one would be a winner (though would probably set you back around $10). Half a kilo of broccoli and some frozen spinach are nice and cheap and super healthy.

Time Factor : MODERATE. I thought this sounded quick, but took a bit longer than expected.

Complexity : MODERATE. I really should read a recipe right through before choosing to make it on a weeknight when I have a sick baby at home. This recipe has 22 steps. Yes, 22. After a while I just started staring blankly at my printed page. Thankfully Legoman came home and we finished cooking together. As they say on Sesame Street, things turn out better when we work together.

Deliciousness : MODERATE. Legoman’s comment… “You know what this needs? Bacon!”. And he’s right. Some kind of meaty saltiness would really boost this dish. I think anchovies would work better personally. We both really liked the browned cheesy bits on the top. Super tasty.

Mess : MODERATE – HIGH. I felt like this used many pans and bits and pieces. While it was in the oven, we got to work on the dishes. A frypan, a saucepan, a steamer insert, a baking tray, two graters, a whisk. Plus lots of renegade bits of broccoli and spinach sticking to everything.

Tummy Filling Factor : EXCELLENT. Full as a tick.

Possum Friendly? YES. I didn’t bother trying to make the white sauce for Possum, instead I just stirred through a teaspoon of cream cheese with two pieces of ravioli (they are big ones) and some broccoli. Pretty tasty combo! You could save time and effort and do the same for the whole dish. Was hoping she would eat some more of the garlicky greens to help make her better, but she thought it was more fun dropping her broccoli over the side of the high chair.

Would I make it again? Yes, but would jazz it up a little bit.

Cheesy Baked Ravioli with Broccoli and Spinach

Cheesy Baked Ravioli with Broccoli and Spinach

And I just wanted to share with you this terrible photo of a stick insect. They are bloody hard to take a photo of on your phone!! Kind of looks like he photo bombed the picture!

Stick Man!

Stick Man!

Meal Plan 22/3 – 28/3 a Meat Free Week Special!!

This week I am attempting a meat free week for my little family, to raise awareness to how much we over consume meat and how easy and delicious it can be to cut down (or out). When I told Legoman what I was doing with our meals this week his first reaction was “I think I’m working late all week….”. Doubt he will be saying that after he sees what we are actually eating. Check out this for a delicious menu!! I’m hungry already!

MONDAY / shower or two 16

Baked Cheese Ravioli with Broccoli and Spinach

TUESDAY / a few showers 16

Space Curry

WEDNESDAY / shower or two 17

Veggie Fajitas

THURSDAY / shower or two 18

Cashew Curry

FRIDAY / shower or two 19

Frittata with toast and salad

SATURDAY / no weather forecast available

Pumpkin, Tomato and Lemon Baked Risotto

Tomorrow is my first alone shopping day in a couple of weeks and boy am I looking forward to it! Who would’ve thought grocery shopping could bring so much joy. I might even go and have a coffee. On. My. Own.