The reason I chose One-Dish Dinners as the current theme for this month's Monthly Mingle is quite obvious. I think the routine in our family is not much different to many other families around the world. A tightly scheduled week with school, job, activities, hobbies filling up the major part of the days. Then we need to sleep and eat in between too. Dinner at our house is really the main meal of the day. It's the time where the three of us come together and spend 45-60 minutes talking about the day, discussing topics for the next day and just basically taking "time-out" with each other.
So, for me I like to make a small event out of each dinner.
No, I do not cook up a 5 course meal every night. I think in the long run it would not only become tedious but I also think spoiling someone too much is not too advantageous ;-)
What I do like to do is cook up a healthy and delicious tasting meal that looks like it could be a part of a 5 course menu. Often it's those one-dish wonders that save me. I can often prepare part of the dish in advance so, at dinner time all I really need to do is throw the ingredients together in one pot.
Although we are omnivorous, we do not eat too much meat. When I look at our meal plan, as a matter of fact, we will have meat maybe once a week and then it is often chicken or fish. So the cooking time for dinner is drastically reduced when I am just steaming vegetables or baking a fish.
My most favorite dinners contain bulgur, couscous, quinoa and other types of grains. Rice is so yesterday! LOL! These grains push the nutrition level up a notch, are often quick to prepare and taste delicious. Furthermore, they are so versatile and can be paired with anything - chicken, fish, meat or just vegetables. You can have it as a side or as the main part of your meal.
My little trick is cooking the grains in strong stock. I use vegetable stock - normally one that I prepared myself but more often than not I turn to instant organic vegetable stock. I actually prefer the instant type for cooking the grains as it adds a strong flavor.
In this dish I used Bulgur. I love the stuff and buy it in kilo packs! It even precedes couscous on my list. It has a wonderful nutty flavor and has a higher nutritional value than rice or couscous. Flavored with a strong vegetable stock, onions and a tiny hint of garlic the bulgur alone is a real treat, but with mixed vegetables, topped with feta and drizzled with some good olive oil - this is a phenomenal dish. So, even if it's not a 5-course menu and only a one-dish wonder, trust me this dish will have your family eating out of your hands.
Printable version of recipe here.
500g mixed vegetables of choice, cut or chopped into bite size pieces and steamed for 5 -6 minutes - I used broccoli, carrots, corn, parsnips and cauliflower
3/8 l vegetable stock
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 small springs rosemary, coarsely chopped
3-4 springs thyme, coarsely chopped
1 can (425 ml) cherry tomatoes
200g feta cheese, cut into cubes - I used herb flavored feta
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
To prepare the bulgur add 1 tablespoon of oil into a large pot and sauté the garlic and onions. Add the bulgur and sauté for another minute. Pour in the stock and cook the bulgur according to the instructions on the packet. Normally it will take somewhere between 10 to 12 minutes.
After the bulgur has cooked add the can of tomatoes with the juices, salt and pepper to taste and allow to simmer for another 6-8 minutes. This allows the bulgur to soak in the juices and softens the tomatoes.
Now throw in the steamed vegetables and herbs, stir well. Mix in the feta and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Serve hot as a side or as a main, garnished with some herbs.
Simple but healthy, effortless but satisfying. It's the essence of one-dish dinners and of what is important for my family and me. I do not have to tell you that this dish tastes good - just look at it! You already know it does ;-) Soeren loves this type of food, it makes a fantastic alternative to pasta. Tom enjoys this because it is light and not crammed with calories. He will normally have a big lunch so he prefers light and healthy dinners like this. I like it because it's easy to prepare and tastes brilliant. The vegetables are still crunchy and the herbs provide a beautiful fragrance.
When I chose the theme for this month's event I was thinking of all my blogger gals and guys who are busy throughout the week. I hope the roundup this weekend will provide you with useful inspiration for your family dinners too. See you there!
Folks, come one! We all are constantly discussing our fresh fruit and vegetables on our blogs. We're all inquisitive and want to see what's beeing used in your kitchens. Join us for the Eat Fresh event and share your fresh produce!
You can see who's eating fresh on our Eat Fresh list!
Deadline: March 31st, 2008
You might enjoy these great dishes too:
|Spicy Arabian Chicken with Couscous|
|Bulgur with Mushroom Mix|
|Chickpea Pumpkin Tajine With Coconut Couscous & Coconut Chutney|
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