Semi-Vegetarian Family

I have been a vegetarian for as long as I can remember. When I was around 5, i would spit my chicken out into a napkin and waiting until dinner was over to go throw it away in the toilet. I don’t enjoy the taste, texture or smell of meat. I would never force this on anyone, including my kids and my husband. It is my personal choice and I try to make our daily routine work for all of us so that my being a vegetarian is not a burden. Dinner is more of a challenge but Dustin and I have come to make it work for us without having to make several different meals. One of our first meals here in New Zealand was a rice bowl. I used barley, mostly because I enjoy it but it is a great source of fiber and protein. I mixed in prepared basil pesto for some added flavor. I quickly sautéed spinach in garlic salt and pepper-which also has protein along with vitamin C and K, choline and zinc, sautéed asparagus, carrots, finished with fresh tomatoes and parmesan cheese. For me, this is a meal. You can change the veggies but this has a little bit of everything for me to make me feel full. I know Dustin and I kids wants a little something more so I pan roasted chicken breast in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Finished it with a squeeze of lemon. I kept the chicken simple because I can shred some of this for tomorrow and make chicken salad sandwiches or add any leftover chicken we gave to the pasta I’ll make the next day. I want to make food delicious and functional and this is an east recipe to do so. I also love this the next day for lunch! I’ll put the rice mixture over some fresh spinach and add some champagne dressing to it.

Vegetarian Barley Rice Bowl

  • Make 1 cup barley or faro per directions on package
  • Mix in 3 tablespoons of your favorite pesto. (Add more depending your personal taste)
  • Quickly sauté 1 clove of garlic in olive oil for about 30 seconds and add in diced asparagus, carrots and torn spinach, salt and pepper. I cook just until the spinach as wilted. I like my vegetables more al dente and add to barley mixture
  • Finish with fresh cut cherry tomatoes, torn basil, a squeeze of lemon and parmesan cheese

Add your favorite protein for a little extra oomph! Roasted chicken, shrimp, sliced beef, fresh fish

Extras vegetarian options to add:

  • Cubed mozzarella
  • Add a bit of creme fraiche or greek yogurt to the pesto for a creamier texture
  • A 6 minute egg (my go to for a lot of dishes to add a bit of richness)
  • Roasted broccolini
  • Fried tofu
  • Fresh bell pepper
  • Roasted red potatoes
  • Fresh or roasted garbanzo beans

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