What started as a potential conflict, has rapidly turned into one of the biggest food inspirations I have had in a while. A few days ago, while working our way through meal planning, The Giant declared that 'we just don't eat enough vegetables'. I was immediately horrified and argued all the vegetables we have in each meal. He pointed out the lack of side dishes that make a dinner a bit more.... adult?
He had a point.
Thus began much consideration of salad, seasonal vegetables and how to spruce up plain eating habits. Having a carbohydrate fixated toddler in the house has meant I've eaten a fair amount of mash and potato, pasta and rice. The plainer the better as far as she is concerned. Somewhere along the way time factors and family factors just took over and I stopped varying what we do as much.
So I dutifully whipped up a salad for dinner today and stared, disappointed at the same salad that has been my default option for some time: Salad leaves, tomatoes, cucumber. Possibly beetroot. There HAD to be something better!
So I split the salad. Tomorrow we'd have all the tomatoes but no beetroot and tonight? Beetroot and grapes. Things were getting a little crazy in the Playful House! In all seriousness, this was all I had in but it got me thinking about how the Tot loves fruit but is suspicious of vegetables and The Giant will not tolerate fruit in a main course. It was time we all learned to experiment more because seriously, have you tried avocado and pink grapefruit together? It's epic. I want to eat like that!
I then reviewed the much maligned recipe books on my shelves. FOUR. Four books dedicated to just vegetables. Then there's the vegetable binder full of seasonal recipes and oh yeah, the Riverford Organic weekly recipes from the Veggie Box delivery days. I'm far more vegetarian than I am carnivorous and there's so much inspiration to be had in seasonal produce so how did I even reach this point? I decided that from here on in I was rolling my 'must use more fresh herbs' thing together with my 'more fresh, seasonal vegetables'.
Pleased, I rewrote the meal plan and added 'trip to green grocers' to our morning out exploring tomorrow. Perhaps letting the Tot choose her veg will inspire some new attempts? I sat back in awe of the healthy and wholesome family we were destined to become. No one burst my bubble here. Let me live in this dream of asparagus munching happiness.
I then looked across at the salads, and the dressing in particular, that I had just put on the table. Well that had to change too surely? Lemons and limes, straight into the grocery order. Time to reach for red wine vinegar instead of balsamic, dust off that Tahini jar that's been neglected for too long (on second thoughts, I'll add a new jar to the order. That's looking a bit dicey).
So fresh and so clean (clean).