I have a bit of a challenge today.
My mother and grandparents are bringing the kids home from a long weekend in Daytona Beach where my family lives. I love cooking, but don’t get many visitors, so I made them agree to stay for dinner.
Now, the challenge isn’t the dinner, it’s that my husband is on what he calls a “Vegan-ish” diet. My grandfather is definitely not a part of this diet, so I like to make him a meaty dish, but I’d like it to be a healthy one.
I chose to go with Fat Granny’s Minestrone Soup from Allrecipes.com for an appetizer, with Garlic Bread on the side. The main course consists of two types of stuffed peppers. The meaty one I adapted form Healthier Stuffed Peppers from Allrecipes.com and for the vegan one, I used a previously tested recipe from Minimalistbaker.com, the Quinoa Stuffed Peppers.
I made adjustments to the soup to keep it vegan for my husband’s benefit. I used vegetable spread instead of oil and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. It is still delicious either way. The soup ended up being too thick, more like a stew, and noodles didn’t help the issue, but it still tasted wonderful.
The Healthier Stuffed Peppers I also adjusted to my liking by using Organic Ground Chicken and white rice (because I had half a cup that needed using). I spiced up the ground chicken while it was browning with Mrs. Dash’s Garlic and Herb Seasoning, a good dose of paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Let me tell ya, it is so YUM! I also used Tomato Basil Pasta sauce instead of plain old tomato sauce.
The vegan recipe I followed directly, because I know it’s extremely delicious the way it is. For garnishing, I provided avacado, lime, red onions, salsa, shredded Mexican cheese, and hot sauce.
I cut the peppers in half, stuffed em, and baked them covered with tinfoil for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Then, I uncovered them and baked for an additional 15 minutes at 425, making sure to watch them closely.
Overall, everyone except for the kids liked all the dishes, and had seconds and thirds. Of course, the kids only ate the garlic bread. I don’t mind, I love having leftovers. Dinner was a success!