When I was growing up, a very regular meal was meat (either burger-size ground beef, or steak) with mashed potatoes (or rice), and green beans. Although I wasn’t a fan of green beans much, it was still a simply yet (mostly) well-balanced meal. I should add that my mom never made “American-style” green beans. So it was actually a healthy side dish. 😉 Of course, nowadays, there would be complaints about too much starch and evil red meat. Whether or not you agree that this would have been a healthy enough meal, I think most of us can still agree that is was a lot more balanced that what I see a lot of kids eat these days. Mac n’ cheese, chicken nuggets, pizza, and French fries were special treats, when I was growing up, not every night’s meal. And let me tell you, that green beans and fresh meat will always be healthier than pizza. Well, unless you make your own, healthy pizza, but you see my point. 🙂
You might not see the link between this little part of my childhood but my point is that you don’t have to make every meal come from a complicated recipe. Cooking a few basics, with yummy spices, will give you just as good a result. I also like the idea of teaching kids to appreciate flavors, without hiding and blending them in a sauce or something. Now, I do understand that some children are extremely picky (my brother and my husband are great examples) but I also see a lot of parents going with what’s easy (and, unfortunately, not as healthy) without having a picky-eater, therefore ending up creating a picky-eater for the future. I’m not pointing fingers at any parent in particular but in my last 7 years in the childcare world, I’ve seen a lot of different types of parents and feeding styles.
So now for the actually meal I made last night… My husband didn’t feel well so I was only going to cook for myself. So I started early by throwing a blend of brown & wild rice in the rice cooker. I added some Moroccan seasoning blend and a little bit of olive oil before letting it cook. Once the rice was almost done, I decided to make myself some shrimp, with a side of asparagus. I love keeping raw shrimp in the freezer as they come in so handy when I don’t know what to cook. I can just grab a few, thaw them under running water, and cook whatever I want. Being a lazy cook (at least, I certainly was last night), I chose to cook the shrimp and asparagus in the same wok (to avoid cleaning 2 pans), just putting the shrimp in first to let them cook for a bit. Once again, I used the Moroccan seasoning blend (a wonderful treasure I found at TJ-Maxx) and a tad of olive oil. It only took a few minutes for everything to be cooked to perfection. I could have plated everything and eat but that’s when a bubble popped into my head: if my husband isn’t eating with me, it means I can cook mushrooms as well! So I cleaned and cut a few mushrooms and threw them in the wok. A few minutes later, my meal was finally ready.
So, as I said, last night’s meal was nothing crazy: shrimp and rice, with sides of asparagus and mushrooms. Simple, but tasty.