Sunday, October 2, 2011

Healthy Meets Comfort Food - A Match Made in Heaven

Quite often, our thoughtful neighbors, Vicky and Greg, bring over organic salad mix and loads of veggies they cut up. They buy more than the two of them can use and know it won't go to waste at our house. I usually add some dried fruit and nuts (sometimes beans) so it is almost a dinner in itself. Most of the time we make our own dressing. Rob's favorite is a tahini-based vegan green goddess like dressing. Sometimes, when dressing is on sale at Common Ground Co-op or Strawberry Fields I cave to temptation and buy bottled dressing. When this happens, I try to buy a dressing we wouldn't easily make at home. One of my favorites is Annie's Organic Papaya Poppy Seed Dressing. Josie gets so excited for salads which makes me want to eat them even more so I have to restrain myself from posting a bunch of salads on the blog. A couple weekends ago, we had our friend and former neighbor over for dinner. He was down from Chitown and introduced us to his new fiancee. He let us know beforehand that she was on a raw cleanse (she's a pescetarian, but was doing a vegan raw cleanse with Karyn with food included). I can do some raw, but once I heard she had Karyn's food, I knew there was no way to compete. We also had a crazy day and I still hadn't decided what to make until about an hour before their arrival and not much food in the house. Luckily, Vicky and Greg had just brought over salad fixings so that was our quick starter and Quick-Fix Vegan came to the rescue for the rest.
Indian Shepherd's Pie was a new recipe for me, but I had all the ingredients and I felt like it would satisfy our meat-eating friend and full of healthy veggies if his love wanted to eat a big of cooked food for the night. It worked and they both seemed to enjoy it. I can see this becoming a regular winter dinner in our house. Beans, veggies, Indian spices, with mashed potato/cauliflower topping, yes please.
Watermelon for dessert and a few Energy Bites (made with raw ingredients) as we talked the evening away. Quick, easy, satisfying, and no stress. That is how I like to entertain. It made up for how old I felt after we figured out our friend was an early teen when we met as neighbors twelve years ago. How fun to hear them discuss their wedding plans and see them glow in their love for one another. I am always in awe of couples with different dietary paths and how they make it work, but seeing them talk with such respect and affection it seemed to work perfectly. I wish them a lifetime of love and can't wait to share their wedding day with them.

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