I looked down on my dinner the other night and had to think of that “eat the rainbow” slogan. Ours was more of an “eat a few shades of brown and tan,” kind of meal. And, you know what? It was yummy! Fridge to table, under 30 minutes.
We had pan-seared thin pork chops, sauteed Vidalia onion and a Rice Pilaf from a box.
Dad was out of town, so I needed simple. M LOVES cooked onions. They are super easy, but do take a little time. (This is a great side dish for me too as it stays fresh in the pantry longer than other “standard” veggie sides…)
I started the rice pilaf, cut a vidalia in half and sliced it thinly and added it to a medium-hot pan with about 2 Tbspns olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt, then reduced heat to low after a few minutes. You have to really watch that they don’t scorch, and they take about 15 minutes to cook down and get really sweet. (Stir often.)
The chops took less than 10 minutes. Heated some olive oil over med-high. Popped them in the pan, sprinkled kosher salt and rubbed about 1/2 tspn of garlic paste on the side facing up. I flipped them after about 5 minutes. I had to add a splash of water so it didn’t scorch the garlic (I usually use broth, but I didn’t have an open box, and this was fine and made a few Tablespoons of a tasty little sauce after it cooked down a little.) It was all done about the same time. (The onions sat a little on simmer, and you have to keep stirring them.)
M declared the chops, the “best ever” and kept asking if she could have more onions (I did have to fend for my share.) The pilaf was good, but a little too chewy for both of us (it had barley and other things that could have used more time I think…) This wasn’t the most filling meal, so we had ice-cream for dessert. (I like Edy’s slow-churn.)
Anyway, I’m no nutritionist, but I’d say we were pretty well covered that night. She had fruits and veggies earlier in the day as well. So, “eat a rainbow?” Maybe sometimes, but eat what tastes good, what you’ve got on hand, what you feel like cooking and don’t let any food rules spoil that! (Or, think of the rainbow over a week, rather than every day, just like I tell my clients about the food pyramid and you’ll probably be fine!) The problem is that for many, even the most inocuous “food rule,” like, “eat the rainbow” brings that sense of guilt and “should.” I know I atually thought, “Gee, I don’t have any “fresh” veggies tonight, maybe we should just eat out…” It’s almost like, I can’t cook the “perfect” meal, so why bother?
Do you react that way to food rules? How do food rules make you feel? Helpful with meal planning? Guilty? Do they get you to cook more or less? (There are studies that show that simply having “heart-healthy” options on a menu increases the amount of the really “bad” foods people chose. I remember from a blog a while back one reader said something like, “If I see a Weight Watchers symbol, I won’t go near it, even if it seems like the most appetizing choice.” There is so much psychology to all of this stuff, it’s fascinating!)
My other “tan” dish that shows up fairly often? Home-made breaded fish sticks which I always make with mashed potatoes and cauliflower with a white sauce. M get some color when she adds ketchup to her potatoes