Usually our main dish for dinner is based around a protein. Sometimes I’m bad about including vegetables at all–even as a side. A while ago I was trying to think of the last time we had a vegetable dish, and I actually couldn’t remember when it was 😫. So, I decided that for one week veggies would be the focus of every meal.
I started brainstorming and searching the internet for all kinds of veggie dishes. I mainly looked for dishes where the veggies were all fully cooked. I have the unique challenge of a husband who doesn’t like lettuce; plus, I am slightly allergic to most veggies if they are raw (although they are fine when cooked–weird I know). Pinterest was a huge help when it came to finding new yummy looking vegetable dishes!
Once I found several recipes that I wanted to try I scheduled them on my weekly planner and put together a shopping list. We are trying to keep a tight food budget, so I was careful to record the cost of all ingredients so that I would know how much each meal cost in case I wanted to make them again in the future.
Here’s how my experiment turned out:
Sunday: Asian Chicken Stir Fry ($8-9)
I used THIS recipe to inspire the meal, but I went quite a bit off book for this one. This was one of the few meals that I did that included some sort of meat. Overall, this meal was a HUGE hit with everyone! Darren said it was his overall favorite, and it was probably the one that got Addie to eat the most veggies too.
Changes I made to the recipe:
-I added lots of carrots! I just used fresh carrot chips and added them in to start cooking first (because they take the longest of all the veggies included)
-I also added Asian sesame salad dressing to the sauce while not really measuring the other sauce ingredients. I just did everything to taste and to get the right amount of sauce so that it would be yummy over rice.
-I used 2 small-medium sized chicken breasts cut into fairly small pieces.
Monday: Grilled Veggie Quesadillas ($19-20)
I used THIS recipe and followed it as closely as I could. It was super yummy the first night, but it wasn’t the best for left overs (which there were a ton). I plan on doing this recipe again, but with some major modifications. The modifications would significantly reduce the price ($12-14 instead of $19-20)!
My modified recipe:
- 8-10 tortillas
- 2 large zucchinis diced
- 2 large squash yellow zucchini, diced
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 2 orange bell peppers, diced
- 2 cobs of fresh corn, with corn cut off cob
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 2 cups Mexican blend cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- Chipotle ranch dressing for dipping
Sauté all veggies together with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Fill one half of quesadilla with veggie mixture and sprinkle on cheese. Fold over and use a pan, Foreman grill, or panini press to toast quesadilla on both sides. Cut into thirds, dip, and enjoy!
Tuesday: Mediterranean Quiche ($15-16)
I used THIS recipe and followed it as closely as I could. I did use premade pie crusts, and this recipe actually filled two of them (maybe they were shallow…I don’t know). This one was really yummy, but I probably won’t make it again, because it was more work than I thought it merited given the price of ingredients and taste. Also, Addie was not interested at all.
Wednesday: Roasted Vegetable Salad ($9-10)
I used THIS recipe and followed it pretty closely. I added fewer tomatoes, though and maybe more potatoes. This one was delicious the night I made it, and it was great as left overs (just eaten cold). I will definitely do it again, but maybe add more corn next time. Also, Addie didn’t really eat it, so that was one negative.
Thursday: Zucchini Lasagna ($9-10)
I used THIS recipe and followed it as closely as I could, including the part about precooking the eggplant and zucchini. Honestly, this was one of my favorites! I thought it was super yummy and it made a ton–I love left overs! I didn’t even miss the meat, although Darren would have like some. It was still a bit soupy, even with the veggies precooked, but that was OK with me.
Friday: Chicken Pot Pie ($7-8)
I have made this many times, so I simply did my own recipe.
- 2 premade pie crusts (the kind that you buy for your own pan)
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 2 cups cheddar cheese
- 1 oz bag frozen veggies
- 1 chicken breast, cooked and diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix up all the stuff and put into pie crust. Cover with second pie crust. Cook at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
We eat all of our leftovers. No food left behind in this house! Darren always takes left overs from dinner to work for lunch the next day. Plus Addie and I often use them for lunch. Anything left after that usually is eaten later in the week on our left over day. After the meals for this week, we had a lot, so they lasted longer than just Saturday. Don’t worry, we finished them off eventually.
Overall our week of veggie meals was a success, and I have several new recipes to include in my regular rotation! Plus it was really fun to try new healthy recipes; something about cutting fresh vegetables in the kitchen makes me feel like a super mom.