Our Family Experiment Eating Vegetable Dishes for a Week

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:

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Ingredients:

  • 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.

 

Saturday: Leftovers!!!

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.

 

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