Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dinner for Five – Weeknight Wholesome Pork, Rice, and Veggies

The witty banter will be in short supply tonight. It’s a sad day here in Goudaland. A close buddy of my hubbyman perished in a tragic plane crash this morning. Just last night, my guy and his friend worked late together at their shared place of employment, and as of 7:30 am this morning, his good friend is no longer with us. His friend actually commuted daily to work along with another person in a small aircraft that he piloted himself, and this morning something obviously went terribly wrong. Only 49 years old, he will be tremendously missed by his family, friends, and co-workers. He was a glass-half-full type of guy, and my hubby enjoyed his wit, humor, and friendship. So, tonight, I ask you to whisper a prayer for his family and friends, and also suggest that you give a special hug or hello to the special someones in your life just to let them know you care. :-)

So, onto today’s recipe. While I enjoy cooking and consuming all types of yummy creations, my children prefer the straightforward approach. I love a plate to be colorfully presented with snipped chive or parsley garnishes; my offspring absolutely, positively do NOT like greenery sprinkled on their food. Therefore, many weeknight meals served at my table are wholesome, straightforward, no-frills attached food. Hubbyman wolfs down everything placed in front of him, plain or fancy, so there are no hang ups there. It never ceases to amaze me how much my kids like this wholesome, straight-forward meal. They all belong to the clean plate club when it is served; and I mean CLEAN plates ... not a grain of rice left.At the risk of putting off all my readers, here’s a typical, gluten free, weeknight meal from the It’s All Gouda kitchen. There. The truth is out. As you already know, I feed a family of five and I follow a different food pyramid than what is recommended in the U.S. We don’t eat a lot of whole grains (gasp!) especially since we follow a mostly gluten free existence, instead eating more veggies and fruit. I try to have a form of protein, in this case sliced pork, and some sort of gluten free starch to balance out the meal. Often, we end our meal with salad (yep, end the meal) or with fruit. Take a look at the plate, and you’ll see what I mean. Not pictured is sliced melon that we had after the meal. Even better, I can have this on the table in less than 30 minutes. Look out Rachel Ray! Seriously, though, for busy families like mine who find value in eating the evening meal together, meals such as this are important to have in your repertoire.I’m trying to cut back on our meat consumption, and in this meal, I’ve taken 3 thick pork chops and thinly sliced them to make 5 portions. Simply seasoned with seasoned salt and quickly stir fried in a little bit of canola and olive oil, this comes together in just a few minutes. Both my hubby and son would be happy to eat only a ton of meat at a meal; however, by providing lots of variety, they aren’t complaining too much about not having more meat on their plate.Mmm, broccoli ... one of my favorite veggies. My littlest veggie eater also likes cooked broccoli; the older ones barely tolerate it. It pairs great with other foods, so it makes a weekly appearance. Called little trees by my nephew, I cook my broccoli much different than many folks. I bring a pot of water that has slivered garlic in it to a boil, turn the stove off, drop the broccoli in, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes while I prepare the rest of the meal. A quick draining, a sprinkling of sea salt, and a drizzling of olive oil are all that’s needed before plating. It comes out perfect every time.Basmati rice is my all purpose go-to rice. With its flavorful, long, thin grains, it takes only 20 minutes to prepare from start to finish. Here it is simply prepared in chicken broth along with some butter or olive oil. My kids often splash on some soy sauce at the table.
I like to have at least one “raw” food with each meal. More often than not, that means carrots. All members of my family LOVE carrot sticks. I swear I can peel and slice carrots in my sleep. No matter how much I prepare, they always want more and never get sick of them. I’ll be planting these in my garden again this year.

So, there you have it. What does a typical meal look like in your household? Do you have tried and true favorites? And remember to give your special someones a special hug or hello today.

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PS: Is anyone else having blogger reader hang-ups? I subscribe to all my commenter’s blogs, and the reader keeps telling me no new posts. However, I get curious after a couple days and go visiting only to find that, yes, you’ve made several posts. So, I think I’m going to cease relying on the reader and just go visiting. Please know that I love reading your blogs and look forward to all your posts as well as your comments here!

22 comments:

Jan said...

Lovely and simple - and great pictures too!

Marjie said...

Did I ever tell you of my rule of dinner: "Two veggies, one of which must be green"? From about age 2, the kids can recite that one. I always eat my salad last, too.

Condolences to Mr. Gouda on the loss of his friend.

Pam said...

I haven't figured out how to subscribe to blogs so I just manually check them out - sorry I am no help.

Can I come over for dinner - this meal looks DELICIOUS!

prairierunner said...

That looks so good:) I use Bloglines for a feed reader and sometimes I need to clean the cache on my computer before it will work properly.

noble pig said...

First, I am so, so sorry about your hubby's friend. Such a tragedy.

The food looks like a ummy, yummy dinner and I was having trouble with my reader last week. Posts were showing up delayed after maybe three days. But then it corrected. Very annoying.

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm sorry to hear about ya'lls loss. I see nothing wrong with what ya'll eat--I've got half of your recipes printed out waiting to try. Did I ever tell you we made the french bread pizza and stuffed baked potatoes? Total droolworthy! Anyway, thanks for your sweet compliments. I hope some editor or publishing exec thinks the same way you do!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

what a sad day for your husband; life continues...

i love the simplicity of this post, as well as the choices you've made with the colours of the ingredients and the combinations - a little meat with mots of vegetables is also my preferred meal. and i love that basmati rice, one of my favorites too

i never thought you could end a meal with salad, but that sounds so much healthier than a sweet dessert.

Bellini Valli said...

I am so sorry to hear about your friend, my heart goes out to everyone whose lives have been touched.

Cheryl said...

I love the way you cook and think. We are much the same, I have a protein, a vegetable of some sort and a carb, either rice or potataoes. We generally dont dessert :)
p.s my condolences to your hubbymans friend, that must be heartwrenchin for his family.

Lisa said...

So sorry for the loss of your friend. Nice healthy dinner.

Lynda said...

It's a wonderful meal, whether it's a mid week meal or weekend meal. Looks so fresh and easy!
Seems like there are a number of us posting pork dishes today.

Proud Italian Cook said...

So sorry Paula about your friend! my condolences to you and your family. No problem with Reader, but Blogger, now thats another story!

Robynn's Ravings said...

You do SUCH a lovely job fixing wonderful meals and taking such great care of your family. Kudos to you!

Aggie said...

Oh Paula, my heart goes out to your friend's family and loved ones...such a sad sad shame.

Your dinner is making me very very hungry.

I use Google reader...

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about your husbands friend. Prayer go up for his family and friends.

Europeans eat their salads last too, well, before desert if they are having any. It supposedly helps with digestion, and umm, pushes the other heavy portion of the meal out. Has something to do with the ensymes or something. Had a couple of doctors here confirm it.

Love your blog.

Thanks!

J.W.

Katherine Aucoin said...

What a wonderful wholesome dinner. Doesn't matter in which order you eat things, the imporatant part is being together for mealtime.

My condolences to you and your husband; I'll him all of you in my prayers.

Pam said...

I'm so sorry about your husband's friend, that is so sad.

Grace said...

oh, paula, i'm so sorry!

it seems silly to move on from grievance to food, but your pork looks spectacular and that's all there is to it.

Mickle in NZ said...

So sad for your Husband and especially for his workmates family. My thoughts go out to them

I've been reading your blog for a few months and can't remember if I've commented or not....... well here I am

A great way to cook broccoli, I must try it. While just cooking for me I have only a small amount of large intestine left. I'm getting so many ideas just reading how you cook to avoid gluten.

Hope you all enjoyed the raw carrot (no no for me). The pork looks delicious with the basmati rice (my fav type).

Like you do with your dear gluten free girl, I'll continue to work my way around recipes to suit my innards. Thank you for providing such inspiring and yummy food solutions, all with enthusiasm and a huge sense of fun.

Care and huggles, Michelle and my Zebbycat in Wellington, NZ.

Lo said...

So sorry to hear about your friend -- my heart goes out to you.

As for eating... I think this is great. Simple and nourishing.

We do a lot of "one pot" meals around our house... basically this means I chuck as many veggies as possible into one dish :)

Jan said...

My condolences to your hubby on the loss of his friend and work-mate. Sometimes it seems we are all just hanging here by a thread.

Great recipe, Paula. And yes, we all have everyday favorites that can be called upon at a moments notice, but not all are as blog worthy as yours. :-)

Deborah said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! A great dinner like this would be just what I would want for comfort.