Colorful Weekly Meals for NNM

Last week I made sure my meals wedre packed with color.  It was a little funny when I announced to Ryan that all meals I cook in March will be super colorful in support of the National Nutrition Month theme "Eat Right with Color" and he just looked at me for a second.  Then I laughed and said, "Oh right, that is no different from usual.  Nevermind then" and I told him to just go back to whatever he was doing before I jumped in to profess my plan for colorful meals.

I must say I am very lucky that my husband likes vegetables, enjoys the colorful meals, and does not mind having meals at home that are meat free.  He can still eat meat, and he does when we go out, and he understands that it is OK to not eat meat all meals and in huge amounts.  I guess more than anything he is flexible and eats a wide variety of foods.  Lunches at work are a good time for meat for him if he really wants it.  But the end result is that he is just as happy with my veggie loaded, color packed meals.

Here are the dinners I made last week:

I started early in the week with a couscous veggie bake.
I usually sub quinoa for couscous, but this recipe did not call for cooking the coucous.  Rather it baked with the small amount of liquid from the veggies.  It made me nervous to try quinoa the first time around since I do not think it will cook all the way.  Next time I may try this with partially cooked quinoa and see if it will finish up in the oven.  Quinoa has a better nutritionally panel than coucous so I try to go for that complete source of protein.

A major reason, other than color, that I was drawn to this recipe was the use of black olives.  I love olives!  As I mentioned before, I am heading to Israel in May.  I can't wait to enjoy olives while in the Mediterranean. 
Next I chopped up the green peppers and sliced the zucchini for a healthy dose of GREEN!  I also added in onions and garlic, which to me gives so much flavor I don't even need salt.
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In went stewed tomatoes, black beans and couscous.
I placed it in a casserole dish.  By the way, I think casseroles are the way to go.  Really any meal that can go in the oven for at least 20 minutes because I love to use that time to do the dishes and straighten up the kitchen.  Our kitchen is small, so it fills up fast.
The final step was covering with cheese.  I may have gotten a little carried away but it did make a nice complement to the dish.
YUM!  Now looking at the picture I am wondering where the red went too.  I guess it's burried under the cheese, LOL!  Oh well, it is in there, I promise.  This was an amazing dish.  Odd that the recipe said this was for a 2 serving dish, and I know I put some extra veggies in, but this gave us about 6 servings.
Next up, a chunky veggie sauce on pasta.  I did use a recipe for this from a cookbook, but I think I could have come up with something similar on my own.  That will make for some variations in the future.

Looks like last week was big on REDS and GREENS.
I have gotten into the habit of prepping everything now and having it all out in front of me, in order and ready to go.  I think it is important because our gas stove has two settings- high and super high.  Not kidding, that stove is a dangerous thing.  I even change the gas valve but it just seems so darn hot.  Anytime I step away there is the potential for something to go wrong.  Here I have the green pepper, broccoli, red pepper and sun dried tomatoes. 
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The light above the stove blew out and it was the second bulb in one week.  Needless to say, we gave up in an effort to save on bulbs.  That is why I used my flash for this picture of my sauce mixture.  Also in here is some garlic, a can of artichokes and stewed tomatoes. 
I love thin noodles.  Good thing the recips already called for these because I would have picked them anyway.
Hard to believe, but there is some pasta underneath this chunky sauce.  It was so good.  I will definitely be making this dish again soon.
I love when both dinners I make are successes.

QUESTIONS:  How have you been adding color to your meals?  What was your last new dinner success?


Unknown said...

you can never go overboard when it comes to cheese! i made dinner on Sun. it was colorful! it was bow tie pasta, vodka sauce, pees, mushrooms, garlic and sausage. w00t!

Kristen (swanky dietitian) said...

I think I am like you that most my meals are pretty colorful! I am loving that veggie bake...yum!
Since getting my co-op, I have definitely been doing more fun dishes!

Nicole, RD said...

I always forget to come back to your blog when I get home (I can't do the pass phrase thing at work - it's blocked so I can't leave comments), but I'm glad I did today! You're very lucky that Ryan is so flexible with meals and enjoys so much. I JUST got off the phone with hubby who told me he's not very excited that tonight's dinner contains a bit of horseradish. I should've never said anything...he probably would've never known!

Gina; The Candid RD said...

I have to say, I am a lucky girl too, for the same reasons as you. Nick will eat just about anything I make, with or without meat. He also loves all veggies (except for brussel sprouts) and is always willing to try new things.

Your meals look beautiful, and delicious (especialy that first one). I'm actually making a scallop meal on Friday with fresh kalamata olives. I thought about you when I bought them!
Last night I make steak fajitas with fresh avocado and salsa.

sophia said...

It's funny that my mom was the one who likes meat and my dad like veggies, and HE was the one who influenced her to eat more veggies...but it's nice that you didn't need to train your hubby about healthy eating that much. :-)

But hey, with a lovely meal like this, I think nobody is dreaming of steak or fried chicken.

EA-The Spicy RD said...

Your casserole looks wonderful. I will try it with quinoa to make it gluten free. My husbands very easy too when it comes to meals. He will never be a vegetarian, but he eats all the veggies and fruit I serve and even complimented me on a Pad Thai I made with veggies and tofu the other night :-)

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