Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 1 Vegetarian Challenge

So the grand adventure begins!
Day 1 of the Vegetarian Challenge began with a big bowl of Instant Oatmeal and a trip to the grocery store. Any guesses on how much I spent?
Yeap that's right, just over $90!!!  lol to be fair it is winter in Canada so vegetables aren't cheap.

What does $91 of groceries look like you you ask? Well sadly... not too much.

Willowbum posing with $91 worth of groceries

$91 worth of groceries unbagged.

Vegetable full fridge

After the fridge was packed to brim.  I got to work planning the "piece de resistance".  On the menu tonight was a Cashew Nut Paella.  I must admit I was a little bit nervous about making my first vegetarian meal as it was Hubby's pick and his parents had been invited over for dinner.  Let me tell you, Hubby's parents are Canadian and don't normally cook with spices other than salt and pepper.  A quick glance at Hubby's dinner pick revealed such exotic spices like cumin and turmeric.  Spices not exotic to me but his folks?  Well I guess we'd have to see how it goes.  As I prepped for the night's dinner I crossed my heart and hopped no one died after dinner. lol

All the ingredients for today's dish

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 red onion, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1 tsp chilli powder
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 green chilli, sliced
1 green (bell) pepper, diced
1 red (bell) pepper, diced
1 can baby corn cobs, halved lengthwise
2 tbsp pitted black olives
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
2 cups vegetable stock
3/4 cup unsalted cashew nuts
1/4 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp chopped parsley
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
fresh herbs, to garnish

1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan until the butter has melted.
2. Add the chopped onion to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring until the onion has softened.
3. Stir in the rice turmeric, cumin, chilli powder, garlic, chilli, (bell) peppers, corn cobs, olives and tomato and cook over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Pour in the stock and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 20 minutes, stirring.
5. Add the cashew nuts and peas to the mixture in the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season to taste and sprinkle with parsley and cayenne pepper. 
6. Enjoy!

Dinner was served and I held my breath as everyone dug in.  I am used to spice and I wasn't sure if this dish could be classified as spicy or not.
"FIVE STARS!!!" exclaimed hubby. "4.5" said my Father-in-Law. And with that I exhaled.  Dinner was a success!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds good! I think I will try this later this week. Think I will cook it as a risotto and not a paella since it calls for arborio rice. So glad that you are blogging, it will be a gift for Willow to be able to find out what her mom was like when she was young and to be able to read your thoughts and find out what you loved. And I'm blessed to be able to go on that journey too. I agree with the hubby. FIVE STARS!!!