On Saturday I missed farmers market because we went hiking on Mount Baker again. It was our dear Calgary friends’ last day in Vancouver so we wanted to make it memorable. Plus Alex just got back from Israel after one of the most stressful weeks of his life (see peanut butter protein pancakes). He wanted a breath of fresh air and to resume normal life ASAP. These two reasons were worth missing piles of cabbage, cauliflower and potatoes.
I decided to catch up shopping at my grocery store’s organic section on Sunday. I needed food just for 2 days as we were leaving to Whistler on Wednesday. I made it work but I do not like to miss farmers market where pretty much all veggies are organically grown. But whatever.
So, I had to think of 2 dinners that would contain most veggies from a Clean Fifteen list. That way I can save money by not buying organic or if it is not available organic. I also wanted a vegan filling dinner with lots of vegetables and healthy fats. Considering my mom had a tumour removed last year and Alex’s mom just passed away from a heart attack, me and Alex are really trying to eat as healthy as we can without going crazy. Because really it is just 2 of us to raise kids and pay the bills.
So, with an idea of a peanut butter rice to the store I went. I just wanted a rice dinner (it can’t be everything quinoa all the time), with lots of vegetables and a peanut sauce. Kinda Thai or Asian one pot stir fry.
I love those dutch oven chopped dinners like lazy cabbage rolls, Tex Mex rice and beans and ground turkey and potatoes. They are cheap, incorporate lots of veggies, easy to prepare, make great leftovers and lots of food. I am true Ukrainian cook except do not ask me to make cabbage rolls or pirogies. I have zero patience or time for that.
These peanut rice bowls are a perfect fit meal with not too much complex carbs and full of cruciferous vegetables that have cancer fighting properties. Honestly zucchini noodles leave me hungry. There should be some type of carb in that meal. That is why I like to mix a load of veggies with a bit of starch.
Tofu is optional. You can use cooked chicken. What makes this meal outstanding is the sauce for rice. We all loved this peanut butter rice. 5 year old ate it with a fit but he ate it. I really do not care or listen to him because of his picky eating stage right now. I know if I stick with my clean eating food he will come around. If I give in he will eat unhealthy. As simple as that. Not a rocket science.
And back to Saturday. After the hike we drove all the way to Blaine for oysters. We had our eye on Drayton Harbour Oysters and couldn’t wait to try them. We have never been to an oyster bar before.
Oysters were fantastic! Both, raw and grilled. Grown right in the harbour by a lovely family. Cooked outside, seated outside – everything was outside in +30C. Amazing! We indulged in oysters, sipped on cold white wine and beer watching the sun go down and passing by trains to Seattle. The oyster experience was accompanied by loud seagulls which made it even more authentic. Kids ate fish and chips from a restaurant across at a separate table. Yes!!! Then we got them an American size ice cream which one of my kids ended up throwing out due to its enormous size.
After we walked to a marvellous playground and watched this breathtaking sunset.
How beautiful our world is, right?! Enjoy it every day!
- 1 cup long brown rice, rinsed & drained
- 2 cups water
- 1 small head red cabbage, coarsely shredded
- 1 medium head cauliflower, coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp himalayan pink salt, divided
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, divided
- 1 package medium firm or firm tofu, diced*
- 1/2 cup peanuts, roasted & unsalted
- 1/4 cup green onions and/or cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 cup mango chunks, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup peanut butter, unsalted
- 1/2 cup water, warm
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (I used liquid aminos)
- 2 garlic cloves, large
- 1 inch piece ginger, fresh
- In a small pot, add rice and water; bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or as per package instructions.
- In the meanwhile, preheat large Dutch oven on medium heat and swirl 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Add cabbage and 1/2 tsp salt; stir, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Cabbage might burn a bit at the bottom which is fine.
- Now add all Peanut Butter Sauce ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
- Push cabbage to the side of a pot and add remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add cauliflower on top and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir, cover and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Add cooked rice to the Dutch oven, turn off heat and stir. Add tofu if using and stir gently. Pour peanut butter sauce on top, sprinkle with peanuts and green onions, and give a few gentle stirs. Serve hot or warm.
*You can skip tofu or use chicken.