Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mac & Teese, SmartDog, & Barley & Red Bean Bowl

I figured I'd give the kids a true "kids" meal tonight. I heard great stuff about a local (WooHoo) company called Chicago Soy Dairy  and I had picked up some of their Cheddar cheese sauce at my Whole Foods last week. It had super cute  packaging, too! Personally, I was a little leery of a vegan cheese especially mac & cheese. I'm a huge texture kinda gal, even if the taste is "on", if the texture is off it's a no-go in my book. It was super easy to put together, just make your mac, drain,  add the sauce, and heat. It definitely was not like the regular box mac & cheese we all know and love, but it sure was a superb substitute. It was great. Of the three kids that were home for dinner (wee small potato was at a friends house) Kid 1 thought it was ok (ate it all), Kid 2 loved it and had seconds (which is surprising because this kid is NOT please about becoming vegan and has stuck his tongue out on most meals), Kid 3 hated it (not sure if that is stubbornness or sheer hatred for the cheesy goodness), and The Dad thought it was good.

Hot Dogs. For the past 8 or so months, the kids (all but Kid 3, of course) have really loved these hot dogs and I would only eat Portillo's (I know, I know. . . ), so I knew finding an acceptable vegan dog would be one huge feat. Last week we tried TofuPups. Personally, the smell of the, I'm assuming, liquid smoke makes me gag. And this is where the texture issue comes into play for me. I didn't like the TofuPups at all. I wrapped them in a cornbread type dough for pigs in a blanket. The only Kid that liked them was Kid 3. Go figure. . . So with tonights meal, I made SmartDogs just straight up no frills. Kid 1 (aka the Hot Dog Machine) did not like them, Kid 2 ate what Kid 1 didn't and loved every minute of it, and Kid 3 did not like them one bit.

I also served broccoli and all 3, as always, loved their broc. Kid 3 to try to make up for hating the rest of the meal, ate about 2 cups of broc lol.

The Barley & Red Bean Bowl again came from, Skinny Bitch 'The Ultimate Everyday Cookbook'. I don't ever remember having barley and was thoroughly impressed!!! YUM!!! It's very similar to a small pasta such as orzo or even rice. This dish was devine! The flavors just popped and the texture was perfection. This is definitely going to be a staple. I didn't give it to the kids as I wanted them to enjoy their "kids" meal to the fullest. In hindsight, I think maybe Kid 3 may have liked it.

Kid 3 gave thumbs down, Kid 1 gave it a halfsies, and Kid 2 a thumbs up. 

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