Quick and Easy Recipes for a “Blended Food Family”

As you can imagine, in our family of eight, we have dietary preferences all over the map. With tastes ranging from gluten-free, plant-strong vegans and pescatarians to processed-food loving omnivores, it can be difficult to please everyone at mealtime and put something on the table that they – and you – feel good about.

In talking to my friend Kathryn, a vegan chef and counselor who owns vegoutcatering.com, we realized that we’re not alone. With the increase in the number of blended families, more and more of us are bringing conflicting preferences, habits and beliefs around food to the table – literally 😉

Whether trying to please picky preschool palates or making culinary concessions with a cutie for those in the dating world, many of us spend lots of time eating with people who may not share our fooding philosophies. One thing we can all agree on: making full separate meals for each individual is out of the question if you want to have any semblance of a life outside the kitchen.

In an effort to fill all the bellies in my house with good, wholesome food without spending hours on mealtime, I’ve been working on creating recipes that everyone can enjoy, with just small “tweaks” like this Avocado-Cilantro Brown Rice and Chimichurri Made Three Ways with vegan, pescatarian and omnivore options.

If you’re interested in getting some blended-food-family-friendly recipes for the holidays, join Kathryn and I for our Healthy Holidays: To V(egan) or not to V series

Until then, I hope you enjoy the recipe(s) below!

Avocado-Cilantro Brown Rice

  • 8 cups cooked brown rice (also great with quinoa!)
  • 5 avocados
  • 7 limes
  • 2 bunches cilantro, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • cabbage, lime wedges, cherry tomatoes & cilantro for garnish

Mash avocados with a fork until smooth. Add the juice of 7 limes. Stir in chopped cilantro. Fold the entire mixture into the rice, coating evenly. Top with some or all of the choices below.

Pescatarian

  • shrimp
  • garlic powder
  • Himalayan sea salt
  • black pepper
  • olive oil spray

Heat skillet to medium high, spray with olive oil. Add shrimp. Dust with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste and spray with oil again. Cook until shrimp turn pink, about 3-5 minutes. Place shrimp over or beside rice and cover with chimichurri sauce. Enjoy!

Vegan

  • 1 can black beans
  • red, green and yellow bell peppers
  • onion
  • garlic powder
  • Himalayan sea salt
  • black pepper
  • olive oil spray

Heat skillet to medium high, spray with olive oil. Add sliced peppers and onions. Dust with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste and spray with oil again. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are hot and slightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. While peppers and onions cook, heat beans in a separate pan until warmed through. Place beans, peppers and onions over or beside rice and cover with chimichurri sauce. Enjoy!

Omnivore

  • fajita beef strips
  • garlic powder
  • Himalayan sea salt
  • black pepper
  • olive oil spray

Heat skillet to medium high, spray with olive oil. Add meat. Dust with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste and spray with oil again. Cook until shrimp turn pink, about 3-5 minutes. Place shrimp over or beside rice and cover with chimichurri sauce. Enjoy!

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Founder and CEO of Trulee Foods, Sherry Lee White speaks, blogs and contributes to national publications on the topics of mind-body and food-mood relationships as well as other aspects of wellness.