As we travel west this week to Idaho for the United States of MyPlates Challenge, we also did some real traveling of our own, into Amish country.
Lessons from the Amish are fascinating. They lead simple and humble lives, work hard and are masters of their craft whether it’s furniture making, baking or basket weaving. They rest on Sundays and make meals from what they grow each day. Now, I couldn’t imagine life without electricity and indoor plumbing, but we didn’t meet an Amish family that seemed unhappy!
An Amish home – in Southeastern Minnesota, the homes are very similar from Amish farm to Amish farm. And each farm we went to had a large garden filled with fruits and vegetables.
Amongst the progress, there lives simplicity.
Lessons we can all apply for simple meals and time together:
- Come to the table together and make it an enjoyable time. Gathering together around the table makes for great family conversation and memories.
- Take time to grow a garden. The kids will have no doubt where their food comes from (they won’t say store shelves when you ask them!).
- Learn about other cultures and see what you can apply to your family to make it better. Learn more about the Amish.
So we squeezed in a little trip and a recipe through this busy week!
Recipe adapted from the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Cookbook, recipe submitted by Elena Guylay, from Idaho. I omitted the beans and added the chicken and significantly reduced the amounts so it would feed 4 people.
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup your favorite salsa
1 cup diced, cooked chicken breast
1 cup cottage cheese
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the rice, quinoa, salsa, chicken, cottage cheese, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and cilantro.
3. Spread the mixture in a square dish (8×8 inch), bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Remove and serve.
Make it a MyPlate Meal by adding a salad topped with strawberries and a glass of milk. You’ve got whole grain and protein covered with the ingredients in the recipe.
MyCart Shopping Tip: Keep shopping simple. Take a few minutes before you head out the door to map out a plan for the week. It will be your time-saver as you walk through the aisles. Think MyPlate and fill your cart just like it with lots of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grain and low-fat dairy.
Husband: 1– Too much cilantro was his complaint (I happen to think it made the dish come alive). Here is something new – he even gave me a tip for changing the recipe! Whip up the recipe without the chicken and then lay chicken breasts on top of it and bake. I bet that would have been a winner!
Adventurous Son: Not present – he’s roasting hot dogs at camp!
Cautious Daughter: 1 – Survival only, too many ingredients all mixed together.
Dietitian Mom: 4 – I had several helpings of this dish. And I think it would make a great filling inside a tortilla.
I would love to hear how you simplify your family mealtime!