Monday, January 9, 2012

No rice for dinner - until MAY!

Allen grew up in Southeast Asia, as his parents were missionaries. Presumably he ate a lot of rice during his childhood. When we married, he was very fond of rice, and wanted rice-based meals pretty frequently. As a family, we usually eat a good number of rice meals each week, since we like rice, and it's relatively inexpensive.

Now, however, Allen doesn't want me to cook rice. At all.

This has to do with the big bridge project in Las Flores. Allen, Russell, and our paid crew are fed a cooked lunch every work day. This is paid for by the local government, as part of the whole bridge deal. And every day, they have rice. This is not to say they aren't getting a good meal. There's a nice piece of meat, from a variety of meats. There might or might not be beans, and some sort of salad-ish side dish will generally be served. And of course, there are tortillas. It's not a meal without tortillas, and many of the men on our crew use tortillas in place of forks, as that's the generally accepted etiquette in the rural villages around here. But there is always, always rice, as the main starch of the meal.

After only a few weeks of these meals, Allen was riced-out. He doesn't want to eat rice at dinnertime, after having it so very regularly at lunch. I'm trying to comply, but I'm feeling a bit limited by the no-rice edict. I cycle through pasta, potatoes, and breads. Then I cycle through them again. And again.

I'm taking this as a bit of a challenge. We don't use yuca (casava) much, because it's not that different from potatoes, and potatoes are cheaper. Maybe I can find some interesting and unique yuca recipe? What about the wheat berries I grind for bread? Could I find a way to cook the grains for a meal - and a way that my family will like, and not just feel that it was something different? Also, how about different versions of potatoes? We boil, fry, mash and hash potatoes. I could bake them, but usually not in the evenings, when we're trying to conserve power (because baked potatoes take a long time in the oven). Or different types of breads: biscuits, rolls, dumplings, savory pie crusts, etc. What else?

Suggestions are welcome! But please, don't suggest rice - at least not until the bridge project is over in MAY!


Anonymous said...

You can make baked potatoes in the crockpot, and a crockpot takes very little power.

You can make twiced baked potatoes, big batches of them, and freeze them, and then they just need reheating.

You can use spaghetti noodles in a dish that, hmm, in Japan it is called yakisoba. Stir fry spaghetti noodles, shredded cabbage, whatever meat/veg you have, soy sauce/ginger/garlic. It's one of those dishes that doesn't really have a recipe (at least at my house), but let me know if you want a few more details.

I make this recipe often, and I use whole wheat flour in it:

I make bread dough, roll it out like cinnamon rolls, and then instead of butter/cinnamon/sugar, I spread pizza sauce/a pizza meat of some sort/a cheese, roll up and slice. Then let rise and bake as if they were cinnamon rolls, and voila - pizza sandwich rolls that don't seem like you're having sandwiches for dinner. I do the same thing with picante sauce, ground beef, cheddar cheese, and then they are taco rolls. :)

You can put wheat in vegetable soup, like barley-vegetable soup, except then I guess it's wheat-berry-vegetable soup.

We're having a stir-fry over brown rice tonight, but in a pinch, I've served it over noodles, and that's good too; it ends up kind of like the yakisoba.

Mashed potatoes are part of Shepherd's Pie, which is yum.

Mashed potatoes under a meat gravy - stroganoff or hamburger gravy.

Ok, that's all I've got for now. I'll read what others post and see if anything else comes to mind.


Kris Thede said...

Creamed eggs or creamed chicken on bread or toast.

Potpie with what ever veggies and or meat you have on hand.


Breakfast foods like pancakes, french toast, egg based potato casseroles. Bread pudding.

Sliced potatoes fried with onions.

Beth said...

What about sweet potatos? Can you get them in Honduras? And I want to know where Johanna lives so I can move to her house! : ]

Live Simply Love Strongly said...

Yuca con tomatada y repollo! I would never eat potatoes like that, but yuca definately!

What about plantain for your starch? There are some great recipes with tomato and ground beef like a lasagna or just fried up (verdes o maduritos).

Could you set up a solar cooker to bake your potatoes?

I don't know what you are using to grind flour, but if it will also grind beans, you can do garbanzo bean flour which makes some good tortilla/pancakes.

Trish said...

Thanks for all of these suggestions! This will help!