The challenge: dinner for company


My pescatarian cousins spent the night at our house last night with their 3 and 7 year-old sons.  I wanted to prepare a single dinner and prove to myself that I could make a kid-friendly, adult-interesting, satisfying meal without meat, dairy or gluten. Also, my cousin has a major sweet-tooth but is health-conscious and has high cholesterol. And I'm not crazy about fish but my husband is usually disappointed by vegetarian meals. Bring it.


The Menu

  • Almond flour crusted cod ("fish sticks")
  • Florentine cake with tomato garlic gratin
  • Basmati rice cooked in vegetable broth
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Rocky road rice crispy treats



The Inspiration

I have two new favorite cookbooks: Silvana Nardone's "Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy, Delicious Meals" (New York : Sprig, 2010) and "The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook : Breakfasts, Entrees, and More" by Elana Amsterdam (Berkeley, CA : Celestial Arts, 2009).  Both these authors have wonderful websites, and, and I would love to meet them!  Elana Amsterdam is a great resource for Paleo cooks and diabetics as well. I'd be hard pressed to come up with 5 recipes between the two books that I don't want to try.  I've been having my kids read the books too, so they can pick out recipes (i.e. pictures) they think look good.


So I didn't make up any recipes for this meal.  The Florentine cake with tomato-garlic gratin and the rocky road rice crispy treats came from Silvana Nardone, and the almond flour fish sticks came from Elana Amsterdam.  It was my first time making each of the recipes and they turned out great! 



The Dinner

Florentine cake, pan fried cod
Fish filet and Florentine cake with tomato garlic gratin -- recipe from "Cooking for Isaiah" by Silvana Nardone

The Dessert

Rocky Road rice crispy treats
Rocky Road rice crispy treats -- recipe from "Cooking for Isaiah" by Silvana Nardone



I made the plain steamed broccoli for the kids and didn't even offer them the Florentine cake, which prompted my 6 year old to ask for it (reverse psychology scores 1 point).  In retrospect, I should have substituted egg whites for some of the eggs in the recipe because of my cousin's cholesterol issue, but I didn't think of that soon enough.  Everyone gobbled up the fish (which my cousin's wife actually cooked -- yay, team cooking!), prepared in fish stick shape for the kiddos and filets for us.  The rice preparation was a newly discovered compromise for my children: my daughter loves brown rice and rice pilaf, my son loves white rice, each doesn't like what the other one likes (of course).  But it turns out basmati rice cooked in broth is somewhere in the middle and -- the heavens opened and angels sang -- both my children like it! The rocky road rice crispy treats were a hit, but personally I think I prefer plain ol' rice crispy treats.



Post script: I used the leftover fish to make tacos tonight.  Soft corn tortillas, heated in a cast iron skillet; reheated fish; fresh guacamole; diced sweet onion; diced tomato; chopped fresh cilantro. I've never made fish tacos before. Delicious!

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Comments: 1
  • #1

    Lynne (Sunday, 17 February 2013 19:44)

    This sounds like a wonderful meal! Everything looks delicious - I want to try the fish recipe. And, well, yeah, the rocky road rice crispy things too!

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