What's a flexitarian Dad? Father's Day Recipes for the Flexitarian Man offers a great selection of dishes for the man who eats a dominantly plant based diet, but reserves the right to indulge in an occasional chicken dinner. He's the guy who is blessedly conscious and still appreciates throwing something on the grill, or who sometimes feels a deep need for dense protein. He's our socially and ethically conscious hero; he is committed to health for himself and his loved ones. And for those of you who are trying to get Dad to take better care of himself, here are some dishes that will help you do just that.
This fish soup, with the addition of lime juice and coconut milk, is a delight to eat. It's a great soup for Dads who love assertive ethnic flavors. It is a strengthening and warming soup, great for dinner parties, and well worth the preparation involved. Once the ingredients are assembled, it takes a mere 20 minutes to prepare. Try serving it ladled over cooked soba noodles for a one-dish meal, or as a starter for multiple courses.
This recipe for fish tacos is quick and delicious, and sure to be a hit with kids of all ages. It's the perfect project for kids to make for Dad on Father's day, because it's fun and easy. Warm tortillas are rolled around a filling of assertively spiced and pan-seared mahi, salmon, or halibut, and served with all the accompaniments: red or green salsa, chopped cilantro, and guacamole. These are great fun for a party, and alternative fillings include rice and beans or chicken.
This stunning whole foods recipe for seafood Provencal is equally good for entertaining or a family dinner, and is perfect for the Mediterranean-loving or francophile Dad in your life. Tomatoes, olives, anchovies and herbs create a fantastic, southern French backdrop for any white fish or shellfish. Start to finish, the recipe takes under 30 minutes. Add roasted new potatoes, a steamed or grilled green vegetable (asparagus or green beans would be perfect) and a salad, and you have a fantastic meal.
This Lebanese-inspired recipe for stuffed baked fish with tahini sauce is well worth the time it takes to prepare. Once the stuffing and sauce are made, assembly is a breeze. This is a great dish for our foodie Dads who like trying diverse cuisines. If you are entertaining, make both the sauce and stuffing a day ahead and assemble and bake the fish at dinnertime. Add fragrant steamed rice and a big salad, and you’ve got a terrific dinner party.
For Dads who like it simple and basic, nothing beats this recipe for perfect roast chicken, which is the result of years of research, and countless trays of roasted birds. I spent 2 decades in the food business, and there has always been much debate about how to cook the perfect bird. Some chefs believe that slow and low is the way to go, but my experience in French kitchens taught me otherwise. Cooking at high heat for a shorter time yields a juicy bird with crispy skin, and who doesn’t love that? High heat seals in the juices, while allowing the bird to rest for 10 minutes after cooking allows the juices to absorb back into the chicken.
This recipe for crisp Italian roasted chicken with herbs, white wine, and peperoncino needs to marinate overnight but is well worth the wait. It's great for a dinner party or a casual picnic. I’ve made this recipe at home for 4 people and multiplied it a dozen times for catering. It gets raves everywhere, no matter who I serve it to. You can rush this and marinate the chicken for an afternoon, but it will not have the juicy aromatic quality that an overnight bath of wine and herbs gives. The Italians understand the art of slow, and this is Slow Food at its finest. For Dads who love the grill, give this a final whirl over the coals for the last 10 minutes of cooking. It will yield a crisp and smoky finish. You might make extra; it goes fast!
Speaking of Dads, this recipe for North African Chicken Stew is dedicated to my friend Everett Blanton, father of 3 sons, who is one of the man-angels of Laguna Beach, CA. Ev is an artist and dedicated family man who has helped us in ways large and small. I wanted to thank him for the help he has given my family, and food for the soul is one way I can do that. This recipe is a hearty dish laced with saffron and spices; chickpeas and tomato round out the mix.
This fragrant and tender roast rack of lamb with garlic and herb rub is a festive and elegant entrée for the Dad who likes occasional red meat. Ask your butcher to “French” the racks for you (remove the fat and meat from the top couple of inches of bone) for a classic presentation. The racks can also be grilled over medium heat for about 12 minutes for medium rare chops.
This delicious recipe for Mexican style grilled corn with lime, chili and queso blanco may change your relationship with corn forever. Queso blanco is a hard, white, grating cheese found in the dairy case of any market that sells Latin products. If you don’t have a grill, roasting the corn at 450’ for about 15 minutes is a passable substitute.
10. Sautéed Summer Vegetables: Beans, Corn, Okra and Tomatoes with Garlic and Herbs
I love the flavors of summer, and few things are as delicious as crisp-cooked young okra with corn, yellow or green beans, chopped fresh sun-ripened tomatoes and a scattering of herbs. Young, small okra is not at all slimy (a complaint many people have about this vegetable) and is great for sluggish digestion. Feel free to play with the vegetables in this dish: young zucchini and yellow squash or tender greens are wonderful in this dish as well.