An easy, gluten free, vegan friendly, 3 course meal that feeds four. You can make for Mom this Mother’s Day in just 1 hour, to make up for all the times you didn’t put away your shoes. Start with a carrot and date stuffed Belgium endive with goat cheese and walnuts, flakey almond crusted, Mediterranean tilapia or portobello mushroom caps with roasted fingerling potatoes and asparagus as the main, and finish with creamy cardamom, rose, coconut milk, + chia pots de crème. No fancy equipment necessary.
I totally get that “Mother’s Day brunch” is a thing. Because I love brunch. Gimme some eggs benedict and a mimosa, now! PLEASE and THANK YOU! And what I’m about to propose to you is NOT that you shouldn’t take your mom out for brunch on Mother’s Day. Because, you should. But something about Mother’s Day brunch has always rubbed me the wrong way.
Like, what? I cook and clean for you every day on top of running my own business or grinding it out at a job I hate or watching the kids full time and you can’t cook and clean for me? Like once? Yes, taking your mom out is a nice occasion. But there is a very profound gift in attempting to enter into a mother’s experience, and giving that same kind of hard work and treatment you receive back to your mom.
That’s why I want to propose taking your mom out for brunch, and then coming home and making this 3 course meal for her at dinner. Blow her freaking mind with a gourmet feast, and then clean everything up afterwards (without getting totally frustrated and exhausted). It will only take an hour and I specifically made these recipes super easy for any amateur cook. I even made you a shopping list, a worksheet to help budget your time, and 3 bonus recipes (you can download them here)! With the help of a parent, even a child could make this dinner. You have everything you need to be a total gourmet for the day and wow your mom forever.
It wasn’t until I became a mother myself that I realized mothers are completely misunderstood and misrepresented in our culture. Mothers are paid the least of all people, especially mothers of color and single mothers. Mother’s are often displayed in the media as being weak, losing their grip on society, being out of shape and out of style.
This makes me SO mad. While sometimes these things can be true for mothers, not to mention anyone else out of their mid-20’s, it is not the TRUTH about mothers. The truth is that mothers are some of the strongest, hard working members of the global society. What better way to show how much we love our mothers and mother figures on Mother’s Day than showing solidarity by entering into one of their “traditional” roles and giving them the same service back you have received day in and day out for years and years.
I mean, a trip to the spa might work too, not gonna lie (not that I’m dropping any hints, wink, wink).
3 Course Meal for Dummies
You’re not a dummy. I think you’re super smart and can rule the world. And I like you. But I coined the phrase to emphasize that this dinner is easy enough for an inexperienced cook to make. Let’s chat about what this 3 course meal is all about. Do not be wary of the fancy titles.
Shaved Carrot and Date Endive Boats topped with Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnuts
- This carrot and date salad is deceptively easy to make but on the flavor front is interesting and complex with bold sweetness, depth of crunch, and texture. The goat cheese delectable on top but it’s just as wonderful without if you or a family member is vegan. This salad is simply shredded carrots and chopped dates tossed with lemon juice and olive oil
- Stuff this salad into some leaves of Belgium endive and top it with toasted walnuts and goat cheese.
- Voila! Easy meets fancy.
Almond Crusted, Mediterranean Tilapia or Portobello Mushroom Caps with Crispy Fingerling Potatoes and Roasted Asparagus
- You can make this main dish with tilapia, portobello mushrooms or both. To be honest, the portobello mushroom is my favorite feature of this menu. The flakey fish or portobello is coated in a hummus that has been jacked up on fresh herbs and spices, giving a bland base a hefty amount of flavor. The almonds toast nicely in the oven giving this fish crunch and texture. Mix some store bought hummus with some fresh herbs and spices. Spread the hummus on the fish or mushroom. Top with chopped almonds. Bake it along with a bunch of asparagus for all of 10 minutes!
- The potatoes are caramelized and full of flavor with lemon zest and garlic powder. The best part is you don’t even need to flip them.
- Don’t tell your mom how easy that was.
Coconut, Cardamom, Rose, + Chia Pots de Crème
- These dreamy rose and cardamom “pots de crème” are similar to chia pudding but richer and more dessert-like. Mix together a can of full fat coconut milk, some chia seeds, rose water (don’t worry, I’ll tell you where to find it. It’s cheap and I’ll give you some ideas of what to do with the leftovers here), ground cardamom ( you can use cinnamon if you can’t find this), vanilla, honey (or maple syrup) and salt together in a bowl.
- Put in the freezer.
- Pour into cute little glasses.
- Put in the fridge.
- Top with berries and other things to make your mom say things like “oh sweetie!” and “how cute!”
And if the menu wasn’t easy enough
In order to make a big, 3 course meal totally doable I went ahead and did a couple things for you. Guys, I already typed you up a shopping list. I also made a nice time table worksheet so you can easily work through what needs to go in when and what you should be working on next.
And then, if that wasn’t enough, I went ahead and created 3 bonus recipes that use some of the leftover ingredients you’ll have from making this feast. (i.e. chia seeds, rosewater, dates, etc). Few, I’m tired!
To receive a download with “all of the above”, simply fill out the form below, confirm your email address, and I’ll shoot you an email with the file. (Those of you who already subscribe to Pop Kitchen already have this in their inbox!)
Make Mama Proud
Whether it’s your own mother or a special mother/mother figure in your life, go all out, sharpen a knife, and make mama proud. If you are a mother who might not mind someone making them a gourmet, 3 course meal for Mother’s Day (or ever), send the link to this post to a loved one who you know can get the job done. Especially if that loved one is a man, because, let’s be honest, 99% of y’all are ladies (according to Google) and he’s probably not going to stumble on this on his own.
If at any moment you feel like you don’t get something or need a little help, send me a DM via Instagram. It’s pretty much a direct link to my brain. I’ll get back to you ASAP!
Need Other Mother’s Day Inspo?
Maybe your mom doesn’t love fish or mushrooms. Swap out any of the above courses for one of these perfect Mother’s Day recipes.
And Ode to Mothers (from my About page):
I want to thank all the mothers, who for thousands and thousands of years have been developing recipes in their home kitchens and have received no recognition, accolades, or book offers. You have slaved over fires and worked tirelessly to preserve each year’s harvest. You are heroes and the sustainers of humanity that have been forgotten by history. We are indebted to you.
When you this 3 course meal, for Mother’s Day or just because, let me know how it goes! Tell your friends about it. Rate the recipe and share your thoughts and questions in the comments below. Your voice helps develop how POP KITCHEN moves forward, and your recommendation helps POP KITCHEN grow. Use the hashtag #popkitchen when you post photos of recipes you’ve made to your Instagram and tag @pop_kitch. I’ll share my favorite photos on POP KITCHEN’s account. Like POP KITCHEN on Facebook and follow along with all the recipes from other bloggers I love on Pinterest!
- 14 oz/414 ml can of full fat coconut milk
- ½ tsp (3 pods) ground cardamom (substitute cinnamon if you can't find or don't want to buy cardamom)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract or 1 inch of a vanilla bean, cut in half, the insides scraped out with a knife
- 1 tsp rose water (you can typically find rose water in the middle eastern section of the grocery store. You can also find it at health food stores. It is inexpensive and has a long shelf life. If you have a hard time finding it you can also use orange blossom water or almond extract)
- 1½ Tbsp honey or maple syrup if vegan
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1-1.5 lbs fingerling potatoes (or other small potatoes) cut in half on a diagonal
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup store bought hummus, original flavor
- zest of half a lemon
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped mint
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup raw almonds
- Portobello mushrooms(if using) 2 per person, stems removed
- 1 lb/453 g tilapia fillets (about 2 large) farmed in the U.S. or Canada in closed tanks. You can also use rainbow trout, arctic char, salmon, or Atlantic cod.
- 1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed off about 1½ inches (I leave the rubber bands on my asparagus and just chop the bottom the whole bunch off in one clean chop to save time.)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded with a cheese grater
- 10 dates, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of sea salt
- ¼ cup toasted, chopped walnuts or walnut pieces
- 2 oz goat cheese (skip if vegan)
- 2 heads of Belgium Endive
- Chef's knife
- Cutting board
- 2 baking sheets
- Measuring spoons
- 1 medium mixing bowl
- 1 small mixing bowl
- Vegetable peeler
- Cheese or Box grater
- 4 small serving glasses or ramekins
- Parchment paper or tin foil
- Food processor (optional)
- Turn on your oven for 450 F/230 C/8 gas. Put on the album "No Shape" by Perfume Genius. Pour yourself a glass of white wine or Pamplemousse flavored La Croix. Make sure you have a good chopping knife. A serrated steak knife is not going to do the trick. You want a heavy, sharp, straight edged chef's knife.
- POTS DE CRÈME: In a medium size bowl, whisk together all the pots de crème ingredients except the chia seeds (coconut milk, cardamom, vanilla, rose water, honey, and salt). Taste the coconut milk mixture. Is it sweet enough for you? If not, add a bit more honey or maple syrup. I was modest on the rose water for this recipe. If you want a stronger rose flavor, add another ½-1 tsp of rose water. Stir in the chia seeds and place the bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes (set a timer). Continue on with the next step, preparing the potatoes.
- After 30 minutes, give the crème a good stir and divide it among 4 small, glass dishes such as rocks glasses or ramekins. Set the pots de crème in the fridge until ready to serve. You can also do this the night before, in which case you will want to cover the pots de crème in saran wrap.
- ROASTED POTATOES: On a baking sheet, (if you have parchment paper, you can use it here but it's not necessary) toss together the halved potatoes, lemon zest, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Do it with your hands people. This ensures everything is coated evenly and you have less dishes to wash.
- Place the potatoes so that the cut side is facing down (see photo above). Wait until 30 minutes before you serve your main dish to put these in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes without flipping them. If you find the potatoes are sticking a little, allow the pan to cool for 5 minutes before moving the potatoes.
- ALMOND CRUSTED FISH OR PORTOBELLOS: Chop the almonds with a knife or place in a food processor until the almonds are a course meal.
- In a small bowl combine the hummus with the lemon zest, spices, salt, and chopped herbs. You can use a food processor here too and place the hummus and herbs together unchopped and process until nice and green. This will save you time chopping but add to clean up. I chopped everything with a knife.
- Place the tilapia or mushrooms (tops facing down) on a parchment paper or foil lined baking sheet. Season with salt and then evenly distribute the hummus mixture over the fish or into the inside of the portobellos using a spoon to smooth it out, covering the entire fish or filling the mushroom caps to the brim. Sprinkle the chopped almonds over top so all of the hummus is covered (see photo above).
- Toss the asparagus with 1 tsp of oil and a pinch of salt and place it on the baking sheet with the fish or mushrooms.
- Wait to put the fish or mushrooms in the oven until 15 minutes before serving the main course. Bake the the fish for 10 minutes or until the almonds have turned lightly golden. Bake the mushrooms for 15 minutes (it's ok for the asparagus to cook an extra 5 minutes, but you can take the asparagus off the pan after 10 minutes if you would like to).
- CARROT AND DATE ENDIVE BOATS: This portion of the meal you can make after everything else is prepped. This will take you 5-10 minutes to throw together, depending on your skill level. Make this 20 minutes before you're ready to serve your main course and then serve immediately, allowing your guests to munch while your fish and/or mushrooms finish cooking.
- Toss the shredded carrots and dates together in a medium sized bowl with the olive oil, salt, and lemon juice. Peel of the leaves from your endive, discarding any leaves that look less than presentable. You want about 10 large endive leaves. Divide the carrot salad amongest the 10 leaves, filling the inside until decently full. Top with crumbled goat cheese (if using) and crumbled walnuts.
- SERVING FISH OR MUSHROOMS: Place the fish and/or mushrooms on a platter along with the roasted potatoes and asparagus. Garnish with lemon wedges and chopped parsley
- SERVING POTS DE CRÈME: The pots de crème will be ready to serve after you've eaten the first 2 courses. Top the pots de crème with fresh fruit, chopped nuts such as pistachios, a fresh mint leaf, shaved chocolate, shredded coconut, dried rose petals. or whatever you have around the house that is pretty, sweet, and your mom likes.