Welcome to Week 7!
Last week we were in the process of looking at refined oils and what they can do to our bodies. The cheaper the oil, the worse it is for you basically. The Wesson vegetable oils, the Canola oils are so processed and refined that not only do they strip the flavor out of the oil, but they also leave you with a product that is downright dangerous to you.
It is a cheap mass produced product. I hope you were able to at least graduate to the olive oil level if you were using vegetable oils. It will take some time and some experimenting to find ones that suit your tastes and lifestyle.
The new olive oil store I found in my downtown area has such superior oils and the flavors are so robust at times it can be too much for some recipes. There are certain oils for certain things I’m finding out.
I just used my ‘everyday’ olive oil in my hamburgers last week and it KNOCKED them out of the park! But it isn’t the same oil I would use to put in a salad dressing.
So …. experiment, there are so many wonderful flavors to try.
This week’s Challenge is going to kick it up a notch. We are in Week 7 now and you should be finding yourself more aware of what you WERE eating and are now finding your way into unchartered, unprocessed territory. I’m hoping by now most of the processed foods are leaving your house and you are left in a kind of ‘what do we eat?’ spot?
That’s good. We were there too!
It’s an uncomfortable spot for a little bit because we are so used to opening the pantry and having something jump out, usually bagged or boxed, processed and high in carbs, sodium, fat and dozens of unpronounceable words. But now it’s requiring a little more effort to put things together and make a snack or a meal. But that’s ok.
This Weeks Challenge is to:
Make all dinners this week
I can already see your face deflating. This isn’t hard and you ARE up to the challenge. You CAN do this. This means:
- boxed macaroni and cheese
- boxed rices or pastas
- premade crescent rolls or breads
- frozen foods of any kind (including chicken nuggets)
- fast food, fried foods or carry out foods
YOU CAN USE:
- fresh meats, seafood, poultry, pasta, pork
- potatoes, brown rice, or any other starch
- all vegetables
- oil and butter, wines, sauces
Basically you can use REAL FOOD. The idea behind this is to get you to think beyond fast food, take out or what’s in your freezer when you are planning that nights meal.
The key is to plan ahead.
I find early Saturday or Sunday mornings when it’s quiet to be a great time to hit Pinterest and find some great recipes (or Happily Unprocessed if you’re not me!) I start by making a meal plan for the week. And then a grocery list supporting those items you need.
For us, I usually always make a big Sunday dinner that provides some sort of leftovers for the week like a big roasted chicken.
Then, not only do I have left over chicken to play with but I can make TONS of chicken broth which then turns into a soup or it gets frozen to use another time.
Another favorite of ours deep into the winter months is this Butternut Squash Lasagna. It surprisingly has become one of our all time favorites!
And Saturdays I like to consider Leftover Day! The purpose is to clean out the fridge and use up any fresh produce or veggies we haven’t used yet. It’s a great way to reduce waste and get ready for the next week.
Here are some ideas to get you started that are easy and under 30-40 minutes to make:
Tomato Basil Chicken – very few ingredients but packed with flavor
You can find all of these recipes, and more, under the dinner section.
If you feel under the gun and don’t know what to make or don’t feel like cooking, then just make some grilled cheese sandwiches on whole wheat bread and soup or have breakfast for dinner, a big salad with soup.
But the key is to PLAN for it. It doesn’t even have to match. We have had hodge podge dinners where we all ate something different. The key is it’s REAL FOOD.
You don’t have to hit speed dial for the pizza guy. Relax and have fun with it!