Monday, November 5, 2012

Today was one of those hectic days.

As the dinner hour approached, I was secretly hoping hubby would suggest just grabbing something while we were out.

I was also wishing I had some boxed-easy-to-prepare-convenience food at home because I really was not in the mood to cook.  I really just wanted to sit on the couch.  I wanted to tell my family to just fend for themselves.

BUT, I made a commitment to myself and my family.  So I opened my fridge and stared....waiting.....waiting.....nothing jumped out at me.  Then I opened my freezer, again waiting for inspiration.....then I saw the box of salmon we bought from the Schwan's man last week!  Hooray!  Their wild-caught salmon filets are so good.  And very quick to prepare.

What to have with it????  Hmmmm, open pantry, stare at shelves.......quinoa is quick and easy to make!

As for veggies, well, we have plenty of those, thanks to our crop share.  I'd been wanting to cook the bok choy - this seemed like a great night for that.

I brought some chicken broth to a boil, added the quinoa and set the timer for 15 minutes.  Then I put the salmon in a skillet with some butter, lemon juice and freshly grated ginger.  Once the salmon was almost done, I threw the bok choy in the skillet to soften.

Timer went off, I stirred some almonds and cranberries into the quinoa for a pilaf and.......

dinner was served.

By keeping a few staple items on hand at all times, I was able to pull together a healthy, delicious meal in under 20 minutes.  

I always try to have a box of quinoa, fresh vegetables, fresh or frozen salmon/chicken/turkey, chicken broth (either homemade or store-bought), fresh ginger and lemons on hand.  For you, it could be any number of ingredients.  What is one favorite meal you know your family loves that is quick and easy to prepare?  If you always try to keep those ingredients available, it can help you avoid caving in to the temptation of processed food.  The world we live in is go, go, go.  Advertisers tell us we don't have time to cook and we should grab this box or that bag and our lives will be simpler.  Maybe.  In a way.  But if you've made your health a priority, you don't have to compromise on nights when you're rushed, too tired or have no idea what you're in the mood for. 

If I'd had a boxed meal kit or frozen pizza, would I have made one of those tonight?  Probably.  I've chosen not to keep those things in the house.  It causes me to challenge myself and stay focused on my commitment to help my husband and children learn to love whole foods.  Yes, I will still buy frozen pizza from time to time.  Tonight, I'm glad I made the choice to stay on our journey...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1st!  Already?! 

Well, October Unprocessed may be over, but here in our house, we're just getting started.

Hubby has lost over 10 lbs. - and he was only eating "unprocessed" at dinner!  The kids have tried so many new things.  I enjoy cooking again!

We are so not stopping now!!

How about Nourishing November?  Or, No Nasties November?  (I read that on another blog, but can't remember which one at the moment - sorry!)

Whatever we call it, we are still on our journey to natural nourishment.  That's it - Natural Nourishment November! 

But before I get going with November plans, I have to share what I made for dinner last night - Chocolate Brownie Waffles!  First, let me start with the story behind why I made that for dinner.  Yesterday morning, bright and early, my darling daughter went to the orthodontist.  She was scheduled to get her bottom braces, which she did.  However, on the way to drop her off at school, two of the newly applied brackets came off.  Sooooo, we turned around and headed back to the orthodontist.  They had to remove the wire, reapply the brackets and put the wire in again.  This caused my baby girl some serious discomfort.  I had packed her favorite spinach tortellini for lunch and she didn't eat any of them.  :( 

Well, one of her favorite dinners is breakfast dinner.  She loves waffles, scrambled eggs and bacon.  So I checked out some recipes on The Gracious Pantry and found this recipe for super yummy sounding waffles!

(I had to borrow her picture - since I did not take one.  And she takes amazing food photos.  Seriously.  You have to check out her website!)  The waffles are amazing!  I made a double batch and have some in the freezer for next week!  They are totally incredible with some all-fruit raspberry spread on them.  Woohoo! 

I thought these waffles would cheer up my sweet girl - and they'd be easy to eat if she cut them in small pieces.  I did get a weak smile out of her, but she still didn't eat much yesterday.  Poor thing.  I remember the days of indescribable mouth soreness from braces.  Not. Fun. 

She is feeling better today and she had two waffles for breakfast this morning.  <<smile>>

I made some salmon and brown rice for dinner so she wouldn't have to chew much.  I know.  I know.  I'm probably being too nice.  I just feel so bad for her.  She didn't even go trick-or-treating last night.  She stayed on the couch with a hot water bottle on her cheeks. 

As we were saying good night, I was telling her how the pain won't last and that I remember what it feels like - and she says to me "yeah, but you never had to get braces put on twice in, like, the same hour".  True that.