Monthly Archives: March 2013

Real Food Dinner Party

Jared and I had a couple over for dinner last night, and I thought I would share my “real food” menu. Everyone seemed to really like the meal– especially the dessert! Recipe links included.

Appetizer:

Homemade kale pesto (http://theglitterguide.com/2013/03/01/recipe-file-kale-pesto/) over cream cheese block, served with triscuits (Ak-Mak crackers would also be great).

Entree:

Braised short ribs (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/beef-short-ribs-recipe/index.html), creamy polenta (no recipe for this– just boiled half milk and half water to make the polenta and then added grated Parmesan), and lightly dressed greens (just whipped up a white wine lemon vinaigrette).

Dessert:

Whole wheat applesauce cake (http://www.eatliverun.com/whole-wheat-applesauce-loaf-cake/but I didn’t make the frosting) served with homemade caramel sauce (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/easy-caramel-sauce-recipe/index.html)

While this meal wasn’t exactly low fat, it was really delicious and made with all organic, real food ingredients. And most importantly, my guests and my husband liked everything!

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It’s Been a While…Lessons Learned

I started up this blog and real-food transition at the same time, but then I stopped blogging. Jared and I moved, I got really busy with work/friends/church and so I just stopped blogging period. But I didn’t stop eating real food! In fact, “eating real” has become so much a regular part of my life now that my first posts seem really funny to me. Since it has been 7 months since my last post, I thought I would share the lessons that I have learned while adopting a mostly organic, non-processed diet.

Lesson 1: I eat real food 100% of the time Monday – Friday. On the weekends, I’m much more relaxed.

I prepare all of my meals Monday – Friday at home with fresh, organic, non-processed ingredients. I eat breakfast at home, bring my lunch to work, and cook dinner every night (or heat up leftovers!). Friday¬† – Sunday, I like to go out. I love trying new restaurants, going to boozy brunches with girlfriends, and having a beer with friends. While I am still very conscious of what I put in my body on the weekends (it’s not like I adopt a cheese-its and coke diet), I’m also not crazy about whether the orange juice in my brunch mimosa has been freshly squeezed from organic oranges or the champagne was made with pesticide-free grapes (probably just wondering that makes me crazy enough). However, when I do eat out, I mostly eat vegetarian if I don’t know where the meat came from (although it is getting easier and easier to find hormone and antibiotic free meat at restaurants). Also, if we have a dinner out during the week (we eat dinner with a church group every other Wednesday night and occasionally attend work dinners), I just eat what is served and don’t fret about it too much. I’m also pretty relaxed on vacation. I try my best to eat real foods, but sometimes, you just have to be flexible.

Lesson 2: I joined a local, organic produce co-op and it has helped me a ton.

Every other week, I pick up 15 lbs. of fresh, local, organic produce. This has been amazing for me. I eat WAY more vegetables than I used to and have gotten to try some things that I have never heard of before (kohlrabi, daikon radishes, tatsoi, blue majesty potatoes). Eating lots of fruits and vegetables was definitely a goal of mine when I started this transition, and although this co-op is a little pricey, it is worth every penny if it gets me to eat more veggies!

Lesson 3: Speaking of price, this diet is a lot more expensive.

Originally I had said that I wasn’t going to break the bank by changing the way that I eat. Well, I haven’t “broken the bank” but food like this simply costs more, and I do now spend more on food now than I used to. But because of this, I am much better about not wasting food, and I do try to make at least one vegetarian meal a week (Jared doesn’t love this, but he manages). I’m just not a coupon person, and I don’t have the time to go around to various grocery stores and farmers markets and compare prices. But to me, this change is worth the extra cash.

Lesson 4: Sometimes, convenience wins.

While I would love to say that whip up a batch of fresh tortillas and granola and hummus every weekend, most of the time I don’t want to spend my whole weekend in the kitchen. But I have found items at Whole Food, Sprouts and Trader Joe’s that fit my criteria (including tortillas!). It’s all about reading labels, knowing brands and being consistent.

Lesson 5: My husband has been great, but there are some things he just won’t eat.

I am so happy with Jared for being open about trying my new recipes and for being such a good sport about this whole transition. But there are a few times I have taken it too far. The other night I made a collard green quesadilla (with fresh grated cheddar cheese on whole-wheat tortillas-yum!) and a side of roasted winter veggies, but it was just too weird for him. He was a trooper though, and just piled his with lots of sour cream and salsa. But he told me not to repeat that recipe (darn!). It is sometimes fun for me though to figure out what recipes he actually likes that he never in a million years would have had on his own (whole-spelt and kale lasagna roll ups are a good example!).

Anyways, I have a lot of recipes that I plan on uploading soon and more topics to cover. Stay tuned!