Making a menu for the week was pretty simple. I took what we normally eat and grabbed a new recipe off Pinterest. After many failed dinners, I promised my family that I would only try one new meal a week. I made no such promise about side dishes though ;) Okay, so new dinner item, new sides, and the norm. There are a few changes I made to ingredients that I already knew would be problematic. Such as going for plain greek yogurt instead of flavored varieties. However, if you want to follow along, start where you are! Nothing drastic :)
Next, I tossed my list on an excel sheet organized by department and I was ready to hit the store. I’ll share my list and menu at the bottom.
My daughter has always been curious about nutrition. Lately, nutrition has been a hot topic at school so I took her on this trip to show her the ropes. I taught her how to pick fresh produce and how to read labels. We talked about a healthy balance and bacon. Bacon is awful but taste like heaven, so momma eats it. Plus it comes from a pig, so it’s not taking away from what we’re trying to do. Justified. Then we drove home eating the candy we just bought. Seriously, cart full of healthy whole choices and we stuff our face with candy. I never claimed to be perfect…
But look how cute they are when you toss a book at em and shove a plate of cut up apples in their reach. If they’re hungry, they’ll eat it ;) P.S. It was crazy hat day at school, I swear.
-Our first Real Food Adventure Dinner-
The point of this adventure is to take what my family and I currently eat and adjust to foods closer to nature. Real foods. Not do a complete overhaul in one day and stop eating the way we do! So, I took a dinner that I make a few times a month. I call them Chicken Chips. It’s a recipe my father made up somewhere along the way, probably because of his love of Teriyaki. In a nut shell, you marinate chopped up chicken and assemble them onto tortilla chips that are topped with refried beans and a Jalapeño. Oh, and cheese! You add a little cheese on top! I tried a new side that I found on Pinterest, The Best Ever Fried Rice. http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/fried-rice-recipe/. And it did not disappoint. Definitely a crowd pleaser and will be added to my go to sides.
Delicious fried rice.
Here’s how it went. I chopped up my chicken and tossed it into the bowl. I grabbed my bottle of store made honey teriyaki sauce with sesame. Man, I wish I would have read the label in the store! The first ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup, sigh.
A few other odd ball ingredients included sodium benzoate, xanthan gum, hydrolyzed soy protein, and caramel color…. Most for preserving longer, some for making it look nice. But, this is why I’m taking on this adventure! That’s an item that can easily be made at home and probably cheaper!
Thanks to Pinterest I pulled up this fabulous recipe, http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/teriyaki-chicken/. I added my own toasted sesame to it. Much better than store bought! Next time I will double the batch and toss half into a jar for later use. I’m lucky that all of those ingredients are staples in my house.
Okay, another hurdle down, a bazillion to go! Baby steps.
While my chicken marinates I usually assemble the chips. This is when I discovered my sad can of refried beans. (Okay, I know, it’s less than 2 %. I suppose I can make occasional exceptions. Although I think I would rather make those exceptions when it comes to candy…The truly bothering ingredient is the Hydrogenated Lard. I’m okay with the Lard even. It’s that extra word in front that makes it extra potent and bad for your body. This time, we’ll eat it. Next, we’ll search for how to make our own refried beans. It can’t be hard!
Onto the next task, the chips. The chips are something that I’ve known about for a while. You will be pleased to learn that chips aren’t all that bad! We’re talking, corn, vegetable oil, and salt! Of course, anything out of balance isn’t good. I’m not planning to consume the whole bag…pretty much because chips aren’t my forte anyhow…Again, another reason this adventure is inspiring to me is because of my personal belief that if you’re eating whole foods, you shouldn’t have to worry about calorie counting. Back to dinner…
Top each chip with a Jalapeño and some shredded cheese, bake for 15 minutes and you’ve got yourself a dinner that you can proudly know what each or at least, most, ingredients are! I have found that bagged shredded cheeses contain more ingredients for freshness and anti-clumping. Therefore, I buy the blocked cheese with only two annoying ingredients, annatto for color and natamycin for mold inhibitor. Until I find another solution, this will do.
I cannot stress enough that this is a learning process. Please share your tips and tricks so we can learn from each other! Remember that this process doesn’t have to be all in all at once. If you’re only replacing a few things in each meal at a time, you’re still progressing! Do you children a huge favor and teach them how to grocery shop! Pull them into this adventure with you! They will thank you when they’re adults living on their own.
Chicken Chips Recipe
· 1 lb Chicken Breast cut into pieces
· 1 bottle Teriyaki Sauce (I used this)
· 1 can Refried Beans
· 4-8 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese
· Tortilla Chips
Save any leftover chicken to add to a salad for lunch :)