Sometimes life gets busy. Most times actually. Between Ohio weather, kids sports and puppy school, I didn’t make a grocery list….. The fact that the travelers bug has once again bitten me doesn’t help. It’s true, every spring I start madly planning adventures and I’ve got TimeHop to prove it. So, those are my excuses as to why a list didn’t get prepared. However, I won’t allow those valid and not so valid excuses to get in the way of eating real food. Let me show you what I came up with while in the grocery store.
Eating real food doesn’t mean that everything must be homemade. Sometimes it means checking the labels of a different company. Sometimes it means organic. Sometimes, it means coming up with an alternative meal.
Let’s start with what menu I came up with on the fly.
Picture this- Alright, I’m on the run, no time to look up recipes, gotta make it up as I go or piece things together in the store.
Pizza- Always a hit and easy. I almost always have the ingredients, as a staple, at home for a homemade pizza crust that you can find here. I just needed sauce and some cheese. Opting for blocked cheese since it doesn’t contain anti clumping ingredients.
Stuffed peppers- The recipe I use calls for sausage. Every single package I grabbed had something that I didn’t want weather is was MSG, BHT, BHA, or Potassium Lactate. I had given up on being able to have stuffed peppers until I hit the section in Meijer that has some beef alternatives near the hot-dogs. I usually grab Bob Evans Original Sausage but was thrilled to find Bob Evans Naturally. Why it wasn’t with all the other sausage is beyond me. Look at this real ingredient list!
Corned Beef and Cabbage- Saint Patty’s Day is right around the corner so that’s a given! The spice packet has some questionable ingredients added so you can make your own or opt out of using the packet all together.
Beef Stew- Beef, Carrots, Potatoes, Celery, Onion, beef broth... Bam. Nuff said I’ll likely throw together some homemade corn bread too.
Bacon wrapped Mini Meatloafs- Glorious bacon. I had bacon at home so thought, can’t let the bacon go to waste! This recipe is fantastic from Self Proclaimed Foodie Blog. Rather than onion I crumble bacon to top the meatloafs. Real shocker, huh? Check your store for different options of Worcestershire sauce. I found this all natural gem by Lea & Perrins.
BBQ Pork Ribs- I’ll be making this sauce from the Creme de la Crumb blog. Toss together a salad and some steak fries, you’ve got a meal!
I did it! I made up an entire real food dinner menu while shopping WITH a toddler.
Now that you see what my cart had in it. Let me point out a few things that you’ll be surprised to learn are actually real!
First of all, did you know that Sharp Cheddar cheese adds annatto for color? Quick history, it comes from a plant and is used to color many foods and some skin care products to be a dark yellow/orange color. Because you know, us consumers won't buy things unless they're pretty..... Anyways, google side effects of annatto and you can decide for yourself if you don't mind this in or food or if you want to nix it. I was thrilled to find this cheese. My focus is not on organic food. My focus is real food. Sometimes they happen to meet:)
Now onto the Hershey chocolate bars. They aren't that bad! Unless you are avoiding soy. Which we're not. It grows in the fields behind us so that practically makes us neighbors.
Pretzels. I'm having a hard time giving up pretzels. They aren't completely horrible. However, they are enriched... meaning vitamins and nutrients are added back into it. Otherwise the rest is used for leavening. I'm not really sure how to feel about what's in pretzels. I bet I could do better. Surely there is a better pretzels option. Anyone have something they love?
Today, I'll leave you all with that. That was my whirlwind of a shopping trip! Eating real food doesn't have to take a lot of time and prep!
- Stock up on produce for snacks and leave it out in the open in your kitchen.
- Check the labels! Salsa is a good example. A lot of salsas have preservatives and even added color. A lot of them have just the good veggies and seasonings too. I find luck with Newman's Own products.
- Crackers can still be real! I buy Triscuit crackers in the original. They have 3 wonderful ingredients, whole grain wheat, vegetable oil and salt.
- Don't forget to buy a few things that you love even if that means breaking the real food rules a little... eh hem...Ice Cream...
This is my Real Food Adventure. Happy adventuring friends!