Monday, October 29, 2012

October (Unprocessed) is Winding Down

This is a post I have started so many times over the last month. Marc and Marie's wedding plans, painting and getting ready for special company and the wedding festivities have kept me going too many directions to sit down long enough to post a recipe.

The October Unprocessed Challenge has surprisingly been well timed. If you haven't checked it out yet, go spend a few minutes on the site and click through some articles. I've been challenged to rethink a lot of my "healthy" choices this month. It's actually made eating more simple during all the busy here and it's helped me lose a couple of pounds. We don't own a scale so all I know is my clothes are more comfortable. I love the fact that my stomach feels better, too and I think I've pin pointed a couple of foods that had been causing some digestive distress. It's been a win-win for me.

So how can it be easier eating less unprocessed food? Keep it simple. Real food doesn't have to be complex and time consuming. Take the salad on the right. It's a creation Chris and I came up with a couple of weeks ago. He has a couple of favorite spots he's been enjoying near the office he's been working with lately. One is a tabbouleh from a great Middle Eastern restaurant and the other is a super food type greens salad at the Whole Foods nearby.  We've made it a couple of times now and each time was a little different.  Our base was a ton of chopped parsley and cilantro. We chopped onions and carrots, yellow beets, jalapenos and garlic into the bowl. We've dressed it with a lime vinaigrette and a lemon version. I think we like the lime  version best. With two chopping it takes less than fifteen minutes to make.

We served it with this soup a few times this month. It's the easiest homemade soup I've created so far. Onions, garlic and fresh ginger saute with spices and simmer in water (no stock needed) until tender. I usually puree the mixture at this point with an immersion blender to give it a creamy texture. Then a pound of red lentils go in with a pound of sliced mushrooms. I season it to taste when the lentils are cooked through and serve it with lots of chopped cilantro.

The wonderful dosas on the plate were a bit of good timing. Martin had a wine tasting dinner at Martin's Curry Rice and was making an enormous batch of neer dosas for the event. I was able to purchase a nice big bag of them to serve during the week. Simple and natural ingredients made it a perfect bread during the challenge.  I hope Martin makes these special dosas more often as they are incredible.

Treats aren't completely out. They just need to be the right treats. Like these macaroon muffins made with coconut flour, coconut oil, shredded coconut with a little natural sugar and Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips.

I can't decide positively if the chips pass the kitchen test or are a deliberate exception but I do know I love these muffins. I also love the concept of deliberate exceptions. There's no cheating with this meal plan. If you decide to eat something that doesn't pass the test you are making a mindful decision to make an exception. I think the few ingredients on the Enjoy Life bag work for me.

Next week when the wedding is over and I've posted a million sweet pics of M&M to facebook I will start posting again with this muffin.

My bff Olive Grace told me these were not muffins, but rather cupcakes. "The best cupcake" in fact. Everyone should have a two year old bff who says such sweet things about your baking!

Oatmeal was breakfast several mornings but sometimes a slice of really good cheese on a warm corn tortilla and a couple of carrots sounded good.  One old favorite I made this month was Spabettie's amazing spinach pancakes - make a stack one afternoon and they make a pretty quick breakfast and a wonderful base to pour curried lentils over. Bean and rice dishes are always a hit here and we had plenty of those, too. It really wasn't hard at all.

For now these are just some brief and random thoughts on how October Unprocessed has changed the way I've thought about food just a wee bit more. I can't encourage you enough to head over and do a little reading as I will be doing again once life settle down a bit.

Until after the wedding. . . .


gabbyfek said...

yaaaaaaaaaaaaay wedding.
and your bff and the rest of us love you so much!!!!!!

Laura said...

That is so great how the timing of the Oct Challenge made you focus on something OTHER than the prep and details of the wedding; your son moving out and all that comes along with that bite. I believe your healthy food choices are also allowing your body to positively respond to the extra stresses in contrast to eating on the fly and possibly getting sick in the midst of it all. Neat.
Aren't tiny sized bff's the best? They speak real don't they? One of mine said "I love you" and I asked "why do you love me?" she thought about it and said in a sweet voice staring at me, "because I can." :)
See you soon! Keep smiling and ENJOY it all!

chacha said...

Gab, I am so blessed by my Feks!!!!!

Laura, you are right on target. I am sure keeping sugar and junk down is keeping my immune system up. Now to remember this over the holidays so I don't sugar up and then end up with a bug in January! It has been a blessing.

I LOVE your bff's comment. Gab's littles are the sweetest and keep me smiling.


gabbyfek said...

uhhhhhhhhhh i just came here and saw the tamales.

chacha said...

Wish we would have made a big batch before the wedding crunch because we could be eating them piled high with guacamole and salsa now!