This is a super easy chocolate sauce that can be used to top homemade ice cream or a chocolate torte.
Archives for July 2010
It’s easy to make homemade whipped cream, which is great atop desserts, fruit, or waffles for a treat.
Well here we are on day 50 of our real food pledge – a milestone! I feel similar to when I was halfway through each of my pregnancies, which goes something like this… wow, we are already halfway done! And at the same time…wow, we are only halfway done? I would like to take this opportunity to remind those that don’t know me personally that only a little over six months ago not only was I clueless about what eating healthy truly meant, but I didn’t know the first thing about how to tell the difference between a processed and non-processed food. I was eating white bread from the grocery store, feeding my kids Kraft macaroni and cheese when we were short on time, stopping at fast food restaurants on road trips, and had never bought a single organic item in my life (well, at least not on purpose). That was all before I got the biggest wake up call ever from Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food.
Yesterday morning started off with my husband once again running out the door to go up to Winston-Salem for the day (for work). I don’t know why I am always so last minute about packing food for him, but his race suddenly became mine too. And in a moment like that I am incredibly thankful that my peanut butter and jelly making 5-year-old is finally big enough to help me out when it comes to making sandwiches! Pictured is one of the many PB&Js she has made for me recently and as you can see she takes her garnish cues from “Fancy Nancy”. I told her only 1 toothpick next time. In addition to the sandwiches we also packed him a sliced apple, Lara bars, a banana, raisins, water, and some nuts. On another note, I ended up hosting a very spontaneous “GNI” (girls night in) with some dear friends last night. We normally do the potluck thing, but I insisted that they instead let me treat them to a spread of real food appetizers.
This is a perfect dish for all of those fresh tomatoes and cobs of corn that are now in season. One word of caution though, freshly harvested corn does not have to be cooked long at all. I used to buy corn from the grocery store and boil it for 10 – 12 minutes, which seemed to be adequate. I totally ruined our first batch of local corn by overcooking it by a long shot. I only boiled the second batch for 3 minutes and it was still overdone! I guess the third time really is a charm because I finally decided to boil the corn for 1 short minute and it was perfect. So keep a close eye on that pot if you use fresh corn too. I also want to mention a little something about the beans in this recipe (or any recipe that calls for beans). I used to always buy canned beans and think nothing of it. Now that I am actually reading the ingredients I have realized the advantage of dried beans – no added salt! Isn’t it odd that a bag of dried beans has 0 mg of sodium, but a can of the very same beans would have hundreds of grams of sodium in it? I will be the first to tell you that it doesn’t always work out for me to remember to soak the beans the night before, so I like to have a back-up can on hand (since it is a whopping 99 cents extra) just in case I forget. I am happy to report though, I just learned that the Earth Fare brand of canned organic beans have incredibly low sodium (maybe only 15 mgs…but don’t quote me on that) so next time you are there stock up on […]
The other night I had a dream that my hair was suddenly thicker and longer than it has ever been before. And of course according to my subconscious it was all thanks to my healthy eating. I woke up disappointed to see that the reality of my hair was still the same, but I will say that we have noticed some other positive physical changes since starting our new diet. Before I dive into our list note that we began to experience the majority of these changes back in March when we first cut out 80 – 90% of processed foods. We do not believe that we (or anyone) has to be hard core about the rules 100% of the time to experience health benefits. We are only following these strict rules at the moment to draw attention to our little project in the hopes that we can convince people to take the 10-day pledge. The pledge provides others with the perspective they need to make at least a few positive changes for life. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here are the changes we have personally experienced so far…
Since we started our 100 Days of Real Food pledge eating at restaurants has become quite a challenge, but we have also learned a lot from the experience. Below are some tips and suggested meals if you also want to try to stick to whole foods while eating out. General Tips: Avoid bread items such as rolls, breadcrumbs, tortillas, pasta, breading, crusts, etc. Unfortunately even if something is called “whole-wheat” it is rare to find items that are truly only made with 100% whole-wheat (unless the restaurant can confirm the ingredients for you). If the waiter/chef doesn’t know (and can’t find out) the ingredients of an item then they probably don’t make it fresh in house which means it likely has all sorts of stuff (like sweeteners and preservatives) in it you don’t want or need. If they don’t know where the meat came from then I can guarantee it is not from anywhere special (like a grass-fed local farm). For children
Yesterday our trip was over and we flew back home to North Carolina. Before leaving for the airport I fed the girls an early lunch of PB&J (on bread I had brought from home), with grapes, and popcorn. Jason and I didn’t have time to eat so I packed the same lunch for us to bring along. Once we got to the Boston airport I couldn’t help but notice that the hot food coming from the “Legal Sea Foods” Restaurant smelled much better to me than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. So I ventured over to see if I could get a cup of chowder to-go instead. After quizzing the manager who got out their notebook of food ingredients we ruled out the chowder (which had non-local pork salt in it), and the lobster bisque (which had sugar in it), and finally settled on the pictured shrimp salad with goat cheese, red bell pepper and avocado (with no sugary dressing of course). It was pretty good especially for airport food.
Trying to eat out at restaurants has become somewhat of a joke. It is no longer about what menu items sound appetizing or might be in my price range…it is all about narrowing things down to the 1 or 2 items that we can eat. Last night my husband and I went on a little “date night”, and we chose a fairly nice French restaurant for dinner. It always seems that at first glance there appear to be quite a few things we can order off the menu, but once we sit down and take a closer look we have to keep narrowing things down further and further. This is some of our conversation at dinner last night…
These biscuits are simply a slightly altered version of the original whole-wheat biscuit recipe that I posted a few months ago. Instead of using regular milk you use buttermilk and also add some cheese. It is that simple. And delicious I might add. These biscuits also freeze very nicely in a big zip lock bag so you can pull them out one by one and defrost as needed.
Prior to arriving to my parents’ house I’d mentioned that I had little faith in my dad making it through his 10 Days of Real Food pledge during our visit. Well that was just too easy to predict. Not only did I doubt he had even read the rules prior to starting, but I never once saw him read the ingredients or ask questions before eating something. So on day 3 of his “attempt” to play along with us he announces “I am going to have to stop my 10 days because they have short ribs on the menu at the restaurant tonight and I really want them.” I don’t know if it bothers me more that my mom can’t even imagine trying to do the pledge with us or that my dad doesn’t at all take his attempt seriously. Regardless, we are continuing on day 41 of our journey with or without the support of my parents even while we are staying at their house. It is unfortunate that they didn’t want to gain anything from a first-hand and eye-opening experience of what it is like to seek out real food in our processed food world. On a lighter note, our children thankfully seem to be doing just fine with what I have been feeding them on our trip. I honestly don’t know if it is because I’ve been doing a good job of shielding them from the forbidden foods or if