Monday, June 21, 2010

'Clean' baking

Today I spent much of my time avoiding the phone (I got two calls from work within an hour of eachother, and since have ignore the phone ringing three times as we don't have call display).

When I wasn't avoiding the phone I was in the kitchen. Today I decided I would tackle re-organizing my new pantry supplies on a shoestring (actually non existent budget, as all of the shoe string got tied up in the supplies).

For those of you who don't know I am an avid collector of recipe books, only one of which is 'clean'. So I did some shuffling around of the stuff on our shelves in our dining area off of the kitchen and put many of my old faithfuls in an inconvenient spot. Not that it would matter, I don't remember the last time I cooked with a recipe ... or even cooked.

I then had a zillion bags of goodies from the local bulk store to find homes for. At first I thought I was going to have to go and buy containers but then I had a fantastic idea! When we moved from our house I (for some silly reason) kept two boxes of mason and jam jars that I used to use to can and jam with. I scurried through my closets and found the right amount of jars (with plenty left over might I add), washed them up and filled them with all of the different nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and cereals (oat, wheat, natural, who knew there were so many?!). They actually looked very pretty on my shelves.

I also went through my cupboards and organized my new kinds of sugar (liquid and powder), other flakes and flours and ended up feeling like I had a new kitchen! Although I was tired out and I hadn't even started the cooking I'd planned on.

I took a little break, had my second meal of the day (around 10 am) and gave my first try at making 'clean' granola. It went pretty well. I over cooked some of it that was around the edges but over all it wasn't too difficult at all and it takes alright. Definitely not the sweet kind I remember as a kid but full of dried fruits, nuts and seeds. I'm eager to try it with yogurt.

Next I decided to give a protein bar recipe a try (my first of 3). It contained almond butter (along with seeds and nuts and such as well). As I reread the recipe several times and checked on it after the designated amount of time, I noticed that it didn't 'set'. No fear, I thought, I would just put it in the freezer. Sure enough, after an hour it was all firmed up. I cut it into the proper number of bars, cut one in half and had it as the first half of my fourth meal of the day. It was actually not bad. Almost kind of rich. Almost. I packaged up the other 8 bars that would be meal substitutes as they held around 400 calories a piece, but good calories remember.

My final try at baking today were Morning Glory Muffins. Again, they were about the same amount of work as any other muffin made from scratch. I think I ended up putting in too much carrot as the batter was not as present as all of the other ingredients, and once again my picture didn't exactly match. I'll have to try one tomorrow for a snack.

In the middle of all of my baking trials I baked up two batches of chicken breasts for lunches as we were getting low. We always buy chicken breasts on sale for half price then bake and slice them up and put them in pre-portioned little ziploc bags and put them in the freezer. That way you can grab and go. Add them to a wrap, a salad or just eat them as is.

I also decided to hard boil some eggs as it's been forever since Wally and I have eaten them and it's such a great portable option.

Now tonight I plan on making us our first meal out of the cook book I think it's called chicken pic-something. I believe it's Mexican and not too difficult. I used to have a garlic press around here but can I find it? Seems to be an essential item for cooking from scratch. I always cheated and put in garlic powder, not anymore.

The any other item I want to do tonight in cut up some pitas I had in the freezer and bake them (with some EVOO and garlic sea salt mmmmmm). Then I have then ready for hummus or salsa.

Wow my productivity is almost annoying.

I think someone asked about the name of the book ... it's called 'The Eat Clean Cookbook' by Tosca Reno. I also purchased the newly revised 'Eat Clean Diet - Recharged' by her as well. Though it has the word diet it is not pushed as a 'diet' per se. More of changing ones diet permanently. I would love to eventually get the original 'Eat Clean Diet' as it has many more recipes.

The book I just bought (the second one mentioned of the three) has a lot of interesting information in it teaching you about nutrition. Not on how to cheat the system to lose weight. I've also been doing a lot of reading just to learn more about how my body works. Why sugar is so bad, and what my body does with protein, or what happens when I eat a late night snack. I feel like by learning how my body actually works I understand more how to make it feel better and I want to make it feel better.

I've been thinking lately about starting a health and fitness blog (I know the world definitely needs another blog). I like the idea of having a place where I can share what I'm learning in this area of my life AND keep accountable and learn from others too. However I also don't want to get all willy nilly with my writing either. I just know that there are so many little things I've learned in the past few months, so many myths dispelled, so many truths revealed. From what goes into my body, to what goes on with my body, to what my mind and emotions are going through. I know that I'm not the only one who struggles with fitness and self image issues. I believe I am in the process of changing my life (very slowly, with many setbacks but I am) and if I can change my life, I know anyone can. Hmmmm ...something else to think about I guess.

If you have thoughts on this please share. Is this something I should try or do you hear enough about this stuff?

I also had a thought on maybe trying to get a group together of people who are interested in 'eating clean' and just hang out once a month and eat a meal together of all 'clean' food. Each person would cook a different course and share their recipe with others. I find that for me trying this is SOOOOOOOOO out of my element. I've tried things in the past that just seemed impossible, but then I see people with food in tolerances and I think 'If I HAD to change I would, so what's stopping me now?' I think it would be far easier to try new things along with others. I don't know, maybe it's another possibility.

Well I've been lovin' the time to think and try out my new venture.

Hope you do too!

1 comment:

tessa said...

I heard about this place on Hwy 4 south just as you get to Talbotville, Oemega - a Turkey farm. I checked it out on the weekend and got tons of fresh turkey items, sausage, burgers, kabobs, medallions, meatballs and really quite inexpensive. The nutrition info is on the package and actually quite healthy. Thought you might want to check this out during your vacation.
I am very interested in clean eating, if only I could convince the two people I live with this is a good idea.