Ok, it’s getting down to the wire here. All weekend, I have been trying to get rid of all of the processed foods in my kitchen, and working on a meal plan that will make the next 31 days go by a little easier … and I’ve discovered a little bit about my eating habits already.
For one, I eat a lot healthier than I assumed I did. Bar the occasional box of cookies that I am sure someone brought to my house and left behind, the vast majority of “processed” food I have is simply convenience food: pre-made, frozen meatballs and sausage (they’re just easier to toss into a pot of sauce or soup), frozen shrimp (probably not very processed, but I think they are injected with water and probably other preservatives), premade salad dressing (honestly, I don’t even know why I have this; my own dressing is unprocessed and superior in every way to this), and pasta sauce from a can (who has time to make sauce?) and condiments of every kind.
This weekend, I used up my premade salad dressing, frozen shrimp and Parmesan cheese for a Big-Ass Salad …
… and used the sausage and meatballs, plus canned pasta sauce and more of that processed parmesan from a can, over some spaghetti squash. Awesome!
Secondly, as far as condiments, I think I have that covered. I have made my own ketchup (seriously, homemade curry ketchup is like the greatest thing in the world), my own mustard and relish, and my own habanero salsa. So I guess I am covered if I can find myself some unprocessed hot dogs (do those even exist?) and a big bag of unprocessed tortilla chips. I plan to make some more ketchup this week when I get my CSA box on Wednesday.
Thirdly … I am SO glad I signed up for a CSA box! I live in San Diego, so there are quite a few local farms, and most of them offer a version of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box from a local spot called Suzie’s Farm. It’s a good 45 minutes away from me, but I can pick up my box at the farmer’s market just two blocks away. 🙂
This week (well, on Wednesday), I will pick up my box, which this week, contains pea greens, kale, sweet potatoes, beans, tomatoes, summer squash, melon, and Blue Hubbard squash. Based on the good stuff I get this week (but won’t actually pick up til the day after the October Unprocessed Challenge starts), I have tentatively written out my menu for the next week.
Here is my plan for the next 7 days … a few pointers. I am a huge fan of the leftovers-for-lunch. I am a single girl and it’s beautiful and rare to find a good recipe that is worth cooking that is only for one person. Almost everything I cook has leftovers, and taking what’s left from dinner to work the next day allows me to be sure what I’m eating, and, more importantly, to not be tempted by the office lunches, packed with who-knows-what. I also don’t usually eat a very big or filling breakfast, so most of my breakys will be a piece of fruit, an acai bowl or a smoothie.
B: acai bowl
L: carrots & hummus
D: stir-fry veggies and rice
D: roast pork tenderloin/ carrot fries baked with chimichurri / green beans
D: spaghetti squash baked with kale/ salad of sunflower greens and pea greens
D: Autumn chuck roast and blue hubbard squash/ steamed green beans
B: banana and smoothie
D: tuna/lemon/garbanzo bean/ kale salad
B: acai bowl
D: sauerkraut/ bacon/ potato soup
B: acai bowl
D: stuffed baked sweet potato
What are your meal plans shaping up like for October? Please share!