Try a new recipe or dish.
This week's challenge is simple - try a new recipe. There are many, many recipes listed under the recipe box tab that you can try which use only healthy real food ingredients. Have you tried one yet?
If you have not been cooking and baking from scratch without using any of the items on the 'foods to avoid' list, I recommend that you try one of the recipes I've provided. Typically the recipes you will find elsewhere will require some modification, such as replacing the sugar, substituting a better fat, using a whole grain or eliminating a canned soup, etc.
Remember to buy quality ingredients and pick a new recipe that you think you (and your family) will enjoy. If you don't have much experience cooking from scratch, this may sound like a difficult task, but all it takes is a bit of practice. So this week, I want you to practice.
I have not always known how to cook and bake. If fact, when I first met my husband, he had me over for dinner. He fixed a very nice dinner with a meat, two sides and a dessert. I was very impressed and thought that I should probably have him over for dinner next. This presented a dilemma for me though. My 'cooking' dinner at this point in my life consisted of air popping some popcorn and dishing a bowl of ice cream. Making a sandwich was too involved for me at this time. I had never made a dinner by myself ever before in my life and had never had anyone 'over' for dinner'.
I had purchased a small house a year after graduating from college and had lived there for about a year at this point. In the year that I had lived in my house, I had used the stove top a few times but I had NEVER used the oven in my new house. It had never been turned on! I decided I would fix something really special for this new special guy in my life - I would make nachos from scratch. I used refried beans from a can, salsa and grated cheese on corn tortilla chips and baked them in the oven. Wow - I was SO impressed with myself.
Fred came to my house, we enjoyed the nachos, and then after talking for a bit, Fred politely asked, "Those nachos were a great appetizer, what is for dinner?" I'm sure my mouth dropped open wide and I was ready to crawl under the table when I explained that the nachos WERE dinner. Fred graciously then told me how delicious the nachos had been and asked if he might take me out to enjoy a 'second' dinner that evening. He must have been impressed with the fact that I had tried because he did marry me and looking back we laugh about my 'first dinner' I prepared for him.
I hope you can see from my background that anyone is capable of learning to cook from scratch, efficiently planning and preparing their meals, going 100%, and eating a diet of real food made by God! If I could do it; I know you can do it!
Perhaps because of my background, when I was focusing on a career and not spending anytime in the kitchen preparing meals, I still look for easy, simple things to make. When cooking three meals a day from scratch, and doing lots of other things in life, I need to have simple, yet delicious recipes and dishes. Check out those I've already posted and I have still more that I will be sharing with you.
Recipes ideas are everywhere. You can look in cookbooks or in a magazine or on-line for new recipe ideas. I love trying new recipes. However, most recipes need modification to eliminate processed ingredients. Thus I suggest you start with a new recipe that will require no modification until you are comfortable regularly following a recipe and making dishes from scratch.
I tried (and modified a bit) two new recipes from Julie , a chicken salad and chocolate cupcakes, shown in the photo above. I love to modify recipes and try new things. The chicken salad shown in the front of the photo above turned out fabulous.
Besides gaining experience in the kitchen trying out a new recipe, it is a great motivator to try another and another, after you have created a wonderful, new tasty creation. Remember it does not have to be complex, especially if you are just starting out. Besides the chicken salad and cupcakes, I also made a fresh fruit salad. This is one of our staples in the summer, incredibly delicious and refreshing, and easy. I like to start with watermelon and cantaloupe, filling the bowl about half way with watermelon. I then add half a large cantaloupe, and other fruits that I have found in season at the store. The fresh fruit salad shown in the photo contained watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries and green grapes. While I buy local watermelon and cantaloupe that are not organic, I only purchase organic berries and grapes. Be sure to consult the list of produce to buy organic and don't eat the dirty dozen items unless organic.
Have fun, have fun, have fun. Delight in your food and be joyful and grateful. That is the key to success! God bless you in your efforts.
"The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands." Deuteronomy 28:12