Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Eating Healthily

One of my biggest goals with my family is to feed us healthy foods.  I know when I eat better, I feel better, and, as the female head of my home, I feel like the responsibility for most meals is mine.  I cringe when the "what's for dinner?" question comes my way and I'm not prepared:(  I'm working on getting an array of tasty, healthy meals in my cooking arsenal.

I spent a good part of the weekend researching past issues of Whole Living magazine and several cookbooks in an effort to find some NEW healthy recipes.  Whole Living featured a 3-week cleanse a few issues back, and while I'm not particularly interested in going that extreme, I wanted to try a few of the cleanse recipes because they featured food we don't normally eat, which contain loads of good-for-you ingredients.

I picked a couple recipes and came home with two bags full of groceries, mostly veggies.  

Also, since one of my favorite snacks is apples and peanut butter, I'm trying a natural peanut butter instead of my beloved low fat Jiffy.  I tasted the 365 version and it's good!  This is part of my effort at eating less processed food. (You can bet I'm not giving up my coffee and creamer though!) 

Some of my recipes called for things I'm not used to cooking with, like Tahini 

butternut squash (I went ahead and bought it already cut this time)


and these spices.

Also, since I really can't get James to eat veggies, I buy him these, which he calls JUICE, and he loves to drink. 

Some of you asked about my morning Greek yogurt (that I pair with granola when I'm not eating oatmeal), and Oikos honey is my favorite, even though I usually pour a little of the honey out so it's not too sweet.  It's got 13 grams of protein. 

The recipes I committed to trying this week are below.  I have to keep them listed on my fridge or I'll forget what I was going to make.  I might be losing my mind, or I'm the mother of a toddler, because I can't remember anything these days if I don't write it down.  Do you experience this?? 

And I just tore out the recipes from the magazine and stuck them on the fridge for easy reference this week. 

On Sunday, I made Orangette's Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce (this wasn't from the magazine, but a recipe I've been wanting to try).

You combine thinly cut carrots, radishes, and strips of baby bok choy.  

Chopping these fresh vegetables made me feel so good.  Look how pretty they are!  I'm having to switch my mindset that our dinner must include a meat, starch and vegetable (something I grew up with).  Now, I'm realizing that dinner can be just a hearty salad or soup.  Add some bread and it feels more substantial.  

Make a peanut sauce: 

½ cup well-stirred natural peanut butter, such as Adams 100% Natural Creamy
1 ½ tsp. soy sauce
¼ tsp. pressed garlic (about 1 small clove)
½ cup fresh lime juice
½ tsp. sriracha or a similar hot sauce, or more to taste
½ tsp. chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek, or more to taste
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. water

Boil your noodles for 6-8 minutes, then rinse them in water. 

Add the cooked noodles to the peanut sauce.

Then combine the veggies.

I topped ours with salt and sesame seeds.  

I thought it was pretty good, but I actually like my jarred peanut sauce better- but perhaps I didn't get the sauce right, hers looked more "saucy" than mine!  My jarred peanut sauce (Bangkok Padang) was at work because I use it on my grilled chicken salads.  A lot of times for lunch at work, I take grilled chicken tenders and a bag of pre-washed lettuce and top with my peanut sauce and nuts. 

We'll see how the rest of the week goes. 

 If you have any healthy recipes, websites, or cookbooks you like, I'd love to hear.