Who knew cooking could be so dangerous?!?
When I get an idea for a new post, I generally start working out what I am going to write in my head as I am running around doing my usual crazy things. Today I had planned out a whole post about the new cooking and the changes and challenges I have run into. I was going to talk about using the tools available to you to make the prep work easier!
Then my cuisinart blew up. YES. IT BLEW UP! Explosion sound, tons of billowing smoke, horrible stench of burning motors, a cool calm and collected (ok, fine a frantic) Tara screaming for Curtis (hey, he’s a retired firefighter! Clearly this is his dept) …. the works. While I was using it! It is currently sitting outside in the cold so it can’t burn down my kitchen.
So while I am STILL going to talk about all of my original ideas, clearly the challenges part of this story has gotten a little more interesting!!!
OK, so I started this post three days ago. Clearly the loss of the cuisinart has thrown me into a black hole where time and space no longer exist! Actually, I just had a busy weekend of pulling recipes, menu planning and grocery shopping… (and threw in some fun stuff too!!!)
So here we are a full week in to the clean eating and so far, it’s going really well (other than the exploding kitchen devices…). As I was saying, there were some challenges. Mostly with the learning curve involved in using new foods and textures that I am not used to. Curtis is a HUGE fan of this new lifestyle. I have to admit, I have been cranking out some insanely delicious dinners. Even the boys are all over most of them. It really is amazing how much flavor there is in the food when you are blending all these natural, real flavors together!
I am working on having my very handsome computer guy install a (theme? plug in? what the heck did he call it?!?) a box on the home page where I can post what was on the menu with the recipe for that day. In the meantime check the recipe section for some of the goodies we have tried and loved.
Since starting a big change like this can be completely overwhelming, it makes a lot of sense that everyone out there recommends a gradual change. Start with cutting out corn syrup, switch to 100% whole grains, etc. As we already established, that’s not how we do things here. Patience has never been high on my list of strengths…. 🙂 So trying to keep on top of everything without totally losing my mind has forced me to come up with a few systems.
And I will share them with you! 🙂
I start by planning out the dinner menu for the week. Basically I have been saving recipes from places like pinterest, friends, and other clean eating websites, most of which I have listed on the home screen. The easiest way for me to track them is by sending myself an email. The subject line has the name of the food “Strawberry Mango Salsa” then in the body of the message I copy and paste at a minimum the ingredient list, but usually include the recipe in it’s entirety. I also copy the link where I found it. Sunday morning I scroll through there, and pick out what I want to make for the week and use this list to write out the shopping list, and the “make ahead” action items, ie if I need to make a marinade, or tortillas.
Once I have made the recipe, if I have made any changes to the original, I just forward myself the email, with my changes typed in. Super easy, AND if I find myself at the store without my grocery list (which happens ALL THE TIME) the ingredients are listed right in my emails which I can access from my phone!
Having the week planned in advance has been a huge help and there are so many recipes out there that I want to try that it’s been a lot of fun to plan them out. There are, of course, ways to make it even easier. Many sites, offer a full week menu and even give you a shopping list, like the one found here at 100 Days of Real Food. I have a friend following that plan and she really likes it.
I found this great post on Green Plate Rule, it is a fantastic article about how to prep for a week of clean eating in a fast, and organized manner. She also has great ideas for prepping lunches for workdays and school days. (I LOVE the mason jar salads…)
Getting back to my original idea for this post… use your kitchen tools and gadgets!!! I have a ton of kitchen “stuff”, it’s something I get from my mom. When we were little my brother and I used to literally form a human barricade in front of Williams Sonoma when we were at the mall with my mom. Once she got through the door, there was no getting her back out! The ridiculous thing is that even though I have all of these fantastic devices, I don’t use them! I always think, “eh that’ll be a pain to clean, I can just use this butter knife and cut the fruit while cupping it in the palm of my hand… than I don’t have to put the cutting board into the dishwasher!” (I never said I wasn’t ridiculous…)
Well, I have started using all of the tools at my disposal in the kitchen, and guess what… they make the cooking and prep work SO MUCH EASIER!!! Go Figure! While there are definitely a lot of dishes…
the clean up really isn’t as bad as I would have thought. Plus Curtis does the dishes that are left after we eat. (I do try to clean as I cook and prep, so it’s not TOO terrible…) Plus it always helps to have a good looking assistant:
So those are the basics… I’ll keep you updated as I find new tricks. I’m off to enjoy some blueberry banana pancakes! (Whole wheat of course!!) Have a great day and watch out for exploding food processors…. you never know when they will appear!