Thursday, February 23, 2012

Feeding my Family

Recently, I found myself staring at my open fridge, as I usually do, trying to find some inspiration for dinner that night. Do I want spaghetti...or something quick, like pizza? This is what my diet has become. *Please note: When I say "diet" anywhere in this post or blog, I'm referring to my food choices as a whole, not some calorie-restricting health kick, or something* Anyways, back to the debacle that is my culinary repertoire. When I wanted something "healthy" I went for a frozen chicken breast with rice-a-roni. Yeah, I'm not ignorant, I know how bad that is. But compared to what I usually made, that is healthy. I had gotten lazy about my eating habits. So there I was, staring at the fridge and I thought, "This is pathetic. I don't have any fresh produce. My pantry is filled with preservatives and corn syrup. How the heck am I supposed to be this shining example for my daughter and husband (whom I frequently pester about eating right) when I can't even make one single meal that is actually GOOD for you? 

Challenge Accepted. 

My first attempt at "healthy" was a lighter take on chicken enchiladas. I used whole wheat tortillas, shredded chicken, salsa with low-fat ricotta as the sauce, I added brown rice, zucchini, onions, and corn. I topped it off with a sprinkle of shredded cheese.  

Tasted pretty good.
 Overall, it wasn't a totally healthy meal, but at least I got some veggies in there and cut out a lot of the cheese that normally would have smothered it to death. Added bonus: my husband actually enjoyed them. This is a crowning achievement in the Johnson household, since he is the pickiest eater I have ever known. He says he "hates Mexican food"...the dude is half-Mexican. Explain that. 

Guy enjoying some healthy tofu tacos I made!
I surfed some health blogs, watched some documentaries, the most noteworthy being "Forks Over Knives". I didn't love it for it's scientific accuracy (kinda dubious) but more for its overall message that a diet of whole, unprocessed plant foods can bring remarkable health improvements if you are used to eating a high-crap diet. That's something you can really take to heart. (for more info on this stuff see this woman's website. Kinda densely worded, but s'good information.) 
So, I decided I was going to bring out the big guns. I'm talking about a mostly plant-based diet. What does that mean, you ask? Well, instead of designing my meals around the animal protein, I am designing them to pack as much goodness in as possible, by way of plants. I'm not reaching for the ground beef, I'm grabbing the crumbled organic tofu. I'm not buying any more animal protein. I'm spending my grocery budget on the freshest organic produce I can find, protein-rich legumes, and getting creative with it. 

New staples.

I'm also omitting cooking oils. I start my sauteing with a bit of water in the pan, adding onion first to draw out their liquid and cook with that. It's amazing how effective this method is. The vegetables turn out crisp, flavorful, and cooked just right. No added oils required. 

Tofu Taco filling. 

 My new menu for this week: 
Tofu Tacos
Whole wheat penne with tomato sauce (had some leftover lean beef) and spinach salad Vegetable stir fry
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Vegan Chili and Vegan Cornbread
Veggie burgers on a whole wheat bun with Sweet Potato Fries

It's only been a few days, so the jury is still out on how long this will last, but I'm hoping it sticks. I'm not letting the 1973 corn subsidy bill influence my food anymore. 

My very supportive husband is pretty much traumatized every night with all the new flavors he is being subjected to...but he eats it all. Gotta love him for that. 

I will be sure to update you all on how it pans out. Please offer us some encouragement! 

1 comment:

  1. we're trying to eat healthier too! the girls are forcing it on our men, they're probably not as willing as Guy is, but they try. We decided to start this trend when we realized we were spending more money on eating out in a week than we were on gas getting to work. *sigh* Hopefully we can keep it up! GOOD LUCK!!