{Clean Eating} Where we are now

We started our clean eating journey last year, in July 2012.

It’s been almost a year since we changed how and what we eat!

So, almost a year into it, let’s have a reality check.  Have we eaten clean 100% of the time?  No way-but our diet is DRASTICALLY different than it used to be.

In fact, to keep it real, you must know that I had a serious addiction to girl scout cookies this year.  A clean eating fail?  Yes!  But, I ate through what I bought (which was a lot…..) and am back on the wagon.

Here is what our Clean Eating looks like these days

100% Whole Wheat bread, all the time.  Never any processed white flour, thank you.  This includes all bread-sandwich bread, naan bread, “french” bread.  I have yet to start making my own bread, so for now I stick with the Ezekiel brand.  You must read the label carefully to find true 100% whole wheat bread!

Brown Rice, 100% of the time.  I haven’t purchased white rice is almost a year!

We have been very successfully avoiding, for a year, food with artificial colors, or dyes.  Have my children had these things?  Yes, but at places like school parties, playgroups and grandparent’s house.  My children’s behavior is SO different now that we have cut all sources of artificial dyes.  For real, it’s way better!

TONS of fresh fruits and veggies.  I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more into our diet.  I can honestly say, a year into this, my taste buds and my children’s have changed.

Hormone free dairy and cheese.  We buy organic when possible, but even if organic isn’t in your budget, hormone free is!

I haven’t purchased white, refined sugar in almost a year.  It’s all coconut sugar over here.  I buy it in bulk from Amazon.  I’ve totally converted all my baking to using coconut sugar.  I can’t tell a difference anymore!

Organic, free range chicken is the about the only meat we eat, period.  My husband is vegetarian, and I just don’t buy red meat.  We eat chicken maybe once a week.  So, this really keeps my food bill down.

A few times this past year I have splurged and bought uncured, nitrate free bacon.  It. is. awesome.  It tastes better than cheap-o bacon to me.  It’s not cheap though!  So it’s a treat.

We continue to avoid anything that isn’t “real food”.  Nothing that is made in a factory, comes in a box, or is found in the freezer section.  We simply don’t buy those things.

 

I hope you will check out some of my past weekly menu’s.  They have lots of awesome, clean meal ideas!

{Clean} Strawberry Lemonade

Ok, so it’s totally not summer yet, I know!  I had a party last week at our house, and I really wanted to make clean strawberry lemonade!

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I’ve never made lemonade from scratch before, so I was a little nervous about how it would turn out.  I didn’t need to worry; it’s was pretty darn good!

{Clean} Strawberry Lemonade

Makes 8 cups

ingredients

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 pound strawberries cleaned and stems removed
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • Juice of 2 limes

directions

Please visit The Gracious Pantry for directions!

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So good, and not loaded with sugar!!

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recipe courtesy of The Gracious Pantry

Linking up here!

Weekly Menu Feb 4th-8th

Hello Clean Eaters!

We are finally settled in our new house!  That means I can get back to blogging about our clean eating adventures!

I’m part of a Fruit/Veggie Co-op, and every 2 weeks I get a new box of yummy goodness.  Lots of my recipes this week will be incorporating those veggies!

veggies

 

Monday

Chickpea Masala

chickpea masala

Clean Naan

naan bread

Cilantro-Mint Chutney

Cilantro Mint Chutney

Tuesday

Kale Pesto

Kale Pesto

Whole Wheat Breadsticks

IMG_7526

Seasonal Fruit

 

Wednesday

Sweet and Sour Chicken

sweet and sour chicken

Green Bean Stir Fry (will be subbing in sugar snap peas this time)

green-bean-stir-fry-400x400-kalynskitchen

Brown Rice

Seasonal Fruit

 

Thursday

Mexican Rice

mexican rice

Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce

tomatillo sauce

Garden Salsa

salsa

Friday

Caprese Panini

caprese panini

Crispy Garlic Sweet Potato Fries

sp fries

 

Seasonal Fruit

{Clean Eating} Homemade Oreos

Hello Readers!  Sorry for the lack of posts-we had a busy Christmas around here!

If you are looking for a way to jump-start your clean eating, check out these posts:

5 Simple steps to eating Clean{er}

7 Worst Ingredients in {your} Food

KIDS Snacks-Replacing the Dyes and Sugar!

Now, for New Year’s Eve, I was on the hunt for a fun treat to make.

I found it.

Homemade Oreos!

Oreo


Homemade Oreos

For the chocolate wafers:

1 1/4 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/14 cup Coconut Sugar
1 teaspoon Vital Wheat Gluten
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks or 140 grams) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey

Directions

  1. Preheat to 375°F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, sugar and vital wheat gluten. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
  3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
  4. To make the filling, place cream cheese, vanilla extract, and honey in a stand mixer, and beat until well blended.
  5. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.

**I refrigerated my cookies after they were cooled and filled, since the filling is cream cheese based**

Oreo

Adapted from Smitten Kitten

Linking up here!

{Sunday} Cinnamon Rolls

Who doesn’t love ooey, gooey cinnamon rolls on a weekend morning?

I blogged here about some quick & easy cinnamon rolls you can whip up in a hurry!

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Since I had a little more time on my hands, I decided I wanted to make cinnamon rolls that required a litttttle more effort.

It paid off!  Theses rolls were SO.  GOOD.

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{Sunday} Cinnamon Rolls

ingredients

Dough

1 cup milk
4 Tbs butter, cut into chunks
3 1/4 – 3 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, divided
1 (.25 ounce) package instant or ‘rapid rise’ yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp. vital wheat gluten
2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
Filling
1 cup coconut sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened

Icing
{Clean} Cream Cheese Frosting
{Clean} “Buttercream” Frosting


directions

Dough: Place milk and 4 Tbs butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for 1 minute 30 seconds. Butter should be at least partially melted. Stir and set aside. In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2 C whole wheat pastry flour, yeast, white sugar, salt, vital wheat gluten, and baking powder. When milk mixture has cooled to warm (not hot) add it to the flour mixture along with the egg while the beater (paddle attachment for those using a stand mixer) is running. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. (Switch to the dough hook now) Add remaining flour only until dough barely leaves the sides of the bowl. It should be very soft and slightly sticky. (the softer your dough, the softer your rolls!!) Continue to let the dough knead for 5 minutes. If you are not using a stand mixer, turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for 5 minutes by hand. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and let rest for about 10 minutes while you make the filling.

Filling: make sure butter is softened well. Mix with coconut sugar and cinnamon.

Assembly: Roll dough into a rectangle about 12 x 14 inches. Spread coconut sugar mixture (it will be slightly thick, you might have to “crumble” it) over the surface and use your fingers or the back of a spoon to gently spread around. Roll up from the longer side of the rectangle and pinch edges closed. Score the roll into 12 equal pieces and then cut into rolls. Place in a 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover pan with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. (I let mine rise about 2 hours….they got nice and BIG!)

In the mean time, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

When rolls have finished rising bake for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. If desired spread with icing while still warm. Makes 12 rolls.

IMG_7597

**adapted from Our Best Bites**

Cook’s Notes: I use vital wheat gluten and baking powder in my baking, to make the results more fluffy and light.  Whole Wheat Pastry Flour is pretty awesome on it’s own (not heavy & dense), but these two added ingredients really take whole wheat baking to another level!

{Zucchini} Pesto

Last week when I made these awesome bread sticks, I also tried out a new pesto recipe!

I LOVE pesto.  As seen in this post!  It just speaks to me :)

I had a lot of zucchini on hand (no clue why!), and wanted to use it.

zucchini

So, zucchini pesto was born!
(I was a little apprehensive that zucchini was just too watery to make a pesto with….I was happily wrong!)

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Zucchini Pesto

ingredients

  • 1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (1 ounce)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 small zucchini (about 9 ounces), trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


directions

Blend basil, walnuts and garlic in processor until finely chopped.

Add zucchini, Parmesan cheese and greed onion; process until coarsely chopped.

Add oil. Using on/off turns, process until mixture is finely chopped.

Season pesto to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl.

Toss this YUMMY pesto with your favorite whole wheat pasta, smear it on some toasted whole wheat bread, or use it to make some pesto bites!

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Enjoy!

**lightly adapted from Epicurious**

Linking up here!

Weekly Menu Dec 11th-14th

Hey Readers!

I’ve been SUPER busy these last few weeks.  Not only is Christmas coming up, but we decided it would be an excellent time to pack and move, too!

Moving boxes

This week’s menu has lots of warm soups and stews….winter weather has FINALLY come to Texas, and I’m celebrating with warm meals!


Tuesday

Indian Lentil Stew

indian lentils

Clean Naan Bread

naan bread

Cilantro-Mint Chutney (for dipping!)

Cilantro Mint Chutney


Wednesday

Spinach-Pesto Quesadillas

spinach pesto

Mexican Green Rice

Seasonal Fruit


Thursday

Vegetarian Chili

chili

Roasted Hatch Chili Cornbread

green-chile-cornbread

Seasonal Fruit


Friday

Baked Tostadas

tomatillo-black-bean-tostada

Restaurant Style Mexican Rice

IMG_6753

Seasonal Fruit

Quick & Easy {Whole Wheat} Breadsticks

Hey Y’all!

Sorry for the lack of menu this week.  I feel like a big, fat failure!

guilty

Things have been pretty hectic around here…..but not too hectic to try out some new yummy recipes!

I’ve been on the hunt for a good bread stick recipe to share with you….after a few failed recipes, this one gets a thumbs way up!

thumbs-up

Whole Wheat Bread Sticks

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ingredients:
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbs dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 Tbs honey
1 tsp salt
1.5 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dried basil

topping ingredients:
4 Tbs Butter, melted
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/4 cup Parmesan Reggiano, grated


directions

Preheat oven to 375.
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Add remaining ingredients and make soft dough.
Place dough in lightly oiled bowl, and allow to rise until doubled (30 mins)
Punch down dough after 30 minutes.
Melt 2 Tbs of butter, and pour in 9×13 baking dish. Evenly coat the bottom of the dish.
Roll out the dough to fit pan.
Place dough in pan.
Pour remaining 2 Tbs of melter butter on the top of the dough, evenly coating.
Cut the dough into strips lengthwise and then one cut vertically down the middle so as to halve the long strips. (see picture)

breadstick-recipe (25)Top with garlic salt, Parmesan Cheese, and parsley.
Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes, to give it time to puff slightly.
Bake at 375 approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Linking up here

**recipe adapted from Mom’s Frugal**

{Clean Eating} Kale Pesto Bites

I’ve blogged several times (here and here) about my love for Kale.

Seriously, it’s tasty!  Not only does it taste awesome, it’s awesome for you.

Mr. Clean Eating, who is THE best cook, came up with these little kale treats.

They are SO good.

Kale Pesto Bites

ingredients

Kale Pesto
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
1/4 cup Parmesan Reggiano, grated
1/3 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed

directions

Preheat oven to 400.

Roll out your dough fairly thin.  You are aiming to make it about 9×13 rectangle.  It doesn’t need to be exact!

Spread your kale pesto evenly across the dough, getting fairly close to the edges.

Sprinkle on your cheese.  You can add more if you like!

Starting on the long side, roll your dough up forming a tight log.

Using a serrated knife (seems to make slicing easier), gently slice the dough.  I made mine about 1/2-3/4 inch thick.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
YUM!

Linking up here!

Weekly Menu Nov. 26th-Nov. 30th

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

What we were up to:

Crafting……

Eating….

And general mischief……

Our pumpkin pie from scratch was heavenly!
(I’ve never made a pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin before!)

Skin-on mashed potatoes, turkey, cornbread stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce.  All. Delicious.

I’m missing Thanksgiving already :)

This week’s menu!

Monday

Vegetarian Chili

Spicy Corn Fritters

Seasonal Fruit

 

Tuesday

Chickpea Masala
(I PROMISE to get this recipe up soon!!)

Clean Naan Bread

Cilantro-Mint Chutney

Seasonal Fruit

Wednesday

Baked Pasta

Cauliflower Breadsticks

Spinach Salad

Seasonal Fruit

Thursday

Cajun Red Beans and Rice

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Cornbread

Friday

Pizza Margherita!
with Whole Wheat Dough

Seasonal Fruit

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