Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dinner Diva - Not Good Enough

Have you noticed? Even with your best intentions, it is so easy to slide out of our routines and back into CHAOS. One of the first routines to go bye-bye is our dinnertime. Talk about your easy button-simply drive in, place your order and drive out with a meal no one will complain about. Or rip open a box, add water, cook on the stovetop and serve. It's easy, cheap and gets the job done.

I am going to say something I almost never say and that is, IT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH! That's right-fast food and processed foods aren't good enough for you, your precious children or wonderful spouse. 
There are plenty of things in life that ARE good enough. Housework done incorrectly still blesses your home. Vacuuming just the middles is good enough. Dusting without moving everything around, swishing and swiping the bathroom-all are good enough and all get the job done.

It's not that simple with food. To be "good enough", food needs to qualify first as food. Before you think I've lost it, let me ask you this-why does a box of food have an ingredients list that is 1 1/2" long? What is acetylated distarch phosphate? What about disodium ethylenediaminetetracetate? Do you know what those ingredients are? Can you find them sitting next to the sweet potatoes or onions in the produce department?

The above-mentioned unpronounceable chemicals are "safe" food additives. One is an emulsifier, the other is a preservative. What nutritional value do you think these additives have for your body?

The answer is simple: NONE. And the reason why is because chemicals do not qualify as food. They are simply not good enough for you or for your family. Your bodies DESERVE to be treated well by giving yourself and your family nutrient rich food. Ingredients you can pronounce and easily identify without having to look it up!

Think twice about what you're going to do for dinner once things start to get hectic from all the kids sports and extra activities. Double up on some stuff and freeze it. Or try cooking something in the crock pot all day even if you don't have plans to use it that night for dinner. I am doing that with soups. I cooked split pea soup in my crock pot all day, allowed it to cool off, refrigerated it overnight and then the next day, it was a snap to place in the freezer bag (labeled and dated with my trusty sharpie!).

That frozen soup is a backup plan for when everything is going to be crazy. Grabbing prepared stuff out of the freezer for dinner is the way to go-then dinner gets done and the food is real.

Here's the recipe for my split pea soup:

Crock Pea Soup
Serves 12 (freezes well)

1 pound split peas, rinsed
1 ham bone (optional)
1 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 quarts  water (use chicken broth if not using a ham bone)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients, except the salt and pepper, in a crock cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 8 to 10 hours, or until peas are very soft. Before serving, remove ham bone and bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste.

Per Serving: 163 Calories; 2g Fat; 11g Protein; 26g Carbohydrate; 10g Dietary Fiber; 9mg Cholesterol; 37mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain (Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fat. Points: 4

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: A spinach salad and some whole grain rolls.
by Leanne Ely, C.N.C
Copyright (C) 2011 Leanne Ely, CNC All rights reserved.

No comments: