Friday, 24 May 2013

Eating Clean Recipies

Frugal Friday

Keeping to a budget and eating healthily ( part #3)

We are following the principles of the Eat Clean diet by Tosca Reno at the moment. When I first looked at starting this diet with my family I was a little daunted at the prospect of how to incorporate this into our daily lives. We eat as a family. I have never been a parent who cooks separate meals for different members of the family. What is for dinner is for everyone. If someone chooses not to eat it , then that is their choice - there is no other choice on offer. I am not saying I think it is wrong to offer alternative, just that I don't have time to be cooking various meals each day.

So , although my children aren't following the detailed diet principles to lose weight on this plan, they are eating the healthy Clean Meals and I have cut back on some of the more sugar filled items in the larder for them to snack on. 

In some ways it was a ridiculous time to start a new eating plan. My cooker had just been cut off , leaving me with a microwave, a narrow, one shelf electric oven and a one ring induction hob. However, it has been simple - lots of one pot meals and salads, baked potatoes and steamed fish - easy. I am missing having batch baked meals stored up in the freezer. I find this is one of the easiest ways to keep the budget down and save myself time. Hats off to those of you who cook fresh every day - I find it relentless. My new mission is planned leftovers - I have to have a couple of easy cook nights a week.

These are the changes I have made to help me on my journey to eating clean:

  • I make a batch of cakes and/or biscuits at the beginning of the week. (If I had a freezer I would freeze half- roll on new kitchen!). I know what I am putting in these compared to not knowing the quantities of sugar hiding in most shop ones. I have made some with limited sugar and some cookies from Tosca Renos cook book which are sweetened with honey.
  • I make my own bread so I know this has minimal amounts of sugar in. ( 1 tsp)
  • I have stopped buying cereal that has any sugar listed on the ingredients. I have made some homemade granola ( even the "healthy" granola in the pretty packets has sugar in it at the supermarket). 
  • I've been trying wholemeal pancakes with the children for breakfasts - sweetened with some maple syrup.
  • I am using more olive oil for cooking with.
  • I have switched white rice for brown and pasta for wholemeal pasta. The children are coming round to the taste. I find mixing the two a happy compromise.
  • I am including more fish in my meal plans.
  • I have introduced the idea of planned leftovers to give myself a day without cooking from scratch. This replaces the days I used to have my batch baked meals from the freezer. I can't wait to go back to this.
  • We are eating more fibre. An interesting addition during the first week - fairly smelly in the Appleby household!

Week 1
Week 2
Mexican chicken and wholegrain wraps with salad
Frittata with new pots in skins and asparagus
Roast chicken roast veg/pots tray, steamed broccoli
Roast beef, roast veg/mini pots/sweet pots/butternut squash/steamed veg
Steamed cobbler fish, brown rice, asparagus
Chicken and bean one pot with rice, broccoli
Spaghetti bolognese with wholewheat spaghetti
Turkey bolognese with wholegrain wraps
As above with veg
As above with wholegrain pasta and salad
Turkey lasagne and salad
Poached cod and olives  with baked pots and veg
Poached salmon baked sweet pots salad
Egg and home made chips/sweet potato chips with peas
I think the thing I have tried to keep in mind is that any step along the way is positive. I could go totally organic and shop at only whole food shops etc, but I do need to keep my budget down. With any diet you can be quite radical and restrictive, but with a family it is hard to do this so I am trying to be sensible about it . There are meals and recipes that suit us and our lifestyle that I have adjusted slightly and continue to cook. It is all about balance. However, I do feel strongly about cutting out sugar from our diets as much as possible. I have a child who has some health issues and who is hyperactive - sugar is a huge trigger for these issues. It is hidden in so many of our every day food stuffs - see here.

Here is the recipe of the homemade granola. Breakfasts are a hard one to get right. Cereals are so full of sugar. I have been offering my children wholewheat pancakes - I got an electric pancake maker which is so easy to use and makes fabulous pancakes. 

Clean Granola

2 cups rolled oats
I cup rye or spelt or other flake
I/2 cup flaxseed
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup bran
4 tbsp oat bran
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup unsalted almonds
1/2 cup walnut pieces
4 tbsp unpasteurised honey
2 tbsp honey
spices - cinnamon, ground ginger
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped prunes
1/2 cup chopped apricots
1/2 cup of dried ( unsweetened) blueberries

  • Line two baking trays with baking paper
  • Place oats,rye,bran,flaxseed and wheatgerm on one and seeds and nuts on the other.
  • Bake in the oven at 180 degrees until browned. Give the trays a shake to ensure even browning.
  • Combine honey and coconut butter over a low heat and add spices - keep warm.
  • In a large bowl combine the cereals, nuts, seeds and honey mixture.
  • Spread the mixture back onto the two baking sheets and bake for a further 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Allow the granola to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container.
See my instagram feed for photos of the granola and breakfast muffins.

Here are some photos of my wholewheat pancakes made on my electric pancake maker!

Eat Clean wholewheat pancakes

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