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Friday, August 28, 2015

Clean Eating for the Newbie!

It's been a while since I wrote a post.  Lots of reasons, tons of excuses!  But I met someone new this week who is very interested in eating clean.  She was a vegetarian and is recently a vegan.  Now, a lot of my recipes are for neither of those categories....  but some are.   And some can be adapted.

Since this is just the way I eat now, going on four years, I don't really think about it as much.  But I get pretty excited about clean eating again when someone has questions and wants to share.  So this is for you!  The one who is curious and has lots of questions.  As an added bonus, I am including the Cheez It recipe and a great recipe for Chia Berry Jam... two recipes that anyone can enjoy.

For those new to clean eating the big question seems to be, but what can I eat?  I started out pretty easy, just reading labels.  If it has less than five ingredients and you can pronounce them all, you are probably okay.  Even better is one ingredient.... apples, avocados, chicken, Romaine lettuce... you get the picture.

We also avoid sugar (white, brown, pure cane, etc.) and white flour.  We do sometimes use whole wheat flour.   I do buy boxes of whole wheat pasta.  I know some clean eaters don't eat any wheat products, but that's their choice.  They also eat only organic. Again, not a bad choice, but not my choice.  We try to buy local produce and we get our grass fed beef from a local farmer.  We buy the beef once a year so it averages out a to a pretty good cost.

The easiest way to be sure you are eating clean, of course, is to cook from scratch.  I love a lot of the recipes at www.thenakedkitchen.com.  They have a great marinara recipe and the Kid Approved Tortilla Soup couldn't be easier... or tastier!  Another great resource is www.thegraciouspantry.com.  She's on this journey too and offers lots of great insights and advice.

This is not a long post, but just a starting point.  If you have a specific question, go ahead and post and I will answer the best I can!






Sunday, August 16, 2015

Swedish Pancakes... harder than it needed to be!

I am a binge TV watcher. I don't watch TV every day or even every week but when I do, I tend to watch entire seasons of old series.  Currently I am watching That 70s Show.  Not really sure why, because it's really just another crappy sitcom, but anyway, that's what I'm watching now that I have run out of Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Sherlock.  So, the other day Kitty made Swedish pancakes for breakfast and that seemed to make Red really happy.  I'd never heard of them so I Googled a recipe and thought, well, gosh, that looks easy!  So I made them for breakfast and served them with homemade applesauce.

Except.... it really wasn't that easy.  Oh, the recipe is easy enough, but you see, we just moved into a new house and the appliance delivery was delayed by two weeks.  So I have no major appliances in my kitchen. None!  Fortunately, for me, my first world problem is not so bad because in the basement of the house we bought is a kitchenette with a refrigerator and a stove.  Not a big fridge, so I do have to be careful about my grocery shopping, but a fridge nonetheless.  And the stove is great.  Kind of old but clean and it works well!  (Once I remembered to plug the electric burners back in after cleaning it.)

So, you're probably thinking, what is her problem?  She has a refrigerator and a stove.  No dishwasher but so what?  Suck it up, buttercup!  Right?  Okay, you're right.  Really no problem, except that I'm used to doing all my work in one kitchen.  So I always seemed to be in the wrong kitchen at the wrong time.  Therefore, the recipe for these Swedish pancakes went something like this:

Look in upstairs kitchen pantry for flour.
Remember that flour is whole wheat so it's in downstairs kitchen refrigerator.
Run downstairs for flour.
Run upstairs with flour.
Read the recipe instructions and realize you start out by mixing together milk and eggs.
Run downstairs for eggs and milk.  
Run back upstairs and realize you forgot the milk.
Run back downstairs for milk.
Upstairs and start mixing milk and eggs together in Kitchen-Aid.  Look at next step and realize the butter needs to be melted.
Run downstairs to get butter and melt on stove.
No pan downstairs.
Run back upstairs for pan.
Run downstairs and melt butter.
Run back upstairs and pour melted butter into Kitchen-Aid.
Realize I was supposed to add the flour first.
Measure flour into Kitchen-Aid.
Add rest of milk.
Run back downstairs to make pancakes.
Forgot plate to put them on.
Back upstairs for plate.
Downstairs, pour first pancake in pan.
No flipper.
Back upstairs for flipper.
Downstairs to finish making pancakes.
Upstairs to eat pancakes.
I'm not sure if they tasted so good because they were or because of the amount of calories I burned off running up and down those stairs!  And I'm not sure who is taking the applesauce down to put in the fridge....

So I am better at planning now.  If I am going downstairs, I look around and see if there is naything I can take with me.  Same for going up.  I'm going to need to recarpet the stairs soon if the appliance don't come!

And if you've taken the time to read all that, I thank you!  And to reward you, I give you the actual recipe.


3 eggs
2-1/2 cups milk (I use almond milk)
1-1/4 cups flour (I use whole wheat)
1/2 tsp salt
2 T butter, melted

In a large bowl, beat eggs with half the milk.  Beat in flour and salt until smooth.  Stir in melted butter and remaining milk. Batter will be thin.  Heat small non-stick saute or crepe pan on high heat.  Pour 1/3 cup of batter into pan and rock it slightly to coat bottom of pan.  Cook until edges start to dry, just a couple minutes.  Flip and cook the other side about 30 seconds.  Keep warm while making remaining pancakes.

(If you don't use a non-stick pan, you will probably have to use oil in the pan.)

Serve with homemade applesauce, jam, or maple syrup.