Tag Archive: eat real

Apr 22

Make Real Eating Commitments to Celebrate Earth Day – April 22nd.

This year we thought a great way to celebrate Earth Day would be to take small steps towards big changes in the way we participate in eating real and sustainable foods.  The cold spell this past week also had us tossing around ideas on how to celebrate with indoor activities to boost our healthy eating habits.  What came of those discussions were the following five ways to honor the earth as well as make lasting changes involving our commitment to eat real…

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Permanent link to this article: http://eatingreal.com/blog/2012/04/make-real-eating-commitments-to-celebrate-earth-day-april-22nd/

Apr 06

Eating Real Recipes: Kung Pao Lettuce Wraps

Last winter a friend shared his mother’s traditional kung pao recipe, and I loved making the authentic spicy dish every chance I could. Being an avid label reader now, I was stopped in my tracks one afternoon while preparing the ingredients. Soy sauce, at least the brand in my refrigerator, has all kinds of crazy stuff in it: hydrolyzed soy protein, corn syrup, lactic acid, dextrose, caramel color, potassium sorbate.

I was appalled and tossed the sauce, but I was unsure how I was going to recreate this savory, spicy meal without it. What ensued was an experiment of mixing and tasting until I finally found a concoction which tantalized my taste buds without trampling on my real food sensibilities. The outcome was the following recipe, now a staple in our home. We make a batch or two (or three!) on the weekend, vacuum seal it into portions, and store it in the freezer. The result is homemade real food frozen dinners minus the ridiculous amounts of sodium and other nonsense.

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Permanent link to this article: http://eatingreal.com/blog/2012/04/kung-pao-lettuce-wraps/

Mar 27

Home Grown Helpers

Prepping your kitchen for a new commitment to eat healthy?  Whether you are planning to grow your own organic vegetables, shop at your neighborhood farmers market, or participate in a CSA, there are a few items you can add to your kitchen to help you enjoy locally grown foods throughout the growing season and beyond.  When we joined a CSA this year these items quickly came out of storage or went on our “wish list” for items to help us in our commitment to eat real all year long.

 

1 – Vacuum sealer

When some friends of ours heard we were participating in a CSA this season they blessed us with one of these as a Christmas present.  If you have ever wondered if there is a better way to store foods in the freezer than those self-locking bags that don’t seem to keep out freezer burn, rest assured the answer is – YES.  Vacuum sealing makes frozen foods last longer and taste better when used.  Vacuum sealing is also a good way to preserve dehydrated foods such as homemade jerky.  The sealing process locks in the flavor and keeps the foods fresher for later use.

 

2 – Dehydrator

Ours was already an often used item in our house because once we started making our own jerky we quickly developed a small following with our friends.  Every so often someone will drop the hint about how they haven’t had good jerky in a while, and the dehydrator comes out of hiding.  Recently my brother taught me a few things about using the dehydrator to make dried fruit and vegetable snacks, and now I am hooked.  Trying to eat real and healthy snacks can be a challenge, and I can’t wait to learn more about making my own home-processed snacks and maybe even some camping foods.

 

3 – Hand blender

This was also a well used item in our house for its ability to puree soups and make mashed cauliflower with ease.

When our old faithful broke after 10 years we decided to upgrade to a version that doubles as a chopper.  This added feature makes Nutty Fruit Cups a cinch to make.

 

4 – From Asparagus to Zucchini

I love this book!  It served as my winter research material and will certainly become my go-to guide when the harvesting begins.  The publication goes through a long list of common CSA fare and presents their history, recipes for use, and preservation tips.  It’s like having a cheat sheet ready when you open your box of goodies and think “how on earth do I cook that?”

5 – Do It Yourself Composter

Ok, this one is still on the wish list (and doesn’t really go well in the kitchen!)  Real food results in food scraps you can recycle into fresh, organic compost.  I’ve always wanted to try this at home – anyone our there with composting tips to share?

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://eatingreal.com/blog/2012/03/home-grown-helpers/

Mar 18

Fresh Is Best (Eat Local!)

The sun is shining and even here in the Midwest we are beginning to anticipate the upcoming growing season.  Well prepared gardeners are watching their early indoor seeds sprout and are eagerly wishing they could predict when the last frost will come and go.  As the season progresses there will be a bounty of locally grown foods all around us.  Yet many people will continue to buy foods which have travelled hundreds, even thousands, of miles to get to market while the fresh stuff all around them is distributed miles away through wholesale supply chains.  Many make this choice out of habit.  Others would like to eat fresher foods but believe it is more convenient and economical to buy this food that has been gathered and redistributed over the many miles.

But eating local, fresher foods doesn’t have to be a daunting or expensive venture.  Here are a few ideas for bringing fresher, locally grown foods to your table.

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Permanent link to this article: http://eatingreal.com/blog/2012/03/fresh-is-best/