Cutting Down on Processed Foods: A Culinary Adventure

As I mentioned in my 29 Things list, I’ve wanted to cut some of the processed foods out of my diet. So, last week, I made a few small steps in that direction by trying out some new recipes.

Even though it’s only been a week, I’m learning the importance of finding a healthy balance that works for me, my body, and my lifestyle. And it’s been fun and inspiring to challenge myself to find and create recipes that feature fresh foods.

I do want to say up front that I do not plan to cut every single processed food from my diet. That’s just not realistic for me, but I also know that I was relying much too much on the convenience of processed foods, when I could have been buying more fresh organic foods to cook with. I’ve found that with a little bit of planning, it’s not too terribly hard to cut down on my consumption of all that processed stuff. And let’s face it, fresh foods just taste better than those that have been processed a ton. ;)

Here are a few of the meals I experimented with this week:

IMG_5557

Breakfasts: Blueberry Lemon Oatmeal, Strawberry Vanilla Oatmeal

For the Blueberry Lemon Oatmeal, I prepared the oatmeal, according to the directions on the box of oats, using unsweetened vanilla Almond milk.  As the oatmeal was cooking on the stove, I added a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and lemon zest to taste. I also added the blueberries, once the oatmeal was almost finished cooking, because I wanted them to be heated through, so they’d be all warm and gooey. :) It was delicious!

I also stumbled on the blog The Oatmeal Artist, and I’m looking forward to finding breakfast inspiration there for future oatmeal creations.

quinoasweetpotato

Dinners: Quinoa stuffed sweet potatoes; Chicken burritos (served with a dairy-free, soy-free avocado mayo I created); Chicken-stuffed avocados; Cauliflower pizza cups (recipe from the current Life Beautiful magazine)

For the stuffed sweet potato, I adapted this recipe (I used quinoa, kale, and onions in my filling).

Smoothies: Blueberry/blackberry mint smoothie, peaches and banana smoothie, blueberry/banana smoothie

I’m having a lot of fun trying different smoothie/juice recipes. I use my immersion blender, which makes the preparation and the clean-up a snap! Win-win in my book! ;)

I’m looking forward to trying a few new recipes this week, as well, such as this zucchini pizza I found over at Eat, Live, Run.

I’ve enjoyed sharing a bit about my cooking adventures with you all here, and I hope you’re encouraged and inspired to try some new meals yourself! As I continue to experiment, I’ll be sure to post updates.

Have you tried any new recipes lately? I’m always looking for fresh new ideas! :)

P.S. You can follow along and/or join me in my recipe-collecting adventure over on Pinterest.

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2 thoughts on “Cutting Down on Processed Foods: A Culinary Adventure

  1. Natalie (@fashionatalie) says:

    Loving the sound of that blueberry mint smoothie, especially. YUM! Actually, I just bought a TON of GF oats and have been looking up oatmeal recipes, too. And finally, in our lost-sisters-saga we have going on, haha, I have to say your Bible/notes look almost identical to mine, I had to do a double-take!

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