ramblings

This Week Eating Real Food: Crossing The Finish Line

That’s a wrap, folks! We have completed week four of our unprocessed real food challenge. There’s no denying that Ryan and I fumbled our way through the previous week of the challenge. A depleted fridge and the ongoing car saga were the biggest culprits. We did the usual eat ourselves out of house and home before heading to the store for one massive replenishing haul, aka operation restock. With our meals planned for the next couple of weeks, here is what was brought home from Your Delkab Farmers Market this time around. (See what our table overflowed with here in week one.)

big-grocery-haul

I’m pretty stoked to share the recipes used in week four. Instead of relying solely on our trusty cookbooks, the menu was pulled from a handful of sites. Determined to do better than week three, here is how the end of this challenged played out for us.

home-grown-to-go

Sunday
Breakfast- We bypassed breakfast and went straight in for a late brunch detailed below.
Lunch- We grabbed Home Grown to-go. We seriously reside too close to this place. I got my usual Salmon patty biscuit and side of vegetarian potato salad | Ryan had a grilled Vegetarian Pimento cheese sandwich and a biscuit.

Home Grown is a celebrity hot-spot. When we got home with our order Ryan came across a Facebook post of theirs with a picture of Booger. We just missed him, of course.

Dinner- After hitting the grocery store, Ryan whipped up an Asparagus Gruyere tart. It was outstanding but I wouldn’t expect anything less from Martha Stewart- get the recipe here.

asparagus-bread

This will forever be remember as the meal we ate during a pivotal The Walking Dead episode. I won’t share any spoilers…

Monday
Breakfast- Organic, local Yogurt + Homemade granola + Organic strawberries
Lunch- Asparagus tart (leftovers)
Dinner- Vegan shepherd’s pie- this recipe and several others were found at Eating Rules.

Vegetarian-shepards-pie

Tuesday
Breakfast- Yogurt + Granola + Strawberries
Lunch- Shepherd’s pie (leftovers)
Dinner- Fusilli with chard and red onions- this was amazing. Don’t walk; run, to check out this recipe.

fusili-with-chard-and-red-oinions

Wednesday
Breakfast- Yogurt + granola + Strawberries
Lunch- Shepherd’s pie (leftovers)
Dinner- Fusilli with chard (leftovers) | Southwest corn mix (Ryan’s risky leftover)

Thursday
Breakfast- Porridge + organic honey + Strawberries
Lunch- Fusilli with chard (leftovers)
Dinner- Creamy polenta bowl with oven roasted tomatoes and zucchini- the kitchn recipe. (I wasn’t crazy about the pesto; Ryan loved it.)

creamy-polenta-bowl-with-oven-roasted-tomatoes-and-zucchini

Friday
Breakfast- Porridge + Honey + Strawberries
Lunch- Creamy polenta bowl (leftovers)
Dinner- After an eventful afternoon running errands all over town, we grabbed sushi (palm to forehead). I had a brown rice vegetable roll | Ryan got a California roll.

Saturday
Breakfast- Homemade caramel apples (It was Halloween…)
Lunch- Polenta Bowl (leftovers)
Dinner- Brussels sprouts pizza with balsamic red onions- Cookie and Kate recipe. Ryan made the dough using this recipe from the kitchn.

The pizza has become an instant favorite of mine. We joined team Brussels a couple years ago. Those poor little guys totally deserve more credit as a tasty veggie. The key is in the way they are cooked.

brussels-sprout-pizza

We weren’t perfect this week, and I don’t know that we will ever be “perfect.” Coming out of this challenge I realized that I can survive without eating cheese on a regular basis and that the toughest choices to make are the most rewarding, i.e. saying no to calling in dinner. It will be difficult, but I want to keep the few fast-food joints that we used to go to off our list.

Something that Ryan and I both noticed is that this blog is a major factor in why we don’t eat as strictly as we used to. We would rather do something fast and simple many nights because it frees up that much more time to be working on projects, posts, image editing, etc. Before the blog, we used to end our nights cooking an intensely organic, natural, meatless meal. Through this unprocessed challenge we have found ways to make more room for both. Cooking bigger meals for leftovers is our greatest ticket to success. Thank goodness we don’t mind eating the same thing a couple times a week or else we might find ourselves up the “quick-meal” creek.

Taking the time to make a real meal is something the two of us agree is worth the time that could be spent being productive on the blog. It gives us time to wind down, catch up on the day, and you know, talk about the blog. This thing runs deep.

Our takeaway from the October Unprocessed Real Food Challenge:

  • A healthy meal is worth the time, but it takes a little planning.
  • We can survive without our most guilty pleasures (cheese, sugary sweets, and dare I say it, french fries).
  • Cooking together is one of the best ways to fit in quality time with one another.
  • Fighting the urge to pick-up dinner is worth it in the end.
  • Staying on the unprocessed wagon can be a challenge but is worth it.

Are we alone in the struggle of finding balance between making a wholesome meal and being engulfed in the tasks of the day? Have any unprocessed tips to share?

Psst- Did you miss any of this challenge? Here’s links to week one, two, and three.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Richard Carbaugh
    November 3, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Congratulations on making it through a very challenging 4 weeks. My hat is off to both of you. I was also glad to see the conclusion you came to about what could be the important take away from this adventure. Taking the time to work together as you make your meals and to step back from the demands of this life and finding a balance that makes it all that more enriching.

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