I’ve noticed lately that many people are starting to divert from processed foods. I think its a fantastic idea and I’m all for it. The only problem is being able to afford to make from scratch meals that can be eaten quickly before going to waste and finding the time to generate new recipes that are healthy, inexpensive to prepare, and not time consuming.
I’ve been getting better as far as shopping goes. I gave up drinking soda back in the 7th grade due to some kid telling me “It eats at your bones.” Needless to say soda scared me. Ive been working in restaurants for over 5 years now and many of the places I’ve worked at had a lot of in house ingredients meaning most of the sauces, dressings, desserts, etc were all made from scratch in that kitchen, it didn’t come pre-made in cans, bottles, or boxes. Over the years I’ve always had the satisfaction of making meals from scratch, to me it’s better quality. When I go shopping I always avoid the frozen foods section, chip aisle, and cookie/crackers area. I have no use for anything in those aisles nor does my body need any of that junk. I’ve always had fruits and vegetables in my diet but since I haven’t been buying processed foods I’ve doubled the amount I used to purchase and have been including more beans, grains, and anything else I can find that is healthy enough and considered not processed to make my body happier. This is a tough battle trying to rid some of these old habits from my diet. It’s taking baby steps day by day that will eventually get me to where I want to be in my new diet.
This is a simple recipe I put together today. I had this for dinner and it was excellent. I included my house vinaigrette that is basically an Italian dressing. This would also make a great side dish for a picnic or cookout. You can also serve this hot with a pasta sauce of your choice.
-1/2 Yellow onion, small dice
-1 Green bell pepper, small dice
-2 Carrots, peeled, small dice
-1 Avocado, skin removed, small dice
-1/2 Box Whole wheat penne (or pasta of your choice)
House Dressing Ingredients:
-2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
-1 Tablespoon Honey
-1 Tablespoon dry Oregano
-1 Tablespoon Onion powder
-1/2 Cup Red wine vinegar
-1 Cup Extra virgin olive oil
Method of prep:
-Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add in pasta, stir and cover. Takes about 13 minutes to cook.
-While pasta is cooking, prepare all vegetables except for the avocado and mix together in a bowl.
-Drain pasta and let cool.
-Mix pasta in with the vegetables and avocado then slowly add dressing a little at a time until desired consistency. (You wont need all the dressing.) Stir until combined. Add avocado last to keep from discoloring.
-In a large bowl add Dijon, honey, oregano, red wine vinegar and onion powder.
-Using a hand blender, begin to mix everything.
-Slowly pour in EVOO until dressing begins to emulsify to a nappe consistency (or coats the back of a spoon).