Thursday, November 17, 2011

easy peasy.

A few weeks ago I posted about food and our goal to eliminate processed food from our diets.  While I'll admit that it's not easy, we've been making some subtle changes to our eating habits and mostly to our grocery shopping habits.  Before we head to the grocery, we are more organized, with a list including specifically what we need for the meals we plan to eat the next week. **I've referenced the meal plans on www.100daysofrealfood.com for ideas!  Found on their facebook page.  Then while shopping, we not only ONLY buy what's on the list, but we look very carefully at the ingredients and buy ONLY those products that have little or no preservatives.  Surprisingly, for most products, there are quite a few options, you just need to be willing to take the time to look.  We do, however, end up spending a little more for those products - but at this time, it's a price we're willing to pay.

One of the biggest challenges we've faced has been the time needed to cook with real food.  On the weekends it's not as difficult - and I'm getting better at planning ahead and making lunch items on the weekend. (Ever heard of OAMC?  Thinking I need to do this when we get a deep freezer.)  Planning out my week's menu before hand has helped also, but sometimes I -
1)don't feel like cooking after a long day of work, or 
2) don't have time to cook the planned item unless I want to eat dinner at 9:30pm!  
This week has been particularly frustrating because I've had meetings every night (until tonight - meeting was canceled!) and don't get home before 6pm.  Between work, meetings, taking care of Mei Mei, endless loads of laundry, keeping up house, and even more work to be done at home...dinner is the last thing on my mind!

Not tonight though!  Tonight I'm cooking!  I'm making one of our favorite Indian dishes - Vegetable Masala.  While it's not authentic, and not made from scratch - it's a pretty great meal with a lot of flexibility - not to mention extra easy to make.

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Indian Vegetable Masala

1. variety of your favorite vegetables...I usually use what I have on hand.  Tonight I'm using the following...
-1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 med potatoes, cubed
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1c. peas, frozen
- 1c. corn, frozen
- 1c. broccoli, frozen

**I've also used fresh or frozen green beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions.  Mix and match, add more of what you like and less of what you're not fond of!

2. 1 jar Patak's Tikka Masala curry (you can also use the curry paste pictured below, but you have to add plain yogurt to it)




Boil the vegetables until soft, drain, then add curry.  Let simmer for 10-20 minutes to soak up flavor then serve over rice. You can also add your favorite meat to change it up a bit!

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Because I used the jar of curry, some of the ingredients are surely processed - the curry itself may even include a preservative.  However, I am able to read and understand the names of all the ingredients - which is rarely the case with processed foods.  The only ingredient in question is "modified corn starch" and the origin of the ingredients is not clear.  

Like I said before - we're not going nuts about this!  We like our Vegetable Masala and feel good about eating it - so we will continue to!  

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