Sunday, September 19, 2010
My pantry isn't always fully stocked, but at least you'll get an idea of some healthy staples to have on hand.
On this shelf you'll see the majority of my cooking products, including oils, vinegars, canned goods, spices, and herbs. See below for specific recommendations for stocking your pantry.
When it comes to salt, use only real, dirty sea salt. I like Redmond's brand Real Salt.
Coconut oil can is great to cook with because it has a high smoke point and can be used at higher temperatures without damaging the fat in the oil. Don't be afraid of the saturated fat content. It's important to be more concerned about processed carbohydrates than saturated fats from real, unrefined sources. I like the raw coconut oil from Artisano (Whole Foods).
It's also important to have healthy grains on hand. I always try to have brown rice, quinoa, brown rice cakes, and sometimes whole wheat gnocchi. Other good options are described below. As you can see in this picture, I also keep sweet potatoes and onions in my pantry, since they thrive in cool, dark environments and don't have to be refrigerated.
I always have herbal tea in my pantry. My favorite brand is Yogi because I really like the herbal blends of each flavor and am a sucker for the cute little sayings on the tea bag string papers. Their ginger variety is great after a big meal, as it aids in the digestive process.
This is my baking section. I don't usually use regular sugar or flour, but it's important to have it available in case you want to make baked goods for a special occasion. I also like to have buckwheat, spelt, and other whole grain flours. As you can see in the background, I also make sure to have plenty of stevia in my pantry as well.
Here is a somewhat unorganized way to store bulk goods. (I know, I know...I need to figure out another way to do this!) I like to keep dried beans, grains, nuts, seeds, coconut, and other bulk items available in case they pop up in a recipe. It's much cheaper to buy these items from the bulk bin at Whole Foods or Sprouts than to get them in small, individually packaged quantities.
This is the final shelf. I mainly keep Lara bars, nuts, chia seeds, fiber powder, and protein powder on hand. You can also see my butter dish - choose organic, and opt for butter over margarine any day!
Here is a comprehensive list of items you might want to have regularly available in your pantry, adapted from Eating Well's list.
Oils, Vinegars, and Condiments
First cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and olive oil dressings, such as Bragg's Healthy Vinaigrette
Raw coconut oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, and sesame oil
Vinegars: balsamic, red wine, white wine, rice, and raw apple cider (Bragg's brand)
Asian condiments: organic soy sauce, curry paste, oyster sauce, fish sauce, hoisin sauce
Kalamata and green olives
Mustards: Dijon, whole grain, and yellow
Coarse and regular dirty sea salt
Anchovies or anchovy paste (for pasta sauces, salad dressings)
Lemons, limes, and oranges for zesting (always choose organic if zesting)
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Dark, bittersweet, and semisweet chocolate chips
Spices and Herbs
Cinnamon (ground and sticks)
Crushed red pepper
Real maple syrup
Raw turbinado sugar
Brown and granulated sugar (to use when you can't use the above options)
Canned and Bottled Items
Canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara sauce (choose organic because tomatoes are highly sprayed with pesticides)
Organic chicken, beef, and/or vegetable broth
Regular or lite coconut milk
Canned beans: cannellini beans, great northern beans, chickpeas, black beans, red kidney beans
Chunk light tuna, wild salmon, and sardines
Canned or boxed soups to have in a pinch, such as lentil, split pea, or tomato
Grains and Legumes
Pasta: quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat
Whole wheat couscous
Whole wheat dry breadcrumbs
Flours: whole wheat, spelt, rice, buckwheat, all-purpose
Brown rice cakes
Nuts and Seeds
Organic peanut butter
Dried fruits (apricots, plums, cranberries, dates, raisins)
I hope this helps you get some ideas as to what to keep in your pantry! I don't have all of these items at any given time, but I wanted to give you an all-inclusive list so you can have plenty ideas when you go grocery shopping. Good luck stocking your pantry!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
In stumbling upon this gnocchi recipe, I was a little skeptical...nutmeg? In gnocchi? The multiple positive reviews swayed me, and boy am I glad I made it! This was absolutely delicious, and the nutmeg added a subtle depth of flavor. My husband, the true test of a flavorful dish, gobbled up every last bit the next day. Great success!
Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons and Parsley Brown Butter
Serves 4 (1 1/2 cups each)
1 lb fresh or frozen gnocchi (I used dried whole wheat from Trader Joe's)
2 T organic butter (I used 3 because of the recommendations)
2 medium shallots, chopped
1 lb zucchini, about 3 small, thinly sliced length-wise
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 tsp. Redmond's sea salt
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
Black pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated (organic raw) parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Here's the gnocchi I used. It's not homemade, but it has a pretty decent ingredient list and a ton of fiber (8 grams)! For a packaged food, it's pretty good.
Cook gnocchi until they float, 3 to 5 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
Here are the veggies (minus the shallots) that I cut up. To make the zucchini ribbons, use a veggie peeler or mandolin.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the butter is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add shallots and zucchini and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, salt, nutmeg and pepper and continue cooking, stirring often, until the tomatoes are just starting to break down, 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in Parmesan and parsley. Add the gnocchi and toss to coat.
Serve immediately. It goes great with a big green salad!
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Snack - pluot
Lunch - cabbage apple slaw (leftover from the Karve seminar in Mesa) with chicken; iced green tea
Snack - cucumbers with avocado; 2 bites of chicken
Dinner - salmon, red quinoa, and sauteed summer vegetables; herbal tea
So far, so great! I felt totally satisfied with my meals and didn't have sweet cravings after dinner. I don't notice a change with adding the banana, so I'm going to have them again. They're my favorite pre-workout snack!
Day 2 Post Clean - August 31st
Pre-workout snack - banana with almond butter
Workout #1 - 1 hour walk
Workout #2 - P90X Core Synergistics
Breakfast - shake with protein powder, chia seeds, nectarine, spinach, cinnamon, sunflower seed butter, almond milk, ice
Lunch - salmon and chicken, red quinoa, sauteed vegetables, salad with goat cheese(!!); green tea
Snack - peach, bite of dark chocolate (didn't taste very good), cucumber with avocado
I was very hungry today, most likely because I bumped up my workout to pre-Clean levels again (2 full hours). Still, I was craving a shake for dinner, which was really surprising. I'm really happy with the way my taste buds and preferences have changed. This would not be possible if I didn't really enjoy and feel satisfied by the foods I'm eating, since I believe in eating for satisfaction. It's amazing how our bodies respond when we give them a break.
Day 3 Post Clean - September 1st
Pre-workout snack - brown rice cake with peanut butter
Workout #1 - 1 hour walk
Workout #2 - P90X Kenpo (40 minutes of it)
Breakfast - shake with protein powder, chia seeds, nectarine, cinnamon, almond butter, almond milk, ice; Teeccino with stevia
Snack - plum
Lunch - salad with goat cheese and Bragg's Healthy Vinaigrette, sauteed vegetables, salmon, red quinoa; green tea
Snack - cucumber with avocado, 1 1/2 brown rice cakes
Dinner - cabbage, avocado, and onion slaw with red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and pepper, tuna, and a few bites of grilled grass-fed beef; bite of raw fudge (almond butter, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, shredded unsweetened coconut)
I felt great today until the evening, when I was really hungry and really tired. I've also been working a lot (outside of my full-time job, which is brain-consuming on its own). I honestly crashed at 8:30 pm! I think I need to rest a lot more!!
Day 4 Post Clean - September 2nd
Breakfast - shake with protein powder, chia seeds, banana, peanut butter, almond milk, ice (my favorite combo!); Teeccino with stevia
Thursday, September 2, 2010
I am writing to you 4 days after my Clean Program experience has ended and all I can say is I am really full! Ha! I have to admit I have not held back with eating my favorite meals and treating myself to what I once thought was my life-saving Starbucks lattes. Unfortunately, my body has not responded in a very positive way with all my post-cleanse indulgences! Some of the foods and drinks I used to really enjoy do not necessarily satisfy me as much anymore, and I have been getting an uncomfortably full feeling if I don't eat a well-rounded, healthy and smaller meal.
I definitely do not crave the shakes for dinner but if I eat something that is heavy or too late before I go to bed, I don't sleep well and I feel really tired the next morning. During the Clean Program I did not feel like I was having life-altering changes (besides weight loss) and overall I was not impressed. However, now that I am able to eat and drink whatever I want I have found out that I am not really interested in making the same decisions as before. My body made subtle changes that I wasn't aware of and it completely changed my taste buds and appetite. I am craving more fruits and vegetables (which I snack on a lot during work), and I am drinking a ton of water throughout the day to stay really hydrated. Also, if my Day 22 happy hour experience taught me anything, drinking a glass of wine during the week is not the best idea because it makes me dehydrated and un-motivated to get up the next morning. As much as I don't like to admit it (especially to Megan), I am extremely happy I went through this experience and I know it will forever change my relationship with food. To anyone struggling with allergies, inflammation, bad skin, weight issues, and lack of sleep, this program is definitely worth trying!
Hammer out, again.