October Unprocessed? I'm in.
Duh, right? Well, maybe not.
The first year I did it I was all over it. Why? Because it was something new. And hard. Very hard. Making me want to win, because I have a little bit (or a lot bit) of Monica Geller blood running through my veins. Or something like that. And so I dove in head first, and learned A LOT. What an incredible challenge it was for me!
The second year for me, last year, I again jumped in. I thought I would be all over it, and in a sense, I was. We didn't eat unprocessed food, we followed the "rules". But then, then... it just wasn't that hard, you know? I realized that I had incorporated a lot of the things I learned from the first year into our daily routines, and the ones I hadn't... well... I really didn't want to go through the hassle of changing them. So I became lazy with hit. Phrases like, "I guess it won't matter if..." or "I counts, right?" came out of my mouth more and more regularly. Sure, MOST of what we ate was unprocessed, but those times when we could budge -- like going over to someone's house and conveniently eating all the candy corn because we were allowed to be gracious guests -- quickly became a habit. A bad habit.
So, for this year, I was feeling pretty blah about it. Hey, I reasoned with myself, 90% of what you eat is unprocessed. Really, does that extra 10% matter? Honestly, I don't think it does. That is my completely honest answer. But that is not why I decided to do it. I decided to do it because of two things: (1) my husband wanted us to try again and (2) I learned some new tricks and skills the last two years, and I don't want to lose out on that opportunity again. So tomorrow, it's on. October Unprocessed year 3 (for us) is about to commence.
Let's do this!
MENU FOR WEEK ONE** I make a pot of beans and another of rice at the beginning of the week. These recipes are based off of that fact. You will need at least beans for one of these recipes, but you can substitute homemade bread and salad or other base for the meals that call for beans and rice.
Day 1: Sweet Potato Tacos
(Trader Joe's has handmade, freshly cooked tortillas that are totally unprocessed. Score! Also, this is the recipe you will need the beans for. You can get them out of the can if you need to, or you can make them in the pressure cooker.)
Day 2: Leek and Bacon Baked Eggs, with beans and rice
Day 3: Vegetable Frittata, with beans and rice
Day 4: Pasta with Fresh Pesto, with a side of tomato salad and bread/butter
(Here are a few secrets that can help you out: You can find unprocessed pasta at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. Just look for the fresh packages and read the ingredients. Also, any bread with a Trader Joe's label is baked at your local bakeries, and if you check the ingredients, you will find they are [most of them, at least] unprocessed. Local bakeries = GOOD!)
Day 5: Carrot and Sweet Potato Bisque, with a side salad and bread/butter
(This is one of my favorite soups... both because of the flavor and because I made it up myself! Since you need stock to make soup, why not make your own? It is really simple and you already have the ingredients on hand, I am sure. The recipe for the soup includes the directions for making vegetable stock.)
Day 6: Slow Cooker Roast Chicken, with mashed potatoes and a side salad
Day 7 (and maybe 8): LEFTOVERS! You didn't just cook a whole chicken for nothing ;)
Looks like too much cooking? Then make a bunch of a couple and spread it out. No need for us to kill ourselves over this, just take a moment to enjoy real food for a bit :)