meals: back to basics

Posted by in food, health

for the month of december, our family’s life was saturated in all things related to our production of A Christmas Carol. between rehearsals most nights during the week, production meetings, errands for costume pieces and props, or evenings spent painting the set,  we were constantly on-the-go, and (to my dismay!) rarely together around the dinner table. this was a “first” for our family: many nights were spent eating restaurant food, fast food, and quick grocery store food that can be eaten in the car. plus…it was christmas and my house was full of candy, chocolate, cookies, chocolate, cakes, sweet breads and chocolate. plus…i hadn’t gone running since thanksgiving.

you can tell where this is going, can’t you?

my favorite jeans don’t fit favorably any more.

so…we’ve sworn off restaurant-rich foods for a while. all last week, i put a hot, fully home-cooked meal on the table. this week, i got back into a regular exercise schedule again (even if it’s only on my elliptical), and i thought i’d share a few of our favorite new recipes. and hopefully, i’ll be sitting comfortably in my favorite jeans in no time. 🙂

Smothered Porkchops. normally when I see this recipe or read it on a menu, i hold my nose and refuse to go anywhere near it. pork chops smothered in canned cream of mushroom soup sounds disgusting and grey. i hate mushrooms, and i am very snobby about how much i hate canned cream-of-fill-in-the-blank soup (especially when it’s so easy to make on your own!). but this recipe came from Wellness Mama, so i actually gave it a chance!  certainly anyone who calls her blog “wellness mama” would have the same feelings for cream-of-mystery soup from a can as i do, so she couldn’t possibly use it in one of her recipes? i was right!  this recipe was a quick meal (40 minutes for me), i had everything on hand (except for the heavy cream – i just used the coconut cream at the top of my can of coconut milk) and oh-so-delicious!  i have a 9-year-old who loves cooked onions, so i added more for his side dish.  i served this with roasted green beans and barley cooked in chicken broth.

Detox Smoothie.  i’m not a liquid-dieter. if i did any form of a liquid diet, i would be in a constant bitchy mood because i’d be starving. liquid doesn’t fill me up, and we’re not meant to live on liquids…even if we’re trying to shed weight. i made this after my workout this morning and it was so delicious, so fresh, and so filling!  if you haven’t mixed up some good leafy greens into a fruit-based smoothie yet, you’ll be surprised at how good it is. because i don’t want to get used to just a smoothie for breakfast, i had an earlier than usual morning snack (almonds) that i normally wouldn’t have if i chose eggs or oatmeal (my go-to breakfasts). the best part of this smoothie is that it didn’t have that fake “protein powder” aftertaste that i’m not fond of, because it’s all real food ingredients!  so try one after your next workout!  or for an afternoon boost.

Bone Broth Soup.  the link for this recipe again comes from Wellness Mama again because it’s a really good, basic recipe. for the record, i’ve never added the chicken feet, but the more i read, the more i know that the knuckles are packed with good, healthy gelatin. so i’ll look for a local resource to get chicken feet (we might even have our own chicken feet this spring if we butcher again) for our future bone broths.  but this makes a great soup base for a good-for-you and delicious soup. add any vegetable you want, some shredded meat (i made ground turkey meatballs to go in our turkey broth this week). and get really big props from the family if you add a loaf of homemade bread to go with it!

i’d love to hear of your healthy, delicious recipes, meal-plans, and whole-food favorites!  share away!