I began my January Real Foods Challenge on Jan. 1. Since then, I have been pretty strict about what I eat. I have cut the kids some slack (we went out for fast food a couple times) but I've been holding myself to my "rules."
For breakfast I have been eating either Cheerios (Trader Joe's version, which I like better than the name brand!), whole wheat toast with peanut butter, oatmeal (plain with milk) or a whole foods chocolate shake. I always drink coffee with milk and if I want creamer, I have been making my own vanilla creamer from Deliciously Organic. It's simple and takes very little time. The bread comes from Aldi or a simple, 100 per cent whole wheat bread from Deliciously Organic. I eat the bread I make all the time, but the kids and Adam seem to prefer it as a side with lunch or dinner. I've tried ALOT of whole wheat bread recipes and this one is a winner because it requires items I have in my house anyway, can be made in the Kitchen Aide or food processor and doesn't take all day to rise and bake.
Now, with this "real food thing" I want recipes that are kid friendly, have ingredients that are easy to find and don't cost a fortune. Baked Cheesy Penne fits the bill, although I did make some changes. I also tried the Chickpea Penne from the same website. This was NOT a hit. I think it would a nice side dish for a pot luck but my family didn't like it and they were all still hungry afterwards.
Another hit, and super simple to make, was the chicken enchiladas from 100 Days of Real Food.I had made a whole chicken in the slow cooker two night before, so I used the leftovers in this dish. Because we are a family of six, with one child who eats more than most adults, the recipe made one large casserole for all of us. The leftovers reheated well too.
When we went out this week, I had a salad and fresh iced tea (McDonald's) and a grilled chicken sandwich, side salad and tea (Chik Fil A). Normally I am badbadbad about stealing nuggets and fries from the kids but not this week. Not.even.one and MAN did it take will power! I told Adam I wanted a reward for that. He suggested CFA waffle fries. Evil Man! I will admit I was hungry Sunday when we went to McDonald's for a post-Mass play date with Cole's godparents and their kids. I had a large tea and a parfait. I know the yogurt has alot of sugar in it but it was probably a better choice than other items. Anyway, I scarfed leftovers when we got home!
We've been sticking to a budget of 175 a week for six people. This does not include beef, since we buy in bulk from a butcher but does include toiletries and cleaning supplies. Even with our increased veggie and fruit intake (including juice, since a variety of fruits are hard to come by in the winter) we've been sticking to this and doing well.
This week is a simple eating week (I'll post the menu later) and we're easing back into our routine. Christmas decor is down and the kids are happy to be in school again. I'm happily staying busy cooking and hanging out with my baby Bear.