Fresh and wholesome food. Yep that is what I have generally ate my whole life. My father was one that hated boxed macaroni and cheese and pizza so when I grew up my mom never made it. She would occasionally buy a frozen pizza for us kids that were pressed for time between school and work. It wasn’t often though. I do remember making my own fish and rice before I went to work. When I say fish, I don’t mean fish sticks either. I remember cooking up some fresh walleye and making some rice. It was white rice, but I wasn’t eating takeout pizza all of the time. Another thing that I always remember is my mom always had at least two vegetables at our dinner when we all ate together. Dad was a meat and potatoes kind of guy so there was always some sort of meat, potato or pasta and veggies. Mom also did a lot of baking. With four of us kids, three of them being boys, we ate a lot. Mom actually did us a favor because at least we ate food that wasn’t totally processed. I look back at what we ate and ironically enough, probably 95% of our food was wholesome and not processed. It wasn’t organic, but it was filling and we pretty much knew what we ate. We could pronounce the ingredients. Yes there was sugar in our baking, but it was rare that we ate baked goods from a store. It was also rare if we ate out.
When I got married, I carried the tradition in the fact I cooked like I was used to eating. It was rare that I bought anything from a box. Frozen food to me was buying frozen peas, broccoli etc. Pot pies? YUCK!! I am a little more health conscious now though so I do cook just a little more different. I cook with less salt and WAY less sugar. It is rare that I bake anymore because I feel that none of us need it. I do splurge during the holidays and the occasional “feel guilty” moment when someone will whine that they need something sweet.
I consider “real food” in the same category as unprocessed. I am learning how to substitute honey for sugar in certain things but everything else is pretty much the same as usual. I cook from scratch and use “real food”. Here is a dinner that we had on Monday night. I got home from work and took out the thawed chicken breasts and put them in a pan with a little olive oil. While they were simmering I chopped up some onions, peppers and mushrooms and threw them in with the chicken.
I then sprinkled some black pepper over all of it. While it simmered I browned some minced garlic in just a little margarine( this is where I cannot use butter due to my heart condition ). When the garlic was browned I added three cups of fat free milk, three tablespoons of flour and more pepper. When this thickened I added it to the chicken mixture.
We had baked potatoes that came from the garden and frozen peas. I made enough of the sauce so that we could put it over the potatoes if we wanted to.
The chicken wasn’t organic, neither were the mushrooms or onions, but the peppers came from out garden as well. Peas were frozen so at least they were close to its most natural state.
I always eat fresh salads, veggies and fruits, so this was a meal that hit the spot with me. It is real food but also comfort food. It was a bad day at work that day and I enjoyed coming home and cooking. I wanted something that was comforting and at the same time it was therapeutic cooking it.
For the most part I am eating unprocessed, but I have to say that I cannot live without my unsalted pretzels and graham crackers. Sorry 😦
I see my cardiologist tomorrow and I am sure that he will be happy with my eating habits.