Plan ahead to Eat Clean

I decided to actually make myself a grocery list this past week and planned my meals for the week.  I have found that I’m not eating as nutritious as I would like lately, either because I don’t have the time or I don’t have the ingredients, and thought that if I planned my meals ahead then I would be more successful at nutritious eating.  I found some great healthy recipes, mostly from the 100 Days of Real Food website, that I used this week and were an overall success with my husband and 4-year-old daughter, my toughest critics. My favorite recipe of all time is Turkey Meatloaf.  I got the original recipe for Italian Meatloaf off the back of the Progresso Bread Crumbs container but have turned it into my own version of Turkey Meatloaf.

Turkey Meatloaf

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs lean natural ground turkey
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 Teaspoons fresh basil leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 garlic clove, diced
1 egg (preferably cage-free and organic)
3/4 cup oats
1 small onion, chopped or grated
1 bell pepper of any color, chopped or grated
1/4 grated carrots
Ketchup, BBQ sauce, or Chili sauce

Directions

1. Pre-Heat oven to 350 F
2. Mix all ingredients except ketchup
3. Spread mixture in an ungreased loaf pan then spread ketchup over the top
4. Bake uncovered for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until cooked through. Let stand 5-10 min before serving

Side notes
*Try substituting 1/4 lb. very lean all-natural beef for 1/4 lb. of the turkey
*Use ketchup that has no added sugar
*If using Sweet chili sauce, use sparingly as it is not a clean eating food but it adds a very nice flavor to the loaf

I have also been reading Tosca Reno’s books on The Eat-Clean Diet which has been very eye-opening and inspiring.  It takes work and practice to accomplish nutritious whole food eating but it will be well worth the investment.  What I am finding so far is that there is so much flavor in just the food alone without having to add all the sugar and fat.  Which leads me to this recipe using honey and yogurt in place of sugar.  Bananas also contain a lot of natural sugar.  The overall result was very delicious and a great alternative to the sugar based breads/muffins and it as whole grain!

Whole Wheat Banana Bread (adapted from 100 Days of Real Food)

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cup whole-wheat flour (make sure it is WHOLE wheat flour and not just wheat flour- this is how the industry tries to trick us)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt     (*I used vanilla yogurt or you could also use applesauce)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil  (*check her blog for healthy oil options – I used olive oil or unrefined extra virgin coconut oil would be a good choice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and grease pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl mix mashed bananas with yogurt, honey, eggs, oil, and
    vanilla.
  4. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until blended. Do not
    over mix.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. (I made mine in muffin pans)
  6. Bake large loaf for 40 – 50 minutes or until it comes clean with a
    toothpick.

Overall, planning ahead was a bit time consuming on the front end but a huge time saver in terms of dinner plans and preparation.  I knew what I was making for the evening, could take out any necessary ingredients the night before, and it didnt require much thinking at the end of the day when Im usually worn out.  With practice and better planning I feel we can all be successful at eating clean nutritious meals every day.  Put the time in now and get yourself on the road to a healthy future!

Other delicious recipes tried this week:

Tortilla Soup
Cobb Salad
Pork Carnitas