Let’s continue to talk about food this week, shall we? I’m pumped for a couple of mini-vacations on the horizon, but trying to take this clean eating show on the road had given me pause. How can I stay true to the challenge, but eat what is being served to the group?
Answer: Make or take some of the food myself!
I keep getting caught up in what I can’t eat, which makes me turn to bland salads. Those leave me perfectly unhappy and daydreaming about frozen custard. Wah wah.
We had a check-in class earlier this week and among other things, it made me realize that there is still a lot available to me. So in that spirit, here are some suggestions for your next backyard potluck or camping trip.
By the way, for the sake of my challenge, the rules are no sugar (except maple syrup and honey), white flour, juice, alcohol, or food additives of any kind, even if they are technically food-based. It’s also probably worth noting that even though the items below technically fit within the challenge guidelines, they should still be kept for the special treat meal, not everyday. Do as I say, not as I do, particularly when it comes to the fudge brownies!
Appetizer – Chips and Salsa
Clean corn tortilla chips are pretty easy to find. Actually, Target’s Simply Balanced brand has a great selection of tortilla chips with fancy things like flax-seed that fit the bill.
Be careful with your salsa! The jarred variety will surprise you with how much sugar and citric acid is typically included. It’s so easy to make your own or check out the deli section of your grocery for a fresh variety.
Non-Alcoholic Drink – Rishi Iced Tea
I’ve never been a big iced tea drinker, but I was looking for anything after juice and soda were taken away. I stumbled into Rishi’s Tropical Crimson and became a fan. Reminiscent of fruit punch of days of yore, this tea is only flavored with real stuff like lemongrass and tangerine oil. That makes it practically just water, right?! Wink, wink.
“Grown-Up” Drink – Clausthaler Non-Alcoholic Beer
Unfortunately, my pregnant lady wine isn’t clean, but when you want to still feel like a grown-up, I’ve heard great things about Clausthaler non-alcoholic beer. If it looks like a beer and quacks like a beer, then it’s got to be a beer, right? I may be getting my analogies mixed up, but if you want to steer clear of the “why aren’t you drinking, are you pregnant” comments, this may help. It’s straight from Germany. Tell them it’s an import and walk away before they see the N/A notes.
Main Course – Hamburgers
No seriously! Make your own patties using organic ground beef, clean cheese (shred your own!), diced mushrooms, salt and pepper and your are good to go! Use a clean bun, like Wisconsin’s own Angelic Bakehouse’s variety and top with a clean mustard or ketchup.
Side Dish – Baked Beans
I made this dish from Oh She Glows a couple of years ago and it has become my go-to baked bean recipe. It’s a good gateway to real beany recipes since it tastes just as good if not better than the stuff Jake makes, but uses only real ingredients. (You do have to forgo the dried cranberries unless you can find some without sugar.)
Side Dish Honorable Mention – Salad
Ok, so this did have to be in here somewhere. Per the challenge, we are supposed to eat a pound of raw veggies per day! That’s a lot, but salads are a great way to sneak them in.
Dessert – Fudge Brownies
As I mentioned yesterday, I think anything you could find in the Rawsome Vegan Baking book would be a big hit, but this recipe for fudge brownies from Fit Sugar will feed a crowd without breaking the bank. You might be able to taste the difference between this and the stuff you make from a box, but only in a good way, I promise.