Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Process

In my last part I talked about the road to more natural and healthy living. Here's a confession: my desire for keeping the budget and my strong belief in the "waste not, want not" philosophy has delayed our change over to 100% real food all the time. I just don't have it in me to completely empty our pantry of everything in a box or can. We have a few dwindling items, like canned tuna, beans, instant potatoes and instant macaroni and cheese. Many of these items have been given to us and the rest are just leftovers from our "survival mode" days while my hands were full with the new baby. I also have several pounds of white flour and sugar that I'm whittling down. Long story short, I'm trying to use these items here and there, while introducing more fresh and home made meals in between.
Tonight, I sauteed some chicken breast with garlic and Italian seasoning and wrapped it in a tortilla with parmesan and spinach. At least that is what my husband took to work for dinner. It was a bit of a stretch for the kids, although we could have made it work. Then, I decided to let loose and use up a box of macaroni! However, I could never make it per the instructions and still respect myself in the morning. Instead, I threw in the butter, and instead of milk, I added some ranch dressing, some chopped turkey bacon, some of my Italian chicken breast and a dash of parmesan. My only regret is not tossing in some spinach to make a more complete meal. Huge hit! We called it chicken club Mac n cheese and every one cleaned his/her bowl.
Now for the real fun...I don't have any popsicle trays, but that would not stop me. I mixed up some Jello (another hanger-on in the pantry) and I poured equal portions into snack size zipper bags. I then folded the bags over, making sure all the Jello lined the bottom of the bag. To help form a popsicle shape, I gently wrapped the extra bag under the bottom, so the Jello couldn't spread out in the freezer. Finally, I stuck them in the freezer and hoped for something fun. What happened was perfection. Once the "zipper pops" were frozen solid, I could peel the bag away and the kids used the bag to hold the popsicle, like a wrapper. I am more excited about trying this method with other recipes, like mixed yogurt and fruit. Jello just happened to be in the pantry, so it made the trial run for us.

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