Clean eating is really just a fancy phrase for eating foods that aren’t fooled around with. Foods with less ingredients. There are not fillers, preservatives or funky additives in your dishes. I think sometimes that phrase can be intimidating for many. It used to be that way for me. (Disclaimer: I am by no means and expert on clean eating, but we try to regularly eat clean and are learning as we try.) Learning is a verb. I don’t think anyone is actually every finished learning. If think you are finished, then you still have a lot to learn.
This idea of life-long learning is definitely applicable to clean eating. Once you know a few basics, you can start cranking out your own recipes or tackling cook books. We slowly started to integrate wholesome ingredients into our house about a year and a half ago. It’s been an amazing journey about feel better and more confident in the food your are putting in your body. Actually giving your body the proper fuel to function was no longer a novel idea to us. It has become a reality.
Through the process of clean eating, I have been introduced to amazing ingredients like agave nectar, tahini, almond butter etc. Clean eating does not have to mean fancy new ingredients though. It can mean extra virgin olive oil or grape seed oil. It can mean utilizing lemons and limes for powerful punches of fresh flavor. It can mean using herbs to subtly change the dynamics of your dish. It can literally be tossing 3 ingredients together and roasting them. Clean does not have to mean challenging.
For starters, let’s ease into a recipe where it is easy to identify the cleanliness. This may seem complex at first glance, but really the prep takes at the most 10 minutes for me. I made this recipe a few nights ago and as always tweaked it to our liking. Here is the link to the recipe I used: http://shescookin.com/2011/02/03/ina-gartens-lemon-chicken-breast/
Here are some tweaks that I made:
- I substituted rosemary to thyme because I had it on hand and like the taste better
- I used the juice from two lemons instead of one (One lemon usually yields about 2TBSP)
- I used white cooking wine
- I used my roasting pan instead of glass 9×13 pan
- I added about 5 Yukon gold potatoes; quartered (to make the meal heartier)
- My husband pounded the chicken breast with a meat mallet until about 3/4 an inch thick to make them cook a little quicker
All of these are my tweaks on the recipe. This is a perfect example of how you can follow a recipe, but make it your own based on your preferences, ingredient availability, time on hand and needs. Try out a clean recipe. Even if you start out slowly, I encourage you to start restocking your pantry as you run out with extra virgin olive oil or grape seed oil instead of vegetable oil or Crisco. Always keep fresh garlic cloves, an onion, lemons and limes on hand. Start a small herb garden with basil, cilantro and rosemary. These are not complex steps that lead you further down your clean eating journey.
Drop me a line about your clean eating journey. Remember, we are never finished learning!