Combining Whole Foods and Simple Eating
Eating is a way to nourish your body and give it health and energy. Most families today are so busy that they think of eating as an end to a means. We are hungry and we need to eat is where it all begins and ends. Most families eat on the go or in a rush. Combining whole foods and simple eating is favorable for many reasons.
1. Whole foods offer prime nutrition.
2. Gathering the family together to create simple but healthy meals with whole foods will help your family to bond more. Since whole foods may take a little more time preparing and even growing, it is a great way to bond with your family.
3. Preparing whole food meals that have fewer than three ingredients gives the family the opportunity to share about their day, their ups and downs, and their lives.
Let’s Look at Some Whole Foods
1. Whole Grains – Whole grains are grains that have not been processed. Simply put, they are grains that are eaten in their entirety – the whole grain seed. Examples are brown rice, quinoa, and barley.
2. Fruits and Vegetables – Whole fruits and vegetables are so numerous in variety that there are too many to mention; however, here are a few examples: bananas, apples, grapes, spinach, kale, carrots, and squash, just to name a few.
3. While most individuals consider whole foods to be foods that are organic, whole foods that you grow yourself are also another example.
4. Legumes – Legumes are a great source or protein and another example of what a whole food may be. Kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, and black beans are excellent whole foods to mix up any meal.
5. Nuts and Seeds – Nuts and seeds such as peanuts, sesame, and sunflower are good examples of how to add a little something extra, just the touch needed, when cooking simple meals under three ingredients. Of course, if anyone has a peanut allergy, cooking with peanuts is not an option.
6. Oils – Some oils such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and sesame oil in their natural form are great to sauté a meal in and make all the difference between bland and beautiful.
If you take a base food such as lean, skinless chicken, fresh fish, and lean beef or lamb, you can combine these staples with some whole foods and have simple, delicious, healthy, and nutritious meals using under three ingredients. Here are a few examples and recipes:
Lemon Chicken, Spinach, and Rice
The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can make it the night before. The more you marinate the chicken, the better the flavor will be when you cook it the next day.
You will need to adjust the recipe according to your family size, of course, but here is the basic recipe:
Other than spices, oils, and seasonings, you will need three ingredients: chicken, spinach, and brown rice.
You will need to marinate the chicken:
• 6 chicken cutlets (the preference here would be organic chicken)
• Juice of 2 whole lemons
• 1 clove garlic
• Salt and pepper to taste
Marinate the chicken, lemons, and garlic with the added salt and pepper to taste overnight, covered with plastic wrap in your refrigerator. The chicken will absorb the lovely flavor of the combination of lemon and garlic.
The following evening, all you have to do is take 2 cups spinach; chop it up, and sauté in some whole pressed extra virgin olive oil and 1 small chopped onion, adding salt to taste.
Cook the chicken breasts for approximately three to five minutes, but judge by your view of how the chicken is cooking. When it is lightly browned and no longer pink in the middle, your chicken is done.
When the spinach is sautéed and the chicken is cooked, pour the sautéed spinach atop the brown rice, mixing well. Mixing well will allow for the olive oil and onion to flavor the rice, too. Place the marinated lemon chicken on top and you have a meal using spinach, brown rice, and chicken that is healthy, quick, and easy, as well as tasty.
Beef with Peppers and Tomatoes
Another tasty, delicious, simple, and easy meal that incorporates whole foods and optimum health benefits is beef with peppers and tomatoes. Lean beef that is grass-fed and organic would be the optimal choice here. The peppers and tomatoes are capable of producing their own yummy juices so you can have a tasty meal in minutes.
For this recipe, you will need:
• 1 pound of round steak
• 2 medium green bell peppers
• 2 medium ripe tomatoes
For seasonings, you will need whole pressed, extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. For sautéing purposes, you will need two cloves of garlic and 1 small onion.
Chop the onion and garlic, place inside the hot olive oil. Cut the peppers and tomatoes and add into the oil, garlic and onions that are sautéing. Salt to taste. Let the tomatoes and peppers wilt so they are both tender to the taste, but not too mushy and overcooked. They should be soft, but have a little resistance when bitten into. Cut beef into strips beforehand and add to the pan, stir-fry on both sides, adding soy sauce to the pan.
Stir well, cooking beef to your liking; preferably, a slight pink on the inside with the outer layers of the strips being nicely browned.
Again, if you like you can add this on top of rice or even some wide whole grain noodles. The juices from the peppers and tomatoes will be add a nice additional flavor to either the rice or the noodles.