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cjohnson728 02-16-2011 03:16 PM

Cooking From Scratch (AKA No More Processed Foods!)
 
So...a few of us on the Motivational thread were beginning to chat about cooking from scratch and incorporating more natural ingredients into our diet, as opposed to processed foods.

What are your favorite ways to do this? What's been your experience? How did your family like it? And recipes...which are your favorites?

I know we have some wonderfully talented cooks and gardeners on this site; let's see if we can get this thread active and share their knowledge :D!

quinnesec 02-16-2011 05:03 PM

Following You Over Here...
 
I saw your question about pasta, cereals, etc. I'm not quite that fanatical. :) I do purchase healthy cereals, (although I usually stick to oatmeal) whole wheat pasta, etc. I mean I don't buy any boxed mixes or pre-prepared foods. All of my meals for my family start with fresh ingredients. (Think Rachael Ray, 30 Minute Meals on a diet. :D)

almeeker 02-16-2011 05:43 PM

One thing most people eat out of a box that I make from scratch is mac & cheese.

staceyalberta 02-16-2011 06:21 PM

right now the only thing out of a can is my tuna. other than that i don't eat anything processed. my son however is about 90% processed free. my son loves oatmeal so i do quick cooking oats for him. for quick meals for my son an omelette is a great option for us & my son loves omelettes. i used to buy those pre-cooked chickens at the stores. yes they are easy, but i have to watch my sodium. i found i can buy a whole chicken for the same price & cook it in my cockpot & it turns out wonderfully. it takes more planning, but in the end better for us & our families

Jennybeeb 02-16-2011 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by staceyalberta (Post 36499)
i found i can buy a whole chicken for the same price & cook it in my cockpot & it turns out wonderfully. it takes more planning, but in the end better for us & our families

Stacey, amazing that you mention this...I have a whole chicken right now, and I am clueless what to do with it.

I was thinking about putting it in the crockpot, but I wasn't sure what I should do with it from there - I would love to know how you cook up the whole chicken in the crockpot, and then what you do with all of the meat aftewards.

I feel like I sound like I don't cook, but the reality is I cook a lot...I just don't typically cook whole chickens - lol :)

quinnesec 02-16-2011 08:27 PM

This is from a post of mine from last March when I was asked about my "go to" quick, from scratch, healthy family meals. As you can see, we eat a lot of vegetarian dinners with small amounts of chicken or seafood here and there. My list was:

*Spanish Rice (brown rice, if you prefer)
*Fried Rice (Weight Watchers has an awesome recipe)
*Veggie Subs on whole wheat buns
*Whole Wheat Pasta Tosses (kids love it)
*Veggie Pizza on whole wheat crust and a little low-fat cheese
*Low-fat, whole wheat Pasta Alfredo made with chicken stock instead of butter
*Grilled Portabella Sandwiches with 1/2 slice low-fat swiss and red onion on whole wheat
*Grilled Marinated Garlic Shrimp with pineapple, zucchini, green pepper and red onion
*Ricotta Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons and Grape Tomatoes
*Veggie Omelets (made with Egg Beaters) and fresh fruit
*Italian Tortellini Soup (kids love this, too)

There are a few ideas to start... :)

Mern 02-16-2011 10:49 PM

Crockpot "Rotisserie" Chicken
 
CROCKPOT "ROTISSERIE" CHICKEN

The skin is not something I wanted to eat, kind of rubbery in a crockpot, but the seasoning got down into the meat nicely. Really does taste like the rotisserie chicken at my local supermarket, but doesn't contain the artificial
flavorings and colors they put on it to make it look good.

If you don't want to eat all the chicken at once, you can divide it up and freeze it to use in a chicken salad recipe, on sandwiches, atop a tossed salad
for a chef salad, add to pasta with a cream sauce, make chicken soup...

Ingredients:
a whole chicken--I used 4 1/2 lb. frying chicken
salt and pepper
celery and an onion or two (however much you want)
olive oil
generous amount of Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper Seasoning or your seasoning of choice.


Directions:
1. Place a rack or several balls of crumpled aluminum foil in the bottom of your crockpot. I used foil--a little larger than golf balls--big enough to keep the chicken from stewing in its own fat.
2. Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper.
3. Stuff (but not tightly) with celery, including leaves if desired, and an
onion or two, halved if you wish.
4. Rub the chicken skin all over with olive oil
5. Place chicken, breast side up, on top of rack or foil.
6. Sprinkle generously with Mrs. Dash Lemon and Pepper Seasoning or whatever YOU like. Some of the seasoning will "wash off" during the cooking process, so don't skimp.
7. Cover and cook on high 4-6 hours. Mine was perfect in 5 hours.

staceyalberta 02-16-2011 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jennybeeb (Post 36520)
Stacey, amazing that you mention this...I have a whole chicken right now, and I am clueless what to do with it.

I was thinking about putting it in the crockpot, but I wasn't sure what I should do with it from there - I would love to know how you cook up the whole chicken in the crockpot, and then what you do with all of the meat aftewards.

I feel like I sound like I don't cook, but the reality is I cook a lot...I just don't typically cook whole chickens - lol :)

okay i'm all about simple tasty cooking. i take garlic cloves & stick a bunch under the skin & into the cavity. the garlic is really yummy once it's cooked ;) i then put it on low for about 5 - 6 hours i think. take note the skin will not get crispy but we don't eat the skin anyways. that night we of course eat the chicken. then with the leftovers you can make chicken soup put all the bones into a pot add enough water to cover & simmer away, you can then add veggies you want. make sure to take out the bones & voila you have chicken soup.

Mern 02-16-2011 11:04 PM

CHICKEN PAPRIKASH

60 Minutes to Prepare and Cook


Ingredients

1 whole chicken (cut into 8 pieces)
1 tbs butter, softened
1 garlic clove, crushed or 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons sour cream


Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. mix butter w/garlic. Use fingertips to spread mixture underneath the skin of the breast and thighs.
2. In a small roasting pan, stir onions w/paprika, salt and 1/4 cup of water. Arrange chicken pieces in the pan. Cook chicken for about 10 min. on 450 degrees, then lower the heat to 375 and continue to cook an additional 30 minutes. Chicken is done when the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 175, and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a knife. Note that breast cook faster than thighs, so you may want to take those out if done first, and let the thighs cook a few minutes longer
3. Remove chicken pieces to a platter and let sit for 10 minutes. Skim and discard fat from the onion mixture in the pan. Add chicken broth to the onions. Placing the roasting pan on the stove top burner, bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring to loosen the browned bits. Stir in sour cream. Serve with onions spooned over it.

Number of Servings: 4

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 4 if divided evenly by weight

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 135.8
Total Fat: 6.1g (using full fat sour cream)
Cholesterol: 44.4mg
Sodium: 454.7 mg
Total Carbs: 8.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
Protein: 12.7 g

Mern 02-16-2011 11:18 PM

TURKEY BURGERS

This is my own recipe. The amount of seasonings is what I use, but you can vary that according to your own taste.

Ingredients:
--1 pound ground turkey
--1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil--otherwise they may come out dry
--about 1/2 teaspoon salt substitute (or use however much regular salt or salt substitute that YOU would use for a pound of ground beef burgers)
-- about 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh onion
-- about 3/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
-- about 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
-- about 1/2 tsp. McCormick salt free all-purpose seasoning.

makes 4 quarter pounders

I just fried them up like hamburgers in a non-stick skillet sprayed with PAM in case there was already enough oil--there was and they were nice and juicy inside. You can blot off any excess oil or press it out with a spatula if you like AFTER cooking.


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