It’s been a week since I arrived back home from True North. While I’ve been saying that it’s been challenging, the only true thing that’s been a challenge is the “outside” world. Eating out has become a challenge and in reality that is a good thing! Yes, I’m having to modify some of the recipes and things that we eat at home and that’s not too difficult. Remove a 1/4 tsp of salt, or more, from some recipes… not a big thing. We already weren’t cooking with oil, for the past year or so, so that hasn’t been an issue removing. I also hadn’t been using sugar much either, so again, not an issue. I have changed my perspective on things in the past few days. Where I was thinking of this as a huge challenge when I initially got home it’s actually turning into a blessing in disguise. We save a lot of money by not eating out and I get to keep us healthier in the process. Win-win! Yes, there will be times that we will want/need to eat out. Because 95%, or more, of our lifestyle will be in line with keeping us healthy, that 5% or less of not-so-healthy eating I won’t fret over. Granted, we won’t be going out and grabbing a steak tomorrow (seriously… the thought of that actually makes me sick to my stomach) or a big ol’ hunk of cheese but the not-so-healthy “healthy” food isn’t going to matter because the majority of the time we will be doing what we need/want to do to keep us healthy.
Speaking of saving money and keeping us healthy…we made our own vegetable broth this week! What we do is we keep a storage bag in the refrigerator and when we have vegetable scraps; carrot peelings, potato peelings, broccoli or cauliflower stems, etc., we throw them in the bag. At the end of the week we throw everything in my InstantPot pressure cooker (I LOVE this thing!!! more on that at a later) with a bunch of water and whatever seasonings we want and let it cook for about 20-30 minutes on the “soup” setting. After it’s done I pour it through a fine mesh strainer and VOILA – vegetable broth with no salt, preservatives or other crap! It will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days, in the freezer for 6 months.
I have no affiliation with the InstantPot people and will make no money, unfortunately!, from this raving endorsement! I LOVE my InstantPot! You can find one on Amazon (sales come around every so often so watch the prices if you’re going to buy one) There are 2 or 3 different models. One you can even make your own yogurt in (on my wish list! Read the labels on your yogurt people…especially the sugar content!). The InstantPot is a pressure cooker. I can cook my dried beans, without soaking them, in less than an hour. I can make what would be an equivalent of about 4 cans of beans for 2 cups of dried beans. Organic, no salt, beans for about $1 versus $4 and up if I were to buy them in a can. Again, saves me money and health…win-win!!!! I also make steel cut oatmeal in my InstantPot. For those of you who have any experience with traditional steel cut oatmeal it takes quite a bit of time to cook steel cut oatmeal the traditional way. I just throw it in the InstantPot with a cinnamon stick and a vanilla bean, some water and some non-dairy milk and a few minutes later – YUM!!! I can also make soup, steam vegetables, and lots of other things! It is truly the one kitchen appliance that I would grab if my house were to catch on fire (choi – my sister and family will know why I put that here). I love it more than my Blendtec blender or well….maybe there would be two I would grab. I also LOVE my baby Ninja chopper. I can dice onions in about 10 seconds. I LOVE that little thing as well. So, there would be 2 things I would grab…my InstantPot and my Ninja chopper!
Recipe – Overnight oatmeal
Jay and I LOVED this when we had it twice this week. Abbey didn’t care for the consistency. I may try again to modify the oats in it to get the texture right for her.
1/2 cup – 3/4 cup of rolled oats or quick cooking steel cut oats (we haven’t tried the steel cut oats yet but will be soon) – can be made gluten free if you have gluten free oats.
3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/2-1t of cinnamon depending on how much you like cinnamon
1T of dried fruit of your choice (unsweetened and sulphur-free. I like dates because of the sweetness they add) – optional
1T chopped walnuts – optional but yummy
Berries of your choice (we prefer wild blueberries) – or any fruit really of your choice, bananas, mango, peaches…the options are abundant!
The night before you want to have this for breakfast, add the oats, non-dairy milk, cinnamon and dried fruit, if you are using, into a glass jar of some sort. Shake till mixed well. Put it into the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, mix in your walnuts and fruit. ENJOY!!!! Yes, there is NO cooking!!!! This is a refreshing way to start your morning, especially in the summer months when you don’t feel like warm anything. Jay and I were surprised at how much we enjoyed eating this. We also may end up quadrupling the batch because, while this is a good breakfast, we found that we were hungry again too early in the day. We’re also going to try the steel cut oats as they have a heartier “bite” to them and a different taste and consistency.
Have an OUTSTANDING weekend and remember, on Monday in the United States, to pay respect to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country and it’s people.