Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Saving a Little Time in the Kitchen

Let me start by saying that Lily is doing much, much better.  I appreciate all your prayers and get well wishes.  A hospital visit is not on our agenda this week, thank the Lord!

I only have a few minutes here since The Bird is still home with me so let's talk about food for just a bit.

I've mentioned several times now that I am removing additives, preservatives, artificial ingredients and dyes from our diet.

I just find that Lily behaves a little differently after polishing off a meal of mechanically processed meat, soy filler, erythorbate, monosodium glutamate, potassium nitrate and sodium nitrate with a side of Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, otherwise known as a hot dog and Kraft macaroni and cheese.

And I firmly believe that one of the reasons we're seeing neurological disorders such as ADHD, Autism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Migraines reach epidemic levels is because of all the chemicals in the food we eat.

But I don't have enough time to get going on that soapbox this morning.

The bottom line is that my family likes to eat.  And we're not willing to give up things like pancakes, cookies, hot dogs, pizza and cheeseburgers.

So I have to be smart and read food labels.  Find healthier substitutes for the things we love.  And be willing to spend a little more time in the kitchen rather than just reaching for the quickest item.  Quick prep packaged foods usually equal something that's not really a food at all.

While I like to cook sometimes, I still am not one of those women who loves to spend all day puttering around in the kitchen.

I like shortcuts.

Maybe you do, too.  Here are some things I've found to cut down on my "kitchen time" and still feel good about what I'm feeding my family:

Immaculate Baking Company - You can find these delicious, all natural and preservative free biscuits, crescent rolls, scones, cinnamon rolls, and cookie doughs in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.

Applegate Farms - Minimally processed natural and organic meats like hot dogs, bacon, sausage, and deli meats also found in your grocery store.

A weekly email menu service is a great time-saver and can help you save some money, too.

In case you haven't discovered these wonderful inventions yet, here's how they work in a nutshell:  You subscribe to the site and once a week, you get an email containing a weekly menu along with a complete grocery list.  Simple!

I used one called e-mealz for a while.  There are many options to choose from, as well as the number of people you are cooking for.  I chose the portion control menu and while it was definitely helpful and simple, it wasn't exactly as healthy as I wanted.

I'm trying one called The Six O' Clock Scramble right now.  It's kid-friendly, generally quick and simple to prepare but uses a little more fresh, whole foods, which is more the direction I'm heading in.  If a meal doesn't sound quite as tasty as I'd like, I can substitute it for another one that I find anywhere on the web and it will automatically move it to my menu and add those items to my grocery list.  Impressive.

There are many others out there.  Give one a try - I think you'll like it!

One other thing I'm going to do this summer is prep my pantry with some healthy mixes so cooking and baking can move along quickly.  Here are some mixes I'm going to try:


White Cake Mix

Brownie Mix

Cookie Mix


Pancake Mix

Not having to mix all the dry ingredients together every time I want to make a cake will save me a few minutes.  Which means I can be eating cake that much quicker!

Plus, it'll be so simple that I can just tell my teenagers, "Go make me some pancakes!" as I'm lounging in the bed this summer while they are scampering about, waiting to do my bidding.

OK - that's it for today!

Have a super duper Wednesday and I'll see you tomorrow!


  1. Hormel makes nitrite/nitrate feet deli meats. They were on sale this week at HEB. It's a product we like and use.

  2. Good job, Amy! I totally forgot about the Hormel meats. They come in a brown and red package for those of you who might be interested.

  3. Thanks for the tips. Hope this goes through...I have been having trouble posting comments as it leads me to "setting up my own blog". I don't understand. I hit the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) this morning, so maybe that does it.

  4. Well, I had to resubscribe to blogger...I guess it ran out or something. Now I can go back and post the comments I tried to make earlier in the week...LOL.

  5. We also just found an HEB brand ham (they might have other meats, too) that is nitrate/nitrite free. It's prepackaged and beside the hot dogs at the Escarpment HEB. We asked the deli about all of the hams they have behind the counter and it turns out that NONE of it is nitrate free back there.


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