Eliminating Processed Foods Series—our month long challenge part 10–week 4 menu


The problem with having a stocked pantry and having many get togethers is that you eat much processed foods.  It seems we have a week where we get on track and then all of a sudden, we through a BBQ or have an open mic and we are back to eating unhealthy again.  As this past week winds down we will be able to get back into routine a bit and focus more on quality of food and not so much on quantity and other person’s persona of what we should be eating.

My pantry is looking quite bare lately.  I am slowly using up all our foods that we are looking to eliminate.  I was excited to find whole wheat pasta that costs the same as the “white” kind at Walmart and Meijers.  That is a no brainer of which ones to choose when the cost is the same.  Now the only problem is …..we have to try it.  I was going to mix it half and half with my white pasta to get used to the taste and texture of whole wheat.  Will keep you posted.  **update, have been using it just fine with no complaints from anyone.

This week I really focused on getting rid of the things I wanted to “use up” in my refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.  One of those items was mayonnaise.  I had a 1/3 of a container left and didn’t want to waste it.  So I took some ground up chicken, and ham–from Easter that was in the freezer and mixed it together with some chopped up pickles and chopped onions.  This made a great tasting sandwich spread.



yogurt and berries with granola on top


leftovers from party this past weekend


leftovers from party this past weekend–the children enjoyed this part, being able to eat all the yummy foods from the party.  For myself, I stuck to a plain diet .  I learned from the week before how awful I felt and did not want to repeat that.



breakfast burrito


leftover macaroni and cheese

raw veggies cut up


sandwich spread on bread for anyone who liked it


This day, I went to our Farmers Market and came home with a bunch of fresh veggies.  We made vegetable pizza and topped some with turkey bacon. I made my own sauce, used our own bacon bits, some cheese and lots of veggies.

We also had some corn on the cob and watermelons slices




pancake muffins and yogurt smoothies


leftover pizza from dinner

sandwich spread on bread


lentil rice casserole in whole wheat tortilla with lettuce and homemade salsa

corn on the cob


This dish has become a staple in our menu this past month.  It is something my husband enjoys and there aren’t many meatless dishes that he enjoys, it is cheap, and it is good for us.  Oh, did I mention it was SUPER EASY to make???




english muffins with egg and bacon


leftover lentil rice burrito


BLT sandwiches with chicken rice soup.

My little ones don’t enjoy BLT sandwiches.  I took my homemade bread that I made this week and put slices of it on a cookie sheet. I then topped each slice with a piece of homemade Velveeta cheese and a piece of bacon.  I broiled it for a few minutes and had a great sandwich for my children.




homemade bread made toast and peanut butter


leftover soup

cut up veggies


We did peanut butter and honey sandwiches for the younger children to tide them over until our Open mic at night to eat.

We served up everyone with a nacho bar, brownie-strawberry skewers, hummus and pita chips, veggies and dip, and licorace and jelly belly beans.

We also had a Smores bar and that was fun to have.

Thank goodness we have a vast amount of hungry teens that attended, it was less food for us to have as leftovers.



burrito and smoothies


leftover nacho


on the road….

Today we went to visit Dad down at work and then head to the park together.  We packed a cooler full of sandwiches– peanut butter and honey for little ones, sandwich spread for older ones.  We took apples, and cut up veggies, brought along a bag of Monster cookies that we made this week, and some pretzels we bought on sale.



pancake muffins

I finally was able to purchase REAL maple syrup.  I bought a large container and paid way  more than the fake syrup I used to buy but my food spending allotment has been extremely lower so I was able to purchase it as an investment into my children’s bodies.  Funny, my little ones prefer the “sugary” kind over the real.  Takes time to strip them from their corn syrup sugar.


leftover sandwiches


cut up veges


mexican haystacks

I have  a friend who does these each week, I thought I would grow tired of “routine” foods but this has worked out well.  It is easy to have in the crockpot or oven warming while we are at church and then come home to an easy meal all prepared, we just have to assemble.

Today we tried her version instead of our Mexican version.  I didn’t take pictures —just mixed some chopped chicken, tomato sauce, black beans, chili powder and cumin.  Let is cook on low in my crockpot all day.  Made for an easy dinner.


Even though I might not say that we had veggies and fruit with our meal, whenever I assemble the little ones plates, I ALWAYS fill a few compartments with whatever veggie or fruit we have on hand.  If I don’t have fresh, I put frozen or dried.  We have lots of frozen grapes, applesauce, and blueberries in the freezer to grab for dinner.  We have been serving lots of cucumbers this past month.

I am happy to say that I have quit my coffee creamer.  I LOVE my coffee in the morning but have started drinking it black this week and it has gone well.  My husband made me a cup with creamer and I didn’t even think it tasted that good.  I will continue on not adding it to my drink and be rid of that processed food.

This wraps up our month long processed food elimination.  I really do feel like we are FINALLY on a good path.  Most everything that I buy now will be a basic food, that I will take and create something out of it.  No more letting someone else prepare something that I can do myself.












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