#HH30Days Week 3 Recap: Some New Favorites!

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How is everyone doing with the Real Food Challenge??  I hope you are enjoying it and feeling great!  I wanted to share some of my new favorites that have been helping me get through the challenge without feeling like it’s a challenge at all!  It’s really more of a reminder to make good choices and most importantly, to plan ahead.  When I plan ahead, great things happen for my food choices.  When I don’t, well…that’s another story, and it ends sort of sadly.

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Which is why I’m glad to share these ideas with you!  One of my favorite breakfasts, and one that has become my go-to this past week is an almond butter green smoothie.  I use almond milk, almond butter, a ton of spinach, a banana, and a little bit of yogurt for protein.  It’s great because it doesn’t need any added sweetener, plus it keeps me full until lunch.  Ok, let’s be honest, nothing keeps me full until lunch.  But it really does tide me over until snack time, which is still no small feat! 🙂

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Another thing that has helped me a ton is planning ahead and preparing my lunches.  I’m always on the run, so it’s helpful to have something I can just grab from my lunch bag and eat without having to find a microwave.  For that, I bring you…my favorite veggie rice bowls!  I have a mild obsession with peanut butter, so using veggies as a delivery vehicle is a great way to feel good about it.

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I started with some brown rice, then added in a ton of veggies, including cucumbers, bell peppers, radishes, and some leftover grilled asparagus.  I put a big dollop of peanut sauce on top of the rice, then added some cubes of tofu for protein, then added the veggies on top.  It was delicious!  I was actually surprised at how easy they turned out to be, plus how tasty they were!

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These were so easy to grab and go, plus they made me look forward to lunch everyday!

Comment below to let us know how you are doing with the Real Food Challenge!  We would love to see your photos of your meals!  Tag us on instagram!

 

Soup-er Lunch to the Rescue: Day 3

The following is a guest blog from Kaitlyn, our social media manager, editor, mom of two boys, and devoted Hometown Harvest customer. Follow along as she embarks on a 10-day real-food-only pledge.

With some tasty, kid-and-challenge-friendly leftover macaroni in the fridge for dinner, now I needed to focus on lunch! When I’m not managing social media for Hometown Harvest, I work in a lovely day job in downtown Rockville, MD, and I have access to some of the yummiest food trucks and very tempting lunch spots. If I don’t come to work prepared, I just may go off in search of some less-than-real lunch.

What’s my answer? Soup! I’m much more likely to chow down on a warm, comforting lunch of flavorful soup if I bring it with me, so I try to make sure to have a stocked freezer with individual servings of healthy soup. Remember all that chicken stock I made a few days ago? This is how I used the first half of it: Chicken Tikka Masala Lentil Soup.

My favorite Indian dish is Chicken Tikka Masala, so I wanted to mimic the flavors and textures in this soup with what I had in the kitchen. Feel free to add fresh cilantro, coconut milk (unsweetened), or any other “real” ingredients you wish! It’s soup, not science. 🙂

Chicken Lentil SoupIngredients:

  • 4 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 chicken (cooked, from making stock, meat removed and chopped)
  • 2-3 cups organic green lentils
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach, washed & chopped roughly
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 pt. grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup homemade tomato sauce (made last summer from bulk tomatoes!)
  • 2-3 tbsp garam masala spice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil or fresh butter
  • 1/2 tsp kosher sea salt (to taste)

I’m lazy! Once I cooled down the chicken stock, I just strained it into a large bowl and reused the same, dirty pot to cook this soup (for FLAVOR). As the soup was cooking, I removed the meat from the chicken and set it aside.

Heat olive oil or butter, then cook onion until translucent (3min). Add tomatoes, garlic, tomato sauce, and garam masala. Rinse lentils, and add to pot. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken stock until lentils are just covered, then simmer until tender, adding stock as needed (15-20min). Add spinach, chicken, remaining stock, and “wash” the stock container by filling with water and adding to soup. Add another 4 cups of water, and simmer until heated through and flavors have combined. Cool and divide into lunch-sized containers (makes about 10-12 2-cup servings).

Day 3 Menu: Yogurt+strawberries, chicken lentil soup+whole wheat toast “croutons”, cauliflower mac&cheese. Trail mix+apple+orange for snack.