real food challenge week 2

After today we will be halfway through our 30 day challenge!  It’s going by so fast!  Week 2 was just as good or better than week 1.  After I posted about last week’s meals, ‘Becca commented:

Thanks for sharing! It is so much easier to imagine what a diet is like when you see several days’ real meals–and, unlike a lot of “real food” blogging I’ve seen, you are eating mostly simple things that are familiar to most people, instead of fermented liver with homemade buckwheat vinegar or whatever. :-)Congratulations on escaping the clutches of TV!

Her comment made me laugh because I totally know what she’s talking about – usually people who post real food recipes use ingredients that are so foreign to me.  As soon as I see ingredients I don’t recognize, I immediately dismiss that recipe and move on.  So I hope that seeing what we are eating on our real food challenge (hopefully not too much weird crazy stuff) will give you some ideas that don’t seem so daunting.

So here are some of the things we’ve been eating this week (I’ve provided links to all recipes used…unless there wasn’t a recipe used):

One thing that I forgot to take a picture of was the chicken we cooked.  My mom almost always cooked whole chickens when I was growing up (as opposed to the boneless, skinless chicken breast that I usually use) and I’d helped her de-bone them a lot, but I’d never actually cooked on myself.  So we bought a whole chicken from the farmer’s market last weekend, cooked it in my largest pot (and it still barely fit!), then de-boned it.  It was actually much easier than I expected (although Michael did the hard part of touching the raw chicken, checking the cavity to see if anything needed to be removed, and putting it in the pot) and we got a ton of chicken.

We used some of the chicken to make Greek pitas (which I sadly failed to take any pictures of).  They were super easy; just chicken, whole wheat pitas, shredded mozzarella, tomatoes, cucumbers, and tzatziki sauce.

homemade honey whole wheat bread

Michael used this bread and some of the chicken we cooked for sandwiches some days.

This is the only recipe I’ve made that I still haven’t gotten right yet.  Lisa’s recipe calls for a bread machine, which we don’t have, so I’ve been adapting it to try to cook it in the oven.  However, it keeps not getting cooked all the way through.  Each time I make it I’ve been adding 5 more minutes and I guess I’ll just keep doing that until I get it right (unless one of you dear readers wants to make my life easier and send me a bread machine…).  It’s still edible, just a little doughy.

kale chips – these are my new obsession!  They are super easy to make and so delicious!  I’ve been eating them with my lunches just about every day this week.  Yum yum yum.

There was tons of fresh fruit at the fame’s market and at Jackson’s Orchard last weekend, so I had a delicious bowl of fruit (peaches, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries) nearly every day for an afternoon snack.

Another snack we’ve been enjoying is zucchini bread muffins (apparently I forgot to take a picture of them!)

I know I showed you pizza last week, and I’m trying not to repeat even if we ate the same things this week, but I just had to show you these pizzas we made.  Michael’s brother came and ate with us one night so instead of making one pizza and splitting it like we usually do, I divided the dough into thirds and we each had our own little pizza.  I used my whole wheat pizza dough recipe, homemade pizza sauce (I used this recipe as a guide but added a bunch of stuff to it, I plan to do a tutorial soon so you can have the full recipe), and we shredded mozzarella cheese.  Then we each picked our own toppings: Michael had chicken and green pepper (his is on the left in the cast iron skillet), I had green pepper, banana pepper, and onion, and Joe Donald topped his with fresh basil from our garden.

They were fantastic (except that the basil got a little overcooked…now I know to put it under the cheese instead of on top).  I’m getting hungry just thinking about them!

Just about every day we make smoothies.  We usually make them a few hours after supper for our “dessert”, although they are also a good breakfast on the go or afternoon snack.  Michael usually puts a ton of different fruits in his; my smoothie of choice is peanut butter + banana + honey.

Michael still had bacon egg biscuits for breakfast most days, and I did some of the time, but I also wanted to try something else so a few days I had oatmeal (rolled oats, whole milk, honey, vanilla, coconut, and raisins).  Even Michael thought it smelled good (and he can’t stand oatmeal!).

This is possibly what I’m most proud of so far on our real food journey: homemade whole wheat tortillas

They weren’t as hard to make as I expected and they are delicious!

 homemade salsa (super easy and tastes like Chili’s salsa)

and refried beans in the crockpot (also so easy to make)

tortillas + refried beans + salsa + sour cream = possible my favorite meal so far


And finally, we had Michael’s parents over last night for a belated Father’s Day celebration.  Michael grilled salmon with a honey glaze that he concocted (it was incredible!).  We also had grilled corn, salad with red wine vinaigrette dressing, squash and zucchini, and green beans.  Quite the feast!

So in summary, this challenge is going great!  We’re eating tons of yummy food and I don’t feel deprived at all.  I will say that I spend much more time in the kitchen cooking and washing dishes than I did before, but it’s not as bad as I expected and I think it’s totally worth it.  Also, in case you are wondering about cost, I haven’t kept super detailed records or anything, but just from what I’ve estimated, we aren’t spending any more now per week than we did before we started this.  So don’t let cost deter you.

Oh yes, and other then a few minutes of Disney channel that was on while I was babysitting last week, we haven’t watched any tv in the past 15 days.  We haven’t chosen to use our “allotted” two hours each week.  And guess what?  I don’t even miss it!  Who woulda thunk it?



  1. L Lyons says:

    Hey! Love your real food challenge. We’ve been trying to stick to only real foods utilizing our local farmer’s market & a great little produce market we have here. Funny you should mention a bread machine, because I have one that you are welcome to have. I would love for it to go to a good home :) We used to use it all the time & loved it. It’s very easy to use & the bread came out perfectly every time. Now that we have a bakery, it never gets used, so it’s just taking up space. Email me soon & I can send it back to TN soon as I’ll be having visitors & can get it to you! Keep up the good work.

  2. geekusa13 says:

    Thank you for the knowledge about basil and your new favorite meal which I shall try this week! Keep up the awesome work!!

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