Pantry: before and after

I cleaned out our pantry today in preparation for taking the 10-day Real Food Pledge soon. I am pretty familiar with all of the rules, but most of the food that I eliminated was due to one of two things: some form of processed sugar in the ingredients list, or refined grains. I knew that my pantry needed a lot of work. I like to bake sweets and make candy. Plus I stocked up on “snacks” when hurricane Irene was on the way to NC.  (Note: some of the bottom left shelf has Jim’s brewing supplies and should be ignored.)

pantry before

Pantry: before

Here is the load of “food” that was eliminated because the ingredient list included sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, or an artificial sweetener. I expected cookies to have sugar, but I was surprised that SO many items in my pantry had sugar in them:

Eliminated due to sugar content

Some of the items with sugar also had refined grains, but they had already been eliminated due to sugar content. Here are foods that didn’t have sugar but were eliminated because they have refined grains or aren’t 100% whole grain:

processed grains

Eliminated due to processed grains

Finally there were a few foods that either had a really long list of ingredients or included several “mystery” ingredients that sound like a long list of chemicals:

mystery ingredients

Eliminated for mystery ingredients

Those processed foods were replaced by “real food” snacks, including foods that are not pictured like whole fruits and vegetables and whole-grain brown rice:

real food

New Real Foods

So here is our pantry now: whole-grain flour, cereals, rice, and pasta; dried fruits and nuts; honey and maple syrup; oils and vinegar; bags of dried beans; canned pumpkin and tomatoes; and onions, garlic, winter squash, and potatoes. It’s nice that I can actually see everything in my pantry.  (Note: some of the bottom left shelf has Jim’s brewing supplies and should be ignored.)

pantry after

Pantry: after

The pledge starts for my family in 4 days. Want to join in the challenge?!

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4 Responses to Pantry: before and after

  1. TXGardenMom says:

    Girl, I admire you. My husband and I talked about it and I got nervous about getting everyday stuff … like bread. We have no bakeries near us (business opportunity?). Maybe I could just make my own bread. I think we’ll do a trial run next week and see how it goes. I’ll have to swap out refined grains for whole grains and find some good cereals for the kiddos. BTW, I found a really interesting recipe for pumpkin chicken enchiladas that we had the other night for dinner. It’s surprisingly good. Let me know if you want it.

    • I like the “trial run” idea. I’ve been gradually moving toward the rules all month, so it doesn’t feel like we’re going “cold turkey”. (Of course, that would be a free-range, antibiotic-free turkey, not from a factory farm!) It’s been interesting to see a peek of what recipes I need to adjust. For me, the toughest part to make a long-term switch is that I love to bake, decorate cakes, and make candy. I may be able to make some cakes and breads as whole-grain and naturally sweetened, but not most things I like to make. So they will have to be for very special occasions. And I’m curious to see if I get to the point where I don’t like the taste of refined sugar. I hear that happens. I personally can’t imagine it!
      I would LOVE that recipe! Please share!

      • As for cereals, my table will be “100%” for the 10-days. PTB loves oatmeal with cinnamon and bananas added in. We use the “old fashioned” oats (not quick-cook) and microwave 1/4 cup oats + 1/4 cup milk for 1 min. Then add bananas and cinnamon. Delicious!

  2. TXGardenMom says:

    With ya on the “100%” table! The boys love oatmeal, albeit with brown sugar, craisins and milk Got to figure out a replacement for that brown sugar.
    The pumpkin enchiladas are from Rachel Ray’s “Great Food Fast.” It’s a great use for leftover baked chicken.
    1/2 roasted chicken, skin removed, meat shredded
    6 scallions, thinly sliced
    Coarse salt and ground pepper
    1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
    4 garlic cloves, peeled (I found this too much for my little guys. I would go for just two if little kids are eating this)
    1 jalapeno chile, quartered (remove ribs and seeds for less heat, if desired) – again, I found this too much and used about 2 tablespoons of jalapeno jelly that I had in the fridge
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    8 corn tortillas
    1-1/2 cups grated sharp white Cheddar cheese

    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken and scallions. Season generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.
    2. In a blender, puree the pumpkin, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, 2 1/2 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Pour 1 cup on the sauce in the bottom of an 8-inch square pan (or other shallow 2 quart baking dish).
    3. Lay the tortillas on a work surface; mound the chicken mixture on half o each tortilla, dividing evenly. Roll up each tortilla into a tight log; place seam side down over the sauce in the baking dish.
    4. Pour the remaining sauce on top; sprinkle with the cheese. Place the dish on a baking sheet; bake until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

    Here are some additional interesting pumpkin recipes from Rachel Ray:

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