Real Food Pledge: Day 1

Last night we shared a delicious chocolate chess pie and ice cream with friends. That was the last refined sugar we’ll eat for a while. Today was our first day of the 10-day Real Food Pledge, and I’m happy to report that it went really well. I never felt deprived or inconvenienced… probably because we spent most of the DAY in the kitchen! It’s a good thing that we started on the weekend.

Breakfast was coffee without sweetener, whole-wheat pancakes with real maple syrup, and North Carolina apples. Don’t worry… this stack wasn’t for one person. They’re very filling!


Whole-wheat pancakes, unsweetened coffee, real maple syrup

Whole wheat pancakes from $5 Dinners blog are easy to make and not much more effort than using a pancake mix. (I didn’t add carrots or make cream cheese syrup.)

Cooking pancakes

Whole-wheat pancakes

Lunch was a green salad with oil and vinegar and some “real food” beans we had left-over. For our snack, I made homemade granola from 100-days of Real Food blog to have for the week:


Granola dry ingredients: oats, nuts, seeds, spices, raisins

The recipe is flexible. My version included old-fashioned oats, Louisiana pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and pumpkin pie spice. It was my idea to add pumpkin pie spice. I wouldn’t add it again because it was too strong.


Granola is ready to bake

Honey and melted butter hold all of the dry ingredients together. I used rolled oats because it’s what I had, but next time I would follow the advice of the recipe and use steel-cut oats to help the granola hold together as bars. I was able to get several nice chunks, but most of the pan crumbled. The roasted pecans are my favorite part. My boys and neighbors also enjoyed the granola.

After baking granola for 75 minutes

For dinner, I went pretty far outside of my comfort zone. How’s this for “whole food”:

Whole NC flounder

It’s a whole, wild-caught, North Carolina flounder, fresh from the farmers market, seasoned with salt & pepper, lemon slices, and chives (thanks, Andy Smith!) Science fun: can you find both eyes on this side of the fish?


Seasoned flounder, ready to grill

I made mashed sweet potatoes and washed organic grapes while Jim grilled the fish:


Grilling the whole flounder

And why not add one more scary pic of the whole fish and its frightening teeth. Jim’s not a big fan of fish, but he managed okay while Patrick gobbled it up, repeating “fish!” with every bite. I thought it was a great success!


Grilled whole flounder

An unexpected perk of the Real Food Pledge and spending so much time in the kitchen… I think we’re cultivating a future chef. Every time I cook, he pulls a chair from the kitchen table to the counter so he can watch me. He loves to participate by dumping in ingredients and stirring anything. It’s a great opportunity to teach him new words, count with him, and talk about the math and measurements in recipes. At the very least, he’s getting great exposure of cooking “slow food” as opposed to ordering “fast food”.

little chef

My future chef, dragging a chair to help me cook

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8 Responses to Real Food Pledge: Day 1

  1. Ann says:

    So proud of you Kristen! You’re sharing your gifts in a very special way!
    Can’t wait to be one of your kitchen assistants next week.
    Love, Mom

  2. chicaz00m (Dawn Smith) says:

    I have to say it… that fish looked scary! Kudos to the Balhoffs for championing this effort with such great recipes! Love the pictures!

  3. Meghan says:

    Wow, you are doing better than I! We too had pancakes for breakfast, then we had pbjs for lunch and hamburger stew for dinner. We had maple breakfast cookies for snack, and my first thought was, “These would work really well with Nutella.” Guess I’m not quite in the zone, yet! But with 2 babies not napping this weekend, I think we did pretty well getting it together.

  4. Pingback: Real Food Pledge: Day 2 | Camp-Counselor Mom

  5. Pingback: Real Food Pledge: Day 5 | Camp-Counselor Mom

  6. Pingback: Real Food Pledge: Day 7 & 8 | Camp-Counselor Mom

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