Virtual Book Club Part 1: Clean Eating for Busy Families
Hi all! Hopefully by now you’ve all dived into reading my book Clean Eating for Busy Families. If not, it’s pretty easy to at least peruse the introductory chapter on clean eating.
What are your thoughts so far about Clean Eating for Busy Families?
The number one question I hear is, “What is clean eating?” Clean eating is enjoying whole foods in their least processed state, as well as opting for in-season food produced as close to home as possible, whether that means in your country, region, state, nearby farmers market or even your back yard.
What does clean eating mean to you?
How do you currently “eat clean”? What do you do to ensure you stick to a clean eating plan?
For me, keeping my kitchen stocked properly is key. I work mostly from home and love being at home (just ask my husband!), so I eat mostly from my kitchen, rather than out. I always keep a running list of what we’ll need next. I plan out at least one dinner for the week and the needed ingredients. And I batch cook whenever possible to yield at least a couple dinners plus a few lunches from one clean eating recipe. One great example of that is my recipe for Pinto & Kidney Bean Tamale Pie from my book. It tastes delicious as leftovers. Sometimes I bake it in muffin tins and freeze the individual leftover portions. Get the recipe below!
What is your favorite recipe so far that you’ve made from the book? Or are there any that you really want to try?
One of my favorite meatless recipes from the book is my Pinto & Kidney Bean Tamale Pie. It tastes delicious as leftovers. Sometimes I bake it in muffin tins and freeze the individual leftover portions. Get the recipe below!
What are the staple clean eating ingredients you always keep stocked?
I make sure to keep fresh snacking in-season fruits and vegetables on hand, plus convenient dried fruits, nuts and hummus. Right now I keep apples, pears, baby carrots, sugar snap peas, and avocados stocked. And always pre-washed lettuce mix.
Another question people often ask, including book club participant Lisa H. is, “Is clean eating expensive?”
It depends on what you are buying. Making a vegetarian meal from scratch with clean eating ingredients will most likely cost less per serving compared to going through the fast food drive through. Organic meats and poultry tend to be more expensive though, which is another good reason to use less meat in your recipes and rely on more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. If you are buying in-season produce, that helps a lot too, since it is less expensive (think strawberries in June compared to January). Frozen and dried fruits and vegetables can be considered clean, too, as long as any added ingredients are clean.
What else would you like to know? Tune in next week for Part 2.
Hearty Pinto & Kidney Bean Tamale Pie
Half chili, half cornbread, this dish is satisfying and delicious. Feel free to use cornbread
mix as a shortcut, with enough batter for six muffins being the ideal amount to pour on top.
1 tablespoon (15 ml) expeller-pressed grapeseed or canola oil
1 small onion, finely diced (about 1 cup, or 160 g)
2 teaspoons (6 g) minced garlic
1 (15-ounce, or 425 g) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce, or 425 g) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce, or 390 g) can diced tomatoes with green pepper, celery, and onion
2 teaspoons (5 g) chili powder
2 tablespoons (28 ml) lime juice
2 tablespoons (28 ml) reduced sodium soy sauce
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup (70 g) whole-grain corn flour or fine-ground whole-grain cornmeal
½ cup (60 g) whole-wheat pastry flour (or white whole-wheat flour)
2 teaspoons (9 g) baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (120 ml) low-fat milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons (45 ml) canola oil
1½ teaspoons (10 g) light agave nectar
Garnishes: salsa, plain Greek yogurt, and avocado slices
Preheat oven to 425ºF (220ºC, or gas mark 7).
To make the filling: Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, chili powder, lime juice, soy sauce, and pepper and stir, cooking until hot. Spread evenly into a 9 x 9-inch (23 x 23 cm) baking dish.
To make the topping: Stir together flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Combine milk, egg, oil, and agave nectar in a small bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Pour batter over filling and spread evenly, manipulating as little as possible to avoid overworking. Bake until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes and then cut into 6 servings.
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