Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash with Balsamic Vinegar

I was just recipe surfing on Foodgawker and found this yummy squash recipe. Now is a great time to snatch up leftover squash at the grocery store - the stuff is deeply discounted now that Thanksgiving is over.

Thanks to Kalyn's Kitchen Blog for this lovely CE recipe!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar
(4-6 servings, adapted from Roasted Butternut Squash with Balsamic Vinegar by Lynne Rosetto Casper.)

2 lbs. butternut squash cubes (about 6 cups)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T + 1 tsp. best quality balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. very finely chopped fresh or frozen rosemary, or slightly less dried rosemary (be sure it's especially finely chopped if you use dried rosemary)
sea salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F/200C. Mix together the olive oil, 1 T balsamic vinegar, and rosemary, then toss squash cubes with the mixture.

Arrange the squash on a cookie sheet or dish large enough to hold it in a single layer. Roast 20 minutes, then turn squash and roast about 20 minutes more, or until squash is very soft and starting to get slightly caramelized.

Remove from oven and toss squash with additional 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and pepper. You can mash slightly if you want, but I keep mine rather chunky. Serve hot.

Water, Water, Everywhere...

If your body is 97% water, what do you suppose it wants when it is thirsty...hot cocoa? Sprite? Sunny D?
Seriously - water is the lubrication your body craves. If you don't take in enough, bodily systems don't work as well as they should - joints are less absorbent, bowels move less regularly, brains get foggy. We were intended to eat fruits and vegetables, meats, and drink water.

On your daily food diary, make a space to start recording your water consumption - track your cups, ounces...whatever it is that you need to do to track and follow your water consumption. Get yourself a nice water bottle to keep with you during the day - on your desk, in the car, wherever. Make water your go to drink. Out to eat? Glass of water. Waiting for your son to be done football practice? Drink water. 3 pm snack attack at your desk? Water. It will keep your body healthy, fill you up, and keep your metabolism on track. Don't disregard water. It is essential - and a very important part of eating cleanly is water intake.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

.55 / 1 Mann's Fresh Cut Vegetables

If you have a Safeway in your area, I know they carry Mann's brand fresh bagged vegetables - but you may want to check their site for locations near you before you print.

Mann's Fresh Cut Vegetables .55 / 1

Is Dairy Clean?

Talking with a friend who is getting interested in CE after talking with me and seeing the junk in my trunk disappear , she asked me a question that is debated amongst CE folks: Is dairy clean?

Well...yes and no. I choose to eat some dairy, and not others - and here's why.

Organic milk is clean. It's free of growth hormones and hormones that they give commercial cows to induce increased milk production. It is a product you can find in Nature and drink without any manipulation. Now, we know that pasteurization is important to rid the milk of anything that shouldn't be in the milk - and I am completely for it. Making certain products with that milk adds a certain level of "Clean or Dirty?" to the equation. The procedure to make cheese can either be clean or dirty.

The cheese making process:
  1. Starter cultures are added to raw or pasteurized milk to begin acidification or "sour" the milk.
  2. Animal or vegetable rennet is added, curdling the milk. The resulting solids, or curds, have the consistency of custard.
  3. The curds are cut with knives called harps, releasing a liquid known as whey.
  4. The whey is drained to varying degrees, depending on the desired consistency of the finished cheese.
  5. The curds are placed into molds and drained further. For hard cheeses, the curds are pressed under weights.
  6. Un-aged, or “fresh,” cheese will then be packaged and shipped to market, ready to eat. Other cheeses are aged and tended to for a period of time that ranges from days to years.

Most commercial cheeses? Unclean - additives, colorings, preservatives and unnecessary starches are added. Most organic cheese? Clean. They generally don't add a lot of extra ingredients.

What about yogurt?

A lot of commercial yogurts are really cleaning up their act. These days, if you look at a cup of yogurt in the store, the ingredient list is shrinking in response to consumer's requests for healthier food choices and the growing market for expensive, almost artisnal yogurts. Again, look for the fewest ingredients, and stay away from ingredient lists where you either can't pronounce some words or don't know what they are -

Something I want to try soon: Making yogurt at home with your crockpot - Thanks to A Year of Slow Cooking blog - she's awesome with that crock pot!

Ice cream? Sour cream? Well, I'm avoiding both of these mainly because I am eating cleanly for weight loss. If / when I'm ready to reintroduce these items, they will be like yogurt - few ingredients as possible.

So is dairy clean? Go to one blogger, and s/he will say no. Another will say yes. I prefer to take it on a case by case basis. I've been seeking out organic and simply made products over the mass produced stuff you can find anywhere. The effort has been well worth it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Bean Soup

This delicious soup is CE and delicious! Just make sure the chicken stock you use is homemade or a very low ingredient list organic brand.

3 cans black beans , divided
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, chopped
½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
½ green bell pepper, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp. ground cumin
2 cups homemade or organic chicken broth

1 small tomato, finely chopped
2 tbsp. roughly chopped fresh cilantro


1. In bowl of blender, add 1 can black beans, and 2 cups water. Puree until smooth, about 30 seconds; set aside. If you like a little heat, add a few drops hot sauce as you puree.
2. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers; cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Add chicken bouillon mixture, reserved black bean puree and remaining black beans; bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until soup thickens and flavors come together, about 10 minutes.
3. Divide soup evenly among serving bowls. Top with a dollop of Greek yogurt or lite sour cream if you eat sour cream. Sprinkle with tomatoes and cilantro.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Prep Keeps You On The Right Track!

I've learned that the weekends are my time to prep to keep myself on the CE track for the week. I'd like to share with you some things I do to get myself ready for the upcoming week. I work full time, and the rest of my family aren't CE - yet. I have definitely seen a correlation between being unprepared and times when I've strayed from a clean path.

1. I grill a tray of chicken breasts with a little seasoning and olive oil on the George Foreman grill for storage in a large Tupperware container. These are for eating plain, chopped over a salad, etc for the upcoming week.

2. I boil 6-12 eggs for the coming week. I find these are an excellent mid morning snack - protein rich and under 100 calories each.

3. As I'm an over eater, I take snacks like almonds, raisins, etc and divide them into true portions and put them in snack sized Ziploc bags. This method of portion control keeps me from too much mindless snacking.

4. I've discovered I like a "goulash" of seasoned browned ground beef, a can of diced tomatoes, and a broccoli / corn / bean mix. I'll make a bowl of this and freeze 2-3 portions for use as lunches later in the week.

5. I've streamlined my mornings by bagging a piece of fruit, a yogurt, carrots, etc the night before. I just grab and go in the mornings and I'm all set for lunch - no need to frantically throw something together.

Roasted Red Onions and Pears

I still haven't come up with a good sub for butter. :-(

Serves 8
  • 4 semi-ripe medium pears, quartered and cored
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 sprigs rosemary


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, toss pears and onion with butter and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange pears and onion in a single layer (they should fit snugly in dish) and top with rosemary. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake until pears begin to soften, 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until pears are golden brown on bottom and tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes more. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary leaves if desired and serve warm or at room temperature.  

Thanks to Martha Stewart

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Clean Eating Thanksgiving

If you are headed to a Thanksgiving meal away from home, there are some things you can do to stay ( sort of ) on a clean path.

1. Tell your host about your CE needs. Ask that a portion of mashed potatoes not be loaded with cream and butter just for you. If sweet potato is on the menu, ask if a few can be pulled aside for you before mashed and marshmallowed.

2. Bring something! Offer to bring a CE alternative that you'll be able to enjoy. While not necessarily CE, try looking at some of these recipes at eatbetteramerica.com: Healthified Thanksgiving Recipes

3. Focus on the foods that are simplest - turkey, potato, vegetables. Stay away from stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Headed into Non CE Waters - A Relative's House for Lunch

I'm headed this afternoon to have a family lunch with my non CE family members like my parents in law, and a few sisters in law with their families - a pre Thanksgiving get together.

 Armed with the knowledge there will be much processed food ( can you say Cheez Whiz and cocktail weiners? ) there, I'm ready.

1. I'm eating rather substantially before we leave. I had a good sized breakfast, and will eat a large portion of leftover steamed broccoli from last night before we leave.
2. I'm packing a small bag of edamame beans to snack on, and a large bottle of sparkling water to sip while I am there.
3. I've made a side dish I know is clean ( a corn / black bean salad with a vinaigrette ) to have so I know I've got at least 1 food I can eat to dominate my plate. Normally, she cooks a protein rather blandly - so I believe I will have at least some turkey, chicken, or beef that isn't too messed around with. Probably not grass fed - but I can deal in a pinch.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Black Bean and Cheese Burrito Pinwheels

Thanks to Clean Eating Magazine's Quick and Easy Meals cookbook for this one - I made these for dinner and my non CE husband tried them and pronounced them "halfway decent". If you knew my husband, that's a rave review! The pic above is as close as I could find to the pinwheels I made - but they are pretty close.

4 whole wheat tortillas
1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp olive oil ( I had to use a little more than this )
2 tbsp salsa ( again, I used a little more )
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 oz low fat cheddar cheese
Additional salsa and Greek yogurt to taste

Warm tortillas in oven
Pulse beans, lemon juice, and clove in food processor until smooth. Stir in cilantro and salsa. Spread mixture on tortillas, roll up tightly and cut into 1" thick slices. Serve with salsa and yogurt if desired.

$1 / 1 Earthbound Farm Organic Vegetables

EarthBound Farm Organic Farming Quiz and Coupon Link

Since when do you get coupons for anything other than non CE products??? All the time, thankyouverymuch! Click the link above, take their organic farming quiz, and access a $1 / any 1 Earthbound Farm product. If you don't have the little coupon printing program on your computer, it will prompt you to download it - but once you do that, you'll be able to print most coupons I post.

CE can be expensive - most processed foods are counter-intuitively cheaper than fresh, wholesome, non messed around with foods. Take advantage of savings where you can!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mambo Sprouts

Mambo Sprouts is a company that has some online printable coupons you might find helpful in your quest to CE. You'll have to install a small program on your computer to print these ( it will guide you through the process ) and then once done, you can print most coupons on the Internet.

Mambo Sprouts Internet Printables

If you have problems or issues, please post and I'll try to help!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Michi's Ladder

One of the first things I found online was this wonderful chart: Michi's Ladder which outlines 4 "tiers" of foods that are really a first stepping stone for those who are trying to eat cleanly. I highly recommend printing this out and putting it on the fridge - it's an excellent beginner's guide to "what's good and what's bad" in the world of CE ( Clean Eating ). Yes, we all know over processed foods - foods that don't naturally occur in Nature aren't what we should be putting in our bodies - but initially trying to put this into action is hard if you've eaten poorly all your life. I take issue with shrimp being a 3rd tier food - but in my tier system, shrimp is a tier 2 food. ;-)
People just getting interested in CE need some black and whites - this is ok, this is not. I found this chart extremely helpful, and I hope you do, too.

Welcome to Eve Was ( Partially ) Right!

Welcome! I'm hoping to explore Clean Eating - helping others just starting out with helpful tips, product reviews, recipes, the occasional coupon ( yes, even Clean Eaters can save! ), and some all around common sense for taking your diet and flushing the 21st Century crap out of it. I've been eating cleanly for several months and am completely convinced that it is a solid choice for anyone wanting to improve their nutrition and perhaps lose some weight along the way.
One thing you won't find in this blog is a lot of tree hugging, "Back to Nature" junk - there's no patchouli oil on this woman! Just expect some tips and advice, and a lot of sharing of information about this very easy to embrace change in diet.
Please feel free to post comments and questions along the way. I am eager to share what I've learned for those who are just starting out in Clean Eating.

Thank you, and welcome!