How hard would it be to go completely unprocessed in your meals, for a whole month? Andrew Wilder is a blogger who decided to see for himself, and see how many other people he could get on board. I read his post a couple weeks ago and immediately thought it was such a great idea, and surely not hard at all, since I already use so few processed ingredients! Ha!
I’ve tried to commit, but I think it will take more than a month to get there, and there will have to be some preparation, first. For example, just because I’ve decided to not use processed ingredients (defined as any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen, with readily available, whole-food ingredients), doesn’t mean I’m just going to toss out the weird, sprouted grain bread I bought last week, or not have jam on my toast. Also, I bake a lot, and I use white flour and sugar all the time. I usually don’t use only those two things, I use way more whole grain flour than white, but I just don’t think that’s worth making a huge change for.
I do appreciate the term “reasonable skill,” though, since I don’t have the reasonable skill (read: desire) to make tofu. My kids have rediscovered baked tofu, and I can never make enough of it for them. I only do it once a week, but there are never leftovers.
I’ve been pretty busy lately, with the kids, my own school, singing lessons, physical therapy for my neck, cycling everywhere, and my inexplicable need to make hot breakfast every day for my family. So I’ve started doing the thing I could never do before, a menu that recycles meals from week to week. It’s still full of variation, like how taco night can be black bean, turkey, or pork tacos, and noodle night is pretty international, but the simplification that comes from just knowing that I will make some kind of pasta makes a huge difference.
A couple of places I’ve found recently that can help in simplifying meals and cooking are Stone Soup, a blog that is dedicated to meals that are made with 5 ingredients, and take 10 minutes to prepare, and The Frugal Girl, a blog about minimizing in every area.