My famliy, like many familys all over, is starting to rethink the way we eat. Not just what we eat, but where it comes from and how it is made. A friend of mine once said something along the lines of:
“The less trash you make, the healthier you are eating.”
If you think about it, that totally makes sense. Slowly, but surely we are trying to live by this motto. What does this entail? A whole lot more fresh fruits and veggies (I explained last week my favorite way to preserve these since we only shop once a month!) Of course, we aren’t ready to go vegetarian (I would blame this on Bran, but I do love me some steak!) So by the end of the trip we still have quite a bit of cardboard and plastic in the cart. This brings me to grocery shopping rule #2:
“If you can’t flip the package over, read the ingredients and point at what is in your pantry. Don’t buy it.”
So, what exactly does this mean? If you can’t tell me exactly what everything on the back of that package is without google, then you probably shouldn’t get it. For instance if it says ‘flour’ you can point to a bag of flour, you can see it in your mind. Now what about Maltodextrin, Sodium caseinate, Disodium phosphate, and Sodium metabisulfite? Not as easy right? By the way, those are all found on a box of hamburger helper (and I explain what they are at the bottom of the post)!
Now, I realize there are some things that I cannot pronounce that are perfectly harmless, but this rule is about simplicity. Kind of like the “if it has more than x amount of ingredients” rule. You may throw something out that is fine, but you will avoid many more things that are just plain unnatural for your stomach to digest!
One of our favorite pretty cheap, all natural, versatile food staples are egg roll wrappers and wonton wrappers (used in this post, use ground TURKEY if you decide to make this recipe I implore you!) At my grocer I and buy 21 egg roll wraps or 48 wonton wrappers for $1.98, not to bad right? Easy to use, no genetically engineered ingredients, contains no MSG, and just plain fun!
Ingredients: Wheat flour, water, salt, vinegar, eggs, and cornstarch. See I can point to all of those things currently in my pantry! What do we to do with them? Tons of things, one of my favorite recipes to use with the egg roll wraps is:
Asparagus and Prosciutto Roll Ups
1 pkg egg roll wraps
1 bundle fresh asparagus spears
1/4 lb prosciutto, sliced into strips
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat to 350*. Snap of ends of asparagus. Wrap each spear with a strip of prosciutto. Brush each egg roll wrap with olive oil and fold to form a triangle. Brush folded wrap with oil and sprinkle with Parmesan. Place on wrapped asparagus spear at one end of the folded egg roll wrap and roll it up. Continue with other bundles.
Place bundles on 9×13 baking sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray. Brush tops of roll-ups with olive oil and bake for 25-30 minutes; until lightly brown.
There are tons of recipes out there, so next time you are at the grocery store and in the produce aisle look for egg roll wraps and wonton wrappers! They are usually with the dressings and tofu. Also, try out my rule’s for grocery shopping and see how much changes, for the good!!
Okay, you knew I wasn’t going to let you leave without telling you what those ingredients really were right? What kind of scientist would I be!
1. Maltodextrin: polysaccride produced from starch. According to the MSDS it is hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of ingestion, or inhalation and to seek immediate medical attention if ingested.
2. Sodium caseinate: A stabilized molecule of Sodium hydroxide and Casein (protein found in mammalian milk). According to MSDS: Hazardous in case of ingestion. Many people have allergic reactions to this apparently.
3. Disodium phosphate: A salt composed of phosphoric acid. According to the MSDS: Acute oral toxicity : 17000 mg/kg [Rat]. Meaning that for every kilogram (or 2.2 lbs) of rat it has to ingest 17 grams of the stuff to be considered toxic. For a 150lb person that is equal to eating 1.16 kg or 2.6 lbs. It does say that it can cause irritation of the digestive tract and vomiting as well.
4. Sodium metabisulfite: Preservative. MSDS: Acute oral toxicity: 1131 mg/kg [Rat]. Or 89 grams per 150lb person. May cause gastrointestinal tract irritation with abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, violent colic, and possible gastri hemorrhaging.