Themed Eating Mini Series: Traditional Thursday

January 23, 2014

Guest Post By Katherine Ashbaugh

Hi, friends of Astleigh! We're the Ashbaugh's, family of four. On a regular day, you can find me blogging over at I Don't Have a Clue ... But I'm Finding Out. We typically don't do internet pics of the kids, but this is Mark and I.

How can I best describe our eating habits? Well, we like to eat, a lot, especially when someone else is cooking for us! Unfortunately, we're the grown-ups around here, so the end results tend to fall on the simple side of the spectrum (as you will soon see).

We like to feel content at the end of a meal, but not too full. We use a lot of olive oil, pepper, garlic, and basil. We like almost every kind of vegetable or fruit, and we love homemade bread. We get creative with our soups and rely heavily upon our grill. We don't use "cream of" anything in our recipes, and typically stay away from heavy cream, lots of cheese, or prepackaged foods. But, we love Blue Bell and Cheez-its. 

Everyone's inconsistent.

Other ways we stay healthy? We try to spend intentional time with each other, with our kids as a family, and with various groups of friends. Y'all, do not discount the health aspect of community! (And what better way to build community than around a table sharing a delicious meal?) We also spend a lot of time romping around outside, dabble in home gardening (meaning fresh produce), and are attempting to mill wheat berries into whole grain flour. 

I don't want to talk about regimented exercise, because at this point, there's not much to say.
My recipes? I almost want to hide at this point due to their simplicity, but well, people need ideas, so here are ours. They are simple, but de-lic-ious!

I've been slotted with Traditional Thursday, so today, we will consider the all-American burger, fries, pickle meal.

Y'all, burgers? There are degrees of evil in these depending on the quality of meat. Fries? Bad. Pickles? Yummy, but I'm not sure there's any nutritional value in them. How do you health-ify this meal?

Last summer, we experimented with vegan-dom. It lasted two weeks; however, one major change came with this summer staple. The burger has henceforth been substituted with (drumroll please) … a portobello mushroom. 

Oh just give it a chance!

Open-faced Portobello Burger
  • What You'll Need:
    • 1 Portobello Mushroom
    • Olive Oil
    • Salt / Pepper to taste
    • ½ whole wheat bun
    • Enough mayo to cover the bun
    • Provologne cheese (optional)
  • What You'll Do:
    • Brush enough olive oil over the mushroom to cover entirely. Add salt and pepper.
    • Place on the top rack of the grill for about 15 minutes. (Shroom shrinks, and that's ok.)
    • Melt cheese on top.
    • Add mayo to bun, then the mushroom.
    • I eat mine open-faced.

I told you this was really simple.

Some people can't give up their burgers. If you are one of those people, that's fine. But consider making a few substitutions with your sides.

Soy Sauce Baked Green Beans (instead of fries)
  • What You'll Need:
    • 1 lb green beans
    •  Soy sauce
    • Salt / pepper
  • What You'll Do:
    • Wash green beans. Remove the ends.
    • Lay green beans on a baking tray. Sprinkle with soy sauce. Add a little salt and pepper.
    • Bake on 450 for 15 minutes.

Homemade Applesauce (instead of pickles):
  • What You'll Need:
    • 8 tart apples (Macintosh, Green)
    • ½ brown sugar
  • What You'll Do:
    • Core and peel apples.
    • Add ½ cup water to fill bottom of pan.
    • Add ½ cup brown sugar.
    • Cook on low for 30 min to an hour with a lid until they feel soft.
    • Serves 4.

The moral of the story is that locally grown and organic foods are richly flavored in and of themselves. Your goal is to highlight and enhance this natural goodness! Enjoy!