Thursday, February 21, 2013

New foods and recipes inspired by the #6IngredientChallenge

Six Ingredient Challenge buttonJoin the Six Ingredient Challenge hosted by Hobo Mama and Anktangle!

We're on a six-week path to eat more whole foods, guided by one simple rule: Buy foods with six ingredients or fewer. And we're blogging about our journey on the way.

This week we're answering the question: What new foods or recipes have you tried or discovered?

You can see all the responses to this question today at this link-up post at Hobo Mama and Anktangle. If you're a blogger who's published a response, please post the URL in the linky below so we can visit to read. If you don't have a blog or haven't published a response, feel free to provide your answer in the comments on this post on either Hobo Mama or Anktangle.

Next week's writing prompt is at the end of this post along with posting instructions.

To join in the Six Ingredient Challenge anytime during the six weeks, visit the sign-up page for a list of posts and to link up!

My answer:

One thing that's been a plus during this challenge is how much we didn't have to replace. It's lovely to keep your comfort foods and feel like you're already taking a lot of strides to be healthy.

That said, it's been an adventure to try out new tastes, and here are a few of the ones we've discovered:

  • I love this packaged barbecue pulled pork, but it has incredible amounts of sugar and other questionable items in the sauce, and who knows the provenance of the meat. So I busted out the crockpot, bought my own pork shoulder and loin (teetering on top of a filled cart, since Mikko always sits in the big section — I felt like some sort of Meat Lady pushing my bones of meat through the grocery store), and conspired with Sam to spice it up and make a homemade paleo-inspired pulled pork recipe of it. We followed one we found online, but I hate to admit it was mostly a disappointment: Despite tons of spices, the pork remained bland. The juices it had been cooking in (with apples, onions, and other fine ingredients) smelled tasty, but according to the recipe, we were supposed to pour that off, which seemed like a waste. The accompanying sauce tasted nothing like barbecue sauce, which had been the whole point. The pork was nice and tender, though, and pulled apart easily. Served on a bed of cabbage (or, alternatively, rolls), it made for a decent if uninspiring meal. I still want to experiment with making my own barbecue sauce, now that I know how to cook the pork part of the dish, so I found some unsweetened ketchup at the natural foods store. That's a future adventure!

  • A much more successful attempt was when Sam engineered the perfect way to make smooth and savory taco meat. I should post that recipe sometime, too! We keep it in a glass container in the fridge, and I pull some out to reheat and put over cabbage with various taco-salad toppings, like guacamole, cheese, salsa, and sour cream. I also love adding apple chunks — a little sweet in the spicy!

  • I mentioned before that we switched out our tortilla chips to a brand with only three ingredients. After a couple weeks, I forgot what I was missing about the old chips. After another couple weeks, I preferred the new ones. It's amazing how quickly you can get used to something!

  • When we realized most bread products were more than six ingredients, Sam started coming up with alternative bread recipes, like his tortillas and pretzels.

  • Since we canned most sweets and treats as well (so few of those are under six!), we've done a ton of experimenting with different cookie recipes, like our cocoa almond butter cookies. It's been so, so terribly difficult to taste test them all, but I'm persevering. We have a bag of cookies on the counter every day, and Sam's been thinking it might be time to buy a legitimate cookie jar. Most recently, Sam came up with a paleo bacon chocolate chip cookie. Salty and chewy and surprisingly tasty! (Or maybe not surprising, considering it's bacon and chocolate! How could you lose?)

  • Some of my favorite recent snacks have been cottage cheese with pineapple pieces, cashews, and slices of parmesan reggiano. It's amazing how many filling and delicious snacks are so simple!

  • We're gathering recipes for salad dressing, since we've finally run out of Caesar. We've bought anchovy paste and everything, so I'm excited for the experimentation to begin!

What have you been cooking up lately?

We hope you'll join us by blogging or journaling about the writing prompt each week. We'll introduce the prompt each Thursday and host a link-up for the answers the following week.

Start formulating your answers to Writing Prompt #4

What has been the easiest part of this challenge for you so far? The most difficult part?

Writing prompt #4 guidelines:

  • You have till next week to think of a response to the prompt. Post your response on your blog anytime by next Thursday.
  • Next week's post (2/28) will have a writing prompt linky where you can link up your response.
  • If you don't have a blog, you can leave your response in the comments on next week's post (2/28).
  • Copy and paste the header below into your post to tag it as part of the challenge.
  • Responding to the writing prompts is optional and just a fun extra way to play along! We encourage you to at least think out a response.

Header code for your writing prompt #4:

Simply copy the code in the box and paste it into the html box of your blogging software to appear at the top of your response post.

Link up your answers to prompt #3!

What new foods or recipes have you tried or discovered?

This linky list is now closed.


Unknown said...

Sounds like the cookie experimentation has been a lot of hard work. =P

I like cooking pork in the crock pot, too. Sorry to hear that your barbecue sauce didn't turn out like you'd hoped—that does seem strange that you would pour off all the delicious things that were cooking with it!

Sheila said...

I'm behind on my blog reading, so you've probably figured out the trick already. But here's what you do. Cook the pork in whatever delicious things you want. When it's done or almost done, drain off the liquid into a pan and simmer it. Add in your barbecue sauce if you have some -- my recipe is just homemade ketchup plus molasses and worcestershire sauce, I think. I just dump in stuff, don't ask me. ;) Simmer till it's reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon, and then brush it all over the pork!

Then you don't lose all that delicious flavor. Just don't do this on a day your spouse might be late for dinner. I did that and ended up eating half the barbecue sauce straight because it was so yummy and, well, I just had to make sure it was okay.

It was okay. You may want to try that.

Lauren Wayne said...

@Sheila: Ha ha, I like the idea of eating it all. Your way makes so much more sense than that stupid recipe (which had good reviews, by the way, so that just goes to show you sometimes people don't know what they're talking about). Sam's got homemade barbecue sauce on his list of things to create, so I hope he gets to it. In the meantime, I'll try out yours!

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