What counts as unprocessed?
It all comes down to the “kitchen test.” Can the food be made in a reasonable home kitchen by someone of reasonable skill. So you don’t necessarily have to make it yourself. It just needs to be able to be made by actual human beings. So cheese with additives, chemicals and random unnecessary crap? Out. Homemade cheese and/or cheese without all the additional junk? In.
Booze fits into the test as well.
You can do it for a day, week or the whole month. Feel free to add in your own personal parameters. My personal parameters are that I won’t worry about it if I’m with friends, family, clients, or some other situation where I can’t control what I’m eating. When I eat out, I’ll choose a local restaurant over a chain. It’s rare that a restaurant has a fully unprocessed kitchen but if I’m at least supporting a fellow locally owned business then I can be OK with it.
The main point behind this challenge is to be more mindful of what we eat. I learn something new every year. Also, as I read labels, I notice that companies change their formulations from year to year. The first year I participated, I could only find ONE milk company that didn’t add anything to their milk. The next year, they had additives too.
This will be my 4th year to participate and my 2nd year to contribute a guest post. There are SO many fabulous and informative posts to help you along the way. The social media support is fantastic. Each October I set up a column in my TweetDeck just for #unprocessed. It’s easier to keep going when you see what everyone else is doing alongside you. I still keep contact with people all over the country that I met through the challenge. Almost 4,000 people have signed up so far. Come join us!
So as October and the Unprocessed Challenge approach I’ll be posting recipes that fit within the guidelines. With a little planning, it’s not much more challenging to eat only unprocessed foods. Promise.
I love this combination of foods. It’s filling and gives me energy. I like it best at lunch because it gets me through the rest of the day without needing a mid-afternoon nap.
Beets with Kale, Quinoa, and Goat Cheese
- Beets, peeled, chopped and cooked. (I use the steamed beets from Trader Joe’s.)
- Kale, washed and chopped
- Quinoa, rinsed
- Fat of choice ( I like bacon grease or coconut oil.)
- Fresh chevre, crumbled
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Any additional seasonings as desired. (I like to use Trader Joe’s 21 Salute seasoning mix.)
- Cook Quinoa according to package directions.
- Warm up fat of choice to medium high heat. Add Kale. Sautee until about half-way done.
- Add beets to kale. Continue cooking until beets are heated through and kale is finished cooking.
- Add cooked quinoa to kale and beets. Add salt, pepper, and any other seasonings. Thoroughly mix.
- Transfer mixture to bowl. Top with goat cheese.