So we are several days into a month of no sugar… the sugar cravings are getting real. Agh! Here are a couple meals that I made last week:
Toast with peanut butter, or eggs, or avocado.
Smoothie/shake– My favorite go-to smoothie is super simple: 1 frozen banana, 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder, a spoonful of peanut butter, a small handful of greens (spinach or whatever you have on hand), a teaspoon or two of chia seeds, a couple ice cubes, and some milk. Not the most exact recipe… I found the recipe on Pinterest and make my own additions (such as the chia seeds and spinach) depending on what I have on hand.
Greek yogurt with sliced fruit
Salad- today I made a salad with a superfood greens mix (the store hasn’t had spinach/kale for the last two weeks?!?! Even today, the store was fully stocked but no spinach… agh!) some cubed cheese, a couple sliced dates, and a sprinkle of chia seeds.
Smoothie– a few days ago I made a smoothie with a banana, a pear, a large handful of lettuce, a bit of chia seeds and sesame seeds, some ice, and water. The pear and banana add a lot of sweetness and this smoothie is as tasty as it is healthy. To me at least… Jared wasn’t too impressed when I gave him a taste.
Toast with tuna, avocado, etc. Be creative! I like to buy bread with lots of grains and seeds. I’ve never been a fan of white bread- I grew up on whole wheat bread so I’m used to the taste and heartiness!
Soft tacos– cook some mince (ground beef) with an onion and taco seasoning, chop up some lettuce and tomatoes, grate cheese, whip up some guacamole, heat up some refried beans (or make them yourself- I like to!). I have to confess… the tortillas I bought weren’t really sugar free. And I ate them. The package didn’t list sugar in the ingredients but when I looked later I saw that it does list dextrose, which is sugar in disguise. But like I said in my last post, I’m not going to be *too* too picky about things like that. I’m still debating whether or not I should have a bun when we have hamburgers this week… Alright, I’m getting off track! I also got some corn chips (made with just corn and vegetable oil) to enjoy with the guacamole.
Pizza- I used the same pizza dough recipe that I’ve shared before, but substituted honey for the sugar. It worked out great! I used the leftover taco meat, and chopped up a fresh tomato from our garden (the first one! Yay!) to top the pizza. It was sooo good! If you find yourself with leftover taco meat, try it!
Chicken, potato wedges, and veggies– Last night for dinner I made this amazing chicken! I didn’t have seasoning salt, so I just added extra salt, and some oregano and parsley. The chicken turned out amazing! It’s super easy to make, too. Then I sliced a couple potatoes into thin wedges, tossed with some oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and oregano, and put in the oven at 200 (400F). I steamed some veggies from the freezer, and that’s dinner! I was going to make scalloped potatoes but then realized I didn’t have time… so I put potatoes on my grocery list for this week and I’ll make them soon!
Plain greek yogurt with frozen berries and honey… soooo good!
My mom has a couple blog posts with sugar free meal ideas as well, here, here and here. These are from when we did a month of no sugar a couple years ago- my inspiration for this month!
This week I’m planning to make hamburgers, and… yeah that’s as far as my planning goes really. Some weeks I meal plan, others I just decide what to make around 5 or 6 pm. With the mince (ground beef) that I don’t use for hamburgers, I might make meatballs. I also have chicken drumsticks and chicken thighs in the freezer. I love chicken, guys. It’s so cheap. When people say ‘cheap as chips’ they should say ‘cheap as chicken’. Last week I bought a pack of chicken drumsticks for less than $6. With 11 drumsticks, that’s easily three meals for Jared and I.
I love Pak n Save, as they almost always have a meat special. When chicken is on special, it’s so cheap! This week mince (ground beef) was only $7.99/kg (normally $9.99/kg) so I got a kg to make hamburgers and meatballs. Oftentimes meat will be marked down, even though there’s nothing wrong with it, because the best by date is in one or two days- in that case, I buy it, and just throw it in the freezer right away. I always put my meat in the freezer anyways, unless I plan to use it the same day or the next day.
And baking… last week I made these soft pretzels and they’re so good! I substituted honey for the sugar and they turned out great. I also replaced 1 cup of white flour with whole wheat. They’re just as good but a bit healthier! As you can see mine rose more than they should have… probably because the oven took a while to preheat so they were sitting on the bench for longer. But my point is- when making yeast breads, it’s super easy to just use honey instead of sugar if you’re trying to avoid refined sugars.
What are your favorite sugar-free meals? I’m actually finding it pretty easy to cook without sugar since I don’t cook with sugar anyways… the hard part is avoiding ingredients that contain sugar (seasonings or sauces). I love baking though and that’s where I use lots of sugar. Also guys… there are just random things that have sugar and it’s really annoying! Last week I was going to buy canned beetroot but every single brand had sugar in it. I was so confused, why do they put sugar in everything? Well this week I bought fresh beetroot so we can still eat it. Since we’re having hamburgers this week I decided to buy tomato sauce since in our seven months of marriage we haven’t bought any yet. I couldn’t find anyyy without sugar, but yet I couldn’t serve Jared hamburgers without tomato sauce… so I got some anyways and I just won’t have any until April. Today I made Jared a tuna sandwich for lunch, and of course I mixed mayonnaise with the tuna. And then regretted it because now I can’t have the rest of the tuna for lunch… okay then.
Seriously, going without sugar really opens your eyes to how many everyday foods contain sugar!