October Unprocessed Week 2: Menu

What would you miss most, giving up processed food and artificial additives? When I pitched the idea that we both do October Unprocessed this year, I wasn’t sure if Mike would agree. But as the primary cook in our family, I needed him on board for me to be on board. When he did agree, I asked him what he would miss the most, expecting him to say “Doritos” – the MSG-laden corn chips with ingredient lists as long as your arm and every chemically concocted flavour combination you can imagine. Instead, he said “Being able to say ‘screw it, let’s order a pizza'”.  The convenience.

homemade pizza

Last week, after a long day at work (for me) and a long day with a cranky baby at home (for him), we could have had dinner on the table at 6 p.m. if we ordered in. Instead, he set the cycle on the bread maker and made whole wheat dough from scratch. We ate after the baby went to bed, at 9 p.m. This is par for the course for us, even with Mike being a stay-at-home dad. If we were both working this month, we’d probably be eating even later (or the pizza would become breakfast – ha!)

On the plus side, we have been able to stay snacky in a way that feels almost normal to us by locating a few brands of potato and corn chips that have a pretty simple ingredient list (I know some unprocess-ors shun deep-fried food, but we have not excluded it). Our emergency Lara Bar stash has been depleted. And I’m eating lots of fresh fruit: kiwis from the garden, and fresh apples and pears. It’s a good time of year.

A container of Hardy northern kiwis from the garden

We stuck to our meal plan for week 1, except Friday when I attended an out-of-town meeting and forgot to throw snacks in my bag. Starving and cranky, I decided to buy something to eat. Trying to get home before rush hour, my options were fairly limited. I thought my best bet might be a latte at the gourmet coffee shop but couldn’t find a parking spot. So I bought a Tim Hortons muffin and coffee (with milk of course, because cream isn’t just cream). Lesson learned. On the docket for this week: make and freeze whole-grain naturally sweetened muffins that I can remember to bring with me.

Here in Canada, this weekend was Thanksgiving. Per our version of the rules, Mike and I made a conscious exception and went ahead with our extended family’s potluck-style meal. I had a few small spanokopitas (made with white flour phyllo dough) and some squash that definitely had more than a pinch of brown sugar in it. I also had a small square nanaimo bar…one of my favourites! But now we’re back on the unprocessed train.

homemade whole wheat bread

Here’s the rest of our menu for October Unprocessed week 2.


Thursday October 8: We ate leftover leek and potato soup with tempeh bacon and homemade bread. For lunch, fried eggs, cheese, tomatoes, and homemade bread.

potato leek soup

October 9: Homemade pizza. Whole wheat crust topped with (pizza 1) bruschetta mix and mozzarella and (pizza 2) mozarella, chipotles, and red pepper.

October 10: We attended an outdoor Thanksgiving festival. There were no beer nuts, cotton candy, or bloomin’ onions for us (though there was beer). We did find a vendor that served barbequed corn, though what they said was butter didn’t taste exactly like butter. We ate leftover pizza for lunch and got some maple sugar candy on the way out (don’t worry – it’s just pure maple syrup, heated and cooled). For dinner, BLT sandwiches on homemade bread (regular bacon for Mike, tempeh bacon for me).

October 11: Thanksgiving. For our extended family potluck I contributed stuffed swiss chard rolls (from the Moosewood Low-fat Favorites cookbook), but as I said we gave ourselves a *little* bit of a break to enjoy the foods others have shared with us.

October 12: It’s a holiday so we made my favourite oatmeal breakfast – apple cider steel-cut oats.

Steak and eggs for my father-in-law’s birthday dinner (happy birthday!) I soaked navy beans in the morning and made them into baked beans this evening. Mike made homemade hashbrowns, whole wheat/rye bread, and eggs, served with sliced tomatoes from the garden. The non-vegetarians had filet mignon as well.

October 13: Leftover baked beans for lunch. Acorn squash and lentil/feta bake for dinner. There’s an old recipe I need to dig out for this dish.

October 14: French onion soup.

October 15: I’ve been craving blue cheese so we found an unprocessed brand. I’m going to eat it on a thick wedge of iceburg lettuce. With that, probably pasta of some sort. Sorry to be vague – it depends on what is left over from the week in our kitchen.


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