Can you make homemade meals for a week straight?

Raw fresh meat steak on kitchen cutting board on a dark wood   background
Nowadays we’d rather order food from Grubhub than make something ourselves. Our rationalization? Saves time. But does it? It takes 30-60 minutes for takeout to arrive and while you told yourself you would do the dishes or a load of laundry during that hour, we all know you sat on the couch and watched “Master of None” on Netflix.  Let’s not kid ourselves. Ordering food is easy, making it on the other hand is hard.

ASDA’s February Wellness Challenge encourages you to face this predicament head-on. Eat only home cooked meals for seven days. I completed the challenge for this blog post and it was extremely difficult, but rewarding.

smoothieDay 1

I decided to start the challenge off right with a green smoothie. Not only is it homemade, but it’s filling and has a good portion of fruits and veggies. I used to think green smoothies were disgusting, but I think I was just going about it all wrong. I discovered Simple Green Smoothies on Instagram and never looked back.  Their recipes aren’t just delicious, they’re also dairy and gluten-free. Check out my favorite recipe at the bottom of this post.

 

mini pizzaDay 2

It’s Saturday night and I really want to order a pizza. So I compromise and make mini pizzas instead. It’s not a real pizza but they’ll work. As long as you have biscuits (or English muffins), cheese and pizza sauce you’re good to go. Day 2 complete.

 

 

 

muffinsDay 3

Sunday means brunch and obviously I can’t go out for brunch, so I make some blueberry muffins and coffee instead. It’s one of those cold Chicago days where the best place to be is inside with a bowl of soup and Parks and Rec reruns. So that’s what I do. My favorite soup recipe (below) takes three hours to make, but leaves you with leftovers for days. (I also put some in the freezer too).

 

Day 4

Leftover soup for lunch and dinner. Yum.

teriyaki chickenDay 5

I’d been thawing some chicken in the fridge for dinner but forgot to put it in marinade the night before. Cue my trusty crockpot – I put in the chicken, marinade (honey teriyaki) and a cup of water. Turn it to low and head to work. When I got home I had some awesome shredded teriyaki chicken which I put on top of some rice and steamed broccoli for my own teriyaki bowl.

 

Day 6

I’m starting to realize that while this challenge is fun, I’m getting tired of leftovers (and turkey sandwiches, which I’ve had for lunch for the last two days). Therefore, tonight I’m having a bowl of cereal, because I can and it’s delicious.

Day 7

I was going to make fish tacos tonight to end the challenge with a bang, but sometimes life gets in the way and that’s ok. So instead I had peanut butter and jelly and a big glass of milk. I could survive on milk, cereal and peanut butter (and some weeks I do).

The great thing about this challenge was that I didn’t really have to cook every night. The term “homemade” is used loosely here. It was more about being conscious and resourceful with what you have on hand. If it makes it easier, think of this challenge as “go seven days without ordering food.”

When I first decided to take on this challenge I wasn’t sure how it would go and I figured once it was over I’d go right back to ordering food and eating out. However, after completing this challenge two weeks ago I’m pleased to report I’ve only ordered food once.

If you have questions or are looking for more fun and easy recipes email me at Kerri@ASDAnet.org. Also share your challenge progress and success with us on social media with #BeWellASDA.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Green Smoothie

1 cup spinach

1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)

1 medium banana

½ cup strawberries (frozen or fresh)

1 tablespoon peanut butter (or any other nut butter)

Instructions:

  1. Blend spinach and almond milk together in blender.
  2. Add banana, strawberries and peanut butter. Blend until smooth.
  3. Enjoy!

 

Mini Pizzas

1 tube of biscuits

Pizza sauce

Mozzarella cheese

Pepperoni (can substitute for other desired toppings)

Instructions:

On a baking sheet lay out the 8 biscuits, top with pizza sauce, cheese and other toppings. Bake according to instructions on biscuit tube.

Baked Potato Soup

1 26-30 oz. bag frozen hash browns

2 14 oz. cans non-fat chicken broth

1 10 ¾ oz. can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup

¼ cup chopped onion

¼ tsp pepper

1 8 oz. package low-fat cream cheese (cut into cubes)

1 cup fat free milk

Instructions:

  1. Add first five ingredients to crock pot and cook on high for 1 ½ hours or until bubbly.
  2. Stir and then add cream cheese and cook for another 1 ½ hours or until cheese can be stirred into mixture.
  3. Add milk and cook 10-15 minutes longer.

Garnish with shredded cheese and bacon bits and enjoy!

~Kerri Richardson, M.S., digital content coordinator

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About Kerri Richardson

Kerri Richardson is the digital content coordinator of the American Student Dental Association. She works with ASDA's website, email marketing, Instagram and Pinterest. If you have questions about the website, emails, or this blog, you can contact her at Kerri@ASDAnet.org.

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