I’ve been trying to eat better and make better choices for my family, but every time I talk to someone I know about, I get comments such as,” Aren’t you supposed to just use vinegar and water?” Or “You shouldn’t put garlic in anything!”
That’s just not true. In fact, if you read some of the best books on the Atkins Diet, you’ll find out that you can use those delicious foods that you love without adding any extras. In fact, you can make some delicious, budget-friendly, low-carb meals without having to ruin your diet.
My first example is this: I love spinach. I used to add it to a bowl of pasta that I was making. However, after I read the book, I realized that I could use a bit of lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and voila, pasta comes alive.
What I love about spinach is that there are dozens of different recipes for it that involve different variations of these ingredients. Instead of being stuck with one boring meal, I have dozens of tasty meals that I can prepare. Another example is this: instead of eating ham as the main course, I’m going to cook a pot of soup.
What I love about this soup is that it’s loaded with vegetables and spices that my family will actually eat! Instead of throwing away leftover ham that my husband has already used, I can simply use some of his vinegar and olive oil to marinate the meat.
This saves me the task of chopping the ham and coming back later to a pot of hot, ham-laden soup. It also makes it a little more interesting to eat because it requires creativity and taste. Here’s one more example from my nearly 20 years of shopping for groceries: my family loves bananas.
But I don’t want them to be too ripe. That would make them go off their mark. Instead, I’ll search for a frozen banana and add just a bit of extra-virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar (my own secret). Then, I’ll bake it. Yes, I know it doesn’t sound like much when compared to the southern grove’s favorite pastime, but I’ve actually had it change a couple of lives.
Back to my story: A few years back my family had a garden in the backyard and it looked very much like a southern grove. We harvested vegetables, owed vegetables to grow in the dirt, and spread tomatoes, beans, and corn on the ground.
My husband was especially fond of corn. What he didn’t know was that we were using my dad’s homemade corn soup recipe as our grocery store’s tomato soup. Because of our passion for the garden, we had been trying out different things to spice it up.
One summer night, we had baked some garlic bread in order to spice things up and went to bed hungry.
The next morning, my husband went over to my mom’s house and told her that we needed to look up some vinegar and tomato paste because my mom used to make it from scratch all the time and it wasn’t anything like what he had seen in the grocery store’s seven-hour ago.
I tried looking for a recipe from the Internet but couldn’t find one. In fact, the closest I could come up with was this sentence: “In your pantry or refrigerator, look for a can of peach white vinegar (or whatever brand you prefer), and a small bottle of baking soda.
Mix these two together until the consistency is creamy, add your desired flavorings, and you’ve got a tasty salad dressing.” Baking soda was indeed the right choice for our homemade salsa that evening. The kids devoured their bowl of salsa as if it were their homework assignment.
When mom came home after dinner, she was so impressed that she asked me how we had made our salad dressing. Well, it was actually much simpler than I had thought, but it took only a matter of minutes to make.