Day 2 – Butternut Squash Soup

Day 2 was great! I ate oatmeal and blueberries for breakfast, rice and chicken for lunch, and butternut squash soup for dinner.

I am kind of a stranger to butternut squash. Usually I eat acorn squash (roasted and filled with quinoa is a great way to enjoy it!) so the whole peeling of the butternut squash was a little clumsy. But, I just used my regular veggie peeler and it worked ok. I had to go over it twice to get all the rind off, though.


I used a recipe from How Sweet It Is. This is one of my favorite food blogs. But be careful, most of the stuff posts is not unprocessed. In fact, she has a pretty unhealthy, but amazing, affair with bacon. Who can fault her for that?


I realize most blogs post pictures, but I’m just not that great at taking them. I have crappy lighting and only an iphone camera. But if something really amazing comes along, I’ll be sure to snap a pic, even if it’s bad!


Day 1 – Chicken Marsala


Day 1 of October Unprocessed has gone pretty well. I had one slip-up at Great Harvest Bread and ate a slice of their cinnamon swirl – sugar and white bread. But, besides that I’m been on track.

For dinner tonight I’ve made chicken marsala and served it over whole wheat pasta. Below is the recipe that I (loosely) follow.


2 chicken breasts

8 oz mushrooms

olive oil

1/2 c chicken stock

1/2 cup marsala wine (or 1/4 cup sherry, 1/4 cup marsala)

1 T butter

1/4 c whole wheat flour

salt & pepper

First I slice the chicken breasts in half, lengthwise to make them thinner, and then in half cross-wise to make the pieces smaller – it helps stretch the meat, I think. Salt and pepper the chicken, then dredge it in the flour, making sure it is completely coated. Heat up some oil in a large skillet and then cook the chicken until browned on the outside, flipping at about 5 min.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta as directed and slice up the mushrooms. Once the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the pan, add a little more olive oil and the butter. Then saute the mushrooms. After the mushrooms have darkened and released some of their water, add the chicken back to the pan. Pour in the chicken stock and wine. You could serve it right away, but I prefer to let it simmer for about 10 min, until the sauce thickens. Serve over the pasta!

This whole meal takes about 30 min and serves 2-4 people. I added some roasted broccoli on the side to round it out. Delicious!

October Unprocessed Starts Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the first day of October Unprocessed, a food challenge run by Andrew Wilder over at Eating Rules. The basic gist of it is that you take a pledge to eat unprocessed food for the whole month of October. I did it last year and was perfect for the first two weeks, but then crashed and burned the last two weeks. This year my goal is to complete the whole month!

In order to set myself up for success, I need to be realistic. I love cooking and eat pretty well in general, but sometimes the real life of a grad student takes over and fast/convenient food happens. So my general goal is to move myself toward the more unprocessed diet, rather than go 100%. To do so, I’ve set up times when I do not have to be unprocessed.

*Monday lunches: I’m on campus from 9:30 – 5:30 and go out to lunch with a friend. I know he won’t eat unprocessed, so I’m allowing myself to not eat unprocessed. Of course I will still try to pick better options.

*Dinner/dessert 1x a week: There’s not a specific reason for this, except that I want to be able to go out with friends.

*Northwestern’s homecoming (undergrad) and Illinois’ homecoming (grad school): Unprocessed tailgating just will not happen.

I’m hoping that by giving myself these times off, I will not feel too restricted and be able to enjoy time with my friends (and family!) and will have better success the rest of the time.

Throughout the month I’m going to post meals/recipes as well as trials and challenges that I face.