As promised I will share these two simply delicious recipes with you, but first a wee update. Last week, I wrote about our decision to make better food choices and I am happy to report that it is going well. As I predicted, the bread novelty has worn off, but I have a nice collection of classic recipes to use when needed; you can find many on them here and I will be sharing more in the future.
When we go to the grocery store we buy only raw materials and fresh produce.
We always buy our animal products such as butter, milk and eggs (I think our ladies need a pep talk) from the organic section and all other items organically where and when it is available.
There are huge savings when you purchase items like organic flour ($34 for 25kg) and raw organic cane sugar ($75 for 25kg) through a buying club like the ONFC.
We buy one container of organic apple juice and dilute it for the kids if they want juice, otherwise they drink water or organic milk (a post on raw organic milk and home pasteurization to come).
So far, the weekly bill has not been smaller, but we are eating much better and feeling good about the quality of our food. The end of the month will tell us more. I feel like I am losing weight though we don’t have a scale to prove or disprove that inkling.
I know many people struggle with the cost of organics, but to buy food grown without the use of pesticides, antibiotics, or hormones is important. To know the animals were healthier, provided more space , and treated better is important. To know the workers and land were treated with respect so we can enjoy some coffee on weekend mornings is important. To know we’re supporting responsible farmers is important.
Now, I know there have been countless articles written questioning the benefits and practices of organic farming. I can tell you firsthand that there are farmers out there who still care, take great pride in their work, and follow organic regulations strictly. There are farmers out there whose breath is slowed and heart calmed by watching their cattle eat. There are farmers out there who do it because it is what they believe to be right and sustainable. It isn’t just that the food is higher in vitamins and minerals or contains more “good fats” and less “bad fats”. It is about demanding better foods and practices with every dollar we spend. It is about supporting the farmers who are swimming tirelessly against the current. It is about taking a stand against companies like Monsanto. It is about weaning ourselves off the unhealthy convenience foods the corporations need us to be addicted to in order to make a profit. It is about the health of our family, our small farms, and our earth.
Bean Soup Recipe (loosely based on this recipe)
1 or 2 tbsp bacon drippings or olive oil
1 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic diced
2 or 3 chopped carrots
1 can lentils rinsed
1 can navy beans rinsed
1 can white kidney beans rinsed
salt, pepper, cumin, rosemary, thyme, and oregano to taste
5 cups organic chicken stock
2 tbsp cornstarch + 1/2 cup chicken stock (optional)
1.) place oil, onions, garlic and carrots in large soup pot and saute until onions are transparent and fragrant
2.) add all remaining ingredients except cornstarch mixture and simmer until carrots are tender
3.) I like my soups a little thicker so add the cornstarch and stock near the end until desired texture
Note: I use canned beans because I have never had great success with getting my beans to a non-crunchy texture. Anyone have any tips for this? I would really prefer to buy dry organic legumes as it is much more economical.
1 bundle kale
1.) Tear kale into small pieces
2.) Combine all ingredients except kale in a large bowl
3.) add kale pieces and toss gently with tongs or hands
4.) bake in 200* oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until they are nice and crisp.
Note: The kids loved these “crackers” (parenting win right?!), but I found the kids gagged on the pieces that didn’t reach the optimum level of crispy. I wonder how these would turn out in a food dehydrator.
I have been given some tips: minimal oil and liquids and a single layer without overlapping the edges. Next time I will likely omit the lemon juice.
go gently + be wonderful