Food incorporated the movie, is the awakening moment that my family went organic and changed our eating habits for the better. Most of these tips I have developed over 4 years of trying to eat clean and teach my son to do so also. I hope they help you on your journey to eating more healthy, and having more organically sponsored fun in the kitchen.
1.Buy ingredients not food: If it comes out of a box, bag or is packaged already, somebody’s already processed your food. To buy more ingredients that you put into a produce or meat package yourself or watch a butcher do so, your eliminating that “processing” part of your food. Try to buy fresh grass fed organic pasture raised-rotated meat and eggs that is harvested locally. You are eating fresher then if your buying a prepackaged frozen meat from Tyson. Purchase local fruits and veggies from markets and get your grains and powders local and organic in the bulk section.
2.Buy Bulk: Grains, dried fruit, flours, sugars, cereals, and nuts are awesome purchased in bulk. Most stores have seasonal or monthly bulk sales so catch some things on sale. Fill at home with bulk products, like oatmeal, pastas, rice, flours and other such things like bulk tea ingredients and spices. Tea’s and spices and rubs should be packaged in bulk then put into small jars at home. I keep my jars filled with pantry items and my tea box is always full as well as my spice jars. I buy my rice in a 20 lb bag and all my sugars and flours in 4 lbs bags or larger. Specialty items like almonds, almond flour, goji berry are expensive most of the time, so if you catch them on sale stock up.
3.Stock your pantry:Having Jars of flours, sugars, oatmeal, pasta’s and dry beans and lentils ensures you cook your own food More often and actually learn how to cook better by working with more pantry items, we learn more how to cook fresh. Having fresh rice with beans is a meal and if you always have them handy you will not need to stock up on canned goods as much.
4.Plan your meals: I have a little formula for having balanced meals in my house. We stock the freezer in the beginning of the month and it really helps for less “what to do for dinner” stress. We always have our bulk pantry stocked so that’s protein and carbs down between pantry rice, noodles or potatoes and meat. I base my meals on what meat we choose for the night and then pair a carb with it then from advice from the USDA.gov my plate website, I fill the other half of our plates with vegetables and fruit. Every meal half our plate should be fruit and veggies. But in order not to break the bank while shopping for fresh produce, you should move on to #5.
5.Get to know your local farmers:Find a Local farm that offers a CSA or discounted veggies at the end of the farmers market. I used to get a basket of fruit and veggies donated each week from the farmers and sometimes even bartered for goods. When you get to know your local farmers, you can also ask them questions about how to cook their produce and get great cooking advice. I have discovered a great many recipes for odd fruits and veggies from farmers at the market. Which brings me to #6.
6.Try new things: sauteed salsify with garlic, stuffed squash blossoms, tomatillo salsa, burdock tea, watermelon radish salad, sorrel and eggs, kale and sunflower seed pesto. Be open to trying new produce and recipes, I discovered from being open at the market that I absolutely love the taste of fresh stinging nettle and lemon balm tea… who knew? I never did, until I discovered being more open to new things at the farmers market.
7. Have fun and get creative: Just because you cannot find a printed recipe for it, doesn’t mean that its a bad idea. I have tried some crazy ideas and end up loving the process of learning what not to do, as well as some things that worked fine. I couldn’t find a recipe for stuffed heirloom tomatoes but I have stuffed them with everything, and I have never even seen a stuffed beet in a cookbook, but I stuffed it with potatoes au gratin. Some ideas have been the best thing I have ever done and experimented with and half the fun of learning is getting it wrong. I never thought that I would invent recipes But after long and strenuous fun and experimentation I invented peanut butter and jelly pop tarts and they are a huge success. So do yourself a favor, and have fun and get creative.
8.Find a specialty: Don’t try to perfect the whole menu at once. Try one skill at a time and perfect it before you try another thing. Start with something simple, like dicing potatoes or onions well, then move on to more harder things like perfecting the over easy egg or caramelizing onions. I personally just got pie crust skill perfected and I have had over easy eggs for a while, but I take it easy on myself and learn one thing at time.