Red Lentil and Cauliflower Stew, Organic Girl Supergreens with Balsamic Vinagrette, Homemade Bread
"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." ~ Virginia Woolf
Over the course of the past year and slowly a few years previous our family has been moving towards a more healthy lifestyle. We are only buying organic fruits and vegetables, grass fed local beef, organic or free range chicken and turkey, raw milk or organic non-homogenized milk, cream and organic butter, and raw honey. We are consuming as little processed foods as possible and I am making most of our bread, yogurt, kefir and sourdough, just to name a few. I am also dabbling in fermenting certain foods to add better nutrition to our daily meals.
These additions and changes to our meal planning and lifestyle did not occur overnight, but I have been making these changes gradually and it has thankfully saved us money in the long run as we are wasting less food, eating healthier and enjoying our meal preparation time in the kitchen as I have more real food on hand that has been lovingly prepared for my family.
Here are just a few of the books and websites that have inspired me, not in any particular order ::
Cultures for Health - Excellent site for ordering beginning starter cultures for anything you want to try. They also have some nice demo videos and recipes.
Kitchen Stewardship - Many, many good ideas on this site, she gives you ways to make changes in "baby-steps" which can be very helpful as this move towards a more healthful lifestyle can be overwhelming to many people. I just downloaded her ebook Better Than a Box for Kindle for only $ .99
Cooking Traditional Foods - This site has been around for a while and can be a bit overwhelming, but still many good ideas.
Gorgeously Green and The Gorgeously Green Diet - the first is a great guide to taking steps on being greener within all aspects of your home and environment, especially in the kitchen. The second book is similar to the first only she includes skads of really great recipes. I was pleasantly surprised with both of these as the covers can be deceiving ;)
The Healthy Kitchen - (HT: to my friend Kathy for this recommendation) written by some top guns, Andrew Weil and Rosie Daley, this one has many good recipes and excellent health and nutrition tips scattered throughout by both authors. I am going to have Violet read this one as part of her Home Ec class this term :)
Vegetarian Bible - I am always on the look out for "good" vegetarian cookbooks, not just sporting "Tofu Surprise" as their main schtick ;-) This is an excellent resource and so many great recipes. Lots to choose from in this one.
Of course, I have continually scoured my old standby Nourishing Traditions so many times, and it still proves to have some of the best reasons for eating healthier and the reasons behind the "fat makes you fat myth" ie. why it's good to eat whole dairy and butter, etc. That could prove to be a whole other post at some point, but for now, I'll leave it at that :)
What kinds of things are you doing in your kitchen to be healthier and greener, I'd love to know what has worked for you!! Off to bake a batch of our favorite Homemade Granola. Here is my standby recipe adapted over the past few years ::
Homemade Granola (Double or Triple as desired)
- 4 cups Rolled Oats
- 1/4 cup Virgin Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil or butter (melted)
- 1/2 cup Raw Honey or Agave Nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
- 1/2 cup unsalted raw sunflower seeds
Melt butter or coconut oil over low heat, just until melted, add honey and vanilla. Pour into large bowl and top with all dry ingredients, mix well and pour onto a large baking sheet or roasting pan. Flatten out well to the edges and bake at 325 for 20 minutes, stir and return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring well. If not browned to your liking, bake another 10 minutes, but be very careful not to burn, it happens fast!! We like to add our dried or fresh fruits at the table so this is the basic recipe.
Enjoy with homemade Kefir, Yogurt or your beverage of choice - organic milk, raw milk or almond milk is delicious! Add any dried or fresh fruit, a little maple syrup or raw honey or agave, what a great way to start the day - YUM!!