We have come past the middle-mark of Lent, the days are getting longer. Spring is certanly in the air and all around us. The world is renewing; apple blossoms and tulips open forth and the old, dead leaves and branches of winter are suddenly transfigured in green. I love spring. Lent can often be thought of as a time of depravation, especially at this point in the fast…and perhaps, if you’re like me, you’ve slipped up a little bit and had a bite or two of meat (or whatever it was you were fasting from!).
Well, there are a little over 2 weeks left, and if you’re tired of spending gobs of money on shrimp and scallops (oh, the irony!) to try and stay low-carb and nutrient dense, then I have some ideas for keeping the fast in a thrify, ultra-simple way: Read the rest of this entry »
Lent is a beautiful, cleansing time of year, both spirtually and physically. Although I am a strong advocate of red meat and good-quality dairy, I do believe that our bodies can benefit, short term, from a break. During past Lenten periods, I always defaulted to lots of beans,rice, soy, and pasta. Well, I now know that that food doesn’t love me back, so I’ve tried to find nourishing (and thrifty) ways to keep the fast and also eat what my body needs! Read the rest of this entry »
I tell ya, this eating from the freezer and pantry thing is really fun! Maybe it’s because I’m finally enjoying the bounty of meats purchased months ago on major sale or finding creative uses for random root vegetables at the bottom of my veggie bin, or those last few Cajun walnuts given in a Christmas basket (thanks, Cathy!). It’s the odds and ends that sometimes come together to make the best meals…. Read the rest of this entry »
Day 2 of the Fridge and Pantry Cleanout was pretty minimal, as we were away all day receiving the hospitality of my dear in-laws who graciously served us lunch and dinner. Breakfast was grain-free granola (a perfect “clean the pantry” kind of breakfast!) with raw milk.
Yesterday, however, I was so excited to “harvest” 10 quarts of bone broth made from 100% grassfed cow bones. After 72 hours simmering on the stove, it was finally time. I always like to have an amply supply of ready-made beef bone or chicken broth on tap for making soups and sauces.
According to Sally Fallon’s article called Broth is Beautiful:
Science validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.
Many of us are mineral-deficient, and the mineral supplements we take are not very bio-available. Broth is not only super nutritious, it’s so cheap and simple to make! It’s amazing what a difference in flavor cooking in broth produces!
Bone broth also contains gelatin, which Sally Fallon further expounds on in her article:
“Although gelatin is not a complete protein, containing only the amino acids arginine and glycine in large amounts, it acts as a protein sparer, helping the poor stretch a few morsels of meat into a complete meal. During the siege of Paris, when vegetables and meat were scarce, a doctor named Guerard put his patients on gelatin bouillon with some added fat and they survived in good health.”
To read the rest of the article, go here.
As for the price breakdown, I have a source for beef bones locally and can get them for $0.50 per lb!!! I use 1-2 lbs of bones at a time, along with the “ends” of the celery hearts (you know, the part you always throw away), a few carrots, and 2 large onions. Oh, and I always throw in a sheet of kelp (the see vegetable) which they say adds lots of additional trace minerals. I put it all into an 8 gallon stock pot and simmer for about 3 days.
Upon harvest, I estimate that I easily obtained about 3 gallons of beef broth, and I spent maybe $1.50 at the most for 3 gallonsof broth! This is mineral-rich, flavor-rich broth adds so much bioavailable nutrition, and enables me to stretch my meals endlessly almost. What better way to utilize some unappealing leftovers then to mix them with delicious bone broth? Better yet, is there any more inspiring way to clean out the pantry than to create your own soup?
Here are a few tips for making Thrifty Bone Broth:
1) Find a source of grass-fed beef, preferably farm direct, and ask about bones. Often butchers just throw these big bones away, so you might score a really good deal! You’re looking for large femur and knuckle bones.
2) Ask your butcher at Whole Foods or other health food store if they can order bones for you. These often come at a very fair price.
3) Save any ribs or bones from steaks that you eat in the freezer. Continue to add meat scraps until you have enough to make broth. This goes for chicken bones as well (note: I never by boneless chicken anymore; not only is it more expensive, but you don’t get the double-bonus of bones to make into broth at the end!)
4) Same with veggies; start saving the “butts” of your celery, carrot shavings/tops, and random pieces of veggies that can become a “stock kit” in your freezer.
5) When cooking your broth, assemble all ingredients in a pot with water. Add 1-2 TBS of vinegar and let it sit, unheated, for 30 minutes to an hour. The vinegar, being acidic, acts to draw the minerals out of the bones so that they are released into the broth and bioavailale!
6) Once you begin cooking, you will see “scum” form at the top of the broth. Gently skim this off. These are the impurities rising from the cooking process.
So, for Day 2 of my Fridge and Pantry Cleanout I essentially filled my fridge and freezer even more with a stash of bone broth…..but I utilized a bunch of veggies that were going bad for the broth, as well as some onions from the pantry, as well as a couple pounds of bones. I still have a huge box of bones in my freezer….I estimate these will get me through half the year at least, but we’ll see!
Tune in tomorrow to see what the menu plan for the week is, as I plan to cook from only what’s in the fridge, pantry, and freezer this week!
Happy New Year everyone!!!!
As promised, I’m declaring the entire month of January a “Fridge and Pantry Cleanout” month whereby every meal will be formulated from stuff I have on hand in the fridge, freezer, other freezer, storage shed, or pantry. I just finished my proposed menu plan for the week, and I’ve gotta say, I think I’m going to be able to easily make it through the month of January (possibly February too) easily without buying much of anything.
I have posted before about my Amazing Real Food deals at Grocery Outlet but I thought I would share some photos of what I recently purchased at my local Grocery Outlet store. I got a HUGE amount of food for storing in the freezer and pantry for all under $80. That may seem like a lot, but I think it’s great considering how far all of these things will stretch. I hope you’ll indulge me as I share my finds:
I think the happy dance I did in the aisle when I saw the uncured bacon drew some stares, and I couldn’t stop talking about the cacao chips. It was a good day. My daughter could sense it, and she asked if she could have a pack of glittery pencils in the impulse buy section of the checkout line. I think it’s really cute when your kid passes up the candy and sets her eyes soley on pencils. A proud moment and a wonderful shopping experience
One of the things we miss most being grain-free is good old spaghetti. Being of Italian origin, this depravation really hits home. Fortunately, I’ve found some frugal, low-carb, nutrient-dense ways of enjoying all of my favorite Italian-themed pasta meals without all of the starchy, carby, low-nutrient pasta! Read the rest of this entry »
There is nothing more deliciously sublime than a bowl of real, MSG-free miso soup. Thanks to recent commenter, Jen, who urged me to share this recipe that has become a staple in our weekly menu.
This week, Kimi, over at The Nourishing Gourmet (a beautiful blog, so inspirational!) is hosting her weekly Pennywise Platter Round-Up and I’m excited to jump in and share a thrifty recipe that is nourishing and “paleo”. So often, we think of “beans and rice” when we consider frugal foods, but does thrifty necessarily mean high-carbs? My mission, here at Organic and Thrifty, is to prove otherwise!!!!