Carnivore no more!
A member of our household made a rather significant life change this week declaring that their days as a carnivore were over and they’re now going strictly vegetarian. It came as a bit of a shock to me, really. I mean I just don’t expect to hear that from my Meat Drawer. Yep, that’s right. That big ol’ drawer at the bottom of our refrigerator, the one that spans the full width of the fridge, now looks more like our neighbor’s garden than the butcher shop. Since we joined The Home Grown Farm we’ve been cramming our veggies all over the refrigerator because we just don’t have space in those little produce drawers for everything. And then I noticed that our Meat Drawer had two settings: Deli and Produce. Who would have thunk it?
Now, we still eat plenty of meat around our house but since we’re picking up a huge tub of fruits and vegetables each week we’re eating more of that than ever before and that marks a significant shift for my family. I’ve mentioned before that this blog chronicles our journey towards healthy eating. Well, it’s been nearly a year since we started transitioning away from processed foods and towards whole foods, specifically locally grown, organic, hormone- and pesticide- free, and with as little processing as we can manage. And journey is definitely the right word because it certainly feels as if we’re taking little steps here and there but gradually it seems we’re getting somewhere. I realize that rearranging the refrigerator is not your typical life-changing event but I dearly wanted a great crowd of witnesses to yell out, “Amen, momma! What an awesome job you’re doing!”
If any of you out there are feeling the same way, like you’re really trying and you can see the difference and it is real, it is significant, but the hustle and bustle of everyday life must be drowning out the cheers because you just can’t hear them. Well, Friend, put your listening ears on and lean in close, from me to you…
“GREAT job! What you’re doing makes a difference and I am so proud of you! Keep up the good work because you ROCK!!”
To all those moms out there, may you see with new eyes the bounty that is before you and may you revel in all the joy that it brings! Happy Mother’s Day!!
The recipes this week are representative of a typical meal around our house. I’ve been making these Sloppy Joes for years and they’re always a big hit. And if I didn’t tell you, you’d never guess they were so chock-full of veggies. Oh, and one of the best things about this meal, it took me all of 30 minutes start to finish and the bulk of that time was spent letting the fries cook.
Sloppy Joes with LOTS of Veg
1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
1 medium onion
2 large carrots
2-3 cups kale, spinach, or squash
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
3 cloves of garlic
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp. Mustard
1 cube beef or vegetable bullion
1 tsp sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Put the carrots, kale or spinach, and onion in your food processor or blender and pulse until they’re finely chopped.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the vegetables and garlic in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes, until the veggies begin to soften.
- Add your meat of choice and cook until all the meat is browned.
- Once the meat is brown, add the can of tomato paste and all of the remaining spices. I like the Sloppy Joes a little juicy so I’ll take the tomato paste can, fill it with water, and add that to the pan as well. I might do this two or three times just depending on how much water gets absorbed. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Reduce the heat to low and let simmer until you’re ready to serve, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t stick.
- Serve on fresh rolls with melted cheese and Jalapeno Bread & Butter Pickles – if you dare!
The Best Oven-Baked Fries. Ever.
4-6 potatoes, washed and sliced and peeled if you like
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 tsp salt
½ tsp garlic
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- Put your prepared potatoes in a glass microwave-safe bowl with a lid (or a plate) on top. Place in the microwave on HIGH for 3-5 minutes. Do not add water.
- Remove the bowl from the microwave and carefully take the lid off with the lid tilted away from you so that the steam doesn’t burn you. Let the potatoes chill out, literally, until they’re cool enough to handle.
- Drizzle 2 Tbsp. of olive oil on a cookie sheet and place in a 450° oven for 5-7 minutes, until the oil starts to smoke.
- Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch, chili powder, salt, garlic, pepper, and remaining 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the cooled potatoes into the bowl and turn to coat.
- Leaving the cookie sheet in the oven, place the potatoes on the sheet so that they’re spread out and not overlapping. Bake for 12-15 minutes then flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes or until they’re golden brown and crispy on the outside.
- Serve immediately with the condiments of your choice.