Monday, February 22, 2010

Nourished Kitchen Challenge Report on Week 3

We had a good week in general with trying out recipes and food prep the "real food" way. We used techniques covered in Nourishing Traditions and covered on the blog Nourished Kitchen.

Day 15: Track down a SCOBY--such as a kefir starter. I didn't have luck with this; the food co-op didn't have any and I decided not to order any from an internet source. We eat a lot of yogurt and may eventually add kefir to our repertoire.

Day 16: Make cultured veggies: I made beet kvass. Everyone in the family agrees that it certainly looks delicious but it tastes horrible. I might brave it and just gulp it down as "medicine." Is there a way to make it more palatable? Perhaps add a little to a glass of ice water and add honey? I might try that later.

Day 17: Make yogurt. We make yogurt at least once a week and sometimes twice. I made it twice last week so that I would have extra to make yogurt cheese.

Day 18: Make cheese. I made yogurt cheese and happily harvested the whey for future fermentations. The cats discovered the cheese though, left on the counter for more draining time, while we were all at an ice skating lesson. Grrr. One quart of yogurt wasted and cat throw up on the entry mat. Gross.

Day 19: Prepare nuts and seeds correctly. I tried doing this last week but discovered that my oven cannot go lower than 180 degrees F. I would like to try again after I have a food dehydrator.

Day 20: Soak some beans. I'm doing that today. I'm curious about the advice Sally Fallon gives, that you only need whey or lemon juice (or I assume any acid) with black beans. The advice from Nourished Kitchen is to soak all beans in water and cider vinegar.Why the difference? I have a bean mix that includes some black beans soaking right now in warm water with cider vinegar.

Day 21: Eat veggies with fat. We had carrots last night made with plenty of butter. The recipe was Carrots Vichy (pretty much glazed carrots) from Nourishing Traditions. The kids have never been so enthusiastic about eating any vegetable. I think the 2 tablespoons of honey helped. Phil and I thought they were way too sweet and will use much less honey next time.

Other fun food prep along the same lines this past week:
  • We gave the kids exclusively raw milk for drinking and used pasteurized, vat-processed nonhomogenized milk for cooking and pasteurized cream for butter making and for adding to our breakfast porridge (soaked oats in buttermilk) which we enjoy almost daily now.
  • I soaked brown rice for eating at a few meals throughout the week.
  • We enjoyed carrot soup made with chicken stock we had made ourselves.
  • I nursed sourdough starter throughout the week but the bread dough didn't rise yesterday! Grrr. I have the loaves in the oven now but I'm guessing that the yield will be more like rocks than bread.
  • Phil found a great butcher who sells pastured everything and picked up some beef bones for stock-making (simmering right now in the slow cooker) and a veal roast that I'll make tomorrow or Wednesday.
  • Phil made waffles for a special addition to Saturday's breakfast using buttermilk-soaked oats.
  • We're continuing to buy only cage-free/organic eggs.
  • Phil also stopped using the microwave to defrost frozen sausage.
  • We've been enjoying sprouted bread and sourdough bread (all store-bought right now) slathered with lots of butter. It feels sinful to us both after eating no grains at all for so long.
  • We're buying more organic food in general and finding good deals.
  • I've got the paperwork for signing up for a veggie-share from a local farm this summer. I'd really like to plant a big garden but I think it's safer with a new baby coming this spring to assume I won't have the time I need to tend to one. Hopefully we'll be able to plant some things that will supplement the weekly box from the farm.
  • I picked up paperwork from the food co-op so we can sign up as members and get member benefits, such as a discount two days a month.
  • One of the things I bought while at the co-op was some coconut oil. I made breaded tilapia on Friday and sauteed it in coconut oil. Wow! It was super delicious.
We used to eat out about once a week. I can't even remember the last time we ate out. The girls have noticed and are begging to go out. We're enjoying our homemade food, though, even when I've not planned anything, I can scramble and get something nutritious on the table. The cost of food at restaurants (even fast food) is ridiculous and the food is inferior. I hope we can sustain these new habits.


  1. You guys have made some *significant* changes! That's so awesome. I'd love that recipe for buttermilk oat waffles. It sounds like something my little guy would go crazy for.

    I definitely agree with you about the cost of eating out. I work full time and for a long time we were just *so* strapped for time that we'd eat out and spend so very much money on food that made us feel awful.

  2. NourishedKitchen (Jenny): I'm sending the recipe to your email for the oatmeal waffles. It's a Mollie Katzen recipe that we modified slightly to allow for grain/oat soaking.

  3. What you and Phil and the girls are doing sounds great and familiar. Like the idea of more butter - was also encouraged to use more after watching Julie and Julia - Julia Child was a hugh fan of real butter. Diane used to love butter but hasn't had it in the house for a while. Maybe tomorrow?