Sarah Short Circuit

Heal, Nourish, Nurture

Tag: Markets

What’s on my plate? July to September 2015

We started to get carried away taking photos of most of meals to the point where my son started to remark before dinner ‘Stop, wait…click’ as he pretended to take a photo of his meal. This was an aha moment for me to slow down and enjoy the company of my family at the dining table rather than attempt to share the moment with the world.

As we slowed down here is a taste of what we have been enjoying the past few months.

20150427

Cooking dinner and a quiche for tomorrow’s lunch

2015-06-30 002 Lamb shanks

Changing Habits Slow Cooked Tomato Lamb Shanks

2015-06-30

Museli made up in bulk

1435642158940 Bananas

5kg Springhaven Meadows Queensland bananas delivered from Farm House Direct

2015-07-03 001 Smoothies

Banana Smoothies with added goodness of Changing Habits Supreme Green Blend, Probiotics and Colloidal Minerals.

2015-07-13 005 Cauli Soup

Changing Habits Creamy Cashew, Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup

2015-07-25 001

Our take on Pete Evan’s Raw Slaw

2015-07-25 003 mustard

Home made mustard

Poached salmon

Poached salmon

meat loaf

Pete Evan’s meatloaf with purple carrots and mixed of dutch cream and midnight potato mash

Hummus

Sprouted hummus

Pumpkin bread

Changing Habits Pumpkin Bread

Recipe Changing Habits Pumpkin Emmer Wheat Bread

 

Changing Habits Supreme Green Blend

What’s on my plate? May to June 2015

Wow, time has flown by and I have had a lot on plate outside of the kitchen, but this has not stopped me cooking some delicious, healthy meals for my family. I am certainly not the foodie in our home, most of the credit goes to my husband (You can follow on Instagram @ChrisRewired).

2015-05-02 002

Brothy Pumpkin Soup

Recipe Changing Habits Brothy Pumpkin Soup

2015-05-09 003

Mini hamburgers

2015-05-16 001

Early morning cook up for a day at MINDD

2015-05-18

Chia pudding at MINDD (left) and inspired by MINDD (right)

2015-05-19 003

Fish and quinoa salad

2015-05-24

Changing Habits Slow Cooked Lamb Stew

2015-05-25 001 Pancakes

Changing Habits Coconut and Inca Inchi Protein Pancakes

2015-05-30 002 Laksa

Changing Habits Seafood Laksa

2015-05-30 005

IQS Vegan Chocolate Mousse

2015-05-31 003 Cake

Changing Habits Baked Walnut and Apricot Oatmeal Cake as breakfast

2015-06-09 001

Spag Bol with Changing Habits Most Nutritious Spaghetti Sauce

2015-06-13 001

Changing Habits custard with fruit

Recipe Changing Habits custard

2015-06-21

Changing Habits 3 Ingredients Pancakes

The Changing Habits Recipe book has got a real work out! So many great ideas for nutritious family meals.

 

Changing Habits Inca Inchi Protein Powder

Money Tree

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but in tight times I so wish it did. Times are tight financially for my family at present with last Friday being the tightest we have been with $0.05 remaining the joint account (until the following Tuesday!). The fridge was bare, we were down to our last reheat meal and we were due to visit the farmers market on Saturday to restock on fresh produce and meat. How were we going to manage to live for the next fortnight?

Not having money is a huge stress for me and having a mere 5 cents in our joint account made me pause and reflect on our situation. Finances have been exceptionally tight for the past 3 years after I was made redundant at work when I was 30 weeks pregnant. This was a huge challenge for us during the most exciting time of bringing our first child into the world and was further compounded when I developed Postpartum Psychosis. Like the average Australian we carried a credit card debt and we tended to spend more than we earned. We are living pay check to pay check, and at times I am checking the account balances daily to monitor the ever occurring whirlwinds of money comes in and money goes out.

I reassessed our financial predicament:

  • Pay yourself first

In working out a budget system that works for my family I came across Melissa at Frugal and Thriving. I love her concept of paying yourself first. Each week I allocate money aside for different expenses and whatever is left (usually not much) is what we have to spend. The beauty of paying yourself first is that you set up automatic payments so it’s money you can’t see and therefore can’t spend on everyday expenses. Each week we allocate money for things like upcoming bill expenses (transferred into a savings account), health insurance, transport and savings for my son for future expenses.

Last week I had paid our selves first, then had some unexpected but necessary expenses and therefore was left with nothing left to spend for the rest of the week.

  • Earning tips

My husband works in an industry where he earns tips. Tips have given us the space to breath during these tight times. The luxury of getting take away or a meal out. Or buying a lush bottle of wine (or two). Or simply adding some extra cash to our coin jar to stretch the budget. Recently I was reading Cait’s story at Blonde on a Budget, and I got an aha moment. You should not be reliant on tips to pay your fixed expenses. We are not reliant on these tips, particularly as we never know when and how much tips will be.  Something to work on though is to put some tips towards our debt repayments.

Last week husband was paid tips and it went towards fixed expenses rather than stretching the budget.

  • Debt Repayment

I got the shock of my life a while back when I looked at the credit card statement; if we were paying the minimum repayments each month it would take up 112 years to pay it off. While we always paid more than the minimums anyway, this hustled me in banning the use of the credit card. I worked through No Spend January and Frugal February with the help of the group from Slow your Home, even got through most of March even with large car expenses. However by April the wheels fell off with a budget blow out and the use of the credit card crept back into our lives.  Melissa at Frugal and Thriving has some great tips on debt busting and  I have used many different ways of paying off debt by choosing what works best for me. Whilst paying off debt we are also building up a small savings at the same time. I can’t get on top of the credit card debt if I continue to keep swiping it any chance I get.

I declared July a no spend credit card month.

  • Christmas crunch

Each year Christmas rolls around and the credit card gets a work out. By January we suffer with the credit card hangover. Each year we kept saying we should save up for next year’s Christmas but never do. This year I decided to do things differently. I came across this brilliant 52 week money challenge from Jan at A Gluttonous Wife and thought it was something I would challenge myself with in the lead up to this year’s Christmas.

Starting with $1 in Week 1, each week I add a dollar more than the previous week, so Week 2 is $2, Week 3 is $3 and so forth.  The first 6 months have sailed by without any challenge and have allowed me the extra cash to put towards debt repayments. Week 30 is $30 and will only continue to increase, plus I still am working on paying off debt. I am hanging in there as the $1300 incentive by Christmas will be a nice present to myself of a stress free Christmas period.

Now I am in July, 30 weeks into the challenge, I am starting to feel the burn.

  • Cash versus (debit) card

Part of paying ourselves first is allocating how much we can spend on groceries each week. I find I am better able to track expenses when we use our debit card, particularly as we have a joint account and we both do the shopping at different times during the week. The exception to using our debit card is each week I withdraw a set amount of cash to spend at the farmers markets. Having cash only to spend at the markets makes us take note of what we are spending and what our priorities are.

While there was only $0.05 in our joint account, we had $100 cash for the farmers market.

So we changed our plan of attack. Instead of going to the farmers market with a supermarket top up we opted for the local fruit store and Aldi for our entire shop. I had to slacken my priority of health buying organic, or spray free fruit and vegetables where possible for everything conventional. I chose price over packaging and selected vegetables that were pre-wrapped in the foam trays and plastic wrap or bundles together in plastic mesh bags, trying not to think about Plastic Free July. I was still supporting small local business by shopping at the local fruit store plus I was able to pick up some great bargains though in the reduced section. To stretch the grocery budget further we bought our meat from Aldi rather than the local butchers, but was still able to get grass-fed meat or free-range chicken which are on my list of priorities for health. I was proud of myself of putting food on our plate for less this fortnight. Husband and I did a huge cook up on Saturday night to start us off with a bang for our buck!

2015-07-18 002 Cook Up

Our cook up

Do you live week to week? Have you got debt to repay? What are some of the tricks and tips you do to manage your finances?

 

What’s on our plate? April 2015

April has flown by and I got experimenting this month with new challenges in the kitchen.

First challenge of the month was creating my first ever batch of sauerkraut! I followed the recipe for Changing Habits sauerkraut, minus the carrots, and adapting the method to blend by hand (good old fashioned way to create the brine). Tucked away in the back of the cupboard we let the fermentation process do its magic, only disturbing it to burp off the gases every couple of days. We allowed it ferment for 2-3 weeks and husband had the job of taste testing to check when it was ready for our taste buds. Sauerkraut makes a lovely addition to our meals.

Saurerkraut

Sauerkraut

I started off the month with an explosion of cooking over the Easter long weekend. Borrowing mum’s thermomix I cooked up a storm. The challenge I had set myself was to cook up Alexx Stuart’s key lime pie, a tantalising dessert taking time to put together but oh so worth it!

Alexx Stuart Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

While the thermomix was in use I made a batch of spelt hot cross buns with cranberries in my KitchenAid. Nothing beats a hot cross bun freshly out of the oven with a lashing of Pepe butter. Yum!

Easter

Hot cross buns

My sister stayed over on the long weekend and a treat for us is homemade spelt based pizza. My sister loved the ham and pineapple pizza and husband loves being in control of how much cheese he can pile on the pizza.

Pizza

Pizza

With mum’s thermomix I created my first ever batch of yoghurt. Following the recipe in the Thermomix EDC cookbook and leaving it to set for about 7 hours I was quite impressed with how easy it was to make yoghurt.

2015-04-05 004 yoghurt

Thermomix yoghurt

I also made Thermomix ricotta using apple cider vinegar. Ricotta is also a very easy thing to make; once you know how you think why have I been buying ricotta from the supermarket for this long?

2015-04-05 002 ricotta

Thermomix ricotta

A throw together salad of roast lamb and veges, homemade ricotta and fresh avocados from the farmers markets.

2015-04-06 001 salad

Lamb salad

I have been waiting for ‘I am Mightly’ to come in stock at my local health food store. I am not sure how I first found out about this product, however, it is a great substitute to Vegemite without the nasties like MSG. Husband and I were hesitant at first but we are quite impressed with the taste.

2015-04-08 001 Mighty

I am Mighty spread

Picking up a bargain at the supermarket of grass fed veal schnitzel we cooked up Miguel’s beefoloni from The Living Room. I have missed pasta cannelloni since reducing eating wheat and this meal was fantastic substitute.

Beefoloni

Beefoloni

Loving fresh organic rainbow spinach from the farmers markets.

2015-04-18 001 rainbow

Fresh rainbow spinach

I have been wanting to buy the River Cottage Everyday cookbook since watching the series a while ago, so I didn’t miss my chance during the Easter sales in bringing it home. First thing out of the cook book was wholemeal honey cake. An absolute perfect recipe to go with the jar of honey I picked up from the farmers markets.

Honey cake

Honey cake

Another bargain we picked up from the supermarket was reduced organic chicken mince. We cooked up Penne Primavera from Survival from the Fittest. Only one problem, I didn’t meal plan in advance for this meal and checking the cupboard for evaporated milk, well I had a slight problem, no can available. So luckily I had a few hours up my sleeve before dinner time and not wanting to venture to the shops for one can of evaporated milk I turned to my friend Google. I had in mind that making evaporated milk was difficult and some how complicated. Well the challenge with this meal was overcoming my perceptions on how to make evaporated milk. All you do is bring a saucepan of milk to the boil, reduce to low and simmer for about 30 minutes till you have reduced the milk by 60%. So simple! Bonus is that I get to avoid the nasty stabilizers and additives in canned evaporated milk.

Penne

Penne Primavera

A quick pumpkin and feta frittata for lunch.

2015-04-21 003 frittata

Pumpkin and feta frittata

My son thought all his wishes had come at once with nachos for dinner using Keys to Fine Food Mexican Taco mix. Mince, cheese and sour cream plus organic corn chips, my son didn’t know what to eat first. The best part of nachos is that the mix makes up 4 batches so great to freeze up for another time.

Tacos

Nachos

Blitzed up Twenty8 Paleo ANZAC Cookies using my Vitamix over the ANZAC weekend. So delicious!

2015-04-26 003 Paleo ANZAC

Twenty8 Paleo ANZACs

Baked snapper on a bed of veges for a quick dinner.

Snapper

Baked snapper

Yeah! My Changing Habits order arrived. I ordered the new Organic Emmer Wheat Flour and Organic Chia Seeds and received the complimentary All Natural Seaweed Salt! Plus I added the All Natural Probiotics. Can’t wait to try the Emmer Wheat for my baking. Just in time too as I had run out of Chia seeds and they are great to add to the curry for dinner.

2015-04-27 002 Changing Habits

Changing Habits order

Recalling watching Hugh on River Cottage making yoghurt I flicked through my new River Cottage Every Day cookbook to find the recipe. The first batch I made was quite runny. The second batch set perfectly after I warmed the milk up to 90 degrees from looking at Rhonda’s recipe from Down to Earth. After buying a thermometer, yoghurt is so achievable to make and so cheap to. We pay between $5 for a supermarket organic yoghurt to $9 for a biodynamic yoghurt from the farmers markets, so make a batch for $1 for 500g certainly helps stretch the budget.

Yoghurt

Homemade yoghurt

What have you challenged yourself to cook this month?

Changing Habits Chia Seeds

Sweet like chocolate

Hands up who quite willingly can polish off a block of chocolate without thinking twice? Pick me, pick me. Everyone loves a piece or two of chocolate melting in your mouth, savouring every last morsel. I love chocolate as much as the next person, and over the last 12 months I have changed my ways with chocolate.

I have grown up with an appreciation for dark chocolate (thanks Dad!). In changing my ways with chocolate I started to enjoy better quality dark chocolate less often rather than any milk chocolate I could lay my hands on (which seemed to be every night or when I opened the pantry and laid my eyes on the chocolate tin). I would turn over each block in the store scouring the list of ingredients to see what hidden sugars it contained, what artificial numbers were lurking or if it had natural flavouring (what on earth was this?). I wanted to enjoy the goodness of chocolate so tended to steer clear of soy emulsifiers (the chocolate was not going to last that long in our household to go powdery), vegetable oils (causing inflammation) and palm oil (to save the orang-utans).

Peacock

Peacock Chocolates Wagon Wheel and Rocky Road

As the months became cooler in 2014 I noticed a wonderful stall holder at the markets Peacock Chocolates. We fast became friends and treated ourselves to scrumptious artisan chocolate, our favourite is the wagon wheels. Once it was gone, we had to wait till we next went to the markets; supermarket chocolate was not an option. In 2014 we spoiled our family for Easter with everyone receiving a divine chocolate egg from Peacock Chocolates whilst we indulged in Peacock Chocolate cream filled goose eggs and a bunny for our son. This year we indulged again with the rich chocolate eggs for Easter and were grateful for our last minute order of the Peacock goose eggs.

Easter 2014

Easter 2014

2015-04-12 002 Easter 2015

Easter 2015

Over time I was finding I was no longer ravenous for my daily fix of chocolate, and if I was, a square or two would suffice. Once it got warmer again, it became too warm for Peacock Chocolates to be at the markets. We discovered great organic cacao chocolate block, Vivandi Chocolate, at our local supermarket. This became out go to for satisfying the chocolate urge, though it wasn’t always in stock.

I then took the leap down the real food gauntlet, and decided to make my own chocolate. Cyndi at Changing Habits made it look so simple to make Changing Habits healthy home made chocolate. All I needed was Changing Habits Cacao Melts, rapadura sugar and coconut oil as well as the patience to stir over a double boiler. Caution try to do this when toddler is asleep or pre-occupied with another adult. Alternatively you can make Changing Habits chocolate in a thermomix if you have one.

DIY Chocolate

Home made Chocolate

Home made chocolate is so divine and seems to last longer as I savour it knowing the love and time I put into making it. Have you made chocolate at home?

Changing Habits Cacao Melts

What’s on our plate? March 2015

Where did March disappear to? And we already flying through April. Here is a snap shot of what was on our plates during March.

Husband came home from work with this stash from the local Health Food shop. Kombucha and ACV to help us recover from being sick. Plus a sneaky treat of coconut water and vodka, yum!

2015-03-06 001 Buchi

Health Food shopping!

Cooking up another batch of Changing Habits Chicken Broth, this time with the addition of Keys to Fine Food broth spice mix. The aromas wafting from the pot were divine!

Chicken Broth Spice

Chicken Broth

Date night to see That Sugar Film at Dendy Newtown. Salmon Choo Chee curry for dinner at one of the many Thai restaurants. Some snacks for the movie from the newly open Naked Foods, what an eye opener this was, so many things to look at.  Absolutely loved the documentary That Sugar Film, a must see for everyone!

Sugar Film Netown

Night out at Newtown

Grilling up some pork chops that my son chose from Wootton Valley Meats at the farmers markets. It was so funny to see my son gnaw on the bone getting every last morsel, he loved them!

2015-03-10 001 Pork Chops

Pork Chops

Husband threw together a quick quinoa salad after I remembered to soak the beans the night before.

Quinoa salad

Quinoa Salad

Lunches for us during the week tend to be a quick and easy frittata which whatever we have on hand or in this case frozen vegetables and left over ham. Whisk 5-6 eggs with a dash of cream or milk, tumeric, salt and herbs, pour over vegetables/fillings, and bake for 25 minutes in 180 degrees oven.

2015-03-10 002 Frittata

Frittata

It was the first time I roasted peanuts, so thought this would be hard. How wrong was I! Drizzle with a bit of coconut oil, cook for 15 minutes in the oven at 160 degrees and they are done. Don’t cook any longer as they continue to cook whilst they are cooling on the bench. Then blitz them up with a dash of Changing Habits Seaweed Salt, and you have peanut butter. Nothing beats fresh home made peanut butter.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

While I was on a roll soaking beans over night I soaked some chickpeas to make hummus.

Hummus

Hummus

Creative meal planning turned the leftover quinoa salad into a different meal. Add some mince and spice and you are done. Easy as!

2015-03-20 004 Quinoa Mince

Quinoa Mince

It had been a while since I had made a batch of bliss balls. Found Natural New Age Mum’s list of amaze balls recipes and loved the look of the Strawberry Ripe Balls from Jane at Marinya Cottage Kitchen. So easy to make and a nice change from bliss balls made with dates. Warning these are highly addictive particularly if you are a fan of Cherry Ripe bars.

2015-03-22 004 Bliss balls

Strawberry Ripe Bliss Balls

Sunday afternoon baking muffins and bread with my son getting ready for the week.

2015-03-22 005 Baking

Afternoon Baking

My first attempt at Changing Habits Bone Broth.

Bone Broth 1

Preparing bone broth

Adding some vegetables to simmer in the broth.

Bone Broth 2

Adding vegetables to bone broth

A successful broth should form jelly and a good layer of fat. My first bone broth did both so much so it was solid.

2015-03-25 001 Bone Broth 3

Bone broth jelly!

A very nutritious dinner of broth and vegetables. Yum!

2015-03-11 001 Broth

Bone broth for dinner

Lunch out at Circular Quay with my son and mum after we enjoyed the Babies Prom at the Sydney Opera House. Great value salads whilst enjoying the harbour views.

Circular Quay

Lunch at Circular Quay

Some of my haul from the local farmers markets. Hard to beat 6 avocados for $5!

Markets

Fresh from the markets

Using the scrumptious bone broth into a mushroom risotto.

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

Picked up some great chuck steak from Wootton Valley Meats at the markets and turned it into a amazing beef and beer pie. I was doing a massive cook up this weekend and even cooked a pumpkin and bean curry on the same night, this made the week night meals a lot easier.

Pie and curry

Beef pie and a curry

What have you been up to in the kitchen? Did you see That Sugar Film? Any creative meal planning?

Changing Habits Seaweed Salt

What’s on our plate? February 2015

Another month gone full of cooking and dining out.

A flash of flambé as husband cooks up another bosicola, yum!

2015-01-24 001 Flame

Flambé

Gorgeous fruit from the farmers markets. We have never seen a Galaxy Gala apple before and it was named for the white specks on the skin, very tasty!

PicMonkey Collage fruit

Fruit from the markets

A quick throw together lunch of a rustic tuna nicoise salad topped with kimchi.

2015-02-02 001 salad

Tuna nicoise salad

We enjoyed a night out on the town at King Street Wharf. There so many options to pick from we ended doing a progressive dinner, hopping from one restaurant to another. Loved trying out a marrow bone as entrée.

PicMonkey Collage King St Wharf

Night out at King St Wharf

A easy meal of risotto loving mixed by my kitchen helper son. He loved stirring the pot and was so proud to tell daddy that he made dins.

2015-01-26 001 Isaak Risotto

Risotto

Long gone are the days making potato bake with a packet mix. Cook up a white sauce mix and pour over then bake. This potato bake has ricotta and bacon for added flavour. An all time favourite especially as we used Royal Blue potatoes, don’t let the purple skin turn you away from enjoying these golden potatoes.

2015-02-08 001 potato bake

Potato bake

We love cooking up yellow curry by Keys to Fine Food. Keys spice mixes are so simple and a little goes a long way, we normally get 3-4 nights meals worth. We used chicken marylands for the first time (they were on reduced clearance at bargain price of $2.50 for 700g, we bought 2 as the receipe needs at least 1kg of chicken). Also whipped up a quick batch of cauli rice in the Vitamix.

PicMonkey Collage cauli rice

Yellow curry and cauli rice

With fresh salmon from the farmers markets we cooked up Baked salmon with corn and spices. This one is always a winner especially with sweet summer corn.

2015-02-21 001 salmon

Baked salmon with corn and spices

Another first for us roast pork belly. We needed to be a more organised as it took some time to slow roast however well worth it as was so delicious. Pork belly is a cheaper cut of meat so you get more bang for your buck. We sat at the dining table thinking why had we never tried this before, we had been missing out big time.

PicMonkey Collage pork belly

Slow roast pork belly

After some creative meal planning to use up the remainder of the cauliflower we cooked up Pork and cauliflower pie. However we used beef mince as we had forgotten to label which was which in the freezer. The apples in the mix added a lovely taste and the cauliflower was a great change from the usual potato topping. We will have to make this pie again.

PicMonkey Collage mince pie

Mince and Cauliflower pie

Since investing in our Vitamix we no longer buy passata from the shops. It a matter of seconds we whizz together home-made passata. The added bonus is it already has onion, garlic and seasoning mixed in making a quick meal option during the week for things like pasta or cottage pie. Simply pour, heat through and serve. It works about about $10 for 3 jars of organic passata. Store passata jars in freezer until your next cook up.

PicMonkey Collage pasta sauce

Passata Sauce

What has been cooking in your kitchen this month?

Changing Habits Dulse Flakes

To Market, To Market

This weekend we were back in the swing of our routine and back at the farmers’ markets after the Christmas break. It was great to get all our yummy real food, but it was also great to see the smiling faces of the stall holders and have a social chit chat along the way.

Visiting the farmer’s markets has been an important part of our weekends for the past 12 months. The food quality and variety is impeccable, you can see what is in season and everyone is so friendly, some even notice when you have missed a week or two. Depending on what week of the month it is, depends on who you may find, some stall holders are monthly and some are regulars every week.

We started going to our local farmer’s market as a way towards breaking up with the supermarkets, particularly the big two. I was inspired by Down to Earth Mother on why and how Jo broke up with the supermarkets. The Sustainable Table ethical food pyramid was featured in a post by Down to Earth Mother, and I loved the simplicity of it. I decided to focus on changing our shopping habits by exploring our local farmers’ markets, and sourcing as much as we can from the farmers’ markets instead of the supermarket.

ethical shopping pyramid

Sustainable Table ethical shopping pyramid

So what is in our shopping basket this week at the markets?

2015-01-17 006 mushrooms

Mushrooms

2015-01-17 005 big egg

600g supermarket egg vs 800g+ farmers’ market egg

2015-01-17 004 Eggs

Tray of 20 eggs

2015-01-17 009 Meat

Wootton Valley Meat grass fed lamb mince, bacon and scotch fillet

2015-01-17 011 Milk

Unhomogenised milk and yoghurt, cultured butter and soft cheese

And the fruit and veg in the above photo!

A bonus with the market’s is when we can treat ourselves to yummy lunch whilst soaking up the sunshine.

2015-01-17 002 sausage roll

Stevensons Fine Food sausage roll

2015-01-17 001 pie

Stevensons Fine Food pie and mash with gravy

Check out your local area and see if there is a farmer’s markets near you.

 

Changing Habits

Food in abundance

It has been a wondrous week of food between Christmas and New Year. This was the first year we bought a half a Christmas Ham, and were most pleased finding a free range, preservative free ham from PJ the friendly butcher at the markets. It smelled so scrumptious and delectable!

2014-12-20 015 Ham bag

Ham bag

There was only one problem with the ham, we could only eat so much at a time. My family enjoyed sliced ham and cold salads for Christmas Day lunch and my son is always asking for a ham and cheese sandwich with butter please!

2014-12-20 016 Ham

Isis River Farm Ham

So I set my task to meal planning with ham. I tend to reverse meal plan, picking what ingredients I have on hand and either substituting an ingredient in a recipe with what I have in the pantry/fridge or if I have planned in advance with what I have at home then I only have to go to the shops to buy the select couple of ingredients needed or fresh veges (not a full grocery shop). Reverse meal planning works better for us as I can buy what’s in season and what is available from the markets and then find recipes to match what we have bought. This way of meal planning provides our family with a variety of meals that we don’t get with bored with, very little food waste and it is a more simple and frugal approach. Meal planning also is a great way to cook real food in bulk so that you get more than one meals worth, saving you time and effort when life is a bit hectic. Read here for Natural New Age Mum’s tips on meal planning.

So this week in the kitchen…

Ham Boscaiola (recipe from my husband’s head). Made 3 meals.

2014-12-27 027 Boscaiola

Cooking ham, mushrooms, cauliflower and cream

2014-12-27 028 Pasta

Adding the gluten-free pasta

2014-12-27 029 Serve

Ready to serve

Ham, Broccoli Risotto (recipe based on Chicken, Corn and Chive Risotto from ‘Survival From The Fittest’ cookbook). Made 4 meals.

2014-12-27 030 Ham risotto

Adding the rice to the cooked ham and veges

2014-12-27 033 Absorb

Absorbing the stock and evaporated milk

2014-12-27 034 Portion

Portioned and ready to freeze

Love cooking multiple meals in bulk together with my husband! This is the way we have been preparing our meals even before our son was born, as it saved us so much time when we both worked full time and stopped the temptation of take out. For us we enjoy spending a night cooking up a storm, chatting away with the music pumping and a glass of wine.

How do you use up the festive food left-overs? How do you meal plan?

Changing Habits Coconut Oil

The Chicken Dance

A little bit of this and a little of that and you stir the pot…

I made my first batch of Chicken broth this week! I have heard of so many good things and endless benefits about the nourishing, gut healing bone broths and have wanted to give it a go. How hard can it be? Slightly tricky when you are sick and the chef of the household, the husband, is down for the count with a fever, however definitely doable.

At the markets this week our awesome butcher Jarrod had free range whole chickens at a very reasonable price. So we took the plunge and bought one, having never roasted a chook before in my life. What was I going to do with it now? I had seen on Real Food Real Change (18 November) “Why roast one chook when you can roast two and have leftovers that give and give plus bones for stock.”. That gave me an idea: bone broth.

Changing Habits Chicken and Vegetable Bone Broth was the recipe of choice as I only had one chook, the steps were straight forward for a non-cook like me to follow and I love Cyndi’s philosophy of nutrition. Some people use a slow cooker for bone broths; I had my new Chasseur cast iron pot to use which happened to be the perfect size. I read through Alexx Stuart’s blog on tips on how to make bone broth as I wanted reassurance having not ever done this before.

So here it is in 10 easy steps (see here for detailed steps).

Ingredients – Whole chicken, onions, vegetables and a large pot to fix all of this in.

Chicken Onions Pot

Free range chicken, onions and my Chasseur pot

Veges

Vegetables soaking for 10 minutes with a splash of vinegar to wash clean

 

1. Brown chicken

Brown Chicken

Browning the chicken

2. Brown onions

Onions

Adding the onions

3. Add water to cover.

Water

Full to the brim, just fits

4. Boil then simmer

Boil

Bring to boil

5. Cook for 3 hours. De-meat the chicken.

Simmer

Simmer for 3 hours

Remove meat

Cooked chicken

No Bones

Shredded chicken

6. Add bones back in. Cook 12 hours.

Overnight 12 hours

Overnight 12 hours on low heat

7. Strain bones and put broth back into pot

Strain

Straining the bones

8. Add vegetables and cook 30 minutes till tender

Veges simmer

Add the vegetables

Season

Seasoning

9. Add cooked chicken

Serve

Dishing it up

10. Season with Changing Habits seaweed salt and Changing Habits dulse fakes and enjoy!

Chicken

Yum!

We got 6 meals from the Chicken and Vegetable Bone Broth, 4 jars of broth plus another 4 meals of chicken pasta bake using the leftover chicken.  For a $15 chicken and $15 of vegetables plus electricity works out to be about $4 a meal, which is super cheap cheap.

Meals

Meals a plenty!

I feel like chicken tonight, like chicken tonight!

 

Changing Habits Gelatin Powder

© 2017 Sarah Short Circuit

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑