Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fuel: Paleo tips for family meals

I thought i'd take a few posts in a row to update what we're doing with food in our house.  Not that i'm shirking the workout posts because i'm not doing a ton of workouts this month ...  Oh, no!...  Well, maybe just a little bit.

Anyway, this summer i found a pressure canner at a garage sale, and i have been having fun!  I love the aura of my grandma that surrounds the idea of canning, the memories of the peaches and pears my mom canned and doled out like candy to us in the harsh Alberta winters...

But i haven't been canning fruit.  I have bought, so far, three 20 lb boxes of peaches, but with eight children, that box is eaten up in two days.  So, unless i go buy the peaches after the children are in bed, and then start canning through the night, there will be.... shall we say, loss?  I haven't given up on canning peaches, but the season is almost gone - snow is reportedly going to fly this week, probably not to stay, but definitely to call to fall, and i don't know for sure that i will be able to get another box of ripe but not too ripe peaches!

Anyway, three useful tools i've found recently that are helping me to be more disciplined and *satisfied* as a paleo eater are three things i had in my house already.

One, is my pressure canner - the novelty hasn't worn off, and i've made borscht, pumpkin puree, and roasted tomatoes.  I carefully follow the directions, and i've found good recipes online.  Except for the borscht!  I love borscht, and i use Mollie Katzen's Moosewood cookbook recipe.

The second is my dehydrator.  Dehydrated tomato chips are delish - so sweet and tangy!  And kale chips cooked in the dehydrator stay bright green and keep a little of the kale flavour as opposed to oven baked.  If things ever needed storage (i.e. didn't get eaten up straight out of the dehydrator or as soon as they come out), ziplock bags or empty clear containers can wait in the pantry until we're ready to use them.

And the third is this simple trick - use your fridge and freezer!

What i'm doing with good meals is to make sure i put the leftovers in the freezer as soon as the meal is done.  That way, i have individual sized (or a lunch size shared with children) meal that i can just heat up, and it's delicious and homemade, and guilt free.

For lunch, we had leftover pumpkin shrimp coconut curry.  It was just as good as the first time!  I made some fries for the kids on the side, and felt so virtuous.

From the leftover turkey we had the other day, Coach T made turkey soup from homemade stock for Sunday dinner, and i put the leftovers in the fridge in quart jars.  We'll for sure eat that up in the next day.

Tonight, i made stew - instead of flour to thicken it, i took a few scoops of the stew itself out, and put it through the vitamix.  It was a really nice stew consistency, very meaty flavoured, and gobbled up.  I made a whole bunch, so i would have some leftover to freeze - and it's in the freezer.  There's not enough for all of the children and for me but one day maybe next week, i'll let them have noodles or something carby, and i'll eat leftover stew that tastes just as good as it did tonight.  Or, once we have enough healthy leftovers, we'll have a little lunch buffet.

With the chickens we had the other day (we have to make two chickens generally to feed our family), i took the bones and made stock, then froze it in water jugs (i bought half a dozen nice sturdy ones from a restaurant that went out of business) in my big freezer.  Once i have big family sized portions all frozen, i can transfer to ziplock bags, and pop them back into the freezer till i'm ready for soup.

This is how fast food should be!  It's easy because i took a few minutes on another day to put things into storage properly.  I found that when i just shove a container of leftovers into the fridge, that we weren't eating it always in a timely manner, and a lot got thrown out.  This method is making sure that everything gets eaten, *and* appreciated!

Even the canned food doesn't seem to last long - i think i am down to one more quart jar of pumpkin puree, and i will probably put up a few more batches of that, since it's been nice to have fresh pumpkin pie for the littles, and curry for all of us - but the canning or freezing just buys me the luxury of time!  Time to get back into the mood for curry, or stew, or roasted tomato sauce :)

Next post : recipes!  I'm not the queen of paleo eats, but these are hearty, kitchen tested, and not too hard to make :)

No comments:

Post a Comment