Aug 13, 2012

Compromise In My Kitchen: 80/20

Keepin' it real here.

There are days I don't feel like cooking.  There are days when I forget to pull something out of the freezer.  And then, there have been the past three months where I have found myself on the couch more than I care to admit (helloooo first trimester of pregnancy!)

What are my convenience foods?  Where do I compromise and not make from scratch? (This compromise is what is often referred to as the 20 in the 80/20 Principle.)

Sometimes my best gal pal, HB, gives me some of her delicious soaked bread or another friend makes bread from sprouted grains.  I go back and forth about making bread, finding the time to do it and liking my results.

For a very long time we did not eat bread because I was reading too many bad things about it.  Life got very busy and I caved.  The loud pleadings of my son (who could eat PB&J everyday) convinced me live a little and buy him a loaf of bread.

Buying grocery store bread is not the best because the grains have not been properly prepared (soaked or sprouted).  Typically, mass produced bread has all kinds of ingredients that I wouldn't add if I made it myself.  But it sure is convenient to buy bread.  People often ask why brand we eat.  I choose "Health Nut" because the ingredient list seems to be a relatively good one, and omits high fructose corn syrup. And we like the taste and texture.

We can eat a lot of cheese.  While I would like to give my children only raw cheese, they don't always like it and it is a bit expensive.  Plus when you heat raw cheese to melting (like on a pizza) you've destroyed some of the natural enzymes - one reason it costs more.

Unashamedly I buy a lot of cheese from Kroger - in all shapes and varieties. (I do not buy Velveeta, which is a cheese-food-product, or the kind of cheese that has individually wrapped slices.)  We eat  slices and hunks of Colby, Swiss, and cheddar, as well as the kids' favorites: mozzarella cheese sticks.  Probably one of my last hold outs will be the oh-so-convenient shredded cheese in a bag even thought the anti-clumping additives are not so good for me.  It sure saves time and energy in the kitchen.

Homemade tortillas are super yummy.  I've made them before and would like to make them again.  However, being that I have a two small children, I can't spend all day in the kitchen so I give myself some grace and buy tortillas more frequently than I make them.

Currently my favorites are Alvarado St. sprouted wheat tortillas from Azure Standard.  When I fail to order enough, I have purchased from Kroger, Whole Foods or Drug Emporium Food for Life's Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain tortillas.  And when I'm feeling really cheap and careless (frequently) I buy the run of the mill white tortillas with the horrible oils.

Coconut Milk
Once I posted how to make coconut milk.  Yes it is easy and cheap to make - as are most things homemade.  Yet we must also factor time.  Coconut milk is one of the few canned foods I buy regularly.  I don't have a particular brand to recommend.  Just be sure it is full fat.

No Compromise
If I run out of bone broth I will beg, borrow or steal some from a friend before buying it at the store.

My Fast Dinner Ideas
Most always in the fridge:
-eggs from pastured, local source

Try to keep these stocked in the pantry:
-peanut butter (great with apples, celery or bok choy stems)
-honey from a local source
-jarred pasta sauce (for this fast, nutritious, cheap meal)
-popcorn to be popped in coconut oil
-dried fruit (raisins, dates)
-crispy nuts

Fast, Easy Dinners
hard boiled eggs (usually boil a dozen a week)
eggs poached in marinara
grilled cheese or quesadillas
Seasonal Dinner Fast - Asian Stir Fry
Lori's Black Bean "Burgers"
and of course I must give a shameless plug for our batch cooking days - freezer meals are the bomb.

Where do you compromise with food?  Have any fast dinner ideas to share?

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1 comment:

  1. I would say my biggest compromise is spaghetti noodles. Plain old, white flour spaghetti noodles. My kids and husband love spaghetti, and for a long time I only bought rice noodles, and only rarely. They ask for spaghetti all the time, and I've started compromising every once in awhile because it's so cheap. .99 for a package of organic spaghetti from Trader Joe's compared to $4 for brown rice noodles from Whole Foods.

    My goal for this school year is to make a double batch of something at least once a week to freeze. There are plenty of nights I don't feel like cooking and I love it when I can grab a casserole or crock pot meal out of the freezer and do virtually nothing.



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