Simple and Easy Ideas From a Weston A. Price Inspired Kitchen
And, here is our second Blog Entry from Divine Mommy, Anya Adams. For those of you out there looking for a way to eat that follows the ideas and philosophies of Weston A. Price, Anya is your local go-to guru. As always, Anya has great ideas for snacks and helpful tips for the moms on the run.
After trying the suggestions from my last entry, I hope you and your families are noticing how the food you are eating affects your bodies, moods, and energy levels. Recognizing those connections is one of the first steps to creating a healthy menu at home. As I mentioned last time, today we’ll focus on snacks and meals that are nutrient dense and fairly simple to create because if you are like me, you don’t have time for complicated!
However, before I dive into recipes, I have to share two tips that changed my life as the cook for the family.
Tip #1: Prep, prep, and more prep!
If you aren’t already designating two hours at least once per week to create some easy to grab food then you are missing out on a step that could decrease stress related to feeding your family. The most popular reason I hear from those who end up grabbing food that is not healthy for them while out and about is, “I didn’t have time to make anything to take with me.” Hey, I’ve been there- in the car after a play date, then suddenly the hungry whines begin to peep out from the back seat, and I look into my bag and NOTHING. Only parents can understand the panic that follows! Solve that problem by preparing snacks well beforehand and storing them in the fridge. I choose Sundays and Thursdays because that works well for my family but it could be any time in the week. I also involve my son. He is three and enjoys washing the fruits and vegetables as well as slicing some of the softer ones. Some of the tasks I do during our prep time are:
- Wash and slice carrots, peppers, apples, berries, grapes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and celery before placing them in individual storage containers.
- Pour kefir, yogurt, bone broth (yes we drink it cold!) and raw milk into small, sealable, drinking bottles.
- Slice enough raw milk cheese to fill up a few containers.
- Boil eggs.
- Cut any leftover meat (because I ALWAYS purposely make too much at dinner for lunches) into bite sized pieces and distribute into reusable containers. I usually add a side of sauerkraut to these containers to help with our digestion. There are so many “flavors” of sauerkraut that there is a good chance you can find one your child enjoys.
Having these food items cut, washed and in containers that I can quickly grab on my way out the door has been nothing less than life changing. This way if we need to head out on an adventure or if we come home and hear our stomachs growling we have nourishing food options. I can take containers of fruit, vegetables, meat, ferments, eggs, and/or dairy. If you aren’t yet convinced, may I share with you that this extra step has actually allowed me to have more “me” time! Because I am no longer constantly trying to prepare something at the last minute I have more minutes of the day that I can read a few pages in a book, have a cup of tea, or simply just stretch and breathe.
Tip #2- Always make too much for leftovers the next day.
Making more food at dinner means leftovers for lunch the next day which means less cooking and time in the kitchen. Enough said!
Smoothie made with yogurt, fresh mango, and coconut manna
Boiled egg with a piece of fruit
Cheese and apple
Sliced cucumbers smeared with raw milk cream cheese.
Raw milk (we prefer raw because there are more vitamins and enzymes available)
Raw milk yogurt with berries
Avocado with sauerkraut and sea salt (didn’t expect this one to taste so good!)
Grass-fed beef jerky bars (we enjoy “Mighty Bars” b/c they don’t have any soy or natural flavorings) with a piece of fruit
Small glass of broth and a handful of cherry tomatoes
Celery or carrots dipped into raw sprouted almond butter
A banana with a spoonful of coconut oil (a fantastic option in a pinch!)
When I prepare a meal I look at the plate to makes sure it has fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Most of the fat I consume usually comes from raw butter, ghee, and coconut oil. - and coconut oil. In a future blog entry I will get into the importance of fat but for now I’m hoping to convince you by letting you know it’s necessary for hormones, brain health and maintaining energy levels. The carbohydrates mostly come from the vegetables and fruits. Raw dairy and meat provide most of the protein. As I stated in the last entry, nutrition isn’t black and white so while dairy and meat provide some protein it also provides fat. In addition carbohydrates are also found in raw dairy. It’s important to understand that each food item provides more than one nutrient. Below are three nutrient-dense meals all made from just two chickens.
Meal #1- Coconut Oil Garlic Chicken with Baked Sweet Potatoes and Beets
Two soy free and pasture raised chickens if possible. Drizzle coconut oil all over the birds. Grind sea salt on top. Chop garlic and sprinkle over. Bake at 295F for 2.5-3 hours. Cut up sweet potatoes and beets (I don’t peel beets but you can if preferred), throw into glass baking dish. Pour coconut oil over sweet potatoes and beets. Place in oven when there is 1.5 hours left on the timer. This dish has actually been a favorite of any I have ever given guests and it is the easiest!
Meal #2- Chicken Salad
The reason I always make two chickens is to use one for chicken salad. Slice chicken off bones and chop meat into bite sized pieces. Mix in your own mayonnaise (it’s actually very easy to make with olive oil) or with Primal or Chosen Foods mayo. These two brands are the only two that I have found are made with avocado oil. All others have some sort of other oil added, usually canola or sunflower which are not optimal for human consumption. Chop celery and apples and mix into chicken and mayo. Of course you can add anything else you and your family prefer in your chicken salad. We add lots of red peppers because my son loves red peppers and it’s an easy way to get a vegetable in so I highly suggest trying to “sneak” one in.
Meal #3- Chicken Bone Broth with Fried Butter Potatoes
Take the bones of the chicken and throw the in a large soup pot. Fill the pot with water. Bring to a boil. Skim any scum off that has risen to the top. Add one tablespoon vinegar, some chopped celery and carrots. Simmer all day. Pour the broth over a strainer into your storage containers. About an hour before you take the broth off the stove, slice enough Yukon gold potatoes to satiate your family as well as have some for tomorrow’s breakfast or lunch. Put a few tablespoons of butter in a large pan. Once it is melted add the potatoes. Stir/flip every few minutes as they brown on each side. They are finished once all sides are browned. I enjoy adding Tessa Mae’s ketchup to the potatoes as it is one of the few I have found with quality ingredients.
Now you have at least a few days worth of nourishing snack and meal options. I’m hoping these ideas provide those of you who dislike cooking, or aren’t sure where to start, enough confidence to hop into the kitchen. If I, a “cook” who didn’t learn how to make basic pasta until age 19, can do it….so can you! Sometimes it only takes a little preparation and desire to make a small change. May the fork be with you!