This week I think I had much more success at the farmers’ market. But the part where Isabella was super interested…yeah that didn’t last long. My kid has this awesome way of making me look like an asshole in front of other people—she exaggerates how tired her legs are, starts walking funny…yeah the whole nine yards. Oh well, with a six year old you win some and you lose some. (Later, I won with a fantastic glass of wine…) So I focused on making sure I had enough veggies for the week and decided to stock up on fruit later that day when my family went up to Ellijay for the apple festival.Long story short, the orchard did not quite happen. After a three hour trip that should have only taken an hour, we basically had to turn around and go home with no apples. Do not—I repeat—do not go to Ellijay for the apple festival unless you love bumper to bumper traffic and long lines, compounded by questions like “mommy, when
do we get to see the apple trees?”
So this brings me to an interesting question in our lifestyle change. Is it realistic to hope that we could buy all of our produce from local farms? Because quite frankly, I spent an hour at Harry’s (Whole Foods) Market this afternoon, catching up on all of
the things I forgot, couldn’t find, or otherwise couldn’t obtain. I was able to find apples from Mercier farms (take THAT Ellijay…), but I realized that there were no other local fruits in season. At least none at Harry’s. So I broke. Totally buckled. I bought lemons from Chile, oranges from Florida, and mushrooms from Pennsylvania. It also occurred to me that the middle of October is a really horrible time to decide to depend solely on local farm produce. After all, there aren’t many places in the world that are
known for food abundance in the winter…which is why food surpluses became so important in the first place.
It’s time to re-assess our goals and really decide what’s important. We have so far agreed that we want to do the following:
- avoid—and ultimately elminate—all packaged/precooked/pre-made/processed
- reduce our use of disposable storage and paper products
- rely on local farms and seasonal vegetables as much as possible
- know where our food comes from
- eliminate unethical, hormonally enhanced meat
- reduce our dairy consumption and look into alternatives until we figure out
what we want to do with it and until we rule out lactose-intolerance
- learn to enjoy the natural flavors of fruits and vegetables
- eliminate artificial sweeteners
- concentrate on fueling our bodies properly for the sports we participate in
In some ways these are all very easy changes for us to make, because we are not strangers to dietary restrictions. The challenge is to retrain ourselves to stop thinking of food as something that must be restricted, avoided, or feared. We believe that by focusing on balance, keeping a good variety, and eliminating unnecessary ingredients, we can achieve a balance that is both mental and physical. I am proud to say that I have not given a single thought to my caloric intake in over a week. I know my body well enough to know when and how to feed it.
My family has benefited so much from this adventure in just two short weeks. Isabella feels like she’s on a team with us, so she’s not acting up as much for our attention. She’s excited about the adventure aspect, and is eating foods that most people would never expect a six year old to eat. There is also much less tension in the house because cooking, eating, and shopping are no longer rushed—we all participate in some way, because that is truly what it takes. And don’t get me wrong, we definitely have some pretty tense moments in the kitchen, but they are the kind that we can laugh at five minutes later. For instance, last night Mike took on the responsibility of making our pizza dough from scratch while I made the sauce…boy was he pretty annoyed
at the lengthy process! There may have been some four-letter moments! But secretly, I was stoked! Finally he understands what goes on in the kitchen while he’s not looking! I no longer feel under-appreciated, and he no longer feels intimidated by
the kitchen. Mutually beneficial arrangement!
Today, I will share the recipe for the amazing meal I made for dinner, along with a bonus recipe I made with the leftover chickpeas!
Chana masala, and roasted red pepper hummus.
cups dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
(soak overnight with enough water to cover; I soak them right in the crock
In the morning, rinse and drain beans; return to crock pot. Cover with water, cook on medium for about four hours. (I turned mine to “warm” after about four hours, because I wanted them to still be firm for dinner. When I do it again, I’ll start them later in the day).
2T olive oil
garlic to taste (I use a lot!)
½ onion, chopped (Mike hates it so I have to use powder)
1 tomato, chopped
½ t cayenne pepper
1/2 t garam masala
Once beans have cooked to desired tenderness, heat oil in large pot. Add garlic and onion, cook for about a minute. Add all but the last two spices, cook for about 30 seconds or until spices start to really smell good. Add the tomato and cook for about five minutes on medium/low heat. Add 3 ½ cups of the cooked beans, with about a cup of water. As you bring that to a boil, add the juice of ½ lemon, paprika, garam masala, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about ten minutes, reduce to low heat; cover and serve over rice when eady.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:
I made mine while my chana masala was cooking!
Add remaining beans to food processor with the following:
garlic (I use a lot!)
juice of ½ lemon
Roasted red pepper*
*I roasted my red pepper in the oven, by placing a whole red pepper (top and seeds removed) onto a baking sheet; broil on high until the skin turns brown and starts to bubble, and then turn it over. Continue until entire pepper is brown and peeling. I don’t remove the skin, though most probably do. After it cools, you can throw it in the
food processor with the other ingredients.