And so this past weekend, I forced the kids to eat brown rice bowls, with sweet potatoes, lentils, spinach and scrambled egg.
Luca didn’t speak to me for the entire afternoon, he ate all of 2 spinach leaves.
With rising food prices, my favorite subject of conversation these days, I’m feeling an overwhelming panic at the grocery store. A panic that’s making me realize that a) the system really needs to change and b) I need to work on the kids’ eating habits and essentially force them to eat beans and lentils everyday, so that I can put my mind to rest.
Oh and I also need to build a rooftop greenhouse to grow cauliflower and broccoli in the winter, so that we can keep eating them, or get rich.
Whichever one happens first.
My cooking duties (and my domestic duties) have been causing an inner (and outter) rebellion of late, and I can’t help but feel that this growing food price situation is pushing us home cooks in the corner.
I’ll preface this by saying that already, as the prime cook in the family, I have advantages of a) knowing what I’m doing in the kitchen and b) enjoying the act of cooking (80% of the Time) c) having a Love for food and d) understanding nutrition.
Do I caugh up the dough for the fresh vegetables?
The package of green beans, insultingly priced at 4.19$ made me want to flip my grocery cart. These are green beans that, without a sense of exaggeration, I wouldn’t have harvested in my own garden. They were so overgrown and tired, that even maybe the chickens would have scoffed at them.
Do I buy frozen vegetables?
Makes me feel like I’m really drinking the Kool Aid and supporting industrialized food systems.
Do I buy canned vegetables?
Do I eat beets all winter?
Probably my best bet.
We just watched Living One One Dollar A Day on Netflix with the kids, and while the experiment is flawed in so many aspects and reeks of western ignorance (Bruno got a migraine From rolling his eyes so much), it was a great glimpse into the world of poverty and the importance of nutrition in social and economic development.
And so, with the growing grocery bills (we spent 1900$ on food last month (granted, my turkey was 100$ AND it was Christmas – we factor booze in our grocery budget), i’m pushing myself to cook differently and maybe go without some of my regular purchases. It feels like we may be forced into real seasonal eating, by lack of choice and not by hipster trends.
And so, because I’m quite tired of peeling carrots and making the beloved cream of carrot/coconut milk soup, I’ve been deep into the brothy soups. There is a huge opportunity to play with loads of ingredients here, and it’s just s great way to feed yourself for not very much, and optimize nutrition. Also, and it’s really the most important reason, soup is a fantastic bread vehicle.
Keys to a good brothy soup (oh yeah, also broth soup means no blender to wash!)
1- Base: onion, leeks, mushrooms , bacon, garlic. You choose!
2- Stock: chicken, beef, veggie? Boil up that enormous turkey carcass and have stock for weeks. DO NOT leave carcass on stovetop for extended periods.
3- Grains & Beans: farro, wild rice, lentils, white beans, black beans (my favorite!!), barley (but it always drinks all the broth!! Orzo? Whatever you want!
4-Veggies: tomatoes, sweet potatoes (in everything), squash, some finely diced zucchini, crunchy peas from the freezer (acceptable), potatoes.
5- herbs and garnishes: a squeeze of lemon on a lentil soup, some leafy parsley tossed in at the end, or even ladling soup into bowls with spinach or, if you’re a millionaire these days, some kale. I also love adding some chopped avocado and cilantro to mimic the Mexican chicken soup.
Lentil, bacon, tomatoe, spinach (veggie stock)
White bean, leek, butternut squash (chicken stock)
Wild rice, sweet potato, mushroom, parsley (any stock)
Black beans, adobo peppers, beef stock and corn.
But what about you guys? Clearly I’m not the only one fretting about food, I’ve received AT LEAST 6 text photos of above 7$ cauliflower in the last month.
So tell me, how are you guys handling the food prices? Is it changing your food habits?