Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cooking Nutritiously, ON a Budget, the Blessings Farm way

LOVE to eat!
do you?
most people on the planet LOVE to eat, 
and given some flavor, and nutrition 
makes that daily chore a BLAST!
but HOW to cook for the farm
cook nutritious
cook for a variety of dietary needs
when I have NO "real" kitchen?
I don't
I cook ahead of time...
I freeze or can my foods 
bringing them to the farm ready to heat and serve
Planning and preparation are HUGE...
for example, IF we are making C.S.'s Chili,
did I also pack corn bread, or tortilla chips to go with it?
what about all the toppings?
some sour cream perhaps, chopped scallions, some sharp cheddar shredded?
Planning Meals ahead of time is tricky at first
but getting a handle on my Menu's really makes
 an imprint on my budget.
a good imprint!
Some days, like today i just make an EXTRA large quantity of a soup or stew 
some for this evening's meal
some for the freezer to be eaten later
So I thought it might be fun to journal some of those recipes here!
Today's is a Personal Favorite
Beef Stew
please note that I have many variations on this,
and it works EXCELLENT with Venison..
oops.. is that Salt in the wound?  
one more hunting trip this season..
maybe then?
anyhow, here we go!

starting off with a Mirepoix
which is French for the combination of carrot, celery and onion
I cut most of my carrots a bit small, leaving some a bit larger...
for texture...
and I cut my onion in 1/2 moons.
they look SO pretty in the stew that way....
but I highly recommend chopping finely IF you have onion fearing children in the house!
I saute this over med/med low heat till translucent
then, I add some finely sliced garlic..
not crushed, I slice mine...
but if YOU make this, do it How you like it! 

here is a nicely diced rutabega

and one small diced turnip

and about 5-6 large baking potato's 
I sliced mine in a different shape... instead of dicing... 
it really doesn't matter 
but I was in the mood for a quarter circle..

this is lemon salt...
I use organic lemon peels layered in Kosher Salt
I need those peels for some recipes
and the lemon salt for others..
neat flavor!
Thanks to Shauna at for the fabulous posts mentioning this idea!

Turmeric!  Cancer fighting, inflammation fighting WONDER spice!

LOVE love LOVE this!  
it has a distinctly different flavor than it's counter part
 "Hungarian Paprika"
and still different than that "hot"
it's wonderful!
have you tried it?
it's a new favorite here
I even added to my Pazole the other day!

ooo and one of my FAVORITE grains
KEEN - wa
Once considered the Gold of the Inca's 
this gem of a food is rich in Magnesium,
and even folate
it is excellent for high cholesterol
migraine sufferers
high in antioxidants
and wonderful for the cardiovascular system of post menopausal women
it's also HIGH in fiber, and excellent for Cancer Patients or those hoping to Prevent

I bought mine at Costco... 
but I have often gotten it through my co-op

when I cook with it, it sprouts, and gets all curly
do you see those darling little curls?
that is my Quinoa!
Ok.. so HOW?
I saute the miropoix
when it's all beautiful and translucent
I toss in my sliced garlic
I add my rutabaga & turnip 
stirring about
only when I am JUST about ready do I add the Quinoa
this time I added 2/3 cup
I stir about
and add my beef broth
while THAT comes to a boil
I chop up my stew meat 
(I only needed about 1 lb, this may have been 1 1/2 )
and  I brown it in a good cast iron pan
I want it seared and brown
not gray and boiled
so drain if it's too juicy
be certain to get a hot pan to start off too!
I season with my lemon salt, pepper, smoked paprika & tumeric

I toss this into the stockpot boiling away...
i am NOT done with that cast iron pan though
I add some of the stock to the pan and whisk the "goop" on the bottom.. 
scraping and getting it super cleaned off.. 
Then I pour this into the soup..

simmer for a couple hours 
stirring occasionally
seasoning a pinch more of this or that
as YOU like
hopefully, we won't eat it ALL, 
and I can freeze some for the Farm!
Blessings Farm Stew
5 carrots (peeled & diced)
2 medium Onion (i used white & red)
4-5 Stalks Celery (chopped)
5-6 large baking potatos
1 Rutabega (diced) 
1 small turnip (diced)
1 1/2 lb of stew meat (beef/venison/bison U CHOOSE!)
3 qt Beef Stock
2/3 cup Quinoa
3 cloves garlic sliced
lemon salt
freshly ground pepper
smoked paprika
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Tools NEEDED - cast iron pan, stockpot, measuring up, whisk, stirring spoon, good knives & cutting board.

Dice and saute the miropoix, set aside, dice potatoes and let sit in cool water to prevent browning.  Peel and Dice Rutabega and Turnip, set aside and slice your garlic... set this aside.. Be certain you have all your ingredients close at hand.. Add Olive Oil to Stock Pot, and begin to saute and sweat your mirapoix.  When it's all beautiful and translucent, toss in sliced garlic, be careful to NOT burn just want to wake it up, 
THEN,  add rutabaga & turnip stirring about and sweating JUST a little.. now add the Quinoa, give it a good stirring and add your beef broth.  Whilst THAT comes to a boil, go back to your cutting board, and have at that stew meat.. You want to chop it so it is a size that is comfortable on your spoon when you are eating it..I chop up my stew meat, browning it in a good cast iron pan.  This you want to SEAR.. meaning you want it browned, not grey; be certain to get a hot pan to start off too!  Season with my lemon salt, pepper, smoked paprika & tumeric.  Toss this into the stockpot boiling away...add some of the stock to the pan and whisking the "goop" on the bottom.This has ooodles of flavor!  Scrape it clean and add to the stew..

simmer for a couple hours, stirring occasionally
cool and freeze, can
or EAT !

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