food habits

photo of our table compliments of Maya Lee

Before I get too carried away with recipes, I'd like to give you a little background on our kitchen. We take great strides to eat local, fresh, and in season. We use non-toxic (and usually homemade) cleaners to take care of spills and bring our own bags to carry things home in. We grow, can, pickle and try to only eat out when we can't make it better at home. We believe in eating well, not simply to decrease our impact on the environment, but primarily to fuel our bodies with the highest possible quality of food.

What we choose to eat is often considered an unusually organic, traditional foods diet. Rather than try to convince or take sides about food, I like to offer the resources that led me to the diet we embrace. Initially I read The Maker's Diet in tandem with looking up Old Testament references about the food & cleanliness customs of the ancient Hebrew people. From there, Nourishing Traditions has been very helpful in deciding how to prepare foods in a deliberate manner while looking to include as many varieties as are in-season & reasonable for our lifestyle. To give you an idea of the philosophy, this link is a helpful introduction.

We drink raw milk from a local farm that we trust, unpasteurized-unhomogenized-
full fat. In VA you have to own a share in a herd to legally obtain raw milk (so it's from your own cow, on paper). A Campaign for Real Milk has a list of farms you can contact, state-by-state. From raw milk I make kefir (strong yogurt that's great for the digestive system) & ricotta to put in quiche (with farm eggs, spinach, etc) or lasagna (with farm beef). I freeze the whey in ice cube trays to add to smoothies or baby food as needed. I also add whey instead of water to the sourdough bread we make from a liquid starter someone gave me a while back. 

In terms of online recipes & natural food recommendations, we often reference 101 Cookbooks for vegetarian & gluten-free recipes (anyone whose friend or relative has Celiac disease, show your love by doing research) & My New Roots, a holistic nutritionist & CNM who posts amazing recipes full of really healthy ingredients that almost feels like cheating. I totally changed my shopping list after reading a few of her suggestions, & the Smooth Criminal Chocolate Mousse Tart is next as far as I'm concerned.
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