In The Kitchen

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Most people have the idea that traditional, real foods are very time consuming.  It does require time, but more importantly it requires commitment and a plan.  For me, I have to keep it simple – very simple!!!  I have been cooking this way for a long time – our whole foods journey began almost 20 years ago.  So what is simple to me will not be simple to you.  The key is repetition and routine.  Choose one thing to try and practice that one thing until it is easy for you.  Then add one thing more.  Here are a few posts about traditional cooking:

I’m going to share my plan for meal prep.  I am not going to pretend that this way will work for you – it won’t.  But maybe you will get just one idea or a few recipes that will help you on your real foods journey.  Recipes are marked with a ®.  I am adding links to them as quickly as I can.  Feel free to request a recipe that doesn’t have a link and I will try to move it up on my list of posts to write.

The basic plan includes about 2 hours of my time each day – most of it first thing in the morning – because that is what works best for me.  I call this my meal prep time.  If I am consistent with that time, then meals are usually on the table in about 15-30 minutes.  I repeat the same routine every day of each week.  This is important for me because I tend to wander aimlessly through the day – unless I have a plan in place.

Meal Prep:

  • Monday – cook main meat for the week and soak nuts, sprout grain
    • ® Chicken
    • ® Turkey
    • ® Pork
    • ® Beef
    • ® Venison
    • ® Preparing Nuts
    • ® Sprouting Grains
  • Tuesday – soak rice/barley; make broth, butter, and yogurt
  • Wednesday – make bread, soak beans and hot cereal
  • Thursday – soak cornbread and beans
    • ® Cornbread
    • ® Quick Cooking Dried Beans
  • Friday – make salad (enough for the week) and fermented fruits/veggies; make sourdough bucket dough
    • ® Confetti
    • ® Vacuum Sealed Salad
    • ® Lacto-Fermented Krauts
    • ® Lacto-Fermented Apple Chutney
    • ® Sourdough Bucket Bread
  • Saturday – soak and prepare coffee cake and Challah bread
  • Sunday – bake coffee cake or Prairie Puff and get ready for church
  • Daily – in addition to the things above I culture kefir, feed my sourdough, and prepare breakfast

Breakfast:  (each breakfast is supplemented with eggs, raw milk, and fresh fruit)

Lunch: (each lunch is supplemented with fresh or fermented veggies)

Snacks usually feature fruit, any leftover grain or dairy product and nuts or nut-butter.

Supper is based on a theme: (we have about 6-8 recipes for each theme giving us about 2 months worth of meals)

  • Main Meat Monday (the meat is the featured item – roast, roasted chicken, pork chops, etc.)
  • Texican Tuesday (Mexican food with a Texas twist)
  • One Dish Wednesday (casseroles, skillet dishes, or food that can be eaten in the car on the way to church)
  • Thrifty Thursday (most often beans, but I add fish when I can get it fresh at a good price)
  • Favorites Friday (all our very favorites – often Italian)
  • Sizzling Saturday (something from the grill)
  • Simple Sundays (usually eggs because they are fast and easy)

Special Occasions:

By keeping things simple and sticking to the routine I don’t have to figure it out all over again every week.  It takes about 10 minutes to plan our menu for the next week because 90% of the work is already done.  The recipes are simple and they use all the foods that have been prepared during the meal prep time with the addition of fresh veggies.  The 2 hour meal prep time in the morning is my job while the kids get started with school.  They take turns helping with the final preparations at meal time and getting it on the table.

That’s it.  The recipes that you will find here all fall somewhere within this plan.  They are sorted by categories so that you can find them easily.  I’ll be adding more recipes in the days to come.

8 thoughts on “In The Kitchen

  1. Anita

    I read somebody’s comment on another site that I could get information on kefir grains.
    I have kefir grains from two different people and I am wondering if I can combine them together–to avoid more work transferring to two clean mason jars etc. I would appreciate your take on whether it’s ok to combine kefir grains into one jar (from two jars now)

    1. Connie

      Anita –
      I got your comment here and on the email. If you have been using the same milk on both sets of grains then it would probably be fine to combine them. My hesitation is that you can get too many grains for one jar. I aim for 1 heaping tablespoon of grains per 1/2 gallon jar. Once my grains grow to about 3 tablespoons per jar, I remove half of them and keep them in a small jar in the frig covered with milk. About once each week I strain the stored grains and cover with fresh milk. You can store them in milk in the frig for quite some time. Others have frozen or dehydrated them but I just store them and give them away as people want them. I hope that answers your question. Feel free to contact me any time – here or by email is fine 🙂

      1. Anita

        I don’t know what milk was used for the second set of kefir grains I received; it seemed sour so I dumped that culture and put the kefir grains in a clean jar and added new milk several times. I ended up putting the 2 sets in the same jar. I add 2 cups of milk to them. I would estimate approx. 2 tablespoons of kefir grains total. I understood that the kefir grains need 1 cup of milk per tablespoon of grains…I’m hoping my sister wants to do kefir and then I will give her some. I have two bottles of cultured kefir. I don’t know what else to do with it other than make smoothies; I’m getting a little bit tired of smoothies though…
        Thank you for your prompt response!

        1. Connie

          Anita-
          Just checking in about your kefir. I have never used that many grains in a cup of milk. I use only one heaping tablespoon per 1/2 gallon. This cultures in about 12-36 hours depending on the temperature – much faster in the summer. You can also store your grains in a small amount of milk temporarily in the frig so that you just make 1/2 gallon per week (or however much you need). I drink a cup or two of kefir every morning – not in a smoothie. When I first started I thought it needed to be sweeter so I stirred in just a sprinkle of stevia. Now I love it plain. I hope you can enjoy yours! Blessings –
          Connie

    1. Connie

      I have sold/given away all the extra that I had but I need to process kefir tomorrow. If I have enough to split, I will let you know.

    1. Connie

      I’m sorry I missed your comment earlier. I do have grains, but they are not multiplying rapidly enough to keep up with demand. I have 2 more people ahead of you. Please check back with me in December! Blessings –
      Connie

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