Thursday, February 14, 2013

Day 5 - Free Range and Organic

One of the tenets of the Whole30 is that you should be eating grass-fed, free range, sustainable, and organic meats, eggs, and seafood. In fact, they emphasize this over purchasing organic vegetables and fruits (if for budgetary reasons you can't do it all). This has been difficult for us. We are a family of 5 and definitely on a budget, but I am aware of the industrial meat practices that go on, and, yes, they do gross me out. We have been buying cage free eggs for a while because they are simply better quality and tasting than their industrial counterparts with their brittle shells and pale yellow yolks. After living the UK where dairy and egg products are unsurpassed for taste and quality, returning to the US with its surly farming practices was an adjustments.

The harsh reality is that grass fed, free range, and sustainable items are super expensive, but in my heart I want to go that route. So we've compromised a bit. Last week the chicken I bought -- boneless, skinless thighs and whole bird -- was free range and organic. Our grocery bill was already astronomical from prepping for this journey, but I've subsequently learned that I over-purchased on some items. Plus, I had to get a few of the staples that I won't need to buy again for a few weeks. I am hoping to bring the grocery bill down some as I get more comfortable with what we are actually consuming in a week, and as we do this I am willing to pay a little more for this better meat.

It is particularly noticeable with chicken. The color of the meat is completely different. It is white when raw, not yellow, and after cooked, the meat is white and pink, not gray. The smell was even different. Hard to explain how, but much more appetizing. I cooked a whole bird for two reasons. I froze the broth, a yield of almost 10 cups! I did this because I cannot find compliant chicken broth anywhere and I need it for soups. The second reason was to produce a bag of chicken meat for topping salads or just eating by itself. Today I plan to season some of the meat and recreate yesterday's taco-less salad with pulled chicken instead of ground turkey.

Breakfast - 2 fried eggs over easy on a bed of sautéed garlic spinach, 1/2 grapefruit, coffee with coconut milk
Lunch - Taco-less salad with chicken (instead of ground turkey), fresh pineapple chunks
Dinner - Leek and sweet potato soup with a side of homemade turkey breakfast sausage and homemade applesauce

The leek and sweet potato soup was AMAZING! It had the velvety, creamy texture of a bisque with lovely sweetness from the potatoes and depth of flavor from onions, garlic, and leeks. I think I may get some crab or lobster to add to it next time because it really could easily be a Whole30 compliant lobster bisque.

The breakfast sausage was just ground turkey to which I added a tablespoon of Bell's poultry seasoning and a teaspoon of salt. I mixed it well with my hands, formed little sliders, and sautéed them in some coconut oil. Honestly, it was better than breakfast sausage because the seasoning tasted the same, it was not disgustingly salty, and it had none of those nasty additives and nitrates that sausage invariably has. You should definitely try this!

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