Sunday, February 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - New Real Food Baby Steps!

Before the menu plan, Valentine's Day weekend:

For the weekend, dh and I took our usual Valentine's Day trip to Greenville for the Winter Jam concert (because we like to pretend we're still in college sometimes, haha). It was a great concert, with Third Day headlining. I have loved their music for eons, but I have never actually seen them live (which, I believe, is shameful). I am not saying that any of the other artists were insincere, but I have got to say that the sincerity and genuine heart that the guys in Third Day have for the Lord and for ministry is so apparent in what they do and how they interact with the people while on stage. The other bands that were there included a new kid to the scene - Robert Pierre - who is only about 17. I will simply say he could learn a lot from Third Day, but he is quite young yet so there is plenty of time for that. Also joining the line up was an Aussie band called Revive, who I had never heard before but really enjoyed, and Sidewalk Prophets who I had also never heard, but quite enjoyed. Everyone else I was quite familiar with: Fireflight, Tenth Avenue North, Newsong, and Newsboys. Having grown up listening to the Newsboys, it was very strange to see them with only one Aussie member (Duncan) and fronted by Michael Tait (formerly of dc Talk), but it looked like they were having a lot of fun together, and the music was fantastic. That is part of my V-day present from dh every year since we started dating (we are on year 3 of Winter Jam).

The other exiting thing about going to Greenville is Whole Foods. Now, I understand that not everything for sale at WF is actually healthy, and I am disheartened to hear from Kelly the Kitchen Kop that they are adopting a new marketing strategy and implementing new literature that is going to promote a vegetarian-focused, low fat, "heart healthy" diet that veers away from the real food focus they had previously seemed to espouse. However, here in our tiny town we have no source for good, inexpensive, grass finished beef and free range poultry products, like we can get at Whole Foods in Greenville. Sadly, nearly all the chicken farms in our area are owned by Field dale or Tyson, and they are the deplorable - low, long, and dark- chicken houses you might have seen in Food Inc. So, even though I had just heard of the sad news on Whole Foods, I was more than happy to go and stock up on the meats I needed. And I got a pleasant surprise I had never seen there before - Lard! Pork lard in the refrigerated section from local pits. Lard that did not have to be "shelf stabilized" with tons of hydrogenated oils. A small pail was less than $5, and so I figured it would be a great way to begin cooking/frying with lard, and see how we like it. I could hardly contain my excitement, because even though we have begun using butter more, we had not had the opportunity to try lard or tallow yet for our favorite sweet potato fries or for onion rings. So....this week will include beer battered onion rings with grass-finished bone-in beef shank! Cannot wait to try it.

I do have to say, though, we did get some funny looks from people who heard we wanted to buy red meat and fry things with lard. Their new agenda is obviously setting in already.

On to the menu plan:
Monday - Chicken Soup with Barley
To Do: Sunday night, make stock. Monday morning, soak Barley

Tuesday - Chicken and biscuits (made with fresh chicken stock and meat leftover yummy free range chicken)

Wednesday - Beer Battered Onion Rings (ala the Kitchen Kop's recipe), Grass-finished Bone-in Beef Shank, Steamed Vegetables

Thursday - Taco night with Grass-Finished ground beef.

Friday - Family in Town - Dinner TBA

Saturday - Family in Town - Dinner TBA

Sunday - Family Birthday Party - Lasagna

Also, a question for anyone who might have an answer. I've never cooked with organ meats before, and these chickens we got from WF still have the gizzards and hearts, and I am curious what some good recipes/methods of cooking are. I've gotten a few ideas here already, but I'm wondering what other options there are. Any help is greatly appreciated!!

This is a part of Menu Plan Monday with Org Junkie. Fine more great meal plans there :)

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