Man oh man...there has not been too much happening in the kitchen lately. I've been soooo pre-occupied lately. We did sell our home a couple of weeks ago so now our next challenge is finding a home in the Halifax area. I don't think I'll be able to focus on cooking (or anything else for that matter) until I know where we will be living. I have so many irrational thoughts bouncing around in my head right now - what if we don't find a house that we like? what if we like a house but the neighborhood isn't great? What if? What if? What if? I'm driving myself absolutely crazy!! Most times I just want to shut my brain off and read a book or watch television.
We'll be heading out to Halifax soon so once we've chosen a house and we know 'exactly' when we'll be moving I think (hope) that my head will clear and will be focus my energies on food again.
I'm pretty disappointed in myself right now though... I haven't been going to the market as much (mainly due to showings of the house, cleaning said house, and then being out of town to visit family, etc..). As a result, my fridge is bare and I've had to break down and go to the grocery store for some things. Luckily there are still 'Ontario'-grown items to be found there, but it doesn't feel good to know that the grocer will be making most of the money and not the farmer. Makes me sick to my stomach.
Hmmm...maybe I'll make it out to Stratford for their Sunday market tomorrow? Hmmmm....
Another thing that happens when I'm busy and stressed is that I make really simple meals or turn to ready-made foods. I know, I know.... But!! Here's the difference - I only buy foods with words that I can pronounce and that have very few ingredients. Some people must think I'm really weird. I'm the person at the store who spends 5 minutes staring at the shelf and reading ingredient lists, putting it my cart, taking it out again, looking at the ingredients again, and then end up leaving without anything at all. Yeah,...that's me! I just can't bring myself to buy anything; which is why my fridge and cupboards are bare right now. It's also why we're eating more meat-free meals too because I just can't bring myself to buy meat from a store.
Recently the people at Neal Brothers Foods (www.nealbrothersfoods.com) sent me some samples of their food to try in the mail, like raw cashew butter, Fair Trade coffee, quinoa granola, pretzels, etc.. I don't mind eating their products because I know what's in them - here's what they have to say about them (from their website):
"We will always hold true to our humble beginnings by offering the freshest ingredients in our foods. Where we can, we offer products made from organic ingredients to help sustain our environment and keep us healthy and chemical free. We also strongly believe in the Fair Trade movement and the positive impact it has on millions of poor farmers around the world. We distribute many Fair Trade items such as Kicking Horse coffee and Cocoa Camino chocolate and sugar."
On Thursday my daughter had swimming lessons and I wanted to do one of the group exercise classes afterwards so it meant that we had to have an early (and very quick) dinner. I spied the bag of tortilla chips and jar of salsa I had received from Neal Brothers and the result was a great platter of nachos!! This meal literally took 10-15 minutes to make from start to finish.
- Organic Blue Tortilla Chips (ingredients: whole grain organic blue corn, organic sunflower oil, sea salt, trace of lime)
- Salsa (ingredients: organic tomato, water, organic onion, organic cider vinegar, organic tomato paste, organic green pepper, organic jalapeno pepper, salt, organic dehydrated garlic, organic spices)
- browned garlic bison sausage from Blanbrook Bison Farm
- cooked black beans (or canned)
- shredded cheese (I used marbled)
- fresh green onions (already in season! bought them at the Covent Garden Easter Outdoor Market the weekend before)
To put it all together I spread the tortilla chips on the bottom of the platter/baking sheet, covered them with one layer of cheese, and then added the bison and black beans and salsa. The last layer was more cheese.
I put the platter into my toaster oven and broiled it for a few minutes until the cheese was melted. The green onions were added at the end.
It's a simple meal, but it was delicious. And, it was made with ingredients that I felt good about.
I'm really, really looking forward to our move! I'm so tired of just making meals for just myself and my daughter when he's away. I want to cook for real and for my husband too!! The blog may be a bit quiet right now, but sit tight - I have BIG plans for it and a long lists of recipes to try out. I also have a few more farms I'd like to visit in Southwestern Ontario before we leave. Next month, for instance, I'll be visiting Blanbrook Bison Farm to check out the bison!