This month for Feeding Our Families, I thought I would share with you some of our staple foods. These are foods that we eat regularly and that I always like to have handy.
We love chickpeas! I buy them dried and in bulk. I soak them overnight and cook them in my pressure cooker. I always put some some aside for the freezer, ready to use when I need them. To thaw them I just rinse them in hot water.
I add chickpeas to soups, pasta sauces, currys, salads, etc. I always have one or two containers of hummus in the refrigerator. Our absolute favourite way to eat them (everyone in the family agrees) is roasted.
Preheat the oven to 375-400 degrees.
On a baking pan lined with parchment paper place the following:
-1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (if it's in hard clumps, don't worry, you can stir it around once it starts to melt in the oven).
-4 cups of cooked chickpeas (you can used canned)
-1 tsp agave syrup
-juice of one lemon
-1 tbsp tamari
-1 pinch sea salt
- sprinkle of paprika (to taste, I sometimes use curry powder instead)
Place in hot oven and stir once the coconut oil begins to melt. Keep checking and stirring every five to ten minutes until done. You will know when they're done when they start to look crispy golden and slightly charred (be careful not to let them burn).
They make a great topping on any dish (we like them on top of salads, pasta or roasted veggies) or just nibbled plain for a snack.
|roasted chickpeas on pasta|
|inspired by Renee, one of our new family favourites is roasted chickpeas on roasted cabbage and potatoes|
Another ingredient in our pantry that we eat a lot of is nutritional yeast. We sprinkle it in and on just about anything and everything. One of our favourite recipes is this sauce/salad dressing that a friend shared with me a few years ago. It makes a large amount and keeps well in the refrigerator. I always have a jar of it ready. We eat it daily on our salads and vegetables.
Nuts and Seeds
I buy bags of nuts and seeds in bulk. I keep them in the freezer and use them in many recipes. Although nuts are expensive, a little can go a long way. I love to prepare my own almond milk. I also like to have jars of cashew cheese ready to use in sandwiches, on crackers, on pizza or to stuff pasta shells or lasagna. It freezes well so I like to make a double batch. Here is my recipe:
2 cups cashews (soaked overnight)
juice of one lemon
1 heaping tablespoon of miso
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (there it is again!)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small clove of garlic
sea salt and pepper to taste
a few tablespoons or more of water (to right consistency)
optional: fresh or dried herbs, sun dried tomatoes
Drain and rinse soaked cashews. Add all ingredients to a food processor and puree. This cheese/spread is great plain, but you can also add herbs and/or sun dried tomatoes.
|cashew cheese and homemade crackers|
Kale is my favourite green. I could eat it every day. I love it raw or cooked. Unfortunately, my children don't all share my enthusiasm for it. However, they do enjoy it dried into kale chips or blended into smoothies. This is a green smoothie that my kiddos often enjoy for a snack.
1 1/2 cups chopped frozen mango
1 fruit of choice (pear, apple, peeled orange or 1 cup pineapple work well)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries or strawberries
kale leaves (as much as you like, roughly 3 to 4 cups)
1 or 2 cups of water
I sometimes I throw in half of an avocado
Blend and enjoy! This will also keep well in a jar in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Applesauce is a favourite dessert in this household. Some like it plain, some like it sprinkled with cinnamon and raisins. We also have it with porridge, yoghurt or vanilla ice cream for a treat. We bake with it (in muffins and cakes). We can our own in the fall and try to make enough to last all year round.
Bread baking is part of our routine and part of many of our meals. Most of the time I use the no-knead bread method from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.
There are many other staple foods in our kitchen, but I will save some more for another time. What are some of your staples? Please join in and share your ideas about Feeding Our Families by leaving a comment. You will find other Feeding Our Families posts on these wonderful blogs:
Melanie from Our Ash Grove
Jules from A Little Crafty Nest
Melody from Bespoke
Tonya from Joyful Living
Taisa from Small Wonders
Heather from Shivaya Naturals
Renee from Heirloom Seasons