Pasta and Bolognese Sauce

Tonight, after checking out the Hadley Valley Preserve trail for the first time (it’s nice! A 2.5 mile looping trail through prairie), I tried out another one of Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious recipes: Pasta and Bolognese Sauce (with Stealth Ninja Sweet Potatoes). This one is healthy all around, with a bunch of carrots in there, too!

I suffered a false start on this one, as I got the onion and carrots all chopped up and in the skillet, then minced a couple garlic cloves right into the pot – only to find that my garlic had gone bad while I was away last week. Oh well. Tossed it all out and started over!

Instead of garlic cloves (I didn’t trust what I had left), I used 1 tsp of Garlic Earth Italian garlic salt – an organic seasoning that my friend Becky makes.

Score another winner for the Stealth Ninja Vegetable Experiment, and another winner for all organic ingredients! This one was so tasty I very nearly licked my plate clean. Highly recommended, and easy to throw together.

The recipe serves 8, so I immediately froze half of the sauce after dinner, then portioned the remaining 3 portions in the fridge for leftovers. I love a recipe that I can get some mileage out of!

[recipe-show recipe=pasta-bolognese]

Real Food Challenge, Week 4

It’s the final week of the Real Food Challenge! I’m a little sad, but excited to continue experimenting and putting to use everything I’ve learned!

First up: the topic of meat. This is one of the topics that sent me head-first into the world of organic foods, after watching with horror and disgust (and quite frankly, anger) the movie Food, Inc. Just the sight of the labels of the big meat companies makes me want to write a million letters to my government representatives (not to mention, avoid it like the plague!) Thank goodness I have shopping options locally to buy organically raised meats. Grass-finished for me!

Next – eggs! I was so excited to discover a farm literally a couple blocks from my house that sells organic eggs. One of these days (when it gets warmer out!), I may even walk there to get my eggs!

I’m going to need some time before I take the step involving homemade broth…. I have issues with bones in meat! The thought of making a broth from chicken feet makes me want to hide under my desk and claim vegetarianism. I have an odd internal struggle with eating meat. I’m an animal lover, and really the only way I can manage to eat meat is if the meat doesn’t remind me of the animal. I’m over-sensitive in this regard, but it is what it is and I am what I am. I can’t eat chicken on bones, for example, and I’m certain that I will never be able to make a broth from a chicken’s foot!

For this same reason, organ meats are going to be hard for me – though the idea of blending them into a bolognese sauce sounds like it might be possible. It’s on my longer term list of things to do.

I don’t eat seafood, so day #26 is out! Well, OK. I’m not ruling this one out completely. I’ve never really tried most seafood, and while I’ve already blown away my New Year’s resolution of trying 10 new foods this year (finished that up in January!), I might…. might…. try seafood this year. I’m thinking maybe a non-fishy fish. The good news is that if I do, I will definitely be sure it is wild-caught, and with that, the most tasty and nutritious version possible!

Day #27 asked us to give back to the movement. I can’t wait until spring springs here in Chicago, because I have big plans to get involved with my local farmers’ market. I’m also hoping to give back by sharing what I learn via this blog and my Facebook.

This has been an exciting ride! I’m looking forward to trying some of the techniques I didn’t have time to get to during the month of February.

For those who didn’t get to complete the Real Food Challenge, here are the guidelines as described by (Thanks, Jenny!!)

  • Stay natural & unrefined.
  • Avoid modern, processed foods.
  • Sour, sprout, or soak.
  • Love healthy fats.
  • Brew mineral-rich stock.
  • Eat grass-fed, pasture-raised, and wild-caught.
  • Keep dairy raw and fresh.
  • Get your good bacteria.
  • Get involved.
  • Maximize nutrient density.

I’m proud to check most of those off of my list as new habits! Thanks again to Jenny and Nourished Kitchen. This challenge has been fun and eye-opening – and I will continue to work on the lessons in the coming weeks and months.