Are you like me?
You read Nourishing Traditions, or stumbled across the Weston A. Price foundation’s website, got inspired to make changes to your diet, and then went, “okay, where to begin?” and immediately felt overwhelmed?
Did you flip through the tome, trying desperately just to find a simple dinner or snack that your in-transition-to-real-foods family or children would eat that was familiar and without having to spend a lot of money buying new ingredients for your pantry?
If you answered yes and are in the midst of the transition to a more real foods diet, but have questions on how to implement it successfully in a modern American family, my fellow real food blogger, Kate Tietje of Modern Alternative Mama has written the cookbook for you; In the Kitchen : Real Food Basics by Kate Tietje.
The first half of In the Kitchen : Real Food Basics is a quick overview on the hows and whys of eating real food. She delineates why fat has gotten a bad rap and encourages what kinds of fats and oils to look for and why. She discusses the need to reduce one’s sugar consumption while explaining the differences between the available “natural” sugars out there. She advises on where to shop for the best foods for your family, and encourages you not to get overwhelmed, listing baby steps to reach your goal.
In the recipes section Kate focuses on how to change comforting, American food that you would find on many tables come dinner time, into a nourishing meal simply by switching out a few ingredients or introducing a few new, simple techniques. Everything from breakfast pancakes to tomato sauces, fried chicken and pizza to chocolate chip cookies, these are family friendly meals that will please the palate of children and adults.
She even features a few more intermediate and advanced recipes if you’re ready for them. She guides you step by step into making your own butter (a task I have yet to attempt) as well as fermenting kombucha. . .
Though, I admit, it might not be a good fit for someone who has been doing this “real food” thing for a while; the person who already knows where to source free-range pork lard, has a dehydrator on her Christmas list and is reading this post while sipping a glass of homemade kombucha while her sourdough rises, for the rest of you who are just getting started or need some encouragement to get their families on the bandwagon with nourishing, familiar foods, this book is for you!
One of my favorite, foolproof real food treats is, by far cheese sauce. In one of the first cookbooks I read on feeding children a few years ago, one of the tips that stuck with me is to keep a Mason jar of homemade cheese sauce prepared in your fridge. Since then, I’ve realized it’s not only a helpful suggestion for children, but also for husbands who need a bit of encouragement to try a new ingredient too . . . I’ve added cheese sauce to everything from pastina and rice spiked with peas and carrots, to steamed or grilled seasonal veggies year round. . . My recipe has changed over the years, but it’s still great way to get real food in your family, without a battle.
In the Kitchen : Real Food Basics features a cheese sauce that I can’t wait to try! She uses arrowroot powder as a healthier, (and gluten-free!) alternative thickener than all-purpose flour or cornstarch and, after an e-mail discussion answering my questions about it’s use, it’s on my grocery list!
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
- 1 cup raw whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup raw cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup raw Romano cheese
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. mix the milk and arrowroot powder in a measuring cup and add to the butter. Stir and cook on medium for just a minute. Remove from heat and add the cheeses, finely shredded, and the salt. Place briefly back on heat and cook and stir until cheeses are melted and mixture is slightly thickened. Serves two.
She suggests to serve with broccoli or french fries (which, by the way, she shares a recipe for in the book! Mouthwatering!) or add jalapeno (or, might I suggest, green chile?) and serve with organic corn chips.
Doesn’t that sound tasty? She also recommends to double or quadruple the recipe and encourages you to freeze it for future quick meals! Fantastic!
Ready to learn more? Go check out her blog for more details . . .
Please note that I am an affiliate of Kate’s, therefore I make a small commission per sale she gets through clicking through one of my links (the price is the same to you!), however I only sponsor and become an affiliate with those writers and products I fully endorse and feel are valuable to my readers, so please feel free to browse around her site before you decide! I wish I had had a book like In the Kitchen : Real Food Basics when I was first starting out down this real food road! Good luck and enjoy!