Deliciously Healthy Organic Food on a Budget
I want to inspire a simple cooking from scratch revolution, using delicious organic and biodynamic produce grown as locally as possible. Even better, I will show you how to do it on a budget. The tragedy is that many of us have lost touch with where food comes from and its fundamental importance in creating health, happiness and good mental health. We kid ourselves that we are far too busy to eat well. Many of us can’t or won’t cook! Food is medicine. It should feed every cell in your body. And please don’t tell me you don’t have time to cook. Make the time, and experience transformation. Your health and sanity depends on the food you eat. Let that sink in. I live to eat, not eat to live! Eating should be pure pleasure. That’s why the magazine is called Ethical Hedonist! Cooking, eating and sharing food makes life worth living. The difference is life-enhancing and more life.
Cooking and Preparing Good Food is a Meditation
Buy from Farmers and Small Producers Not Supermarkets
I’m talking about real food grown by farmers, and small producers, who really care about you the consumer, not accountants focused on the bottom line. Get to know your local farmers. You are the person who is going to eat that jewel green bunch of winter kale or broccoli or deliciously lemony local goat cheese. Seek out your local organic box scheme, farmers market or organic farm, talk to them and get to know your local producers. Check out Riverford Organics Cut out the middleman and buy happy food, grown without pesticides in healthy soil. It’s time to say no to industrial amounts of sugar, fats, fillers and weird chemicals. Junk convenience food smothered in plastic is not convenient at all. It is making us sick.
It is leading to an epidemic in obesity, cancer, depression and autoimmune diseases. It’s also despoiling are beautiful blue and green planet with plastic and depleting the soil. And let me tell you, it’s all about the soil. Soil that is is loved, nurtured and tended well produces the most amazing produce that we can get excited about to transform into deliciously organic one pot dishes, soups and puddings.
Right! Let’s get started.
Here’s my recipe for Christmas Organic Broccoli Soup with Chestnuts
This recipe is easy to adapt for meat eaters, vegetarians and readers following a plant-based diet.
Unlike President George Bush, I adore broccoli. I can’t get enough of the antioxidant green wonder vegetable!
Christmas Broccoli and Chestnut Soup
1 large head of organic broccoli or a good bunch of organic tenderstem
1 large leek
1 medium shallot
1 clove of garlic
1 medium organic potato – peeled and cut into small chunks
180 grammes cooked chestnuts – local chestnuts are great if you can find them, otherwise Merchant Gourmet do good vacuum packs of chestnuts without additives. (These are not organic). This is the one ingredient that I am prepared to cheat on and use vacuum packed chestnuts if I can’t find them locally, or the store cupboard is bare!
1 litre of vegetable or homemade chicken stock
1 tablespoon of organic olive oil or organic coconut butter
Finely chop the onion and leek and gently sauté in a heavy based soup pan or stainless steel saucepan.
While the onions and leeks are cooking, wash the broccoli and cut into small florets and cut the stalks into small chunks. Chop the cooked chestnuts into small bit size pieces.
After five minutes, add the chestnuts, potato and broccoli stalks to the pan and sauté for a further five minutes.
Add the stock and bring the boil. Simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the broccoli to the pan and simmer until the all the vegetables are soft, (takes about 10-15 minutes).
Turn off the heat, and blend the soup with a hand blender or in batches in a larger blender. Return to the hob to gently heat until just boiling.
Check the seasoning. Add a squeeze or organic lemon juice if liked, and a dollop of full fat Greek yogurt or plain coconut yogurt.
Serve with wedges of sourdough bread or good quality organic oat cakes. Nairns are very good and stock up on them when they are on offer.
Approximate Cost – £3-4.00. Depending on where you buy your ingredients.