Simple Meals

We have found our meals getting smaller and simpler as time goes by. Part of that is age, we just can’t eat as much as we used to and we don’t need to because we burn fewer calories, otherwise it is a matter of choice. I have found myself using fewer ingredients and trying to incorporate what we grow or store in almost all of our meals. We buy some things – olive oil, apples, carrots, onions, cabbage, occasional eggs, milk when the goats are dry. We buy wheat, oats and flax in bulk buckets. But there’s not really much else we buy. Coffee, we definitely buy coffee, for we are daily coffee drinkers. 

After I thought about it a while I realized that if we do experience a collapse, everyone will be eating much simpler meals made out of what is on hand. So our advice is to have on hand what you want to and can eat. Some folks have dietary restrictions because of their health, that is something to plan ahead for. Part of what we eat is to keep our bodies regular and provide adequate energy and nutrition. We have found that most people find our meals lacking enough items, ingredients or flavor, and that’s okay. We truly believe everyone should have the freedom to choose, whether it is meals, location, weapons, vehicles or religion. This is the way we choose.

Here are a few of the meals we eat regularly. Sometimes they are like this, sometimes there are variations of the same theme. I didn’t take a picture, but the other day we had a quarter pound ground pork burger on one of our sourdough buns with a slice of onion. Frank has mayonnaise and I have mustard. The side dish was a bowl of turnip greens. Different? Probably. Good? We like it.

 
Ground pork from the pigs that are no longer with us, eggs and salsa we canned last summer.

 

Okra we grew last summer and froze whole after washing. We slice and saute it in olive oil with salt and pepper. The purple hull peas were grown and canned in 2017.

 
Spam and cabbage, both store bought. Yes, Spam. We consider it part of our meat food storage and keep a good quantity on the shelf. We buy a head of cabbage about once a month and eat on it until it’s gone, usually over three or four meals.

We eat greens regularly and keep a good stock on the shelf. We prefer our own turnip greens, but have others just in case we need or want them. We had quite a few comments and questions about turnip greens recently, so I was going to do an article about the nutritional benefits until I realized I had already done one. You can find it here, The Nutrition of Turnips & Turnip Greens. What we do differently now than when we wrote the previous article, is a serving of greens is simply water, salt and greens. We drink the water after eating the greens for the nutrients it contains.

Soup. Frozen tomatoes, cowpeas, cabbage and peppers. Canned green beans and squash. Ground pork, carrots, onions.

We are slowly using up some of the things we froze last summer. This batch of soup provides us four meals, some we eat fresh and some we freeze for later.
 

We have made a number of variations of the meat pie.

This version is made with our canned chicken, salsa, frozen peppers, cheddar, sourdough starter and store bought onions. It’s okay, but we like it better with ground pork instead of chicken.


This meals takes little effort at this point. Turnip greens and Jacob’s cattle beans. The tape measure was part of Frank’s meal, um….. humor…. for this picture. Does this food taste wonderful? No, not really. We eat it for the nutrition and the taste is okay, but nothing great.

 

 

Think about simple. Think about how your meals would change if the SHTF. How would your diet change? What choices would you have? Are you used to eating what you would then be forced to eat? Would it make you sick? Can you afford to be sick in that situation?

Our diet is the way it is by choice. We like it that way. It’s interesting to think it may benefit us if the world continues to spiral down into the abyss we seem to be forced to march a little closer to everyday. Eat what you store. Store what you eat.

Until next time – Fern

Fern’s Low Carb Meat Pie

After Frank and I changed the way we eat, I tried to dream up some new meals that were low in carbohydrates, that were filling and also taste good. It’s one thing to eat low carb, it’s another thing to eat low carb stuff that tastes like cardboard. So this is a meal I dreamed up that actually tastes very good. The best thing about it is the versatility of ingredients allows you to make the ‘same thing’ frequently by changing what you put into it. I didn’t know what to call this dish, so I made that up, too.

I discovered along the way that you can make a sourdough starter with cornmeal. I’m not sure where I found the information about it, I can’t find the link if I saved it. I took some of my whole wheat sourdough starter and gradually introduced cornmeal, hoping it wouldn’t kill it. After a couple of weeks, I was feeding it straight cornmeal. The ‘sour’ smell is stronger with cornmeal than flour, but it works just fine. The fermentation process of a sourdough starter predigests the carbohydrates in the flour or cornmeal it is fed. This lowers the carbohydrate count in the final product substantially. One half cup of sourdough starter contains roughly 4 to 5 carbohydrates. I have made the Meat Pie with both types of starter, whole wheat and cornmeal, and they both taste fine. This is another way to make the same meal different.

I start off with some butter in a cast iron skillet. For a standard skillet I use about four to five tablespoons. This skillet is a little smaller and four tablespoons would have been plenty. Put the skillet in the oven for about five minutes while it is preheating to 450* and you are preparing your ingredients. Brown or cook your meat of choice. I am using ground chuck this time. I have also made this with diced ham and sausage. Use whatever sounds good.

 
Make sure the butter coats the bottom of your pan, then pour in 1/2 cup of sourdough starter. I’m using the cornmeal version this time. Spread out your starter to cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the meat onto the starter, as much or as little as you desire.

Add any vegetables and toppings you like. This time I am using fresh sliced squash. I have used canned, drained squash as well and it tastes very good. Sliced mushrooms and frozen sweet peppers from last summer go great in this combination.

We also used grated homemade cheddar cheese. This is the second wheel we have opened this summer. It was waxed April 14th. It is not as dry as the first wheel, and it has a very smooth texture and not as many holes. Very good.

That’s all I’m adding this time. You can see how versatile this recipe is. I can hear you thinking, “Hmmm…..I can add this and this……”, and you can. It can be a pizza flavored dish, or have a Mexican flare with salsa and jalapeno peppers. The versatility is only limited by the imagination you put into it.



Depending on the ingredients you add, bake at 450* for about 20 to 30 minutes. If you add moist ingredients like salsa or ranch dressing, increase your baking time to allow for the extra moisture. Since I used fresh squash instead of canned, I had to allow 30 minutes before it softened up and was ready to serve.

The sourdough starter will come out as a crunchy crust, not as thick as pizza crust, and crunchier. Since I had more butter than I really needed this time, the crust was more of a chewy crunchy. But if that’s what you prefer, you can adjust accordingly. 

This meal is really good, low carb and good for you. Of course the ingredients you choose to include will affect your carb count. If you don’t need to watch your carb intake, you can still use this recipe to make a variety of meals, tailored to your family’s tastes and preferences. Use your imagination, and you will be surprised what you can come up with. Frank and I have each lost almost 40 pounds in less than seven months. There isn’t much you can’t do if you set your mind to it. Thankfully for us, the time arrived when we decided to change our lives for the better. We’re very glad we did.

Until next time – Fern