Back to Basics Nourishing Cooking – Our Winter Food Rhythm
I talk a lot about rhythm in my new course The Happy Child: Home Rhythms for Happy Children and one of the rhythms that is super essential for a happy home is mealtimes. It may seem oh so obvious and perhaps to many of us, down right boring, but cooking a few times a day is mostly unavoidable when we have little children.
So I thought I’d share what’s working in our home kitchen at the moment and hopefully help you create a food rhythm in your home. I may even make a regular habit of it – let me know if you find it useful.
It is currently winter here in Queensland Australia however our winters are very mild (some days we end up in short sleeves), however I still really love cooking more warming foods such as meat stews and soups.
As a little introduction in case you have never tried one of my recipes, the food I cooked is simple, nourishing and I also endeavour to make it absolutely delicious.
I want my kids to get as excited as I do when they smell it and taste it. Just tonight I made some steak and veggies – super simple as we arrived back from the beach at almost 5pm so I needed to make something fast. I normally marinate the steak in tamari, ginger + mirin however no time for that. I cooked it in coconut oil with sea salt + pepper and then found some garlic + parsley butter I had made a while back and stored in the freezer. I scattered slices of this on the steak as it was resting and then sliced the steak into very thin strips. It smelled so yum and the girls kept coming while I was finishing off the veggies to pick away at it. I let them as I feel this really builds food culture. They were simply loving it and couldn’t stop saying how good it was and how did I make it. I love that they know good food. I’m grateful and blessed to be able to cook for them.
These days wholefoods seems to be like politics. SO. MANY. OPINIONS. and of course I have mine.
I wrote many years ago now about the confusion that Wholefoods seems to cause many of us. You can read that post “On Our Table: Has Wholefood and Real Food totally confused you?” here if you like.
These days I’m still following my intuition and eating the way I’m guided by my body. I encourage you to do the same.
So what’s happening in our kitchen these days?
- Every few weeks I make a big batch of bone broth. This is one way I love to add nutrition and flavour into pretty much everything I cook. My favourite at the moment is chicken feet and lamb bones. Strange combo you may think however I find the flavour very palatable and mild. Chicken feet are absolutely fabulous for giving you a great gelatin yield. I only do a slow cook after learning that long cooks can destroy a lot of the nutrients. I cook my broth for about 4-5 hours. I usually begin in the afternoon and finish it afternoon dinner and then let it cool overnight. Then strain it in the morning and put it into my favourite silcon moulds or glass jars.
- My favourite “Green Chicken Goodness” Soup is happening every single week. I often increase the number of chicken drumsticks in this recipe so that I have enough for a second meal or I freeze in mason jars and the girls either take it in a thermos for lunch or have it for breakfast.
- The delicious One Pot Wonder – Slow Cooked Lamb and Green Olive Ragu or some variation of this is also happening each week. I love the simplicity and deliciousness of this dish which means that I always have a nutrient dense pasta sauce on hand. Sometimes I use lamb shanks or I buy a lamb shoulder and ask the butcher to cut it into four. We eat the ragu with rice + amaranth/ quinoa pasta in place of wheat pasta + lots of veggies.
- Sausage stew is another favourite dish filled with delicious vegetables, broth + meat protein (+ some offal). I shall write up the recipe soon and link it here.
- I try to always have a raw slice or bliss balls in the fridge which are another quick go-to for everyone. My kids are loving this Raw Apricot Coconut Slice and our long time favourite is my Chocolate Orange Bliss Balls (in the Magical Birthdays for Children E-book)
- A favourite easy breakfast or lunchbox winner here is always a frittata – made just like my Nonna does (although a little less flour). I use a few organic eggs, a good grating of parmesan cheese (I’m talking maybe ¼ cup), some fresh parsley, a tablespoon of buckwheat flour (if you can grind some activated buckinis yourself even better!), sea salt + pepper. Cooked in some coconut oil or butter. I often add in corn and some times ham off the bone.
- Banana + Buckwheat pancakes are also made at least once a week and enjoyed with lots of butter and maple syrup. If there are any left, I’ll pack one with some butter and jam as a lunchbox treat or keep for afternoon tea. I’ve also been found eating them with ice-cream and maple syrup before bed! 😉
Although life can feel really busy, making nourishing meals for our children is really such an important part of childhood that I really believe will set them up with good food rhythms for life. Strong food rhythms is also a wonderful way to begin to add more rhythm into their day.
If you’re feeling like a little refresh on the home front, check out The Happy Child: Home Rhythms for Happy Children.
I’d love to have you join us.
Hi I’m Natalie,
I teach mothers to hand-sew treasures for a magical childhood while delighting their own creative spirit!
My ebook Magical Birthdays for Children: A guide to creating wholehearted & mindful celebrations has offered inspiration & creativity to thousands of parents around the world.