Day Two of our Seven Day Plant Strong Challenge!
MAIN GOAL: EAT MORE VEGGIES!
For an introduction to this challenge, go here.
For Day 1, you were encouraged to listen to a sermon about sacrifice, service to our Lord, and commitment to taking care of our bodies. For this inspiration plus a simple way to add more vegetables to your meal planning, go here.
For a bit of inspiration, I’m borrowing from one of my favorite reflections on food and friendship, Bread and Wine, by Shauna Niequist. (You’ll see in a bit how this connects with today’s post.)
Niequist writes: “Marketing and advertising campaigns urging us to eat out or buy already prepared foods want us to think that plain old cooking is difficult and not worth learning. This trend began in the 1950s after factories that used to make ammunition had to make something else. So they started making shelf-stable food in cans and boxes, similar to what soldiers had been eating but unfamiliar to the average American family. In order to sell canned food and cake mixes, advertisers had to convince American women that cooking is too hard and troublesome for our modern world. But it wasn’t true then, and it isn’t true now.”
I find this trend of believing “cooking is difficult and not worth learning,” rather sad, if not irritating. The manipulative advertising industry motivates me to run from pre-packaged food products! Fortunately for our collective health, the contemporary kitchen cook is reverting back to simply homemade. Yesterday we looked at a little plain ole’ baking of potatoes which beheld not even one gold star of difficulty. And our vegetable feature today is equally accessible and definitely worth learning.
Today’s Vegetable Recipe: Stock!
Homemade vegetable stock is a great staple to have in the refrigerator and freezer. I make a large batch in my crockpot, pour it into mason jars, and freeze all but one jar that goes in my fridge. Use it for sautéing instead of oil, as a base for soups, and a foundation for sauces and gravies. Try it in stews, chilis, and for cooking rice and beans instead of water.
Such an easy way to get more vegetable vitamins into your diet!
So how did your meal planning go today? Did you eat more vegetables than usual?
Homemade Vegetable Stock
1. Get prepared to make stock by saving vegetable scraps such as potato peels, onion skins, ends of carrots and celery, tops of green peppers, and garlic peels. Do not use scraps from the cabbage family or your stock might taste bitter. I have a 24 ounce container in the freezer of scraps that I keep adding to until it’s full. Don’t worry about the amount. You can use more or less scraps.
2. Place frozen scraps in a crockpot, fill with water, and turn on low. I like to make mine before I go to bed so it simmers all night. Or, use a stock pot on the stove, bring to a boil then simmer for a few hours.
3. Strain the liquid over a large bowl. Let cool. Discard scraps.
4. Fill mason jars. I use quart and pint jars so I have a various amounts for different recipes. Leave an inch at the top for expansion when the stock freezes.
5. Freeze up to six months. Don’t forget to leave a jar in the fridge for general cooking.
EAT MORE VEGGIES! YOU CAN DO IT!