Not only feeling good about buying quality food, but really working to get your money’s worth is something I sometimes struggle with… If I buy too much at the farmer’s market and we can’t eat it all, we end up feeding our chickens and our compost pile. While that isn’t completely wasteful, I really am working to try to make sure as much of the food we buy and grow in our yard goes into the bellies of my happy family.
Trying to utilize everything I possibly can from the plant or animal I purchase has also become important to me. It’s fun to create a challenge to see what kind of recipes and uses I can come up with for all the different items available at the farmer’s market. My big purchase this week was protein. If you don’t know, we have two amazing meat vendors at the Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market. 5 Bar Beef is the only cattle rancher located in Orange County, raising steer right down the road in Silverado Canyon. Their animals are grass fed and pasture raised. In addition, Diamond Mountain Ranch is a northern California rancher raising buffalo, chicken, yak, goat, sheep rabbit, pork and more, also sustainably in a pasture on natural grasses. Both of these ranchers care about the quality of their animals and the land that they steward.
I decided to pick up a whole chicken from Diamond Mountain Ranch to roast for the family. It was $5 a pound (which was a great price) and it was absolutely delicious! My family could only eat about half of the meat, so the next night I made chicken chili with all the left over chicken, feeding my family for a second night! The next day I took all the bones and decided to make chicken broth. The chicken kept on giving and I felt so good knowing that I was able to use every part of that bird. Now our freezer is stocked and I am ready to make soup which is perfect for the rainy weather this week. I challenge you to do a little research and see what kind of uses you can come up with for your vegetables and meats. Challenge yourself to try something new and share what you learned with us.
For an amazing bone broth recipe, check out The Herban Womban’s blog: How to Make Bone Broth