Economical – Healthy – Easy – Food Preparation – we all need more ideas! Here’s one:
Feed a family of four two meals (supper and lunch for the following day) using two chicken breasts (organic from $8-$10) and all the other ingredients you generally might have on hand. Since I’ve been buying organic in the USA I’ve been using a lot more of the vegetable than ever before! I’ve included the prices of some of the ingredients to give an idea of the total cost.
- 2 organic or hormone free chicken breasts cut into chunks
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
Put large, deep pan on medium low heat (if you are not eating raw, it is preferable to cook low and slow to maintain most nutrients) and allow to ‘brown’ (stirring once or twice) while you are chop the following:
- 1 organic onion ($.50-$1.00)
- 5-10 cloves of garlic
- ½ – 2 chilis , depending on your need for heat. I used 1 whole fresh jalapeño
- 1 stalk organic celery (more or less) with tops
- ½ – 1 Cup organic cauliflower. I used all the green leafy bits at the bottom and one big stem section. I am not wasting the stalk or leafy bits of organic veggies! If you don’t have cauliflower, you can substitute any other vegetable, i.e. broccoli, carrots, beans, etc.
Add those to the pan and stir. The chicken might still be pink. That is ok. Keep the heat low. Now chop these things:
- 1 organic tomato ($1)
- coriander, cilantro, dhania (did you know these three words all refer to the same herb???) as much as you like. Fresh if possible. I just chopped the rest of my bunch which ended up being about ¼ cup chopped.
Add to pot and stir. By now, the chicken should be mostly not pink, but it is ok if it is not thoroughly cooked through, as that is what is going to happen as the chili continues to simmer. Now add:
- ½ – 1 C Black beans (I buy organic black beans from Kroger because those are the only organic beans I see on the shelf. I cook more than I need – usually in a slow cooker – and keep some in the fridge or freezer to add to stews or soups). If I didn’t have any cooked beans on hand, I would have left them out.
- ½ jar Organic tomato sauce (±12 oz or 350 ml). (±$1.60) This is one “cheat” I allow myself. It is a processed food that has more than 5 ingredients (a guideline that can sometimes be helpful). If you want to avoid it, you could make your own at the peak of tomato season, or just add more tomatoes and maybe more herbs and spices.
- Spring water – add to empty tomato sauce jar to make sure not to waste any organic ingredients! Never use tap water. If no spring water, filter or boil water?
- Salt Himalayan or other organic crystal, to taste
- Pepper, organic whole freshly ground
- ¼- ½ C raw cashews
- ¼ C organic raisins
Put the top on, turn the heat onto the lowest setting and walk away for 20 -40 minutes. You could set your timer for 30 minutes and then go and turn the heat off, leaving the pan on the stove until your family is gathered for the meal. Or, if you were really advanced in planning you could cook it all in the slow cooker. I add the last two ingredients because they come from a recipe I loved in the Whole Foods for the Whole Family Cookbook published by La Leche League International A LONG TIME AGO and the add to the deliciousness!
I served my Clean Chicken Chili Con Cashew with organic tortilla chips (just a few per person!), a little bit of grated organic cheddar cheese and a coleslaw (really “chopped organic cabbage” with a tiny bit of salad dressing – because it was all I had left! – and organic plain yogurt). Stay health – eat more cabbage!
It was a huge hit with everyone and we all enjoyed the leftovers the following day.
What modifications do you enjoy to make your recipes clean and economical?