Living off the land.
We have been method cooking lately. The method is using what we currently have in our home and only supplementing if absolutely necessary. Each year, around this time, our family goal is to use as much of the food in our house as we can. We donate any non-perishables that we won’t be using and start the new year off with a fresh slate. It is a fun way to ensure that we are not wasting any foods. Our freezer is full of lots of random soups, sauces, stews, meats, fruits and veggies. Our pantry is full of pastas and grains, protein powders, cereal, bars, oatmeal, canned goods, oils and nut butters and different vinegar.
We are going to use what we have to create recipes that may or may not make sense, but at the end of the day, the goal is to shop less and leverage more. When I was in our pantry yesterday morning trying to decide what to make for dinner I got out every can in the pantry. Right away, I knew chili was on the horizon! This chili used up 10 cans that had been sitting on my shelf begging to be used. It feels so good to create a meal for the family knowing that we are not wasting or letting food go bad.
Food is expensive. We try to buy as many organic ingredients as we can and do not go out to eat very often. We use a local CSA to source a lot of our seasonal produce. I use a company called Buy Ranch Direct out of CA for our meat sourcing. Our food bill is high each week. But as a family, we know that if our dollars are going to go someplace important, food is a priority.
Zero food waste.
Please be sure to let me know if you have any questions about planning to do the same. It is a fun exercise! It stretches your creativity and at the end of the day feels really nice doing a pantry and freezer cleanse.
New year, new foods! But first, here is the recipe for this delicious slow cooker, vegan chili.
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
- 5 stalks of celery, chopped
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 3 cups of frozen, riced cauliflower
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 14 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 14 ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
- 14 ounce can tomato puree
- Small can rotel diced tomatoes with green chilis
- 1 can black lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can organic pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon coriander
- 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 3 tablespoons bbq sauce (used Primal Kitchen Foods)
- 2 tablespoons Lakanto Maple Sweetener (could sub pure maple syrup)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Add all ingredients into a large slow cooker pot. Secure the lid and cook on low heat for 8 hours. Serve hot and top with your favorite chili toppings!