If you have seen the movie Food Inc. then you probably have a new attitude about the food that you eat. I know that I do. That movie, and the book that it was based off of, really changed the way that I think about food and what I feed my family. I now think about where my food comes from, how far it has traveled to get to me, and what it is made from. At my home, we eat organic produce, organic diary, organic chicken, and grass-fed beef whenever possible. I have eliminated foods with high fructose corn syrup and most processed foods. Not only do I feel better, but it honestly tastes better too. Now, I am not perfect. Do I eat the occasional Oreo? Sure thing. Do I love a trip to Chik-fil-A every now and again? You betcha. But my goal is to eat like this 80% of the time.
One day, I was leafing through a magazine and I stumbled across an article about Paul McCartney and his daughter’s Meatfree Monday campaign. I was intrigued by the idea, because in all honesty, I could easily be a vegetarian, but my family does not feel the same way. I liked the idea of committing to giving up meat for one day a week. Not only does it impact the environment, and is healthy, it helps offset the cost of my expensive protein choices. Win-Win-Win. While my reasons are not the most altruistic, I noticed the immediate difference in my food budget.
There are so many great things to eat that do not involve meat. I have learned to love different grains like barley and quinoa. We eat a lot more vegetables, and in new ways. Here are few ideas to get you started:
Here is a favorite recipe that my family loves. It takes minutes to put together, goes in the slow cooker, and costs pennies to make.
Barley, Black Bean and Corn Burritos
For the burrito mixture:
1 (15-ounce) can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with chiles undrained
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
2 cups water or chicken broth
3/4 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 minced garlic clove
Put all of the burrito ingredients in the slow cooker. Give a good mix and cook on the low heat setting for 4 to 5 hours or until the barley is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
Warm some tortillas, shred some lettuce, slice a lime, and set out the other toppings.
Make burritos with the mixture.
Bree is a food blogger and photographer based out of Carmichael, CA. She lives with her husband and 3 children. Her blog, Baked Bree, is a recipe blog for the home cook who wants to eat well and laugh often.