Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Getting Organized: Week One, 2015

     I'm going to try to do this every week, but we'll see. So this is week one, and since we've emptied out all the bad food, and bought some good food, it's a perfect time to organize our pantry, refrigerator, and freezer.

You may find that without all that pre-packaged food, you have a lot more room in your pantry. I have filled my pantry with bulk herbs that we use a lot. Don't buy bulk herbs if you aren't going to use them quickly because they're only good for a short period of time. I also have gelatin. It is not from grass-fed animals, but you have to decide what's more important, eating the best you can to stay Paleo on a budget, or giving up entirely because you can't be 100%. There are lots of herbal teas and dried fruit. We also have some organic ketchup, coconut sugar, almond butter, tahini, olives, tomatoes, canned coconut milk, almond flour, coconut flour, onions, and sweet potatoes.

Cleaning out the freezer has never been one of my favorite things to do, but I did it. I only do it once a year, but it gets done. Since meat should never be kept longer than 2-3 days in the fridge, and we try to only shop for groceries once a week, we freeze most of our meat. We buy large packs of leg quarters and freeze a family-sized serving in individual freezer bags. We also keep some frozen broccoli, spinach, turnip greens, mixed veggies, and fruit. I like having frozen fruit around for the occasional smoothie, berries are my favorites. We only have a small freezer and very little space in our home, so we don't do a lot of freezer meals, but it is a great practice if you feel you're up to it.

Last but not least is the refrigerator. I clean this out once a week, usually when it's pretty empty right before we go grocery shopping again. We have a water tank in ours, so we can drink cold, filtered water all day. If you make drinking water convenient and fun, you'll be more likely to do it. Plus, I really dislike using a bunch of plastic bottles. The other pitcher that is full of what looks like dirty water is actually our bone broth. Keeping it in a lidded pitcher makes it easier to add to recipes. As you can see, we have eggs, bacon, and veggies. We've made our own mayonnaise. I don't have my own recipe for this because I find that this recipe from Melissa Joulwan is the best by far. We have some open coconut milk, half a butternut squash. They miraculously seal up if you put the top back on them. There are some pickles. I have yet to make my own because I've yet to actually see a crop of cucumbers make it past the bloom stage. We have colorful peppers that are full of vitamin C. There's fresh kale, carrots, mushrooms, apples, cucumbers, oranges, zucchini, an eggplant, and some goat cheese. Since you'll be eating a lot more fresh produce, you'll want to keep your fridge cleaned out because festering, uneaten fruit and veggies past their prime tend to get fuzzy and liquefied. Besides it's just a good feeling when you look at your fridge, freezer, or pantry and know where everything is, so happy organizing.