Let me start by saying, I'm not a chef - I'm a farmer. I rarely use recipes, I get inspiration from a combination of good looking food pics and what we have growing in our field. I’m not someone who goes out to purchase ingredients specifically for a meal, instead I see what we have and figure out what I can make from it. The meals you find on here are meant to serve as inspiration rather than a step by step process.
A little about me: My culinary background began with kraft mac n' cheese, and instant chocolate pudding.
My first 'come to jesus' food moment was in college when a girlfriend let me in on a secret, I was lactose intolerant. I remained in denial for a while and to be honest it took me years to quit the good stuff - cheese. In addition I'd already been a vegetarian for a few years (which is a another story about a bet with my mom - spoiler alert: I'm winning) and this new intolerance added a whole other layer of social stigma and confusion at family meals.
My second 'come to jesus' food moment was in my early twenties. When I started to look into the soy that had replaced the majority of my meat and dairy - and learned how awful conventional soy is. I read about the roundup that is sprayed onto the soy, the roundup resistant genes that are injected into the soy seeds (GMO soy specifically), and all I could think about was that I had been consuming soy milk, tofu and more on a daily basis. I was curious what else this applied to and fell into a black hole of information regarding mass grown conventional crops; upon learning about all the GMOs and pesticides that I had unknowingly been consuming, well, I had a perfectly rational, not at all extreme, early 20 something reaction and decided that the only way to be safe was to learn to grow my own food.
Well, after working on a few farms and cutting back on consuming processed food, my family thought I had lost my mind, but my body was feeling incredible. I had this realization that maybe, just maybe, food wasn't supposed to make me feel like crap. Maybe after I ate a meal I shouldn't be so full or bloated that I had to unbutton my pants to be comfortable. Maybe I wouldn't go to sleep trying to recall everything I had eaten that day in a desperate attempt to pinpoint the one thing that made me feel so crappy. Maybe what I had previously regarded as ‘good food’ wasn’t good at all, it was just easy. This all might sound crazy, or it might sound familiar.
After over a decade of being a lactose intolerant vegetarian, I recognize that my body feels good when I eat well, and I let how I feel after eating and what I crave be my guide. I recently cut out eggs, because I didn’t feel good after I ate them, no matter how they were prepared. Some would suggest this makes me a vegan, but with all the hipsters, the stigma and fake meat out there I skip right over that label and say I have a plant based diet. Im not a fake meat vegan.
I’m not here to try to convert people into switching their entire diet to plant based; everyone has their own relationship with food and I believe that you should eat what makes you feel good - my husband still eats meat, dairy and has quite the sweet tooth and he is healthy as a horse; rather I’m hoping these meals serve as inspiration and provide some examples of how to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Because, as I said earlier, I’m a farmer, I’m not a chef and vegetables are kind of my thing.