Whole food inspiration from One Simple Change.

12 meals from the whole foods pantry

When you have a well-stocked pantry, the hardest part of a meal is often just coming up with recipe ideas.

Whether you are looking for vegetarian dinners, hearty meat main dishes, or even just a healthy lunch idea, these 12 recipes will put your whole foods pantry to good use.

If you are still looking for guidance on stocking your 2014 pantry, check out these posts to get started:

Now here are 12 meals to prepare and enjoy using those ingredients. Grab a pen and paper and make a menu plan for the week!

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Natural egg dyes, braided bread, lemon shortbread and other good ideas for Easter

lemon shortbread with lemon marmalade

My Easter plans are a little slow in forthcoming this year as I’ve been distracted by our forays into making maple syrup – our newest urban homesteading project. Look for a full post from Danny soon on our backyard sugar bush adventures later; we’re giddy with our progress.

Easter is a fantastic excuse to entertain and I will definitely be gathering a few friends and family around for brunch or lunch. The boys and I had a chance to bake cookies in adorable little bunny and chick shapes and make the thumbprint shortbread cookies above.

The rest of the menu will be inspired from the archives and a few old favorites I rediscovered when putting together this round-up. Of course, maple syrup will be the spotlight ingredient of the brunch.

Perhaps you’ll find an idea or two below for your Easter table.

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Baby-Led Feeding (BLW) with Clara: a 10-month update

This update has been a long time in coming, but I think the reason is that our baby-led method for feeding Clara seems so natural I don’t think to write about it. She eats what we eat and it couldn’t be better.

Of course once I actually sat down to share our progress, I discovered I had quite a bit to say on the subject. Funny how that seems to happen with topics I am particularly enthusiastic about! Feeding babies nourishing, whole foods is certainly one of those passions.

If you’re not completely familiar with baby-led feeding (or Baby-Led Weaning, as it is actually called), I wrote about embracing this method for introducing solid foods to baby last September. Since then, Clara’s progressed quite a bit. I’ve had many great discussions on the subject and a few of my friends have even gotten on board with their little ones.

I frequently get asked about what exactly Clara eats, so today I’ll share about her diet at 10 months old.

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Bringing back Sunday dinner {new series}: Herb-Roasted Striped Bass

It may have been the children’s book, Farmer Boy, that made me fall in love with the concept of Sunday Dinner at an early age: that main meal at midday, enjoyed after church, with the whole family gathered together. A spread.

Around Almonzo’s table there was Mother’s glazed ham, mounds of mashed potatoes and a sideboard displaying crimped dried apple and raisin pies, but what stuck with me the most was how they honored this leisurely family time every week.

Now, in our home we eat dinner together almost every night of the week, but admittedly it is rushed – hurriedly prepared and eaten in haste, as there is homework to do, stories to read, and boys that must be tucked into bed early or else we risk a follow-up day of The Cranks. Saturdays are often a blur of activities and errands in the morning, followed by a social-something in the afternoon and evening. Not, as this stage of life would have it, the day for a slow dinner where gravy is poured, wine swirled, and custard spooned over preserved fruit.

We need to bring back Sunday dinner.

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Why a manly man made dainty hand pies and why you should too

Written by Danny.

The quick and easy answer is: You want to make these to have beer.  The more complete and correct answer is below.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting up with an old friend, Zaak, for supper and a beer tasting with 8 of his future housemates from Dragonfly Cohousing. 8 people and 13 beer over 2.5-3  hours (no one was keeping time) made for an enjoyable time of meeting new friends and tasting new beers.

As it happens, the only other time I had participated in a beer tasting was about 10 years earlier with my brother and Zaak.  3 people tasting 8 high-alcohol content beers made for a bit of a disaster.  Okay, a lot of a disaster.  We were genuinely interested in tasting the beers, but didn’t want to waste any. And one of us had to leave early (me) for a reason I can’t remember.

I’m planning to host a beer tasting of my own over the holidays, and want to ensure that it is not a disaster, and that everyone makes it home safely.  Part of my secret arsenal to do so is to serve lots of food, and these will include some hand pies.

Read on to see how easy it is to make mini Tourtière hand pies, and get the recipe for these savory holiday bites. [Read more…]