Not a week goes by that I don’t hear from one person or another about how they’d really like to give “primal” or “paleo” a try, if only they could afford it. With so much information out there, so many opinions of what “primal” and “paleo” really are, it can be daunting. Oft times people really get heated and discussions can turn into kindergarten tantrums with all sides defending how the are more primal or paleo than the other. The thing is that you don’t really have to be as primal or paleo as anyone else, you can still afford to eat real whole food.
If you are of the means to afford grass fed beef, organic everything, and free range this and that, by all means, get that. If you can grow you own, or hunt what you need, that’s great too. The thing is that any real food (meat, veg, fruits, eggs, cheese, cream, water) is better than ramen, soda, and take out. You don’t have to spend a fortune to eat real whole foods. You do need to take a bit of time to cook and clean up your mess, but you will find after a while that eating whole foods and nixing the sugar/starches gives you more time anyways so it’s a win/win.
I thought today I would share with you a tip on how to save a bit of cash on whole foods. My food of the day is ham, shank portion to be specific. Normally I purchase the butt section because the meat is more easily accessible, but the shank sections were on sale for $0.79/lb. I started with a ham of around 10 pounds.
As you can see from the picture there was quite a bit of fat on the ham. It kept the meat moist and the skin made for one happy dog.
After dinner and slicing what was still capable of being sliced, I put the ham bone with the still attached gristled meat in a pot of water to boil.
Since the ham was plenty salty, I did not add salt. I did add celery seed, onion, garlic powder, pepper, parsley, and onion powder. (for turkey or chicken, I would have added carrots and celery but ham has such a strong flavor, I didn’t think it needed it, and I was right)
I boiled the ham bone for a few hours and had to let it cool. I put it in the fridge over night because it still needed more time. The next morning I boiled it from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm. By then, the bone and gristle was easily cleaned of meat, marrow removed, and ready for straining.
I like to strain all bone broths with just a mesh strainer. I like bits of goodness in my broth. Once the stuff in the strainer cools a bit, pick out the meat. I ended up with about 18 ounces of ham that made for a nice ham salad. (ham salad stuffed tomatoes for lunch today, delish!)
If I am planning on using the bone broth within a week, I carefully pour into mason jars using a funnel. If I have no dire need of broth, I put the whole pan in the fridge overnight. In the morning, it is kinda like meat jelly and can be easily scooped into freezer bags.
There are a lot of great things you can do with bone broth. Our cat, Bella, really appreciates when I braise her chicken livers in bone broth. Bone broth can also come in handy as a base for soups and stews or as cooking liquid in the crock pot.
From this one ham bone we got three quarts of broth. That’s enough broth as a base for 3 more family meals.
My most favorite thing to do with bone broth is to make nori-noodle soup.(serves 2) 1 pint bone broth (the soup in the picture was made with turkey bone broth), 1 T minced dehydrated onions, and 2 sheets of nori, broken or ripped into pieces. Pour broth into medium sauce pan and add onions, add ripped/torn nori. When the nori is soft and the soup is hot, it’s ready.
If you are keeping up with the math, the 10 pound ham at $7.90 has netted us dinner for 3, breakfast for 3 x 3, over a pound of ham salad that made for mighty tasty stuffed tomatoes today and who knows what else for a couple more meals (we’ll say 3 total), 3 quarts of broth to serve 3, three times and a couple of happy pets. I think that’s about 24 meals if I don’t count the pets bounty. Dividing that $7.90 by 24 you get about $0.33 a serving, which is just as cheap as ramen (only without all the starchy blood sugar spiking stuff).
You will most likely still run into people in the wonderful world of foodie perfection who cry “nasty” or other such silliness at anything less than grass fed, raw, organic what ever, but don’t let them turn you off of just eating real food.
Kicking sugar and starches to the curb and taking a break from the drive thru, replacing processed foods with real whole foods, foods without labels, bone in cuts 🙂 , is what really matters.