Organic September & Seasonal Family Recipes
– Chicken Pie, Strawberry French Toast & Soup with Cheese Toasties –
When I was approached by Sainsbury’s recently and asked if I would like to participate in the Organic September event, which is being run by the Soil Association, I was delighted to accept the challenge. Organic is always the way to go for me, and I try to support British organic producers wherever possible, whether it be the local Farmer’s markets, local producers who sell direct or supermarkets. I am lucky enough to have my own organic garden produce (mainly herbs) and free-range eggs, courtesy of my hens, but there is still so much we can all do to support local organic producers, so, Organic September is wonderful way to celebrate all that is great about British organic produce, and I am happy to be part of it.
As part of the “Organic September Food Bloggers” challenge, I was sent a box of Sainsbury’s So Organic produce……and, my mission, if I chose to accept it, was to use the ingredients in my organic box to create some new recipes, and to post my new recipes to coincide with the start of Organic September. I was happy to do this as a “non-sponsored” post on several counts; firstly, to try to promote the Soil Association’s launch of Organic September, and especially when I read the amazing statistics that if everyone in the UK spent just £10 more on organic products each year, then the market would increase by around 30% – securing more land to be farmed in a healthy manner! And secondly, to raise awareness that organic ingredients and produce is NOT that expensive and a normal family CAN have amazing meals using organic produce, as I will try to prove with my recipes later on in this post!
I was sent the following Sainsbury’s So Organic ingredients: British chicken breasts, British fresh milk, Houmous, Carrots, White Mushrooms, Lady Balfour Potatoes, British Strawberries, Multiseeded Wholemeal Bread, Mature Cheddar Cheese, Free-Range Woodland Eggs, Pork Sausages and Slightly Salted British Butter…..the total came to £33:53 and I managed to make FOUR recipes put of the ingredients, using VERY LITTLE else, and the recipes yielded four family meals (for 4 people) make each meal about £9:00 with the other ingredients I used; that’s £2.25 a head using organic produce, NOT bad I think, and there was NO waste either. (The other ingredients I used, outside the box so to speak, were caster sugar, mayonnaise, sage leaves, packet of ready rolled pastry and some ground cumin) I managed to create four imaginative family recipes, three if which I am sharing here, and they are: Chicken, Sausage and Mushroom Pie; Spiced Carrot Soup with Cheese and Houmous Toasties; French Toast Stacks with Strawberry Compote and Potato Salad.
My soup and toasties recipe could count as two meals, for lunch or a light tea, but when served together, the recipe makes a comforting and tasty meal. If you have never tried houmous with cheese, let me tell you that the combination was JUST fabulous and we all loved them with the cumin scented carrot soup. The pie was a real star too…..I have said that it makes 8 portions, but they are generous portions and if there are toddlers in the house, then you could stretch the pie to three meals, or two meals plus a couple of slices in the school or work lunch box. Initially, we ate the pie warm with steamed potatoes and some carrots, but then had it cold next day with some potato salad, and it was JUST as tasty when served as a cold meal. My French toast stacks, with strawberry compote, were developed with a leisurely weekend brunch or breakfast in mind, but, they could of course also be served as a dessert. The excess bread crusts that were left after I stamped out the discs, went into my pie, so nothing was wasted!
- Food you can trust: You can be safe in the knowledge that hydrogenated fats and controversial additives like aspartame, tartrazine and MSG are banned under organic standards.
- Better for the environment: Organic farming reduces environmental pollution and greenhouse gases released from food production by restricting the use of artificial chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
- Higher animal welfare: Organic standards insist that animals are given plenty of space and fresh air to thrive and grow – guaranteeing a truly free-range life.
- Wildlife protection: Organic farms are havens for wildlife and provide homes for bees, birds and butterflies. In fact, plant, insect and bird life is up to 50% greater on organic farms.
- A GM free diet: GM crops and ingredients are banned under organic standards. Choosing organic is an effective way to avoid GM in your diet.
You can read all about Sainsbury’s So Organic here: Discover Sainsbury’s So Organic. Plus, there are some lovely recipes there, and a list of all their So Organic Range too……..That’s it for now, I have lots more new recipes to share with you this week, including some new 5:2 Diet recipes for fast days…..stay tuned for my meal planning post later, as well as my round-up posts for Herbs on Saturday and Forever Nigella! Bye for now, Karen