This week's healthy at-home fridge is courtesy of the inspirational Lesia in Toronto! It's particularly fitting that her feature goes up today: it's Earth Day and Lesia is one of the most eco-conscious people I know! She is an eco-pastry chef, social entrepreneur, farmers' market aficionado, founder of Toronto’s first organic, completely vegetarian bakery, and all-around super awesome human being. I am so excited to share the at-home secrets of such a truly inspirational foodie! Use her tips to inspire your own shopping and cooking this week: it's absolutely possible to eat locally, seasonally, and ethically without a personal chef!
What's on each shelf?
· Upper left – dessert area: homemade organic banana pecan ice cream custard (made with local, organic dairy and eggs, and has since been churned into ice cream); any dessert or sweet leftovers
· Upper right – two ongoing buckets of “soup scraps” – any trimmings, peels, or edible ends of vegetables that get turned into stock once a bucket is full. I usually freeze some, and turn some into a soup right away and put that on a lower shelf. Most of the soup gets frozen and is put into the basement freezer along with chili, hummus, pesto, refried beans, roasted garlic, and cooked beans
· Middle left – organic nut butters (peanut, almond, and tahini), organic jams and preserves (will have homemade preserves on there as soon as canning season starts), ground nuts and flax seeds
· Middle right – shelf #1 of leftovers. Glenn and Mylana know to look here and “eat first” off this and the shelf directly below it before making any fresh dishes
· Lower left – organic dairy and eggs, organic veg that doesn’t fit into the crisper drawer
· Lower right – shelf #2 of leftovers
· Left drawer – organic veg
· Right drawer – organic fruit (and hard veg that don't fit into the left drawer)
· Bottom drawer – organic, local artisanal cheeses (animal rennet-free for Mylana and me, Glenn has his own cheeses), Daiya vegan “cheese” shreds
The door also contains organic juices, rice and almond milks, healthy hot sauces and other condiments, goat butter, organic cow butter, and Glenn’s beer and wine.
The freezer is also divided up and organized into easy to find quadrants, and includes lots of healthy choices including fruit for smoothies, homemade ice cream and lollies, organic fair trade coffee for Glenn, and gluten-free bread for Mylana.
How would you classify your eating?
We eat as much certified organic, local and seasonal as we can. We buy produce and cheese directly from the farmers’ markets so we know who and where most of our food is coming from. I’ve been eating fewer grains lately, and have felt more limber. Still, being vegetarian and not eating fish, I do combine foods for complete proteins, so still eat grains about once a week. Because we’re on a strict budget, I also make as much of our food as possible, and have managed to cut our grocery spending in half over the past few months! (more info. in #10 too)
What is your favorite food presently?
Sautéed or steamed greens – always! With a touch of olive oil and roasted garlic. Deelish!
How often do you cook?
Every day. I’m trying to get into routine of making enough for leftovers, but I haven’t been very successful in the past few weeks. Plus, Mylana eats several snacks per day, so there always have to be fresh veggies, hummus, nuts and seeds, and bread and nut butter on hand.
How do your eating preferences differ from your husband's and your daughter's?
Mylana and I are vegetarian, but she still eats fish. Glenn is not vegetarian, but at home eats only fish for flesh food. When they have fish, Glenn cooks it. His cheese may contain animal rennet, but Mylana’s and mine won’t. Mylana and I are also gluten-free, but Glenn isn’t. Glenn drinks alcohol, I don’t. I could live on dark, bitter greens and the occasional egg, but Glenn and Mylana like variety, so I gear a lot of my cooking to their tastes. If they’re eating grains, I’ll just eat what they’re having, minus the grains, plus more veg, and a bunch of hemp seeds to bulk up. And lastly, Glenn eats cow dairy, Mylana and I don’t – except for the organic ice cream I make with local, organic, unhomogenized 35% cream.
Thanks so much for sharing your amazing homecooking skills, Lesia! I am ravenous just looking at this!
[FYI: Lesia mentioned she's developing a new recipe for vegan, gluten-free gingersnaps - her creations are absolutely one of the things I miss most about living in Toronto!]
Happy Earth Day!
Want to see your fridge here? Let me know!