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Organic Food and Kitchen Matters

Organic Food and Kitchen Matters

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Organic Food and Kitchen Matters

126 pagine
1 ora
Dec 4, 2019


When you think of the word "organic," do you sometimes think it is just a trendy buzzword food companies and restaurants use so they can charge you more money? Do you wonder what it really means if a product is organic? Organic Food and Kitchen Matters is here to help! This practical and useful guide will explain not only what organic food is but also which foods should always be eaten organically and which ones are okay to eat when grown conventionally. In addition, you will learn how to become a label sleuth so you can eat real-food ingredients and feed those to your loved ones. Are you familiar with bone broth and why you should be consuming it? Get ready to learn all about gut health and why that is so important for your overall well-being. You will also get a tutorial about how to make your own bone broth and other foods that support gut health. Besides all that important food information, you will also learn how to properly stock your kitchen with healthy ingredients as well as the best tools to use to prepare that food. There are loads of tips about organizing your kitchen and entire chapters devoted to help you plan your weekly menu as well as where to shop for organic food for the best prices. Think you are not the best cook? Well, get ready for tons of tips for improving your cooking skills! This book promises to introduce you to the wonderful world of organic food and why you must jump on the organic train. Always remember, when it comes to food, organic matters.

Dec 4, 2019

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Organic Food and Kitchen Matters - Adlen Robinson

Organic Food and Kitchen Matters

Adlen Robinson

Copyright © 2019 Adlen Robinson

All rights reserved

First Edition


New York, NY

First originally published by Page Publishing, Inc. 2019

Photos in the book: Sydney R. Dozier (

Photo of Adlen: Tammy Ford (

ISBN 978-1-64544-138-0 (Paperback)

ISBN 978-1-64544-139-7 (Digital)

Printed in the United States of America

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

This book has truly been a labor of love! Thank you to Paul, my husband and favorite person, who has always let me do what I love—namely cooking and writing. Also thank you to our amazing young adult children—Mason, Ashley, Sydney, Nick, Chandler, Hunter and Walker—I loved cooking for you then and I love it even more now that your palates have expanded!


Growing up in the 1970s, my family ate foods like most other families. My father was a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, and my three older brothers were all too happy to follow suit. My mother, a home economics major in college, cooked dinner almost every night—unless my dad wanted grilled steaks, barbecue, or hamburgers, in which case he took over.

While I mainly remember dinners such as meat loaf, tacos, chili, spaghetti and meatballs, pot roast, and Shake and Bake chicken, there were some areas where my mother was way ahead of her time. For one thing, long before boneless, skinless chicken breasts were a grocery-store staple, my mom used kitchen shears to cut the skin off the chicken herself. She said the skin had too much fat.

We never had white bread—it was always 100 percent whole wheat. While I loved sugary cereal as much as the next child, the fruity kind were a rare treat. Instead we ate plain old Cheerios or Wheaties. We also ate oatmeal—she never bought the sugary packets of instant oatmeal, although that was what we wanted. Of course, we occasionally had soda, called Coke in the south, no matter what type of soda it was. Coke was a special treat, and when Mom did buy it, it quickly disappeared. Same thing for chips and cookies. A snack was much more likely to be an apple or an orange rather than something from a package.

Instead of sugary cereals, breakfast was much more likely to be some sort of shake—they weren’t called smoothies back then. Who knows what all Mom put in those, but she always added some raw eggs—look out, Rocky Balboa!

She also insisted us kids took quality vitamins. When we came to the kitchen for breakfast before school, there were four large piles of vitamins on the kitchen table. I dutifully swallowed my vitamins, but my brothers said they often put them in their pockets and then threw them away.

In my childhood, we rarely went out to eat, but if we did it was usually going to lunch at Red Lobster after church on Sunday.

As a child, I loved to cook. I longed to make bread but never had much success with my attempts—I remember making biscuits that were more like hockey pucks than anything else. When my mother tried to give me cooking lessons, I didn’t want to listen—I wanted to just make whatever I wanted to without knowing how to do the basics. To her credit, she never let all those messes interfere with my creative ideas and attempts.

In high school, one of my close friends invited me to go with him and his family to visit New York City during the Christmas break of our senior year. As a young child we lived in New Jersey for four years, so I had many memories of the big city but had not been back since I was a young child. It was an amazing trip! My friend David’s parents were quite wealthy and took us to numerous five-star restaurants—quite a step up from the old Red Lobster in Birmingham, Alabama. I couldn’t believe how delicious everything I put in my mouth was. The presentations were incredible—I had never put any thought into plating, and I was mesmerized by the plating presentations.

One of my favorite dishes was chicken piccata and steamed baby spinach at Tavern on the Green in Central Park. I had no idea what chicken piccata was, and I had certainly never seen a caper or even knew what one was. Oh how delicious that meal was—the chicken cutlet was so tender, and the sauce was succulent. The steamed spinach was tender and tasty and worked perfectly with the chicken and sauce. The capers were little pops of salty, vinegary goodness and cut right through that rich, lemony sauce. It was that memorable meal that made me want to learn how to really cook—not meat loaf or tacos—no, I wanted to learn how to cook things like chicken piccata.

That summer I spent time pouring over gourmet cookbooks at the library and watched every cooking show I could find—back then, that meant Julia Child, the Cajun chef Justin Wilson and later, Nathalie Dupree. There was no Food Network and chefs were not considered the rock stars as they are today—at least not in Birmingham, Alabama.

I read cookbooks like they were novels—something I still do. I sought out specialty markets for unusual ingredients. In Birmingham at the time, that often meant family-owned restaurants that had a small market attached. I remember an authentic Greek restaurant that had a market where I found real Greek feta cheese—not the kind in the regular grocery store and so much better. I experimented with ingredients and techniques, and while many dishes either didn’t taste great or were a complete flop, I managed to create many dishes that were keepers.

Of course, the chicken piccata was first on the list to perfect—it’s a dish that is still near and dear to my heart, and I make it often. My father absolutely loved my french onion soup and my homemade chicken noodle soup. Once you learn how to make a good homemade soup, it’s especially hard to go back to canned or any soup that isn’t amazing. I quickly learned that a great soup begins with a great stock.

Homemade stock, despite what novice cooks think, is quite simple to make. You basically throw everything into a pot or the slow cooker and let it simmer for hours—whether you are making healthy, healing bone broth or a vegetable stock for soup or sauces, homemade stock will set your dishes apart from the ordinary. I remember one of our daughters asking me once, Mom, why does your soup always taste so much better than mine? The answer, of course, is homemade stock. While there are numerous quality bone broths on the market, made with grass-fed animal bones, the good ones are quite pricey. I like to make a big batch of stock and then freeze it in four-cup glass jars. Just don’t forget to label! More on this later.

When I first met Paul, my future husband, neither one of us had much money. That meant date night usually was a trip to the grocery store and the video store—yes, younger readers—that was before DVDs or streaming services. We cranked up the music and spent the evening with me cooking dinner, and then we watched a video. We didn’t really care about hanging out with friends—we wanted to be alone together whenever possible. We were madly in love, and I am happy to report after more than three decades together, he is still my best friend. Guess what? Date nights for us now still usually mean cooking together and sometimes a movie—we stream the movie now though.


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