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Buying Organic on a Budget

Hey everyone! I can’t believe it’s already Thursday! The week has completely flown by.

It’s another cold and dreary day, go figure. Besides asking myself when spring will arrive and if this never ending winter is a sign that a global warming apocalypse will occur in my lifetime, you also know that I love to make piping hot soups on days like this. Today I’ve made a sumptuous organic (and vegan) carrot and roasted red pepper soup! But before we get to today’s recipe, let’s talk a little about buying organic ingredients and how to do so when you’re on a budget.

About Buying Organic

carrot soup 1 retouched

I realize that I was setting myself up as soon as I wrote this subheading. I could write a whole post, a whole website, and a whole book about organic foods and I still wouldn’t come close to saying everything I had to say. Many of us know about the benefits of eating organic. But how do we take that information and put it into action? Keep reading if you need some advice about organic eating and don’t know where to start:

  • Do A Little Extra Work–I noticed at the grocery store that organic baby carrots cost about a dollar more than traditional organic carrots. The lazy womanchild in me said to buy the organic baby carrots. The hard-working, boomerang-syndromed womanchild in me said to buy the traditional organic carrots, peel them like a normal person, and suck it the f*ck up. If you have the time and don’t mind doing a little extra work, then do so! You’re already paying more for an organic product. Don’t let food companies suck even more money out of you. Personally, I would rather spend more money on a higher quality food as opposed to a more convenient food. It’s up to you, but if you want to buy organic and save a little money, consider doing a little more work in the kitchen.

Would you rather buy this?

organic carrots

Or save a dollar, do give minutes of extra work, and buy this?

organic carrots 2

  • Start Gradually–Don’t think you’ll be able to give your kitchen an organic makeover overnight. You’ll be way too stressed out, and your eyes just might pop out of their sockets when it’s time to foot the bill. Instead, introduce items gradually. I say your pantry is a great place to start, as these items seem to have a longer shelf-life and are more cost-effective than meat or produce. For instance, the next time you run out of pasta, opt for an organic pasta. The next time you finish that bottle of dried parsley or coriander, try buying an organic version.  This habit will accomplish several things. One, you won’t be wasting or throwing away perfectly good food, something I like to call ‘conventional food remorse.’ Two, you’ll be gradually introducing new items so that you’ll get used to purchasing organic food. And three, within a few months you’ll have a fully organic pantry! How awesome is that?
  • Some is Better Than None–A lot of my clients think they need to go 100% organic. But if you’re new to buying organic food, don’t have a goal to be completely organic. Instead, strive for incorporating more organic foods into your recipes over time. If you’re making today’s soup, for example, try buying organic carrots and organic stock. The next time, try buying organic carrots, organic stock, and organic garlic. See what I’m saying? Even if you’re not eating fully organic, you’re still reaping the benefits by exposing yourself to fewer pesticides and chemicals. So if you can’t afford to buy every item organic, that’s fine! Doing something is better than nothing.

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Don’t be afraid to get creative with toppings! I added sun-dried tomatoes, some raw pumpkin seeds, and a sprinkle of parsle

carrot soup 2 retouched

y for an appealing soup with complimenting flavors and textures.

Print Recipe
Organic Vegan Carrot Soup with Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Peppers
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
1 cup servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
1 cup servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the bell peppers (cut side down) on a baking sheet. Coat with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake until the skins are dark and roasted with a few black patches, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl. Wrap the bowl in saran wrap and let sit another 10 minutes. The steam from the hot peppers will make peeling the burnt skin much easier (trust me on this).
  2. Meanwhile, saute the onion, remaining olive oil, and garlic in a pot. Add you carrots, ginger, herb de provence, and continue sauteing. Add 1 cup of the vegetable broth/stock to keep the veggies from sticking to the pan.
  3. When the carrots are about halfway cooked, add the chopped sweet potato. Continue to cook, adding more broth/stock as needed to keep the veggies from sticking to the pan.
  4. When all the veggies are completely cooked about 30 minutes, transfer to a high speed blender. Add your roasted red peppers and vegetable broth. Speed until all items are pureed and to the consistency of your liking. You might need to add a little more broth or water depending on how thin or thick you like your soup.
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