Today we are joined by Taylor of Tayste of Paleo! Raised on a farm in Colorado, Taylor knows a thing or two about the livestock and agriculture industry and how to be an informed consumer – check out her post below for a bit of insight into food labels!
Creating recipes that showcase quality ingredients is how Taylor likes to bring her message to the masses, and today she shares with us her recipe for Brussel Sprout, Kale & Peach Salad. A delicious side dish that is sure to satisfy both the salty and sweet tooth in us all!
I grew up on a dairy farm in Southern Colorado so there are a lot of times that I incorporate dairy into my diet. My website and my vision are all about sustainability and acceptance of life obstacles along the way. I encourage others to understand where food comes from and develop relations with local farmers/providers. Small agricultural companies are the core of my roots and I only hope that with the help of Paleo, and creating more transparency between the consumer and the farmer, more health conscious eaters will arise.
In the mainstream market there is an immense amount of false stigmas about organic, non organic, natural, grass fed and free range. Within my Farm to Tayble series I hope to debunk some of these myths and help consumers understand what farming really consists of in the US. I hope to give the consumer a birds eye view of what actually takes place in agriculture and what eating local really means.
With my background of growing up on a dairy farm in Southern Colorado, I understand the importance of agriculture. I grew up with large gardens and processing our own livestock for meat that would serve our family year-round. My family emphasized the importance of seasonal eating and made sure that every aspect of the animal is not only consumed, but also respected.
With my agriculture background and my foodie mentality I sometimes feel stuck between a more realistic farmer approach and then the demands of the consumer. What do I mean by this? For example, let’s talk about free range chicken. On TV and social media we see these brutal images of chickens being trapped in small cages and having zero quality of life. For the consumers to feel better about this we started purchasing free-range chicken thinking that these chickens are outside roaming around and happy as pie. But are they really?
There’s no precise federal government definition of “free range,” so the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approves these label claims on a case-by-case basis. USDA generally permits the term to be used if chickens have access to the outdoors for at least some part of the day, whether the chickens choose to go outside or not. In practice, most chickens stay close to water and feed, which is usually located within the chicken house. Chicken labeled as “organic” must also be “free-range,” but not all “free-range” chicken is also “organic.” Less than 1% of chickens nationwide are raised as “free range,” according to the National Chicken Council (NCC).
I feel for the farmers because those are my roots. I understand the pain, heartache and physical labor it takes to create a product of livestock. I also understand the consumers concerns though too. The consumer doesn’t want to be lied to–the consumer wants to think that they are actually purchasing a free range chicken.
How do we solve this problem?
Like I preach on my blog, if the welfare of the animal is important to you, get to know your farmer. Develop a relationship with local farmers and purchase their products after you understand and educate yourself about their farming techniques. Quality of food is in your hands.
Overall I hope this blog post helped you ask questions. I don’t mean to discourage or bring doubt. If anything I hope to bring more awareness to local farmers and help the consumer understand that sometimes labels aren’t everything they seem to be.
My passion for educating others on food quality is equal to my passion for recipe development, and what would a post on the Paleo Parent’s site be without a tasty recipe to try?! ; )
Today I share my recipe for Paleo Brussel Sprout, Kale & Peach Salad with a warm Prosciutto Balsamic Dressing. I LOVE prosciutto. A bit pricey but worth every cent, it is similar to a salty thinly sliced bacon. The warm balsamic dressing is a perfect combo as well with the brussels sprouts. If peaches are not in season for the time being feel free to substitute with another fruit, pomegranate would be amazing as well.
- 1 small bag of Brussels sprouts ( de stemmed, chopped in food processor or sliced thinly)
- ½ of a bundle of kale leaves ( de stemmed, thinly chopped)
- ¾ cup roasted walnuts
- 1 -2 peaches, skinned and cut into bite size chunks
- 1 8oz package of prosciutto, chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Begin my preparing your veggies. De destem the Brussels sprouts and kale then thinly slice.
- Place in a large bowl.
- Roast the walnuts by heating in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 350 or over the stove top.
- In a large saute pan cook the prosciutto down till it is nice and crispy. Remove and set aside.
- In the same drippings add the shallots and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Next, add the balsamic vinegar and Dijon, simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Pour the balsamic dressing over the salad and mix to combine. Salt and pepper.
- Top with the sliced peaches, prosciutto and walnuts.
- Sprinkle with pecorino cheese if not strict paleo!
- If there is not enough dressing, add more balsamic
Taylor was born and raised on a dairy farm outside Canon City, Colorado. Because of her upbringing and knowledge of diet, farming and business, she advocates knowing, buying and consuming as close to the source as possible! Taylor is also a Crossfit enthusiast and loves to dial into diet and lifestyle to maximize her WODs! Connect with Taylor: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Tayste of Paleo