IN THE KITCHEN WITH MEGAN BARRETT
Tell us about yourself:
I’m a wife to a loving and supportive husband, and a mom to three beautiful girls (7, 5, and 3 months). I am so fortunate to be able to stay home with them and watch them learn and grow. We’ve recently started homeschooling our oldest daughter, which isn’t something I ever thought I’d do, but so far it’s been going great.
Outside of my family roles, I’m the blogger behind scratchtobasics.com where I help by providing meal planning tips, simple recipes, as well as how to source healthy food for your family. My new website, breakfreefinances.com, helps families find room in their budget for the things that are most important to them (like eating grass-fed meats, for example) :).
How did you get involved in cooking?
I was a really picky eater as a kid, and basically wouldn’t touch the vegetables on my plate. Since I was so reluctant to try new foods, when I went off to college I was super intimidated by cooking – so I never learned how!
After college when my husband and I started dating, we had a lot of fun working our way through a few different cookbooks, and we learned how to cook together. Eventually my confidence in the kitchen grew and I started branching out, cooking more food from scratch in my own kitchen.
In fact, I think it’s really fun to find something that looks tasty on the grocery store shelf, skim the ingredients, and go home to make something similar (with fewer, more wholesome ingredients) that tastes just as good!
Describe your cooking style:
I’d call my cooking style spontaneous, intuitive, and simple. I often cook what sounds best in the moment, tasting as I go to match the flavor to the idea I have in my head, without over-complicating the process. I’m all about making things easy, healthy, and taste great. I’ve got a lot of go-to recipes (more like general formulas) that I make, and sprinkle in new recipes when I feel inspired.
How did you learn about grass‐fed meats?
My husband and I have always been intrigued with the idea of having a mini-farm to grow our own food. We learned about the health benefits of grass-fed meats several years ago, and we loved the idea of raising animals the way they were designed to live.
We currently live on 5 acres and tried our hand at raising pasture raised pigs a few years ago. After doing it ourselves, we realize how much work goes into animal husbandry and now we love supporting farmers who provide grass-fed meats! It’s a lot of work and it’s something we’re willing to pay more for!
What is your favorite recipe featuring grass‐fed meat?
Right now, I’m loving my hearty beef & bacon chili. It’s packed with flavor, is so filling, and it’s super easy to prepare (hello crock pot or instant pot). What’s not to love?
You’re stranded on a desert island; luckily, you’re stranded with your top 5 ingredients and one must‐have kitchen tool:
This is maybe the hardest question I’ve ever been asked. But I’m always up for a challenge. Here’s my list: salt, ground beef, raspberries, chocolate, and eggs. With a cast iron skillet as my tool.
Best cooking secret/tip/piece of advice you’ve learned:
You can make anything from scratch! It’s easy to walk the aisles in the store and feel like you have to buy something pre-made in order to eat it, but the truth is that every item you see on the store shelves was created in somebody’s kitchen, often better tasting, made with simpler ingredients, and much healthier than it appears in the store.
What’s your favorite quote/song for culinary inspiration (if any)?
When I’m thinking about stepping into the kitchen to cook dinner, I’m inspired by Michael Pollan’s words: “For is there any practice less selfish, any labor less alienated, any time less wasted, than preparing something delicious and nourishing for people you love?” What better gift could I give my family?
And when it comes time to actually do the cooking, I turn on my “high energy favs” playlist and make sure cooking feels fun and enjoyable…dancing is always encouraged in the kitchen!
Anything else you want to share?
I really believe in prioritizing healthy, wholesome, high quality food. If you’re too busy to eat well, you’re too busy! If you don’t have enough money to buy high quality foods (like grass fed meat), there’s likely a way to re-prioritize your budget to make it fit.
I’d love to help you shift your priorities to make more room for healthy food (and make it fun). Don’t hesitate to reach out on social media to chat about how I can help!
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Enter To Win!
Enter to win our October 2021 Wholesome Food Contest for a chance to win $150 bundle of farm fresh food.
Contest runs from October 1 – 13, 2021.