I’ll be honest. I’m happy that the holidays are over. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the holidays. I’m the nerd that starts counting down the days to Christmas in July. I love al the bits: the decorations, the food, the traditions, the cookie baking, the Christmas cards and thoughtful gift giving especially with the kids. BUT it can be freaking exhausting. Our tree comes down on December 26th each year and then it’s Christmas in the barn until the goats eat all the green left on the tree.
I also really love the New Year. It always brings so much hope. There’s nothing like feeling that anything is possible.
In the last days of December, I reflected on a reset diet or some kind. I defied my body during the holiday season and I was reeling from a three-day migraine. I knew I had to make some shifts.
I am not a dieter but I was shaken by my migraine. I thought about doing a liver cleanse or maybe I’d do Whole30. Keto was out because I knew I didn’t want to overdo it on the dairy and bacon (not that it’s all about cheese and bacon) and Paleo has never resonated with me for reasons that I haven’t explored. I also knew that with Keto and Paleo there were too many hacks around sweet treats and I didn’t want to go that route. Whole 30 seemed to be the best bet but I still couldn’t commit because my body was asking for things that I couldn’t have on that protocol, namely raw goat milk which I get each morning from my goat, Ariel.
After some reflection I decided that a diet was not going to happen. Not because I didn’t have the will power but because I wanted to tap into what my body needed. Instead I decided to remove the things that weren’t serving me. I'm calling it the WholeTina365 diet. Jk.
Listening to your body’s needs is a practice. The body speaks in its own way but you have to tap in. My best advice is to turn off the brain and settle into your body. Then, your instincts will guide you. This might sound woo-woo but its for real. Try it.
So today, while volunteering and packing CSA boxes for the Sno-Valley Farmers Cooperative, my body said “I’d like some cabbage soup, please.” The glorious savoy cabbage grown on Caruso Farm was speaking to me. My brain said, “Cabbage Soup???” Honestly, It didn’t sound so great but I made it anyhow and it was freaking delicious. I also broiled some cabbage and made a cabbage salad with a yogurt jalapeno dressing (1-part mayo, 1-part buttermilk, 1-part yogurt, ½ of a small jalapeno, diced and salt to taste). Super good too (in my opinion) but my husband hated it. Can’t win em all.
Potato, Cabbage and Bacon Chowder
For the vegetarians: Leave out the bacon and use coconut or avocado oil instead. And change the name.
2 pieces of raw bacon, diced
½ medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
½ teaspoon thyme
½ head savoy cabbage, shredded
3 medium potatoes (diced)
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream or whole milk
Optional: minced chives or green onion
1. Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until fat is rendered and bacon is well cooked. Remove pan from heat, remove bacon and set aside. Leave the fat in the pan.
2. Return pan to the heat and add onion. Cook until translucent then add carrot, celery, garlic, thyme and a pinch of salt. Cook until veggies are soft.
3. Add potatoes, cabbage and stock and cook over medium heat until potatoes are cooked, about 10 minutes.
4. Add heavy cream and salt & pepper to taste.
5. Cook about ten or fifteen minutes longer to reduce a bit and allow all of the flavors to combine.
6. Ladle into bowls, garnish with bacon bits and chives.