It’s DAY 11 of the 30-Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge… and we definitely need a cow.

I made Gallo Pinto (Painted Rooster) to go with dinner tonight. It’s a surprisingly yummy yet simple beans and rice recipe from my favorite cookbook, Extending the Table. I love love love this book because it’s a collection of recipes from some of the poorest communities around the world. The ingredients are always very simple, yet the dishes are delicious. (I think we could learn a lot from other cultures about eating well.)

We also experimented with tofu enchiladas. I had purchased a case of extra firm non-GMO tofu several months ago (attempting to make more meatless recipes) and have yet to use it up. Since part of this challenge is to clean out our pantry of all the stuff that’s been lurking there for a while, I took the opportunity to try something  different.

As we all know, you can’t have enchiladas without cheese. And I was all out of the fresh stuff.

Cracking open a $62 can of freeze dried cheese was the hardest thing I’ve had to do so far during this challenge. I almost went to the store to buy cheese just so I wouldn’t have to use the good stuff.

But I made a deal and I’m sticking to it. If I don’t try the emergency food I won’t know how we like it.

As it turned out, the tofu enchiladas were alright (I’m still trying to like tofu) but my kids scraped the cheese right off the top and said they didn’t like it. I thought the cheese was okay, but it definitely had an aftertaste. Maybe cheddar would have been better than Colby?

I was glad we all loved the beans and rice. Next time I’ll need to triple the Gallo Pinto recipe.

I’m seriously thinking we need to have a dairy cow at some point in the future. Unfortunately, we don’t have room for one here on our one acre of land. We might need to prayerfully consider looking for more land elsewhere. I know there’s all this controversy over whether humans should be drinking cow milk or not, but I can’t help but recall how our pioneer ancestors greatly depended upon their milk cow for survival.

Instant milk and freeze dried cheese are better than nothing. But to have the fresh stuff daily? Man, what a difference that would make!

I was doing some research into miniature dairy cow breeds last night, which can be raised on 1/4 acre and still give plenty of milk for a large family. Might be something to check into more seriously, though they’re quite an investment.


Here’s the breakdown of Day 11’s challenge meals:

Amish Baked Oatmeal
Hot herbal tea and honey

Frozen blueberries
Thrive pears
Tortilla chips
Watermelon (a neighbor sent over half of a huge watermelon she had)

Spaghetti w/meat sauce, buttered sourdough bread, steamed broccoli and carrots
(or) Salmon salad on crackers

Gallo Pinto- black beans, kidney beans, rice (in veg. stock), cumin, onion
Tofu enchiladas- green enchilada sauce, tofu, corn tortillas, salsa, Thrive colby cheese


Do you think you could live long term without milk, cheese, and butter? Or do you think you’d wish you had a cow?