Fair Trade & Honest Food— It’s a Thing

Posted by Natul Middlebrook on


Several weeks ago, I wrote about what it means to live the HUGG Life. The H stands for Honest and I mentioned that “women crave honesty on every front.”

The HUGG woman is HONEST in the way she interacts with the world but she especially craves honest exchanges FROM her world.

She wants to cut to the chase and get REAL with people and she wants people to get REAL with her. Come on—she can handle it. Can I get an Amen?

Although I have focused, these past four years, on pursuing a fashion brand that puts people first, I’ve found myself wanting transparency in every aspect of my life.

Especially food. SO many of us have this love/hate relationship with food. Our minds are so well-informed that we don’t know what’s good for us anymore. We avoid carbs like the plague and lately—we embrace eggs and avocados and heavy cream. 20 years ago—that would have been on the verge of caloric insanity!

We do yo-yo diets and eat out of paper trays with pre-measured compartments—it all seems very unsustainable to me. At the end of the day--- All we want is honest food that doesn’t kill us or make us fat.

I want those things, too. But as a classically-trained chef, I am also passionate about extracting flavor. I want to relish the feasting with family and friends and be reminded of the good things in life. Jesus was accused of being a glutton and drunkard for wanting those same things, too.

Connecting with people was kind of his thing and an honest meal seemed an excellent medium to do so for Him. We have lost something sacred in all this fretting and I believe the HUGG life means reclaiming our kitchens, striking a balance and honestly trying to do the best we can.

So today I came home at 5:30 from running errands and was SO tempted to order out but soccer practice was cancelled due to the weather and I claimed our Wednesday night. I pulled out some ground beef (score for defrosting it this morning) a pack of mushrooms, turned on some music and shared a meal with my family. It was the highlight of my day.

So I share the recipe with you. It is gluten-free & paleo-friendly—but most of all, it’s honestly delicious :) 

30-Minute Chopped Steak

1 pack mushrooms, base discarded, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 lb Angus Ground Chuck
2 Onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup chicken stock
Parsley, a handful, minced
Splash of your favorite drinking wine
Splash of heavy cream, light cream or even half-and-half
Salt/Fresh Ground Pepper
Garlic Powder
2-3 drops of Worcestershire Sauce

How To:

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Season the ground meat with salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. After hand-kneading in a bowl, form into small burger patties.

2. Heat up skillet on medium-high and brown patties for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and finish cooking in oven to desired finish. For medium-well, cook for about 15 minutes.

3. Lower heat slightly & add onions, mushrooms and garlic into the drippings. Allow onions to go translucent and mushrooms to mellow out. About 10 minutes.

4. Add chicken stock, wine and half of parsley, salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.

5. Finish with a splash of cream. Add remaining parsley over patties.
Pour sauce over chopped steak in a wide bowl with a side of vegetables, salad and if you’re feeling rebellious—a nice chunk of bread.


What does honest eating mean to you?

If you want to see more blog posts like this in the HUGG life, let us know!



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  • I would LOVE to see more recipes! I am looking for more REAL and HONEST in the life of me and my family. Thank you for sharing.

    NancyP on

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