Thursday, May 8, 2014

Give a Cluck and Go Cage-Free!

When we first started talking about moving out of the City, the hubs and I had visions of a small acreage, a huge vegetable garden, fruit trees and so much space our boys wouldn’t know what to do with themselves.

When we started looking at real estate however, we realized we needed to put some of those dreams on hold, not let them go per say, but consider whether the timing was right. Of critical note is that I’m working on a contract which means there is a very real chance we could end up moving back to the city within a few years. The market in our area isn’t booming to say the least, so the possibility of being unable to buy in the City because we can’t sell our home in the Country landed us in a more suburban part of our 2,300 person town.

Despite our location, I knew we could still have many of the experiences we desired, just on a smaller scale.

In particular, I had my heart set on Chickens, laying hens to be exact. The idea that my kids could be connected with where their food comes from and that we could have feathered friends lounging in our yard and laying us delicious eggs seemed amazing. I scouted the local bylaws, searched and researched chicken coops, chicken breeds and of course what exactly commercial egg laying facilities look like. 

Many of those poor chickens spend their lives in small cages, shared with five or six other birds.  Many never feeling the ground beneath their feet, spread their wings or experience fresh air and sunlight. These intelligent, social animals become valuable only for their ability to produce eggs.

Unfortunately, although we both had dreams of an acreage type property, it quickly became clear that the hubs and I had differing opinions when it came to the idea of keeping chickens in our backyard. I’m not giving up on the idea just yet, but I’m also not pushing it, this year we have a yard to personalize and a garden to grow but we also have eggs to eat and in truth this whole experience has made me reconsider my grocery store choices when it comes to buying eggs.

Choose Cage-Free is an initiative by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) to empower individuals to commit to buying cage-free eggs and working with farmers and businesses to adopt cage-free practices.

So what’s so great about cage-free farms?

On a cage-free farm hens can live a far more natural existence.  They can walk and run, stretch their wings, turn around, give themselves  dust baths, forage and peck on the ground. Cage-free hens are happier and healthier and have a much lower risk of Samonella contamination.

In our house, eggs are a staple; we easily eat two dozen a week and Simba and I eat them for breakfast almost every day.

Currently my favourite way to start the morning is with a spinach and feta egg tortilla; this is a great recipe as you can adjust it to your tastes, uses gluten-free (like me) or flour tortillas and in less than 10 minutes you will have a hearty well balanced breakfast you can eat on the go. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Spinach and Feta Egg Tortilla

  • 1 tsp (coconut) oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp chopped red (or green) onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tortilla
  1. Heat a pan that is approximately the same size as your tortilla over medium heat.
  2. Whisk together your eggs and spinach.
  3. Melt coconut oil in the pan and then saute your onions for a few minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add your egg mixture to the pan and use your spatula to confine the mixture to half of the pan. Salt your eggs as desired.
  5. Once the egg starts to set, place your tortilla over the egg, then place a full size plate on top of the tortilla.
  6. Holding onto the plate, carefully flip over the pan so the egg and tortilla are inverted onto the plate.
  7. Carefully slide the egg and tortilla back onto the pan (and back on the element) and sprinkle with the feta cheese.
  8. After about 30 seconds, your tortilla should be warm and pliable, fold it over to cover up the egg and feta.
  9. Allow to cook until lightly golden (~1 minute) then flip your tortilla over and allow the other side to brown and the feta to melt.
  10. I like to cut my tortilla in half for ease of eating, but however you eat it, ENJOY!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.