My name is Jenn Campus, otherwise known as The Leftover Queen. Like any other food blogger I adore food. Sometimes I am even a food snob because I care very much about the quality of my food and where it comes from. I am not afraid of the word “Foodie” because I believe that everyone can be one no matter what your situation in life is!

Regardless of specific cuisine, I have always advocated for healthy eating for everyone, young, old, economically challenged and everyone in between. I have a huge passion for healthy eating, nutrition and holistic lifestyles.

This blog is my way of helping others discover good, healthy, wholesome food for any budget. It is about cooking from scratch, using your leftovers or pantry essentials and being frugal all fit into a busy life, using baby steps to get there. Follow my ongoing adventures trying to provide the best food for my family, striving towards the goal of sustainability, using traditional food techniques and local in season foods on a beautiful homestead in the forests of Northern Vermont.

HOW I COOK:
Most importantly I believe that everyone will find something yummy, easy to make and budget friendly in these pages! Many recipes on this blog are based on the Weston A. Price Foundation Guidelines, and many are Paleo and Primal friendly, although I will never be dogmatic about diet on this blog (I have seen diet become a form of religion for many, and the stress of living within the confines of a particular dietary obsession making the person unhealthier than the small deviations from that diet ever would) and all recipes since 2010 are all Gluten-Free. I have found this to be the best way of eating for my own personal health, but believe that diets are very individual- what works for some doesn’t work for others. Since 2008, unless specified, the recipes featured on this blog, feature local vegetables from local farms or organic veggies when local is not available and meat I feature in recipes is all “Happy Meat” ( a term coined by my friend Judy). I also use  organic milk and dairy products (raw when available) as well as eggs, now from our own  heritage breed chickens. I also seek out products that are not genetically modified. These are actions I believe are beneficial for everyone to take as much as possible.
( Note: Recipes before 2009 are not always within WAPF guidelines, but I believe for anyone on the path to health it is valuable to see where people have come from to get to where they are now and those old recipes show my process.)

In 2010, with our exodus to Northern VT, in large part because of my focus on local and sustainable foods, and my desire to have a large kitchen garden, and the space to raise some animals, topics on this blog have headed in that direction. Also from time to time I might discuss fitness as it relates to food. I lead a very active lifestyle and enjoy archery, weight lifting, kettle bells and martial arts, as well as hiking and snow shoeing. So finding nourishing and healthy foods that are full of the right nutrients and give me the energy to do what I love, is a continued journey.

HOMESTEADING:
This blog also features some posts relating to Homesteading. To learn more about why we homestead, please read:
Musings on Homesteading
The “Bleater Sisters” and Why I Grow My Own

To learn more about the animals on our homestead, I encourage you to check out the Homesteading Category on this blog as well as my  other blog, Got Goats? (…and sheep, too).

As the creator of both the Leftoverqueen and the FoodieBlogroll ( a social network of thousands of food bloggers ) I have transitioned all updates for Finest Foodies Friday, Royal Foodie Joust, Contests & Giveways, etc. to the FoodieBlogroll website.

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MY JOURNEY TO HEALTHY EATING:
For several years before my foray into food blogging I worked as an assistant to a Holistic Doctor, who really is a pioneer in the field. The man is a miracle maker, and was my mentor. From him, I learned many things about health and nutrition – as well as medicinal herbs, homeopathics and supplements. While I was working with him, I gave up most packaged foods, food containing weird chemicals, food additives, MSG, HFCS, chemical coloring and dyes, and hydrogenated oils. I also found out that I have intolerances to soy products, and some grains, especially wheat.  I am lucky to have never used any artificial sweeteners (this includes Splenda), because even before I knew what a poison they are, I never liked the taste of food with artificial sweeteners .  I have seen first hand through work at the clinic, all sorts of ailments, sicknesses, body pain and general malaise, including depression that consuming these kinds of products can cause. Reason enough to stay away from them. But I also have been cane sugar free for since about 2009, preferring maple, liquid amber, which is king in this part of the world, raw honey and other natural sweeteners.

Starting in 2009, because of how much these ingredients (MSG, artificial sweeteners, etc) have infiltrated the food supply, I had to start expanding my blog to more than just talking about leftovers. Years ago, after searching in vain for products without corn syrup,  I started making my own bread, condiments, preserves, and whatever else I could manage with a busy schedule. In 2009, I began a new adventure with making dairy products like cheese, yogurt , dairy kefir and water kefir (probiotic natural fruit soda) – basically my own convenience foods – not the ones out of boxes, jars or cans. My philosophy is, the less ingredients on a package the better, but it is best if there is only one ingredient. For more great cultured and fermented food ideas, please check out my on-going series, Let’s Get Cultured!

CULINARY BACKGROUND:
I am a home-spun cook who learned to cook from my maternal Calabrese Grandma, my maternal Sicilian Grandfather, my very food adventurous mom and my Scotch-Irish German dad, who was famous for “Leftover Soup”. I grew up in the kitchens of all of these wonderful people and found passion for food at a very young age. Mediterranean tendencies feature prominently in my recipes, because that is my favorite cuisine and what I grew up on. I spent my childhood near Washington DC and was able to frequent many a Greek, Turkish, Lebanese and Moroccan eatery. These are still some of my favorite cuisines. However I have recently found myself  experimenting with various Northern European foods. I recently found out through DNA testing (I am adopted) that I have Scottish, English, German (Bavarian), Danish, and Mohawk ancestry. So I am looking forward to exploring some foods from these regions to get in touch with some of my other roots on the great tree of life. I am a lucky person who gets to be a part of so many rich cultural and food traditions through both ancestry and adoption!

FOOD PHILOSOPHY: LESS IS MORE
I grew up learning from my Grandparents that you should not waste things, especially food – as you can always turn a little into a lot, if you have the right ingredients. They taught me how to be creative with what I have. This is really a fundamental part of my relationship with food. I always have essentials in my pantry, I always save leftovers and I always bring home leftovers from the restaurant. So what happens when all of these come together? Always something original and usually something very good!

Cooking with leftovers can be a fun and interesting challenge! Plus it saves so much waste – which is so important, not only because of economic situations, but also for our planet.We need to remember and recall the way our grandparents used to cook and take our food back!!!

I am available for all types of freelance food related work. Please serious inquiries only. To get in touch with me via email click here.

Note: I am happy to do product reviews, however I will not promote products that contain Aspartame, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, Splenda, hydrogenated oils, MSG,  Nutrasweet or weird chemicals that I can’t pronounce. I will review products at my own discretion.

Disclaimer:  I am not a dietitian or health care professional. My posts reflect my own personal experience. You should always consult a doctor before making any changes to your diet and exercise routine.



For something fun, please check out my Dog Blog, Berserker Chihuahuas – the saga of two barbarian pets on a rampage in the Great White North.

Web design and graphics as well as much of the food photography for this blog is created by my husband, Roberto – to check out his work, see his art website: www.robertocampus.com