Real Food on a Budget?

When we are traveling, one of our favorite things to do is find local restaurants and try them out.  Although we are all very adventurous eaters, we do try to eat as healthy as possible, even while on the road.  You’ll often find us enjoying vegetarian dishes, beans & rice, salads and fresh fruit.  Not to say that we don’t tend to indulge a little more when away from home, we just try to keep what we eat as close to real food (food that isn’t heavily processed, has simple, whole food ingredients, and isn’t high in sugar) as possible. Because we aren’t as strict when traveling, when we are at home, it’s super important for me to create meals that are as healthy as possible.  That way I can ensure we are following my 80/20 rule of 80% healthy eating and 20% not quite as healthy.  I do love to cook, but with a full-time job, kids in two different schools, and year-round sports it can be challenging to get a real food meal on the table. One of my favorite tricks is to find cookbooks I love that have pages full of delicious real food recipes.  Then I’ll plan the weekly menu using just that one cookbook – it’s fun for me, easy as I’m not looking up recipes all over the place, and if I like the author, I find I’m happy with the meals. Lisa Leake’s cookbooks are some of my favorites.  I’ve been using 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous: The Easy and Delicious Way to Cut Out Processed Food and 100 Days...
The easiest, healthiest lunch around

The easiest, healthiest lunch around

So, this is my current go-to lunch – it’s the healthiest, easiest and tastiest meal, and I am addicted to it!  This simple combination covers your bodies cravings for sweet, sour, greens and it’s filling.  (and did I mention easy and delicious).  Although it’s a frequent lunch, I have been known to add a scrambled egg and enjoy it for breakfast too!  I typically roast up a few sweet potatoes early in the week (while cooking dinner one night – how’s that for multi-tasking?) and then keep them in the fridge to add to the skillet – that one step means this meal will come together in minutes.  Ditto for the brussel sprouts. Sweet Greens 1/2 of a large sweet potato, cut into bite sized pieces and roasted 1/4 cup cooked brussel sprouts (don’t like sprouts?  leave them out – this will still be delicious) 2 cups greens (I like a combo of spinach and kale) sea salt 2 to 3 T sauerkraut (my favorite brand is Bubbies Of San Francisco Sauerkraut, 25 Ounce — 12 per case. – it’s full of healthy probiotics –  I typically find it at Earth Fare, Whole Foods or even Publix sometimes) Extra virgin olive oil 1.  Add sprouts and sweet potatoes to 1 T olive oil in a non-stick or cast iron skillet.  Saute until warm. 2.  Add greens and continue to saute until they are all wilted. 3.  Season with sea salt and serve with sauerkraut. I know this sounds a bit crazy, but seriously, GIVE IT A TRY.  There is something so wonderful about the combination of bitter greens, the sweetness...

Menu Plan Monday August 18 – 24

Now that school and sports are back in full swing, my life is so much easier if I’m on top of menu planning! Monday – homemade pizza, veggies from the garden Tuesday – grilled chicken, veggies from the garden, quinoa with spinach Wednesday – Peanut Thai Chicken, brown rice Thursday – roast Friday – date night – who knows where we’ll end up! Saturday –  Indian Red Lentils & Rice, fresh veggies Sunday – swim banquet – I’ll bring fresh tomatoes from the garden with mozzarella and basil – YUMMY Feel like you could use a refresher on menu planning?  Check out my menu planning e-course.  For less than $10 and in under an hour you’ll be a pro at planning a weekly menu perfect for YOUR family and YOUR schedule! Shared on Organizing...
Sweet and Savory Salad

Sweet and Savory Salad

So this recipe has a bit of a story . . .  I had been thinking about creating a new kale salad with asparagus especially for spring for some time now, and with a fully stocked fridge and fresh asparagus from the garden, I decided that today was the day to experiment. I pulled out the kale to clean it and noticed holes.  This isn’t good – holes typically mean worms (as I discovered last summer with the kale from our garden).  Sure enough, after closer inspection, I discovered the kale had many little worms in it.  Ick!  There were so many (and so many holes) it wasn’t worth picking through it.  But that meant I had no base for my salad. Thank goodness for my fully stocked fridge!  After enjoying this for lunch today, I think the salad I ended up creating was BETTER than the kale salad I had imagined would have been.  Plus, thanks to the cabbage, I think it would hold up overnight if you wanted to pack it for an easy lunch on the go. Sweet and Savory Salad serves 1 1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion 1/4 chopped jalapeno 1 small minced clove garlic 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half 4 – 6 stalks roasted (or blanched) asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces 1/4 cup rinsed and drained chick peas 1/4 cup dried fruit (I used a cranberry/ blueberry mix) 1 T goat cheese 1 T citrus dressing – see recipe below Step one:  Roast or blanch the asparagus (I used roasted since I was roasting...
Meatless Monday Dish – Asparagus Pasta

Meatless Monday Dish – Asparagus Pasta

I hope you are ready for some tasty asparagus recipes this month!  Here is a delicious way to enjoy asparagus, and it’s perfect for a Meatless Monday dish! Asparagus Pasta 1 bunch asparagus, cleaned and chopped into 1 inch pieces 1 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved 1/2 t. oregano 1/2 t. paprika sea salt black pepper extra virgin olive oil 1/2 box pasta Step one:  While the pasta boils, saute the garlic and mushrooms in olive oil until softened. Step two:  Add the asparagus and tomatoes. Step three:  Add one ladle of pasta water, and then the drained pasta to the skillet. Step four:  Add seasonings and saute until everything is well mixed – about 3 or 4 minutes. Serve with freshly shredded parmesan or plain.  This dish is also EXCELLENT with a cup of chopped, cooked ham added – perfect for your Easter leftovers. Looks delicious, right?  And it’s super simple.  Add this one to your menu plan! Looking to learn how to plan weekly menus?  Purchase my menu planning e-course for less than $10 and in an hour or so you’ll be an expert at planning a delicious, healthy menu for your week. Shared on WFMW, Real Food Wednesday , Empty Your Archives and The Mommy Club...

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