Saturday, October 27, 2012

10 Primal Meals Under $2.25 Per Serving

Having a baby has made us really re-examine our budget. I often hear "eating healthy food is too expensive!"... Challenge accepted! Here are 10 paleo/primal meals under $2.25/serving.

$1.52 = Pork Chop ($.87), Kale ($.40), Onion ($.25)

$2.18 = Swai fish fillet ($1.40), 1/2 Baked Sweet Potato ($.33),
Grilled Pineapple ($.45)

$2.07 = Swai fish fillet ($1.40), Broccoli ($.33)
,Cottage Cheese ($.34)

$2.04 = Butternut Squash Soup: Butternut Squash ($.66),
Bacon ($.50), Apple ($.08), Chicken Broth ($.80)

$1.53 = Scrambled Eggs ($.50), Kale ($.40), Bacon ($.63)

$1.88 = Pork Chop ($.72), Grilled Pineapple ($.45),
Baked Potato ($.08) with Greek Yogurt ($.63)
$0.89Spicy Sausage, Spaghetti Squash, and Kale Soup:
Spaghetti squash ($.20), Onion ($.06), Sausage ($.25),
Kale ($.10), White Wine ($.19), Chicken Bouillon ($.09)

$1.37 =  Tuscan Chicken With Green Beans & Potatoes:
Chicken Breast ($1.00), Green Beans ($.25), Potato ($.12)
$1.26 = Eggs ($.50), Potato ($.05),
Onion ($.15), Tomato ($.16), Artichoke ($.40)
$1.48 = Acorn Squash ($.56), Sausage ($.25),
Spinach ($.30), Onion ($.06), Swiss Cheese ($.31)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuscan Chicken With Green Beans & Potatoes


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3 potatoes, sliced
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Tuscan spice blend
  • salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 450°. Use olive oil to grease a casserole dish or 9x13 pan.

Mix lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic in a bowl.

Toss green beans and potatoes in the olive oil mixture. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to pan. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Season the chicken on both sides with the Tuscan spice blend, salt, and pepper. Arrange on top of the potatoes and green beans. Drizzle remaining olive oil mixture over the chicken.

Bake for 50 minutes. Remove chicken and bake an additional 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Sorry for the bad lighting. I ate it before
I realized my picture wasn't very good. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Spicy Sausage, Spaghetti Squash, and Kale Soup


  • 2 pounds spicy sausage
  • 1 small spaghetti squash, cooked and shredded
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and torn
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

In a stock pot, brown the sausage. Drain grease.

Add onion, cook until soft.

Add spaghetti squash, wine, chicken broth, and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Stir in kale and cook until wilted, remove from heat.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

A tasty, hearty fall soup!

  • 4 pound butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled and cubed
  • 12 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch peices
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • sage (1 ½ Tablespoons fresh or 1 ½ teaspoons dried)
  • salt & pepper
In a stock pot, cook the bacon. Remove with a slotted spoon, onto a plate with a paper towel.

In the bacon grease, cook the butternut squash for about 5 minutes.

Add apple, sage, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until squash and apple are both very tender.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add the bacon back in. Use a stick blender until soup reaches desired texture.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Apple Dip

I love apples with dip, but most store-bought fruit dips are loaded up with high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and other junk. Here's a healthy apple dip recipe, just in time for fall!


  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, preferably the full-fat kind
  • 2 spoonfuls almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1 spoonful honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Stir together and enjoy!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Grocery Store Check-Out Treats Done Right

At the grocery store yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to see what the candy display in some of the check-out lanes had been replaced by...

Fresh fruit, nuts, Larabars, a pretty healthy selection! Kudos to the HyVee in Gladstone, MO!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lamb Dolmades & Greek Tomato Salad

A trip to the Mediterranean for your taste buds: Dolmades & Greek Tomato Salad

Lamb Dolmades
  • Grape leaves (they will be in a jar, with the specialty pickled items in the grocery store)
  • 1 pound ground lamb, browned and drained
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 small onion, sauteed
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • Handful of fresh parsley, or equivalent dried
  • 2 Tablespoons cardamom
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander
  • Salt & pepper (or grains of paradise), to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock

In a large bowl, combine the lamb, rice, onion, garlic, spices, and a drizzle of olive oil.

On a plate, place 1 grape leaf. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of the filling, depending on the size of the leaf.

Roll up the grape leaf following the steps below:
(Note: If some of your grape leaves have holes, patch them with small pieces of another leaf. For extra-small leaves, you can finagle 2 leaves together to wrap the filling.)

Place leaves in a pan, drizzle with olive oil and add chicken stock until the liquid is about halfway up the grape leaves. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

(They don't actually turn more yellow during cooking, it's just my camera flash.)

Greek Tomato Salad
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Handful of fresh mint, torn
  • 1 Tablespoon dill
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
There's really no need for pictures of the process here. Toss everything in a bowl and mix!

Tzatziki Sauce

See the recipe on my previous post Greek-a-licious

Time to eat!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Correct Food Pyramids

The government still can't figure out that high-carb, low-fat eating is NOT healthy... Or perhaps more accurate is they don't care. The government's recommendations are based on business and politics, not health.

Here are a couple better food pyramids!


Source: Unknown

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fat Head

This movie is a must-watch! (Rent it on Amazon instant video for $3.99 using the link on the right.)

Comedian and former health writer Tom Naughton's made "Fat Head" as a spin-off rebuttle to "Super Size Me". Naughton eats fast food for 30 days and actually manages to lose weight and better his cholesterol numbers! How? By using a little common sense: skip the soda pop, make sensible choices (well, as sensible as can be made in the fast-food setting), keeping calorie intake around 2000 per day, and getting some light exercise.

Just to be clear, Naughton isn't advocating that fast food is healthy, he explicitly says during the movie that is not the case. What he is demonstrating is that we need to quit the blame game: health and weight problems are not the fault of fast food companies or the government. This movie is very pro-personal-responsibility, which I agree with 110%.

I also loved that he presented GOOD information on nutrition and calls-out what we've been led to falsely believe. In other words: the government's food pyramid and high-carb low-fat diet are NOT the way to go! He features experts that I've enjoyed reading the books of, such as Michael Eades MD, Mary Eades MD, Mary Enig PhD, Sally Fallon, Gary Taubes, and others. It's nice to see that better information about nutrition is becoming more mainstream, yet it's still a sad state that the recommendations pushed by the government, American Heart Association, and others that are so outmoded and have been disproved, but they continue to recommend them.

My rating: 4½ / 5 stars. Watch this movie!

For more, check out Naughton's blog at:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Prenatal Vitamins

Yep, I'm knocked up! 12 ½ weeks at the time of this blog post!

12 week baby bump

When I asked my OB/GYN last year what I needed to be doing if we were trying to try for a baby in the future, she told me three things:
  1. Prenatal Vitamins
  2. Fish Oil
  3. Eat plenty of meat/protein

Prenatal Vitamins

If you've ever looked for prenatal vitamins, you'll find there are what seems like a bazillion different kinds. Where to start? It was overwhelming at first. 

I finally did come across some vitamins that fit my requirements though: New Chapter Perfect Prenatal

My reasons for choosing these vitamins:
  • No dyes.
  • No unfermented soy.
  • No synthetic vitamins.
  • Vitamin A is 100% from beta-carotene.
  • Daily dose is split into 3 pills for better absorption and to be easier on the stomach.
  • Contains probiotics for easy digestion.
  • Not "horse-pill" sized, easy to swallow.

I started taking these about a year before we even planning on trying for a baby, so I've been taking them about 1 ½ years now. I've been very happy with them. 

As you can see in the picture below, they are brown pills without any coating. They have a slight smell reminiscent of hay or alfalfa.

Each pill is about the size of a Tylenol caplet.

Fish Oil

I already posted a short blog entry about fish oil a while back. The specific variety of Nordic Naturals fish oil I take is the Prenatal DHA.

  • Recommended by the American Pregnancy Association.
  • 450 mg of DHA
  • Comes from small fish (anchovies and sardines), which don't store mercury like large carnivorous fish do. And they are more sustainable.
  • Goes through molecular distillation to remove any heavy metals.
  • Not "horse-pill" sized, easy to swallow.

Vitamin D

While not on my OB/GYN's initial list, I also take extra Vitamin D. Most Americans are deficient in Vitamin D. 

Per an article from WebMD, women who took 4000 IU of Vitamin D were:
  • Half as likely to develop gestational diabetes. 
  • Half as likely to develop pregnancy-related high blood pressure / pre-eclampsia.
  • Less likely to give birth prematurely.
  • Less likely for both mother and baby to have insufficient Vitamin D levels.

There has also been some speculation linking Vitamin D deficiency and autism. Though the cause of autism is still unknown, I find this an interesting theory. A few articles on the subject:

Note: Make sure you get Vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is lower quality and not as readily used by the body.

Update 12/31/2012: Yet another reason to take Vitamin D, women who take Vitamin D during pregnancy have a 61% lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS)