Simple Orange Juice

I don’t have a juicer. I want one, but haven’t decided what type would be best. For now, I just use a blender or my little metal hand-held juicers. I don’t drink a lot of juice, at least not yet, preferring to eat the fruit. But, once-in-a-while, I do want juice to go with my breakfast. In particular, orange juice. Although, if I had a juicer I’d have a grand time experimenting with flavor combinations.

That is when I break out the hand-held juicer. The orange metal one.

I love when my Madness Boxes from Misfits Market (Affiliate Link – Get your discount today!) include oranges. I made this juice last weekend, to use up the oranges. It lasted a few breakfasts.

While I used organic fruit for this recipe because it came in one of my boxes, I would not buy organic oranges in the store. They have thick skins, and I prefer to use my money to buy organic produce that are thin-skinned. As I learn more, I may decide organic oranges are the way to go but, for now at least, I am good with this choice.

Simple Orange Juice

Ingredients

oranges

Directions

  1. Squeeze the juice or oranges into a canning jar or other glass bottle with a cover.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until you want to drink it.

Tips

  • Don’t go overboard with orange. I only drink about 1/4 cup in a day, unless I am sick. Then I will do so a few times throughout the day being sure do so with a meal that includes protein.

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Banana-Orange Smoothie

Smoothies are a great breakfast beverage to have alone or with a separate protein source. I’ve been adding pea protein to mine, but sometimes I’ll enjoy them with an egg. I don’t consume the smoothies regularly during the autumn and winter months, but I begin to enjoy them each spring and through the summer.

I may change this habit, drinking them during the colder months more often. They are a great way to extra nutrients into your diet.

I used store-bought bananas as a base, but the rest of the produce was from my Madness Box from Misfits Market (Affiliate Link).

Everything but the bananas were organic. In all honesty, I don’t usually bother with organic bananas because the skin is so thick on the fruit. This may change in the future, as I learn more about things. But, for now. non-organic is the way I am going with store-bought, thick-skinned produce.

Note that I do use a personal blender, not a full-size one. There is a fill line, so I don’t measure things out. I just fill until I hit that line.

Banana-Orange Smoothie

Ingredients

1 small banana, peeled

1 orange, peeled

1 tbsp pea protein powder

1 tsp honey

frozen spinach or kale, a few sprinklings of it chopped

almond milk (can also use soy, rice, cashew, or even dairy milk if your body can handle it)

Directions

  1. Add a little liquid to the blender cup.
  2. Break banana into small chunks and add to the blender cup.
  3. Add orange slices to the cup.
  4. Add pea protein and honey.
  5. Sprinkle frozen kale or spinach bits to the blender cup.
  6. Add milk choice to cup, up to the fill line – or however much you need.
  7. Blend a few seconds, then pulse until smooth.

Tips

  • Serve at lunch with a salad.
  • Serve with a hot breakfast for added nutrients.
  • Drink a smoothie at snack-time for extra nutrients.
  • Make a thicker smoothie by using less liquid. Pour into a bowl, and top with more fruit, nuts, seeds, and coconut.

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Lemon-Limeade

I’ve been enjoying the Madness Boxes. They’re coming every two weeks, and there are some variances each week. I get to make something different with each shipment of produce. Variety is the spice of life. That’s not say there aren’t similarities in the boxes. With produce, you do have to use what is in season.

I love fresh lemons and limes. They smell amazing, are bright and cheery in color, and I’m so happy I’ve been able to enjoy them in one of my favorite beverages this summer. Lemon-Limeade. Easy. Cold. Refreshing. Who could ask for more on a hot summer day?

A note about honey. I’m not really sure how much I put in my lemon-limeade. Not as much as I used to. I lessen the amount from time-to-time, as I get used to having less sweetness in this beverage. I’m doing this deliberately. Honey is a sweetener, after all. I don’t want to go overboard on sweeteners in my diet.

I use hand-held juice squeezers. You know the type. The metal ones. Orange for oranges. Yellow for lemons. Green for limes. Nothing particularly technical.

I’m also using organic ingredients for this recipe but, if you can’t afford organic everything I would suggest you concentrate on at least having organic honey – if you can.

Lemon-Limeade

Ingredients

1 lemon

1 lime

honey, to taste

1 quart water

Directions

  1. Wash and dry the lemon and the lime.
  2. Pour honey into the bottom of a pitcher.
  3. Squeeze the juice from one lemon into the pitcher.
  4. Do the same with the lime.
  5. Add one quart of water and stir.
  6. Refrigerate and serve cold.

Tips

  • If you have the insert for the pitcher, feel free to cut the lemon and the lime halves in half and add them to the insert.
  • Don’t worry if you can’t afford organic.
  • To save money, use store coupons.
  • Wait for sales on honey. Plan ahead.
  • You can drink this at room temperature.
  • Can also be served over ice.

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My First Box from Misfits Market

Last week I told you about a food delivery service for organic, non-GMO produce that is affordable. My first shipment from Misfits Market came on Wednesday, and I’m pleased. I do want to note a few things right off the bat.

  • The company is upfront about the fact that much of what they send would be considered “ugly”. Though, to me, it all looked just fine. Some of the fruit was on the small side. Perfect for me.
  • They also mentioned that some of it might be bruised. A few of the peaches were. I simply made them into a sauce with some of the pears. It worked out wonderfully.
  • I bought the Madness Box, the largest. It is left at your door, but it is heavy. Since I know I have to lug it upstairs, I’ll bring a couple of reusable shopping bags downstairs with me next time to split things up into.
  • You don’t get to choose what you want. You get what you get.

I was impressed by the amount of produce the Madness Box has in it. This is what came in my shipment:

As you can see, it is more than enough to feed me for a couple of weeks.

  • Bok Choy (This will be my first time trying this.)
  • 2 European Cucumbers
  • 4 Zucchini (Kept 2. Gave 1 to each of my daughters.)
  • 1 Romain Lettuce
  • 4 Peppers (Don’t like these. Gave them to my daughters.)
  • 5 Oranges
  • 4 Limes
  • 3 Mangoes (Don’t like these. Gave them to my daughters.)
  • 6 Pears
  • 6 Peaches
  • 2 Bags of Mushrooms (Gave one bag to my parents, the other Zowie.)
  • 2 Bags of String Beans
  • 2 Spaghetti Squash
  • Dandelion Greens (This will be my first time trying this.)

I did buy a few things to go along with this:

  • Meat (I don’t eat much meat, so a pound will last me a while.)
  • So Delicious non-dairy yogurt
  • Bananas
  • Lemons

And I had some things on hand to round everything out.

You’ll notice that I shared a few things with my parents and daughters. While I like most fruits and vegetables, there are just a few things I’m unable to eat. And I haven’t quite been able to talk myself into trying mushrooms yet. Even taking this stuff out, I consider the $38.50 to be a good deal on the food, considering the in-store costs of organic produce in my area.

I planned things out for meals and such as soon as I opened the box. The meat was purchased to go with the spaghetti squash. Yogurt is delicious with orange slices. And pears and peaches make a great sauce which can be eaten as is, or warmed with maple syrup and served over Paleo pancakes. I bought the lemons to make Lemon-Limeade. Orange slices will go well in smoothies with bananas as well.

According to my research Bok Choy is a chinese cabbage, so I plan to make a salad with it, the Romain lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, and string beans. I love salad. The cucumber, zucchini, and string beans can also be snacked on any time.

 

I’m going to try the dandelion greens in salad and smoothies, to see if I like them. If I do, I can flash freeze them for  later use and less waste. Nothing is going to waste, because I shared what I knew I wouldn’t eat.

You could also donate anything you didn’t want, or share them with friends and co-workers.

Here are some tips for what to do with some of the the produce from this box:

  • Once you’ve set aside what you want for salads, chop the rest dandelion greens and flash freeze them. Store in a container in the freezer, taking out some as you need it for smoothies.
  • Use some lovely FreshPapers from Mighty Nest when storing fresh produce. It will help the food stay fresh longer.
  • Only using half that lemon? Mighty nest also has Food Huggers! They come nested, in a variety of sizes in each set, and cover partially eaten tomatoes. oranges, and more.
  • Given that a few things may be bruised, you’ll want to come up with a plan right away to use them up. You can make sauces from fruits to enjoy over Paleo “Ice Cream” or french toast, or to add to smoothies.
  • If anything is “thin-skinned”, check it to see if it needs to be used quickly.
  • Top cereal or smoothies with chopped fruit.
  • Utilize Google or another search engine to look up what types of produce and greens can be frozen and how.
  • And use it to find new recipes to try!

I can’t wait to see what my second box from Misfits Market is filled with. I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks. This box cost me $38.50, and should last me two weeks.

Note 1: It’s called Misfits Market for a reason. It is a source of “ugly” produce. Let me just say that I don’t care if the produce is perfect. If I can get “ugly” produce at a good price, I am all over that. Produce is produce. It’s all good!

Note 2: Get 25% off your first order, and give me 25% off a future order. It’s a win-win! The links in this article will take you to my page with your discount. (Affiliate) (This is the discount they are giving right now. Misfit’s Market can change the promotion at any time.)

Note 3: Over a year ago I signed up for MightyNest. I wanted a way to bring healthy products into my home, and I thought this would be perfect. I signed up for their MightyFix and, each month, get a package from them with something new for me to try. (Affiliate)

~ Shannon

Delivery Service – Produce Brought to My Door

I’ve been doing research on delivery services in my area of Maine, without any luck. There didn’t seem to be any. In particular, I’m looking for produce at a reasonable price.

I didn’t just want to order from any old place. I was looking for certain things.

  • That the source would deliver to my door, or at least my work address being that it is in the city.
  • That the food would be organic.
  • That the price would reasonable.

What do I mean by reasonable? Consider that I spent about $100.00 on mostly organic, healthy foods – mainly fruits and vegetables – that would last two weeks only last month. Ouch! That bill hurt. I know there has to be a better way. A way to eat healthy on a budget. My food budget is generally between $30.00 and $40.00 per week. Any more than that and I don’t have the money I need for other important things.

Why did I need to get that food? Sadly, I’ve been sick four times already this year. The shortest sickness lasted just over a week; the longest almost three. Also, I’m having gut issues. I know I need to get back to eating healthy.

So, I did a two-week, mainly fruits and veggies, cleanse. It helped me to feel better, and my gut hasn’t been having as many issues. But there is still work to do.

Previously I’ve done a whole30/Paleo lifestyle that netted some good weightloss results. I also felt so much better eating that way. I had an income change that prevented me from continuing for a number of months and, while I’m still eating about 60% healthy each week, I’m not really back to where I need to be nutritionally. Yet.

Things I know about me: My body does not process dairy well. My body will not function properly if I am eating grains. I don’t want to be dependent on sugar. It does not help with my weight issues. One of my biggest problems is when I feel like I am missing out on old favorites, and that’s when I tend to slip back into old habits.  So I need to allow for the occasional “treat”. Dinner from my favorite restaurant. Cake at the grandkids birthday party. You know what I mean.

I’m switching things up a bit. You see, I find I’m eating less and less meat. I do eat meat, but I feel like doing so less often these days. I don’t want meat substitutes; not the heavily processed stuff, vegan or otherwise. I really do want mainly fruits and vegetables. And organic tastes far better.

A few weeks back I signed up on some sites to be notified of when they start delivering to Maine, and last week I heard back from one of them!

Misfits Market is now delivering in Maine. They will deliver organic, non-GMO produce to my house, and allow me to choose the delivery day. I cannot even express how happy this makes me. There is a mix of fruits and vegetables in each shipment, according to what is in season.

At first I thought, because it’s just me I prepare food for, I should by the Mischief Box. It’s the smaller of the two, with 10 – 12 lbs of produce for $23.75 + shipping. Or, if you decide to get a subscription it would cost $19.00 + tax per box per week or biweekly. This serves 1-2 people for a week.

But then I looked at the information for the Madness Box, and it sounded like a better deal. I want my boxes delivered bi-weekly, figuring that many weeks there will be greens and some fruits that can be frozen, as well as fruits I can turn into sauces. And that items such as potatoes will store longer if done right. The Madness Box will weigh in at approximately 18-20 pounds, and technically serve 4-5 people for a week. These boxes are $42.50 + tax each but, if you want to get a subscription they will only be $34.00 + tax each.

I bought a bi-weekly subscription of the Madness Box for $38.50 per box, including tax, meaning I am spending $19.25 per week on fruits and vegetables. That gives me about another pound of produce for only a quarter, and leaves money in my budget each week to get other things I might need.

Knowing what I know about organic food costs in the stores and at the farmer’s market in my area, this is does not seem like a bad deal. I will be reporting back after each of my first two deliveries, so come back to see if I am happy with what I receive.

The great thing about Misfits Market is that I can cancel any time 🙂 This is huge for me, as I don’t want to be locked into anything if I decide I’m not pleased.

Note 1: It’s called Misfits Market for a reason. It is a source of “ugly” produce. Let me just say that I don’t care if the produce is perfect. If I can get “ugly” produce at a good price, I am all over that. Produce is produce. It’s all good!

Note 2: Get 25% off your first order, and give me 25% off a future order. It’s a win-win! The links in this article will take you to my page with your discount. (This is the discount they are giving right now. Misfit’s Market can change the promotion at any time.)

Do you order from Misfits Market? What area are you in, and what are your experiences with the company? Let us know in the comments below?

If you decide to order, please report back later with your impressions of your first few boxes. My daughter wants to know if it is a good variety of food, and if the items change from week-to-week. She and my sister are waiting for my thoughts on the boxes so I’ll be reporting my impressions to them, as well as right here!

~ Shannon

How Much do You Spend on Groceries?

In the past I’ve created posts explaining the USDA Food Plan Costs so you can get an idea of how much people spend for food individually and as a family. While I do know a few people who spend less than the thrifty food plan, this seems to be spot on most weeks for me.

I do aspire to the thrifty food plan, which was $38.00 February 2019, but sometimes I go above, spending closer to the low-cost plan of $47.20 a week. Mind you, I do buy some organic, non-gmo items, and I’m still learning to do this in the most affordable way possible. I want to point out that I do a stock up trip with my tax refund where I spend an additional $100 to $150 in one trip, but the food lasts a long time.

During years when my parents grow food, my overall average has gone down significantly. When I have a place where I can garden I plan to grow most of my own produce and herbs, but I am not there yet.

Here are some ways I save money on food:

  • I grow some of my own organic herbs and dry or freeze them for later use. Parsley and mint are two of them.
  • I have chives growing out at my mothers. When I visit, I cut some and bring it home to freeze. This is an absolute freebie for me.
  • I make some things from scratch, such as Paleo pizza crusts, muffins, and tortillas, as well as the occasional dessert.
  • I make my own fruit sauces.
  • I coupon minimally. It’s hard to find coupons for most of what I buy.
  • I try to buy when on sale.
  • I accept fresh produce and eggs from anyone who wants to give them to me.
  • I freeze small bits of food to add to smoothies, soups, and other things later on.
  • I snag good buys at farmer’s markets at the end of the day/season.
  • I comparison shop. Sometimes, but not always, I can find better deals online.

What I don’t mind spending extra money on.

  • Organic, Maine-made honey.
  • Organic, Maine or Vermont-made maple syrup and cream.
  • Organic, locally canned pickled beets when my parents don’t make them.
  • Organic olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee.
  • Almond and coconut flours.
  • Enjoy Life chocolate chips.

I don’t buy a lot of these more expensive items, but I do like to have them on hand once in a while. Sometimes I like to make something special.

How does your spending compare to the amounts given for February?

Shannon

Frugal Recipes Happenings Spring 2019

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Tuesday was such a nice day. I had so much fun at the Discovery Museum with my grandchildren, my son-in-law Devan, and my daughter Skye and her boyfriend Ryan. My only wish would have been that the kids mother could have been there, rather than at work.

Little Man had a grand time checking things out during our couple of hour visit. He climbed really high, saw what a beaver home looked like, played with magnets and so much more. The joy on his face, as well as the concentration at times, melted my heart. ❤

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Little Miss also enjoyed the afternoon out. She is only eight months old, but she had so much fun touching things. She’s quite tactile.

The only thing she really didn’t like was the feel of the tree. Other than that, she liked touching different types of leaves and feeling the other textures.

She never cried once, and was just as happy as could be. ❤

 

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Earlier this month I learned I had won a $25 gift card for Amazon from my employer for posting in our closed Facebook group.

Perfect timing! On the first I’m going to be doing a detox, and the gift card bought me two bags of protein powder for that purpose. Organic pea powder to go in my juices/smoothies.

I’m doing the Total Wellness Summit this week, and then next month changing things up. My body needs a detox, and I need to fix some gut issues. Plus I’ve got to get back on track with my weight and fitness goals. Who’s with me!?

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The last two weeks each saw a day that was simply gorgeous, so I have started to get the longer walks in again. I don’t get to do that in the winter because it’s so hard to breath on the coldest days, and it is not really safe to walk in a lot of areas.

The last couple of weeks I’ve been doing more sitting than normal though, with all the virtual summits and conferences I’ve been taking notes on. It will all pay off in the long run, though.

I’ve added deep breathing a few times a day, I’m walking a bit more and planning to walk even longer distances within another month,I am doing more yoga, and upping the leg, arm, and core exercises. I’ll be tweaking how I go about doing everything, but I am getting there.

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As for nutrition? I’m eating lighter fare more often than not right now, I’m going to do the detox, then 90% of what I eat will be Whole30/Paleo.

It has to be that way if I want this weight gone, and I do!

I hope you’ve been following along on the blog. The newest items are lighter and very nutritious.

I also wanted to remind you about some other types of recipes that will help you to eat and drink lighter this spring.

Not sure if there is an interest here on the blog to follow along with the weightloss and fitness goals. I’m keeping a journal of all I learn and do, if anyone is interested. Just let me know by commenting on this post or emailing me at shannonlbuck@gmail.com and I can start a new category or page. I know the struggle people are going through to get healthy.

Happy Spring!

~ Shannon

Cheese Board for Sharing

Finally bought myself a cheese board! I’ve been wanting to for a while now. At some point I want to have my daughters over for some family time, and this will be a big hit. Who wouldn’t want to share the deliciousness with loved ones?

I love that this board has a place to keep crackers separate from the other foods on each side. I also love that you don’t necessarily need to have cheese on the board, though this arrangement has two goat cheese dips I’m sure you will love. (I’ll be sharing links to a few of these dips below.)

The combinations of foods to be placed on a cheese board seem endless, and I promise you I will be trying many. I might even share some more with you here on the blog. I can’t wait to use this at future get-togethers with family and friends.

Try to use organic foods when possible. Rinse and dry produce before use.

NOTE: I prefer goat cheese over that made from cow’s milk. I have an intolerance to cow’s milk, and am so happy to have an alternative cheese. Regardless, I don’t eat cheese all the time. It’s a real treat for me.

Fruit & Vegetables Cheese Board

1 cucumber, sliced

1 apple, sliced

1 pear, sliced

1 or 2 carrots, cut into sticks

1 or 2 celery stocks, cut into sticks

1 orange, sectioned

grapes

pineapple chunks or tidbits

Paleo crackers

1 or 2 goat cheese dips: Fig & Goat Cheese Dip, Almond & Goat Cheese Dip, Fig & Almond Goat Cheese Dip, Blueberry & Goat Cheese Dip.

All you’re doing is placing the food onto the cheese board in a pleasing manner. You can use my photograph as a guide, and experiment.

Tips

  • Use your favorite fruits and vegetables.
  • Try different types of dips and sauces.
  • Leave the peels on apples, pears, cucumbers, and the like, for added nutritional value.
  • On rare occasion, I order Chinese from a restaurant near work. It’s not the healthiest, but it is convenient. Every time I order, they send me at least four of the spoons that are used in the photo. I finally found a good use for them!
  • Make your own Paleo crackers. Use a recipe you find online. They will be healthier than traditional crackers.
  • If it will be a bit before you eat, dip apple & pear slices in lemon juice for about 30 seconds.
  • Growing grapes, celery, and carrots, or other fruits and vegetables, will save you a good deal of money.
  • Cheese boards would be great for any celebration.

Enjoy your cheese board!

~ Shannon

 

 

 

 

Blueberry & Goat-Cheese Dip

I can’t get enough of these goat cheese dips. I’ve shared three so far, and this will be the last. At least for now. To try making the others:

Almond & Goat Cheese Dip

Fig & Goat Cheese Dip

Fig & Almond Goat Cheese Dip

I bought some blueberries because, well, I love them. What more perfect food to add to one of these dips? And the color is simply beautiful.

The consistency of this dip will depend on how juicy the berries are and how much honey you use. Mine was pretty thick, but great for scooping.

Blueberry & Goat Cheese Dip

(I didn’t measure anything out. I just put some ingredients in a bowl, mixed it up, and called it good. Make this dip by trusting your taste buds!)

blueberries

honey

goat cheese

  1. Put it all in a bowl and mix with a fork, while also smashing it all together to break up the cheese and combine everything. Don’t worry about getting all the little chunks of cheese smoothed out. They add texture and taste great!
  2. Place in a small decorative bowl.
  3. Store leftovers in refrigerator, to have with crackers for a snack.

Easy-peasy!

Tips

  • Look for sales on the cheese to save money.
  • Couple coupons with a sale to save more.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with apple or pear slices.
  • Serve on a cheeseboard with fruits, vegetables, and Paleo friendly crackers.

Enjoy!

Shannon

 

Fig & Almond Goat-Cheese Dip

I’ve written about how I recently came to try goat cheese for the first time, and offered a couple of goat cheese dip recipes for you to enjoy:

fig & goat cheese dip

almond & goat cheese dip

This recipe is the third experiment, and is just a mash-up of what I’ve already done. I like the flavor combinations.

The consistency of this dip will depend on how much liquid you use.

Fig & Almond Goat Cheese Dip

(I didn’t measure anything out. I just put some ingredients in a bowl, mixed it up, and called it good. Make this dip by trusting your taste buds!)

almond butter, and a little of the oil from the top of the jar

2 or 3 figs, processed in the blender

honey

goat cheese

  1. Put it all in a bowl and mix with a fork, while also smashing it all together to break up the cheese and combine everything. Don’t worry about getting all the little chunks of cheese smoothed out. They add texture and taste great!
  2. Place in a small decorative bowl.
  3. Store leftovers in refrigerator, to have with crackers for a snack.

Easy-peasy!

Tips

  • Look for sales on the cheese to save money.
  • Couple coupons with a sale to save more.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with raw cauliflower.
  • Serve on a cheeseboard with fruits, vegetables, and Paleo friendly crackers.

Enjoy!

Shannon