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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Busy Cooks Guide to Easy Meal Prep

I know what it’s like, being so busy you don’t have time to prepare healthy meals and snacks at home. Things get crazy-busy sometimes, and there does not seem like enough time to do all that we have to do.

But there are things that will help to make meal prep easy during the busier times life will throw at you, and I want to share with you what tactics I use to create quick, easy meals when life is too hectic.

Spend an afternoon preparing

If you have a few hours, it’s a good idea to prepare some things in advance. Here are a few things I do, depending on the time of year:

  • Make tortilla wraps and place them in the refrigerator between sheets of parchment paper. I find a recipe online for Paleo wraps, and use that.
  • Wash and cut up vegetables. Store in containers in the refrigerator. Use ends and greens when making stock.
  • Place fruit in bowls to grab when you want a snack or are in a hurry.
  • Prepare lunches for work or school so you can easily grab them before leaving.
  • Make a vegetable stock and store it in the refrigerator for use during the week. Any extra can go into the freezer. Use ends and greens, as well as any leftover vegetables that won’t get eaten fresh.
  • Roast a chicken, then cut it up into serving sizes and refrigerate. Freeze what you wont use in the next four days.
  • Make chocolate sauce and store in canning jars in the refrigerator. Use this with fresh fruit if you are wanting a dessert-type item.
  • Make energy balls and store three to a small container.

Buy frozen seafood

I like to check out the frozen seafood section to see what I might be able to use for meals during the week. Scallops and shrimp are easy to prepare, and can be used in many food combinations.

This week I found bags of raw, peeled, deveined, tail-on shrimp for $5.00, so I picked one up. I’ll keep it in the freezer, and take some out whenever I want to make a dish.

What will I use the shrimp for? Any number of things, including:

Make a soup

Soups are a wonderful way to add vegetables to your menu. Just throw the ingredients in a pot on the stove – or in a crock – and cook at the beginning of the week. This could be done on a prep day.

My best friend will cook up a huge pot all at once, and I just love my chicken and vegetable soup and my sausage and pineapple one.

I put servings of soup in small canning jars after they’ve cooled some, and place those in the refrigerator. They are easy to warm when you are short on time, and taste great.

Know what fruits can be stored near each other

A few medium size mixing or fruit bowls will hold a lot of fruit. Place citrus vegetables in one, apples and pears in another, and bananas and grapes in the third. One can be used as a centerpiece at the table, and the other two can be placed at either end of the counter.

School and work lunches

I usually put these together during a prep day, because I’m already doing related tasks. All I’m really doing is packing things up a little differently than in spend an afternoon preparing above.

I have a shelf specifically for work meal items, and organize the containers and other items in a way that makes things easy to grab. I work 5 shifts in four days, and will bring everything I put together on the first day.

While cutting up vegetables, I’ll have five containers reserved for work. Into each of those, I’ll put a few servings of vegetables, a few cut up berries or some grapes, and a serving of meat, unless the meat will be in soup form. In that case, the soups are already packaged as individual servings.

If I will be having wraps, I’ll also store the wraps separately.

Much of the time, to make things easy, I’ll have the same foods for all five meals, switching out different fruits or snacks. Having packets of dark chocolate covered blueberries and cherries helps with this, as does having some energy balls on hand.

Easy meal combo’s utilizing raw vegetables include:

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced strawberries, sugar snap peas in pods, broccoli, carrots, celery, and a small amount of nut butter
  • rice, seasoned ground beef, diced tomato, corn, grapes
  • turkey slices, roasted sweet potato, mashed squash, peas, cranberries
  • veggie wraps, shrimp scampi on the side (to be added to the wrap later), strawberry slices
  • sausage and pineapple soup, carrot sticks, celery with nut butter, cherries

Quick breakfast ideas

While a box of cereal is the ultimate in quickness during our busy mornings, those types of boxed, processed things are not exactly the healthiest of choices. I like to make my own cereal, and it takes less time than making pancakes. Here are a few of may favorites:

Another ideas is to make a batch of Paleo granola to use as cereal during busy mornings. Add half a cup to a bowl, top with fruit and organic, unsweetened coconut, and add nut milk.

Quick snack ideas

Parfaits are an easy snack, and can be refrigerated overnight. Make a couple up during prep day for a quick, easy snack later and the next day. A few options include:

Trail mixes are another great snack option, and can be made up in advance and used throughout the coming week or so. Stored little canning jars, they will be easy to grab.

Quick lunches and dinners

If you have the components from spend and afternoon preparing above, you probably already have the components for a few meals. Buy frozen seafood and make a soup offer other ideas. Here are some more that can be made ahead and warmed later, or made quickly the day you want them:

*****

With practice, meal prep days will go more quickly and you might choose to make more options on that day.

What do you do to keep it healthy during the busiest of times?

Shannon

 

 

 

Cucumber-Banana Smoothie

Cucumbers are a great addition to most smoothies. Their water content is high, so you might not need as much milk in this recipe as you do in others. Use what greens are in season. You’ll save money if you grow them yourself. Use organic ingredients whenever you can.

This recipes uses leftover ingredients from other recipes. Another great way to save money and create less waste.

Ingredients

vanilla almond milk

1 handful of greens – kale, chard, baby spinach

10 cucumber slices

1 egg

6 banana slices

5 watermelon chunks

  1. Place everything except the vanilla almond milk into a blender.
  2. Cover and blend until smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla almond milk a little at a time and blend, until the smoothie is at the desired consistency.
  4. Pour into a tall glass.
  5. Add a straw and enjoy!

Tips

  • Save money by using leftovers, and by purchasing produce in season.
  • Switch up ingredients for different flavors.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with breakfast or as a snack.

Enjoy!

Shannon

 

 

Vegetable-Banana Smoothie

Another leftovers type of smoothie for you to try. A lot of times I just use whatever I have on hand. Add more milk if it isn’t smooth enough. Smoothie recipes pack quite the nutritional punch at snack time, or with your breakfast.

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (may need more)

1 egg

small handful of greens – kale, chard, or spinach

a few pieces of broccoli

10 baby carrots

3 chunks watermelon

1 small banana

  • Place everything into a blender.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Add a little more almond milk if needed.
  • Blend again.
  • Pour into a tall glass.
  • Add a straw.
  • Enjoy!

Tips

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with homemade Paleo granola cereal at breakfast.

Happy Days!

Shannon

 

Tropical Vanilla Smoothie

I love throwing whatever I have into the blender to see what happens. This is one of the food combinations I came up for a recent smoothie. Smoothie recipes are especially tasty, and certainly more healthy, when using organic foods. Feel free to use bits of leftover fruits and vegetables in this smoothie, as I have done with the kiwi.

Ingredients

1/2 to 1 cup of coconut water

1 egg

small handful of a spinach or lettuce

1 small banana

3/4 of a peeled kiwi

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Place all but the coconut water into a blender.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of coconut water.
  3. Blend until smooth, adding more coconut water if desired.
  4. Pour into tall glasses.
  5. Add a straw.
  6. Enjoy!

Tips

  • Try adding a few slices of cucumber.
  • Look for produce in-season to save money.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a breakfast of Paleo pancakes and sausage.

Happy Days!

Shannon

 

 

Chocolaty Good Banana-Cranberry Cereal

Have I mentioned just how much I love these healthy cereals I’ve been posting. I probably have…

They are so simple to make using different types of ingredients. This is a easy one that I made using cranberries to celebrate the autumn season. Oh, and I was also having a chocolate craving.

Ingredients

1 small banana, sliced

slivered almonds

dried cranberries

unsweetened coconut flakes

chocolate almond milk

  1. Place the banana slices into a bowl.
  2. Add a few slivered almonds and small handful of dried cranberries.
  3. Sprinkle unsweetened coconut over the top.
  4. Pour milk over everything.

Tips

  • Try different types of nuts, according to what is on sale.
  • Use coupons or wait for sales on the almond milk.

Serving Suggestion

  • Serve with bacon or sausage.

Warmest wishes!

Shannon

Pear and Blueberry Cereal

I had so much fun experimenting with these healthy cereals throughout the spring and summer months. It’s hard to express just how refreshing these are after a long winter of heavy meals. And they are so tasty with the various flavors of the different ingredients. I love how I can switch things up according to what I have on hand at any given time.

Blueberries are one of my favorite foods, and I’ve come to appreciate pears over the last few years as an alternative to apples on occasion. The trail mix can be just about any type you can think up.

Ingredients

1/2 of a pear, chunked

1/2 of a banana, sliced

a handful of blueberries

2 tablespoons of trail mix

vanilla almond milk

  1. Place the pear chunks and banana slices in a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle a handful of blueberries over the top.
  3. Add the trail mix.
  4. Pour the vanilla almond milk over the top.

Tips

  • Switch things up a bit by using a different variety of pear each time you make this cereal.
  • Buy fruits when in season.
  • Try different types of trail mix.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a slice of Paleo bread spread with homemade apple or pumpkin butter.

Enjoy your breakfast!

Shannon

Leftover Thanksgiving Fry Pan Meal

This recipe is frugal because it uses leftovers from you Thanksgiving meal. It’s easy enough for an older child to make.

Leftover Potatoes: You will want to make sure that these are warmed when the pan-fried food is done. You can do this in the oven. Sweet potato is a good choice.

Ingredients to put into pan:

coconut oil

turkey, bite size pieces

leftover veggies from the turkey dinner

add-ins you like: sliced onions, crushed garlic cloves, and parsley.

  1. Melt the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the turkey, veggies, and add-ins.
  3. Cook until all is warmed through.
  4. Put on plates.
  5. Take the potatoes out of the oven and spoon them on the plates as well.
  6. Serve.

Tips

  • Try adding roasted squash to the meal as well.

Serving Suggestions

Shannon

Slow Cooker Leftover Turkey and Gravy

This is an easy one to throw in the slow cooker the morning after Thanksgiving. It can be served over many things, depending on your diet goals. Try it on spaghetti squash, baked sweet potato, paleo biscuits, or brown rice.

Ingredients

leftover turkey in bite size pieces

1 or 2 cans of turkey gravy, depending on how much turkey is being used.

  1. Put turkey in the slow cooker crock, and cover with the gravy.
  2. Cover and cook on low for dinner, or high for lunch.

Tips

  • Buy gravy when on sale, preferably with a coupon for the best savings.

Serving Suggestions

Shannon