(Update 2017) As you can probably tell, I’ve spent some time this year experimenting with and trying out new versions of recipes. I’ve changed them here on the blog to reflect how I am eating now.
For the most part, I’m keeping the recipes healthy. But you’ll notice a few family favorites here and there that are not necessarily the healthiest. There are just some things I don’t want to change. Not just yet anyway.
While the overall focus of the blog has become eating healthy on a budget, there are still some recipes here that aren’t really all that healthy – only because I make them for get-togethers and such. I trust each of you knows what is healthy for you.
This one is good as a snack, or as a movie night treat.
This recipe can be made with children who can either use a microwave or an oven.
Younger children will enjoy putting this together, if there is someone around who can pop them into the microwave or the oven.
tortilla chips (there are paleo versions)
shredded mozzarella cheese
shredded mild cheddar cheese
bite size pieces of leftover turkey
chopped kale or spinach
- Place chips on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.
- Add chopped spinach or kale over the cheese.
- Sprinkle mild cheddar cheese over the greens.
- Add the turkey.
- Bake at 325* for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Try adding diced tomatoes.
- Use different cheese combinations to see what your favorite is.
(For when you do not have enough ingredients for a whole casserole) Children who can use an oven by themselves will find this easy. Younger children can put the casserole together for you to bake. To make this recipe even easier, you can prepare it when cleaning up after your Thanksgiving meal, and pop it in the oven the next day. You could also put it into the freezer to save.
leftover mashed sweet potato
- Put 1/2 tsp. water in each muffin pan cup that you will fill, and then fill each one you wont use 1/3 of the way with water.
- Put a few bite-size pieces of turkey in bottom of each cup.
- Add 1 tbsp. leftover vegetables.
- Cover the vegetables with mashed sweet potatoes.
- Bake at 350* until warmed through.
- Can be frozen. Flash freeze in muffin tins. Pop out and put into gallon size freezer bag. Get out as much air from the bag as you can.
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:
turkey, bite size pieces
leftover veggies from the turkey dinner
add-ins you like: sliced onions, crushed garlic cloves, and parsley.
- Melt the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the turkey, veggies, and add-ins.
- Cook until all is warmed through.
- Put on plates.
- Take the potatoes out of the oven and spoon them on the plates as well.
- Try adding roasted squash to the meal as well.
If you’re lucky you wont need to buy anything extra for this, making it a very frugal meal indeed. Children who can use an oven by themselves will find this easy. Younger children can put the casserole together for you to bake.
To make this recipe even easier, prepare it when cleaning up after the Thanksgiving meal, and pop it in the oven the next day. You could also put it in the freezer.
leftover mashed potatoes (any kind)
- Put 1/4 cup water in a baking dish.
- Cover the bottom of the baking dish with bite size pieces of turkey.
- Cover the turkey with leftover vegetables.
- Cover the vegetables with mashed potatoes.
- Bake at 350* until warmed through.
- Squash could be used in place of the potato.
- If there are varying tastes, or not enough potatoes to cover the casserole, top 1/3 with regular mashed potatoes, 1/3 with mashed sweet potato, and the last third with squash.
When the girls were young, to prevent them from overindulging in all that sugar they’d received each Halloween/Samhain, I had a plan in place to be ready for the bombardment of all that candy.
I realize that there are readers who believe children should have free reign over these treats; I simply do not agree. Sugar highs are not good for children, or those caring for them. Too much sugar in one day is not good for their health. And allowing them to binge eat like that can cause serious problems later on.
* I assure you, they had their treats. They enjoyed them. They simply had them in moderation. And they got tons of candy.
(Update 2017) Even though I am trying to eat healthier myself, and this blog is about frugal, healthy eating (for the most part), I completely understand the fun that comes along with this time of year. And I can’t wait to take Little Man out trick-or-treating some day.
Have these supplies ready:
cookie jar or other container
2 large bowls
freezer bags or containers labeled Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentines Day
- Go through all the treats that each of your children received. Throw out any that does not look right.
While going through the candy, separate it all into the containers as such:
- Popcorn balls, pretzels, fruit snacks, and other snack type items will go into one of the large bowls, along with any actual fruit.
- Place chocolate candies in the other large bowl.
- Put other types of candy into the cookie jar.
- Candies with red or pink wrappers should be placed in the Valentine’s Day container.
- Candies with blue, green and silver wrappers should be placed in the Christmas container.
- Candies with brown, yellow or gold wrappers should be placed into the Thanksgiving container.
- The three holiday containers are then placed into the freezer, and the rest are placed in a location that is not easily accessible to the children.
A week before each holiday, take the candy from the freezer and place it around the home in decorative plates. You do not have to buy candy for these holidays now.
- These holiday candies are obviously not to be used as gifts. They were given to your children.
Have a Happy Samhain/Halloween!
Some lunchbox food ideas.
Hot/Cold Thermos Ideas:
- Shepherd’s pie
- soups and stews
- cold chicken
- cold potato salad
- cold fruit salad
Sandwiches using Paleo Bread:
- nut butter & fruit spread
- veggie sandwich
- nut butter & bananas
- dried fruits
- pineapple chunks
- celery sticks with nut butter
- carrot sticks
- cherry tomatoes
- grape tomatoes
- sugar snap peas in pods, uncooked
- beans in pods, uncooked
- cucumber slices
- Paleo pumpkin bread
- Paleo banana bread
- Paleo apple bread
- Paleo biscuits
- Paleo rolls
- homemade trail mix
- roasted squash seeds
These are just some ideas to get you started. Be sure that children are only getting the serving sizes they need, which is usually less than what we think. Overeating will lead to overweight children and many health problems.
You should also include the number of servings of each food group that you know your child will need. This is what I pack for lunches for me:
1 serving dairy alternative
1 serving protein
2 servings vegetable
1 serving fruit (sometimes)
I do mix things up sometimes, like a vegetarian or mostly fruit based meal. Sometimes I will do something fun.
In my next post on this topic, we will look at combinations of the foods listed that will make good meals.