Frugal Recipes Happenings: Winter 2018-2019

This winter hasn’t seemed as bad as last winter. Not so far anyway. Last year, the first couple of months were too cold – colder than normal. While we’ve had some of those days this year, there haven’t been as many. It seems like it rains after most snow days, making for very wet weather. I still see patches of lawn, though.

Not that I’m complaining. I’ll take this over two months of freezing cold temperatures. How about you?

I’ve been enjoying having Zowie and Devan in the area, and spending time with my precious grandchildren. Little Man is 3 1/2 and Little Miss is already 6 months old, and they are my hearts joy.

 

Yule (the first day of winter) was a busy, busy day. The bestest picked me up, and we went to my parents home for the family Christmas party. It was a lot of fun. We all exchanged our gifts, and enjoyed some great food. I love my stepfathers homemade baked beans, and he always buys Governor’s rolls to go with them. Yum! When it was time for us to leave, mom packed me 3 meals worth of beans and rolls, as well as treats. She does this for me every year, so I can have the food for my upcoming shifts at The Inn.

Then the bestest and I went to her house for our baking day. We made so many things! I made peanut butter and chocolate no-bakes, and three flavors of popcorn. She made breads and chocolate dipped pretzel logs. I’m sure there was more. We packaged all of the goodies, and handed them out to loved ones as part of their holiday gifts.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright December 22, 2018.

Christmas Eve was spent at my aunts for another Christmas party, and then some of us met up at my daughter’s on Christmas. After everyone left, I stayed behind for further bonding with the grandchildren.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright December 24, 2018.

I took a vacation from The Inn after the holidays, and spent some time Zowie’s family again, as well as with my daughter Skye and her boyfriend. Play dates with the kiddos are always fun. I babysat one night, so their parents could go on a date, and then bought us all food from Angelo’s another night. Expensive, but well worth it for the family time and a treat.

So how was your holiday? Did you set any resolutions for the new year? I set some goals. Wanna learn about them? Read these posts here on the blog to find out what I’m concentrating on this year:

New Year Goal: A New “Kitchen”

New Year Goal: Be Healthy

New Year Goal: Try New Recipes (Mostly Paleo)

You may also enjoy reading about one of the ways I am building memories with my grandson.  ❤

Winters are long. If you’re looking for a project to keep you busy, I suggest reading Joni Meyer’s book Extreme Couponing, and setting up your own coupon system.

You might also enjoy checking out my new site, Fabulous Frugal Life. In particular, you might enjoy reading my post on how you can save on groceries. There are many articles already posted to the site, and I’ll be adding more throughout the winter months. Let me know what you think of the new site.

Have you read my fiction blog yet? It’s another great way to pass the winter, telling you all about my writing life and sharing about the short stories I have published. Head on over today to check it out!

Warmest Wishes

~ Shannon

New Year Goal: Try New Recipes (Mostly Paleo)

I wanted to do this last year, but never got around to it all. In all honesty, I got very bored with food prep and went for easy things to prepare. I’m now bored with all of that, and am looking to expand my winter menu.

So this year, I want to try to learn how to do a few new things.

  1. I want to expand my pizza options. I don’t want to go overboard with cheese, but I do like it once in a while. Pizza is one place where I just can’t let it go. This is why I don’t eat pizza often, haha. But I figure that, if I make my own, I have more control over how healthy it is. A nice paleo crust will be the base, then I’m going to play around a bit; come up with new options.
  2. Paleo versions of chicken or turkey pot pie. Small, single-serve ones because I have the cutest little Pioneer Woman mini pie pans I can use. (See the feature image!) I remember eating those little store-bought ones with my daughters when they were little.
  3. Paleo mini pies. Another excuse to use those cute little pie pans! And I miss pie.
  4. Mini paleo fruit cobblers and crumbles. And yet another reason to use them.
  5. Paleo bread. I have been craving tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. I need a paleo bread recipe so I can have the sandwich. And, then I can make other things, such as French toast. Yum.
  6. Paleo English muffins. Maybe I’ll make breakfast sandwiches. Not sure yet.
  7. Paleo pasta. Because, well, I miss pasta sometimes.

What new things do you want to learn to make?

Shannon

Tortilla Wrap: Shrimp Scampi & Veggies

I bought tapioca flour just to try this recipe, and I’m so happy I did. With a love of tortilla wraps, I was really missing the flour tortillas that I used for so many favorite recipes. But now I’ve found a non-grain, Paleo version. Yay! Eating healthier means I miss out on some old favorites, so if I can find a replacement recipe I am a happy lady.

Note that I do not use cheese often and, when I do, I use only a little. It is more like a treat, and one I will likely be cutting out completely.

Ingredients

2 almond flour tortillas (I use this recipe from Paleocupboard.com.)

1 tomato slice, diced

2 cucumber slices, diced

shredded lettuce

6 shrimp scampi (I use the scampi recipe from Paleoplan.com.)

mozzarella cheese, shredded (optional)

mild cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)

  1. Place the tortillas on a plate.
  2. Spread shredded lettuce over each tortilla.
  3. Top with the other vegetables.
  4. Place three shrimp on each tortilla.
  5. Top with just a little of each shredded cheese.
  6. Enjoy!

Tips

  • Almond and tapioca flours do not come cheap. Shop around online and off for the best deals.
  • Buy whatever vegetables you like that can be found on sale, to save money.

Serving Suggestions

You May Also Enjoy

Shannon

Shrimp Scampi Salad

Salads are common fare during the spring and summer months, as we try to eat lighter after a winter of hearty meals. Experimenting with different combinations of foods keeps our meals new and exciting. I don’t know about you, but I get so bored with food after a while I need to break out and try something different or I wont feel like eating at all.

This recipe is super-easy, and is so good. I use the same recipe for shrimp scampi that I used to make Lettuce Wraps: Shrimp Scampi & Veggies. As a matter-of-fact, I used leftover shrimp from the scampi made for that meal with no loss of flavor.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

What a beautiful salad! How about making one for yourself.

Ingredients

about a dozen shrimp from the scampi recipe (I used the one from Paleoplan.com) (Hot or cold. does not matter.)

2 romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed, patted dry, and shredded

a little cabbage, shredded

3 slices cucumber, cut in fourths

3 slices zucchini, cut in fourths

7 or 8 sugar snap or snow pod peas

4 baby carrots, diced

  1. Layer the vegetables on your plate, however you like.
  2. Top with the shrimp scampi and a little of the sauce from the pan.
  3. Enjoy!

I try to use mainly organic vegetables when possible, though sometimes cost trumps everything.

This is a good-size salad, so I count it as a main meal.

Tips

  • Use whatever vegetables you can get affordably to save money.
  • Try different types of seafood.

Serving Suggestions

What are your favorite salad recipes?

Shannon

 

Lettuce Wraps: Shrimp Scampi & Veggie

In Lettuce Wraps: Keepin’ it Veggie, I mentioned I bought shrimp, and will be posting some recipes that use shrimp scampi as their base. I don’t often by shrimp, so this is a real treat. I get a bag frozen raw, deveined, tail-off, shrimp for $5.00, and it will last through multiple meals. I try to buy the small ones, that come at least 60 (or as many as 80) per bag, and make a half a shrimp scampi recipe, keeping the rest of the shrimp frozen for another batch later on.

I cook the shrimp scampi and use it up over the course of a day-and-a-half, because I am super picky about seafood and freshness. Maybe over-picky, I’m not sure. But I’m okay with it. I just need to eat the shrimp quickly.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

 

 

Don’t these wraps look delicious? Try them for yourself!

Ingredients

(For two wraps.)

8 shrimp from the shrimp scampi recipe (I use this recipe from Paleoplan.com) (Hot or cold, does not matter.)

2 romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry with a towel

shredded green cabbage

4 cucumber slices

4 zucchini slices

  1. Place the wraps flat on a plate.
  2. Sprinkle shredded cabbage over the wraps.
  3. Cut the cucumber and zucchini slices into fourths.
  4. Top the cabbage with the cucumber and zucchini.
  5. Add 4 shrimp to each wrap.
  6. Enjoy!

It’s that simple. Give it a try!

Tips

  • Use different types of leaf lettuce each time you make these.
  • Try different types of vegetables, such as broccoli.
  • Try other types of seafood.
  • Use leftover veggies to lower the cost.

Serving Suggestions

Share your veggie wrap ideas with us.

Shannon

Cheeseburger with Vegetables, and a Chocolatey-Good Smoothie

When the weather starts to warm, I like to be outside more and my food choices change. Now I want more fresh vegetables and less heavier foods. Fruits and vegetables make up the bulk of my meals, especially during the spring and summer months, and healthy smoothies are made almost daily.

My lunch today included a burger (minus the bun!), a smoothie, and corn on the cob. Then all the vegetables came in to play. A few notes:

  • I don’t usually eat corn. Once a year, in the spring, I buy four ears of corn and that’s it for the year. Corn is such a huge GMO crop, and I’m pretty sure the corn sold where I shop is not organic.
  • Notice the lack of bun. I’m going back to limiting grain intake substantially, because I always seem to gain weight back so quickly when I eat pastas and breads.
  • The vegetables on the cheeseburger plate are all organic, and oh-so tasty!
  • The cheese is all-natural. I don’t eat cheese often, either. I feel like it is also a contributing factor when I gain weight, so I’m back to limiting it.
  • The ketchup I use is organic.
  • The parsley is organic, and I dried it at home and keep it in a canning jar.
  • I’m using coconut butter more often than not, rather than regular butter. I find it brings out the natural flavors of different foods, and is far healthier.

Cheeseburger and Vegetables

1 quarter pound ground beef

1 slice of mozzarella cheese

coconut oil

sea salt

pepper

garlic powder

onion powder

dried parsley

4 homemade bread and butter pickles

3 slices of cucumber

3 baby carrots

6 each snow peas and sugar peas

fresh broccoli

raw spinach

organic ketchup

  1. Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Form 1/4th pound of ground beef into a patty, and place it in the hot skillet. While this is cooking, I flip it four times.
  3. After I’ve flipped it three times, I grind a little salt and pepper over the patty, then add a little of each powder.
  4. Place the fresh spinach at the center of a plate and top with the cucumber slices and pickles.
  5. Chop the carrots, and place those and the remaining vegetables around the plate.
  6. After flipping the patties for the last time, I repeat step 3, then sprinkle the dried parsley over the top.
  7. Turn the burner off, and place the cheese over the patty.
  8. Make the smoothie. (see recipe below)
  9. When the cheese is melted, place the cheeseburger on the spinach, cucumber slices, and pickles.
  10. Add ketchup to the burger.

Corn

1 ear of corn

water

coconut butter

  1. Fill a small pot half way with water.
  2. Place the pot on the stove over high heat. (I did this when I started melting the oil for the beef patty.)
  3. Break the corn in two, and place in the pot.
  4. When the burger is done, the corn should be hot enough to eat.
  5. Place the corn on a plate, and spread a little coconut oil over each half.

Chocolatey-Good Smoothie

(I use a one-serving blender, so this recipe is catered to that.)

almond milk

about 7 or 8 baby spinach leaves

1 small banana, sliced small

frozen fruit mix (today I used apple slices, cherries, grapes, strawberries, and blueberries.)

  1. Pour a little almond milk in the bottom of the cup.
  2. Place the spinach in the cup.
  3. Add the banana slices.
  4. Add the mixed frozen fruit up to the fill line.
  5. Fill the cup to the fill line with more almond milk.
  6. Cover and blend about 10 seconds.
  7. Let sit a few seconds and blend another 10 seconds.
  8. Let sit again, then blend again until well mixed. 10 to 20 seconds, usually.

Tips

  • Buy organic when possible, but don’t feel guilty when you can’t. My meat, corn, and fruit was not organic. It is too expensive for me to eat all organic foods, so I simply do the best I can. You’re still going to be eating better than when you buy mostly processed foods. I have a very limited budget for groceries, but I make the best choices I can.
  • Mix up the vegetables. Use whatever is affordable when you shop for this meal.
  • Change the frozen fruit mix once-in-a-while.

This was a delicious meal, and I’m planning to have it for lunch tomorrow as well.

Shannon

 

 

Edible Flowers for Your Frugal Garden

Not every flower is edible, so it’s important to identify each correctly before consuming. Many flowers can be eaten raw or used in cooking, and quite a few are excellent for cake decorating. They are even said to have health benefits, particularly for emotional health.

This list will be helpful when deciding which flowers to grow for culinary purposes. Be sure you are purchasing the plants or seeds from organic sources, and using organic methods of planting and caring for them.

Carnation

Carnations are often used by cake decorators. Candy and wine can be made using them as an ingredient. Some carnations tend to have a spicy flavor that may seem peppery. Others have a sweet flavor.

Day Lilies

Also used in cake decorating, they can be used in salads as well. Some may be bitter, but many have a mild flavor. Their unopened buds can be steamed, and can be used in a stir-fry.

Johnny Jump-Ups

These add a decorative touch to desserts, and can be used in salads as well. Freeze them with water in ice cube trays and use the cubes in your lemonade and iced tea.

Lilac

The lilac has pretty purple or white flowers. Use these in ice cream for a nice treat. This will go very well sprinkled over Paleo banana ice cream.

Rose

Rose hips are members of the apple family, making them edible as well as beautiful. They will provide your body with vitamin C. Use these in jams and teas.

References and Resources:

What’s Cooking America: Edible Flowers

Cookbook Review: No Excuses Diet by Megan Gilmore

I love cookbooks, and used to have a nice collection of them before I moved and had to downsize. I loved those old cookbooks, but they didn’t necessarily include many recipes that I would now consider healthy. I love that I was able to add the No Excuses Detox: 100 Recipes to Help You Eat Healthy Every Day by Megan Gilmore (author of Everyday Detox) to my newly started cookbook collection. I want cookbooks that fall in line with my desire to eat healthier, and this book does just that.

We are all so busy these days, and it is often difficult to find the time for meal planning, shopping, and preparing foods for a healthy lifestyle. Megan shows how you can accomplish this by including shopping lists, meal plans, recipes, and even make-ahead tips.

One of my favorite things about this book, besides the recipes, is that it tells you how to prepare healthy meals in a less toxic way. We’re all aware of the pesticides in so many food items and the BPA-lined cans, and how these things are not good for us. I want to get away from that kind of thing as much as possible, and Megan helps us with this by discussing how to avoid things like preservatives, toxic packaging, and chemical dyes.

This is not detox in the sense that you do it for 30 or 60 days and then you’re finished. What Megan hopes is that we will follow her lead and eat whole foods year round. Organic, fresh foods have wonderful flavor, and are so good for you. By reducing your consumption of processed and refined foods, you’ll really be doing good things for your body and your mind. This book is about making changes that will last a lifetime. It is imperative that we feed our bodies in a healthy way regularly, not only for a month or two at a time.

The recipes in Megan’s book take into consideration a number of factors, including price, speed, and convenience, that will help to make meal prep easy. No Excuses Detox guides you through the process of beginning this healthy lifestyle by discussing concerns such as time, expense, picky eaters, and cravings.

I love that she covers eating on-the-go! Even on my days off from work, I’m gone part of the day. It’s far easier to eat healthy if I’m prepared for each day as it comes.

Another feature I like is the discussion of freezer planning. Having foods prepared and frozen is a good way to save money. Simply take something out of the freezer the night before if you know you’ll have a busy day. That way, you wont have to order out. This book also mentions freezing in single-serve portions, which is great for me because I live alone.

Megan’s No Excuses Meal Plans are wonderful. Choose the speedy plan, the beginner’s plan, or the one for the budget-minded (my favorite!). Use them for menu planning and shopping. Each plan tells which recipes can be made ahead for easier meal prep.

She even provides useful information at the end of the book. That is where you’ll find nutritional information for each recipe, handy conversion charts, and a list of other resources to help you along the way.

I tried four of the recipes in this book to prepare for writing this review. I wanted to be able to say that the foods could be made with minimal effort and time, and that the finished recipes are tasty. Also, I needed to be able to do it on a budget. My treat for this venture? Almond butter. The first time I’ve had it. It is good, but a little outside my budget. $6.99 a jar, and I needed two. I’m hoping to find other sources that don’t cost as much. I did, however, find two coupons for a dollar off, so I paid $5.99 per jar.

I’ve wanted to learn how to make refrigerator pickles for some time, so I took this opportunity to make the Quick Bread and Butter Pickles. I love bread and butter pickles. I don’t know what I was thinking all the years. I guess I thought it would be too time-consuming to make them. But it really wasn’t, and the finished product is delicious. They sat in my refrigerator a couple of days before I tried them, and then I brought them to work to test out on a coworker. She also loved them. I made two quarts, and the recipe says they’ll last a month.

Then I wanted snacks for work. I decided to make the Nut-Free Gingerbread Granola next. The prep for this takes no time at all, but the bake time is a little long. I was able to do other things while waiting, as I was preparing meals for my weekend at work. The granola is very good. I used it top my banana cereal, and I put some in a container to have for snacks at work.

And the Chewy Vegan Ginger Cookies are simply wonderful. I’ll be making these at the holidays. I tried them out on a coworker as well, and she loved them as much as I do.

I then made the 5-Minute Freezer Fudge, and it is so rich and chocolatey. I’m planning to make it again at the holidays so I can try it out on my family. My mother and I were discussing the need for healthier alternatives to all the sweets we usually have at the get-together. This might be a winner!

I’d like to share a few recipes from the cookbook with you, so you can try them out before buying No Excuses Detox. I know you’ll be pleased.

deep-dish chocolate chip cookie

No Excuses Detox https://www.amazon.com/No-Excuses-Detox-Recipes-Healthy/dp/0399579028SERVES 12 | $0.64 PER SLICE

If I were asked what my “last supper” would be, this deep-dish chocolate chip cookie would make the cut. It’s warm and gooey right out of the oven and tastes unbelievably decadent when topped with a scoop of Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream (page 178). No one will believe this delight is made without white flour or sugar!

Coconut oil, for greasing

1 tablespoon ground chia seeds

3 tablespoons water

1 cup creamy cashew butter (see Note)

¾ cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

¾ cup dark chocolate chips

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F and generously grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with coconut oil.

2 In a large bowl, combine the ground chia seeds and water and stir well to combine. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes to thicken.

3 At this point, stir any separated oil back into your store-bought cashew butter. Add the cashew butter, coconut sugar, vanilla, baking soda, and salt to the chia mixture and stir well to form a thick and sticky dough. Fold in the chocolate chips.

4 Transfer the cookie dough to the prepared skillet. Wet your hands with water (to prevent them from sticking to the dough) and press the dough evenly into the bottom of the skillet.

5 Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cookie rest for 30 minutes before slicing and serving. The hotter the cookie, the more soft and difficult it is to cut, although either way, it’s delicious. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

NOTE: For this recipe, I always use store-bought roasted cashew butter rather than my usual raw homemade version. Since this cookie is baked in a hot oven anyway, I think it’s a waste of money to use expensive raw cashew butter, when the roasted variety is cheaper and more readily available. The store-bought option usually contains a bit of added oil and salt, so this recipe accounts for that. If you happen to find a brand with no added salt, increase the salt in this recipe to ½ teaspoon.

Credit: Reprinted with permission from No Excuses Detox, copyright © 2017 by Megan Gilmore, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Photography copyright © 2017 by Erin Scott

easy party mix

No Excuses Detox https://www.amazon.com/No-Excuses-Detox-Recipes-Healthy/dp/039957902815-MINUTE PREP

KID-FRIENDLY

MAKES 2 CUPS | $0.44 PER SERVING

If you tend to crave that popular party mix, you are going to love this grain-free version. It tastes surprisingly similar to the kind made with rice cereal and is incredibly easy to prepare using any nuts or seeds you have on hand. Because this crispy mix can be stored at room temperature, it also makes a great snack on the go! Feel free to double the recipe because it will go fast.

½ cup raw almonds

½ cup raw pecans

1 cup hulled sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon maple syrup

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, maple syrup, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet in a flat, single layer without too many clumps.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes, then cool completely (the nuts will be crunchy once completely cool). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Cut Your Cancer Risk

The International Agency for Research on Cancer considers acrylamide to be a “probable human carcinogen,” since it has been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals. This chemical is not added to food but is created naturally when certain foods are roasted, fried, or baked, particularly fries, potato chips, coffee, almonds, crackers, and bread. It is nearly impossible to avoid this chemical altogether, since it occurs naturally in a wide range of plant foods and animal products, but you can limit your exposure by using safer cooking methods, such as steaming and boiling, cooking susceptible foods at lower temperatures, and avoiding meats, vegetables, and starches that are darkly browned or charred. You’ll notice that all of the recipes in this book that call for heating raw nuts are kept to temperatures of 250°F or lower to avoid browning and to reduce the potential formation of acrylamide.

Credit: Reprinted with permission from No Excuses Detox, copyright © 2017 by Megan Gilmore, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Photography copyright © 2017 by Erin Scott

creamy herb dressing

30-MINUTE RECIPE

15-MINUTE PREP

MAKES A GENEROUS 1 CUP | $0.39 PER SERVING

This oil-free dressing is a great alternative to traditional creamy dressings because it’s allergy-friendly and loaded with calcium, thanks to the use of raw tahini, a paste made from raw sesame seeds. It’s hard to beat the flavor of fresh herbs in this recipe, but feel free to replace them with dried herbs if they are easier to find. When using dried herbs, be sure to reduce the amount you use by two-thirds, as their flavor is much more concentrated than the fresh variety. In general, 1 teaspoon of dried herbs is equivalent to 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs. You can taste as you go. Keep this creamy dressing on hand all week long for an easy ranchlike salad or quick veggie dip.

½ cup raw tahini (see Note)

½ cup water

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar

1 clove garlic

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

In a blender or food processor, combine all of the ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. (Depending on the thickness of your tahini, you may want to add an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons water to help make the dressing more pourable.) Taste and adjust any seasoning. Serve immediately, or allow the dressing to chill in the refrigerator until ready to use. It will thicken a bit when chilled, making a thick dressing or veggie dip, but you can easily thin it out with additional water or lemon juice, as desired. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

NOTE: Be sure to use raw tahini for this recipe, if possible. Raw tahini is very light in color and mild in flavor, unlike roasted tahini, which is runny and very bitter. If you can’t find the raw version with no added oil in your local store, you can order it online or make your own by grinding hulled raw sesame seeds in a food processor until smooth. (I buy my hulled raw seeds on Amazon—make sure they are hulled, though, or you’ll wind up with inedible results.)

Credit: Reprinted with permission from No Excuses Detox, copyright © 2017 by Megan Gilmore, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Photography copyright © 2017 by Erin Scott

enjoy the recipes, and No Excuses Detox!

I sure did. Megan has a nice writing style, and provides useful information. I know I’ll be trying more of the recipes. I’m happy I got to check the book out and provide a review. Visit Megan’s site at Detoxinista.com.

Have you read this book yet? Feel free to share links to your reviews, or tell us what you thought of the book or a recipe.

Shannon

Note: The links in this article are not affiliate ones.

Freezer: Using up the Winter Stocks

Since it is the time of the year when we spring clean, I thought it would be nice if we all considered our freezers for a few minutes. Do you have any leftover produce in the freezer? I know that I still have some frozen smoothie packs and berries in the freezer that need to be used. Here are some pointers for using up your winter stores:

* The eggs you purchased on sale and froze will need to be used. Since the yolks had to be broken to freeze, you cannot make boiled or fried eggs with them. You could make other things, though:

  • scrambled eggs
  • french toast with a hearty paleo bread
  • use them when baking

These can be frozen in snack size baggies, then put all the baggies into a quart or gallon size freezer baggie until needed. Freeze them one egg to a snack size baggie, or use bigger bags and freeze more than one  in each.  Take the eggs out of the night before  you need them.

* Use grated zucchini  to make:

  • muffins
  • breads
  • omelets
  • cookies
  • brownies
  • cakes

* Diced apples are great for breads and muffins, brownies, cookies and cakes.

* Sliced apples make great crisps, pies, sauces, and cobblers.

* You can make a great soup from (saved) leftover vegetables, meats, and liquids from cooking the veggies.

* Make smoothies using the smoothie packs you froze during the winter.

Happy eating!

Shannon

Chili with ‘Cornbread’ Topping

This is an easy one, but it takes time because it’s actually two separate recipes and one of them is made in a crock pot. I start this in the morning, by making one of the chili recipes I love so much. For this meal, I used chicken, ground beef, and a mild  ground sausage, and a cup of pumpkin purée instead of the butternut squash. The great thing about the meat chili recipe is that it can be switched up so many ways. I just love it!

In the afternoon, I made a Paleo ‘cornbread’ recipe I found on A Girl Worth Saving.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright February 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Simply top a bowl of the hot chili with a piece of ‘cornbread’ and eat. You could also place dollops of the batter over the top of the chili in a baking dish, and bake at 350* until the bread is done.

How did I come up with this idea? I was menu planning, and thought “Gee, some cornbread would be great with this!” But, I’m trying to eat a mainly Paleo diet, and corn is a no-no. So I simply typed Paleo cornbread into Google and came up with this recipe. (The one I had all the ingredients for.) It’s a good one.

Shannon