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

 

 

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

Lettuce Wraps: Keepin’ it Veggie

I’ve wanted to get away from eating the heavier foods of winter, and back into eating lighter fare. I’m switching things out as I can, now that the winter stocks are almost depleted. The last shopping trip netted me many fresh fruits and vegetables at a reasonable cost. I love it when I can pull that off. The only meat I bought was shrimp, and I have a few recipes coming up for that. (So come back often this month to see what else is on the site!)

But this recipe is strictly vegetables. If you’re wondering about protein, this recipe does provide that, and many other nutrients. Meats aren’t the only foods you can get protein from, thank goodness. I don’t always want meat. As a matter-of-fact, the reason I made these wraps was because I wasn’t into eating meat on that particular day.

I just wanted my veggies!

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

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

Ingredients

(For two wraps.)

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. Enjoy!

It’s that simple. These wraps are so versatile they can be used as sides or snacks, or could even count as a whole meal.

Tips

  • Use different types of leaf lettuce each time you make these.
  • Try different types of vegetables, such as broccoli.
  • Add some sliced strawberry for a sweet kick.
  • Use leftover veggies to lower the cost.

Serving Suggestions

Share your veggie wrap ideas with us.

Shannon

 

Smoothie Bowl with Strawberries and Almonds

If you haven’t already seen my original smoothie bowl recipe and the Chocolatey Good Smoothie Bowl, now is as good a time as any! Check them out, try them, and let me know what you think.

Ingredients

(For the smoothie)

1/2 of a banana

a handful of fresh baby spinach

3 slices of cucumber

1 tbsp protein powder

almond milk

(For the smoothie bowl)

4 strawberries, green tops taken off, chopped

almond slivers or slices

  1. Put 1/2 each of a banana and spinach into the blender, along with the cucumber and protein powder.
  2. Add just enough almond milk to make a thick smoothie, less than for a regular one.
  3. Cover and pulse until well blended.
  4. Pour into a bowl.
  5. Chopped strawberries to the bowl.
  6. Sprinkle the almonds over the top.
  7. Enjoy!

Tips

  • Try using different types of greens in your smoothie.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a vegetable-based juice.

Happy Day!

Shannon

Chocolatey Good Smoothie Bowl

I’ve decided I love smoothie bowls! And, since I mentioned I’d be sharing more with you, I figure it’s about time I do so. One day I was craving chocolate, but did not want to go to the store for candy or a dessert item (I don’t keep that stuff in the house!). A smoothie would work just fine to satisfy that craving.

Ingredients

(For the smoothie)

1/2 of a banana

1/2 of a Granny Smith apple

6 slices of cucumber

1 tbsp protein powder

chocolate almond milk

(For the smoothie bowl)

1/2 of a Granny smith apple, chopped

1/2 of a banana, sliced

almond slivers or slices

  1. Put 1/2 each of a banana and a Granny Smith apple into the blender, along with the cucumber and protein powder.
  2. Add just enough almond milk to make a thick smoothie, less than for a regular one.
  3. Cover and pulse until well blended.
  4. Pour into a bowl.
  5. Add sliced banana and chopped apple to the bowl.
  6. Sprinkle the almonds over the top.
  7. Enjoy!

Tips

  • Use vanilla almond milk instead of chocolate. See which you like better.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a vegetable-based juice.

Happy Day!

Shannon

Successful Harvests

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015My parents had a successful harvest this year, and they always seem to plant enough to share with my siblings and me. It started with the cucumbers that mom brought over, a couple of times. Once, because she knew I was visiting with my daughter, she sent some for me to take to her. There was zucchini and kohlrabi as well. Then tomatoes. Huge beefsteak tomatoes. And kale. All this food, tasting so much better than what I would have bought in the store. Delicious!

I gave a few cucumbers, zucchini, and a squash to friends as well. Everyone loves the fresh produce!

I went to help my mother with the harvest one day. We got all the squash in, and the tomatoes (sadly, most were lost to blight!), the last of the kohlrabi, and a few plants for me to bring home.

And chives. When the girls and I lived in the apartments, back when they were still my precious little girls <3, there were chives growing in our little garden from the previous tenant. When I moved us to the trailer park, I brought them with me and replanted near the Day Lilies. They thrived. I gave some to my mother, and missed them when I moved again – for I can’t have a garden where I am. I harvested a bunch when I was visiting with my mother that day, brought them home, and froze them in water making ice cubes for soups and other recipes I’ll make this fall.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015After this all-important harvest, for we did not want the frost to harm the produce, mom sent me home with quite a bit of stuff. Two beefsteak tomatoes, a couple of bunches of celery, two kohlrabi, two more zucchini, chives, and two of each type of squash.

In the front, notice the mini squashes. They aren’t good to eat, but are perfect for autumn decorating. And notice the four potted plants. Two chard and two kale. We harvested all this, and much more, on September 23rd – the Autumn Equinox – and these four plants are still growing in my room. They are so good!

The food in this picture is quite the harvest for a single lady such as myself; imagine what else my parents harvested! For themselves, and for my siblings. And we all share with others, at least somewhat. Plus what they gave me before our harvest day.

And just yesterday my mother and brother stopped by, bringing me two more of each type of squash and some carrots. I do so love carrots, and I have experimented with stuffed squash recipes this year.

All-in-all, I would say my parents had quite the successful harvest this year. What do you think?

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015All I have left are the frozen chives, the four plants, six squash, and the carrots. The food was delicious, and I loved every bit of it. Harvest time is my favorite time! And it is a great money saver for me.

Did you grow food this year to help lower your food budget? How was your harvest? Did you enjoy the experience?

Let us know in the comments, or email me privately at shannonlbuck@gmail.com. I answer all emails.

Some of what I made with the harvested produce:

Harvest Salad

Four Meat Chili with Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash and Carrot Mash

You May Also Enjoy:Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015

September Baking Day

Have a wonderful autumn!!!

Shannon

Harvest Salad

My parents had a good harvest this year, and they passed some of their bounty on to me and each of my siblings. I love fresh produce from the garden. Mom was proud they weren’t using anything toxic on the food. Homegrown food tastes so much better than store-bought.

Of course, I had to make a salad. I just couldn’t resist. And it came out so good I wanted to share the recipe with you.

The ingredients from the garden were: Kale, kohlrabi, tomato, cucumber, and zucchini. Having these items on hand cut the cost of the salad significantly.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015

I also used leftover roasted squash and sweet potato to cut costs. I wasn’t sure how it would be with these items, but it turned out well. They had been refrigerated and were cold when I added them.

I started out by roasting 3 small turkey breasts, cutting them into bite size pieces when they were done, and letting them cool in the refrigerator earlier in the day.

The lettuce mix was organic, a find at Walmart. Four different kinds, unspecified. I used the whole thing.

I did’nt really measure things out, but knew I wanted it to last for the better part of the week. I just threw everything in together. As for vegetables, I don’t peel them all. For instance, zucchini and cucumbers are never peeled. I do take the ends off though.

Ingredients

lettuce mix, organic

kale

kohlrabi

tomato

cucumber

zucchini, chopped

leftover turkey

dried cranberries

leftover roasted squash and sweet potato

  1. Wash all the produce, patting dry with a clean towel.
  2. Chop the lettuces and kale into bite size pieces and place into a large bowl.
  3. Peel and chop the Kohlrabi, adding it to the bowl.
  4. Dice the tomato and put it over the lettuce mix as well.
  5. Cut the ends off the cucumber and the zucchini. Chop and place in the bowl.
  6. Cut the turkey into bite size pieces, and place in the bowl with the other ingredients.
  7. Sprinkle dried cranberries over everything.
  8. Cut the roasted squash and potatoes into bite size pieces and add to the bowl.
  9. Toss everything with your hands or tongs.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015This made so much that it filled two midsize bowls. There was plenty to eat for five days. I had some with each lunch and dinner, and a small bowl as a snack every couple of days.

Tips

  • This is a great recipe in that you can use whatever is harvested at the time you make it. Things that are picked here in Maine may not be ready in your area, so it is okay to switch things up.
  • Depending on what leftovers you have and what items are available in the garden, this recipe might cost next to nothing. Buy what is affordable where you are.
  • Use coupons, if available, when shopping for what you need, but only if doing so will save you money over buying a different brand.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a bowl of Easy Autumn Soup for a nice lunch.
  • This would also be a great side salad with your Mabon or Thanksgiving Meal.

Shannon

Don’t Like Vegetables?

Vegetables are such an important part of a healthy diet. They are essential and provide the body with, among other things, vitamins and provitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy carbohydrates.

I used to think I only liked a few: Corn, peas, white potatoes. Raw carrots, celery, and cauliflower. For the most part, that was what I ate for vegetables. Let’s face it, not all of it was truly even healthy.

Truth?

I just don’t like a lot of things cooked.

Yup. I prefer most of my vegetables raw. I kept trying all these cooked vegetables, and was not impressed. Cooking changes the taste too much for me. It took me years to realize that I just prefer to consume a lot of things without them being cooked.

For instance?

Carrots, broccoli, pickled beets.

There are others.

How did I find this out?

In an effort to eat healthier, I decided I must start trying new foods. This took place about five or six years back and, each year, I try a few new things. It’s not always easy, but it’s working well for me.

I have learned:

  • I do not like many things cooked, but will eat them raw.
  • If you mix half white potato and half sweet potato you will get used to the latter two more easily. Then start using 1/3 white to 2/3 sweet. Eventually, that sweet potato will taste fine on its own. I do eat them cooked, and will also eat white potatoes raw. I do not, however, indulge in white potatoes all that often any more. Mainly when I’m very strapped for cash.
  • I don’t liked cooked carrots, unless I make a mash of them with white or sweet potato, or squash. The tactic above has not brought me any closer to liking cooked carrots on their own.
  • Raw baby spinach tastes wonderful. I despise canned spinach, and have not tried fresh cooked (yet).
  • I love tomatoes, cooked or raw, but they do not love me. Sadly, I can only consume a little each week, or I end up with horrible heartburn. Cooked, they mess with my stomach.
  • Raw peas and green beans in pods are delicious!
  • I like salad mixes. The kind that include chard and kale, even. If I don’t care for a green or two, I know I can add it to a healthy smoothie to derive nutritional value from it. Interestingly enough, if I don’t pack in too much, I will not notice the greens in a smoothie at all.
  • Beans are good, and not just the navy ones! However, I only really eat these once in a great while. Maybe two or three times a year. They are a bit of a no-no.
  • I used to only eat iceberg lettuce, but now I eat a variety of different types. They are delicious!
  • Sometimes it will take a few, or a few more, tries of something to realize you do really like it. If you aren’t sure how you feel about it, try it another way. I have to do this with Brussels sprouts. I have had them once. Steamed, I think, with butter. They did not work for me, but were not horrible tasting. Just not real pleasing. I’ll be trying them another way.
  • I love cabbage raw. Hate it cooked. This is why I don’t like boiled dinners.
  • I do like zucchini and yellow squash, raw.
  • I love celery raw.
  • Cucumbers are delicious, and I like them pickled.

So, I have learned a lot. And there are still vegetables I have yet to try.

What about you? How do you like your vegetables?

Shannon