Here is a vegetable bake for you to try. This does not take much time, and can be served as the main component of a meal or as a side dish. The best vegetables to use are the organic heirloom variety you grow yourself. Same with the herbs. Heirloom varieties of each taste better than non heirloom varieties.
The amount of each ingredient needed will depend on the size pan you are using, and the number of people being served. Think lasagna for basic amounts. I usually start with bulk purchased shredded cheeses and a jar of each grated cheese, as well as about 32 ounces of sauce and a bowl of tomatoes.
Beefsteak tomatoes work well, but you can use other medium to large varieties. Experiment. Also consider trying more than one type of tomato in your bake.
shredded mozzarella cheese
shredded mild cheddar cheese
grated Parmesan cheese
grated Romano cheese
Start by pouring ¼ cup of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish and spreading to cover, then work in layers. You will be able to fit 2 or 3 layers into one baking dish, being sure to leave room at the top for another cheese layer.
Rinse the tomatoes well, and dry with a towel.
Cut the tops off and then slice the tomatoes about ¼ inch thick, placing some of the slices in a layer over the sauce. Spread more sauce over this.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the slices, covering completely.
Sprinkle some of mild cheddar cheese over this, so as not to completely cover.
Shake some of each grated cheese over the other cheeses, then add another layer of tomatoes.
Spread the sauce again, then add the cheeses.
If there is room in the pan, start another layer.
If not, add a thin layer of sauce over the cheeses, and sprinkle the parsley on top.
Bake at 350* – 400*, depending on the oven, until the cheese is melted.
Use tomatoes from your garden and home canned sauce, to save money on this recipe.
Growing your own herbs and drying them will save you a great deal of money as well.
Try other types of cheeses as desired.
This is another basic smoothie, but a very good one. I’m trying to find produce at good prices, and to couple my coupons with sales for whatever other ingredients I’m using for each recipe. I want to spend as little money as possible, while still packing the nutrients into each beverage. I hope you enjoy 🙂 Again, I used my single serve blender.
a handful-and-a-half of blueberries
single serving of coconut yogurt
- Place everything but the water into the blender.
- Add 1/4 cup water.
- Blend for about 30 seconds, or until everything is blended well, adding more water if needed.
- Try using different types of berries if they are on sale.
- Add other ingredients if you would like.
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.
2 almond flour tortillas (I use this recipe from Paleocupboard.com.)
1 tomato slice, diced
2 cucumber slices, diced
6 shrimp scampi (I use the scampi recipe from Paleoplan.com.)
mozzarella cheese, shredded (optional)
mild cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
- Place the tortillas on a plate.
- Spread shredded lettuce over each tortilla.
- Top with the other vegetables.
- Place three shrimp on each tortilla.
- Top with just a little of each shredded cheese.
- 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.
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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.
What a beautiful salad! How about making one for yourself.
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
- Layer the vegetables on your plate, however you like.
- Top with the shrimp scampi and a little of the sauce from the pan.
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.
- Use whatever vegetables you can get affordably to save money.
- Try different types of seafood.
What are your favorite salad recipes?
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.
Don’t these wraps look delicious? Try them for yourself!
(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
- Place the wraps flat on a plate.
- Sprinkle shredded cabbage over the wraps.
- Cut the cucumber and zucchini slices into fourths.
- Top the cabbage with the cucumber and zucchini.
- Add 4 shrimp to each wrap.
It’s that simple. Give it a try!
- 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.
Share your veggie wrap ideas with us.
Smoothies are a great way to use up small bits of food. The other day I wanted to make Apple-Maple Syrup, but I didn’t want the apple peel to go to waste so I used it to make a smoothie. I also had a little cucumber and raw broccoli left over from previous meals.
peel from 1 apple
2 small pieces of broccoli
small handful of raw, frozen spinach
3 slices of cucumber
1 tablespoon protein powder
chocolate almond milk
- Put the apple peel, cucumber, broccoli, and spinach into the blender.
- pour some chocolate almond milk over the foods, and pulse until everything is broken up.
- Add the other ingredients, and more milk if necessary.
- Blend until well mixed.
- Using odds-and-ends of vegetables in smoothies does not really change the taste much, and it means you’re not wasting perfectly good food. It also adds extra nutrients.
I don’t eat snacks often but, when I do, I’m trying to make healthy choices. These mixes can be placed in small jars and stored in the pantry, so you can quickly grab one when putting together a meal for work or when you want a snack.
Trail mixes are easy to make, and allow me to use up leftovers from other cooking ventures. The chocolate chips are not Paleo, but they are organic – as are the other ingredients.
( 4 (8 ounce) servings)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
2/3 cup dried cranberry and blueberry mix
2/3 cup slice almond and dried cranberry mix
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands.
- Divide between four 8 ounce canning jars.
- Cover and place in the pantry.
- Use different types of seeds, nuts, and dried fruit, for variation.
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.
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.
During my healthy eating journey, I’m trying to refrain from saying ‘I’m on a diet’. What I’m really doing is creating a lifestyle change. One that will not only help me to lose weight and be healthier, but will allow me to keep the weight off and stay healthier. Diets don’t do that. Lifestyle changes do. A healthy lifestyle will help me to live life to its fullest.
That’s not to say that sometimes I wont want a treat. For instance, I love pancakes and syrup. I don’t eat them often, but I wanted to find a healthier way to enjoy this breakfast just the same. I use a Paleo pancake recipe, and maple syrup and not the sugary syrups. I also do most of my cooking in coconut oil these days.
Pancakes with Apple-Maple Syrup
Apple-Almond Pancake Recipes
- Make the pancakes according to the recipe directions.
- Make the syrup according to the recipe directions.
- Place two pancakes on a plate.
- Top with warm syrup.
- Sprinkle cinnamon and ground cloves over the top.
- Try different pancake and syrup recipes for variety.
- Serve the pancakes and syrup with a smoothie or citrus water.
I’ve decided to experiment with syrups. I’m trying not to eat the typical syrups found at the store, preferring to use maple. A guest at the inn brought me fresh maple syrup last spring, made by a friend of his here in Maine. I put it away for winter, because that’s when I usually eat hot breakfasts. I took the syrup out the other day to go with pancakes, and decided to kick it up a notch.
1 medium apple, cored, peeled, and diced (reserve the apple peels for a smoothie)
enough syrup to cover the diced apple after cooking down in the saucepan
- Place the diced apple in a saucepan.
- Pour enough water in the pan to just cover the apples, and cook over medium-high heat until the apples are cooked down somewhat. You want them soft, and a little saucy. But you also want some chunks.
- Add water to cover again, once or twice more, as the water boils down and the apples get softer.
- Pour maple syrup over apples, to just cover.
- Heat until syrup is warmed.
- Try different types of fruits, such as peaches or pears.