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Butter Your Veggies! (How I’m eating these days on a budget because you were dying to know)

June 13, 2012


So, I started this blog because I am very passionate about food sources. I believe that our food should be our medicine, and I truly hate going to the doctor for anything. I remember going to the new pediatrician we had when our beloved family doctor retired and her getting on me about my weight. I was a size 10/12 freshman in high school and she weighed about 350lbs. She would bring it up every single time and make me feel awful. I hated that evil woman. I think about some of the advice she gave my mom and I just cringe. Knowing what I know now it was pretty shitty nutritional and weight loss advice, but whatever, she was 350lbs and smoked. 

Anyway, that may be why I hate going to the doctor. I get my blood tested by my grandpa for diabetes, and cholesterol and my blood pressure taken because he has all that stuff at home, “Never get old, Michelle” He tells me as he takes out his home pharmacy kit. Is that weird? Perhaps, but I want to make sure my numbers are ok, and I don’t want to see the doctor. My mom wants me to get my mole checked by a dermatologist regularly, but a doctor once told me that if hair grows out of it there’s no cancer there. Ha! This post is turning pretty gross, but now you know. If your mole doesn’t grow hair get it checked.

Anyway, that being said, it’s been really expensive to eat pastured and grass fed meats with no hormones. It’s been expensive to buy organic produce. It’s expensive to buy raw milk, farm eggs, fermented cod liver oil and butter oil supplements, probiotics and essential oils. Very expensive. I wish I could give you better news, but doing the things I believe to be right are freakin expensive. So, I’ve really had to scale back quite a bit on that stuff, I’m only watching one baby right now, so my at home income has been cut in half. It’s great for me because I have more freedom, can go to the gym and take them to the park and the store, but it’s also pretty tough to do the things I was doing when we had a bit more breathing room.

I have been really considering the paleo way of eating, mostly because a lot of it really lines up with the WAPF way of living and I think it would help to shed weight very quickly, however to afford eating that much meat, I would have to be conventional meat rather than hormone free stuff, which I’m not quite sure is worth it. I believe in the science, but you can only afford what you can afford right? So lately my grocery shopping has been pretty lean, I only use whole organic chickens which I buy on sale at $1.99 a lb and I only use pastured ground beef, which is $5.50 a lb., we go through about 4 dozen eggs a week, half of them hardboiled.I do make a lot of whey-protein smoothies, it’s not exactly WAPF approved, but it works to curb my sweet tooth really well and keeps me full, so it’s a compromise. 

For produce, I buy frozen organic green beans from costco, blanch then sautee them in real butter and white wine, and add plenty of pepper and kosher salt. I also buy conventional broccoli (one of the least sprayed crops) from costco. I’ve found the best way to prepare this is line my cookie sheet with foil and toss the broccoli straight from the bag with a few glugs of olive oil garlic seasoning, sea salt and pepper and throw the whole thing in the oven for twenty minutes at 450 or till they start to smell a little burnt, then I toss the entire pan with parmesan cheese, not the good stuff, just Kraft because the good stuff goes too quickly, occasionally I use cheddar, but I don’t buy pregrated cheese anymore so it’s a bit of a pain. I prepare organic baby carrots by throwing two pounds in a pot with a tiny bit of water a big squirt of honey, salt and butter and boiling them till they are delicious and sweet. Baby carrots are not as good and “carroty” as regular long carrots, but I need to have convenient food options or I will just eat at Whataburger. These are a few of the best and simplest veggie side dishes I prepare. I’ll make burger patties, slice a red onion and throw it on the griddle with a little butter and balsamic vinegar and eat that with some carrots and green beans and that’s a great meal. Perhaps not terribly imaginative, but it’s good fuel and that’s what counts.

As you know, I am counting calories, but I have to tell you, using pam or cooking them in the microwave might be the reason you don’t like your veggies. For goodness sakes, butter your damn vegetables so you eat them and enjoy them. Your body needs the nutrition from these, and many cancer fighting compounds, antioxidants and vitamins are fat-soluble which means that they aren’t bio-available without fat. So, if you are eating a big boring plate of microwave vegetables with nothing on them, you’re not even getting the benefits from them! Put a bit of cheese and butter or olive oil in the mix and roast them to carmelize their flavors and you will find that you actually quite enjoy them. One day last week I made dinner and left it on the stove for Keduse, along with an entire griddle of green beans sauteed in white wine that I was planning on packing for lunches the next day. I went to put the baby to bed and when I came back downstairs the appliance was unplugged on the dinner table and my husband had eaten the entire pound of green beans with his fingers straight from the pan. Impressive, I know.

Now comes the big confession. I have opted for some convenience foods lately. Before, my convenience food was the drive through, so I would eat really healfully in the way I just described, but if I was too tired or didn’t defrost a chicken or whatever, I would drive by somewhere, and that would sometimes turn out to be about 3 days out of the week, and I would have the fries, coke, etc. Which pretty much negates all the good stuff and costs a lot of money. I had to finally admit to myself, sometimes I simply do not have the will or time to cook, be it that I’m not disciplined enough, don’t use my time wisely or am just too tired. Some days it just isn’t happening. For those days, I have purchased a few things that I’ve been keeping in the freezer, one of them is Costco lasagna. I don’t even look at the ingredients. It cooks in 20 minutes in the microwave and has enough for lunch the next day and is only about 6 bucks for 6 servings. I throw that in the microwave and while that is cooking, I toss half a bag of precut broccoli with the olive oil and seasoning and stick that in the oven. They’re both done about the same time. I don’t feel guilty anymore even though I *know* I make better, healthier, lasagna, and *should* freeze a few of them so I could do the same thing with better ingredients I refuse to feel guilty for this compromise. Period. I also bought turkey burgers from Sams club (12 for $12) that you can throw on the grill frozen and I do the same thing with the veggies while they’re cooking. I also buy the precut stir fry from Sams, and use the sauce packets and serve it with turkey burgers and brown rice. Again, I know I make a better stir fry and it’s not organic, but some days you couldn’t pay me to chop a vegetable so, I’m not going to stress about it. I also have a Whataburger about once a week, double vegetables grilled onions add ketchup on Texas toast. I eat it in the car alone as a treat. I know I’m not a dog and shouldn’t reward myself with food, but whoever created those cute little memes on Pinterest has clearly never had a Whataburger.

So, there you have it. Catching you up on my food now. I used to use a lot more cream soups, grains, etc and make a lot of yummy casseroles with cheese toppings that you can find on Pinterest with cutesy pie names, I’m really good at them too. But, it’s just not that great for you to eat those every day and I don’t want my kid to grow up addicted to the overly processed tastes of that food, so I’m learning to cook in a simpler way of using food as fuel. That being said, I am pretty interested in Jillian Michaels Master your Metabolism cookbook. A lot of what she says seems to line up with what I know, so I’m very interested in obtaining it. I reserved a copy at Barnes and Noble to look at when I have my weekly meeting with myself Sunday. I will probably make that next week’s reward. What are your simple and easy go to meals throughout the week? How healthy are they?


7 Comments leave one →
  1. Maria M. permalink
    June 13, 2012 5:35 pm

    I like to buy green onions and grill or bake them in foil with butter, salt, pepper, and garlic! They are so good just to eat by themselves or as a side dish 🙂 Adding mushrooms also enchances the flavor

  2. veronica permalink
    June 13, 2012 7:33 pm

    Beans are awesome to have in the freezer when I don’t want to cook. we either make burritos or tacos with tons of veggies. Quinoa casserole its also super easy and I almost always have the ingredients for it. and of course EGGS. we eat a TON of eggs at any time if we feel like it or if I don’;t cook or there is no groceries.

    • June 14, 2012 4:39 pm

      I need to make beans again, Ducey can’t really digest them very well, they go right through him, so I stopped making it. DO you have a recipe for Quinoa casserole?

  3. veronica permalink
    June 13, 2012 8:02 pm

    But my compromises are pizza, Trident fish sticks, salmon patties and ham w no nitrates from costco. They help me not to give up with the whole food thing, when I’m going crazy

    • June 14, 2012 4:38 pm

      Thanks for posting this. I love those fish sticks man. They’re delicious. Where is the ham in costco? Like a whole ham or lunchmeat? Do you know what brand? I tried the salmon patties but they grossed me out.

  4. Mom permalink
    June 16, 2012 5:23 am

    Because the quarter pound meat patties cost about the same as the raw ones from the grocery store, I feel no qualms about ordering two from McDonald’s, salt and pepper on the side, for a quick lunch. No, they are not organic, but they are big and filling. I pretty much also live on Jenny O’s turkey dogs and and hardboiled eggs. I will boil an entire potful (a hundred eggs) and eat them all week long. Usually, I throw away the yellow, powdery ball and eat 4 or 5 at a time. Cheese sticks and nuts (peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios) are also cheap and filling. You can pick up 2 tubes for a dollar at any Walgreens. I buy the name brand tins when they are on sale 2 for one. I have not gotten into couponing yet, so until I do, this type of shopping is pretty cheap. I buy eggs only when they are on sale a dollar a dozen, and then I buy a whole case. I only purchase my produce on price-match Thursdays, then process it myself on Saturdays for smoothies and salads. It takes a few hours, but I save a lot of money not buying frozen fruits or vegetables. I buy milk in bulk when it goes on sale for a buck a gallon, then freeze it. A couple of months back, I serendipitously came across an entire freezer shelf of dough wrapped Brie rounds (8 ounces) and purchased every box available as they were on sale for 2 bucks each (regular price: 8 dollars)! Talk about delicious and decadent! Wendy’s chili is also good and cheap in a pinch.

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