Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Reader Questions Answered:

1. Are the recipes on your blog healthy? I'm assuming they are but I just want to make sure.
The recipes on my blog, with the exception of my baking and catering, could almost all be considered healthy. From a fat/calorie standpoint, I try to keep my dinner to 700 calories each night. I also try to make sure I have one starch, one lean protein, and 2-3 vegetables. From the healthy living standpoint, I use almost no pre-packaged products (with the exception of coindiments) and I use minimal canned vegetables or pre-made sides. If there is a specific recipe you want a caloric breakdown for, please ask! Also, most of my meals are made for 2-3 servings (so my husband has some extra).
Since I consume the bulk of my calories at dinner, some of my meals might be more calories than you budget, so you can cut down on the serving size.

2. This may be a stupid question but can you give me an idea of how you go about making your grocery list? I'm trying to be as cost conscious as possible, and I really want to start trying your meal suggestions, but i'm not sure really where to begin with my list. I feel like I will spend a ton of money and I would just keep buying and buying. DH and I are so busy so we (regretfully) don't take time to really prepare healthy meals.I have read your suggestions on your blog about grocery shopping, but I still feel like I would be spending a TON of money. Are there certain "staples" you always have on hand?Any additional suggestions would be great!
It can be very costly to eat healthy! Our budget for food shopping each week is $100, but that also includes household items like cleaning suupplies, dog food, etc.
I plan my meals ahead of time each week by looking at what coupons I have (though it's hard to coupon shop because there aren't really coupons for fresh produce!) Then I also look at the market's circular to see what produce is on sale. For example, when asparagus is 99 cents a pound, we might have asparagus 3 nights that week, I just create meals around it. Same with bell peppers when they're on sale, if bag salad is cheap, i'll have salads for dinner all week.
I also check out to see when organic chicken and ground turkey is on sale, and stock up and keep the freezer loaded with it.
For fruit, I also just have for lunch whatever is on sale - apples, bananas, peaches, etc., to keep the cost down.
Also, frozen veggies are really good for you. They're flash frozen at the peak of the season, so they're still loaded with their nutrients.
Some staples I always have on hand for quick/easy meals are:
Produce: Bag salad mix, canned organic tomatoes, bell peppers, frozen peas, and green beans (i love the steamfresh bags)
Grains: Whole wheat pasta, rice, and sweet potatoes
Protein: Boneless/skinless chicken breasts, ground turkey, tofu
Fruit: Frozen sliced strawberries
Extras: Assortment of light dressings (love trader joes), organic chicken stock, whole wheat pizza crust dough balls, a loaded spice rack, light sour cream and lowfat cheeses
From all of those almost non-pershiables, you can make many of the meals on my blog! Use the tag feature to search for recipes when you see something is on sale.

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