Free Fall “Real Food” Meal Plan!

Real Food” Meal Plan #5 is finally finished! This particular meal plan utilizes fall produce that’s available at some farmers’ markets this time of year. The first four meal plans – including spring and summer – are available on our facebook page, but I’ve decided to make this one available to email subscribers only (see instructions below). These meals plans are incredibly detailed so I’ve only been able to crank out a new one every few months or so. But if you’re looking for some inspiration on a more regular basis then be sure to check out our sponsor, The Fresh 20. They offer new dinner meal plans weekly including vegetarian and gluten-free options!

As always, this is what you’ll find with my meal plans:

  • One 7-day practical “real food” menu plan designed for busy families
  • Complete meals listed each day for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner with leftovers incorporated Continue Reading »

Real Food Tips: 5 Uses for Leftover Turkey

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving and time with family today. Before we know it we will be on to those tasty leftovers! I am sure I’m not the only one who tries to be creative with all that turkey we couldn’t finish so here are some ideas to consider:

  1. Make “Turkey Noodle Soup” instead of “Chicken Noodle Soup” (pictured below) and freeze the leftovers. Here is a recipe to get you started (just sub turkey for the chicken):
  2. Make “Turkey Terrific Sandwiches” inspired by a sandwich shop on Nantucket Island called Provisions. All it takes is some good whole-wheat bread, a little mayo, stuffing, turkey, and the optional cranberry sauce to make one good sandwich. Another great sandwich option would be turkey, brie, and a quick apple chutney…yum! Continue Reading »

Recipe: Shortcut Chocolate Pecan Pie

When making a new recipe I like to see how many steps I can skip without negatively impacting the end result. This pie is a perfect example of not only skipping a few steps, which I’ve deemed as unnecessary :), but also substituting (most of) the refined ingredients for whole ones. I replaced the white flour with whole-wheat flour and the corn syrup with maple syrup, but I do admit I left in the chocolate chips and some of the brown sugar because it certainly is okay to indulge in such treats in moderation! Just top a warm piece of the finished pie with some homemade vanilla ice cream and you’ll be in love with this super delicious and non-intimidating dessert as well. Continue Reading »

Giveaway: FilterPro Dehydrator by L’EQUIP!

Congrats to the winner… “Shawn C
Check your email for prize details!

Today I am thrilled to be giving away a L’EQUIP dehydrator valued at $150! This appliance is a great way to preserve fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season. A lot of readers complain they can’t find good, organic store-bought dried fruit without a bunch of additives like sugar, and if you’re the lucky owner of a dehydrator you have the ability to make your very own “real food” snacks just the way you like them. You can even make homemade fruit leathers and beef jerky, too!

You can find all L’EQUIP dehydrators as well as their other products on or visit to find a retailer near you.


FilterPro Dehydrator by L’EQUIP

Health Benefits

Drying fruits, vegetables, jerky, and spices at home is economical and allows you to enjoy healthy snacks year round. Foods are dried without preservatives, and have concentrated flavors. Foods purchased in peak season can be dried and stored for full vitamin intake. Kids love the nutrition from fun snacks like fruit or yogurt roll-ups. Continue Reading »

Recipe: Whole-Grain Cornbread

My daughters love this cornbread so much they would happily eat it for dessert. I happen to be more of a dark chocolate girl, but I do love the fact that this version of corn bread has actual bits of corn in the batter. This recipe would be a great addition to any Thanksgiving spread, but could easily be served as a side to dishes like chili or other soups throughout the year. And if you like to switch things up consider adding some jalapeno bits or other spices to the batter or you could also add Swiss or Parmesan cheese instead of the cheddar. Don’t be afraid to make it your own! Continue Reading »

Real Food Tips: Buying “Real Food” from a Mainstream Supermarket

Obviously not everyone lives in a town with a Whole Foods or Earth Fare down the street. Readers actually write in quite frequently saying they only have access to stores like Walmart or Food Lion, which can make finding all the “real food” items on their list challenging at times. So whether your health food supermarket is just too much of a hike or you don’t have one at all…this list is for you. And, as always, leave any additional tips in the comments below!

  1. You’ve heard it before and it’s true…shop around the perimeter of the store. There are a few exceptions like whole-wheat flour, brown rice, and 3-ingredient crackers, but other than that most fresh “whole foods” like produce and dairy are located around the perimeter of the store.
  2. When shopping for produce buy organic whenever possible, especially if the item is on the dirty dozen list. If your store does not offer any organic fruits or veggies then check to see if a local farmers’ market or C.S.A. (Community Supported Agriculture) program might offer produce that hasn’t been sprayed with chemicals. Remember that not all local farms can afford to be “certified organic” so just ask how they grow/treat their crops.
  3. If you can’t find much in the way of fresh organic produce then check out the frozen section for produce instead. As Michael Pollan says, “There is nothing wrong and actually a lot right about frozen produce” because it is picked and frozen at the peak of freshness. Continue Reading »