The difference between our winter veggie garden today and exactly one year ago is absolutely mind-blowing. So I just had to share how it’s gone from sad to spectacular!
Today we’re talking about almonds (one of our favorite nuts!) and ways we can all try harder to limit food waste. So, just in time for Earth Day this weekend, I’m excited to share some recipes to help you do that.
Last chance to register ends in: I’m so excited to tell you about our Real Food Mini-Pledge Program that is back for Spring! Sign up now through April 28th and your diet will be all cleaned up just in time for summer! The first year we offered this program we had an overwhelming response with almost 50,000 people signing up! We’ve carefully reviewed all of the feedback from past participants and since changed over from a basic free email program to one with videos, meal plans and (new this session!) an interactive forum organized by week/topic. Also new this time, a two-week real food family dinner plan (with recipes and coordinating grocery list) that will be given out at the end as the perfect starting off point when the program is over. All of these resources are in one easy-to-follow program to help you Cut Out processed Food in 6 Weeks! And keep in mind this is a program for the whole family … I made a quick video explaining it (or you can just read on below). About the Real Food Mini-Pledge Program – The Real Food Mini-Pledge Program consists of 6 weekly pledges to help you cut out processed food in a realistic and manageable way. We’ll tackle things such as adding more fruits and veggies to your diet, cutting out sugar, and eating 100% whole-grain one week at a time. Online Program Only Bundle with Hardback Cookbook (Most Popular) $18 for 6 weeks $16 + book cost for 6 weeks Each week (for 6 weeks) you will receive: Pledge intro video from me, Guidelines on how to follow pledge, “5 things to make this week” with shopping list, Additional recipe and meal ideas, Access to a new private forum for discussion and support (new this session). At the end of the program you will also receive: A two-week real food family dinner plan […]
Spring cleaning doesn’t just have to be for your house … it can be for your body, too! This is the perfect time of year to make some clean and simple healthier food swaps because, remember, any small change is better than none. :) – Healthier Food Swaps DITCH INSTEAD GET RECIPE Deep-fried potato chips Make whole-grain popcorn in a brown paper lunch bag Homemade Popcorn Bottled salad dressing (full of unwanted additives) Shake up a few ingredients in a jar to last all week long Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing Store bought flavored oatmeal packets (full of unwanted additives) Make your own oatmeal packets DIY Oatmeal Packets in my Fast & Fabulous Cookbook The dreaded Lunchables Make your own look-a-like version instead DIY Lunchable Instructions Skipping breakfast on busy weekday mornings Prepare overnight oats that will be ready to go out the door with you in the morning! Our Favorite Overnight Oats The drive-through on busy weeknights Plan ahead by having a slow cooker recipe waiting for you instead Slow Cooker Recipes Boxed mac & cheese Cook a creamy made-from-scratch mac & cheese in the same amount of time Creamy (Whole-Wheat) Mac & Cheese Store bought boxes (or cans) of chicken broth Make chicken stock from bones you’d throw out anyway Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot Plain cream cheese (on your whole-grain bagel) Cream cheese with an extra nutritional punch Veggie Cream Cheese in my Fast & Fabulous Cookbook Sugary and artificially dyed snow cone syrups Make your own with fruit juice concentrate Homemade Snow Cones Highly processed store bought fudge pops Mix up some homemade yogurt-based fudge pops Extra Dark Fudge Pops Canister of highly processed whipped cream Make your own easy homemade whipped cream from heavy cream Homemade Whipped Cream What would you add to this list that I missed?
One of my favorite dinners to cook in the summer is grill packets! They are super easy to make, can be prepared in advance, and give you a great excuse to sit around the fire pit at the end of the night. You don’t even have to get any plates dirty if you don’t want to. These Pesto Chicken Grill Packets are great to take along on a picnic or camping or even just to have in your own back yard. They can also be cooked on a regular gas grill or in the oven. My 9-year-old loved these and has already asked me to make them again. Enjoy! Pesto Chicken Grill Packets Course: Main Course Cuisine: American Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Servings: 4 Print Ingredients 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts cut into 1 1/2 or 2 inch dice 2 zucchini cut into 1 inch dice 1 pint cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes 8 ounces small mushrooms baby bella or shiitake 1 cup basil just the leaves, fresh 1 cup spinach just the leaves, fresh 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated 1/2 cup pine nuts raw 2 cloves garlic crushed 1/2 cup olive oil salt to taste pepper to taste Instructions Cut foil into eight large pieces (about 14 – 16 inches long) and start four grill packets by laying them out double stacked in a plus sign shape. At this point, you can line them with parchment paper, if desired, by simply putting a single layer just on top of the foil. Evenly distribute the chunks of chicken, zucchini, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Set aside. To make the pesto, combine the basil, spinach, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil in a small food processor and process until a smooth […]
Today I want to make sure you know about an awesome program put together by one of our favorite longtime sponsors to help you simply (and affordably) add healthy, reusable products to your home. Obviously, we’re all about eating the right foods around here, but how you store your food and clean your home (and treat the earth) absolutely matters, too! What is The MightyFix? The MightyFix program is a monthly subscription service put together by MightyNest, curators of healthy, toxic-free, earth-friendly products for your home. Once you join, you get a “fix box” each month with something new for your kitchen or home. Not only is it going to be a product you can trust and feel good about using, but it’s also always a good deal and a fun surprise to see what they’ve sent you! And slowly but surely, your home will become as healthy as the food you are preparing. In fact, several months ago I joined the program myself to try it out. Just the other night we happened to be opening our monthly fix package right as we were cleaning up from dinner. Funny enough, we were literally in the process of covering our leftover dinner bowls with plastic wrap, and they had sent us reusable “Bees Wrap” (a sheet of beeswax to be used in place of plastic wrap!) to use instead. I started to wonder if they were mind readers over there at MightyNest because I promise, this was not at all planned and the timing could not have been more perfect, LOL! Today we’re offering you an awesome deal so you can try out the MightyFix yourself, but also be sure to read on below to see what else we’ve received so far! Special Deal The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year!!! So with Earth Day coming up in a couple weeks, […]
All it took was a couple of recent trips to Ikea and reading the book A Man Called Ove (pronounced Oovay) for me to crave some good ol’ Swedish meatballs! Now, I don’t think I’ve ever met a meatball I didn’t like, and this recipe below is absolutely no exception. My family devoured this one-dish dinner, and it even had my 9-year-old asking for thirds. And luckily, this is another easy one that can be thrown together in no time at all on any busy weeknight. But if you’re really smart, you’ll double it and enjoy the leftovers for lunch! :) Swedish Meatballs Servings: 4 Print Ingredients 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil 1/2 cup minced onion 1/2 pound ground beef 1/2 pound ground pork 1/4 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs 1/4 cup heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 pinch allspice 5 large carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour 1 1/2 cups broth beef, chicken, or veggie 1/2 cup heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce salt and pepper to taste Instructions In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Cook the onions while stirring occasionally until they begin to soften, 2 or 3 minutes. Dump the cooked onions into a large bowl along with the beef, pork, breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup heavy cream, and spices. Mix well by hand and form into 1 1/2 inch meatballs. Turn the skillet to medium high and add the meatballs and carrots. Cook until the meatballs are brown and almost crispy on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over top and cook while stirring for another minute to allow it to absorb. Pour in the broth, 1/2 cup cream, and soy sauce and bring to a boil while scraping the brown bits off the bottom […]
There are so many snack bar options these days it can be downright overwhelming. But as we’ve mentioned in the past, many of these bars are simply glorified candy bars with some including almost a full day’s suggested amount of sugar – in just one bar! Also many have unnecessary additives most people would not cook with at home. Deciphering which are actually beneficial and which are simply rectangles full of fake ingredients touched up with sweeteners can be challenging. So today we want to make sure you know a bar that qualifies as “real food” for many different reasons, our lovely sponsor RXBAR! Funny enough I was just at lunch with Shawn on our team (our Facebook and Pinterest moderator, hey Shawn!) and she was telling me how much she loves RXBAR. She wanted to make sure to tell me to give her any extras that I might get in the mail from them, haha! It really is hard to find good options in the bar department so it’s hard to blame her for wanting to stock up! About RXBAR + Flavors RXBAR was started by two guys in Chicago who were seeking a whole food protein bar that they felt good about eating and that made then feel great after eating it. The result? Bars made with a simple blend of dates, nuts, and egg whites in a variety of flavors. So many readers are always asking for “cleaner” bar recommendations, and you’ll be amazed at how short the RXBAR ingredient list is while still providing 12 grams of protein in just one bar (thanks to the unique idea of using egg whites)! In RXBARS you’ll find: No added sugars No Soy No Gluten No Dairy No GMO’s They do contain natural flavors, which only come from essential oils that are extracted directly from the whole food ingredients […]
I’ve been doing some spring cleaning at my house, and my recent BIG pantry makeover inspired us to have a fun contest where you could get in on the action. So today I am picking a winner and also sharing some of the other great before and after pics that were submitted! And the winner doesn’t just get to feel good about a job well done, they’re also going to receive… $300 worth of products from our lovely sponsor, Nuts.com – woohoo! It was so hard to pick just one winner though – you guys did some amazing clean out jobs! The judging was based on organization only (a pantry full of real food was not a requirement). Pantry Makeover Winner! Submitted by: Korrin R. A big congrats to Korrin! She is going to get to pick out $300 of whatever she wants from Nuts.com, a fabulous resource for raw nuts and seeds or whatever else your heart desires, for being our favorite beautifully organized pantry. I have to say though, it was a really tough call for me between yours and one other submission, but my husband leaned over my shoulder and said, “But look at this one, she’s got turntables and bins and canned good organizers.” So, I guess if for nothing else, showing us all the different ways one can stay organized in a real food pantry was for the win! It also looks like she was able to find more space in her kitchen to help get things extra neat and tidy – way to go Korrin. (Oh and I promise this did NOT sway my vote, but I gotta love her choice of cookbooks too – haha). :) Our Other Pantry Makeover Favorites! Submitted by: Ashley A. I’ve gotta say Ashley has done a lot in a tight space. Just goes to show you don’t need a walk-in pantry to […]
I guess I’m on a roll because first I was inspired to do a big pantry redo, then I decided I could no longer stand our disastrous extra freezer, and next my husband is hinting around that I need to tackle the spice drawer. I think we can officially say spring cleaning is underway over here, and boy, does it feel good! :) Why an Extra Freezer? First of all, why do we have an extra “back” freezer (as we call it since it’s in our mudroom)? We literally went out and bought this extra freezer the day we finished reading In Defense of Food (the book that inspired us to cut out processed food and start this website in the first place). Michael Pollan, the author, said, “If you have the space, buy a freezer.” And the reason is because it will allow you to stock up on good-quality frozen pastured meat (when you find a good source) and local produce when it’s in season. Not only will this save you money in the long run, but it’s better for you to eat those foods, of course! So we were good listeners and did exactly what he said – and we’re so glad we did. Not only was Pollan right about all the meat (which I’ve learned is almost always sold already frozen at our farmers’ market), but our extra freezer is also the perfect place to keep whole-grain flours fresh longer and stash all those extra homemade goodies I’m constantly trying to stockpile. Why, just this morning my 12-year-old pulled a couple homemade waffles (that I had made and froze last weekend) out of the freezer and heated them up for her breakfast. Our freezer also allows us to stock up on our favorite high-quality store bought breads whenever I […]
I have to say, I might be the minority here, but I don’t like the Instant Pot! I honestly went into this with an open mind and have used it several times for all different types of recipes to really get a good feel for what it can do.