by donR May 5, 2016
Cooking wholesome meals on a limited budget can be challenging. By “wholesome” we mean the meal satisfies the nutritional needs of family members. The $10 meal price is calculated by keeping the cost of the main ingredients under $8 and simply add $2 for the pantry items like flour, condiments, planned-overs, and spices.
So, if at the end of the month, you have spent, on average, $10 per main meal and have eaten a rainbow of whole foods, you deserve a “Gold Star” and are welcome to share your ideas with the rest of our audience! Continue reading
by donR November 6, 2015
Winter squash comes in different sizes, shapes, and colors and they all contain important micro-nutrients. When I told Gloria Perez that “Winter Squash” was my topic for a presentation at the Senior Center, she said “Wonderful.” She is the master gardener for the Ferndale Friendship Community Garden in Ferndale, Washington and she then began to tell how easy and important it is to include squash in a family meal plan. Here are five of the many ‘tips and tricks’ she shared: Continue reading
by donR October 6, 2015
Should you include green salads every day in your meal plan? It depends on what you and your needs for optimal body function. Dark green leafy green salads are rich in vitamins and minerals, some of which can be toxic or interfere with medicines if you eat too much. It also depends on whether the dressing contains oil or water needed for digestion. EEEK!, it’s complicated. But, here are some general guidelines for you and your family to consider: Continue reading
by donR July 21, 2015
It’s summertime and everyone is on-the-go; county fairs, vacations or just going to the park. If you plan on dining out or getting take-out food from a deli, here are some do’s and don’t s to think about such as Cooking Light’s ratings of popular fast food restaurants. Continue reading
Pasta is a popular choice for Springtime meals; light, spicy, easy to prepare and nutritious if you choose healthier ingredients. We described how to prepare Perfect Pasta in our basic cooking series and today I had a craving for a pasta dinner. But, to take advantage of the “Hot Sheet Sale” at Cash & Carry, I purchased a 5# bag of fresh Yakisoba noodles ($3.24) along with a 5# bag of shredded cabbage ($2.98), 25# zucchini squash ($14.49) and 14# pk of pork shoulder cushions ($1.15 per pound).
I know…$36.81 is more than the “$10 Meal” in the title but let me share a few of the many meals that can be prepared with these ingredients…see the rest of the story. Continue reading
by donR 5 16 2015
Okay, we all know by now that we should eat a balanced meal. The USDA Choose My Plate movement is based on this idea. But what does the word “balanced” mean? To answer this, think about how a playground teeter totter works. To stay balanced all you need to do is have the same weight on each side. And if you have unequal weights, you simply adjust one or both of them to achieve balance. Our bodies, likewise, are designed to adjust itself to stay in a balanced state but this is not always a simple task. Continue reading
by donR 15/11/2015
During lunch breaks are you tempted to line up for a buffet-style lunch. I certainly am. Last month I stood in the buffet line at two grocery delis, the hospital and for a casino luncheon. With so many scrumptious food choices, it is easy to eat too much. To make matters worse, it’s almost impossible to resist the “White stuff?” (sugar and bleached flour in the entrees and trans-fats in the desserts). You are left with three choices:
- Splurge and enjoy the moment
- Avoid going to food buffets in the first place
- Adopt some of the following strategies to eat well when going through a buffet line or eating at the family dinner table.
The real issue with buffets or a dinner table loaded with bowls of food is our “see food diet.” With food sitting right in front of our eyes, it’s easy to grab too much. I ate too much food during my last visit to the Casino buffet and made a plan for the next time I go. Here is my plan:
- I’ll walk around to see what is being served.
- The next step is to return to the table with some herb tea or glass of water. Then relax and think about what I really need to eat.
- Now it’s time to hit the salad bar for leafy greens, veggies and a lite dressing like vinaigrette. I’ll add some fruit and oriental salad for a different flavor and texture.
- If there is a light soup available, I’ll go for it along with a small whole wheat bun and butter.
- For entrees, I’ll go back to the salad bar…and get a small plate. Choose roasted or steamed entrees and sides like turkey, white fish, baron of beef, cabbage rolls and veggies along with brown rice if available.
- Now am I too full for the dessert bar? No…I’ll save some room to indulge myself. How about gluten-free cakes & cookies loaded with sweeteners? Cake or pie with ice cream? Sugar- free tart with whipped cream? Maybe, but I’ll probably go back to the salad bar for refreshing coleslaw or cottage cheese & peaches. If I opt for the desserts, I’ll work out an extra 10 minutes…maybe.
You may have a different idea for approaching a buffet line or setting up the dinner table but this is the mental game I’ll play in order to keep from gorging myself.
If you want other ideas visit 10 Tricks and Tips from the USDA Choose My Plate program that may help to discourage over-eating.
I am researching about why we have cravings and tend to overeat. Is it a hormone imbalance, genetics, or caused by emotions? That’s a subject for another post.
By donR 3/31/15
Okay, every pantry will be different. And when I say pantry I’m talking about cupboards, refrigerator, freezer, back room, or any place where you store food. In parts one through four we have shared some ideas on stocking ingredients for healthy salads, soups, vegetables and sauces. Today, I will give you our final list of what we keep in our pantry for baking, desserts,and a few odds & ends. Of course yours will look different but here are 10 general guidelines for you to consider. Continue reading
By donR 3/26/15
Stocking your pantry with healthy condiments, sauces, dressings and marinades is difficult if you buy them off the local grocer’s shelf. Processed flavorings, whether in packets, cans or bottles, are expensive and often packed with salt, hidden sweeteners and preservatives. But plain pasta, rice and white fish would certainly be boring with no flavorings.
NOT TO WORRY! We found a way for you to add quality, low-fat, natural flavorings to your cupboard and refrigerator in a budget-friendly way. Read about 17 flavorings you can use. Continue reading