Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Planning for Paleo on a Budget

Over a year ago, my friend, Tina, introduced me to the Paleo way of eating.  I've done a little investigating since, and when a couple of blogs I follow started posting recipes and such, I decided I should give it a little more thought.  The health benefits of "good fats" is what is selling it to me.  The part about cutting out the grains scares me a bit.  I'm not even sure how to do that - cereal, bread, rice, most legumes, etc.?  Supper menus are easy to plan as I usually don't mind the extra time spent in the evening and on most days can allow for it - but my usual quick breakfast and lunch plans?  That will take more experimenting for sure.  Baby steps are my best friend. :>)

I could never just switch over everything at once, so little changes slowly are the way for me to go.  For instance, I had looked into buying almond flour for baking, but at $12 for 2 lbs. or so, I just couldn't do it.  In the meantime, I'm at least soaking my wheat berries (and dehydrating) before milling them into flour.  I figure that helps a little bit.

Dairy is also not so much Paleo from what I understand, but the raw milk I purchased this week was pretty tasty and amazingly creamy, and I feel that is at least a better choice when the budget allows.  I found it at a tucked away little store that Tina told me about and I was surprised at how much was in such a small space.  They had locally grown, organic fruits and vegs, and I'm pretty sure most were cheaper than the local grocery store.  They had grass fed beef for $6.50/lb, which is $2.50 less than what I had been paying.  They also had free-range, local eggs, so needless to say, I hope to be making weekly visits to this business.

Paleo can be more expensive, but I know if I can ever reach a point where I'm no longer buying "convenience foods" along with it, I'll probably be spending the same or less.  And of course, using coupons for the non-food items are a big help.

It takes a little thinking and thriftiness, but I'm trying to get as many meals out of my meats as I can.  When I buy the grass fed beef, I'm not making hamburgers.  On Sunday, this Spaghetti Sauce Recipe I used called for ground beef and sausage, so I used half of my grass fed beef and half turkey sausage.  Sunday night, I used the leftover sausage for sausage balls, and I'll probably use the rest of the beef for quesadillas for lunch today.

I also bought a whole hen.  I baked it in the oven on Saturday afternoon and then used half of it for the jambalaya recipe mentioned below, and last night I used the remainder for an orange chicken recipe.

As for these new Paleo recipes I've been trying, Pinterest, of course, has been a big help in finding these.

This past weekend, Brad wanted jambalaya for his birthday meal, so I used this:  Hearty Jambalaya with Rice  Although, I didn't use the cauliflower for the rice as suggested.  I had some organic jasmine rice that I used instead.  (At least it was gluten free.)  I guess the Mexican cornbread served alongside wasn't exactly Paleo, but at least the corn meal was GMO free.  Every little bit helps, right? (And then there was the homemade apple pie and ice cream - but what can I say, it was his birthday.) :>)

Here's the Orange Chicken Recipe I mentioned that I added to a stir fry last night.  My mother gave me a huge wok for Christmas, and I love how I can just keep throwing stuff in there until I'm satisfied.  For this recipe, using coconut oil, I sauteed a yellow onion, green onions, red cabbage, celery, carrots, and kale.  I added some organic brown rice that had been sauteed in olive oil and butter.  This one pan meal was more than enough for this family of six, and although the offspring was a little uncertain about the kale, I love the crunchiness that it added.  And the colors of this meal were so pretty!  I should have taken a picture. LOL

I thought it was funny how around bedtime, everyone seemed hungry again.  I explained to them how when you eat something so healthy and packed with nutrients, your body screams out for more.  Sort of like how I hear people say they don't like to eat apples because it just makes them hungrier.  It's just their body saying it needs more of that good stuff!

So here's the beginnings of my walking down the Paleo path.  I doubt we'll ever be completely Paleo - there's just some situations that I'm not sure about - but I have to say I'm sold.  I want to be content with what I have, but I don't want to ever be content with where I am - whether it's on a spiritual, mental, or physical note - I know there's always room for improvement.

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