For all of you folks out there doing the GAPS diet or a paleo healing diet, this is the soup for you. Hamburger soup has great kid appeal without any of those unhealthy ingredients that kids seem to crave.
The base is homemade broth (big health plus!), the flavor is excellent and it freezes well. You can make this with or without turnips. I like it both ways. I have never tried it with the celeriac or red lentils. I just add a bit more of the other veggies. It also works with chicken broth instead of beef.
Thanks to The Keeper of the Home for a soup that my whole family loves.
(Click on this link for the full recipe).
My sweet girl is four. And, I wanted it to be special, to feel celebratory. I decided to give a try at party food that was 95% paleo. I think it worked!
(Super Hero Pumpkins!)
To be honest, it has taken me a long time to have the mental energy to tackle paleo-style birthday parties. It is hard enough feeding a family of five paleo meals seven days a week. I just wasn’t ready for the overhaul that it would take. But, now my youngest is 20 months old, I have been paleo for over a year, and I have more capacity to try new things. (Just in case you thought I was a hero of health – all through the past year birthdays have still meant pizza and ice cream cake!)
Here was our menu:
Organic, Nitrate-free Hot Dogs
Strawberries and Red Grapes
Veggie Tray with Baba Ganoush
Dark Chocolate Coconut Flour Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting from The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate – Bill’s Birthday Cake
I took each birthday guest (ranging from ages 1-6) through the line and let them pick which foods they were willing to try. Some only had grapes and a hot dog. Their choice. My kiddos had some of everything because that’s what we do around here.
Everyone at the party was surprised and pleased with how tasty the grain-free chocolate cake was. It was really nice. The ganache frosting was great – I just poured it on too early and it flowed off the cake a bit while I was spreading it (see their awesome pic with normal frosting + recipe here). The texture was moist, the flavor was great and it didn’t hurt our tummies afterward. We will definitely repeat it for future celebrations.
(PS – the sugar flowers were NOT paleo, but very much appreciated by my four-year old :))
All in all, it was a wonderful day. It brings me joy to know that we can still have a great time, with fun food memories, without totally forgetting our typical way of eating. I would say someone looks pleased, wouldn’t you?
A very scary lion enjoyed his share of the birthday food, too!
(photos: outdoorcookingmagic.com, 123rf.com, tiny-morsels.blogspot.com)
Buy meat in bulk. This tip is often cited in the paleo community so I won’t belabor the point. It is much more cost-effective to buy grass-fed beef by the whole cow and have it butchered.
Recently, I did, and I shared the meat with three other families. This meant that my organic, grass-fed beef was $4.30/lb. for everything from ground beef to roasts and steaks. In stores organic ground beef is $5/lb. so even that was a $.70/lb. savings. Roasts, steaks, and ribs were a much more significant savings.
I found our farm from www.eatwild.com. Yes, I did have to go to the butcher and pick up the meat. No, they did not have a customer waiting area. Yes, I did get a bit of bloody water on my toes. Note to self: do not wear flip-flops to pick up your cow from the slaughterhouse. 🙂
(Pics of our beef, pre-divvying. My final portion was about 80 lbs.)
Use up your food! In the past I would restock our produce more than once a week. The kids’ go-to favorites like bananas and green beans were purchased whenever we ran out. Unfortunately what ended up happening was that the less-desirable, often more time-consuming to prepare veggies like cabbage or whole carrots went uneaten and were eventually thrown out because they were rotten.
Now my system is a bit different. I buy enough produce for our family for the week. I do NOT go back to the store when we run out of favorites. Instead, I take the opportunity to use the other fruits and veggies that I have purchased even if it means that we eat strange veggies at strange times (see my post on this here).
It keeps me creative. All of us have lots of variety in our diet. The trashcan doesn’t receive perfectly good produce that just wasn’t eaten in time. Sounds good, right?!
Be flexible with your choices. You did it once before, right? You learned that breakfast did NOT equal cereal; you learned to love eggs and bacon. Could you do it again? Could you learn to have some cabbage ($.49/lb.) fried in bacon fat with your eggs for breakfast? How about roasted carrots ($.99/lb.) as a snack? Shredded zucchini ($.89/lb.) added to your curries?
If your family is willing to eat fruit and veggies at non-traditional times of the day and in non-traditional ways, you can save a bundle. Instead of going with your standards, look for what is on sale that week. My new rule? Don’t buy it unless it is less than a dollar per pound. So far it is serving me well. Our grocery bill is going down as I shop more seasonally and more creatively.
What about you? Have you found a more flexible way to eat and save some money?
Don’t “paleofy” your former favorites. Used to crave pizza? Love ice cream? Dream of brownies and cookies? As long as you don’t have a strong medical reason to completely avoid those foods, eat them occasionally. It can be part of your primal “80/20” rule. Eat well most of the time and enjoy your splurges thoroughly.
Why? Trying to change something grain-based into a veggie or nut alternative is inherently expensive. For example, I made my son coconut flour banana cupcakes for his birthday. Special order coconut flour from Amazon – check. Crack TWELVE eggs from local farmer into the batter – check. Blend organic heavy whipping cream and farm fresh butter for frosting – check. Those cupcakes were over a dollar each!
And the same goes for primal pancakes, meatza pizza, nut pie crusts and the like. Baked goods and fast food favorites are cheap. Making them from scratch with alternative ingredients is not. Do you agree? Let me know if you have found this cheap paleo tip to be true in your own life by commenting below.
PS – Coconut flour and almond meal can really sit like a brick in your tummy, too. I’m just saying…
(This post is part of Monday Mania)
My husband and I sat down to review our budget over the weekend. I had noticed a downward trend in the money available in our bank account and we needed to have a chat. It turns out that there were several culprits. The biggest one, though? Food! Again! As the one who stays home, I feel so responsible. I may not make the money, but gosh darn-nit, I will not be the one that tosses our limited funds to the wind! What is happening when I go to the grocery store?
Perhaps you feel similarly. It is tough to feed a family on healthy, real foods. I sat down this afternoon, and here was the comment from Yasmine in my inbox:
It seems everywhere we family people are struggling with our budget on paleo. I live in Egypt and I spend almost my entire income on food my my family of four. It’s almost impossible to find good food here, too. So all this money goes to the best I can find, but not the best we could eat. *head on desk*
I hear you, Yasmine! It seems impossible! But, I can’t give up. Once you know the truth, it is hard to go back, right?
So, I am going to share tips to stretch your paleo dollars in the upcoming weeks. I know that they aren’t one size fits all. For example my best tip for eating paleo on the cheap, is probably not even an option for Yasmine in Egypt. Hopefully there will be a tip or two that CAN work for you though.
Just remember, I am out there giving it my best shot. A real mom with three kids who eat like horses. Seriously. They each eat more than I do in a day. We live in an expensive suburb on the East coast. I am the only one of my friends from church who is able to stay home with my kids. Yes, money is tight. But, I am not giving up yet. Our health is on the line. Let’s do it!
(photo: stephadams53192.blogspot.com, This post is part of Monday Mania)
My sister-in-law is getting married this weekend. So, tomorrow we head out for a seven hour car ride with our three kids. As our eating habits have changed, it has become harder to find fast food that meets our guidelines and sits well in our tummies. Recently I have given up on finding that perfect spot for a meal. Instead, I pack portable paleo foods. Here’s what I have ready for tomorrow:
1. Good quality lunch meat. In the past I have cut a rotissiere chicken ahead of time. It is a bit greasy but cheaper than the lunch meat option.
2. Quartered hard-boiled eggs + a mini salt shaker. Eggs need salt!
5. Pre-cut bell peppers and nectarines.
7. Olives. In fact, green olives help with motion sickness too. See here.
9. Roasted carrots. Just cause the kiddos like them more than raw. Again, a bit greasy.
10. A roll of paper towels. Assorted paper plates/bowls.
And… the Momma’s best friend: kitchen shears. Bring some with you when you are trying to feed your baby finger foods. They will change your dining experience for the better – forever! 🙂
(photos: whatscookingamerica.net, foodpeoplewant.net, webstaurantstore.com)
Just a quick update now that allergy season is about over. It looks like removing grains and dairy definitely helped my children with their allergy symptoms. No more constipation. No more eczema rashes. Very minimal sneezing and puffy eyes. No more runny noses. I am pleased.
We didn’t start this change all that early. I think if we had done it for a while before spring we might have seen ALL the symptoms removed. As it was, we started right as the season began so we still gave Zyrtec to our son for a few weeks. Whereas before, Zyrtec didn’t seem to even take the edge off of his symptoms, this year he hardly had any symptoms!
It strengthens my conviction: EATING PALEO-STYLE REALLY WORKS. If you want to give it a try, or if you are interested in the GAPS diet, check out my post on how we mesh the two ideas here.