I try to keep things simple so you'll often see me eating a lot of the same. I shop to optimize savings and build my meals around weekly sales.
In my cart this week:
- Red and Yellow Bell Peppers
$2.99$1.49 per pound
- Rotisserie Chicken $2 off
- Wild Planet, Tuna Skipjack Low Mercury
- Primal Kitchen, Avocado Oil Garlic Aioli Mayo $
- Ground Beef 90% Lean/ 10% Fat
- Siggi's Plain Whole Milk Yogurt
- Mary's Gone Crackers Everything Super Seed Crackers
- Brocolli, Zucchini, Kale
- Cilantro, Parsely
My meals this week:
- Chicken with veggies in bone broth
- Taco grass-fed beef stuffed peppers
- Tuna/Chicken salad with Mary's crackers
- Yogurt with blueberries & peanut butter
- Green soup
Chicken in Bone Broth
Rotisserie chickens are a mainstay in my arsenal for easy dinners. The everyday price is always a good deal (it differs by region but an organic chicken is typically $9.99 in San Francisco), but the past few weeks they've been $2 off for prime members. I occasionally buy non-organic if I am interested in the featured flavor. Both organic and non-organic are rated “Step 4” so I feel good about the quality either way.
As soon as I get home, I pull all the meat off the bone. If I'm feeling detail-oriented, I separate the white meat and dark meat as I'll often use them in different ways (ie: white meat for chicken salads, dark meat when eating plain), but it really doesn't matter. What's key is saving the bones and putting them in an instant pot, covering with water, and setting for 90 minutes. This makes super gelatinous gut healing bone broth that can be used throughout the week.
Chicken in broth isn't the kind of meal that I get super jazzed about, but it's quick and easy + always feels nourishing for my body. I find ways to mix it up with add-ins like vegetables, cauliflower rice, or recently rice noodles, depending on what I have on hand. It shouldn't be complicated. Just add salt + pepper and spices like cumin, smoked paprika, or turmeric, depending on what sounds good. Recently I have been including Lotus Foods black rice noodles and I want to experiment with asian / umami flavors next. Maybe even add in a soft boiled egg?
(post in progress, please check back and refresh as I toggle between here and instagram #notaprofessionalblogger)
Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers
Like most of the world, I love a good taco, and I'm happy with taco flavors in pretty much any form. Taco spiced ground beef is in regular rotation in my kitchen as grass-fed ground beef is budget friendly and I love the taste in any form. This week bell peppers AND grass fed ground beef are on sale so I'm cooking up taco stuffed peppers. These are easy to modify to your dietary preferences and can be roasted in the oven or served cold.
This meal is great for anyone following a paleo, keto, or even whole 30 way of eating. I've also tried a vegan version made with quinoa, and it was surpassingly delicious. Recently I've experimented with adding some grains and legumes to the meals I cook at home, which is new for me.
The basic recipe for taco seasoned meat couldn't be easier. Brown 1 pound of ground beef until no longer pink. I use half a packet of spicely organic taco seasoning (I stock up when it's on sale), but I'm out, I'll just add cumin, chili powder, and salt. I rarely measure and recommend you don't either. Learning how to intuitively cook and season food is one of the best life skills you can practice and this staple is hard to mess up. If you want to drain the fat, add a tiny bit of water to help everything mix together and then turn down the heat to simmer for a few minutes while prepping the peppers.
While I have access to an oven, I am roasting the peppers one last time before switching over to colder versions as I shared on instagram (see below). If roasting, you want to slice and put in the oven BEFORE cooking the meat as they can take a while to soften up unless you put in the broiler. There's no wrong way to roast them but I like them soft and slightly charred which can take up to 30 minutes in an oven at 350.
Simply scoop the taco meat into the bell pepper shells and top with guacamole, sour cream (I typically use whole milk yogurt but coconut yogurt is also good!), salsa, cheese, etc.
You probably don't need me to teach you how to make tuna/chicken/egg salad but maybe you will be inspired by the little things I do to spice it up with little to no effort. This week, Wild Planet Seafood and Primal Kitchen condiments are on sale. I'm a huge fan of PK avocado oil mayo, having used both plain and chipotle flavors for the past few years. I've been wanting to try the new garlic aioli version since it came out but I do not buy products like this unless they are on sale so it's had to wait until this week. I think their chipotle mayo works especially well for a quick tuna/chicken salad that requires no other ingredients and I am excited to see how the garlic aioli flavor works out.
I also bought Mary's Gone Crackers, another product I've never tried and would only buy on sale. I don't often eat crackers but this classic combo feels nostalgic so I figured YOLO. I typically eat tuna and chicken salad on a bed of salad greens, green beans, or alongside crudités. Here's a quick and dirty nicoise inspired version where I added feta and soft boiled egg. Avocado is also a great add-in. So many options and the key to saving time and money is to use what is easy and already on hand.
Whole Milk Yogurt with Fruit
I'm pretty loyal to Siggi's Dairy because I love the thicker consistency, especially in their whole milk and triple cream yogurts. It's also easy to find nationwide and doesn't contain any weird ingredients or additives. I usually go for the larger container because it's cheaper per ounce and I can also use a spoonful for other meals (like the stuffed bell pepper tacos).
This year I've gotten really into blueberries and peanut butter. I actually bought these blueberries last week when they were on sale. This week the organic strawberries at 2/$5 is the best value. There's something about the combo of fruit and peanut butter that really works for my tastebuds and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top adds a little unexpected “sweetness” — that's in quotes because it's not actually a sweetener, but as someone who eats very little sugar, cinnamon does make it sweeter (in my mind?)
My friend Tynan introduced me to this soup, who was introduced to it by his mother, who saw it in Austin Fit magazine attributed to The Soup Peddler. I found a nearly identical recipe by Liz Moody that appears to be the original. I've modified my version and removed “Detox” from the name. Whatever version you choose to follow, I encourage you to make it your own. It is a delicious way to maximize your vegetable intake and easy to batch and freeze. I have frozen into bowl and cube size servings to use in various recipes. I often toss a few cubes into bone broth or tomato sauce for added nutrition. I have made this three times with slightly different variations and it's hard to mess up. It is not necessary to measure and if you follow the basic instructions, your soup should turn out well. Adding the fresh parsley and cilantro at the end is key for a bright green soup.
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large zucchini, diced
2 whole broccoli crown,
1 bunch kale, de-stemmed
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute onion and garlic in oil until onions are translucent.
Add zucchini, kale and broccoli.
Cover with water and cook until all vegetables are very soft. Remove from heat and add cilantro, parsley and lemon juice. Puree with an immersion blender or Vitamix blender. Season with salt and pepper.