Happy Sunday everyone! I hope that you all had a great weekend and got to enjoy this beautiful warm weather. I didn't have a very eventful weekend, but it was quite relaxing. I went for a run in the park and forest trails (okay I was coaxed into a run, I didn't actually want to go) and I cooked a tasty end of summer dinner. I also started the show Narcos on Netflix. Getting dedicated to a new show is one of the best ways for me to force myself to relax.
Today I am bringing you the first post in my new blog series of money saving tips. For most people price is the biggest challenge to changing eating habits. In one of my first blog posts I talked about small changes that can be made and how to recognize areas of your life that are sucking up more money than you might realize. When you are trying to make lifestyle changes it can be easy to make excuses so it's important to recognize your spending habits and your priorities. I suggest you revisit that post.
With this series I am going to give simple, specific ideas that you can use in your real life every week. I hope that you enjoy and get some new recipe and purchasing ideas. Remember, eating real food does not need to be complicated. Using small changes, such as these, are the building blocks to a more healthfull life.
tip #1: frozen veggies, cauliflower edition
Okay so it can be easy to get caught up with the protein portion of your meal. Is it going to be a steak night? Maybe chicken? We often put the emphasis on our protein (and rightfully so because a good protein source at each meal is important) but we can forget about the value of our sides. A side is what can give us the bulk of our nutrients. No, I am not talking about a side of pasta or plain rice. I am talking about flavorful sides that are naturally low in carbohydrates, rich in vitamins, and high in healthy, satiating fats. Together with protein, a good side helps keep us full and helps to provide the nutrition we need at every meal.
What's a cheap, easy side that you can keep stocked at all times? Frozen veggies. Frozen veggies are an under appreciated real food option. Did you know that frozen veggies are equal to fresh in terms of vitamin and mineral content? They are frozen soon after picking which helps preserve nutrients that are often lost when veggies are packaged and shipped across states.
One of the easiest, cheapest sides I make with frozen veggies is cauliflower mash. It is a go-to because all I need is three to four ingredients that I already have in my fridge and a small food processor. Give it a try!
Most people have garlic, salt, pepper, butter, and milk of some kind in their house so the frozen cauliflower should be all that you need to buy!
- 1 bag of frozen cauliflower [$0.80-1.10]
- 2-4 tablespoons of butter, about half a stick [pack of 4 sticks is $4-5]
- 2-4 tablespoons of milk or heavy cream [small container of heavy cream $1.80]
- garlic, minced from a jar or chop up 2 cloves, optional
- salt and pepper
1. Prepare the frozen cauliflower according to the bag. Likely this involves boiling the cauliflower and draining it.
2. Place a third to half of the cooked cauliflower in food processor with half of the butter, milk, and garlic. Puree. Put into a bowl and repeat with the remaining ingredients. This will take two to three batches depending on the size of your food processor.
3. Mix both batches together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more milk and butter if desired.
That is it!!! No need to make things complicated. You have a delicious side that tastes and feels like mashed potatoes. This side is perfect for the whole family. If you're cooking for one or two use the leftovers in your lunch. Most important: This costs less than three dollars. So, what are you waiting for?!
Is there a frozen veggies that you turn to in a pinch? I would love to hear about it.