t2

Friday, May 26, 2017

Paleo Fish Cakes Recipe- Egg Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free


I recently got my hands on a large amount of free fish (in the form of fish heads and fish bones that I cooked and then separated the meat from the bones), and have been looking for different ways to use it. My dad used to make tuna croquettes when I was a kid, and I really enjoyed them, and I thought to make similar with my fish. 
This recipe for fish cakes is flavorful enough that it doesn't even need any dipping sauce or topping, but feel free to use whatever types of toppings you enjoy on fish croquettes, from tahini dressing as I used to aioli to Russian dressing to tartar sauce. They also would work well as burgers in a bun with fixings.

This fish cake recipe can with with any cooked flaked deboned or boneless fish, or even canned fish, such as tuna or salmon. 
Mine are completely paleo and egg free, and manage to hold together nicely even without using any flour. If you don't eat a paleo diet, feel free to replace both the chestnuts and almond flour with either gluten free flour or gluten flour of choice, adding enough so that it has a decent texture that holds together into patty form.
As these don't have flour or egg, these are softer fish cakes and need to be handled gently.

I used fennel and carrots in my fish cakes, but feel free to replace them with whatever other vegetables are cheap where you live.

Paleo Fish Cakes Recipe- Egg Free, Gluten Free, Flour Free

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Cheater Fast Sushi and Paleo Sushi Techniques


I've been a fan of sushi since I was a kid and have passed on that love of sushi to my kids.

The first time I ever had sushi was on a trip to New York when I was in elementary school. We stopped at a restaurant just as we were about to come home, had a variety of different types of sushi, and quickly became hooked.

Once home, we saw that it wasn't so easy to find sushi in my home town, and what there was cost a lot of money, so my parents, do-it-yourself-type people decided to learn how to make their own. Because we couldn't get sushi grade fish easily, our sushi was always made either with only vegetables or with the addition of lox or surimi (fake crab) strips.

I quickly mastered the art of rolling sushi (it's really not difficult, and becomes much easier and faster with practice), including the more complex inside out rolls. Sushi making, overall, was no big deal for me....

...Alright. Other than the rice.

Making sushi rice was always the most annoying part of making sushi for me. 

Tips to Staying on a Tight Budget Without Driving Yourself Crazy

This blog post was written by James Daniels, a freelance writer, tech geek, and avid reader. I especially find it useful because these are tips that take very little time to implement and can pay off quickly.


If you feel like you are constantly stretching your pennies until they scream, take heed: with a few adjustments and tricks, you can make living on a tight budget less of a burden. Check out the following ideas that should give you more money left at the end of the month:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Do Chua - Vietnamese Style Pickled Carrots and Radishes Recipe - Paleo and Cheap


When I got my hands on a lot of free carrots and radishes a couple of months ago, I wanted to figure out something amazing to do with them. I'd remembered reading about a Vietnamese carrot and daikon pickle on VietWorldKitchen.com and decided to try to make my own take off from them, using regular radishes instead of daikon, and using non refined sweeteners instead of the white sugar often found in recipes.
Vietnamese carrot and radish pickles are an essential component of the famous Vietnamese sandwich, banh mi, a baguette filled with mayonnaise, chili pepper, cilantro, sliced cucumbers, soy sauce, a cooked protein of choice (from fish to meat to chicken to tofu) as well as these carrot and radish pickles. While not Paleo, I do want to try to make a banh mi inspired wrap, with those fillings and Vietnamese spicy sardines, a common component in banh mi sandwiches.  

I started off with this authentic do chua recipe and played around with the ingredients and proportions until they were to my liking, so I won't say my recipe is authentic anymore, but it is close enough that I think it still can be called do chua. 

Since that original time, I've often been able to get cheap or even free carrots and radishes and I've made them many times since. They are so delicious that my daughter will try to sneak fistfuls out of the refrigerator when I'm not looking. Every single person I've served these pickles to enjoyed them.

Best part about them? They are a great way to make past prime veggies last longer- the vinegar and salt preserves the vegetables, and these can easily last a few months in the fridge. I have not tried canning them, but I don't see why that wouldn't work (although it probably will take away from the crunch factor).

The way I make these pickles, they come out full of flavor, nice and tangy, with the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and salty. Feel free to adjust the ratio of vinegar to sweetener to suit your taste preferences- I use more vinegar and sweetener than in the original recipe. I've used date syrup, jaggery syrup, and honey as the sweetener in mine- white sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar all will work as well, depending on your dietary needs/preferences and budget. Do chua doesn't typically have onions in it, but I find them a welcome addition.

If you aren't a big fan of the flavor of radishes, note that they don't taste radishy here, and even non radish lovers generally like them here. But if you want to leave them out, feel free and just increase the amount of carrots.

Do Chua - Vietnamese Style Pickled Carrots and Radishes Recipe - Paleo and Cheap

A Happy Garden Update!



You have no idea how long I've waited to write this post!
Growing up in Cleveland, my family had a decent sized house with a relatively large yard. While most of it was grassy, wonderful for playing, and we had a grape arbor/swingset and club house we built, we had many different distinct areas for gardening. A vegetable garden in the very back, where we grew all sorts of things like asparagus, rhubarb, corn, chives, snow peas, zucchini, and tomatoes. A garden along the side with blueberry bushes, gooseberries. A garden along the other side with raspberries and wineberries. Various fruit trees like apricots and peaches. Another little area with mint and horseradish. And in the front a flower garden with strawberries, and on our tree lawn, around our tree, we grew Jerusalem artichokes.

My mother has a green thumb and loves gardening. I've wanted to be like her and garden, growing my own food as much as possible, instead of buying it from the grocery store. But we lived in a rental apartment the first five years we were married, and we never knew how long we'd be staying there, so were loathe to invest in a garden that we would have to leave behind.
Eventually, though, after we'd been there for 4.5 years we said that if we'd been there that long already, we'd probably be there another while too, so why not just make a garden already. We planted tomatoes and swiss chard... and then decided (and rather suddenly, at that) to move, because we'd had it up to there with our hellacious landlord. We gave away our chickens and rabbits, packed up our house, and moved to an apartment that not only was half the size of our previous one, but also had no yard whatsoever.
For the next 5 years we were in that apartment, having no idea when we'd be able to afford to move to a bigger place. I got more and more into frugality and self sufficiency, really wanted to garden, but had very little success. Any gardening I could do had to be in pots and planters.
Most plants that I attempted to grow from seed never actually grew. The ones that did start to grow, overall, did not do well in the planters. We had a few moderate successes, but my experiences made me think I was just a plant killer. The few plants that I had growing that I managed to not kill, and even could harvest from occasionally, were aloe vera and purslane.

Basic Things to Know About Mutual Funds

Often when I talk to people about saving money and how to save, they scoff and say "That's not saving. Saving money means actually having money to put aside into savings." When I teach people how to be frugal and save money on their groceries, household expenses, clothing, or anything else, the point is to live within your means enough so that you have excess cash left over after your expenses. That cash, after building an emergency fund, can be saved, and also grown in all sorts of methods, such as mutual funds. Reader Janica Buenconsejo explains a little more about this next option, how you can turn your saved money into more money in the future.

A lot of people are looking for ways to grow their money. Some would start a small business so that they can earn from something they actually want to do, like making accessories or printing shirts. Others would fund a project or a start-up company and expect a sizeable return of investment once it earns. However, some choose to invest their money through buying stocks or bonds.

If you choose the latter, you should that there are many kinds of investments you can choose from, depending on the risk factor and the length of time you want your money to in play. However, if you are afraid of risking money, note that it is not just about buying stocks or bonds; there are less stressful ways of investing. A mutual fund is one such kind of investment and is probably the easiest way to invest in the market, even young adults can start doing it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Paleo Stuffed Artichoke Hearts or Zucchini Recipe- Egg Free, Frugal


I adore artichoke; it is one of my absolute favorite vegetables. The best part of the artichoke, of course, is the heart. When I brought home a large amount of artichokes super cheaply, I knew that I wanted to make stuffed artichoke hearts with at least some of them. I prepared the artichoke to access the heart and hope to make a post in the near future on how to do that yourself. If you don't want to do that, or only have access to frozen artichoke hearts, feel free to use them in this recipe.
Stuffed artichoke is generally made predominantly with ground beef which gets expensive, with dairy that I don't eat, or with rice or breadcrumbs mixed with the meat to stretch it further, also things I don't eat. 
I took the idea for stuffed artichoke hearts that I've eaten elsewhere--beef seasoned with lemon and mint-- and made it more frugally and without ingredients I don't eat. Here you have allergy friendly, frugal, paleo stuffed artichoke. 
If you don't eat artichoke, or they aren't frugal or in season where you live, I made half of my batch with artichoke and the other half as stuffed zucchini, and they are equally delicious.

I find that when vegetables are stuffed with meat that is not stretched with rice or another vegetable, the meat ends up getting dry and not so pleasant to eat. Because the meat in this recipe is steamed in the oven and mixed with zucchini, it stays very moist and delicious.

I highly, highly recommend this recipe.

Paleo Stuffed Artichoke Hearts or Zucchini Recipe- Egg Free, Frugal

Friday, May 19, 2017

Some Fabulous Deals at the Market and Lots of Free Food

The other day I was in town, heading to the market via public transportation and I met another English speaker. She saw my empty folding shopping cart and asked me if I was heading to the market. I confirmed that, so she commented, "You can get some pretty cool deals there." Yes, definitely.
We were talking a bit and then introduced ourselves by name, and when I said mine she exclaimed "Oh! You're the frugal market lady! I read about what you get there!" That was amusing.
Anyhow, we then started talking and she asked me what I was planning on getting there and how much I planned to spend. Since I had a decent amount of vegetables in my house already, although not all the ones I needed, I told her that I planned to spend no more than $30, but ideally less than $15... Usually when I go to the market I don't decide beforehand how much I plan on spending. I just buy what I need for as little money as possible—trying to find as many free or nearly free things as I can—and whatever I spend, I spend.I does typically end up within the $15-$30 range, hence my goal. Once I have a challenge though, I have a lot of fun seeing just how little I can spend, because I enjoy proving something to myself and the one who challenged me.



I came home with all this food. 83.6 lbs of produce. 22.2 lbs of fish. 105.8 lbs of food, all paleo and unprocessed and healthy, for a grand total of.... wait for it... $11.42!
That works out to under 11 cents a pound for all that food!

Modern Ways to Save Money

As a frugal conscious person living in today's modern world, I am very appreciative of the fact that today's technology and specifically the Internet allows me even more ways to save money than were open to us in the past. Here's a few ways the Internet can help you save money in 2017.


Save differently.
I know how challenging it can be to put away money to savings when cash is short and you can't find many ways to save. This 52 Week Saving Challenge is based on the idea that it's hard to find money to set aside to save, so it starts you off small- just one dollar put into savings the first week, two weeks the next. Because of the gradual way in which you are putting aside money you don't feel a big hit to your wallet. Instead gradually you learn to spend less and less money so you have what to put in savings but by the end of the year you will have saved a lot of money.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Homemade Carrot Peach Leather Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, Easy


I got a very large amount of carrots recently for free (more about that in a later post), but because they weren't in the best of conditions, they needed to be used up sooner rather than later, or at least something needed to be done with them to extend their shelf life. 
With some, I made my sweet and spicy carrots medallions. With others, I made a stir fry with other free vegetables. I made Vietnamese carrot pickles (recipe to come soon). But I still had so much more left and was trying to figure out what to do with them. (Chilled carrot soup will probably make it to my menu soon, either with orange juice, or with leek and cumin.)

When I was on my recent hiking getaway with my mom and sisters, we were brainstorming with ideas of Paleo food to bring along that wouldn't be too heavy (since we had to carry it on our backs) and while homemade ground beef jerky was for protein, figuring out vegetables was harder. I thought of making butternut squash leather, and my mom did so, and it was pretty tasty but lacking something. Eating it together with the banana leather it was perfection.
Seeing my carrots on my counter, I thought I'd take inspiration from that butternut squash leather, and see if I could turn my carrots into "fruit" leather. (I know it as fruit leather, but have a hard time with calling it fruit leather when its pretty much vegetable leather.) I did some googling to see if carrot leather worked on its own, and all other people seemed to add fruit to it, so I figured why not. It still is predominantly carrots, but I added a few peaches that had soft spots and would spoil if I didn't use them up soon. I decided to add some ginger and cinnamon so it would be reminiscent of pumpkin pie.
Well, I can't say that it worked. I don't taste the pumpkin pie. Next time I should probably increase the amount.
But what I can say is that this leather tasted amazing. In fact, I'd say its probably some of the best tasting "fruit" leather I've eaten in a while. My kids loved it too.
It doesn't taste quite carroty and it doesn't taste quite peachy, but somewhere between the two, just the right amount of sweetness, etc...

Share This