Friday, January 19, 2018

Chickpea Swiss Chard Veggie Burgers Recipe- Gluten Free and Vegan

Lately I haven't been cooking so many legume dishes despite them being healthy and affordable, because every time I make them, my kids end up protesting, and refusing to eat them, and then they go in the trash, which makes them decidedly not a money saver.
However, I wanted to try again, and decided to combine chickpeas- one of the legumes my kids mind least, and swiss chard (or rather, the wild version of it, beta vulgaris, sea beet) that I have growing all over my yard, and I made these chickpea Swiss chard veggie burgers together with my kids, and everyone agreed to eat it and they all enjoyed it, so I'll call that a win.
It's a pretty easy recipe to make as well, so that's an additional win. Not to mention being gluten free and vegan.

Chickpea Swiss Chard Veggie Burgers Recipe- Gluten Free and Vegan

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Paleo Vegan Banana Crumble Recipe

This recipe and pictures are not winning any awards, but it falls under the category of yummy, easy, healthy, frugal etc... so its a winner in my books. I've had a hard and overwhelming few weeks, dealing with the flu going around from person to person in my family, and finally we seem to all be over it. But I'm quite drained, to put it mildly. 
I was looking for a dessert to make with my five million bananas I bought last time I went to the market, thinking that my family would devour them, or at the very least I'd put them in my freezer to use later, but my second freezer went on the fritz and I needed to start emptying it out. I've made apple crumble many, many times beforehand, but thought to try it with bananas and I love the result.
This recipe is definitely only for banana lovers, but for those that love it, it is banana heaven.
The end result is not only gluten free, vegan, paleo, and cheap (assuming bananas are in season) it is also super easy to make, perfect for those times when you're run down.
Because I used overripe bananas for mine, they were extra sweet on their own, so I used minimal sweetener. If you are using regular bananas, not overripe and very sweet ones, you may want to increase the amount of sweetener you use. 
While I made mine paleo, you can use whatever flour mixture you want and have available. Crumble toppings are very flexible. 

Paleo Vegan Banana Crumble Recipe

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Lemony Rice with Swiss Chard Recipe- Vegan, Easy, and Delicious

I'm sorry I haven't posted in the last week- I've been dealing with sick kids- all four of my kids have taken turns having the flu, and we're already on week 2 of dealing with sick family members. Fortunately, thus far my husband and I have been spared.

With all that, to be honest, I haven't been eating so healthily, eating far too much junk and ready made food. While I did manage to get enough protein each day (for the most part) I was feeling vegetables very lacking in my diet. I did have a fridge full of food, but wasn't inspired. It's been pouring rain and the weather has made my garden flourish, my garden overflowing with all different types of greens, but predominantly my sea beet, beta vulgaris, or wild Swiss chard.

In just a few minutes, I picked all this chard (and there's about 50 times more of that out in my yard at the moment), determined that I'd make myself a nutritious, vegetable heavy, dish with it. I turned to the internet looking for ideas, and got many, but one specific idea was sent to me by someone named Abby- Swiss chard cooked together with rice and lemon.
In my mind, something about cold, wet days goes hand in hand with rice, especially sticky rice, so I made this rice with short grain rice. It can be adapted to be made with regular white rice, but I don't know the exact proportions of water if using regular white rice.

This recipe is easy, yummy, frugal, and vegan. If you don't have Swiss chard or sea beet like I do, you can make this also with beet greens, spinach, or probably kale as well.

Lemony Rice with Swiss Chard Recipe- Vegan, Easy, and Delicious

Friday, December 29, 2017

Homemade Thai Green Curry Paste Recipe- Paleo and Vegan

I went out for dinner recently and ended up ordering two different Thai style dishes- one a noodle dish, and one corn soup, and they both were utterly amazing, making me want to recreate them both at home. When attempting to do so, I realized that the base ingredient for both of them was Thai green curry paste, something I was sure I could make at home.
I got fixated on this recipe so much that I did something I never do- I went to three different stores on the same day to look for the ingredients, because I just had to make it, it was that good. 
I am really thrilled with this recipe- it makes enough for a few different dishes- I recreated the delicious soup in addition to a giant batch of the noodle dish (enough to fit a dutch oven to the very top) and I still have a little bit left. I'll be sharing those recipes soon, but they are delectable and heavenly. Here are some other ways to use green curry paste if you want more ideas

Yes, the recipe has lots of different ingredients, but it is very worth it. (The hardest for me to find was the fresh basil.) Authentically Thai green curry paste would also have kafir lime leaves, but I don't have those, and left them out easily. It also is supposed to have fish sauce, but you can use soy sauce to keep it vegan, and I used coconut aminos to keep it Paleo in addition to vegan. While lime is traditional, lemon tastes similar enough that it can be used in its place if you don't have limes. (I happened to have some limes in my freezer so that worked for me.)
I didn't follow or alter a specific recipe for this, but looked at many recipes to get a basic idea for this one, and then compiled this recipe according to my tastes.

Just a note- this recipe doesn't have any preservatives in it, so use it immediately or freeze it until you use it, so it doesn't go off.

Family Feasts That Won’t Break The Bank

I love making good, cheap eats. This post by Michael, a food enthusiast, is filled with some great frugal delectable meals for your family.

"cottage pie" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by [cipher]
It probably wasn’t a big surprise to anyone when it was announced in November that food inflation was at its highest rate for four years. You only have to look at your weekly shopping to see that you’re getting less for more money than you did even six months ago. If like most people, you’re on a budget this means that steps are going to have to be taken if you want to continue to keep the family well fed without heading into the red.

We’re sure that you’re already doing the obvious things like shopping at the cheaper stores and keeping a close eye on sites like mysupermarket.co.uk to double check where the cheapest prices are to be found. No doubt you’re also a seasoned user of coupons and know just which of the BOGOF offers are worth grabbing. But here are a few ideas about how to can enjoy some of the perennial family favourite meals while saving a few pennies too. Try them for a couple of weeks and hopefully you’ll have saved enough to treat yourselves to a Friday night pizza delivery courtesy of Deliveroo.

Cottage Pie

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Homemade Red Zhug or Sahawiq or Daqqus Recipe- Yemenite Hot Pepper Condiment

Recently, I was at the market, stocking up on cheap produce, and my favorite shop keeper basically shoved a few large hot peppers into my shop. I protested, saying "What am I going to do with all these hot peppers? I have some at home already" and he said "You'll figure out that to do with them." He didn't charge me extra, so I figured, why not...
Once home, I remembered that when we went to visit my friend's house, my kids fell in love with a certain condiment at her table, made from zhug mixed with mayonnaise, and they'd been begging me to make it at home.

Zhug (pronounced skhug), also known as Sahawiq or Daqqus, is a hot pepper and cilantro based hot sauce, hailing from Yemen. It is a great addition to nearly anything, if you enjoy heat in your food. Shawarma and falafel are often served with zhug spread on the pita or taboon bread before filling it. Zhug is added to many different sandwiches, and it is an ingredient in many people's hilbeh, Yemenite fenugreek dip. And of course, it is delicious mixed with mayonnaise and then used as a spread or a dip.

There are both green and red types of zhug, depending on the types of hot pepper used, and their taste differs somewhat. I made this recipe up by researching a bunch of different recipes, and then combining them to form this. Feel free to play around with it, it doesn't need to be exactly this proportion of ingredients- it's a matter of taste.

I'm just warning you though that this doesn't keep so well. Divide it into little batches and freeze the rest, using up a little bit at a time, so that it doesn't go off. I'm trying to figure out what to add to this to maybe help preserve it a little better than the current recipe does. Perhaps more lemon juice, or a bit of vinegar, and more salt? Not sure. But either way, divide it up and freeze what you aren't currently using so you don't have to worry.

Oh- and this recipe? It's suitable for nearly every diet, from Paleo to vegan, gluten free and allergy friendly. The only people this recipe isn't good for are people off nightshades or on the auto-immune paleo protocol.

I highly recommend it. It's awesome, and so easy to make.

Homemade Red Zhug or Sahawiq or Daqqus Recipe- Yemenite Hot Pepper Condiment

Exploring The Most Innovative Furniture That You Can Build At Home

My husband is a handy guy who has built a lot of homemade furniture for our home. He's always looking for inspiration of other things to build for our home, and I'm on the lookout for ideas as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the creative ideas in this post written by John, a reader.

Do you consider yourself to be a reasonably handy individual with the woodworking tools that you need to create your very own furniture? Well, you might be surprised to learn that there are tons of innovative furniture plans available for free online. It is true that you don’t need to be a professional to bring some of these creations to life, but you do need to possesses the basic knowledge and skills of building. With everything available from coffee table plans to bookcase plans, you shouldn’t have a problem finding the exact plans that you are looking for. With that being said, below you will learn about some of the most innovative DIY projects available.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Creamy Garlic Dressing Recipe- Vegan, Paleo, Refined Sugar Free

My husband, not so long ago, started buying Hellman's garlic dressing from the local supermarket. He enjoyed eating it on everything, whether as a salad dressing, on rice, chicken, vegetables, and I was glad he found something that he enjoyed. But the bottle was so small and the price tag so high for the amount in it that I decided to see if I could make my own version of it.
I will admit that I haven't tasted the Hellman's version, since I don't eat eggs.
But I took to the internet to try to figure out how to make a homemade version of the garlic dressing, and figured out some basic ingredients, that I then threw together already a few times, and it came out awesomely every single time- and I made it without eggs, so I can eat this one. My husband and kids really have been enjoying it as well.
I hosted a get together for women in my neighborhood and I put out this as a dip for crudites, and everyone loved it so much as was begging me for the recipe. So here it is. 
I also have used this garlic dressing mixed with tomato paste, slathered it on chicken before baking, and it was divine.

To make this dressing vegan, I use my homemade vegan flax seed based mayonnaise, but you can use any mayonnaise, homemade or store bought, to make the recipe. Since each mayonnaise has a slightly different flavor (especially if you make your mayonnaise from scratch), the ingredients in this recipe should be adjusted as desired to complement best with the original flavor of the mayonnaise.

Creamy Garlic Dressing Recipe- Vegan, Paleo, Refined Sugar Free

The 5 Best 'Gifts' You Can Give Your Dog This Holiday Season That Cost Little To No Money

I grew up with a cat, but always wanted a dog. My mom always told me that when I grow up and have a house of my own, I can get a dog. Since having my own home, I had fish (and lots of them), rabbits, chickens, tortoises... but no dogs. Dogs are too much work for me at this stage in life. (And so are the other animals, which is why I no longer have any animals.) But for many, dogs are an important part of their family, that they'd like to give gifts for the holidays as they do any other family member. Here's a post by Chelsea Rivera, a dog lover, with ideas on how to give your fur babies holiday gifts on a budget. Hope you enjoy it!

Have you ever heard the saying, 'The best things in life are free"? Well, the same can be said for your dog! Pet parents around the world spend so much money to improve the quality of life for their pets. While this is admirable, your dog doesn't need much. Check out the list below to get some inspo for what to put in your dog's stocking this year!

Switch To A Raw Food Diet

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Gifting For The Holidays, Penny's Way

Every year as the holiday season approaches, I have a dilemma about whether or not I should post about gifting for Christmas, because overall in the world I feel there is so much of an emphasis on consumerism. Christmas brings out the worst in consumerism, with so much pressure to give so much, keeping up with the Joneses, so as to not disappoint people, and I have a problem with that.
That said, while in other years I decided to give homemade gifts for the holidays, my kids have grown up and they realize that many of the homemade gifts I've made them in the past are "less than" and they really would prefer something store bought, even if cheap, over my homemade stuff, no matter how much love they were made with.
And fortunately we're in a place that we can afford to buy my children new toys, even if they're cheap. And we don't go overboard...
So here's my guide for how to gift for the holidays- in a way that is in line with my values- making your money spent worthwhile, but not breaking the budget.

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