Tuesday, May 30, 2017

How to Clean and Prepare Artichokes for Pickling and Stuffing

I absolutely adore artichokes. Growing up, we had them on special occasions with my family, and because of that, I have really positive associations with that vegetable. I love artichoke any way I can get it, baked, boiled, stuffed, marinated, in soups, salads, you name it...
I felt like I hit the jackpot when I got 30 lbs of artichoke for 25 cents a pound, but I will admit, I was just a little bit overwhelmed. Much as I love artichoke, the only way I'd ever made it before was boiled or baked, whole; when I'd had it other ways, I'd always started with frozen or canned. I didn't want to just boil or bake all my 30 lbs of artichoke whole, but didn't even begin to know where to start if I wanted to turn my whole artichokes into hearts or to be able to can them.

I did a lot of googling to try to figure that out, and I'll admit, even that wasn't so helpful, since most of the instructions were vague or called for baby artichokes, which I didn't have.

However, I managed to figure it out and turn my artichokes into artichoke hearts for stuffing, canned them, made them into soup, and it's a game changer. I feel worlds of options opening up for me in the kitchen now because of this.

To help explain how to clean and prepare artichokes for pickling and stuffing, I made a video of my sister Lizzy, demonstrating how to do this. If it looks hard, I literally showed Lizzy how to do this only one minute before making this video- it's easy to learn. As that was her first time doing so, note that the more often you do this, the more practice you get, the faster you can get it done.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Tuna Tartare with Capers on Beet Carpaccio Recipe- Paleo and Delicious

The other day I was looking for a fancy dish to make for a nice meal, but didn't want to spend too much money on it, saw some beets in my fridge and capers I'd just foraged, and got inspired to make this dish, tuna tartare with foraged capers and sow thistle capers on beet carpaccio. I first saw my friend Ben make a dish similar to this; his plating was an inspiration for mine.
Carpaccio is a dish invented in the 1950s and originally made with paper thin slices of beef topped with olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, and salt, and more recently people have started making meatless versions of it out of beets.
Tartare is typically made from raw meat or fish, onions, capers, and seasonings, and is similar to the raw fish ceviche.

When I made this dish, my entire family was in love, and the dish itself, despite its fancy appearance, was relatively easy to make and quite frugal. Tuna steaks, I'm sure you're thinking, are not remotely frugal, but if you compare the price per pound with canned tuna, tuna steaks typically work out to be significantly cheaper. I used just one tuna steak for this recipe and stretched it with lots of capers and onions and it was enough to serve as an appetizer for our entire family. The fish in this recipe cost me about a dollar, the beets about 35 cents, the onion was free, and the rest of the ingredients were so insignificant in terms of cost- a fancy appetizer like this for under $1.50, approximately the price of a can of chunk light tuna locally, definitely a frugal dish, even factoring in the tuna steak.
If you want to do a more fish heavy dish, and not have such a high onion to tuna ratio, you're welcome to do so, it will just increase the cost, and it tasted fishy and delicious enough like this, so I wouldn't change anything.

In terms of safety and raw fish, I'd suggest you do your own research about what types of tuna that you can locally buy are safe to eat raw. Sushi grade tuna would work, for example.

I used a combination of homemade foraged pickled capers and sow thistle capers (recipe in my book Penniless Foodie in the Wild, now available in Kindle version as well as print, on Amazon) in my recipe, but you can use store bought pickled capers or any mock capers, or a combination thereof in this recipe.

If you want to keep this vegan and/or lower the costs, you can simply make the beet carpaccio, thinly slice a raw onion and scatter it on the beets along with capers, before adding the rest of the toppings, and it tastes delicious and looks beautiful, albeit a little less so, that way as well.

Tuna Tartare with Capers on Beet Carpaccio Recipe- Paleo and Delicious

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Tale of Our Bedroom Vanity

Our new house, while nearly double the amount of living space of our old place, is still quite small for our family of six. Other than the bathrooms, the smallest room in the house is my bedroom. We did design the layout of the apartment, putting the walls and doors where we wanted, more or less, since we bought the place before internal walls were built, and we could have possibly made our bedroom bigger. However, any additional space we added to our bedroom would either make our kitchen/living room/dining room smaller, which we didn't want to do, or getting rid of our second bathroom, not either something we were keen to do. We made the choice to sacrifice bedroom space for the sake of the rest of the house.

Out bedroom is 8.5 feet by 10.3 feet, or 2.6 meters by 3.1 meters. 87.5 square feet or 8 square meters to be exact. Add to this the fact that there are two doors in the room (one from the hallway, and one to the bathroom) and no built in closet space, we needed to figure out how to store everything two people need in the bedroom. This was not an easy thing to do by a long shot.

But we figured it out, by building our own beds and night stands, used some Ikea "hacks" and repurposed some furniture from our old apartment, and we mostly figured it out...
Other than a place to store my makeup, jewelry, hair things, etc... I needed a vanity...

Getting Fit Doesn’t Require An Expensive Fitness Club

This post was written by Sandra Adams, a reader who loves staying fit on a budget.

Being fit has several different aspects. For one, it makes us more healthy. Bodies that are fit and strong have better immune systems, develop diseases less frequently, and are often healthier later in life than. Another aspect is the way being healthy makes us feel. When our bodies are healthy, it means they are working in good order, which has the result of a feeling of stability and well-being. Finally, being fit has a good outcome for our appearances as well. Looking our best has positive benefits for our social lives, and we also feel better about ourselves when we look and feel our best.

However, many people think that to get fit you must pay. Whether through expensive gym memberships, personal training, pricey fitness clothing and gear, or a handful of hot yoga classes, the industry of fitness certainly makes it appear than fitness goes to only those who can afford it. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Whether you’re trying to lose a little extra weight or attempting to get rid of male breast tissue, the tools you need are already at hand. Here are the best ways to get fit, without spending a lot of money.

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...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Homemade Egg Free Hollandaise Sauce Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, and Delicious

Foraged asparagus with vegan hollandaise

My 9 year old son Lee sometimes asks me "Mommy, how do you come up with all your recipe ideas?" and I tell him, more often than not I get inspired by recipes I see on the net or elsewhere. I don't usually make recipes as I find them, because of food sensitivities and monetary constraints. Some recipes I am especially proud of, as I figured them out from start to finish, not basing them off any or even multiple other recipes, but entirely out of my head.
My vegan, flax seed based mayonnaise is one of those recipes that I figured out entirely on my own, and it is really an amazing one, with the exact texture and taste of egg based mayonnaise (unlike most vegan mayonnaise recipes whose texture leaves much to be desired).

When I was lucky enough to be able to forage a bunch of asparagus (something I rarely eat, as they are ridiculously overpriced here, and wild ones don't grow so frequently where I live), I wanted to serve them in the most delicious way possible, that would let their flavor shine (and not be hidden in a quiche or soup) while adding something to bring its flavor up a notch. Cliched though it is, I decided to serve my asparagus with hollandaise sauce.
Or my version of it anyhow.

I'm not a vegan by a long shot, but unfortunately I've got a sensitivity to most dairy and eggs. I've tried my way around it, tried duck eggs instead of chicken eggs, but I can't eat them either. And even ghee, which is clarified butter, with the milk protein removed, something many dairy intollerant people are able to have, makes me react, unfortunately. So the classic hollandaise sauce, made from egg yolks and butter is out for me. But that didn't mean I wanted to give up on it.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Easy Homemade Peach Sauce Recipe - Paleo, Vegan, Delicious

Peaches are coming into season around here, which means that I can find them on the reduced rack at the grocery store or market, being sold for very little or even sometimes free. When I get them extra frugally or free, they often are mushy and/or banged up, which means that they should be cooked so they don't spoil. This peach sauce works perfectly well with overripe and/or mushy peaches, and is freezer friendly too.
We had this peach sauce with my homemade strawberry chocolate cheesecake swirl ice cream, and while each tasted amazing on their own, they were perfection together. This peach sauce, so delicious, is extremely easy to make, to the extent that I almost feel silly sharing the recipe here. It works great as a topping on ice cream, pudding, yogurt, or any cakes or brownies, or even eaten on its own.
And of course, it is paleo, vegan, without any refined sweeteners, etc...

Easy Homemade Peach Sauce Recipe - Paleo, Vegan, Delicious

Friday, May 12, 2017

Homemade Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Cream Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, and Easy

I had another recipe that I wanted to share today, but upon request I'll share this delicious and easy recipe with you today instead. I debated what to call this. My kids call it ice cream, so I might as well just call it that. However, it is based on an idea for cashew based vegan cheesecake with strawberries that my family and I really love. Cashews make a delicious mock cheesecake, with a cheesiness that you don't often find in vegan foods. This recipe is made with almonds, not cashews, but it still has a resemblance to it, hence the cheesecake ice cream name I gave it. While I made this with almond butter, feel free to make it with cashew butter instead. I have not tried it with other nut butters, but if you want to experiment, feel free.

This recipe is pretty easy to make. The only thing to note is that the ingredients do need to be added in the order written, otherwise it can flop, so keep that in mind and follow the instructions precisely.

Homemade Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Cream Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, and Easy

Thursday, May 11, 2017

My Frugal Produce Cooking Marathon

Yesterday I had a really great shopping trip, bringing home a bunch of produce for very little money. Much as I love a good deal on produce, bringing home that much at once does mean that I need to figure out what to do with it all so it doesn't spoil and gets the most use.

Here's what I did with the produce I brought home yesterday. Of course there is still much more fresh in my fridge to use up at later dates, but this is the food prep I did for now.

My Latest Super Frugal Shopping Trips

I love a good bargain. My husband frequently sees what I buy cheaply and laments that I "brought the entire market home with me". But yes, I do have a hard time passing up a great bargain, and yesterday's shopping trips were no exception.

Here's my total shop from yesterday. Guess how much it cost?

The entire shop cost me $76.15!

If you break up the shop into produce and meat, all that produce (the vast majority of what is pictured) cost me only $30.70, and the meat cost me $45.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A Frugal Girls Mini Vacation

I just got back from a great trip with my mom and two sisters, Violet and Lizzy. We moved abroad when my little sister Lizzy was only 6, and Violet and I moved out of the house right around then. We realized that we girls never really did trips together, and Violet had the idea to go on a hiking trip/mini vacation with the three girls and our mom, and we had an awesome time. 
It was frugal and fun and just hit the spot.

Violet wanted to go to this specific water hike that is very famous, and is a rite of passage, of sorts, for locals, as it something a large percent do growing up here, which we never did since we only came at a later stage.

We left yesterday afternoon, came back yesterday night. 

Entire cost of the trip? 

$25 per person plus groceries.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Nightshade Free Hot Sauce Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, Delicious

I love my hot sauce. Whether tobasco or sriracha or any other type, being able to add a kick to my food easily is something I really enjoy. In a discussion with a friend of mine who is off of nightshades (the family that includes potatoes, peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes), she noted how I use nightshades in most of my dishes. That confused me, as I avoid potatoes, eggplants, and peppers because they bother my stomach, and make many tomato free dishes. Then it hit me- hot sauce. I use it a lot. And it is made with hot peppers or hot pepper flakes.
It got me thinking- what if I could make a hot sauce that is nightshade free? Peppercorns are actually not in the nightshade family, so if I could make a hot sauce based on them instead of the usual hot peppers, we'd be in luck, and hopefully all those sensitive to nightshades would be able to finally have hot sauce. (People off nightshades are often told to add horseradish or mustard or fresh garlic or ginger to their food in place of hot sauce, but it is definitely not the same. They have very different tastes.
I set out to see if I could make a peppercorn based hot sauce, but first scoured the internet to see if I could find something like that already out there, but came up empty. So here it is. And it's darn good. I would say it rivals my homemade sriracha sauce in terms of taste. I highly highly recommend this recipe, and not just to people who can't use nightshades, but everyone. The one issue with it is the color not being as attractive as the bright red sriracha you see in the grocery store. Oh well.

While I used sweet potato in this recipe, if you're on the GAPS diet or another diet that forbids sweet potatoes, I am confident that it would work just as well with pumpkin, butternut squash, or carrots in place of the sweet potato. The purpose of the sweet potato is to add a mild sweetness that sriracha has, as well as thickening it, and any other orange veggie would work as well.

Nightshade Free Hot Sauce Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, Delicious

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Reddit Ask Me Anything

Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know that today I am doing an Ask Me Anything on Reddit, under the username PennilessFoodie! Anything you want to know about me, or anything you wanted to pick my brains about, that's where to do it! Just a reminder though- as I'm an anon blogger and don't give away my identity, location, or religion, if you do know any of those things about me, please keep them off your questions on reddit. Thanks, looking forward!

Here's the link to the reddit post. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

My Latest Super Frugal Shopping Trip

It is no secret how much I enjoy shopping at the open air market. As a family who goes through a lot of produce, I hate paying supermarket prices for produce when I can get it all for a fraction of the price.

Because I regularly go to the open air market, I develop a relationship with many of the sellers, who get to know me as someone who loves a good bargain, and they offer me better bargains than they offer everyone else, sometimes.

This last time I went to the market was no exception.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

DIY Workbench and Tool Storage

To say that my husband has a lot of tools/building equipment would be an understatement. It is an enjoyable hobby of his, and fortunately it is a cost effective one. Building our own furniture and other things we need in the house, and in general doing our own fixing saves us money, in both the short and the long term. The problem is that when you have a lot of tools, it can be hard to keep track of them and find what you need when you need it.

To be able to store his tools more easily and make them easily accessible to him, my husband built this tool storage station of sorts, without spending a thing. We have a small apartment, as we divided a two floor home into two apartments, one to live in and one to rent out. We have "stairs that lead to nowhere", as the division between the two apartments was made by building a wall at the top of the stairs. We use the upper part of the stairs for storage, and my husband made use of the landing in the middle of the stairs, as a place to store his tools. (Eventually we would like to build a storage shed in our yard, either from scratch or prefabricated, and plan to move this work station there.) I like that his tools now have a place of their own, out of the way of our general living area so it doesn't take up valuable room in our small home, and out of the kids, meanwhile utilizing what otherwise would be wasted space, yet easy enough for my husband to use when he needs it.