Give Plant-Based Protein a Try!
A few years ago, I made the decision to make 2-3 meatless dinners a week. After our daughter turned one, I was hopeful that making this change would be a great way to introduce her to new foods. While searching for meatless recipes, I came to realize there were several benefits from eating plant-based protein a few times a week! Our grocery bills are lower and the health benefits that come with swapping out protein sources is a bonus.
Bean and Lentil Recipe Round-Up
Saving money on food seems nearly impossible right now. One thing I do to save some money is to make meals with beans and lentils. These are usually less expensive than other protein foods. They also tend to be easy to make. If you are new to cooking with beans and lentils, check out these two tip sheets:
It’s fall so that means pumpkins, apples, and winter squash. I’m guessing that last one surprised you bit. In the fall we hear about all things pumpkin and apple. Based off social media posts, millions of people post about pumpkins and apples while only thousands post about winter squash. Even though winter squash isn’t talked about as much, it is a great fall vegetable to include in your meals.
Slow Cooker Refried Beans
Our family has been kind of busy this fall. On top of our own responsibilities, my husband and I have three children who all like to try new activities, so they keep us on the move. This cuts down on the amount of time I have to prepare meals. To make up for this lack of time in the kitchen, I rely on quick and easy Spend Smart. Eat Smart. recipes like our October recipe of the month – Slow Cooker Refried Beans.
Spend Smart. Eat Smart. – With Friends!
Over the past few months we’ve heard from Christine’s mom, Katy’s friend, and Justine’s children. For the final blog in our interview series I talked with my friend and colleague, Kristin Taylor.
Banana Oatmeal Bread
Our September recipe of the month is a Spend Smart. Eat Smart. favorite – Banana Oatmeal Bread. We have had this recipe on the website for many years, but it needed an update. Below are some highlights from the updated recipe. I hope you find some time to make it yourself because it really is a great recipe for any meal or snack.
Spend Smart. Eat Smart. – With Friends
This month is our third blog in our interview series. I enjoyed hearing from Christine’s mom and Katy’s friend. This month we are going to take a different view of our interview questions. This blog is all from a child’s perspective. I interviewed my three children, Kenny (age 12), Eliza (age 10), and Miles (age 6). Before I asked them the questions, I asked one of the questions to myself – what is our go to meal that is easy and healthy? The answer was breakfast food and I was surprised to see that answer reflected in some of their responses below. I hope you enjoy reading my children’s perspective on eating healthy on a budget as much as I enjoyed interviewing them.
How do you like your zucchini?
My kids love zucchini…in cake that is! And their grandma (my mom!) enjoys making it for them when zucchini is in season. A couple of weeks ago Parker got to help grandma make zucchini cake for us. It was quite delicious with cream cheese frosting!
Ripe tomatoes are everywhere this time of year. You may find an abundance of tomatoes at your farmers’ market, food pantry, food store, or even in your own yard. Ripe tomatoes taste so good, but it can be overwhelming to figure out what to do with them all. Our August recipe of the month is here to help you out.
Sharing Spend Smart. Eat Smart. – With a Fellow Mama!
Christine kicked off our newest blog series in June by interviewing her mom, Betsy. It was fun to read about her mom’s food memories and her favorite recipes!
Hydrate and Stretch this Summer!
Summer is in full swing and my kids are busy with sports camps and day camps. My son is doing a strength and conditioning camp and the first day after camp his legs were sore! I encouraged him to do some leg stretches to help loosen them up. I got to thinking there are lots of activities we do during the summer that might make our legs a bit sore. Going for hikes, riding bikes, playing sports, walking while sightseeing on vacation and more! A new physical activity video we have on Spend Smart. Eat Smart. that might be helpful when you have sore legs is our Lower Body Stretch. It can be done as a standalone stretch or done when the body is warmed up for a deeper stretch.
Sweet Corn Time
Each summer we have a window of time when sweet corn is fresh, ripe, and ready to eat. For me, that short window of time makes sweet corn a special food with many good memories attached to it. I smile when I think of times picking sweet corn with my family, eating a sweet corn meal around my parents’ and grandparents’ tables, and watching my children eat their first ears of corn. I even smile when I think about the bags and bags of sweet corn we froze growing up – it was a lot of work, but we always liked thawing a bag of corn for dinner in the winter.