Making eating healthy on a budget easier than ever.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Beauty Detox Solution on a Budget: Groceries for $60

The Beauty Detox Solution is a program by Kimberly Snyder, which focuses on plant foods to ease digestion, make your body more alkaline, lose weight, improve health, and improve skin and hair. Her plan is gluten-free, dairy-free, mostly vegetarian, and focuses on lots of fruits and vegetables. People often say that these kind of diets are too expensive to follow, but I am going to follow her basic concepts for one week for $5 per person per day. I followed the basic principles of her diet and did notice a great difference in how I felt.

The basic principles of her diet that I am following this week are: warm water with lemon first thing every morning, green smoothie for breakfast, eating "light to heavy" throughout the day (which means saving any protein for dinner), eating mostly raw foods, eating probiotics, and eating tons of fruits and vegetables.

I am going to modify some things. The Beauty Detox is done in stages, with the last stage being completely vegan. That's not realistic for my husband and I, so we are including meat for dinner a few times over the week. She also advocates eating mostly organic. This is difficult to do on a budget, and so I have bought almost nothing organic. I did, however, buy a bunch of parsley and cilantro. We will have about 1/4 cup of parsley or cilantro each with lunch and dinner, which works to cleanse the body of toxins that might be found in non-organic food.

Here is our menu:

First thing in the morning: Hot water with lemon
Breakfast: Green Smoothies
Snacks: Fresh Fruit
Lunches: Mediterranean Chopped Salad (2 times)
Lebanese Salad (2 times)
Baby Greens Salad (2 times)
Dinners: Salmon Cakes with Vegetables
Sweet Potato and Zucchini Street Tacos with Beans
Fried Rice
Chicken Calabasa Stew
Butternut Squash and Chick Pea Stew ( 2 times)
With Dinner: Lactose-Fermented Pickles

Shopping List:
7 Bananas
Romaine Lettuce (2 heads)
Baby Spinach (big container)
 10 tomatoes
5 cucumbers
Baby kale, mixed greens or spring mix, or baby spinach (1 big container)
1 bell pepper
2 avocados
1 large or 2 small red onions
Fruit (for snacking)
Calabasa Squash or Zucchini (4)
1 pound sweet potatoes
1 bag pre-cut butternut squash (4 cups)
2 cans of Rotel
1 can of diced tomatoes
32 ounces chicken broth
1 can chick peas
1 can black or pinto beans
 Chicken breasts (1 pound)
Package of tuna (optional for salads)
1 can salmon
1 package of steam-in-bag frozen brussel sprouts (or other vegetables to go with salmon cakes)
1 package of frozen peas and carrots
1/2 dozen eggs
Orange Juice (I spend the extra for Simply Orange)

From my pantry: garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic or other salad vinegar, rice, cinnamon, cumin, corriander seeds, chili powder, crushed red pepper flakes, cinnamon, pecans (for snacking), soy sauce, Siracha chili sauce, raisins

Lacto Fermented Pickles

The Beauty Detox Solution advocates eating a "probiotic and enzyme salad" every evening with dinner to promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut, the bacteria you need for proper digestion. This salad is essentially home-made sauerkraut. I don't particularly care for sauerkraut, but I do like pickles. So, I am replacing the sauerkraut with 4 to 5 slices of lacto fermented pickles before dinner every night. (I make pickle chips, not pickle spears). Important: most grocery store pickles do not have the healthy bacteria in them any more, so you have to make your own.

I am not an expert pickle maker, but I will share with y'all one of the recipes I follow for the pickles. These do take time to make, but I think they are so worth it.

Here is a link to the recipe I follow .

Butternut Squash and Chick Pea Stew

This dish has great Indian warm flavors with cinnamon, coriander, and cumin. This recipe takes longer to make than I usually cook, but it is not "active" cooking time, and I usually use the time it is cooking to do something else.

Serves 4

1 bag pre-cut butternut squash (4 cups)
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 can tomatoes
32 ounces chicken or vegetable broth (Organic if you can)
1/2 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (no need to measure precisely)
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed (if you don't have them, add an extra 1/4 cup chopped cilantro into the cooking soup)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (no need to measure precisely)
red pepper flakes (to taste)
1/4 cup raisins (golden raisins if you have them)
Chopped cilantro (for garnish)

In a soup pot, add a little oil and the onion and cook over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and spices, and cook until the tomatoes start to cook down, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic burn. Add the squash, chick peas, raisins, and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender.

Serve in a bowl and top with some chopped cilantro. Hearty and delicious!

Fried Rice

Okay, going gluten free, I really start to crave some grains. Thank goodness rice is gluten free! It is also the cheapest grain you can buy.

Serves 2 to 3

1/2 bag cooked brown rice (cooked according to package directions)
2 cups frozen peas and carrots (no need to measure closely)
3 eggs
1 cup onion, diced (no need to measure closely)
1 to 2 cloves garlic, diced finely
Soy sauce
Cooking oil
1/4 cup cilantro chopped

Heat a little cooking oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the rice and cook until it starts to get a little crunchy. Add the peas and carrots and garlic and cover. Cook about 5 minutes or until the vegetables thaw.

In a separate pan, scramble the eggs and cook over medium low heat. Add to the fried rice mixture and toss to combine.

Top with a little soy sauce, chili garlic paste (if you have it), and chopped cilantro. 

Sweet Potato and Zucchini Street Taco with Beans

Mexican food is one of my loves, but it is hard to think of Mexican food that is vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free. I love street tacos and had some vegetarian ones a few months ago. This is my version.

Serves 2

1 to 2 zucchini or calabassa squash, cut into bite size pieces
1 small to medium sweet potato, cut into bite size pieces
Chili powder, to taste
Ground cumin, to taste
Garlic salt, to taste
Olive oil
Black or pinto beans
2 tomatoes
1/2 an avocado
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
Corn tortillas (gluten free)

Combine the sweet potatoes in a bowl with a little bit of olive oil and add the chili powder, ground cumin, and garlic salt. Toss to coat the sweet potatoes in the spices. Heat a little oil in a pan, and add the sweet potatoes, cooking over medium to medium high heat, stirring occasionally. While these are cooking, add the zucchini to the bowl with a little oil and toss with additional spices. After the sweet potatoes have cooked about 5 minutes, add the zucchini. Cook an additional 5 minutes or until all of the vegetables are tender.

If you want refried beans with dinner, drain your can of beans and rinse them. Add to an additional pan with a little oil, garlic salt and chili powder, and cook over medium heat. Mash with a fork or potato masher while they cook for about 5 minutes. 

While cooking, dice the tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro as a side "salad".

Serve in gently warmed corn tortillas. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Baby Greens Salad

Another great salad recipe. I use this on the rare occasion that I need a break from the Lebanese salad.

Serves 1

Your favorite baby greens (baby kale, spring mix, or baby spinach)
1/4 red onion chopped
1/4 cucumber chopped
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1/2 clove garlic, chopped
Fresh pepper

Combine salad ingredients in a bowl. Combine dressing ingredients and toss. Delicious!

Mediteranean Chopped Salad

This is a great salad that doesn't feel like a salad to me. It's a take on panzanella (a bread salad) without the bread or mozzarella.

Serves 1

2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 small red onion, finely diced
1/2 clove of garlic, finely diced
1/4 bell pepper chopped
1/3 cucumber, chopped
Optional: olives, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of parsley chopped

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine. Enjoy!