While it may seem like all I do is stuff my face with gluten free sweets, I must admit the staple item in my home and on our shopping list each week is meat. We grill it, we roast it, we bake it, we stuff it with things, we dip it, we marinate it, we coat it. It’s pretty much our lifeline these days. If you ever thought that eliminating bread left you starved, meat is a never fail option that we have incorporated into almost every meal of the day in our home. Our energy levels are naturally high, our stomachs are happy and surprisingly, we aren’t breaking the bank. Maybe because we make big dinners and have the leftovers for lunch each day. Maybe because we rarely eat out, or maybe because we have found budget friendly ways to eat healthy foods.
I wouldn’t say we’re picky about our meat, we just have a few requirements. Our chicken must be free range, organic, antibiotic and hormone free. Our beef must be organic and grass-fed. Our seafood must be wild. That’s not really picky, is it? If that seems like too much for you to worry about while you’re shopping for meat, than I suggest you reevaluate and raise your standards, quickly. It’s a travesty and a shock really, that with the amount of information available today, people are still purchasing poor quality meat, consuming it in large quantities and worse, exposing their children to it. And, please, I don’t want to hear about the price. Yes, it’s more expensive to buy organic foods than to buy non-organic foods. But do you know what costs even more than that? Hospital bills. Doctor’s visits. Prescriptions. Things that you’ll be forking over a hefty amount toward if you don’t start concerning yourself with the meat, or the anything, you are eating.
You’re talking to a girl who makes below minimum wage here, and we’re able to eat this type of meat and fish every night. Think about it.
- Watch for Sales. I know at Whole Foods they have a sale almost every week on chicken, beef and seafood. Sure, it may not always be exactly what we were looking to eat that night, but that’s a compromise you need to make to accommodate the needs of your family. These sales are not hard to spot, look for a big sign, with the letters S-A-L-E on it. You can do it.
- Find your local farmer’s market, ask questions, get informed. Don’t assume that just because meat is being sold at a farmer’s market that it is a. organic and b. grass-fed. Please remember to ask about the meat you are about to purchase. If you’re lucky, they will have a variety of price points and you’ll be bringing home the bacon (two kinds).
- Shop at Trader Joe’s (or a similar store). I’m not sure that every area has a Trader Joe’s, but if you do have one, this is a great place to stock up on chicken and seafood. We buy frozen wild salmon, ahi tuna steaks, seafood blends of shrimp and scallops, tilapia and anything else we can find. We are never disappointed. The prices are extremely reasonable and we can fill our freezer with weeks worth of dinner. Just remember to remove the seafood from the wrapper when thawing so that it doesn’t sit in the melting water and cause your fish to lose its freshness and consistency.
- Buy whole chickens. Seriously, this is an extremely economical way to feed any family and they come in under ten dollars. In my house, we’ll roast a whole chicken on Sunday and both have lunch for the next day. Pair this with a salad, and you have yourself a filling, nutritious, allergen-free dinner at an affordable price.
- 1 4-5lb whole chicken
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 lemon
- 3 tbs rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbs olive oil
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
- Wash chicken, remove innards, place in dish.
- Cover in olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, salt, pepper and rosemary.
- Stuff the chicken with crushed garlic cloves.
- Roast chicken for 15 minutes in the preheated (500 degree) oven. After 15 minutes, reduce heat to 450 degrees F and continue roasting 15 minutes. Baste chicken with pan drippings, reduce heat to 425 degrees F and continue roasting 30 minutes, to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F. Let stand 20 minutes before serving.
Jenna comes to the Frugal Flambe with delicious allergen-free recipes for the busy family. A writer (see her blog: The Paleo Project) and experimental photographer, after several years of food sensitivity and skin problems, Jenna decided to begin a paleolithic lifestyle. Paleo eaters tend to stick to the pre-agriculture food groups: meat and fish, vegetables and fruits, healthy fats, nuts and herbs. No sugar, no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no peanuts, nothing processed. Just whole, organic, healthy foods that work well with the human body, eliminate auto-immune diseases and improve food related ailments. This allergen-free diet is Jenna’s new way of life and she is constantly teaching herself new ways to cook and feed her body what it needs. Every Wednesday, she’ll share her her dishes with families who suffer from allergies, or people who are looking to change their eating habits. No sugar? No dairy? No grain? No problem!