Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bountiful Baskets

Today I wanted to share a great co-op that I have discovered a few months ago. As some of you may know. I am the one always looking for deals and ways to save money. I clip coupons, shop the ads, etc. So, when I came across Bountiful Baskets I had to check it out. Who would be able to get fresh fruit and veggies for only $15? It was to good to be true!

I set up my account and signed up. Spending my $3 for a first time basket, $1.50 for handling and $15 for my basket of produce. I ordered on a Monday. I got my confirmation email, printed it out and hung it on the fridge as a reminder to pick it up on Saturday at the location specified. I was yet to be impressed. Feeding a Paleo family, can be spendy this time of year because so much produce wasn't in season. My kids loved certain fruits and veggie. I spent at least $50-75 a week on produce alone for the family to eat.

Saturday rolls around and I headed up to the location with my receipt and small little bag to bring my produce back home. I get to my destination and there are several people moving about. In a line, looking at produce in baskets, others 'coordinating' everyone and showing them just where they needed to go and what to do. I get in line and wait my turn. Once up to the front, I get asked my last name (and show my receipt) and to initial. Before I can say anything, she says, 'I see you are new to the co-op so let me explain how it is done.'

She explained that the baskets are lined up in groups of 2, fruits and veggies. Browse the line and pick the pair of baskets that appeals to me. I thought, easy enough. But with if I am to take a pair of baskets, I'm going to need a bigger carrying case! My little bag wasn't nearly big enough for the amount of produce that was divided amongst the baskets. She said not to worry they have extra boxes if needed and to grab one, which I did.

I browsed the produced, each one being equally the same in every basket. I picked the baskets that appealed to me and started to load everything into my box. To my amazement I was finding all sorts of goodies! Bananas, pears, apples, a BAG of oranges, bell peppers, carrots, asparagus, tomatoes, butternut squash and butter lettuce. This was unbelievable! So much produce and all I paid was $19.50 after all was said and done?
And it looked amazing!!!  I started thinking... Well, the bunch of asparagus runs about 4.99 a pound at Safeway. The bag of cutie oranges run about 5.99 and the butter head lettuce about 3.99. There was my $15 of produce right there. And look at all the rest that I got! This is awesome!! :)

I am still getting my Bountiful Baskets every week. Sometimes I do the 'add ons' that they offer. Herb packs, Asian theme veggie pack, Thai themed pack, etc. There is always something new and intriguing and well worth the money! And as the weather is now getting warmer and produce prices tend to go down, there seems to be more and more in the baskets. We are seeing broccoli and cauliflower now, Anaheim chilies, avocados and this last week mangos and honeydew. :)

The kids, husband and I have been going up there the last few weeks and actually volunteering during the process. It's been a ton of fun and with volunteering we get to choose and 'extra' fruit or veggie for our services! What is nice about a co-op is there are no employees, it's all a volunteer basis, so therefor all the money that is contributed into the produce for the location, goes right into the location site for the produce. It goes no where else!!

Check it out!! It's amazing and well worth it!

Till next time...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Crockpot beef and broccoli

Here is another recipe for you all. My 2 little ones loved this. My 2 older ones still don't care for broccoli but said they loved the taste of the meat! :)

2 pounds boneless beef, sliced
1 c beef stock
1/2 c coconut aminos
1/3 c honey
1 T sesame oil
3 cloves garlic
Fresh broccoli

Place beef in crockpot. In a small bowl mix stock, coconut aminos, honey, oil and garlic. Pour over beef. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Add broccoli, and cook 30 minutes on high.

Serve over rice or quinoa.

Have fun with this one!
Till next time...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Best bok choy recipe

I love getting my bountiful basket each week from the co-op. There are so many great things that come each week. This week was no exception. I always take everything out of the basket and the wheels just start to turn in my head on what I can use this amazing produce for. When a few weeks ago I ended up with some Bok Choy. Never had it, never cooked but I need to try and find something. I started hitting alley favorite recipe sites and blogs. When I found a good looking recipe from! It's called Best Bok Choy! There was only a few little tweaks that I needed to do to it to make it completely Paleo, and so that's what I have done! :) I have now made this 2 times and it goes each time I make it! Full of delicious and nutrition veggies! :)

Coconut oil for wok
1 medium red onion thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper
1 1/2 c green beans trimmed and cut into 2-3 inch lengths
2 c mushrooms, sliced
Head of bok choy
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
Salt & pepper

Heat up you wok with oil in it. When it is hot and ready add onions and bell peppers. Sauté stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Add in green beans and mushrooms and cook for about 2 more minutes. Add everything else and cook until bok choy is wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

You can add a meat into this and make it a meal or just use as a side dish! :)

Hope you enjoy it just as much as we do!

Till next time...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cabbage roll casserole

Honestly I don't even know why I call it a casserole because its all just in 1 huge pot! :) this was a hit, something I will totally be making again for the house of people!

1 head cabbage shredded
2 lb ground beef
1 large red onion, diced
2 bell peppers, diced
1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce
2 (15 oz can) diced tomatoes
1-2 cups water
3 cups quinoa

In a large pot on med-high heat, cook the meat, onion and bell peppers till meat is completely cooked. Add in shredded cabbage and cans of tomatoes and sauce. Turn heat to a low-med and let it cook, stirring occasionally. Once cabbage is cooked through (till its tender and turning almost clear) add in quinoa. Making sure that there is plenty of liquid, you may add water, but only if it is needed. Keep temple true on a low-med, stirring occasionally, adding liquid if needed, until quinoa is cooked thoroughly (about 30 minutes). Salt to taste and enjoy!

First time I made it, my husband sat down and ate 2 bowls of it. That shows me it was a hit! This recipe makes a lot so it's great for left overs or a potluck! :)

Till next time...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

All sorts of new things on the horizon

I know I haven't been good about blogging and I'm sorry for th st. I need to sit down and make it a priority at least once a week!

So many things that have been going on lately. I've had some great new clients hire me and I've been doing lots of meal planning, a little bit of prepping and I also was able to work with a local restaurant in town to creat some new healthy options for their menu. That was fantastic!

Last night my husband and I along with a group of friends and family went down to papa's casino, restaurant and lounge and had a great meal. Almost everyone ordered something new off the menu! I of course got my awesome salad! (Pear and walnut) along with a balsamic vinegrette I created for Papa's. everyone that ordered the new items, LOVED THEM!!! So gratifying!

I have been recently approach by another restaurant here in town to help them with their menu. Wanting some more meals that are more 'women friendly' so I will hopefully start creating for them!

In the mean time I have been doing a lot of creating here at home! Trying new things, making new dishes, etc. I have started to get Bountiful Baskets, which is a co-op run fresh produce program. They are delivered every Saturday for $15. And there is A LOT of produce in the basket for that amount! Some produce that I have never tried before and don't typically buy, but in turn it has become a wonderful thing, because it gets me into a creative mood! A few weeks ago I got bok choy which we have never used so I found a great recipe and made it and we loved it! Today I am going to experiment with a cabbage roll casserole. Totally 100% paleo and super excited to get it going! But I need to head to the store to get 1 thing!

So, with that being said...... Till next time!