Grandma’s Meatloaf

One of my favorite things that my grandmother used to make was her meatloaf. It was leaps and bounds better than any other meatloaf I have ever had, and still is. I’ve made a few adjustments to her original recipe in order to avoid heavily processed things, but it’s still almost the same. I hope that you enjoy it as much as my family does!!

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Grandma’s Meatloaf

Meat Mix

  • 2 lbs Ground Beef or Turkey (preferably grass-fed beef)
  • 1 cup organic quick oats
  • 1 medium onion- chopped
  • 2 celery stalks- chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

Sauce

  • 1 cup organic ketchup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp. vinegar (I use apple cider, but plain white vinegar works as well)
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire
  • 1 tsp. horseradish

Preheat oven to 325*. Begin by mixing the oats, onion, egg, celery, salt, and pepper.

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Make the sauce. Add 1/2 the sauce (approximately 3/4 cup) and the meat to the oat mixture and mix thoroughly.

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Grease a bread pan and form the meat mixture into a loaf. Bake at 325* for 45 minutes. Remove and top with remainder of the sauce. Bake for another 45 minutes at 325* or until a meat thermometer reads 160 (beef) or 165 (turkey).

 

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Enjoy!!

Moving Mommy

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Clean Eating on a Budget

With my Why Organic post, I told you why I choose to eat organic. Today I’ll tell you how I manage to eat mostly organic with very little processed food on a $150 per week budget for a family of five. When I first started on this real food journey, I didn’t think we would ever be able to do it. The prices of organic foods are much higher than traditional and take more time to prepare than processed foods. Once I built up my pantry and freezer, I realized that it is possible. It just takes time and effort to get there.

I can’t say that we eat 100% organic or even that we have no processed food in the house (I face some resistance from my other half:)). We have to make sacrifices in some areas to be able to splurge in others, but I still feel good about what we are eating. Everyone’s priorities with food are a little different. Some will buy conventional produce but not meat. Some will buy conventional dairy but not produce. What is important is what you think is best for your family. Many will not agree with the way I do things, but it is what works best for us. So here are some tips to get you on your way!

1. Start to build a whole foods pantry– I began buy purchasing mason jars, organic oats, and organic brown rice cereal. Each week I would make room in my budget for a few more things, like raw honey, organic sugar, whole wheat flour, and organic raisins. All of these things can be used frequently and still last a long time.

2. Buy in season or frozen fruits and veggies– I shop at the farmers market as much as I can, but it’s sometimes hard to even get there with three little ones! Right now, organic apples are inexpensive. My grocery store had them for $1.25 per pound this week. Things like berries are really expensive right now and their quality is poor, so we skip berries this time of year. For smoothies I buy organic frozen mixed fruit. The same goes for veggies like corn.

3. Eat a lot of greens– Lettuce, kale, and Swiss chard are all inexpensive organic options, so we eat a lot of those.

4. Stock up when meat is on sale– We cannot always eat organic meats, it gets really expensive to do so. A couple of weeks ago, organic chicken breasts were on sale for $2.99/lb, which is incredibly cheap so I stocked up and put it in the freezer! I also buy a whole organic chicken each week and cook it in the slow cooker. It generally makes two meals for us and is usually around $2.29/lb.

5. Eat breakfast for dinner– Eggs are high in protein and organic eggs are only around $4 per dozen.

6. Make your own snacks– I make granola bars, cinnamon raisin bread, apple chips, and apple sauce most often. This not only saves money, but cuts out a huge amount of processed food that we used to eat. There are tons of recipes on Pinterest!

7. Shop at a wholesale store– We shop at BJ’s Wholesale every week, along with our trip to the grocery store. They have their own organic brand, and it’s much cheaper for spices, frozen fruits, and tons of other stuff.

8. Buy a water filtration system– I used to go through two cases of water per week, which was around $10. I bought a filtration system to go on my faucet for around $30 and I only have to change the filter every four to six months.

9. Stay on the perimeter of the grocery store– everything in the middle aisles is processed. When we first started making the switch, I realized how much all of those boxes of macaroni and cheese and potatoes add up. It will really save you money. We shop the perimeter first and then go down the organic aisle for anything we need that is processed.

Right now, we buy regular milk. My kids drink a lot of it and organic milk is really expensive. I make sure to buy milk that is labeled antibiotic/hormone free. This means that it likely contains GMOs but at least my kids won’t be hitting puberty at 10 or getting an antibiotic resistant infection because of what they are eating. I do the same thing for beef.

That’s how we do it! We are far from a perfectly clean eating family, but I do feel good about what we eat for the most part.

Do you have any clean eating tips or recipes you’d like to share? Leave me a note in the comments!

Until our next adventure,
Moving mommy

Real Food Recipe 2- Whole Chicken and Homemade Chicken Stock

Until about six months ago, I always bought my chicken stock from the store. I knew it was high in sodium, but making my own seemed like such a daunting task. After learning and researching GMOs, conventionally raised meats, etc. I decided that I needed to start buying organic. Lets face it, it’s expensive. It certainly didn’t fit in my grocery budget to buy chicken breast at $7 per pound! So I had to experiment a little, and so far I’m able to buy about 75% organic without raising my grocery bill at all. But that’s for another post. I started buying organic whole chickens, because you can get so much out of them at so little cost. They generally feed us two dinners, one with the chicken as the main course and another like tacos or a roasted chicken salad. It’s super easy, and with very little effort you can make your own stock as well!

 

    Slow Cooker Lemon Rosemary Chicken

One Whole Chicken
2 Lemons
3 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
1 Large onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
1tsp Dried Rosemary
Salt and Pepper

Start by washing and cleaning the chicken. Sometimes the liver and neck are shoved inside the cavity, just remove and discard them. Cut one of the lemons and the onion in half and put them in the cavity along with the sprigs of rosemary and garlic. Place the chicken in the slow cooker breast side down (I’ve found that the breast meat is more tender that way). Squeeze the other lemon on top and sprinkle with dried rosemary, salt, and pepper. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 4-6 hours. Remove the meat, lemon, and rosemary. Reserve the skin, bones, and juices for stock!

Krissy's Phone 529    That’s a lot of chicken!

 

 

    Homemade Chicken Stock

Reserved juices, skin, onion, and bones from Lemon Rosemary Chicken
1/2 bag of baby carrots
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of celery
Water

Add bay leaves, carrots, and celery to slow cooker. Fill the slow cooker with water. Cook on low overnight, 8-12 hours. In the morning, remove the bones and strain through a fine mesh strainer into mason jars. Freeze for up to 6 months. The yield will vary based on the size of your slow cooker, mine gives me approximately 6 pints. You can thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, or take the lid off and microwave it if you forget!

Also, if you do not have celery on hand, it’s just as good without! I made it that way yesterday!

Until our next adventure,
Moving Mommy

Real Food Recipe 1- Kale and Blueberry Smoothie

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Sounds gross, right? If you had told me that I would be eating or drinking something with kale a year ago, I would not have believed you. In fact, I didn’t even know what kale was. It’s an intimidating vegetable, and I haven’t quite figured out how to incorporate it into our weekly veggies but it’s such a nutritional powerhouse that I’m going to. This is my first stab at it, and it worked really well (You can’t even taste it!).

The health benefits of kale are amazing! It is one of those cancer preventing, cholesterol lowering super foods. One cup of kale has more than 100%of the daily recommendations for vitamin C, more than 200% of vitamin A, and more than 600% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of potassium, manganese, iron, and other minerals. Sounds like something we should all be eating right?

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But how? I don’t know about you, but introducing  new and “strange” vegetable to my kids usually doesn’t go so well. I figured, why not try to hide it in something yummy? And so the Kale and Blueberry Smoothie was born. Did I mention that you can’t even taste the kale?! The kids like it, and I like it so give it a try!

Kale and Blueberry Smoothie

  • 1 cup of fresh kale, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 3/4 cup of frozen tropical fruit medley
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3 oz vanilla greek yogurt (you could substitute regular yogurt or omit this)
  • 3/4 cup of water

Just throw it all into your blender and blend away! It’s important to use frozen fruit, otherwise it will be runny. I try to use organic ingredients, especially the kale and blueberries (they are most prone to pesticide contamination).  Enjoy!

Until our next adventure,

Moving Mommy

Gardening Fun!

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We started on our real food journey about six months ago. I call it a journey because it’s still a work in progress, although we are about 90% processed food free at this point. I figured that there is no better way to be conscious of what you are eating than to grow it yourself!! So this is our first stab at gardening, and so far it has been great for all of us.

Our backyard isn’t exactly huge, so I decided to do container gardening with one raised bed in the yard. The kids really enjoyed helping me scoop the soil into the pots and raking the soil in the bed. Any excuse to get messy and they are happy! Luke was especially helpful in planting the seeds, but the twins were more interested in playing in the dirt and watering the grass:)

At first they were a bit impatient that nothing was happening, but as the weather started to warm and sprouts came up they were amazed. Each day they would all want to go out and see if anything new had sprouted or if things were getting bigger. I think that it is a great learning experience for them to see things grow from a tiny seed into something that can be eaten.

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So far we have planted onions, lettuce, strawberries, peas, green onions, celery, broccoli, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, pumpkins, watermelon, cantaloupe, and green beans! We will have a wide variety this year, but not a lot of each crop. I really wanted to see what grows best, how long things last etc. Next year I should have a better idea of how much to plant in order to last us the summer months. We are also going to plant arugula and kale in August.

All in all, it’s been a lot of fun! The kids run outside each day with their little watering cans to help me water and are really excited how things are progressing. Now we can’t wait to start harvesting!!!

Until our next adventure,

Moving Mommy