Wouldn’t it be nice if nutritious, home-cooked meals just magically appeared? These meals take time and money. Is this investment something you’re willing to make for your personal health and the health of your family?
The first theme is planning. Good meal prep takes time. I find myself going to the local organic store about every other day to keep fresh vegetables and fruits on hand. This doesn’t need to be a burdensome task. Become familiar with the store layout and your trips will become more efficient. Make a list that avoids the freezer section and inner isles of processed, nutrient poor foods. I can be in an out of the local store in ten minutes, and I know you can too! The meal below took me an hour to prepare. In my opinion, this is time well spent!
The meal in this blog, purchased at Whole Foods, was done to challenge the concept that it’s “too expensive to buy organic.” Many mainstream grocery stores provide an excellent selection of organic and non-organic choices.
The Cornucopia Institute came up with ten simple steps to eat organically on a budget. Click the link below to learn more!
The second theme is quality. The source, origin and production of our food are important to reap the greatest effects of health and enjoyment. There’s too much data showing the negative effects of pesticides and herbicides to our health. That’s why I strongly recommend the consumption of organically grown foods. If you can’t access organic produce, at least look for products that look good and smell good. And always wash your fruits and veggies!
Washing fruits and vegetables with a towel and clean water is more effective than not washing produce at all. Click the link below to learn a few more food washing tips.
Keep reading to see a few examples demonstrated from my life of the way we plan and prepare healthy meals – with enough leftovers for two lunches the next day! Tonight’s menu includes: grilled salmon, organic white basmati rice, steamed broccoli, a tahini kale salad, and zucchini noodle with roasted walnuts. Keep reading to the end for the recipe of the delicious tahini dressing.
The objective is to make three healthy dinners and two lunches for around $20. The advertised “family meal deal” on the marquis of the local Kentucky Fried Chicken. Can we do it? Read on!
The picture below shows the final product. My wife and I had enough leftovers for lunch the next day making our co-workers a little jealous.
The salmon, while delicious and reasonably priced, is farm raised – not wild. Oh well. It’s six filets, two pounds of delicious fish, for $22. That’s a about $11 for the protein. Three filets of salmon is a full pound of meat which can get you three dinners and two lunches for the next day!
Kale is about $2.99 (call it $3 to keep the math simple) for a large bunch. That’s usually enough for dinner, lunch and a green drink the following day.
Broccoli is also about $2.99 (once again, we’ll call it $3). A pound is generally enough for dinner and next-day lunches. If you can find it, try the baby broccoli – known as broccolini. It’s a great introduction to the world of the amazing cruciferous vegetables.
Zucchini is about $2 per pound, and a pound of zucchini makes plenty of zoodles. Sautee with a little olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. A simple zucchini is now a gourmet treat.
So far, we have invested $18 for the salmon, broccoli, kale and zucchini. Next, I like the organic basmati rice which contains two cups. Rice for the meal adds $2.25.
We are up to about $20.25 but some fiduciary due diligence is required to realistically have the supplies to complete this meal. Additional expenses are as follows:
The total cost for everything is $28. This is the actual cost to prepare three organic, near-paleo dinners with two full lunches for the following day. One needs to factor in a bit of time to purchase and prepare a meal like this one. The 75 total minutes spent on this meal likely equals the time to drive to and eat at the KFC, plus a trip to the Chile’s® for lunch the following day. Yuk and yuk.
Below is the incredible tahini dressing for the kale salad as promise! Wash, and then massage the kale with a bit of olive oil. This breaks down the cell walls of the kale, tenderizes the leaves, and releases more flavor. I recommend that you work on a rotation of meals – this is only one example. This economizes the shopping, planning and preparation.
Dr. Scott Resnick
Contact our offices at