We are a community of healthy minded families looking for amazing recipes and tips for making healthy eating easy and affordable. For the last three years, we have also operated as a local produce co-op in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. We have recently decided to hit the pause button on our local co-op and focus on our online community.
We hope you enjoy our recipes and our community, please be sure to follow us on Facebook and if you have recipes to share send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You know I’m a coupon queen, right? That’s been my gig for the last 10 years. That being said, my coupon game has evolved quite a bit. I’m all about eating healthy and since most of us are looking for ways to save money especially during this holiday season, I thought I would share a few of my favorite tips. I often tell families to save on as many personal care items as possible that way, you can use the savings towards higher end grocery items we may not see many sales or coupons for but we still need to purchase.
If you have any favorites, feel free to add them!
5 Easy Ways to Save Money Fast
Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half:This one is easy, simply shop around what is on sale and use printable coupons to help cut the price even further. Those two steps can save you up to 80% on your grocery bill which means instant savings in your pocketbook. The great thing about coupons nowadays is many of them are for healthy foods too. Many companies who offer specialty foods or organic foods are now dishing out coupons just be sure to bookmark the link and check back often.
Earn Gift Cards, Rewards & Samples: Participating in offers could land you plenty of free gift cards, samples and rewards you could use towards this busy shopping season. Use legit websites such as MySavings.com to find the best and most current free reward and sample offers. You can find nearly everything from personal care products to healthy snacks. These offers will save you money that can be used towards your holiday shopping or higher end grocery items.
Start Selling: Now is the time to purge! Go through your home and find items you could sell online or in Facebook groups. Selling on Facebook is super hot right now and you can easily tap into that plus make extra cash for yourself. That money can then be used towards organics and fresh foods! Investing in your health is the best investment you can make.
Earn Amazon Giftcards: If you haven’t signed up for Swagbucks, you need to, this one has been around for the long haul and they make it super easy to earn free gift cards to Amazon. Amazon is a great resource for specialty and organic items in fact, many items can be bought in bulk!
Reset Your Budget: Healthy eating is a priority to our family therefore, we find ways to save money on other items to offset the price of healthy, fresh foods. Change up your budget a bit, if healthy eating is a priority to you reset your clothing budget, entertainment budget, etc. You might find some clever ways to save on those items which can give you some extra cash for groceries.
These are just a few of my favorite money saving tips remember, investing in your health is worth it!
If there is one product I absolutely fell in love with while operating The Produce Gathering it was pecan soaked honey by Roark Acres. Oh. My. Goodness.
Immediately, I began to use it on all the things. If you do not have access to this awesomeness, I am truly sorry. My heart breaks. You can still make this recipe though, we’ll just have to improvise. First, pick up some acorn squash, it is in season right now so the price is great.
Next, let’s round up our ingredients.
A little bit of brown sugar
After you have your squash, cut in half with a sharp knife. These things are not easy to cut, they’re pretty hard. Then, simply scoop out the seeds.
Next, we’re going to fill the seeds with pecans and honey. The measurement here is totally up to you. Since I have pecan honey, I simply use one large spoonful. Just remember, honey liquifies in the heat so you don’t actually need much at all.
Next, sprinkle brown sugar on top of the squash. You can use as much or as little as you like, I love brown sugar so I’m all over this. Then, wrap tightly in foil and place in a slow cooker.
After you have the squash in the slow cooker, add a little bit of water at the bottom then cover the lid. I used right around 1/3 cups of water. Keep in the slow cooker for 3-4 hours on high. It might take closer to 4 hours for large squash. When they’re done, they will be very soft to the touch.
You can vary this up anyway you’d like, add in a little cinnamon too! Some people like to use butter with this personally, I do not use a lot of butter so I didn’t here but if that’s your thing, go for it.
Since closing The Produce Gathering, I have been loading up on produce from our farmers market. This recipe was inspired mostly by everything I purchased. I was trying to find a dish that would encompass a lot of the veggies that are in season right now and this did it.
Closing our produce co-op has been bittersweet, I loved it. I truly did and maybe it just ran its course? I spent so much time gathering produce, it was exhausting but at the same time, I formed relationships with many of our local farmers that I will cherish forever. And, the way I see food is drastically different.
Well, I miss you, good customers. But, I hope you follow us online and try out our recipes, I love sharing these recipes with you in hopes you will also continue to shop local and eat healthy.
Veggie Packed Pasta
12oz spaghetti (I use gluten free spaghetti)
1 sliced onion
1 sliced eggplant
2 colorful bell peppers chopped
1 cup sliced tomatoes (small or cherry tomatoes work best)
1 handful sliced broccoli
2 handfuls greens (I used whatever was available)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded cabbage (optional)
2 tbs olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups water
salt & pepper
cheese for garnish
NOTE: You can use almost any veggie available to you, sub out the ones you do not like.
This is a one pot dish that means, you’ll be cooking everything in the one pot and you will not drain the pasta…ideally. However, if you have worked with gluten free pasta in the past, it can be tricky. So, I’m going to give you two ways to cook this…the first is if you are using regular pasta and the second will be for gluten free pasta.
Cooking with Regular Pasta: Simply, throw everything (not the cheese) in one large pot adding the liquids last over the full pot. Hopefully, you will not have to drain the pasta and this will all cook nicely together. Let it boil, make sure the pasta is covered and cook for about 10 minutes. Keep stirring, you don’t want your pasta to get stuck to the pan.
Cooking with Gluten Free Pasta: Ok, gluten free pasta seems to leave a weird residue especially if you’re using a corn version. So, I would recommend cooking the GF pasta first and draining it. In a large pot, cover the veggies (leave the pasta out) with the liquid ingredients above. You can probably take down the water to 1 1/2 – 2 cups. Let it boil and make the veggies tender then drain if needed. Toss in your cooked pasta and you are good to go, garnish with cheese.