5 Ways to Eat Healthy & Save Money

5 Ways to Eat Healthy & Save Money

ProduceGathering.com

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!

Honey Pecan Acorn Squash

Slow Cooker Honey Pecan Acorn Squash

Honey Pecan Acorn Squash

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.

Roark Acres Honey

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.

Slow Cooker Honey Pecan Acorn Squash

Next, let’s round up our ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

Acorn squash

Pecans

Honey

A little bit of brown sugar

DIRECTIONS:

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.

Slow Cooker Honey Pecan Acorn Squash

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.

Slow Cooker Honey Pecan Acorn Squash

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.

Slow Cooker Honey Pecan Acorn Squash

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.

Slow Cooker Honey Pecan Acorn Squash

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.

Slow Cooker Honey Pecan Acorn Squash

Veggie Packed Pasta

Veggie Packed Pasta

Veggie Packed Pasta

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.

Veggie Packed Pasta

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

INGREDIENTS:

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.

Veggie Packed Pasta

DIRECTIONS:

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.

Veggie Packed Pasta

This recipe was adapted from One Pot Farmer’s Market Pasta. 

20 One Pot Meals

20 Fall Soups

Dinner in a hurry is something on the minds of many of us these days. One pot meals have become more and more popular allowing for a meal without all the mess. We rounded up 20 of our favorite one pot meals just for you today. Be sure to send any of your favorite recipes to info@producegathering.com.

A Night Owl – One Pot Pizza Rigatoni

Fav Family Recipes – One Pot Jambalaya Pasta

Your Cup of Cake – One Pot Thai Peanut Pasta

Little Spice Jar – One Pot Greek Chicken and Rice Pilaf

Julie’s Eats and Treats – One Pot Bacon Chipotle Mac and Cheese

Dinner at the Zoo – One Pot Chicken with Cheddar Broccoli Rice

Bless This Mess Please – Healthy One Pot Quinoa Taco Casserole

Homecooking Memories – Frito Ole One Pot Dinner

Jo Cooks – One Pot Creamy Chicken Pot Pie Pasta

Life as a Strawberry – Udon and Zucchini Noodle Curry Bowls

Yellow Bliss Road – One Pan Spicy Lemon Chicken Pasta with Tomatoes

This Mama Loves – One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta

How Sweet Eats – One Pot Mushroom and Swiss Chard Pasta

Lil Luna – One Pot Chicken and Stuffing Skillet

The Cozy Cook – One Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Wine and Glue – One Pot Southwestern Alfrredo Pasta

Julie’s Eats and Treats – One Pot Ham and Penne Skillet

Number 2 Pencil – One Pot Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo

The Wholesome Dish – One Pot Wonder Stuffed Pepper Skillet

I Wash You Dry – One Skillet Sloppy Jo Cornbread Casserole

Almost any of these can be substituted to be made gluten free as well. It takes some time to get used to making substitutions but after a while it becomes second nature. Enjoy!

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash

It’s time to bring fall into the kitchen with this Stuffed Acorn Squash.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I love fall, I’ve already said that probably a million times, but I really feel like here in Oklahoma we don’t get an actual ‘fall’. For instance, last week it felt like fall, the air was crisp and nice, this past week it was summer all over again. We are supposed to be heading into fall break but really with these swings in temperatures, we may as well pack up and go to the pool. Right? So, what’s a girl to do?

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Make my house as cold as possible, then start making fall foods and tell myself the weather will follow along…it should work, right? It’s typically a switch that is sudden here in Oklahoma, one minute it’s warm the next minute it’s cold and then it will just stay that way for a while. I hope that happens soon! It’s hard to get into the spirit of Halloween and Fall Festivals when you are having to wear shorts.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

In the midst of that, I thought I would try a light and healthy recipe using Acorn Squash. I decided to scoop out the inside of the acorn squash and make a bowl out of it. Once I baked them, I added the stuffing inside then baked for a few more minutes until the cheese was nice and melted. The result is a nicely seasoned, light and delicious dinner. This was certainly a better-for-you recipe, but I’ll be honest…I was craving ice cream afterwards. That’s just terrible, right? I’m trying to get into the habit of buying frozen yogurt to help those cravings but sometimes that Hot Fudge Sundae is speaking to me…it just is.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Acorn Squash (Olive Oil & Garlic Salt)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 Zucchini, Sliced
  • 1 Yellow Squash, Sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Sweet Onion, Diced
  • 1 Tsp Rosemary
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Salt
  • Mozzarella Cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*.
  2. Cut the tops off the acorn squash and then scoop out the inside to form a bowl.
  3. Brush the inside lightly with olive oil and garlic salt, this amount will depend on how big the squash is that you are using.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes on 350*.
  5. While the squash bakes, in a medium-sized skillet, add 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and the cook and drain the ground turkey.
  6. Place it back in the skillet with the remaining olive oil and add in the zucchini, squash, onion, rosemary, and garlic salt.
  7. Let this simmer and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes.
  8. Once done, remove the acorn squash and carefully add the mixture to the squash.
  9. Top evenly with cheese and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the cheese melts.
  10. Serve.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

My husband and I ate these right up and found that we loved the flavor that the squash brought to the stuffing too, plus you can even make these with cinnamon as more of a dessert bowl instead. The options are endless!

Now, let’s get to cooking!

Enjoy!