Avocado Fries (6 months+, Whole30, Paleo)

Avocado Fries

(PIN THIS RECIPE!)

My husband and I love avocado. Alexander did not even try avocado for a FULL YEAR. Seriously… he was 18 months, and I tried giving him avocado for the 1,000th time. And he ate it! It was a good day.

Fast forward another 12 months or so…. now he does not like avocado anymore. On occasion he’ll take a tiny little bite. But those are also just good days.

Maybe today is just another good day. Or maybe it’s these fries.

But Alexander actually LIKES THESE. He likes avocado today. And I’m pumped.

This calls for almond meal: ours was homemade. (You’d make your own almond milk. Then take the leftover pulp, dehydrate it in the oven for a while, then stick the dehydrated pulp into a blender or food processor. Voila! Almond meal.)

If you don’t have (or want) almond meal, just use breadcrumbs. I used an egg wash, but you can use a bit of oil instead. It just helps create a crunchy crust. Yours may not be as crunchy; I can’t vouch for an eggless version of this! If you try it, hmu. (That’s kid talk for HIT ME UP.)


 

AVOCADO FRIES

INGREDIENTS (for about 12 fries)

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt for an older baby!

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F / 200 C.
  2. Cut the avocado in half, remove the peel and pit, cut it into strips. I cut them widthwise: if you cut lengthwise, you’ll end up with about 8 fries instead of 12.
  3. In one bowl, whisk one egg. In a second bowl, dump the almond meal (and salt).
  4. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  5. Dip each avocado piece into egg then almond meal. Place them onto the baking sheet.
  6. Bake about 10 minutes, until they look a little brown! 
  7. CAUTION: They are HOT INSIDE for a few minutes! Even though they don’t feel hot outside, the inside is really hot. 
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Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

slow cooker veggie soup (1)You can PIN this recipe HERE!

If you would like the text only version, you can find it below:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 5 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 8 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes
  • 24 oz chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • 1/2 tsp each (approximately!) of salt*, cumin, dried basil, chili powder, paprika

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add everything to a slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high 3 hours or low 6, until carrots are slightly soft.
  3. Puree. I added mine to a blender in batches.
  4. We served ours with coconut cream.

*SALT. Omit for under 12 months. Daily sodium limit is 400mg (about 1/4 teaspoon) until age 1.

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A Whole30 Meal Plan Under $100 (And My First Vlog)

whole30 meal plan youtube cover

In this post, I talk about (a) the dirty dozen foods, (b) low-cost meals, and (c) a Whole30 week meal plan for 2 adults and 1 toddler. Below is the vlog you can watch as well! I am using a separate YouTube channel where I’ll share meal plans, grocery hauls, toddler activities, adventures in Montessori homeschooling, house projects, and more! I’d love if you subscribe!

I get asked about Whole30 a lot! Often, the holdup is that it’s too expensive. And it certainly can be more expensive than a meal plan that involves a lot of packaged items, breads, pastas, and so on. Whole30 includes a lot of meat, fish, and eggs; vegetables and fruits; and some nuts and seeds. It does not include any dairy, grains (gluten or gluten-free), legumes, soy products, added sugar, or alcohol. 

It’s also important to buy the best meats you can afford, along with finding organic versions of the “dirty dozen”: currently, in the United States, this is the dirty dozen:

  1. apples
  2. peaches
  3. nectarines
  4. strawberries
  5. grapes
  6. celery
  7. spinach
  8. sweet bell peppers
  9. cucumbers
  10. cherry tomatoes
  11. imported snap peas
  12. potatoes

That means, if you buy those 12 things, you should buy organic. Again, buy the best you can afford; if that means avoiding the dirty dozen altogether, then so be it!


LOW-COST MEALS

A while back, I started a document called “low-cost meals”. It’s changed a lot since I first created it, but ultimately, I break down some meals we enjoy and price them by ingredient. Some items are rough estimates (like a garlic clove is about $0.05), and other things, like “a pinch of salt” I just omit altogether because the cost is under $0.01. 

If you put together a starter document, I suggest doing it after you meal plan then buy your groceries. That way, you can find prices that are specific to your area. Some places in the country (and world) have very different prices! I also share the prices for grass fed beef and organic chicken, and if you choose to buy standard beef or chicken, then your prices will be different.

Here’s an example of our “low-cost meals” document:

  • ASIAN FRIED RICE
    1 head cauliflower = $1.50
    3 slices bacon = $0.50
    2 eggs = $0.50
    1 onion = $0.06
    4 ounces mushrooms = $0.50
    2 green onions = $0.25
    2 tbsp coconut aminos = $0.25
    Total = $3.56
  • CRACKLIN CHICKEN WITH BAKED SWEET POTATOES
    1 lb organic chicken thighs, bone-in skin-on = $2.99
    1 lb sweet potatoes = $1.00
    coconut oil = $0.15
    Total = $4.14
  • TURKEY CHILI
    1 onion = $0.06
    1 pepper = $1.00
    2 garlic cloves = $0.05
    1 lb ground turkey = $2.00
    2 cans diced tomatoes = $1.18
    3 tbsp tomato paste = $0.25
    Total = $4.54

Those prices are for 3+ servings: 2 adults + 1 toddler DINNER. Usually there is enough left over for at least 1 adult’s lunch. Some meals (like the soups and chilis) make enough for 4 adults + 2 toddlers (or DINNER and LUNCH the next day).


THE MEAL PLAN

This meal plan has 7 dinners, enough food for breakfast for the week, and enough extra food to make a few lunches (when there’s not enough for leftovers). I also included some coconut milk, which I use to make lattès, and some extra wiggle room for a variety of fresh fruit.

Breakfast? I figured, for one week, I could have 2 eggs, 1 sweet potato, and a piece of fruit every day. I also included some chicken apple sausage in the plan, as an option for a breakfast side. We also eat skillet potatoes in the morning sometimes, so I wanted to include some potatoes for flexibility.

Each recipe is linked. A few of them are modified. (1) The sweet potato chili, I omitted the peppers, added carrots, and also added more sweet potato. (2) The turkey chili, I left out the beans, since beans are not Whole30-compliant. (3) The pizza spaghetti pie, I use ground turkey since it’s cheaper. I also use pasta sauce, not pizza sauce. There may be a few other modifications that I forgot about; if you’re not sure, just ask, and I can change this post to reflect my responses.

Here are the 7 dinners, with recipe links (as the breakfast and lunch ideas do not need any links):

1. asian fried rice = $3.56
2. cracklin chicken with baked sweet potatoes = $4.50
3. turkey chili (no beans) = $4.54
5. burger and fries = $7.10 (no recipe: just ground beef patties)
7. chicken drumsticks with fries = $9.10
 
For breakfast, here’s what I am buying:
 
2 dozen eggs = $5.00
chicken apple sausage (Aidell’s brand) = $4.00
4 sweet potatoes = $1.50
2 lb organic potatoes = $3.00
bananas = $2.50
 
Lunch and “extra”:
 
1 lb grass fed ground beef = $5.99
1 lb organic potatoes = $1.50
2 lbs sweet potatoes = $2.00
coconut milk = $10.00 (for lattes!)
other fruits = $15.00
 
The TOTAL cost for all of the above is $94.27
 
Here is your SHOPPING LIST, as a bonus, just because I’m nice. :)
It’s a printable. You can print it out OR just save it to your mobile device. IMPORTANT NOTE: I didn’t include the spices!! If you’ve got a standard stock of spices, you won’t need to buy any. And to be honest, if you’re out of something, it’s usually fine to omit it. Be sure you do have these on hand:
 
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • dried basil
  • paprika
  • cinnamon
  • chili powder
  • oregano
  • thyme

If you do go through this meal plan, let me know how it goes for you! Comment below with any suggestions you have for low-cost meals that are also Whole30 friendly.

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Sweet Potato, Carrot, & Broccoli Quiche in a Cauliflower Crust

Cauliflower Crust Quiche

Ah, life with two kids. It’s easier than I expected, to be honest! Annabelle is just over 6 weeks, and Alexander is turning into a big brother now. He finally enjoys his little sister, which is nice to see. Sure he thinks she’s playing sometimes when she flinches or kicks, and he plays back. And he thinks it’s hilarious. That’s fun.

We’re also in the middle of our second round of Whole30. So this quiche is Whole30 compliant. I’ve never worked with a cauliflower crust before, and I figured now is as good a time as any. I know that people use cauliflower to make a pizza crust, so I found a recipe for that online and just made it work for a quiche. I don’t want to make a pizza crust because, well, if I can’t have real pizza then I just don’t want an almost-pizza, you know?

I’ve got the recipe below as an IMAGE as well as text, so feel free to save that image to your phone, or PIN it (you can pin it by clicking the picture at the bottom).

CAULIFLOWER CRUST QUICHE
Good 6 months up, unless baby can’t have eggs

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used almond)
  • vegetables of choice: I used 2 small sweet potatoes, 2 carrots, and about 8 raw broccoli florets. 

Directions

  1. Chop and then process the cauliflower in a blender or food processor.
  2. Microwave 5 minutes to draw out moisture.
  3. While that cools, preheat the oven to 450F.
  4. And prep your veggies by peeling, chopping, and sauteing them until tender.
  5. Use a rag or cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer to wring out all the moisture from the cauliflower.
  6. Beat in 1 of the eggs and press the mixture into a greased pie pan.
  7. Bake it for 15 minutes.
  8. Lower the temp to 375F.
  9. Combine the other 5 eggs, veggies, and milk and pour it into the pie crust.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes.

You can make the crust ahead of time, or make the whole thing and fridge or freeze it until you want to eat it. If you freeze it, be sure to cover it with plastic wrap first (or use one of those food saver bags that sucks out all the air!).

PIN THIS RECIPE

Cauliflower Crust Quiche


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How to Clean Up After a Meal

HOW TO

Today’s guest post is quick and to-the-point! Thanks to Ana Paula Faulhaber Góes (on Instagram at @aninhafau)


Hi, guys!

BLW can be very messy! So, before we start a meal it really helps organizing the set.

For the kitchen floor, I used a plastic cover under the baby’s chair. When she threw things away or let things slip through her fingers, it was easy to clean. I only had to take the plastic cover away and clean it! I had two plastics, because some days I just didn’t have time to clean it before the next day. After all, babies have easier and harder days… And starting on solids is already too much pressure!

For the baby, the best thing is having them wear only diapers during the meal. And then, when it’s over, give them a shower and clean then up. If it’s cold, you can put an apron that has long sleeves and protects the clothes. 

What really helped with cleaning, other than the “covered floor and baby” was having a dog! My dog loooves meal time, and most of food was cleaned by her! This is definitely the best help I could use.

Hope you guys can use these tips and that they help you choose BLW! The only hard part about this method is the mess. Everything else is wonderful!


I’d like to add a few of my own tips!

  • You can have a few one-piece outfits that are JUST for eating. I bought several white onesies for $5.00 and only used them for eating!
  • Lots of folks like long-sleeved bibs. Others like those bibs that catch falling food.
  • Put a blanket underneath the chair that you can shake out in the sink then just toss in the laundry.
  • Food in the hair and on the face? Just a wet cloth was always good enough for me! 

 

Do you have any tips for cleaning up after meals?

 

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