5 Whole Food Meals that are Cheaper and Faster than Fast Food…


Sausage and avocado

From CARA
Health, Home, and Happiness

When we used to eat fast food, it was no problem for the two of us to spend $20 on a meal, only to have indigestion immediately after and then be hungry again an hour after that.  Whole foods can be just as fast, without the side effects.

There really shouldn’t be side effects to what you consume as food.

These are 5 easy meals that can serve 2 + 2 little eaters for less than $20 and take less time than driving through the local fast food chain. Have you seen the lines at the drive through around meal time?! I’m giving us 30 minutes to get all this done, with minimal dishes, $20 for ingredients, and making the meals somewhat balanced- not perfect, but good enough that we’ll have plenty of energy and not be hungry right away.

1. Kefir Cocoa Almond Butter Smoothie

This smoothie is very filling, I’ll add in nutbutters when I’m using a smoothie as a meal. The banana makes it sweet, the cocoa indulgent.

3 cups kefir
2 frozen bananas
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup nut butter, preferably from nuts that have been soaked and dehydrated but it’s okay to go with purchased roasted nuts occasionally too, I think.

Blend all ingredients and serve with a straw or in a lidded coffee cup if taking on the road.

2.  Salmon Salad

  • two 6-ounce cans of wild caught salmon
  • 1 egg, raw
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 onion

Need mayo? Using a food processor, drop a whole raw egg in and whir it for a couple minutes to bring it up to room temperature. Then slowly pour in 1 cup of olive oil, taking an entire minute to pour it in, then add salt and allow to mix. Reserve half of the mayonnaise in another dish for later.

Drain the salmon and put the salmon in the food processor. Peel and then coarsely chop the onion, add that to the food processor, coarsely chop the cucumber and add that. Pulse the food processor a couple times to distribute the mayonaise, onion, and cucumber with the salmon. Serve.

3.  Steak and a green smoothie

This meal is what inspired this post- what I put together quickly as ‘fast food’ in one stop at our health food store. I know that spinach is ideally consumed cooked, but sometimes I crave fresh greens, so that’s what we went with!

  • 1 steak, picked up from the markdown bin at the health food store on the way home from a busy day
  • 1 bag of organic frozen peaches or mixed fruit
  • 1 can pineapple in its own juice
  • 1 pound spinach
  • 1 can coconut milk

Heat a skillet to medium high, salt and pepper steak. When skillet is hot, put the steak in it, cook for 5 minutes then flip. Once flipped, turn down to medium low and continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes.  While the steak cooks, combine the rest of the ingredients in a blender and whir (don’t drain the pineapple).

4.  Lara Bars and Grassfed Cheese

I can pick up both these items at either our local health food store or Costco, or order online to have on hand.  Larabars don’t have soaked nuts, and they aren’t organic, but in a pinch I think they do just fine.  I like the apple pie and peanutbutter ones the best. Grassfed cheese (Kerrygold is a common brand) rounds out the meal with healthy fats.

5.  Meat Patties, avocado or lactofermented vegetable, and fresh fruit

Use 2-3 pounds of ground beef, seasoned simply with salt and black pepper.  As the patties are cooking, slice two avocados or serve out portions of lactofermented vegetables from the fridge.  Slice fresh fruit or serve whole.  Grassfed beef franks could easily be used in place of the meat patties, I always have some of these on hand in my freezer.

See? That wasn’t so hard, time consuming, or expensive, was it?

And I didn’t even include soups, soups are fast too if you already have chicken or beef stock on hand.
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