How to make inexpensive, organic dinners
Think it is expensive to go organic? It isn't. Organic food is becoming more and more popular in a variety of grocery stores. Whether it is a local food store like Kroger, Publix or Shoprite, if you start looking for organic produce, meat or wild-caught fish, you will find it. Plus, in the frozen food section there are plenty of organic vegetables available. Also, the prevalence of farmer's markets can make it easy to get access to organic food.
Interestingly enough, there are other options such as co-op deliveries and major internet retailers. I am happy to see so many more organic products being available at websites such as vitacost.com and amazon.com. The deals you can find on the internet are also really good and free shipping is usually available once you hit a certain dollar threshold - without any membership fees! Did you know you don't have to pay for amazon prime to get free shipping? If you are willing to check the box that you can wait 5-8 days for the products you ordered, you don't pay shipping. Usually, the products come within 3 days anyway.
A few tips on how to shop organic and maintain your budget:
1) Buy produce in season. I bought organic zucchini for two people for $0.89 that served as a side dish for one dinner. The non-organic zucchini would have been much more expensive.
2) Look for sales and discounts. Typically, when a food is being introduced at a supermarket, the food manufacturer will have a sale on it to increase the likelihood a person will try it. There is no reason you can't stock up when a product is on sale.
3) Choose where you are going to invest in organic products. For example, buying organic meat may be the better choice and then serve it with a frozen organic vegetable. Since organic meat will have higher nutrients, you can serve less of it because your family will get fuller faster.
4) Have at least one meatless meal per week. Not only will it help your body be as healthy as it can be, it will help to reduce your overall grocery bill. Reducing how much meat you eat results in lower cholesterol and better weight management.
Now that you have a few ways on how to shop for organic foods, it is time to use those ingredients in recipes. If you google organic recipes, you'll find a variety of options. However, I like to keep my options open so I will read recipes and then modify them with organic ingredients. You'd be amazed how easy it is to substitute ingredients and have the recipe taste great!
Below are the recipes I would recommend making with at least 60% organic ingredients. I recognize it may not be possible to find everything organic. For example, I made an organic vegetarian lasagna and could not find organic lasagna noodles. Oh well! The rest of the dish was organic and tasted great!
If you try any of the recipes below and substitute organic ingredients, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @heatherleehurst and use the #heathershealthhabits hashtag. I love seeing your takes on the recipes I share! If you want more healthy living tips and recipes for free, follow my blog on Bloglovin.
Fast and Easy Broccoli Casserole from A Modern Homestead. Who doesn't need fast during the week? I know I do. This casserole can be made with organic, free-range ground beef. At the grocery store I shop at, the organic ground beef is usually cheaper than the non-organic! Making this recipe quite the deal. You could also make this vegan by substituting Quorn for the meat and using Daiya non-dairy shreds. Click here for the recipe.
Organic Teriyaki Chicken Recipe from Reluctant Entertainer. This recipe is very flexible because you can pick vegetables that are in-season and swap out the brown rice for quinoa, farro or white rice. It is probably difficult to find organic soy sauce but that is OK. Remember, if the recipe is using at least 60% organic ingredients, you are making a very nourishing and satisfying dish. Click here for the recipe.
Quick and Easy Vegetable Lasagna from The Seasoned Mom. Since one of my suggestions is to have a meat free meal once per week, I wanted you to see how easy it is to make a vegetarian meal. Lasagna is always a hit and a very easy dish to make vegetarian. I haven't been able to find organic lasagna noodles so if you do, that is great! Click here for the recipe.
Apple and Sweet Potato Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner from The Organic Dietitian. This dish has a sweet and savory theme going for it. Also, it only takes a total of 35 minutes to cook. That is a great thing when crunched for time. If someone doesn't like sweet potatoes, you can substitute white potatoes. Click here for the recipe.
Easy Baked Tacos from Feasting at Home. This recipe is vegetarian because it doesn't use meat. However, if you need to add meat, feel free to go ahead and do so. I've never tried to bake tacos but it makes sense. Instead of heating up the shells separately, you are stuffing and heating the shells all at once. If you add ground beef to it, I would keep that on the side so the shells don't soften up with the meat juices. Click here for the recipe.
I hope this post inspires you to shop for more organic foods. It will help you and your family be healthier since organic products have more nutrients than non-organic products. If you try any of the above, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @heatherleehurst and use the #heathershealthhabits hashtag. I love seeing your takes on the recipes I share!