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100 days of real food on a budget

We were gifted an early release copy of this book as a result of being selected as “Cookbook Ambassadors” by the author. However, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

If you haven’t already heard of Lisa Leake, she is the wildly successful blogger of 100 Days of Real Food .  Her blog started in 2010 when she chronicled her family’s journey of cutting all processed food out of their diet for 100 consecutive days. She subsequently went on to become a #1 New York Times Bestselling author of her first book: 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love. Her next book, 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous: The Easy and Delicious Way to Cut Out Processed Food, focused on quick-and-easy recipes and simple tips that help busy families prepare healthy, unprocessed meals. Her third book, 100 Days of Real Food on a budget, illustrates how you can cut out processed food without breaking the bank.

The timing for receiving this book was perfect because I was hosting my book club and was planning on a serving an Asian themed meal to go along with our book:

Lisa had a select group of recipes that she gave permission for us to publish from her book and Chinese Chicken just happened to be one!

Lychee cocktail recipe coming soon!

So, with a freshly prepared Lychee Cocktail in hand, I browsed through this beautiful book and got to cooking a healthier, unprocessed version of Chinese Chicken. You will not want to go back to questionable Chinese take-out after tasting this easy to make, wholesome version. Bonus: it’s dairy-free, nut-free and freezer-friendly.

We garnished our version with a sprinkling of sesame seeds (not in recipe)

The entree was served over a bed of rice and side of sauteed bok choy.

Everything was delicious. Since the movie version of our book club book was just released, we were off to see the movie after dinner.

Side note: The movie was great and lived up to the book!

In lieu of dessert at home, we packed up bags of freshly popped popcorn and candy from Trader Joe’s (which was free of artificial colors and flavors) along with water bottles to snack on in the movie.

It was such a great night full of wonderful food, friends and laughs. We can’t wait to try out the rest of the amazing looking recipes in this book.

Highlights of this cookbook are:

  1. Each recipe is $15 or less for ALL the ingredients you need to purchase in order to make the dish.
  2. 75 of the recipes are brand new and never before published on her blog or previous cookbooks.
  3. Color photos of every. single, recipe. Amen! So helpful when cooking new dishes.
  4. Supermarket comparison charts provided
  5. Helpful “On a Budget” tips
  6. Packed lunch ideas for both kids and adults
  7. $100 weekly dinner plans for a family of 4
  8. Special diet friendly:

75 recipes are (or easily modified to) gluten-free

49 are (or easily modified to)  dairy-free

67 are (0r easily modified) vegetarian

83 are (or easily modified)  peanut/nut-free

Lastly, we’ll leave you with Lisa’s recipe for Easy Chinese Chicken. Throw an Asian inspired dinner party then hit up Crazy Rich Asians movie like we did. Hope you enjoy!

Easy Chinese Chicken

Prep Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes 1/2 tsp if you prefer milder
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 1/2 c water

Instructions

  1. To make chicken: in a shallow dish, combine soy sauce and water. Add chicken and marinate for 10-15 minutes minimum to up to a few hours in refrigerator. 

  2. Place flour on a plate. Remove chicken from marinade and roll pieces in flour until coated. 

  3. In a large skillet, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until golden brown all over and cooked though (6-8 minutes). Remove chicken to plate, leaving flavorful bits in pan. 

  4. To make sauce: in same pan over medium heat, cook the garlic, ginger and pepper flakes for 30-60 seconds, then whisk in the vinegar, honey, soy sauce, and water and bring to a boil. Cook, scraping up the browned bits in the bottom of the pan, until liquid begins to thicken, 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken, stir to coat in the sauce, and serve warm. 

Recipe Notes

SHOPPING LIST:
15oz bottle soy sauce: $2.49

1.5lbs chicken: $4.03

2lb bag whole wheat flour: $3.49

1 garlic head: $0.50

2 oz fresh ginger: $0.63

Total shopping list price: $11.14

Cost per serving: $2.23

PANTRY and FRIDGE CHECKLIST

1/4c coconut oil

1 tsp red pepper flakes

2 tbs rice vinegar

2 tbs honey

INGREDIENTS LEFT OVER

soy sauce

flour

garlic

ginger

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Cassie
    August 21, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    What a fun night! I’m definitely getting this book (love her other 2) and I want to join your book club😉

  • Reply
    Chelsea
    August 21, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Ok this looks so yummy! Can’t wait to try!

  • Reply
    Keira
    August 22, 2018 at 5:14 am

    What a cute idea! Can’t wait to try!

  • Reply
    Emma
    August 22, 2018 at 5:19 am

    A book that offers recipes for healthy and affordable meals? Sign me up. Going to try the chicken recipe tonight. Thank yiu for sharing!

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    August 23, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    Such a great idea for a cookbook! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Nina | feel good eating
    August 23, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    Love that the author allowed you to share a recipe – makes it much more attractive to buy when you can try it out first

  • Reply
    Kelly jones
    August 24, 2018 at 12:50 am

    Totally going to get this book – have some cooking demos coming up to highlight real food meals for less!

  • Reply
    Kathryn Pfeffer
    August 24, 2018 at 4:27 am

    Sounds like an amazing time! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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