Food, Think

One of the reasons I'm starting an "Eat Well" section here on GGC (soon! I promise! in fact? my mom has already sent me ten pages of recipes she wants to teach the Internet. Literally. The woman calls me every day with another idea. Good luck to me who will be editing these videos for the rest of my life!) is to get people (myself included) excited about cooking, specifically, cooking cheap, healthy (meat-free! whoopee!) meals. Some of these meals will feature gluten-free alternatives. Some will boast vegan feasts, free of animal products. All will be delicious, low-calorie, and very, very good for you.

I've written about my disdain for fast food before - even went so far as to claim I'd rather my kid smoke cigarettes than eat at fast food restaurants regularly. People thought I was crazy. My point? Fast food is just as bad for you. Environmentally? It's waaaaay worse.

In the meantime, there's this.

Personally? If I had any kind of control in this department? I would tax the shit out of some bad food. One dollar per 100 calories? Would McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Wendy's, etc survive? Probably not. I mean, if tobacco has to pay hefty taxes, shouldn't the fast food industry? Shouldn't the manufacturers of processed food? All are deadly. All are addictive. All are socially, physically, environmentally and everythingelseally irresponsible. Oh, to be queen!

There are plenty of ways to eat on the cheap*. That are healthier. That won't kill you. That won't kill our planet. Let's fix this, ladies. Show our bodies who's boss.



*Beans, grains and/or rice-based dishes for example are tasty, veryvery cheap and veryvery good for you. I make quinoa-based dishes weekly as well as bean-soups in the crock pot that provide lunches during the week as well. Also? EGGS!!! Egg-based dishes = ftw. In fact, our first "Eat Well" ep will feature an egg-based recipe to die for that will feed your family of four for FIVE DOLLARS! TOTAL! Hooray! Not to mention include handy tips re: ensuring the purchase of free-range eggs. Go, mom!


Chrissy Johnson | 1:40 AM

Was at the grocery just tonight and saw some bad voodoo hoodoo trying to lure me in. They were trying to sell me weird powdered spices for rosemary chicken in tiny, tiny cubes. Tiny cube for salt, tiny cube for rosemary, tiny cube for melange from Arrakis...all bundled into a super-awful over-packaged bullshit thing. Usually? It's so much easier to buy basic stuff and make a whole mess o' beans like you said. Well, cheaper relatively since I live in Alaska and everything is upwards of 500.00. Thanks for those handy links!

Margie | 1:58 AM

Totally with you on this Rebecca. I love to cook so it helps, but even if you don't have a lot of time/money it is sooo easy to whip up quick healthy meals.

I have a 23 month old who eats wholesome yummy food, no nasty snacks or treats. One girlfriend thinks I am "mean" and don't I want to "spoil" my child???? CRAZY.. I keep telling her I AM spoiling him by giving him the best food possible.

Love you and your blog from Melbourne Aus.

Anonymous | 3:44 AM

SQUEEE! I have been a vegetarian for about 12 or so years now, and am finally now starting to see actual real recipes floating around that are of interest to me. Now that people are starting to realize the plethora of benefits to self and planet, it seems as though people are getting creative and actually sharing recipes the way our Moms did with their meatloaf :) I have to say that I am quite tired of the assumption that vegetarians spend their days eating nothing but grilled peppers, eggplant and zucchini all day long ... Viva los creative protein sources!! Really looking forward to this new section, and thanks so much for doing it!

Elle | 5:21 AM

I'm so excited for this section. I can't wait. I always try and cook our meals from scratch but inspiration for cheap and healthy is always welcome. We are eating more vegetarian and love it. Jamie Oliver has really inspired my family. Thanks to you and your mom for planning to make us all healthier:)

Erin Deegan | 6:06 AM

sounds fantastic... bring on the recipes!

Anonymous | 6:18 AM

I am not a mom - but as a teacher, preparer of my own meals and as a resident of this here shared earth, I am so excited to see that you will be sharing your recipes to help others easily solve their food dilemmas at home.

Sarah | 6:25 AM

looking forward to reading about some cool recipes that are healthy and inexpensive .. yum!

I have a problem with free-range chicken eggs, why do I have to pay TWICE the price for them .. I do buy them, but not every grocery shop. We go through alot of eggs, I can get 1.5 dozen for about 3$ or 1 dozen free-range for $5.89 .. it's CRAZY!

Kristen | 6:27 AM

I think a lot of people don't really *think* about what they are eating...then wonder why they feel so crappy. I am a big believer in the old saying, "You are what you eat" and am teaching this to my daughter, who eats a very healthy and varied gluten-dairy-free diet. I blog about some of my recipes, too, if you are interested, like a recent raw keylime pie.

Anonymous | 6:38 AM

I am SO EXCITED for this. I have always tried to stick to healthy eating, but now that I have a shorty, I'm really getting serious about avoiding HFCS and eating sustainable/organic stuff. My problem is the cost! I need some help figuring out how to stay within budget and not have to shop at 15 different farmer's markets/stores for the best prices. HALP!

April | 6:46 AM

This is very exciting and so important Rebecca! I can't wait to hear more details and thanks for the terrific links to a topic we should all be paying close attention to (and getting involved in improving). Love the new digs by the way - everything looks warm and gorgeous!

mlouprice | 6:51 AM

Very excited about this. I have lost 45 pounds over the last two years all because I quit eating garbage. I try to cook at home as much as possible, but I do have a difficult time making an inexpensive meal for just my husband and me. I would love some cheap, but healthy meal suggestions!!!

Krysta | 6:59 AM

Really looking forward to the new heathly food addition to the blog!

In response to the momversation video, with regards to the fast food consumers I think that there is a lack of education regarding food and proper nutrition. Even medical doctors aren't fully versed on nutrition. So, while most people probably know that McDonald's isn't necessarily healthy for them, they probably don't realize that by consuming these overly processed foods your body is becoming literally addicted to them.

Amber, theAmberShow | 7:21 AM

"What can we do?" you asked.

You can feed your kids what you think is right and good. I will do the same. So will everyone else.

I don't get the mentality that you have to "do" anything about anyone else's eating habits. Tend to your own family, and do what's best for THEM. Share your advice and cooking tips if people ask. (BTW, I am way excited about your "eating well" section). Know that not everyone has the same priorities you do.

Let the companies put what they want on their own menus. It's really simple capitalism (although the Double Down was probably created simply to get people shrieking "OMG FRIED CHICKEN INSTEAD OF BREAD!" - especially since it has the same amount of calories as a Big Mac).

Bethany | 7:24 AM

I'm looking forward to this section too! I've cut meat mostly out of our family diet, though for the sake of marital accord I fix meat one or two times a week, and the rest of the family insists on McDonald's once every couple of months. I guess that if they can live with my healthy menu planning, I can live with an occasional burger. :) Anyway, I'm always on the lookout for cheap, simple, nutritious, and yummy recipes to add to our repertoire. Can't wait to see what you cook up!

Kathleen | 7:34 AM

I'm looking forward to this series! I'm with you on this too. Our diets have become too made up of precessed foods. While junk food is okay occasionally, it's the meals we eat often that we need to work on.
You are spot on when you say we need to think about what we are eating.
You know that commercial for the fruit juice that equals a serving of veggies? How about we learn to cook veggies in a way that will taste good?
How about we get just a little more organized and cook for a change, it's worth it!

Tiffany | 7:39 AM

That's why I love farmers markets. I can go find inexpensive veggies and fruits. My kids get in on tasting the stuff and enjoy the food demos.

Peace, Love and Chocolate

Mary | 7:42 AM

Great post. It got me thinking and I think your taxing idea is brillant! Really looking forward to these new posts about cooking. I'm a nervous chef. I always want it to be perfect. But my goal is to relax and now that I'll have some good recipes, I'm set!

Looking forward.

(long time reader. Love your honesty and humour)


erniebufflo | 7:47 AM

You want to make it so the cheapest food isn't the unhealthiest? You don't need to tax fast food restaurants, you need to target the source for why corn syrup and soy based products are cheapest: you need to reform the farm subsidy system. It's not McDonald's fault, ultimately, that corn syrup and potatoes and soy are the cheapest foods, it's the fact that we pay big farm companies to grow corn. This keeps the prices artificially low and leads to a glut of corn syrup and other products that are turned into fast foods and processed foods which are cheaper than fresh veggies.

As to the mom in the video who claims that she doesn't love her kids less for feeding them fast food: would she make the argument like "just because I don't buckle my kids in the car doesn't mean I love them less than someone who puts theirs in a carseat"? No. Of course not. And it's the same thing. When you feed your kids fast food, you are putting their very health at risk. Period.

I'm excited to read more about healthy food on your site! I am big into eating local veggies and belong to a CSA and often blog about my veggie cooking adventures.

Anonymous | 8:22 AM

Rock on!
I work at the local grocery store and it is a trap! There is so much crap in supermarkets and I have become hyper aware of it all. I hope to start a similar section at my blog as well, but after the wedding. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Sarah P. Henry | 8:23 AM

pumped for this. very pumped.

Megan Stuke | 8:30 AM

I started saying during high school, when cigarette prices started rising (yes, I was smoking in high school, in the late 80's early 90's), "Okay, fine, tax the tobacco users, BUT ALSO TAX THE HO-HO'S AND SNACK CAKES!" I knew, even then, that it was unfair. I knew, even way back then, that people were in the hospital due to bad eating choices as much as they were for smoking-related illnesses. But, like the booze/marijuana dichotomy in this country, we just sort of pick and choose based on ??? what is okay and what isn't. Completely illogical. Thanks for bringing that up.

AD | 8:57 AM

I'm going to try to keep this short and to the point, but I could talk all day about this subject! So glad you are using your voice/platform to bring attention to such an important issue. Go Rebecca!

I agree with erniebufflo about the subsidies. I think that's where we need to start. Taxing is a good idea too, but if I were queen for a day, I'd start with the subsidies.

By leaving this comment, I mainly just wanted to ask you about your thoughts (or lack of) on soy. I'm not a vegetarian (but could imagine going that route because I've always had the ick factor with meat), but it seems to me like most vegetarians/vegans eat a LOT more soy as a subsitution for other products. After reading Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food", I'm realizing how much soy we are already consuming as it is (along with corn) and it's alarming. I like to live by "everything in moderation" but it seems nearly impossible to eat those products moderately when they are in EVERYTHING. And though I haven't done a lot of research on the subject myself, I've seen blurbs and heard murmurings about the health risks of consuming so much soy (especially in the manner in which Americans do it). question to you is: Do you eat a lot of soy products? I assume if you do, it's because you've researched it and feel it's safe.

And lastly (I sucked at making this short) I'm wondering if your Eating Well series will include ways for people to cook with meat. Not really for myself because I'd love to learn some more vegetarian recipes, but I'm realizing just how divisive this whole food thing can be. And because I think it's so important, I don't want people to feel judged or like it has to be an all or nothing sort of thing. I think even small changes can make a huge difference, so even though this isn't even my blog (so really none of my business), I want everyone to feel included. SORRY for the very long message, and thanks again for doing this. I'm really excited for it!!

L | 9:08 AM

I can't wait - I need lots of crockpot recipes as I always have to prepare dinner the night before :|

(P.S. Also DETEST fast food of any sort...)


Erniebuffalo - GOOD points. Very good. You're so right. The problem is much more than the fast food industries themselves. But fast food is STILL responsible. It's a chicken/egg issue. No pun intended!

AD- as for soy - we drink soy milk in our house but other than that eat very little soy based products. I make tofu once in a while and Archer has soy-based "non-chicken" now and then but that's about it. We eat dairy. Cheese. Eggs. So aren't a strict vegan family at all. And Archer occasionally eats Turkey sandwiches. (Hal eats meat so we have some meat in the house.)

As for meat recipes, I won't be including meat recipes because there are a million meat recipes out there and I'm not a meat-eater nor do I believe in the need to consume large quantities of meat. The point of Good Eats will be "there are tons of veggie selections that contain protein and goodness" ... the idea is to start thinking about cooking well-balanced meals WITHOUT meat.

That's not to say I'm against people who eat meat.

My point? Vegetarian cooking isn't just for vegetarians. It's for all people who want to cut down on their meat-intake for health, environmental, cost reasons. :)


(that being said - my mom disagrees with our soy intake and will be educating me/us as to why that is so. I, too have plenty to learn on the subject.)

AD | 9:35 AM

Good point about the easy access to meat recipes! It's much more difficult to find good vegetarian recipes. Thanks for answering my questions:) You and your mom rock!

Defunct Lisa | 9:53 AM

ooo... was hoping that you would also include a link to Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. We need to support those kinds of efforts.

SoMo | 9:57 AM

Sorry, but since the government almost took away our business based on "looking out for the consumer" I feel strongly about this. And no, we are not in the fast food business or any food type business.

It is the consumer's responsibility. And the argument that is is cheaper to eat out then to eat in is not valid. It takes about $20 for our family (of 4 eating people) to eat at a fast food place. It takes $50 for us to eat at a sit down restaurant. I don't call that cheap. It is convenient but not cheap. I spend $100 at the grocery store once a week, including non-food items, so half my grocery bill could go for one sit down restaurant meal. So I don't buy it is cheaper.

There are many options for people to eat healthy and cheap if they choose. They have to look for them. I think in no way should the government, or anyone else, be involved in that decision making process. That leads us down a very sticky path. It never stops at just one thing. It is up to the consumer to get the most for their dollar, not anyone else.

How many times have we seen these shows that have taken a family with bad eating habits and given them everything they need to eat right, only to have that same family fall back to their previous ways. You can't tax people's unwillingness to do what you think is right for them. Besides, why punish the rest of us that eat this stuff in moderation?

SaraMinerva | 9:57 AM

I spent my senior year of high school and freshman year of college working at McDonalds. I think everyone should have to work at least a week in a place like that. It'll change your life. When I was 16, I swore I would never take my kids to a McDonalds. My children are 3.5 and one. I will admit, due to poor planning, or grandparents babysitting and wanting to treat my oldest, she has eaten fast food. Not often, but it's happened. My husband and I have really cracked down on eating crap the last couple of years. Fast food is evil. I've been preaching this to everyone I've met since I was 16. After you've been off of it for a while, it doesn't even taste good anymore. My husband just admitted this last week, he who survived college on Whataburger and a liter of Coca Cola a day. (EEK)
So who's at fault here? All of us. Fast food giants should make their food healthier and more natural. We should stop eating it until this happens. Places like Wendy's and Sonic (here in the South) offer healthier alternatives to fries now, which is great. (Not that a double cheese with bacon can be negated with a little yogurt or sliced apples) If my kids are hungry, we stop and get some sliced apples and string cheese as a snack to keep them happy until we can get home for a meal.
We buy organic whenever possible. We are very lucky that our small town grocery store carries organic beef, chicken, some produce, and dairy products. In the spring and summer, we grow a garden.
I totally understand when someone says "I can't afford to buy organic." Our household isn't overflowing with funds either, but you learn to cut back to make room. You also have to think about what kind of money you'll be spending on health issues in the future. Being fat is expensive. Heart disease is expensive. A therapist to help you through your depression for being overweight and unhealthy is expensive.

I'm super excited about this new section. I'm not a vegetable fan, so I'm hoping to get some pointers.

L-Burt | 10:38 AM

I definitely can relate to you about being judgy. I don't eat at fast food restaurants but my fiance does occasionally and I can't help but judge everyone in there, including him. I know that it is cheaper for a lot of families, I think we also need to find a way for healthier food to be less expensive.

I love your blog and I love food and veggies and healthy cooking and I can't wait to see what that combo brings!

So excited! | 10:41 AM

I'm so excited for this!!!!!!! When, when, when can we expect it? Maybe you could give us a few recipes/tips now :-). I most look forward to your tips. I would love to eat vegetarian, I do not enjoy meat at all, HOWEVER, vegatarian usually equals carbs, carbs, carbs. When I did the South Beach diet and I just couldn't eat anymore salad, I started eating meat. It didn't matter how fattening the meat was, i.e. bratwurst, I lost weight and lots of it. So, I'm excited to learn from you, but I am hoping it's not all carbs. Can't wait...

Wendy Woolf | 10:42 AM
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy Woolf | 10:49 AM

I am looking forward to sharing my recipes and ideas with all of you, soon! We can eat healthy food that is easy to cook and not too expensive but I would also like you to consider this...

I love this conversation and would like to share the most convincing statistic against the argument that it costs more to eat healthy food. "Compared to the early 1960s, the percentage of our income that goes to food has fallen from 18 percent to less than 10 percent today. We’re paying less for food than anyone on Earth, anyone in the history of our planet, in fact. But in that same period, the percentage of our national income that goes to health care has risen from 5 percent to 16 percent today. Some of that increase, not all of it, is the result of eating terrible, cheap food. If we spent a few more percentage points of income on food, we could surely spend a few percentage points less on health care. Spending more on food, as a society, will not end up costing us more overall."--Michael Pollan

In other words, when we eat fast food, we may be spending a little less today but at what cost for our future health and medical bills? I like to think of healthy eating as an insurance policy. A few more dollars in the grocery store saves us many dollars at the doctor's office.

Anonymous | 10:50 AM

It's a crap argument to say that it costs too much money to cook healthy food for your family. In fact, the exact opposite if true. You can roast an entire chicken and a bunch of potatoes and carrots, serve it with a green salad, and still have leftovers for a couple of days--all for $10. My husband and I both work, we have one child, and we cook all of our own food. I understand that people might not feel like cooking a meal after a long day at work, but being tired is not a real excuse. I don't feel like going to work every day, but I still do it. Even if I don't feel like cooking, I take the 20 minutes required to make us a fast, healthy meal, and I always feel good that I've done it. Plus, there are always leftovers for workday lunches. Easier and cheaper to eat fast food? Total lie. You can guy a package of all-natural turkey burger patties, whole grain buns, and a bag of potatoes to make your own oven fries, and it will costs half as much as buying a bag of fast food. A false sense of convenience is no excuse for draining your bank account and ruining your health.


Hey, So excited! Glad you're so excited!

I eat vegetarian and eat very little carbs! The carbitarian as vegetarian is a common misconception!


malversation | 10:55 AM

looking forward to your recipes! as a vegetarian mom of twin toddlers, i have a hard time with the price of most organic items in my area and it's costing us tons per month. at the same time? kind of non-negotiable, as i don't feel comfortable feeding these little humans preservatives and artificial anything.

not to be judgemental, but if i fed my kids fast food, i'd probably feel like the worst parent ever. and since i'm in the minority with that opinion around my friends, it's good to have your blog as a comforting reassurance that i'm not a control freak when it comes to food! thanks, as always, for your words and thoughts.

AVM | 11:04 AM

I am so with you on this! ROCK ON!!! And good luck with your crusade! I'm carrying the torch as well!

Hespyhesp | 11:10 AM

I am really excited about this! I am trying to break myself and family of bad habits. We frequent them too often. Both my husband and I work and by the time we get home it is already after 6. I really need quick and easy healthy meals! And cheap is important, too!

Thanks for this! Oh, also, if you road trip, where do you generally stop for meals? We're taking a 16 hour road trip next month and I'd love some alternatives. Packing lunches and dinners isn't an option this time around!

Laura | 11:11 AM

I have always been one to buy into the "healthy food is too expensive" argument. But about 7 weeks ago, health issues forced me to drastically change my diet. No more fast food. No more pre-packaged high-in-fat, high-in-sodium, high-in-everything-else-bad-for-you dinners.

After nearly 2 months of this diet, I have to say that I haven't noticed much of a difference in my wallet. But I have noticed a difference in how I feel.

Before, I had absolutely no problem taking my kids to a fast-food restaurant. Now I absolutely cringe at the thought of them eating those greasy, disgusting fries. Yuck! I can't believe we used to eat that crap all the time!

I enrolled in a nutrition class at the local recreation center and have been learning how to cook healthier, cheaper meals for my family. I'm excited to add some of your recipes to the ones I've been collecting.

Sam | 11:14 AM

I am definitely looking forward to this! We are not vegetarians by any means but I would like to do some vegetarian meals. They have to be hearty because my husband's job is pretty physical, or we can always have meat on the side. My son is practically a vegetarian; he is just not interested in meat! I would love to learn some new tricks.


Laura? You inspire. AMAZING.

Marisa | 11:30 AM

This is awesome!!!! Fast food = the devil.

Shaina | 11:41 AM

oh, sigh. i always hate conversations like this because i am a PICKY EATING ADULT. I don't eat vegetables, or red meat, or most fish. I also am lactose intolerant and have to limit my dairy even with pills. I also am a recent college graduate who will not be making a lot of money for the forseeable future...

I'd love to eat healthier. I'd love to eat organic-er. I'd love to buy all my food at the farmer's market. But the fact is, I'm so limited by my diet (and don't say "just try something", because it is NOT THAT EASY) that cutting out anything I already eat would be really bad. Well, obviously, I'm trying to tone down the junk food, and I'm doing okay, trying to switch to nuts and dried fruit vs candy and teddy grahams...but i'm going to eat processed food, and i'm going to eat pre-packaged meals (although i limit those to lean cuisine or Smart Ones), and i'm going to eat a lot of things I shouldn't as long as they're cheaper.

Someday, when I have a good, steady income and am able to buy what I want, I will go more for more natural stuff. But i can never live my michael pollan's rules, and it makes me sad sometimes.

Anonymous | 11:49 AM

This is great! Our family are omnivores (although my daughter would live on blueberries, yogurt and air if we let her)but we make conscious decisions to buy local and to buy *real* food. We have very little processed/packaged foods in our house--which if you have kids, is somewhat of a miracle. The amount of packaged/processed crap that is marketed to our kids is disgusting (Lunchables, anyone? yuck).
We have not taken them to a fast food restaurant (they are 4 and 5). We are fortunate to live in a city with an amazing food scene that inlcudes several "healthier" burger joints (grass fed beef, local dairy, etc). We also have several neighbors with backyard chickens (and we live in the center of the city)--an excellent and CHEAP source of fresh free range eggs!

Molly | 11:49 AM

The only aspect of the food revolution I disagree with is the emphasis put on organic produce. I think there's a tendency to throw the baby out with the bath water when we say "fast food is soooo bad for you, eat organic!" Americans aren't obese because they're eating too much conventionally-grown zucchini.

I'm glad there is a demand for organic produce, and that there are farmers who are passionate about it and are able to do what they love. But for a lot of produce, the pesticides are safe and from an environmental standpoint, getting an organic apple from across the world is no better than buying a locally-grown, conventionally-grown apple. It's likely worse.

There are thousands upon thousands of family farmers in this country who are not "big agriculture" and who don't see a dime of these scary-sounding subsidies. They feed us and they're important.

Anyway, looking forward to the new section.

Sonja Streuber, PMP(R), SSBB | 11:50 AM

"It costs so much to eat the right stuff???"


I'm with you about the rice, beans, and farmer's markets or even beanstalks in a flower pot on your apartment building balcony. The only excuse for crap food is laziness. Take this from the working mom of a 17-month-old who even brings her own organic food to the daycare in order to avoid the sodium-laden benzoate fried waffles they serve there for breakfast and lunch and whatnot.

Of course, then, the hubs once called what I feed Little Miss Kickboxer "organic crap" for which, oh, he may have spent one or two nights on the sofa ...

Jessica | 12:30 PM

Always look forward to new vegetarian recipes. This year I expanded my veggie garden and am really excited about canning/pickling the excess.

Karen Chatters | 12:50 PM

This is awesome, I'm super pumped for this!!

Home Sweet Sarah | 1:17 PM

I am far (FAR FAR FAR) from being a vegetarian - I love me some steak and bacon, preferably together, sorry! - however, I am passionate about eating "well."

That is to say, lots of FRESH fruits and veggies, whole grains, beans/lentils, NO processed foods, etc.

Do I go through olive oil like nobody's business? Umm yeah, totally. But in my world, eating food that I've prepared from scratch (even if it does contain too much goat cheese and olive oil) is waaaaay better than settling for a "healthy" McD's salad or a Lean Cuisine.

I guess my general point is that I think if you use fresh ingredients - even if you're cooking meat or even if your fruits and vegetables aren't organic - is leaps and bounds better than anything processed or fast food.

Anyway! I'm excited about your recipes! As I said, I love cooking beans/lentils/grains, so I'll be interested to try quinoa!

Stef | 1:31 PM

Love it, totally in agreement! Too bad you probably can't have your own chickens in L.A. though...

seekingclarav | 2:04 PM

Amen. We are a happy vegetarian fast food free family and I couldn't be prouder.

I think it's a form of child abuse to allow children to eat crap food. Moderation is one thing, but let's face it, this country is not strong in the moderation department.

Don't get me started. But nice to know there are more of "us" out there. Looking forward to your recipes!

CKD | 2:38 PM

My acupuncturist once told me that eggs are a "super food" in terms of multiple benefits. Most kids will eat eggs in some form and you can buy a dozen at a time for not much! Imagine that!

ALWAYS looking for healthy, easy recipes over here. My fiance and I trade off hosting Sunday Night Dinners with our families so we need something that will feed a group (and makes decent leftovers) but won't keep us trapped in the kitchen all day. SO excited for this feature.

Amber, The Unlikely Mama | 3:02 PM

About the tax you mentioned. NY is (has already?) taxing drinks. There's this horrible ad campaign going around (funded by the drink companies) that it will hurt the average family's budget by adding $5 (roughly) to each week's grocery bill. I'm sorry, but if you're that hard up on cash that $5 a week will hurt you, maybe you shouldn't be buying your kids surgery drinks. All the healthy stuff will remain taxed the same as in the past. Hello, water?

Amber, The Unlikely Mama | 3:03 PM

BTW, I've heard some rumblings that they will outlaw the inclusion of toys in happy meals...because marketing crap food to kids by luring them in with toys was a bad idea? Who knew.

Jennifer | 3:07 PM

I'm vvveeeerrrry excited about this. Because I was just thinking about the hormones used to raise the meat I eat and wondering what in the world that does to ME...and so on... so basically YAY

Sara | 3:28 PM

Sounds great, but I'm hoping you give some airtime to what REALLY constitutes a "free range egg." With little to no regulation in place to define "free range," a lot of companies cut corners and have operations that more closely resemble conventional egg farming (which is pretty nasty, both ethically and environmentally).

Fresh eggs from small local farms are a great alternative--and usually provide the opportunity for a fun kid-friendly trip to see the chickens themselves.

Amy | 4:06 PM

Having been a vegetarian since before it was cool, I love that you are talking about this. I do think there are some fast food places, like Chipotle that really strive to do better but it is a two way street and there is responsibility on both sides. Also, I have to admit, when I heard you say that there are fries with 500 calories, I had the thought of bringing my low weight kid there. But like everything else, she probably wouldn't eat them anyway. :)

Sharon | 4:08 PM

THANK YOU for posting about quinoa! I've been wanting to try to make it for some time now but was intimidated and couldn't find good recipes! We also eat eggs for dinner often, in fact it's what we're having tonight :)

Sara | 4:16 PM

Love this! I just finished a culinary program, and have been trying to start a blog about the importance of eating local, whole food (but my stupid day job keeps getting in the way. Can't wait to read your recipes and ideas.

Mrs. Q. | 4:32 PM

I think it's important to point out that people don't turn to fast food just because it's cheap. It's, well, fast. I know you know this. I just would love to see your column add some crock-pot, one-pot or on-the-go options for those crazy days.

I grew up in a household where we very rarely ate out- fast food or otherwise. We just didn't have the money, so my mother cooked. We ate at home.

Today, I find that's not the norm. Many families consist of two working parents, kids in all-day-care and families whipping between school and dance and soccer practice. Some kids I know eat 2-3 dinners a week IN THEIR CARS.

I am still SHOCKED at the number of people who don't cook, grow veggies in their backyard and have compost bins-- and I live in a very rural area with average 1.5-acre lots. No one "has the time." As a mom who cooks three squares most days, grows her own veggies and even bakes bread, I'm labeled a "domestic goddess" and I don't get it-- it's not all that hard, is it?

Looking forward to the recipes!!

mathilda Dunn | 4:53 PM

Yay! I am excited about this. For the last five weeks I have been gluten, dairy and sugar free and feel amazing! I cut white flour out a few years ago,and never ate much processed food at all, but since cutting gluten and diary I feel one thousand times better. Glowy skin, tons of energy and I have even dropped some weight. I would say the best part about cutting out gluten/dairy/sugar (and sadly, wine...though I will indulge moderately again sometime I am sure) is that I feel so much more connected and aware of my body. Part of this is that with more energy, I have been working out more,but I think a lot of it is that the gluten/dairy/sugar were really messing not just with my digestion, skin, headaches, etc. but also with my mood, giving me less appreciation for my body. Treat your body well, and you will grow to love it more (even if, like me, despite lots of sweating it out, you have some jiggle in the middle).
I am somewhat creative in the kitchen, and am an absolute quinoa nut, but I am eager for some more budget friendly yummies!

Anonymous | 5:00 PM

Any seafood in your diet? Just made a really tasty moqueca from Simply Recipes last night, and my 7 year old loved it.So did my husband and I. My 5 year old incredibly picky eater, not so much, but that didn't surprise me. Point is, it was an easy, healthy meal from scratch. It did end up costing a bit since the halibut I bought was wild caught and expensive but after making it once I see that I could easily have gotten away with using half as much fish, which would lower the price. And leftovers for tonight are a bonus!

Kate | 5:07 PM

OMG Chrissy Johnson I totally fell for the tiny cubes! I bought the garlic and froze them never once thinking about the packaging.

I am usually pretty good but this was an unexpected failure.

Thanks for pointing it out - we've got to stick together on this!

Thanks Bec! Can't wait to try your carbon neutral cooking!!

Hef | 5:27 PM

I'm reallyreallyREALLY looking forward to it. And I'm right there with you. SOOOOO there with you. Can't wait.

Amanda | 6:25 PM

Rebecca -

Can't wait for the recipes and, as a type 1 diabetic, super excited to hear that they aren't too carb heavy. I'm already a foodie but I'm desperate for some low carb recipes that aren't meat based.

A note of caution about Free Range Eggs. The USDA has no specific guidelines about free range eggs and their only guideline for "free range" chickens is access to the outdoors - with no guidelines about duration, type of space or size. Many companies that claim free range eggs are not that at all.

Also, a sure fire tip off for eggs that aren't truly free range is when they also claim that they are "vegetarian" - a chicken that has true access to the outdoors also has access to whatever is living in the outdoors to eat. The vegetarian claim can only be made if the hens have been given strictly vegetarian feed to eat - hence, nothing to eat outside.

I strongly encourage people to buy their eggs (well, as much food as possible really but that's another topic) from a local source. Since chickens can live just about anywhere, eggs are one of the easiest things for people from any part of the country to purchase from (relatively) local farms where they can see or inquire about the conditions the chickens live in.

@ Sarah
Your free-range eggs cost so much more for two reasons: 1)They can get away with it by calling them "free range" and 2)The $1.49 eggs are artificially cheap supported by government subsidies and tax breaks.

Wendy Woolf | 6:40 PM

Amanda...your comments are right on and I will be addressing this in our first egg video: vegetarian vs organic vs cage free vs free range and what that REALLY means. I only use eggs raised by a neighbor or on a farm where I can see first hand how the chickens are raised. The cheap eggs are cheap because the chickens are raised on factory farms where the chickens are either piled on top of each other without cages or are squished in tiny cages. You can tell how the chickens are raised by the color of the yolk...chicken yolks are supposed to be deep orange, not yellow, the shells are hard to crack and not brittle, and the egg white isn't supposed to run all over the pan. It stays in one spot. There is a BIG difference, worth every penny of the $2-$3 more they cost.

Heather | 7:54 PM

We just had vegan green pea and sweet potato samosas for dinner tonight. Seriously delicious and MUCH better for you than french fries! So looking forward to some recipes!

L.A. Stylist Mom | 8:27 PM

I second what someone else in the swimsuit post said; I'm dying to hear about your quinoa/almond diet, two things I adore!

Chos | 9:14 PM

I love your blog and am really looking forward to your recipes. I've found beauty here and been very inspired by your gusto and dedication.

However, the tone of this entry just smacks of classism and a lack of awareness about other people's circumstances. Certainly, we all need to take responsibility for our health and our habits, but after reading this ( and this (, I believe that the of vehemence in this post is mostly preaching to the choir. More of us need to understand that some people are constrained by time or money or both and cannot "whip up" a homemade, organic, and vegetarian meal due to the limits mentioned above.

What you are talking about is a cultural shift, which means that we have to collectively reach out to people. How can we do that? By cooking for each other instead of judging each other.

Frankly, both fast food and cigarettes are addicting. I prefer for my children to avoid both.

Thank you in advance for being open minded to my hopefully gentle criticism. Again, I love your blog. I just think you might be missing a point on this topic.


p.s. I could not find a way to email you directly.

Lo | 11:28 PM

In response to your Momversation:

your question posed was is it the responsibility of people not to consume the product or is it the responsibility of the manufacturer not to make it. The question is inherently flawed because it assumes that all consumers have equal choice. it is a reality that some people (most of whom are impoverished minorities, single mothers, recent immigrants...) do not have the financial means or access to healthy foods. to the turn the blame around them completely negates the context of their situation. The social determinants of health are, in my opinion, the most compelling factors that contribute to chronic illness in North America. Anyone out their who has the choice to avoid fast food and processed alternatives should. your consumption in this capitalist disaster of modern society is your vote. vote for the health not just of your family, BUT ALL FAMILIES.

melanirae | 1:26 AM

Wendy and Rebeca, Have you read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer? You might really enjoy it.

Sara | 7:31 AM

Can I make one more observation/request? I noticed calorie counts, etc. come up a LOT during this entry. As someone who survived an eating disorder, I just wanted to point out that that kind of emphasis can be unhealthy in and of itself. Why not focus on the health value of foods based on their nutritive value, rather than talking about calories all the time?

I love your blog and just don't want to have to stop reading it because of triggering content. And super-judginess about eating a 500-calorie meal (which is a totally appropriate meal size if it's healthy food and not a Double Down!) definitely qualifies as triggering. Please consider the weight of your words--pun intended.

C | 8:10 AM

Generally love your blog, but can't say I love this particular post.

Here's what I got from it:

If you feed your kid fast food, you're going to hell. Heck, might as well just beat them while you're at it.

Now let me preface this by saying in a perfect world, I would feed my child home cooked meals every day, for every meal using vegetables bought at the local farmers market.

But somedays, like when you're basically a single parent and you have to work late and when you get home your child is already screaming for food but you were travelling over the weekend so you didn't have TIME to pre-prepare meals for the week... what other options do you have? I dare you to say tofu. My son will spit on your tofu or eggs... literally.

I just think it's easy to get all preachy when you have the luxury of having a 2 parent household (my husband is currently deployed).

I appreciate you will be sharing healthy quick recipes and all... but I think the soapbox needs to go.

C | 8:29 AM

PS It's also great to promote organic foods. If you can afford it, that's great.

However don't step up in the next blog and talk about starvation in various parts of the world. The only way to continue to feed the world's growing population is to use conventionally grown food. Using things like *gasp* fertilizer and hybridized seed.

Truth is farmable land is shrinking due to the expansion of our population, so the farmland we do have needs to be more productive and the only way to achieve that is to continue to develop higher yielding crops.

And to the commenter that said farm subsidies need to be lessened for things like corn so there is less corn syrup etc. Only certain environments can handle growing "natural" sweeteners like sugarcane. It's all about the length of growing season, etc. MOST of the US's farmland is NOT in such an environment.

Just some things to think about before criticizing the current system.


Hey, C and others who were offended/hurt/disagree with this post - your arguments are valid and comments much appreciated and I know this is a sticky issue with a million trillion moving parts.

I understand that convenience is a top priority for parents. That fast food is sometimes fun and helpful and I DO NOT think that is a bad thing. I have processed foods in my house. I feed my kids their share of mac & cheese and soy nuggets. I love me some Gardenburgers.

I don't want at all to come off as judgmental and am always sorry when/if I do. This is one of the few subjects that riles me up, mainly and most recently because as a "mom blogger" I am marketed to DAILY by fast food people and have always had to fight to keep ads off GGC that pitch bad food to "families with no time to cook!" It makes me livid.

I also agree that LOCAL is WAY more important than Organic. I'm all for local and know that organic is a complicated beast. It takes many family farms YEARS to get licensed as organic, for one. I buy my greens from a dude who grows organically but is years away from his license and people literally scoff and leave his booth because of it.

So, yes! All of your points are valid and important and I'm glad for such a kick-ass (educated! respectful!) readership.

Oh! And re: the calorie counting comment - you're totally right. I'm not a calorie counter at all and shouldn't have put so much emphasis on it.

E | 10:06 AM

Gotta agree with C and Somo here- Rebecca, while I agree with your philosophy and eat that way myself, this post and many of the accompanying comments rub me the wrong way. Inevitably conversations like this ignore the huge elephant in the room: that fast food is most often consumed by poor people, who are often racial minorities. This judgmental, preachy attitude just alienates people who are already alienated in our country. It's not immoral to visit McDonalds. Ideally, people wouldn't have to rely on fast food to feed their families. But sometimes they do, and to judge them for doing so is not helpful. I look forward to this section of the website, but hopefully it's without the finger-pointing lecture.

Lori | 10:09 AM

I totally agree with you about the fast food problem, and now that we are gluten free, ıt really is no longer an option! So I can' wait to see your recipes!


Wait, though, Emily. How is my post alienating (and racist?) and your comment isn't?

If your argument is: that poor/racial minorities eat bad food - how is that a fair argument? And how is that NOT elitist?

Not all lower-income folks/minorities eat badly. Not even close and to insinuate that (in my opinion) is far more alienating.

The point is this post was to get people excited about good food. To remind that it is possible to eat well, cheap, fast meals. That fast food SHOULDN'T always be the go-to option for families. That there are alternatives for EVERYBODY.

Lo | 10:51 AM
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lo | 10:52 AM

Stating that 'poor' (I'm guessing that that insinuates people with low socioeconomic status) people consumer more fast food and that visible racial minorities tend to be poorer than white people isn't racist, its factual. it isn't right and it isn't true for all cases, (see: 'white trash' and 'the Obamas') stating that EVERYONE has equal choice and options is a far more racist statement. it is a fact that people in america (and canada where i live!) don't always have choice. stigmatizing the only option they can exercise shifts the burden from policy makers and the institutions of the state to individuals who are often powerless to change their situation single handedly.

jussst sayin'!

Lo | 11:55 AM

Look at urbanized ghettos with concentrations of low income minorities... i don't see a lot of Whole Foods.

I see corner stores where non-organic apples are double the price of a bag of chips for twice the calories. when you're trying to make sure your kid goes to bed full which will you choose?

and i see McDonalds. I don't think its a coincidence that the concentration of fast food chain restaurants is much higher in area's with lower SES. Maybe they are strategically placed their to capitalize on the inability of the individuals there to leave their neighbourhoods and seek options elsewhere?

I'm not saying it is the only option, but it may feel like the only option. It is one option that is exercised more often in certain situations. How likely are people to get off work, walk/bus across town, buy more expensive less calorie dense foods that require more preparation, and feed their children. When there is a convient, cheap option right next door. this disparity is at the root of stigmatization and inequity experienced by marginalized populations. this inequity is perpetuated by the belief that all people have equal opportunity and choice.

Wendy | 12:00 PM

Hi Rebecca! I am a single mother who works for Polyface Farms! I have some great recipes that are cheap, fast and easy that I would love to share with you! Would also like to share the nutrition info on our eggs w/ you! Read more at Always enjoy your blog! :) Wendy Gray

abi | 12:41 PM

please share the crock pot bean soup recipe! It sounds delicious, and fast, and easy, and low budget, all things that I LOVE. : ) Also, it's legal to keep chickens where you are (LA proper right?). If you are egg eaters, it's pretty cost effective and they are totally easy to take care of. And (total bonus) the kids will have funfunfun with the chicks.

Amber, The Unlikely Mama | 7:06 PM

I call total bullshit on the idea that fast food is cheaper. We were dirt poor when I was very little and we ate at home every single night. Eating out was a rare treat, and fast food only came to our table when my mother brought it home from whatever "restaurant" she was working in at the time. We ate a lot of eggs, rice, beans, and fish. We did luck out in the meat department though, because my family lived on a farm..and in return for running it..we got a lot of fresh and free "organic" meats.

I will, however, agree that it is sometimes necessary to eat on the go...specially for single moms who just do not have the time or backup to prepare meals at home.

Now, that said, I eat like crap...but I'm neither poor nor a single working mom. I just hate cooking and run out of ideas after a few days. I'm very much looking forward to this series to see if there's something that I can make and enjoy.

<----super picky pain in the ass eater!

Irene | 7:07 PM

Our family has a $130 monthly (yes monthly) grocery budget- there's 3 of us. I'm looking forward to this series especially if I can do it for the budget we have. I have tried many times to go 100% organic, free-range, etc and have ended up not being able to stick to that budget.

Irene | 7:19 PM

oh and one more community has tried for years to get Whole Foods & Trader Joe's in our area because we currently do not have any stores that offer organic alternatives. We were told..."Victor Valley’s income level isn’t high enough, the percentage of the population with a college degree is too small or there are too many locals on some form of public assistance" ummm...NO!

Lucie | 7:22 PM

woo hoo! I cannot wait to hear these recipes! It has been hard for me to find good meat-free (and gluten-free) recipes that are cheap. We make good use of our farmer's market and that gets us through the week, but our meals are usually a hodge-podge.

C | 7:46 PM

Thanks for the good response. I do appreciate that you read your comments and respond.

Sorry to get so heated, but like you said it's a hot topic for many people. I think the "smoking = fast food" comment is what caused me to get on MY soapbox.

I do look forward to reading your recipes and hopefully incorporating some of the easy & quick recipes into our weekly meal plan.

Thanks again for remaining open minded.

C | 8:13 PM

One more comment... then I swear I'm done.

Lo/Emily: Did you ever think that poor people eat badly not because the chips are half the cost and twice the calories, but because they receive poor nutrion education?

In very general terms, poor areas have poor educations. Poor education doesn't just affect science/english/math, it also means that many low income people (regardless of race) only receive the very broad, 2 days in health class, food pyramid type of education. While this can be a solid foundation, many people have a difficult time translating it to real life.

My sister is a clinical dietician and works not just in the hospital, but she offers an optional class to parents of children in a low income after school program to learn more about healthy eating. Part of the class actually takes them to a grocery store to show them HOW to read labels and understand the sugar/fat content of what they are giving their children.

Her goal is to show them equally priced snacks and foods that are just as easy to prepare but with better nutritional value.

Which in essence is what Rebecca is trying to do here. Her goal is to educate and while I obviously didn't agree with the way she presented some of her statements, I do agree with the her goals.

E | 6:36 AM

C- Absolutely agree with you there. My dad teaches in a low-income area of Brooklyn, where the vast majority of his students live in projects. They know n-o-t-h-i-n-g about nutrition. They barely teach it in schools (and definitely not in 6th grade, which is what he teaches), and since their parents often know little themselves, they eat a lot of crap not only because it's quick, cheap, and satisfying (well, at least in the short run it's satisfying), but because they don't know what else they would eat. One interesting point is that kids whose parents are immigrants often eat healthier because they have food associated with their culture. Kids whose families are thoroughly "Americanized" don't have that culture- or if they do, it's McDonalds.

Rebecca- First, I apologize for not refreshing before my posting my comment- I missed your thoughtful response to C. But to respond to your comment to me- I don't think that your post was racist. What I was trying to say was better expressed by Lo- that it comes off as preachy when you essentially write, "Everyone should eat whole, healthy foods, period" without acknowledging that for a lot of poor people, fast food is less of an option and more of an involuntary way of life. Without acknowledging the difficulty in eating well--even for relatively privileged people!--it's easy to alienate people who might think, "This person has no idea what my life is like- why would I listen to her?". And I definitely don't think that ALL poor minorities eat fast food daily. But many do.

Whew. That all being said, I am alllll for education. I totally appreciate and am impressed by your mission here. I guess I'm just trying to bring some awareness that the issue isn't as easy as taxing fast food restaurants out of business--which clearly, you already know. So onto the recipes!

Laurie | 11:18 AM

Recently, my town was able to get the state to approve use of food stamps at the town farmer's markets! I am so proud to live in a town that fights to provide ALL of it's residence a opportunity to eat fresh, local produce.

Missy | 7:41 AM

I can't wait for this! I'm hoping this section will inspire me to get back to my healthy-eating roots. I've gotten away from it in the past year since having my first child while working full-time. It's definitely a challenge to get home from a 9-hour work day and have the energy to come up with a tasty healthy meal and actually cook.
Also, my dad recently was diagnosed with liver cancer. He hasn't smoked or drank alcohol a day in his life which leads me to believe that it's all bad food choices and genetics. In addition to the chemo, he and my mom are using nutrition to treat his cancer and seeing a holistic nutritionist at least twice a month. I'm looking forward to getting recipes here that I can share with my parents. If I come across any great ones that my mom whips up for my dad I'll definitely share!
Thanks for this!

Anonymous | 5:02 PM


I'm excited for this too!

A quick note for those who say organic is too expensive. Before you shop, go to the websites of the major organic companies (Stonyfield, Organic Valley, Cascadian Farms). Most of them have printable coupons on their site for staple-type items. We eat a lot of yogurt and dairy and last week saved about $15 on our bill of about $100. Stonyfield has a rewards program where you enter the codes from the lids - I've received coupons for 9 free yogurts and a free organic chocolate bar(!) in the last three months alone.

Bluestocking LA | 9:42 AM

I am totally inspired by this! About three years ago, as a fam, we decided no more fast food burgers, no more beef actually, and we stuck to it! (I was inspired by Fast Food Nation -- a great film btw.) We have, however, occasionally done the Happy Meal and it's horrible. I feel guilty every time. Luckily my little one doesn't even really like them!
I would love to see ideas too for fussy picky eaters! You don't know stress as a mom until your little girl!
I think the main block, whether its valid or not, is the idea that it's more expensive. And time. And work. And whine. I would be very excited to add to my collection more healthy recipes that are fairly simple but also -- affordable... and tasty! (We are "flextarians" which means we basically only eat turkey and chicken... but I could see going totally vegetarian one day.)
Also, I like to bake but I kinda hate to cook.
anyway, great blog! You can tell you put your heart & soul into it! I look forward to more!

Michelle | 12:11 PM

First, I Love you and your blog. I am also very passionate about my families diet, although they have had their fair share of french fries. We mostly eat organic but I believe that "everything in moderation" and the occasional fast food visit is not going to kill them. With that being said, I am dying to know WHY you have decided to have McDonalds advetising on this site?! I thought fast food was the devil and here you are preaching healthy eating while I am staring at a big, blinking McDonalds ad. I am confused to say the least.


WHAT!????? Where is the ad????? I have rejected ALL MCDONALDS ADS. There should not be any ads here. EVER. I have contacted my ad network to reiterate what I have said here. Thank you for the heads-up.


Sorry. I'm so sorry. And angry. And sorry. I have pulled my ads temporarily until this is resolved. I literally have to reject EVERY AD within the hour so when I can't make it home in time sometimes they slip through. I'm HORRIFIED right now. Horrified.

Michelle | 12:21 PM

The ad is right below your header and it is LARGE. I thought it seemed strange, I should have known. Looking forward to this section and some new recipes to try out on my kids.


Gone now. Thank you for the heads-up.

jenifer | 10:03 PM

glad that people are finally waking up. I have been eating healthy, organic, local, sustainable long before it came into fashion- totally glad that it is more of a norm than in past years. and soy- nonononono. not a fan of soy in my diet. being a classically trained chef I love trying new things and am always learning... someday I will have a real live place of my own to share!

Ashley | 9:26 PM

Hey Rebecca,
I really hope you add to this section soon! I'm so excited to hear about new recipes and ways of cooking. I'm in college and have always had a bit of an aversion to meat, however it is hard to completely abstain for fear of health concerns. I've been reading a lot about the impact that our food makes on our environment, it is appalling! Why do we contribute to something that not only makes us sick, but negatively impacts our environment?! This inspires me to go on a quest for better food!!

JenS | 8:38 AM

I'm really looking forward to this. I'm a vegetarian single working mom, and let me tell you, it is HARD out here. I try really hard to give my daughter healthy food every day, but I'm tired, and those morningstar chik'n nuggets are so easy to microwave!

Mia | 9:05 AM

I just have to say how grateful I am that I have found your blog. It has become regular reading for me and so fun to look back at what you have written in the past.

Thank you for all

Anonymous | 9:09 AM

"I'd rather my kid smoke cigarettes than eat at fast food restaurants regularly." I'm not currently a mother, but when it comes to my younger siblings I totally agree with this. Thinking of my little brother eating Taco Bell or McDonalds brings tears to my eyes!