Q & A: What to Feed a “Meat and Potatoes” Man

Merry Christmas to everyone! We are quickly drawing near to the 25th and if you are like me, there are still some last minute things to get done. It’s a fun and busy time of year. Meanwhile, here is another Q & A video for you.

I would love to have everyone’s comments on this great question from Kelly as well. Here it is.

” My husband is a “meat & potatoes” kind of guy and could really care less about eating organic or “nourishing” meals. He doesn’t mind if I make them (providing it doesn’t change the grocery budget), but he doesn’t really want to change the way he eats. Any good suggestions or recipes that fall into both the comforting “meat & potatoes” and “nourishing” catagories? He is just not into beans (too bad for me…the fugual aspect alone is enough for me!) or other grains. He wants food that still looks completely “normal” to him.”

Oh, and by the way, some people think that I am a little younger than I really am. So if my voice and face make me seem like I am 16, don’t believe it. I don’t think my voice has changed one bit since I was 12!

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. Jeanie says

    Hi Kimi
    Those are some really good ideas. We eat grass fed meats so I know that when I make meatloaf it is really good for my husband. We have a good chili recipe that doesn’t include beans. Sometimes I get ground lamb and make easy gyros with that. I make my own chicken and beef broths so whenever we have stews like you said or any kind of soups I know that is extra nutritious for my husband. We need to roast more vegetables though:)

    Merry Christmas,


  2. says

    Great video Kimi! We’re moving along the nourishing foods path and I’m JUST to the point where I’m ready to make the jump. Well, a bunch of little jumps. I ONLY buy the dirty dozen and now also meat organic. But I started for a little while with only one thing – I bought organic bacon. I talked with my husband about healthy eating and how the cows are treated, about nitrates and nitrites, etc, etc, etc. For me, taking a “stand” on one item made it easier to talk about other items. And, my grocery bill went up gradually. So, for me, organic bacon was a $1 more than non organic – it was easy to justify that week. Next week, I added in organic potatoes and organic bacon – and it’s still spiraling. I still eat on a budget – I bought 15# of organic potatoes when they were on sale! I still (occassionally) use coupons and I still shop around for the best price on things.

    I feel like I wrote a book! I’d love to hear from other who are going through the same things.

  3. says

    A video is neat!
    My husband is ‘meat and potatoes/set in his ways’ also. I was going to recommend watching Food, Inc together as soon as I saw this, but you already did 🙂 We’ve watched Future of Food and other food-related documentaries also, and that’s what’s helped my husband the most. Sometimes I have to tell him to just get over it (when he was wanting separate food cooked without coconut oil- he was just being overly stubborn) but usually he comes around on his own!

  4. Jessie says

    Another way to save money on nourishing eating is to try to buy things in large quanitites & split with friends. I have access to grass-fed ground beef at $3.50 a pound if I go in with friends for 50 pounds.

    Also, I am trying to save money for nourishing foods by starting to make my own cleaners. I got started with making my own all-purpose cleaner – http://www.cheeseslave.com/2009/11/21/how-to-make-homemade-all-purpose-cleaner/ and have done on-line searching to figure out cleaning for other things. Vinegar & baking soda for cleaning = more money for food.

    It really is a journey & I’ve been on it for a while and am still growing & changing & adding new things to the mix. I hope that you are encouraged that it is a journey & you don’t have to have arrived yet.

  5. says

    Don’t tell my husband: I sneak things into food. He is okay with paying a little more for good food. We got part of a grassfed cow last year and the meat is REALLY good. I’ve also been working on adding in some organ meats ground up with ground beef in casseroles or spaghetti (not too much so he doesn’t notice–although you can add a little bit more when you know that he isn’t going to notice). In casseroles I add in zucchini (watch the moisture though) which adds some good vegetables that aren’t potatoes–usually he doesn’t even notice it’s in there.

    Organ meats can often be purchased cheaply and will stretch those casseroles so that you can have more leftovers (always frugal) or you can use less ground beef (again frugal).

    My husband loves potato salad in the summer. He didn’t understand for the longest time why it was so much moister when I made it than when he did–then I told him that I shredded zucchini into it. He was sort of weirded out by that but he liked the moist flavor and the way it lasted so much better that he doesn’t try picking anything out of it!

    • Carrisa says

      I laughed at your comment because I do the same thing with my husband! The less he knows the better! If he knows the organ meat is in there he complains of a “irony” taste, but if I sneak it in and not tell him, he raves about it! lol 😀

  6. says

    I’m a Kimmy, too, and I also sound like I’m twelve…back when I had a land line, telemarketers would call and I would answer and they would ask to speak with my mom. I would say “I AM the mom! Take my name off your list!”

    Thanks for the ideas!


  7. says

    hi kimi! i’ve been reading your wonderful site for a while now; thanks for this particular v-log. i just wondered if you would ever think of posting a basic outline of what your weekly menu tends to be? i feel like we eat very well as a family now (thanks so sites like yours!) but what i’ve been struggling with lately is the actual menu planning to be the most frugal but still nourishing. lots of love&light: emily.

  8. michelle says

    beef stew. julia child style. also lasagna. grass fed meats. let him watch some documentaries like “food inc.” , “future of food”, “fast food nation”…also the weston a price website.

  9. Rosalyn says

    My husband is also a meat and potatoes kind of man. He really doesn’t like any greens, so I have to get pretty creative. Generally, if I am serving a new food, I make sure it is only one of four or five other things that are his ‘normal’. Like the other day, I made sprouted wheat berry casserole, but also served mashed potatoes and two kinds of veggies with our roasted chicken. I’ll keep serving it until it’s a ‘normal’ food to him and eventually we’ll be happy with that and meat and veggies.
    I also like the book that has pureed fruits/veggies incorporated into the recipes. That helps too. We also use sprouted flour – it increases nutrient intake without being ‘weird’.
    Boning up on cookbooks is the top tip for me – the more I read the more I learn, the more I can slip into our daily ‘normal’ without it being a big deal.

    • KimiHarris says

      I’ve been thinking about it. I know that you aren’t the only one who would appreciate it. It’s more of a time limitation problem for me. But I will definitely consider it! Thanks for asking.

  10. mom23 says

    We’ve been eating clean, grass fed and primarily organic for almost two years now while trying to heal intestines and hopefully reduce food allergies. At first it was a shock because I was trying to substitute organic versions of our previous diet.
    Once summer rolled around I made a concerted effort to find good local clean food.
    I asked lots of questions from lots of farmers, found markets, got involved on consumer panels for local markets, and found local resources. We buy organic beef by the 1/8th or 1/4 for a great price, and try to do the same with lamb and bison when possible. We buy our eggs from local farmers too. When I get whole chickens I make stock after roasting them, and often will buy chicken necks from local farmers to make bone broth…cook it down until it’s well concentrated, freeze it in small jars to use for bean soups, stews etc.
    I buy what’s in season, preserve it by freezing or dehydrating when possible and we eat out of our garden a lot too. In the late fall it was easy to find “clean” squash so I bought lots of it, we’re still eating delicata, butternut, acorn squash, lots of pie pumpkins etc.
    We substitute butternut squash for potatoes in most recipes… beets are a good stand in too. There are several farmers nearby with hoop houses who are growing beautiful clean greens available all winter.
    We belong to a local co op buying club so buy organic beans, nuts, etc in volume.
    I belong to two different CSA’s, pick local clean blueberries, strawberries, raspberries etc when they are in season and live by Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions.
    I love these blogs, it helps so much to have so many like minded people helping us all eat cleaner!

    Sorry for the book~`

  11. Peggy says

    I noticed many of you mentioned grass-fed beef. Do any of you live in Indiana? We are moving next month and I only know of one local farm in the Kokomo area where we can get grass fed beef but it is $5.30 a lb if you buy a quarter of a cow. We don’t eat chicken, fish, or beans as my husband has an adult onset allergy to these. I would love if anyone could pass on any information they might have for Indiana. OH, Kokomo is about 60 miles north of Indianapolis off of Hwy 31 (I think its hwy 31..)

    Thank you so very much!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Peggy! I live in NW Indiana and I have a few ideas for you to look into.

      We purchased a quarter grass fed beef a few months ago from Hoosier Grassfed Beef, and it is excellent! It worked out to about $3 per pound hanging weight. Since I asked for all the bones, it turns out to be a pretty accurate price for what I received. Here is the Website: http://www.hoosiergrassfedbeef.com/main.htm

      Seven Sons Meat is another option. We ordered from them two years ago, and it was good. However, I like the flavor of the beef from Hoosier grassfed better. They also sell naturally raised pork and chickens, but last I checked they are also supplemented with a non organic feed that includes corn and soybeans. Seven Sons website is: http://www.sevensons.net/

      Finally, here is a “Going Local Indiana Food Guide”. This is a good blog, and has lots of great information.

      Good luck in your search!

    • Rachel says

      Go to Eatwild.com and Localharvest.org, search under Indiana on both and I think you may find other farms. Also, if you’re going to closer to a border state, check that state, too as you may find a farm that delivers over state lines fairly close to you. For another source for real dairy products, go to realmilk.com, in addition to those given above.
      For example, I’m in Ga and receive delivery from a TN farm.

      HTH; don’t stop looking for real food!

  12. says

    I feel really lucky that my guy loves vegetables and nutrient-dense food as much as I do. (But then, he supplements it with lots of wine and chocolates, which I don’t agree with.) We are finishing a 1/4 beef I bought last year and a pig he bought, also some fish from Alaska, all out of our freezer. I grew some vegetables over the summer and shopped at the farmers market. Now that that’s over, we can get good veggies from a sort of “semi-health food” grocery story near us with lots of organics and I tend to buy what’s on sales. Fortunately kale is usually cheap. We also buy from a local gardening nonprofit that teaches high school students to garden organically (Noyo Food Forest), and they are so cheap plus a really good group so it’s a pleasure on many levels to be able to buy from them.

    I loved the suggestion to introduce new foods as a side dish along with the usuals, and once it’s accepted, let it take the place of other stuff more often. That has worked for us. Ditto making homemade cleaners etc. I stretched my last bottle of Mrs. Meyers Good Day brand fabric softener by topping up the bottle with white vinegar over and over. You could also buy a bottle, pour half or 3/4 into another bottle, and top up the original bottle with white vinegar, mixing more as needed. You can really stretch a bottle of the good stuff that way. Since I hate buying more plastic containers, I just bought the dryer sheets this time; you can split them into smaller pieces along the perforated lines.

    We find it very, very useful to make lots of bone stock (mostly chicken, though we did do beef recently, and that’s great with black beans). We use it for the obvious things like soup and stew (freezing most in quart or pint jars) but also freeze some in cubes to add to rice or quinoa when reheating (or cooking to begin with) or as the liquid in a vegetable braise or steam/saute. It adds dimensions of flavor that not even butter can replace! I think it adds to the digestibility of beans to cook them in at least part stock and water. Better, more nutritious and delicious food means less is thrown out! (And if something doesn’t work or gets too old, 3 dogs and 2 compost piles will take care of anything we don’t eat.)

  13. Janet Reynolds says

    It is more important to be on the same page with your husband than to change the way any of you eat. If you can joyfully and honestly incorporate some of the suggestions within the guidelines he has told you, that’s wonderful. However, I have a hard time seeing how you can switch to grass-fed beef and pastured chicken and eggs without a significant impact on your food budget. I promise you from experience (married 28 years), it is almost always better NOT to immerse yourself in web sites and books that your husband does not agree with. It only causes most of us wives to want to lead our husbands into what we are learning. We get frustrated when our husband does not agree or is not interested, which causes him to feel disrespected and to lose his desire to lead his family. This causes further frustration in us, and the downward spiral continues. When a wife asks her husband’s opinion, and truly wants it in many different areas (i.e. respects him!), he will feel motivation from the inside out to make the best decisions for those he loves. I know this is a food website, not a relationship website, but this is such a common mistake for a wife to make, and this is a common area for disagreements. Be the best homemaker for your *husband* that you can be.

    • KimiHarris says

      Hi Janet,

      I just wanted to reply quickly. First, thanks for your comment! I wondered if I was going to get someone raising some of your concerns.

      As far as the expense goes, yes, obviously buying quality eggs, meat and milk is going to be more expensive. BUT many of us have been able to keep the same budget by cutting out other expenses, like going out to eat, buying packaged foods, and soda. So for many people eating nourishing food does not necessarily mean a higher budget. It may for some, but not all.

      Secondly, of course having a good relationship with your husband is more important than eating a certain way, but I would hope that most of us have good enough relationships with our spouse to be able to have positive conversations about dietary changes without ending in a broken relationship. I appreciate Kelly’s questions because it seems like she is trying to consider her spouse’s food preferences as she seeks positive change. Thankfully, it’s not hard to feed a meat and potatoes type guy nourishing food. 🙂

  14. Dani says

    What a blessing that my husband loves everything I am doing to change our diets for the healthier and more nourishing. I have been doing the Maker’s Diet since the end of October, and here it is the week before Christmas, and I have lost TWENTY POUNDS. The kids, however? If I see one more eye roll…
    I love the idea of using existing recipes and making them with more healthful ingredients. I also make a version of shepherd’s pie and sneak all kinds of veggies in–I mix a whole bunch of chopped veggies in with the meat, including using my slap-chopper to pulverize some broccoli for the one kid that doesn’t like it (she hasn’t even noticed it yet!), and pulverizing cauliflower to put in the mashed potatoes for the other kid that doesn’t like cauliflower. Mashed is easier than sliced for us, because we make the mashed potatoes in big batches, then freeze it in portions to make mealtimes faster.
    Also, Dr. Ben Kim has some great recipes on his website. From his website, I made a fantastic soup with garbanzo beans, leeks and potatoes that my whole family loved. How simple it would be to sneak in some other healthful ingredients to a blended soup? I’m picturing cauliflower, which wouldn’t change the flavor, and even some mild squashes. I do caution his recipes: he does use a lot of soy, and seems to be pretty vegan in his choices, but heck, throw some chicken in and make it a real meal!

  15. says

    My husband just watched Food, Inc. and it DID help him to *see* how important our food quality is. He listens to my stories about it, but *seeing* the impact of subsided corn/soy lowering the quality of our food choices, felt empowering. He was also impressed with the growing incidence of diabetes and its association with poor quality food.

    Food, Inc. was very powerful and empowering to watch.


  16. says

    I also have a meat & potatoes guy and we have no trouble eating a nutrient-dense diet. He loves all the things I make with grass-fed beef including chili, tacos, sloppy joes, burgers, steaks, etc. I add beef heart to the ground beef and he doesn’t notice. He also loves deviled eggs made with homemade mayo (or the mayo from Wilderness Family Naturals) and other comfort foods — I just use quality ingredients to make them. And he loves eggs & bacon for breakfast.

    As far as saving money goes, there are a million ways to do it. I echo what others have said — I cut corners where I can and then we have more money for nourishing food.

    Interestingly we were just in Hawaii. We went to some fancy “hoo-ha” type places which Seth didn’t really like. He wanted to go to a hole in the wall place that had traditional Hawaiian slow cooked pork and macaroni salad. So we went and it was OK. I didn’t love it but I didn’t say anything.

    About 20 mins later I started feeling dry cotton mouth and getting a dizzy headachey feeling. I knew it was the MSG. I mentioned it to him and he said, “Is that what that is? I have it, too!” He asked me why people use MSG and I explained about how traditionally, bone broth was used to flavor food. But people don’t want to have to do that so they cheat and use MSG. He was disgusted and said, “You can’t eat anywhere anymore!”

    Every experience we have like that leads to him understanding more why we eat this way. The other thing that really cements his belief in this way of eating is how healthy our 2-year-old is. She is so much more sturdy than other children her age. She wears size 3 pants and size 4 tops. When she stands next to other kids her exact same age, she looks, I don’t know stockier and healthier. The other kids look waifish and petite in comparison.

    She’s also so well-behaved. She’ll sit through long 3-hour restaurant meals with no problem. I think her temperament is much better than a lot of kids. I didn’t really believe this before, but my mother-in-law, who was a teacher for 30 years, tells me that she really is different.

    I think kids were different 50 years ago — much better behaved. I wonder if they even had ADD or ADHD. My MIL said, back then, there would be like one kid with asthma and everyone knew who it was. Nowadays, she says, about 30% of the kids have puffers.

    Anyway I”ll stop but I could go on and on about the benefits of eating this way — not just for our daughter’s health but for ours, too. I want us to live long and healthfully so we can be there for her and her children.

  17. says

    I was in that position with my son’s father, but when the love of my life came along I did not have to worry. He eats what ever I prepare and supports my eating local, organic, etc. I however understand via clients that this can be a problem. I would suggest slipping vegetables thinly sliced or diced into lasagna, meatloaf, as well as lentils into stews and chili.

    I also make a TVP chorizo, or sausage that you can add some meat and red wine to, and make a tasty breakfast patty, and wonderful gravy.

    Lately I have gotten into making my own bread and rolls. Quick yeast recipe that does not take as much of my quality time with home life. Desserts too!

    I lurk on your site, and loved the video!

  18. says

    I have another question for you.
    I have an adopted son who is 5 years old and has been with us for almost 2 years. I am having a lot of trouble putting weight on him even though he eats a ton. He eats way more than our other children who are all stocky and sturdy looking. He however, although he looks much better than when he came is still so thing and not a healthy weight. I feed him 2 raw egg yolks a day from our pastured chickens, coconut oil, high vitamin butter oil, cod liver oil, grass fed organic beef, organic chicken, our own raw goat milk, fatty fish etc etc. He is on an extremely healthy nourishing diet because thankfully he will eat anything. He just will not gain weight. His pediatrician really wanted me to put him on Pediasure which I was not going to do but to make them happy and force him to gain weight I gave him raw milk mixed with organic sweetened condensed milk. It did do the trick and he put on a few pound in several weeks and it made the doctor happy but I didn’t want him consuming all that sugar (and pasteurized milk) and so I stopped. But now I am having the same problem again. I am starting to feel like the only way to put weight on him is to give him sugar (sucanat or rapadura of course). Since healthy fats don’t cause you to gain weight supposedly is this my only option? Do you have any other suggestions? He does have mild cerebral palsy but his health otherwise is fine. I know that not a lot of people having trouble gaining weight but some do and it would be wonderful to know how to help.
    Thanks so much and Merry Christmas!

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