Greek Sweet Potato Hash – $15 Meal from Trader Joe’s

$15 Trader Joe's Meal - Sweet Potato Hash -- The Nourishing Gourmet

By Natalia Gill of An Appetite For Joy

What could be better than diced sweet potatoes fried up with garlic and green onions, then topped with wild peppery arugula, salty feta and a sprinkle of sumac? Not much in this world if you ask me.

This Greek sweet potato hash is also versatile – delicious on its own or stuffed into a pita pocket or lettuce wrap!

One thing I love about the direction Kimberly takes with this blog is learning to save money while eating right. She came up with the idea of buying meal ingredients at Trader Joe’s with $15 in pocket and I thought it was a fun challenge!

I didn’t include cooking fat and spices in the cost. To more than offset this, know that there will be plenty of leftover sweet potatoes, arugula and sheep feta. My son loves packing the feta with olives in his lunch. And the extra sweet potatoes come in handy for our favorite dessert – Sweet Potato Pie with Lemon Zest.


When creating the recipe, I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite items at Trader Joe’s:

Sweet potatoes – I find TJ’s to have good prices on basic organic sweet potatoes.

Wild arugula – This was a new one for me. I like that there are a couple of wild-grown foods in the store as a cost-saving option compared to organic (wild blueberries and now wild arugula). This bagged arugula was amazingly fresh and the best arugula I have ever purchased from a grocery store. It was almost as tasty as the one I buy from a local farmer.

Sheep feta – I love this stuff. It comes in a sizable block that is pre-cut into manageable pieces. This cheese is much creamer than cow-milk feta and easier on digestion, like goat’s milk. It lasts all week for us!


3 lb bag of sweet potatoes – $4.49
wild arugula – $2
green onions – $1.29
sheep feta – $6.49
lemon – 50 cents

TOTAL – $14.77

This meal comes together in a flash, especially if you can grab a few minutes earlier in the day to prepare the sweet potatoes (I like breaking up cooking tasks). I just cut them into french fry shape (a good knife makes this easy!) and soak in ice water in the fridge til I’m ready to cook.

$15 Trader Joe's Meal - Sweet Potato Hash -- The Nourishing Gourmet


Paprika Chicken Legs (Slow Cooker)
Homemade Instant Noodle Bowls
Easy Mini Meatloaves (Paleo)
14 Easy Dinner Recipes that are Healthy and Frugal too!

Greek Sweet Potato Hash - $15 Meal from Trader Joe's
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Greek-inspired
Serves: 4-6
This Greek-inspired sweet potato hash makes a great light meal for spring or summer. Enjoy it on its own or stuffed into a homemade pita, tortilla or lettuce wrap. A cup of bone broth on the side completes the meal.
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 large), peeled and diced small
  • 4 scallions, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried oregano, to taste
  • unrefined salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cooking fat (ghee, bacon fat, coconut oil, etc.)
  • chunks of sheep feta
  • arugula
  • sumac
  1. This is a one-pot meal if you halve the recipe. But with the quantity of sweet potatoes, it's necessary to make it in two skillets.
  2. Heat two skillets over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon cooking fat to each. When hot, add diced sweet potatoes and cook until they start to soften, about 5-10 minutes. Add a little salt.
  3. Add the scallions and cook another 5 minutes, or until they start to get a little crispy. (Add extra fat if needed.)
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and oregano and cook another 5 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve with a lemon wedge, a pile of arugula on top and some feta if desired. I also like to sprinkle on a little sumac.

Homemade Instant Noodle Bowls

Homemade Instant Noodle Soups (with Paleo Options) - The Nourishing Gourmet

By Natalia Gill, from An Appetite For Joy

Mason jar salads are a healthy and handy lunch idea. But as temperatures drop and we crave more warming foods, how about instant noodle bowls? Simply pack a few jars with savory Asian fixin’s. When you’re ready to eat, add hot broth and you have a satisfying umami-rich soup on the spot.

This quick meal idea was born when my husband and I caught a cold after a fun, rainy wedding weekend in Savannah. We needed something fast but even more so, we needed something restorative. This soup was perfect, two key ingredients being comforting stock and powerful turmeric.

Since then I’ve lined up a few in the fridge for easy lunches on busy weeks.

Incidentally, I like to eat the noodles with a fork or chopsticks while taking sips of broth straight from the jar or bowl. This is how my Japanese colleagues (from my previous life) ate noodle soups when I was in Tokyo. Pictured here are rice noodles, but there are a number of delicious gluten-free pasta options with which you can experiment!

Try mung bean threads, found in the Asian section of many grocery stores. They look and taste a lot like thin rice noodles.

Season with coconut aminos instead of tamari, and use kelp noodles. (If you haven’t yet tried kelp noodles, they are silky, soft and neutral in taste!)

Homemade Instant Noodle Bowls - The Nourishing Gourmet

Serves 1
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons tamari (or coconut aminos)
  • 1 cup cooked noodles (rice, mung bean or kelp)
  • ¼ cup chopped cooked chicken
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons diced green onions
  • hot peppers such as jalapenos or habaneros (sliced thinly, to taste)
  • 1 cup hot broth
  • unrefined salt and pepper (to taste, optional)
Fill a mason jar with all of the ingredients except for the broth, salt and pepper. Store in the fridge. When you are ready to eat, pour in the hot broth. Stir very well. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Homemade Instant Noodle Bowls
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Asian-inspired
Serves: 1 serving
If you liked instant noodle bowls as a kid, you will love this easy healthier option. Perfect for quick, make-ahead lunches. Enjoy!
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons tamari (or coconut aminos)
  • 1 cup cooked noodles (rice, mung bean or kelp)
  • ¼ cup chopped chicken
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons diced green onions
  • hot peppers such as jalapenos or habaneros (sliced thinly, to taste)
  • 1 cup hot broth
  • unrefined salt and pepper (to taste, optional)
  1. Fill a mason jar with all of the ingredients except for the broth, salt and pepper. Store in the fridge. When you are ready to eat, pour in the hot broth. Stir very well. Adjust seasonings to taste.



8 Healthy Gluten Free Freezer Meals

8 amazing gluten free freezer meals that are family friendly, healthy and so delicious! I love how easy all of the recipes are too. -- The Nourishing Gourmet

These varied, family-friendly and delicious gluten free freezer meals have been a lifesaver for us. I’m all about looking for ways to make dinners simple and as easy as possible, so I am in love with the ease of making and using freezer meals! It helps me use my time efficiently when in the kitchen and helps significantly with meal planning and food budgeting as well.

With the arrival of my newborn, Larkin, I was glad to have some gluten free freezer meals stored away. I recommend that anyone have freezer meals tucked away for after the baby is born, if possible. But it’s even more important for those who have food allergies or intolerances. Because one of my children is sensitive to a fairly wide variety of foods and I am as well, it makes it a lot harder to have people bring and make us food (although we were blessed by some delicious meals brought to us by friends and family after Larkin’s birth).

I had really high hopes for all of the meals and snacks I wanted to pre-make and store away before Larkin was born. But I got sick for several weeks at the end of my pregnancy and wasn’t able to complete everything. Thankfully, I was able to store away enough meals, or at least the main dish of a meal, that we had a nice little stash waiting for us when we got home from the hospital. These were completely essential to our survival these last two months, and we just have one or two things left. I am looking forward to restocking my freezer again!

Quick Tip

Because I had low energy and my “morning sickness” never quite went away, I had to pace myself during my pregnancy. So what I did was make one of the below items for our dinner, and then just doubled, tripled, or quadrupled the recipe. I recommend the practice as it was easy to fit into our schedule without having to have a whole day set aside for freezer meals.

1. Paleo Freezer Meatballs

Follow this simple method to make your own freezer meatballs! You can take out as many as you like at a time. You can use your favorite recipe, or you can use this grain-free, egg-free Italian Meatball recipe. Yum!

I share here how to make my gluten and grain free meatballs into freezer meatballs. I made a big bag of them, and we mostly used them to serve with spaghetti sauce over gluten free noodles (read this post for some of our favorite brands), or over spaghetti squash (read this post for a comparison of 4 grain free noodle options). I love having them available as they reheat so quickly. They help make great last minute meals.

2. Gluten Free Pizza Crust

I love how simple this gluten-free pizza is to make! I can finally enjoy pizza again!

These crusts are fantastic and easy to make with just whole soaked quinoa and coconut flour. I made enough crusts for our dinner one night, and a bunch extra to go into our freezer to reheat later. I used parchment paper to keep them separated when frozen, and it worked well. You could also make a massive batch of roasted vegetable to freeze for pizza toppings as well.

3.  Egyptian Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions

Egyptian Red Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions - This gentle, cumin-scented soup is topped with sweet caramelized onions, a drizzle of high-quality olive oil, and a blast of fresh lemon juice. It’s incredibly easy and surprisingly delicious considering how inexpensive it is to make.

This is one of our favorite (and most frugal) soup recipes from my soup cookbook, Ladled: Nourishing Soups for all Seasons. It freezes really well! Just freeze the caramelized onions separately.

4. Keema Matar (An amazing beef or lamb curry)

Need a simple but delicious dinner? This beef or lamb curry is very quick to make up, but is really delicious!

This delicious dish froze very well. I made it a little milder than usual so that if the heat increased after being frozen it wouldn’t get too hot for my kids. I love how flavorful this dish is.

5. Chicken and Vegetable Soup


I made a very concentrated chicken broth (get instructions here and here for chicken broth) with a whole chicken. Then I shredded the chicken and sautéed onions, celery, and carrots. I combined the vegetables with the chicken and broth and then separated into freezer bags for freezing. I purposely made my chicken broth concentrated so it wouldn’t take as much room in the freezer and then diluted it with water when heating up the soup. We would add gluten free noodles or white rice to this after defrosting it.

6. Hearty Beef Stew

autumn beef stew

We love beef stew! I used radishes instead of potatoes, and they were delicious and froze well (without tasting spicy, I promise!). While you can make up whatever beef stew is your favorite, I used our family favorite recipe from my soup cookbook, Ladled: Nourishing Soups for all Seasons. Another favorite is this Autumn Beef Stew.

7. Gluten Free Teriyaki Chicken

3 ingredient teriyaki panfried chicken (easiest recipe ever)

I didn’t flatten the chicken this time because it was so much work to do in mass, but instead kept the chicken thighs as they came. All you do is pour the sauce over the chicken and freeze! Because I choose not to flatten the chicken, I just popped it into a pan and baked it instead. Defrost as needed and serve with rice or cauliflower rice, and Japanese Cucumber Salad. Yum!

8. Lemon and Garlic Drumsticks


I also made up several dinners worth of this easy recipe. It also froze well and was very easy to put together in mass. I find that when I am nursing I need to eat a lot of protein, so I loved having this as a dinner main dish option.

Cook Once, Eat Thrice with a Slow Cooker Beef Roast (GF & DF-Adaptable)

Cook Once, Eat Thrice.jpg

By Alison Diven, Contributing Author

Are you having one of those weeks? Do you need an action plan for a few days of no-stress, family-pleasing, yet healthful meals? After multiple rounds of illness in our household, I sure do! Picture this: cook (very) simply tomorrow night, then have the next two nights virtually off, while enjoying 3 different dinners—BBQ loaded baked potatoes, deluxe taco bowls, and portobello mushroom pizzas.

We’re following this plan ourselves right now, and it’s such a relief. The flavors are familiar, the cooking simple, and I know we’re all still eating healthy meat, nourishing fats, and even vegetables. For a pregnant mama coddling a sick toddler and exhausted husband, this is very good news, indeed.

It all starts with slow cooking a beef roast, then shredding the meat and seasoning it three simple ways. First, it gets smothered in BBQ sauce atop baked potatoes with all the fixings and a side salad. Then, it joins fresh vegetables, beans, and rice with salsa and sour cream for a Tex-Mex treat. Finally, it meets Italian herbs, portobello mushrooms, and cheese (if you like) for a quick broil, with leftover side salad. Simple and satisfying.

It’s a fabulous way to stretch an already affordable cut of beef, and without a single complaint about leftovers. I’ve written the instructions for a family of 4, but it would also work for a family of 6 without using a bigger roast; just scale up the other ingredients. For those on a no-dairy diet, it’s easy to leave out the cheese, sour cream, and butter.

Because I’m so intimately acquainted with the brain fog that comes with challenging seasons—first trimester, anyone?—I’ve made this plan as user friendly as possible. You’ll find a printable shopping list and explicit step-by-step instructions for each night. So just print and go, girl! You can do this.

Recipe Notes

  • Because my goal is ease, I call for store-bought BBQ sauce and salsa, canned beans, and an optional box of baby greens. You’ll want to look for ingredient lists that are free of GMOs, corn syrup, yucky food additives, and your family’s allergens. Of course, you’re welcome to make your own and save money that way! Kimi notes: I keep (affiliate link) Eden’s beans on hand for recipes such as this. It’s cooked with kombu, a nutritious seaweed that makes them digestible. 
  • The one condiment I do call for making at home is salad dressing. It’s just SO easy and far superior (and cheaper) to what’s available even in health food stores, especially the fats, which are important to me.
  • A whole chicken or pork shoulder would be excellent substitutes for the beef pot roast. The flavors will still work beautifully.
  • I always recommend grass-fed beef and dairy products, when possible. Not only are they healthier for you, the cow, and the planet, they often just taste better. You won’t believe the magic grass-fed beef, slow cooking, and salt and pepper make together! Be sure to save the bones and extra cooking liquids for your next batch of bone broth.
  • If you end up with leftover odds and ends, you can mix and match them to make a couple of fabulous breakfast frittatas or omelets.

Shopping List & Recipes

Click to download the Cook Once, Eat Thrice Shopping List PDF. You’ll also want to print all three step-by-step recipes below.

Cook Once, Eat Thrice Night #1: BBQ Loaded Baked Potatoes
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Cook once today and enjoy ultra easy meals for two more nights. The simple tasks for today include 1) slow cooking the beef roast, 2) baking potatoes, 3) cooking rice, 4) seasoning the beef, 5) preparing a simple salad and dressing, and 6) assembling tonight's dinner. Tasks 1-5 can be fit in at any time of day, as you have time. Total active time is less than 30 minutes!
For the Meat
  • 3 lbs bone-in beef pot roast, preferably grass-fed
  • 1½ to 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
For the Rice
  • 1½ cups rice, white or brown
  • water or broth as directed by package or rice cooker
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
For the Salad (Nights 1 & 3)
  • 1-2 heads lettuce OR 1 large box baby greens
  • Your favorite salad vegetables, like carrots & celery or tomatoes & cucumbers
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
For Baked Potatoes
  • 4 large baking potatoes, preferably organic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
  • Butter for serving (optional)
  • Sour cream for serving (optional)
  1. Cook meat. In the morning, place the roast in the slow cooker and sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours, until very tender and “shreddable.”
  2. Bake potatoes. 1-1/2 hours before dinner, turn the oven to 400. While pre-heating, scrub potatoes, pat dry, prick skin, and rub with olive oil. When oven is hot, place potatoes on a cookie sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes, turning over midway, or until the flesh is soft when tested with a fork.
  3. Cook Rice. Meanwhile, cook rice according to package or rice cooker directions, adding salt and chili powder before cooking. Place cooked rice in storage container and refrigerate.
  4. Flavor meat. When meat is done, remove meat to large bowl and shred with two forks. Spoon some of the cooking juices into the meat to moisten it. Put one third of the shredded meat into a small saucepan, one third into a storage container, and one third into another storage container. To the saucepan, add ½ cup BBQ sauce and set aside. To the first storage container, add ½ teaspoon cumin and combine. Cover and refrigerate. To the second storage container, add ¼ teaspoon oregano, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon tomato paste. Combine, adding more cooking juices as needed to incorporate tomato paste. Cover and refrigerate.
  5. Prepare salad and dressing. Wash and cut up vegetable toppings. Set aside. Combine 1 cup olive oil, ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, etc and emulsify with whisk, blender, or immersion blender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  6. Assemble Meal. Warm BBQ sauce and meat reserved in saucepan. Slice green onions. Serve potatoes topped with butter, BBQ beef, sour cream, shredded cheese, and green onions. Serve ½ the salad greens topped with ½ the vegetable toppings with the homemade salad dressing.

Cook Once, Eat Thrice Night #2: Shredded Beef Taco Bowls
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4
If you followed the plan for Night #1, you'll have dinner on the table in 15 minutes tonight! Be sure to save any leftover vegetables and toppings.
  • Prepared cumin-flavored beef from Night #1
  • Prepared rice from Night #1
  • 1 can black, pinto, or kidney beans
  • ½ cup frozen organic corn kernels
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 2 medium tomatoes (if in season)
  • 1 large or 2 small avocados
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ½ cup sour cream (optional)
  • Leftover sliced green onions
  1. Rinse and drain beans. Rinse frozen corn in warm water and set aside for a few minutes to thaw. Chop bell pepper, tomatoes (if using), and cilantro. Slice avocados.
  2. Meanwhile, gently warm shredded cumin beef and rice. You can use a single large skillet on low and place the beef on one half and the rice on the other half.
  3. Assemble taco bowls, layering rice, beans, beef, vegetables, avocado, sour cream, and salsa.

Cook Once, Eat Thrice Night #3: Portobello Mushroom Pizzas
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Tonight's the last night of the 3-day plan. Enjoy another speedy, delicious dinner that requires only a quick broil to get on the table. Have leftover odds and ends after the 3 days? Most ingredients will go toward an absolutely killer breakfast frittata or omelet tomorrow morning. Have fun!
  • Prepared oregano-tomato shredded beef from Night #1
  • 4 large or 6-8 smaller portobello mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces Italian melting cheese (like mozzarella), sheep-milk feta, or goat chevre
  • Leftover chopped bell pepper and/or tomato (optional)
  • Leftover green onions (optional)
  • Leftover salad greens from Night #1
  • Leftover salad vegetable toppings from Night #1
  • Leftover salad dressing from Night #1
  1. Set oven to broil.
  2. Gently brush dirt off mushrooms. Cut out mushroom stems. Brush tops (smooth side) of mushrooms with olive oil and place top side up on baking sheet.
  3. Broil mushrooms for 3 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning.
  4. Turn over mushrooms and spread shredded beef over the shallow cavity. If you have any left over, add chopped bell pepper and/or tomato. Top with cheese.
  5. Broil for 2-4 more minutes, watching very carefully to prevent burning.
  6. Serve immediately alongside salad greens, salad vegetable toppings, and salad dressing. Sprinkle green onions on top, if you have any leftover.

Looking for More Easy Family Dinners?

Check out these delicious slow-cooker, quick, and one-pot meals:
Shawarma Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker
Easy Thai Curry Noodle Soup
14 Easy Dinner Recipes (That Are Healthy and Frugal Too!)
Cucumber Tuna Boats
3 Ingredient Teriyaki Pan Fried Chicken (Easiest Recipe Ever!)
Sriracha-Lime Salmon One-Pot Meal