Tag Archives: healthy

#NationalGumboDay

#NationalGumboDay has arrived. What is gumbo you may ask?

Gumbo is a stew/soup that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. It generally consists of primarily a strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and veggies (celery, bell peppers, onions). Often times you’ll see gumbo made with okra as well. It’s traditionally served over rice or a heaty, warm, comforting dish.

There’s a lot of flexibility while making gumbo, so we’re in luck here at LiveCheapFeelRich. Not only can this be a crockpot meal, but it can also be a freezer meal – and depending on your family’s tastes, the recipe can be tweaked. Here’s a couple of recipes that I think our audience will particularly love.

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

Sometimes seafood can be pretty pricey if you are looking to get a quality buy. This recipe capitalizes on the fact that the ‘meat’ of this recipe is chicken and sausage only, which is far less expensive. This recipe is also said to freeze so well that the leftovers are even better than the fresh batch! Best perk yet, WearyChef.com promises that this recipe can be done in a mere hour.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo [http://wearychef.com/chicken-sausage-gumbo/]

You start out by seasoning and cooking your meat. While this is happening, all the veggie dicing occurs (there’s a lot of it!). Once the meat is done cooking, you make a roux with flour and oil and stir together until smooth. Then add in the diced vegetables and cook until tender. While this is happening, you can start the rice and shred the cooked chicken. Add chicken broth, spices, and garlic to the veggie/roux misture and stir until smooth – slowly add in water and additional spices + your cooked meat. Cook at a low boil for about 10 minutes.

To serve, simply ladle onto a generous portion of rice and enjoy! There’s a lot of steps and things going on during this recipe, but if you plan this right and capitalize on your time while things are cooking, this is a pretty simple recipe that’s sure to please!

Slow Cooker Chicken Gumbo

All, this recipe couldn’t look any easier – praise the slow cooker! Here’s the lowdown:

Slow Cooker Chicken Gumbo

Slow Cooker Chicken Gumbo [http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robin-miller/slow-cooker-chicken-gumbo-recipe.html]

Add the following into your slow cooker: 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces, 1 package frozen okra, thawed, 2 links andouille sausage, diced, 1 cup chopped onions, 2 celery stalks, chopper, 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, 2 cups reduced-sodium tomato juice. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Serve over rice.

A lot of the commentary on this recipe mentions that this isn’t ‘true gumbo’, but that it is a decent substitute and is a ‘healthier spin’ on the recipe. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Crockpot Gumbo

I had to include one recipe with the shrimp – I am a huuuuge seafood fan. Pro tip: don’t always say ‘no’ to frozen seafood! It’s generally flash frozen fresh and tastes just as awesome as fresh – usually cheaper too!

Crockpot Gumbo

Crockpot Gumbo [http://sagetrifle.blogspot.com/2010/01/crock-pot-gumbo.html]

This recipe, besides the addition to shrimp, is pretty similar to the one prior to this – crockpots make life just so, so easy. Here’s the lowdown: layer in the following ingredients to your crockpot, in this order, not stirring: 1 lb kielbasa sausage, 1 lb cooked chicken, torn into pieces, 1 large onion, chopped, 1 bell pepper, chopped, 3 stalks celery, chopped, 1 lb sliced okra (frozen works), 1/2 cup roux, 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp. brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1 quart tomatoes, undrained.

Cook on high for 1 hour, then lower the heat to low and continue cooking for 7 hours.

About 10-15 minutes before serving, add 1lb shrimp, peeled and deveined, 1 tsp old bay seasoning, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce, 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, and 1 tsp. hot sauce and cook until the shrimp are done but not overcooked. Ladle into soup bowls with a scoop of fresh hot rice!

So enjoy, everyone! Happy #NationalGumboDay! Have any family recipes that are your favorite? Show us the way!

Vitacost: So Many Free Samples!

Stumbling around the internet today, I found this seemingly awesome outlet for free and discounted products: Vitacost.com

On the free sample section of their site, products are free of charge for a single unit, though shipping fees apply ($4.99). BUT there are about 20 free samples to choose from at any time, so I would say that’s totally worth it!

From Tom’s all natural products, to vitamins, to protein powder, to Kind Bars – there are so many things I would love to try on this site to product test before I ever purchased full size.

Even better, when you are ready to purchase full-size product, this site has incredible deals – so you can go right back to the source you initially found the product on for purchase!

Vitacost prides themselves on a few things:

  • Best prices
    • Vitacost offers savings up to 50% off of retail on the healthy products you want and need, including vitamins, supplements, health foods, sports nutrition products, bath & body favorites, even home and pet products.
  • Endless product selection
    • Vitacost carries over 45,000 different selections of healthy products! If they don’t carry what you’re looking for, just get in touch with the, and they will make the magic happen.
  • Easy shipping
    • For orders over $49, free! For anythign else, only $4.99.
  • Top-ranked customer service
    • In the book of Linda Anders, this is the most important quality in a company. Vitacost has an online Help Center as well as a toll free phone service from 8am to 9pm.

Check it out, let us know what you think!

#NationalTVDinnerDay

Happy Thursday! This week is flying by! I’m thinking every week should only last 4 days…agree?

Today, so I hear, is #NationalTVDinnerDay. I’m not here to support the TV dinner, but rather give you some history on this craze and provide you with equally as easy, equally as convenient, but so, so, so much healthier of options!

According to Wikipedia, the term ‘TV dinner’ is a genericized trademark originally used for a brand of packaged meal developed in 1953 by C.A. Swanson (sound familiar?). In the United States, the term remains synonymous with any prepackaged dinner purchased frozen in a supermarket and heated at home.

I’ll admit, I have been guilty of these, as they are junkily delicious and so easy to pop in the microwave, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I had one, as luckily, in the past decade or so, I’ve become more health-conscious.

To give you a breakdown of health concerns with TV dinners, there are quite a few:

  • The freezing process degrades the taste of food and the meals are thus heavily processed with extra salt and fat to compensate.
  • Stabilizing the product for a long period generally means that companies will use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils for some items (usually dessert), which are high in trans fat.
  • Generally, these meals contain preservatives such as BHT

I know that they’re very convenient, but guess what else is just as convenient? HOMEMADE FREEZER MEALS!

I’ve placed links to all of my compilations of freezer meals to date for your convenience below:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Take a look, put a little bit of extra effort in, and call it your very own version of a TV dinner. Enjoy!

FREE Ors Shealicious Hair Conditioning Cocktail

This is pretty awesome, even though it looks like a Greek yogurt packet (which I thought it was the first time I saw this sample).

Ors Shealicious Hair Conditioning Cocktail is an easy and powerful DIY cocktail for healthy hair – you do the mixing. You pour in the 100% natural therapeutic oils that have been perfectly blended and measured to address your specific hair care problem and mix it in with the moisturizing shea butter conditioner – saying goodbye too dry, damaged, dull hair and scalp issues.

Three options:

Moisture Lock

Shine Booster

Scalp Relief

Choose your cocktail of choice and improve your hair drastically!

To try a free sample click here and scroll to the large text reading “TRY IT FOR FREE” – this will open a lightbox where you simply fill out some information about yourself and your hair and receive 1 free Ors Shealicious Hair Conditioning Cocktail. They’ll send you a coupon redeemable at Walmart, CVS, and/or Ulta. Why not? I’m always willing to give another conditioner a try 🙂

FREE Sample of Hemp Seeds!

Happy Friday!

Yesterday, I blogged about the health benefits of coconut oil, and today I have another health-forward sample for you – hemp seeds!

Hemp seeds are said to be the most nutritious seed in the world, as they are a complete protein. They have the most concentrated balance of proteins, essential fats, vitamins, and enzymes combined with a relative absence of sugar, starches, and saturated fats. They are a superfood!

Raw hemp provides a broad spectrum of health benefits including:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased and sustained energy
  • Rapid recovery from disease or injury
  • Lowered cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improvement in circulation and immune system
  • Blood sugar control

They’re a highly digestible protein – unlike meat, whole eggs, cheese, human milk, cow’s milk, etc. and can also be eaten by those who are nut, gluten, lactose or sugar intolerant. They are allergy free!

Hemp seeds are super versatile and can be eaten in a variety of ways. Top ways? Sprinkling a spoonful or two into smoothies or on top of cereal, salads, or yogurt.

On to why I’m blabbering on about hemp seeds…

FREE SAMPLE! If you’re interested in trying before you buy, you can get a free sample by simply filling out a form and deciding between two hemp seed products from Manitoba Harvest: Hemp Hearts (easy snacking!) or Hemp Pro 70 (comes in 3 different flavors! Perfect for smoothies) – check them out!

FREE Coconut Oil Gift Box!

Happy Thursday, Everyone!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard some buzz about the craze that is coconut oil. Coconut oil is considered to be a superfood and has a track record of very profound positive effects on health due to the unique combo of fatty acids.

Here’s some health benefits of coconut oil, just in case you didn’t know already!

  1. Fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently and go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they’re used as a quick source energy — this can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
  2. It helps you burn more fat! In science-speak, the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil has been shown to increase 24-hour expenditure by as much as 5% – leading to significant weight loss over long term.
  3. Coconut oil can battle infections and bacteria, like viruses and fungi inside of your body.
  4. It’s an appetite reducer! Studies have shown that people who regularly eat coconut oil will eat significantly fewer calories over the course of a day.
  5. Coconut oil can improve blood cholesterol levels and thus lowers the risk of heart disease.
  6. Coconut oil protects your hair and skin! Not only does this product help you on the inside, but on the oitside too. Coconut oil defends against hair damage and can work as a sunscreen and moisturizer.
  7. Some like to use coconut oil as a mouthwash of sorts. This is called oil pulling, and kills harmful bacteria in the mouth, improves dental health, and reduces bad breath.

Sold yet? I am 🙂

Thrive Market is giving away FREE coconut oil gift boxes, including a 15 ounce Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil Jar, a FREE 1-Month Trial to Thrive Market, 15% off your next order, and all only for the cost of shipping (just short of $2). You’ll be subscribed to Thrive Market which is a membership-based online shopping club on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone – seems like a win-win to me.

Check it out here!

Hopster: Get More From Your Coupons

Want to share with my readers a website I found fairly interesting this morning: Hopster.com.

Hopster promises more bang for your buck when it comes to coupons by earning points through their website. I visited their FAQ for a more in depth look at how this works.

Hopster

Hopster [www.hopster.com]

Some highlights:

  • Once you register, you can print coupons at anytime
  • You get extra goodies for the products that you buy the most
  • Earn points by liking brands on social media channels, watching videos, signing up for newsletters, etc. and redeem them to increase the value of coupons and save even more money
  • You do need to download and install a Coupon Plugin – this is a one-time quick and easy installation that lets you print your coupons quickly. Hopster claims that their plugin has a 100% success rate, so it’s not going to junk up your computer or cause detriment that so many other toolbars do.
  • You can get bonus points by submitting your receipts – this speeds up the process of Hopster knowing that a coupon has been ‘redeemed’

I took a look at their coupon section to see what kind of selection they have, and was really pleasantly surprised! There is a huge variety of products and well known brands available. Some highlights for me: Barbara’s Organic Cereals + Snacks, Once Again Nut Butters (these are typically so expensive!). Kale Chips, vitamins galore, batteries – really everything here. I was shocked to see so many healthy and organic brands – these generally cost so much more and can deter people from buying them. With these coupons, especially if you boost them with points, the prices are so much more reasonable!

It seems a little bit like Ebates to me – make it a game! Check the site before you buy and rack up the points and savings. I think I’ll give it a shot 🙂