Fresh Caramel Apple Turnovers

These caramel apple turnovers are a delicious hand pie made with fresh apples and a flaky crust. Serve them warm or cold with ice or whipped cream!

Caramel Apple Turnovers

Caramel Apple Turnovers

Course Breakfast, brunch, Dessert, Snack
Servings 12
Calories 379 kcal



  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, frozen (2 sticks or 8 oz)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 8 tbsp cold water
  • Additional flour for dusting


  • 2 pounds apples
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¾ upc deluce de leche
  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 tbsp water
  • Dusting sugar


  • Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl.  Set aside.
  • Remove frozen sticks of butter and grate them using the largest holes of a box cheese grater.  Return the butter to the freezer until ready to use.
  • Use a whisk to mix the sour cream and cold water,  Store the mixture in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Add butter to the flour mixture and toss until well incorporated.  Pour in the sour cream mixture and stir to combine.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface and pat it into a rough triangle.  Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter.  Press it out into a rough triangle again and repeat the folding process.  It’s important to work quickly so that the butter doesn’t get soft.  You should be able to see chunks of butter in the dough.
  • Divide the dough into two portions.  Wrap the portions tightly and put them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • While the dough is chilling, peel, core and thinly slice apples.  
  • In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch.  Add to apple slices and toss to coat.
  • Preheat oven to 400℉.
  • Remove one portion of the dough and roll it into a 10” x 15” rectangle.  Cut it into 6 equal squares.
  • Place ¼ cup of apple filling into the center of each square and top with 1 tbsp deluce de leche. Fold the dough over the top of the apples to create a triangle.  Moisten dough slightly and press to seal.
  • Place turnovers on a cookie sheet.  Brush each one with egg wash and dust with a small amount of sugar.
  • Repeat with the second portion of dough.
  • Bake turnovers for 20-30 minutes until they are golden brown.
  • Transfer turnovers to a wire rack and allow to cool.
  • Hack:  Store turnovers at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Hack:  To freeze cooked or uncooked turnovers, lay in a single layer on a cookie and allow to freeze.  Wrap each tightly and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.  Add an extra 3-5 minutes to the baking time for frozen turnovers.
Keyword afternoon tea, apple turnover, apples, breakfast, brunch, caramel, cooking video, dessert, Dulce de Leche, flaky, fruit, instructional video, kid friendly, kids recipe, Kindergarten Cook, Lily Rose, Lily Rose Kindergarten Cook, pastry, turnover, vegetarian

While it’s impossible to say exactly where or when the turnover was invented, rumor has it that the first apple turnover was made in 1630 in St. Calais, France!

Suggestion:  Leftover apples?  Make some homemade applesauce!

Chinese Twice Cooked Pork Belly (huí guō ròu)

This colorful dish, Chinese Twice Cooked Pork Belly, is common in Southwest China and involves two distinct cooking methods: simmering followed by stir-frying with vegetables.

Chinese Twice Cooked Pork Belly

Chinese Twice Cooked Pork Belly (huí guō ròu)

Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 6
Calories 470 kcal


  • lbs pork belly without skin
  • 1” knob ginger, chopped
  • 2 green onions
  • A few peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp cooking wine
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 leek, trimmed (white part only)
  • 1 bell pepper (any color)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 fresh chili peppers
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp sweet bean sauce
  • 1 tbsp jarred crushed pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce


  • Put the pork belly in a pan and cover with cold water.  Add ginger.  Cut the white ends from the green onions and add those as well, followed by the cooking wine and peppercorns.  
  • Bring the water to a boil for 20 minutes.  Immediately transfer pork to cold water and soak for 10 minutes.
  • Cut green onions, leek, carrot and pepper into 1” slices.  Slice garlic and chili peppers.
  • Thinly slice pork belly. 
  • Heat vegetable oil in a heavy skillet or wok.  Add pork belly and cook until all the fat has been rendered.  Add bean sauce, crushed pepper, sugar and soy sauce.  Cook and stir until well incorporated.
  • Put carrots in the pan and saute them for a minute or two.  Add leek, garlic and bell pepper and chili peppers. Saute until the vegetables are cooked to your preference, adding green onions in the last few minutes.
  • Serve with rice or noodles, if desired.
  • Hack:  You can replace the carrot and pepper with whatever vegetables you prefer or have on hand.
  • Hack:  You can substitute sweet bean paste or hoisin sauce for the sweet bean sauce. 
  • Hack:  Leftovers can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen in serving-sized portions for up to 3 months
  • Hack:  Check the produce department for loose, single carrots.  If you don’t see them, ask a clerk if they’re available.   
Keyword asian cooking video, Asian cuisine, Asian food, Chinese cooking video, Chinese cuisine, Chinese food, Chinese Twice Cooked Pork Belly, cooking video, Homemade Asian food, Homemade Chinese food, huí guō ròu, pork belly recipe

For more instructional videos for making traditional Chinese cuisine at home, visit Yuhong’s Country Kitchen on YouTube! Don’t forget to like, subscribe and press that notification button so you won’t miss any new videos!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Dog Treats

Today, Khloe Rose and her friends bake up some pumpkin oatmeal dog treats. They’re fun to make and dog-approved! If you enjoy this video, please like and subscribe.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Dog Treats


3 cups rolled oats

1 cup flour

3 eggs

1 can pumpkin (15 oz)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 can cooked chicken (12.5 oz) or 1½ cooked leftover chicken


Preheat oven to 350℉.

Mix together rolled oats and flour.  Add eggs, pumpkin and olive oil.  Blend until well incorporated.

Break or shred chicken into small pieces and add to the dog treat mixture.  Blend well, using hands if necessary.

Coat three silicone Three Little Pigs mold with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.  Fill each mold with the dog treat mixture, pressing firmly into the mold.

Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until dry and cook through.


Yield:  36 dog treats

Hack:  To see more videos from Khloe Rose and her friends, check out our YouTube channel!  Don’t forget to like, subscribe and press that notification button so you won’t miss any new videos!

This post contains affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read the full privacy policy here.


Basic French Onion Soup


Basic French Onion Soup
Basic French Onion Soup

Basic French Onion Soup


½ cup butter (1 stick)

4 large sweet onions

2 garlic cloves, minced (2 tsp)

2 bay leaves

2 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 tsp dried, ground thyme

1 cup red wine

¼ cup flour

4 cups beef stock

4 cups chicken stock

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Easy Homemade Croutons

8 oz Gruyere, grated


Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onions, garlic, bay leaves and thyme sprigs.  Cook on medium-low heat until onions are caramelized, about 90 minutes.

Add wine and simmer until it for 10 minutes.

Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs.  Stir flour into onions, turn heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add beef and chicken broth, turn heat to medium and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for 10 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste.*

Ladle soup into heat-proof bowls.  Top with croutons and Gruyere.  Place bowls under the broiler until the cheese is melted and serve immediately.

*At this point, the soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days until ready to use.   Alternatively, it can be cooled and frozen in serving-sized containers for up to 3 months.


6 servings, 427 calories per serving


Homemade Asian Dumpling Wrappers

Yuhong’s Country Kitchen is here to show us how easy is to make Asian dumpling wrappers at home with 2 simple ingredients. You can use this recipe to make wontons, spring rolls and egg rolls as well!

Asian Dumpling Wrappers

Asian Dumpling Wrappers

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 30 wrappers
Calories 25 kcal


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup water


  • Measure flour into a large mixing bowl.  Add water, a little at a time, mixing continuously, until it forms a dough and no flour is left in the bottom of the bowl.
  • Knead dough 300 times, patting with water occasionally if it begins to feel dry.  Cover and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Divide dough in half and roll each piece into 1” ropes.  Slice each rope into 30 pieces and shape it into flat circles.
  • Thin each circle by rolling with a pin from the outside edge toward the center, turning the circle in 45° increments with your other hand, using a lightly floured surface if necessary, until it measures 4”-5” across.  This makes the wrapper thinner at the edges than in the middle, making it easier to neatly crimp the edges of the filled dumpling. It will also make the center of the wrapper stronger so it won’t leak during cooking.
  • Alternatively, you can roll the entire dough thinly (again using a lightly floured surface) and cut with a 5” round cutter.
  • Fill each wrapper with 1 tablespoon of Chinese dumpling filling. Wet the edge of the dumpling wrapper and press to close, making the entire edge is tightly sealed.**  For more in-depth instruction on rolling and pleating dumplings, check out this video!
  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a very gentle simmer.  Add about 20 dumplings, making sure they are not crowded.  Each time the water begins to boil more rapidly, add cold water to bring it back to a gentle simmer.
  • When dumplings float to the top, they’re done, 3-4 minutes.
  • If preferred, dumplings can be cooked in the air fryer for 6 minutes.
  • **Dumplings are often served at gatherings and are traditionally assembled jointly by the group or family that are going to eat them. Try experimenting with different shapes and have fun putting them together with your guests!
  • Hack:  These wrappers can be used to make Wonton Soup or cut in 8” squares to make Vegetable Spring Rolls!
  • Hack:  A pasta roller can be used on the 6 or 7 setting to produce sheets of dough to cut for wrappers.
  • Hack:  For more instructional videos for making traditional Chinese cuisine at home, visit Yuhong's Country Kitchen on YouTube!
Keyword Asain spring rolls, Asian appitizers, asian cooking video, Asian cuisine, Asian dumpling wrappers, Asian dumplings, Asian food, Chinese appitizers, Chinese cooking video, Chinese cuisine, Chinese dumpling wrappers, Chinese dumplings, Chinese food, Chinese spring rolls, Homemade Asian food, Homemade Chinese food, wonton wrapper, Yuhong's Country Kitchen

Supermarket Tricks of the Trade

Supermarket Tricks of the Trade

So you’re going shopping.  You’ve worked out a food budget, made a meal plan and wrote up a shopping list.  You confidently go through the store, pick out the items you need and proceed to the checkout.

As the cashier rings up your order, you become increasingly horrified as you watch the total go up and up…and up.  Sure, you picked up an extra thing or two.  Those cookies were on sale (a bargain, really).  The canned anchovies were a threefer…so you got 3.  Ok, six.  Because you’re sure you can come up with a great way to use them.  They don’t go bad, right?  And that cake on the clearance rack was too good of a deal to pass up.  Someone will eat it.

You leave the store wondering what went wrong.  Where did you lose control?  How could this possibly have happened?

Don’t beat yourself up.  It’s not your fault.  You’ve just been marketeered. 

Supermarket Tricks of the Trade

Supermarket Tricks of the Trade

It’s a fact.  Supermarkets literally pay people to figure out how to get you to buy things you don’t need and never intended to purchase using money that should have gone towards the light bill.  Just like any other business, they are out to make as much profit as they possibly can.

Sound devious?  Sure, but here’s the problem.  You still have to shop there.  You’re gonna need to eat. The only way to avoid the pitfalls is to learn how to spot these supermarket tricks of the trade so you can steer clear.

The More You Know

The More You Know

Celebrity endorsements. Food manufacturers will often court celebrities to endorse a certain product with the hope that, if you like that person, you’ll buy the product  Sometimes the celebrity simply endorses it, or sometimes it’s a line of products with their name on it  The one thing you need to remember is this:  Most endorsements are simply a way for celebrities to make a quick buck.  It doesn’t mean that they use those products and it’s more likely that they don’t.

Background music.  Music affects what or how much consumers buy.  Slower and nostalgic music is relaxing and tends to make people linger longer in the grocery store.  And the longer you linger, the more you buy.

Clearance Tags. The definition of clearance sale is, “A sale of goods at reduced prices to get rid of superfluous stock or because the shop is closing down” so check the actual discount before you fill up your basket.  You may be surprised to find the “clearance price” is often a very small percentage off the regular price.

10 for $10.  As luck would have it, these are usually shelf-stable products with a long life like canned tomatoes or tuna so why not save some $$$ and get 10, right?  But how much are you really saving? Often not much.  Sometimes nothing at all.  Take a minute and see how much they cost at full price.

Samples.  That tiny sample is not going to fill you up…instead, it’s going to trigger your hunger response and actually make you buy more.  It’s the store’s way of making sure you go shopping while you’re hungry.

The Smell of Bread Baking.  For the same reasons as above.

All Staples to the Back, Please.  Notice that the last time you dashed into the store for a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk, you felt like you’d run a marathon by the time you got to the register?  Staples are routinely scattered about in the far corners of your favorite market.  That’s so you can walk by and be tempted by all those things you don’t need to get to the few things you do.

And those lines!! When was the last time you left a store because the line was too long?  Probably never.  Stores walk a fine line between losing a customer and having you wait long enough to be tempted by all the impulse items they have laid out for you.  Magazines, gum, candy bars, tables full of cookies and cakes.  The longer you have to look at it, the more likely you are to buy it.

Limit 3 Per Customer.  This has taken on more meaning during the Pandemic but it’s a tool that’s been used for a long time.  When you’re limited, it automatically makes you want more.  And if it does sell out?  You’re more likely to come back later to get the item you missed.  Oh, and you’re also likely to buy more groceries on that trip too.

BOGO.  If this was on your list, by all means, take advantage.  But “Buy One, Get One” is intended to be a hook to get you to purchase something you hadn’t intended to buy and probably don’t need.

Buy One, Get One Half Off.  BOGOs less popular cousin is still a downfall for many.  Again, if you were going to buy two anyway, go for it but if not, steer clear.  Keep in mind that it’s only a 25% discount.  If that item was $4 then the second is $2, which means that you only saved $2.  This also means you just spent $2 (or $6) more than you intended to.

Shopping carts at the Entrance.  And those carts get larger all the time so it‘s easy to throw that extra thing in.  And then another.  Before you know it you have to leave because you can’t fit anything else in there without crushing your eggs.  Next time you only need a thing or two, just grab a basket.  Better yet, leave the basket and then you’ll be limited by how much you can carry in your hands.

There’s a Reason That Stores Keep Getting Bigger.  Yes, they can carry more items but it’s also because people don’t like to be crowded.  It makes us uncomfortable.  We’re more relaxed and will stay longer if we feel that we are being given enough personal space.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!  Whatever time of year that is for you, it’s a period when people are in a good mood, often have time off and are looking forward to spending time with family and friends. Your favorite supermarket is here to help you celebrate with seasonally themed foods, decorations and music in an effort to encourage you to overspend.

Eat Well and Spend Less

Eat Well and Spend Less

These are just a few of the supermarket tricks of the trade that entice you to spend more than you wanted to.  I hope it helps the next time you have to shop. Remember,  the more you know, the easier it is to eat well and spend less.  And if you do have buyer regret once you get home?  Just return the items for a credit or refund.   After all, the store is the one who fooled you into buying it in the first place.

What about you?  Has this opened your eyes to any strategies that have caused you to buy something you hadn’t intended to buy?  Let me know in the comments below!

All my best,


Old Fashioned Apple Butter


Old Fashioned Apple Butter

Old Fashioned Apple Butter


20 Macintosh or Cortland apples

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 ½ tbsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp cloves

¼ tsp salt

1 tbsp vanilla


Peel apples and cut chunks directly off the core and into a large saucepan.

Cover pan and cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes.  Add sugars, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.  Stir to combine.

Cover and continue to cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Uncover and cook another 30-60 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.  To test consistency, place a small amount on a plate.  If no liquid separates from the apple butter, the correct consistency has been achieved.

Stir in vanilla.

If desired, allow to cool for 30 minutes and then use a blender or stick blender to smooth apple butter.


Serving size: 2 tbsp.  60 calories per serving

Hack:  Apple butter will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 months or can be frozen for up to a year.

Hack:  Try making these Apple Butter Muffins or Pork Chop with Apple Butter and Onion!


Did you know this? 20 Fun Food Facts


I love trivia. My family and friends will be the first to tell you that I’m a plethora of useless facts but I can’t help myself. (“Did you know this?”) Perhaps I’m a philomath or perhaps I just love having the answer to whatever ridiculous question that gets posed sometime after the second round of drinks. And to the delight (or dismay?) of everyone, the advent of technology has made it possible for me to instantly look up any information I don’t currently have in my arsenal.

Because I also happen to love food, it makes sense that it was only a matter of time before I came up with an article full of fun food facts

It’s All In Your Head

Do you like spicy food? Or can’t you take the heat? You might be surprised to learn that there actually is no heat in hot peppers. There’s a chemical in chili peppers called capsaicin that tricks your mouth to feeling like it’s being burned – that’s why spicy food hurts.

Food phobias, anyone? Cibophobia is the fear of food in general. Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter getting stuck to the roof of your mouth. Lachanophobia is the fear of eating vegetables while Fructophobia is the fear of eating fruit. I’m very happy that I don’t have any of these!

Restaurants use certain colors to increase your desire to eat there…and to eat more. Bright reds and yellows elevate heart rate and blood pressure, causing diners to eat more quickly and be more impulsive, while warmer shades of red, orange and brown promote relaxation and boosts appetite. Purple and blue, on the other hand, tend to decrease appetite and are used more rarely.

Wrongly Accused

Pasteurized processed cheese is typically referred to as American cheese but it was actually invented in Switzerland. Cheese alchemists Waltz Gerber and Fritz Stettler came up with the idea in 1911 to lengthen the shelf-life of emmental before it was shipped overseas. James Lewis Kraft patented the idea 5 years later.

Froot Loops has been sued at least four times for being misleading due to the fact that it does not contain any fruit. The Courts have always ruled in Kellogg’s favor due to the company’s deliberate misspelling of “fruit”. Since “froot” isn’t a real word, it can’t be reasonable to interpret it to mean “fruit”. And, for the record, all Froot Loops are the same flavor.

“As American as apple pie”? Nope. Pie was invented in Medieval England, while the modern recipe for apple pie with a lattice crust was created and perfected by the Dutch.

German chocolate cake does not hail from Germany. It’s named after its inventor, Sam German, who came up with the cake as a way to promote a blend of chocolate that he also invented: German’s Chocolate.

White chocolate isn’t chocolate at all. This is because it doesn’t have any components of regular chocolate. It’s really just a mixture of sugar, milk, vanilla, lecithin, and cocoa butter.

Until 2013 beer and other alcohol that was under 10% ABV was classified as a soft drink in Russia! Even today, it’s common for people to drink beer in the streets and parks as commonly as you would see soda.

Bugs, Bugs, The Magical Fruit

Red Skittles get their color from common red food dye, carminic acid, which is made from the crushed bodies of a beetle called the dactylopius coccus. This dye also is used to color maraschino cherries, strawberry and raspberry flavored candy, and lipstick.

Next time you’re in South Africa, you may want to skip the popcorn. It’s more common that what they call popcorn is actually roasted termites and ants.

According to FDA standards, there’s an allowance for the level of traces of bugs could be in your food. For example, chocolate can have no more than 60 insects fragments per 100 grams. Peanut butter can’t have more than 30 insects per 100 grams.

Figs are actually inverted flowers with a unique pollination process requiring wasps instead of bees. Female wasps lay their eggs in male figs (which we don’t eat), but it’s also necessary for a wasp to enter a female fig (that we do eat) to pollinate it. The wasp gets stuck and dies inside. Luckily for us, the female fig produces an enzyme that digests this wasp completely so we’re not actually crunching on a wasp…just a seed!

Time For A New You

Scientists at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut in Germany have discovered that since peanut butter is so rich in carbon, it’s possible to turn simple Skippy into diamonds. All you need to do is to extract the oxygen from the carbon dioxide found in the peanut spread, and then enact immense pressure on the carbon left behind.

According to the National Carrot Museum in the UK, the first carrots looked nothing like they do today. Originally these vegetables were purple or white with a thin root. The orange carrots we know and eat today are actually the result of a genetic mutation in the late 16th century that won out over the original color.

Wild salmon is naturally pink because of all the shrimp they eat but farm-raised salmon have a different diet and end up being white. These pale faced fish are fed specific plant pigments to achieve the same hue as the wild salmon.

The famous Three Musketeers candy bar originally had vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate flavors all in one! During World War II, they changed to only chocolate due to rationing.

The More You Know

In this case, I suppose “The More You Know” amounts to nothing but a fun conversation. There’s nothing wrong with that! I hope you enjoyed it!

What about you? What little known trivia facts do you have about food? Or any subject, really. Let me know in the comments below!

All my best,


Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction


Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction


2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half (12 oz)

2 cups mozzarella pearls (8 oz)

¼ cup fresh basil leaves

3 tbsp balsamic reduction

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste


Place tomatoes and mozzarella pearls in a bowl.  Tear basil leaves and sprinkle over top.  Toss with balsamic reduction, salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


4 servings, 230 calories per serving


Barriers To Healthy Eating

Barriers To Healthy Eating

Changing your eating habits can be hard. The intangible aspects such as emotional eating, food disorders, education, attitudes and upbringing can, even though difficult, be worked on from where you currently are as a person. Small changes can add up to big benefits.

But what about physical barriers? It’s a fact that some people, no matter how motivated, can’t imagine how they could possibly put their newly discovered knowledge into action.

While the reasons for this are many and varied, let’s take a look at some of the more common hurdles that create barriers to healthy eating.

Family Size

Family Size

We all want to feed healthy food to our children but let’s face it: if you’ve got more than one child, that doesn’t always feel possible. Like little baby birds, they gather around with their little beaks open chirping “Food! Food! Food!” And you end up tossing in the first thing that comes to hand just to fill their bellies.

I know, I’ve been there.

And it doesn’t get any better when they get older. You don’t have to physically feed them, true, but they can plow through a kitchen like Tasmanian devils, leaving nothing in their wake but empty shelves and dirty dishes. Those $1 frozen pizzas and burritos may seem like the only way to keep your sanity and your pocketbook intact.

Do not despair…I have solutions.

Save Those Leftovers! Put them in a prominent spot in the fridge and attach a post-it that says, “Eat Me!” If it was good for dinner, it’s good for a snack.

The Incredible Edible Egg. With an average cost of less than 15¢per egg and an amazing nutrition profile, it can’t get better than this. These can be whipped up in a pan or microwave in no time flat by the most rudimentary cook. Hard-boiled eggs last for a week in your fridge and take less than 20 minutes to prepare so cook up a dozen (or two) to keep on hand for egg salad, pickled eggs or just straight-up noshing.

Not So Forbidden Fruit. Fruit is high in fiber and provides bulk that helps to keep your little darlings full faster and longer than some other foods. Bananas are always a good (and inexpensive) choice but keep an eye out for deals on other fruits as well. Melons (including watermelon) tend to cost less per pound than other fruits but require prep that may not be appealing or safe for the younger set to take on. I always remove the rind and cube melons in advance. You’ll find them to be much more popular when they can be scooped directly from the bowl!

Uncan Me, You Cad! Canned tuna is high in protein, low in fat (when packed in water) and often available for less than 80¢per can. Mix it up with a bit of mayo or mustard for a delightful snack on crackers or bread.

Spread It Around. Peanut butter is good for the soul. It’s also inexpensive and has a great balance of healthy fats, carbs and protein to leave a person feeling satisfied and full. It goes with bread, crackers, apples, celery or straight off the spoon. It can even be mixed up with some soy sauce, honey and red pepper sauce to serve over noodles.

Sow Some Oats. ½ cup rolled (old-fashioned) oats mixed with one cup milk or water will cook on the stovetop in about 5 minutes or in the microwave in half that time. This quick, easy and nutritious snack can be mixed with cinnamon, sugar, milk, jelly, bananas, peanut butter or about a million other things that are just hanging around the kitchen! Let your kids use their imagination to come up with creative combos!

Food Desert

Food Desert

A food desert is defined by the USDA as having “limited access to supermarkets, supercenters, grocery stores, or other sources of healthy and affordable food”. In one report, nearly 6% of the US population claimed they did not have adequate access to healthy food because it was difficult to get to the store.

There are a number of reasons for this including age, physical/mental/emotional difficulties or income but the most common cause is not having a vehicle to get there. Even in areas where public transportation is available, the act of juggling numerous grocery bags while riding a crowded bus or subway (including transfers) is a daunting prospect.

Many of these people are reduced to obtaining food at local fast food restaurants, corner or convenience stores that lack fresh, healthy choices.

All is not lost.

Many convenience stores (especially the large chain gas/grocery combos) have responded to the call to eat healthier. Many offer fresh fruit and healthy snack options such as hummus cups or hard-boiled eggs.

Take a good look at the grocery items that are available. It’s likely that you’ll be able to find healthy choices such as milk, eggs, natural cheese, unflavored oatmeal, peanut butter or canned tuna. Don’t forget to check the freezer section for frozen meats (such as uncooked burger patties) and vegetables.

Check for nearby farmers’ markets, which often carry locally grown fruits, vegetables and meats. While some of these items (especially the meats) can be more expensive than the supermarket, they can be stretched by serving them in soups, stews or stir fry.

Reach out to friends and relatives who have transportation and ask if you can “tag-along” the next time they go shopping. If they’re going anyway, there’s probably no reason that you couldn’t go with them.

When you get a ride, concentrate on finding items that will last until the next you’re likely to get a ride. Consider canned items such as tomatoes, legumes or tuna. Shelf-stable products like pasta, dried beans, bouillon and rice are always good choices.

Get some meats to package for the freezer (make sure you have the containers or bags needed to protect their freshness!) and cruise the freezer section for frozen vegetables and fruits. Bread can also be frozen for up to 3 months or buy the yeast and flour you need to make it yourself.




OK, so maybe you just don’t have the money to buy groceries. Maybe you got laid off or had an unexpected expense that has left you short on funds. Maybe you’re living on a fixed income. Or maybe you took the only crummy job you could find while you look for something that actually pays the bills. It happens. I’ve certainly been there.

Income-based programs such as WIC (for families with young children), SNAP (food stamps) and CSFP (for seniors) are all programs that are available to those in need.

Child Nutrition Programs offer free and reduced meals programs for school-aged children and typically provide breakfast and lunch, often even during periods when school is not in session. Ask at your child’s school or visit their website.

Many people make the mistake of assuming they’re not eligible or are embarrassed to apply for these services. Many programs have surprisingly lenient income levels so it doesn’t hurt to check. Applications can usually be done online from the comfort of your own home and benefits are often loaded on debit cards so you’ll look like every other person in line using a debit card!

Food pantries are also a great option, whether you use their services on a sporadic basis or regularly. Some have income and/or residency guidelines while others are open to all. It’s likely that, with a few phone calls, you’ll find one that will work with you!

For more information on these programs and other ideas about how to stretch your food dollar, please click here.

Lack of Time / Competing Priorities

Lack of Time / Competing Priorities


This is a big one but it’s often not given the attention it deserves. What happens when we tell people we don’t have time for something? We often hear things like.”You need to learn to manage your time better” or “If you really wanted to, you would find the time”. Not helpful.

There are countless reasons why some people literally don’t have the time to cook. Some work long days or multiple jobs. Others have a long commute. Parents have to oversee homework, grooming, transportation, school meetings and other basic needs of their children, often in addition to a full time job and their own household chores. Many of us have had to, at some point, care for a family member who is sick or has other special needs.

Time management and desire often have no place in our inability to find time to plan, shop, prepare and cook healthy meals. What’s the answer, then?

Meal Kits. They’re all the rage now and for good reason. I’ve tried different ones, both as a guest at someone’s house and one that I ordered for myself (see my review here and here).

These kits are easy to order and easy to prepare. The cost, including shipping, generally starts around $12-$15 per person, which is a similar cost to picking up takeout on the way home.

Slow Cookers and Instant Pots. The main difference between these are that one is prepped in the morning and cooks all day while the other is prepped when you get home and cooks your meal super fast. They’re both an effective time saver because you can make a one-pot meal with very little effort. The only decision you have to make is whether you prefer to dump everything into the pot in the morning or when you get home.

Groceries To Go. I’ve used this option on many occasions and it’s a real-time (and frustration) saver. Put the app on your phone, pick a time and make a grocery list. Items can be added or removed from the list right up to a few hours before pickup, as well as adjustments to your pickup time. Simply pull up to the door on your way home from work and your very own personal shopper will load those groceries right into your car. This is usually available without any added fees, as you often see with delivery or shipped goods.

Leftovers. You’re probably tired of hearing me harp about leftovers but here I go again. I love ‘em. They’re great for no effort meals later in the week!. Eat them as they are or turn them into quick and easy soups, sandwiches, salads or stir frys! Click here for more of my thoughts on leftovers.

Pre-Prepped and Ready To Go. Check in the fresh produce and freezer sections for fruits and veggies that are already trimmed, sliced, diced, chopped or julienned. The same goes for meat and seafood.

Have The Whole Family Help. Sound impossible? I spent a considerable amount of my childrens preteen and teen years driving them to sports, music, clubs, field trips…you name it! And this is what I said, ”I don’t have enough time to come home from work and make supper (lunch, breakfast, snack, whatever) before your (whatever it is they’re doing). If you want a ride and if you want to eat, please pack food to take with us.” Or I would ask them to prepare a simple meal if we had time to eat at home. And it worked. Sandwiches and fruit/veggies are easy to put together and kids enjoy it when they can choose the menu!


What About You?


These are just a few suggestions but I’m sure there are many more situations and answers out there.

What about you? What barriers to healthy eating have you faced? How did you overcome them?

Let me know in the comments below!

All my best,





Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email