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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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April 05 2018

Primal Recipes On a Budget

By Worker Bee
19 Comments

inlineIt’s true that eating well is perhaps the best investment you’ll make—in life and health. That said, there’s no reason to believe that going Primal means breaking the bank. Looking for delicious Primal recipes that make it possible to eat well within your means?Who among us isn’t? These budget-friendly Primal recipes put a satisfying meal on the table without the enormous grocery bill.

Buy Meat on Sale

Printing out recipes and meal planning is a great idea, but if you stick strictly to your shopping list at the meat counter, you’ll usually pay more.  Instead, try building your meals around meat that’s on sale.

An easy way to meal plan and take advantage of sales is to buy sale meat and freeze it. The next week, when you’re making a grocery list, check your freezer first and plan meals around the meat you’ve already bought.

Ground meat is often on sale, so stock up the freezer and keep these recipes handy:

Larb

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Sweet Potato Chili

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Pasta Sauce

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Salisbury Steak

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Unstuffed Cabbage

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Swedish Meatballs

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Picadillo

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Buy Larger, Less Expensive Cuts of Meat

Pork shoulder and chuck roast are good examples of less-expensive cuts of meat that can feed a large family or provide several meals for a smaller one.  If you’re single, then freeze individual portions of the cooked meat for easy lunches and dinners.

Instant Pot Pork Curry

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Coconut Ginger Pork

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Crispy Carnitas

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Pot Roast

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Learn to Love Liver

Liver is nutrient dense, filling, and inexpensive. This healthy and inexpensive protein doesn’t have to be a main course, it can also be served as an appetizer or side dish.

Grilled Chicken Livers

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Liver Stir Fry

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Chicken Liver Pate

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Meatless Mondays

Work more veggies into your diet, and save a little money while you’re at it, by skipping meat once a week. For protein, throw a couple fried eggs on a salad or make a frittata as the main course.

Cacio Pepe

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Slow Baked Frittata

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Squash Frittata

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Chilaquiles

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Shakshuka

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Soup

A big pot of soup is both nourishing and a great way to use up random odds and ends in the refrigerator. Chicken stock simmered with chopped vegetables from the back of the fridge (or a bag of frozen veggies) plus bits of leftover meat makes a surprisingly good meal. Or, start from scratch with any of these delicious soup recipes.

Cabbage Soup

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Wonton Soup

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Broccoli Spinach Soup

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TAGS:  cooking tips

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19 thoughts on “Primal Recipes On a Budget”

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  1. “Learn to Love Liver…” not because it’s cheap, love it because we evolved over millions of years preferentially eating the stuff… our DNA expects it! It’s a total game changer for many people.. especially those with methylation SNPs.

    Our early Native American ancestors would commonly take a buffalo, cut it open on the spot, and eat the warm liver seasoned with gallbladder and bile. The bile was sprinkled on various organs and glands as a condiment… the way we might use mustard today. Word has it that gallbladder and bile did a lot for the taste of liver. It likely did a whole lot more than just improve the taste.

    Point is, liver doesn’t taste amazing in isolation. Be creative… grill it, stir fry it, pate it… one of my favorites is blending it up raw with tomato, cherry or kimchi juice to make a soup… spicy kimchi juice is my all-time personal favorite… dice up some avocado, add some lime and serve chilled. Everybody in the family seems to like this one!

    1. Yessir! Love bison liver, even raw. I like your suggestions of how to prepare it. I’ll try these.

  2. Good ideas. If you have a freezer, buying in bulk with a Costco membership can pay for itself in the course of a year. Their meat is usually very good quality. Also, nowhere does it say here that the meat must be organic and grass-fed in order to be Primal. If you can afford it now and then, fine, but don’t stress out if you can’t swing the extra expense. Simply cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients is huge improvement over a processed, junk food diet, regardless of what type of meat you buy.

    1. For those readers that care about the environment (and you should, since environmental degradation ultimately impacts human health), here is what Costco is proposing to do in Nebraska: https://action.organicconsumers.org/o/50865/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=21190
      I think I will continue to buy my meat (chickens and otherwise) from small farmers in my area, who raise the animals in a more environmentally-responsible manner. Yes, Costco meat is cheaper in the short-term, but eventually everyone will have to pay for the long-term environmental degradation and health impacts these large-scale ag. operations cause.

  3. I love the grocery basket and recommendations. Mark’s blog is one stop shopping for me. He provides such great articles and recipes. Thank you.

  4. I’ll have to change my moniker to SemiHelathyHombe ’cause learning to love liver is not gonna happen in this lifetime. I need to looking into taking some concentrated liver extract in pill form. 🙂

    1. Have you tried pate? I don’t like liver either but I like pate that’s made with chicken livers. It bears no resemblance to liver even though that’s the main ingredient–and yes, it’s cooked, not raw. There are some easy recipes online,.

    2. Try the US Wellness Meats pre-cooked liver in 1 lb. packages. It’s mixed with their grass fed meat and other organs to make it milder. I cut rounds off it and put some mustard and Adobo sauce on it and I’ve come to love the stuff.

    3. I sometimes will make a primal, bacon-wrapped meatloaf and mix liver in with the ground beef/pork. And Shary’s idea of pate is also yummy. Nocona, I’ll try your idea next.

  5. P.S. I wonder who does the food prep and photography? The dishes always looks so freakin’ good and the photos are excellent.

  6. I agree with “learn to love liver” One of my simple dietary goals is to eat liver once per week. It is inexpensive and loaded in nutrients. I also theorize that science hasn’t yet discovered all of the beneficial vitamins and minerals that we thrive on. I would not be surprised if one day in the future some unknown nutrient is discovered in ruminant liver.
    I disagree with “Meatless Mondays”. Produce is surprisingly expensive compared to meat. I’d rather spend $5 for a sirloin steak than a container of leafy greens.

    1. I agree with your comment regarding Meatless Mondays. I can’t even remember the last time I had a day that didn’t include meat of some sort. But I do need some produce to go with that steak.

    2. Agreed on all counts. I once did an experiment with low-fiber eating, and found my grocery bill greatly reduced. After all, you need just the same number of calories regardless of how much vegetables you eat! The only way to make a meat-free, vegetable-heavy diet cheaper than a meat-heavy, low-vegetable one is to buy really cheap calories from vegetable oils and grains.

  7. One of my favorite budget primal meals is sausage and peppers. Simply brown 2 to 3 sausages in cast iron. French cut one medium sweet onion and two bell peppers and drop it all on the browned sausages and simmer on low heat until the veggies wilt in the juices released by the sausages. Sausages go on sale often and buy the peppers at the ethnic market where they are $1 per lb instead of $1 each.

  8. Excellent ideas. One of the ways I made it more affordable was I bought a food saver, so now I buy in bulk even though it’s just me. The meat stays in the freezer longer. My local supermarket will have family packs buy one get one free so sometimes I’ll buy 16 chicken breasts or pork chops at a time, then re-package them in packages of two. It definitely helps. Costco is nice too but I’m 3 hours from the nearest so I don’t get there often.

  9. Tips for cheap and primal:
    1. Freeze the bones from your meats, and make your own bone broth when you have enough bones.
    2. Eat more eggs instead of other meats. Eggs are cheaper, and have an amino acid profile that is closer to humans’ than any other meat.
    3. Go to Farmer’s Markets at the very end of the day. Many of the farmers will sell you produce for almost nothing rather than pack it back up.