100 Days of Real Food: On A Budget {New Recipe Included!}


It’s here! Lisa Leake has done it again; developing a mouthwatering collection of real food recipes for us to enjoy, this time focusing on clean eating with a budget in mind.

She is making real food meals stupid easy and beyond delicious in 100 Days of Real Food On A Budget. (Find it here on Amazon!)


I was beyond excited to be chosen as a cookbook ambassador for this project, and when I cracked open the book I was not disappointed. Just as I have come to expect from her first two cookbooks I talked about here, there is a huge variety of breakfasts, packed lunches, side dishes, dinners, treats and more, all made easily from real food, and usually with just a few common ingredients. From Cinnamon Roll Pancakes (yes please!) and Easy Chinese Chicken, to Zucchini and Feta Fritters or Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef, there is something for everyone here! (Did I mention Cinnamon Roll Pancakes?)

Easy Chinese Chicken photo.jpg
Easy Chinese Chicken – Photo Courtesy of Lisa Leake

To hit home the budget aspect of the book, Lisa gives her best tips for lowering your grocery bill, money saving ingredient swaps, and more. She does price comparisons from a ton of grocery stores for you, and even breaks down the cost per serving of every single dish in the book! (Oh, and everything is $15 or less per recipe!)

Per usual, she includes a beautiful full-color photo of every single final product on its page, which really helps me when I’m meal planning to pick out what I want to try.

Finally, so many people eat according to specific dietary needs, and to accommodate this, Lisa has the following breakdown of the 100 recipes included in the book:

  • 75 recipes are (or can easily be) Gluten-Free
  • 49 recipes are (or can easily be) Dairy-Free
  • 67 recipes are (or can easily be) Vegetarian
  • 83 recipes are (or can easily be) Peanut- / Tree Nut-Free

Speaking of specific dietary needs… as you probably already know from here, our family is currently doing a round of the Whole30 for my daughter’s health. When I found out I had been chosen as an ambassador, I was so sure I would need to start over with the Whole30 in order to do my recipe review… but lo and behold, her Weeknight Tandoori Chicken that I get to share with you today is delicious and Whole30 compliant!

Weeknight Tandoori Chicken recipe.jpg
Aren’t the cookbook pages beautiful? – Photo Courtesy of Lisa Leake

This recipe is a classic example of 100 Days recipe magic – somehow a few spices rubbed on to chicken and plain old coconut milk and tomato sauce come together to taste like you’ve gone out to a local Indian restaurant. (Seriously, I made this when Ethan was not home and when he ate it later that night he said, “If you had put this in a styrofoam take out container I would have thought this was ordered from that place down the street.”)

And it couldn’t be easier. I had this on the table in under 35 minutes, all while having my 3 year old causing minor disasters “helping” me, and my 1 year old testing out her new skill of being able to climb onto the kitchen table. I present to you:

Weeknight Tandoori Chicken

(Ingredients and full instructions follow these photos)


First you mix together the spices and dredge the chicken thighs in them. So easy!


Next you heat up the oil in the skillet. I used coconut oil.


Three minutes of browning on each side gives you the most amazing, flavorful, crusted chicken!


Then you dump in the coconut milk and tomato sauce and let it do its thing for ten more minutes!


I know, I know, this looks weird. I thought I had done something wrong. But have faith and in a few minutes….


… it comes together as the creamiest, smoothest tandoori sauce ever! Also, once again, this is SO FLAVORFUL yet it all happens from that quick spice rub on the chicken. How easy is that?


Oh, and while the chicken cooks, chop up some cilantro and spinach. Now let’s dish up!


Layer the rice, spinach, chicken, and sauce in a bowl. The heat of the chicken wilts the spinach just a touch to make it tender and easy to eat, but not so much that its totally wilted and stringy.

I was a bit hesitant about how the chicken would turn out boiling in the sauce, but it was so moist and flavorful, just like restaurant chicken!

Oh, and by the way, my two little girls *loved* this meal. My toddler ate almost an entire kid’s plate full, and my 1 year old had three servings of little bites of chicken and the saucy rice.


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighsboneless and skinless
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil(or coconut oil)
  • 1 13-oz can coconut milk
  • 1 8-oz can tomato sauceplain
  • 2 ounces spinachfresh
  • 6 servings brown rice, cooked according to package directions (We subbed cauliflower rice for our Whole30 needs and it was perfect!)


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the garlic powder, coriander, cumin, ginger, salt, and cayenne with a fork. Dredge each piece of chicken in the spices and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, sprinkle any remaining spices on top, and sear for a couple of minutes until golden brown on both sides.

  3. Add the coconut milk and tomato sauce to the pan, bring to a boil, cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the chicken is done all the way through (no longer pink), about 8 – 10 minutes.

  4. Layer in bowls with brown rice on the bottom, then spinach, chicken, sauce, yogurt, and fresh herbs. Enjoy!

So there you have it! My review and special recipe from the newest 100 Days of Real Food cookbook. Hop on over to my Facebook and Instagram this week because I’m giving away a copy, and definitely hop on over to Amazon by clicking the image below and order one if you’re not the lucky winner.


2 thoughts on “100 Days of Real Food: On A Budget {New Recipe Included!}

  1. Oh yum! You had me sold at the dietary restrictions and the budget friendly substitutions! My husband loves to try new and fun recipes and this looks perfect for his exotic taste (I’m Dutch- meat and potatoes and I’m happy lol).

    I mourn a little bit that you can get relatively affordable organic, free range chicken for that price. I’m in Canada and we don’t have a trader joes, just specialty butcher shops that give you sticker shock (although it does taste better!). My only hope of eating like that is to raise it myself- *sigh* someday I’ll have my farm!

    Thank you for the review, I’m usually scared of cookbooks but I’ll be putting this one on my Christmas list. 😊


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