Introducing: The Real {Fast} Food Cooking Class!

This has been a dream of mine for over a year. This month, it’s finally happening.

I’m teaming up with my friend-and-mentor-in-all-things-nourishing, Claire, to teach you what we’ve learned about nourishing our families with real food, in the comfy, friendly atmosphere of my own, vintage-blue kitchen.

And YOU are invited…

Where: My home in Ovid, NY

Date: Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Time: 6pm — 8pm

Who: Anyone interested in learning simple methods and guiding principles for nourishing your body and feeding your family well with real food.

Cost: $7 per individual

RSVP, get more info, and directions, by emailing me: trina @ trinaholden . com (remove spaces)

Class size is limited, and we’re already half full, so contact me soon if you want to join us!

More Info: Claire will be teaching from a curriculum she’s developed and shared with parents and highschool students in her homeschool co-op over the past two years. Our information is based on 12 combined years of personal research and experience in the realm of real food.

This class will focus on “Embracing Good Fats” and you’ll learn why our bodies need good fats, which ones to enjoy, and how to use them every day. There will be tasty snacks and recipes to sample, as well as print outs of each recipe we share with you.

You’ll also have the opportunity to network with other women in the area who share an interest in real food. You may hear of a great place to order coconut oil, where to buy raw honey, or learn of a farmer willing to sell you raw milk!

It’s going to be a Real Great Evening, and I hope you’ll join us!!!

Real {Fast} Food: In The Press!

Two posts in one day. I know. What’s the world coming to? But I just have to share these links with you -

Last week our local Christian Radio Station, Family Life, interviewed me about the ePublishing Revolution and my eBook, Real {Fast} Food. It will air in two parts on the Noon Report today and Wednesday! But it’s also available as a podcast on their website so you can listen whenever it’s convenient for you.

It was very exciting for me to share with people about the awesome opportunity that ePublishing offers to aspiring authors, as well as explaining the gist of my book and the benefits my family has seen from transitioning to a whole foods diet. (If you’re an aspiring author, check out my post of resources)

Listen to the 9 min. podcast here, and kudos to Sarah Harnisch, Newswoman Extraordinaire (and homeschooling mom of 5!!!) who interviewed me and edited the clips so I didn’t sound like the bundle of nerves I was. She pretty much rocks.

Also, my book is being featured on the Allume Blog today. Head over there to hear how Real {Fast} Food is ” like a friend coming alongside you in your own kitchen to help you feed your family well“.

The Real {Fast} Food Book Tour is in full swing! If you would like to join the party by reviewing the book on your blog, just email me! trina @

Other bloggers who have reviewed the book this month include, Gretchen at Little Pink House, Jessica at Life in the White House, Chantel at Life, Laughter, and the Little Things, Natasha at To Live For Him, Jessica at Something Simple, Laurie at Homemaker’s Challenge, Charla at Cheaper and Fresher, Hayley at Tiny Twig,  and Mandy at Daily Cup of Grace. You’re next!



Cordito! {Sauerkraut Part 2}

I vote Cordito to be the easiest sauerkraut to add to your menu. It’s Mexican in origin, made with carrots, onions and cabbage and seasoned with oregano and red pepper. You just throw it on with the  salsa, sour cream, olives, and other toppings you’re layering in your taco, and then enjoy the subtle-yet-incredibly-authentic flavor it adds to every bite.

I still can’t believe I just basically wrote an ode to sauerkraut. But I’m not lyin’, peoples. This really is another painless experience in adding lacto fermented condiments into your plate.

Cordito Recipe

1 large cabbage, cored and shredded
1 c. grated carrots
2 medium onions, quartered lengthwise and very finely sliced
1 T. dried oregano
1/4-1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 T. sea salt
4 T. whey (if not available, use 1 additional T. salt)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Pound with a wooden pounder or meat hammer for 10 min. to release juices. (I don’t have either of those tools – I use the bottom of a quart jar!) Place in 2 quart sized, wide mouth mason jars and press down firmly until juices come to top of cabbage. The top of the cabbage mixture should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jars. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to fridge. (Recipe from Nourishing Traditions)

Here’s my favorite thing about Cordito – it blends in so well with the many other toppings on a taco or things you toss in a taco salad, that I’ve actually got my husband and kids to eat this one. When we have taco salad as a family, I’ve taken to tossing the lettuce, meat, cheese, and crushed chips in a bowl with most of the toppings, then let Jeremy add more hot salsa to his serving if he wants it. This means simpler serving for the kids, and lots less fuss for Mom. A few tablespoons Cordito are hardly noticed amongst spoon-fulls of sour cream and salsa, and down the hatch it goes. :)

I have another condiment I absolutely love for Mexican night—Cultured Refried Beans—but you’ll have to go to the book for that recipe. :)

Next…the sauerkraut I learned to love while on GAPSKimchi!
See all posts in my Loving Sauerkraut series here.

Celebrating {Good Food}

I love when good-for-you food is good, too.

And I love it when I decide to splurge for a special occasion (like my 30th birthday yesterday!) and find a really good-for-you recipe to use. This recipe does have chocolate chips (which I did not make myself), but other than that, they’re nutrient dense with good fats and proteins.

Those are my birthday muffins steaming up the cake dome next to a gorgeous spring bouquet from my mother.


I was blown away by these muffins. They had the best texture I’ve experienced since I began soaking my muffin recipes (the technique for soaking muffins and quick breads that I explain in my book involves a bit more stirring which tends to activate the gluten in the dough – the muffins are light, but not as crumbly). These muffins retained their fall-apart-in-your-mouth, lovable, muffin-crumbliness due to all the oats. I’m in love.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate-Chip Muffins

Combine in a bowl:
1 c. oats
1 c. buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt, soured milk, or other acidic medium
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
Cover and let sit on counter overnight (or 8 hours)

In a separate bowl, combine:
1/3 c. sprouted wheat flour OR white flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Set aside.

The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease (and line with paper cups if you have them) 12 muffin tins. Beat together
1 egg
1/2 c. sucanat, sugar, honey, or maple syrup
1/2 c. melted coconut oil or butter
1 t. vanilla
Stir this into the soaked oats and flour mixture.

Next add the flour and baking powder mixture to the bowl. Then fold in

1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. unsweetened coconut (optional)

Divide into 12 muffin cups and bake at 350 for 20 min. Make 12 muffins.

If you want to learn more about sprouted wheat flour, check out this post, or head over to the Real Fast Food Facebook page where I answer a reader question on the topic of flour choices this morning…

10 Tips to Fighting Kitchen Combat Fatigue {And a GAPS update}

I’m half way through my month-long journey to feeding my family on the GAPS diet! So far it’s been an exciting experiment, and not too stressful thanks to the time-saving and stream-lining strategies I use in my kitchen on a daily basis. A lot of what I wrote about in my book, Real {Fast} Food certainly applies to any sort of special diet. On the GAPS diet I am certainly in the kitchen a bit more than usual, but these tips from my book have helped me from getting overwhelmed (or going on strike!)

GAPS-friendly Crepes with Homemade Sweet Cream Cheese Filling

Get the 10 Tips for Fighting Kitchen Combat Fatigue today by subscribing to my monthly newsletter! (little opt-in box in the side bar over there –>)

I did it! That’s kimichi on the bottom left. Actually ate this for breakfast, AND enjoyed it. Never thought I’d see the day….

If you have questions about our GAPS journey, you can find me at Real {Fast}Food’s Facebook page! See you there…

How Eating Better {Didn’t} Break the Bank

Jeremy made a startling announcement to me the other day.

It was in the middle of yet another one of my apology and strategy sessions in which I humbly acknowledge my terrible lack of discipline in the little details of my life, specifically in the area of keeping track of cash. (I shall not make the excuse that I feel I have a 1/4 of the brain I had before motherhood. I shall not excuse myself by saying I simply do not have the time to keep a log of cash I’ve spent. I shall not point out that I haven’t lost my checkbook or credit card this month and things could be worse!)(I did lose the keys but that’s another – painful – story) I shall simply confess that I’m a complete failure, yet I’m trying once again this month, to keep track of my cash. This month, I said, I’m going to –

And that’s where he stopped me. Dead in my tracks. With what I thought was a segue to a less painful subject.

“I do want to thank you.” He said, wrapping his arms around me, halting me in my tracks as I rushed around the kitchen fixing lunch. I had no idea where this was going. He’s not the manipulative type. Was he changing the subject, or commending my measly efforts to try again?

“You have done an incredible job staying with the budget.”

I have? How could he tell? When I did so poorly giving him account for my spending? Was he serious?

Well, we use an electronic budgeting system called Mvelopes, from Crown Financial Ministries, which tracks all our credit card, check payments, and cash (IF I manually enter it!) That morning he’d gone back in the records and, with a bit of guess work and averaging out, he had managed to get a good picture of what we’ve spent on groceries each year since the beginning of our marriage.

He said in the beginning we were budgeting $250 a month for our family, which included the two of us plus a little one half-baked. Fast forward 6 years, 3 children, and a bad economy, and we have only increased our grocery budget by $100 (plus or minus the cash I spend each month on raw milk – that portion I can never seem to keep track of!). We’re feeding a family of 5 for $350 a month.

I was shocked, and, as you can imagine, very encouraged. Not only were my efforts to be economical in shopping and food prep paying off, but here was proof that this whole ‘cooking from scratch’ thing really does save you money. 

You see, since we got married, we’ve been on a constant journey to eat healthier. For us, this means more whole foods and less processed stuff. It means good fats, cleaner meats, properly prepared grains, and fresh, raw dairy. Yet even as we ate healthier, added 3 people to the family, and the economy sagged, our efforts to eat healthier did not break the budget.

Actually, I believe it’s what’s saved the budget. The fact is, when you choose more whole foods, and begin cooking more from scratch in your own kitchen, you WILL save money, even when you’re choosing more expensive ingredients like coconut oil, natural sweeteners, and farm fresh eggs. You save because

  • You learn to buy in bulk, from the coop or warehouse store
  • You’re not spending money on all the packaging and preservatives of boxed food
  • You’re often buying locally, which is cheaper for everyone ’cause food isn’t being hauled around
  • You’re eating out less
  • Your food is nourishing you well, meaning less sickness, time off work, and trips to the doctor. 

So, I just wanted to encourage you – if you’re afraid to take steps toward better nutrition, afraid of what it will do to your budget — relax. Take a deep breath. It’s not that bad. In fact, it may actually save you money.

I will note, though, that in order for a healthier diet to be budget friendly, it must center around buying whole, unprocessed foods and preparing them in your own kitchen, not simply switching your purchases to every package with an “Organic” or “All Natural” label at the grocery store. It involves learning to bake your own bread, mix your own seasoning packages, use all of the chicken (even the bones), and making your own pie crust and the filling.

If that’s overwhelming or foreign to you, I’ve got good news – I wrote a book all about how I actually have time to make all our food from scratch, even with three busy little children in the picture. It’s called Real {Fast} Food, full of familiar, tasty recipes, and it’s a pdf you can download in seconds, or you can purchase it for your kindle or nook. Let me help you learn how to save time and money in your kitchen!

And if you can’t afford the $6 for my ebook, please email me. I’d still love for you to benefit from the practical advice I have to offer.

Real {Fast} Food: Re-Launch and Prizes, Prizes!!!

So, by now you all know how excited I am about getting my book, Real {Fast} Food updated and formatted for Kindle. It’s been really awesome hearing from many of you who’ve reviewed the book on Amazon how the book has helped you:

  • add more real food into your busy schedules, 
  • feel less overwhelmed transitioning to whole foods, and 
  • try new recipes and find you love them!

I have a passion to share the book with even more people than my little corner of the internet, so I thought up a great way to get the word out.

  1. I tell you…
  2. You tell your friends…
  3. I give out a bunch of prizes!

Sound like fun? OK – Here’s the details:

You can help me spread the word about my book to your friends and followers through whatever social network or style you choose. You leave me a comment for each way you’ve spread the word, and you can be entered multiple times for a drawing with lots of fun prizes I’ve put together!

Grand Prize – one winner!
      • This lovely apron I made just for you! It’s reversible, 100% cotton, made from coordinating vintage sheets. Adjustable neck and waist ties make it one-size fits all!
  • One hour Skype or phone consultation with me – let me get to know you and brainstorm ways to help you feed your family better in less time!
  • “Tell Your Time” by Amy Andrews – the book that forever reduced my stress and frustration over managing my time and set me free to pursue my passions (such as writing a book!)
  • A copy of the updated Real {Fast} Food for you or – if you already own it — to share with a friend.

Second Prizetwo winners!!

Third PrizeFive winners!!!

  • A copy of Real {Fast} Food for you or a friend
  • Bragging rights that you finally won an online contest. :)

So now you want to know, “How do I enter this awesome contest!?” Oh, let me count the ways:

  1. “Like” and Share the Real {Fast} Food facebook page
  2. Share this link: Real {Fast} Food on your blog, facebook, twitter or wherever you are
  3. Share Real {Fast} Food the Movie with your friends on YouTube, facebook, twitter or wherever you are
  4. Blog, facebook or tweet, or email friends about this giveaway

Leave a separate comment for each way you’ve helped me spread the word, and I’ll enter your name for each comment!

Contest runs through midnight, Sunday, October 16th. Winners will be announced on the blog Monday, October 17th. Winners will then be asked to contact me with their email address so I can send them their loot!

I just want to say thank you to all of my readers and friends who have supported me in my life-long dream of authoring a book. You guys are awesome, and this giveaway was a way I could express my gratitude!


Real {Fast} Food – the Video!

I’m so excited to show you a special something we created to help introduce people to my book Real {Fast} Food. Jendi from Scenes and Cinema is the brains and talent behind the video, and Jesse was the star of the show. Enjoy, and share it with friends to help spread the word!

Reviews of Real {Fast} Food

Real {Fast} Food has been enthusiastically reviewed by several popular real food bloggers, and given 5 stars repeatedly in reviews on Amazon. Enjoy these reviews and be sure to add your own!

Donielle from Naturally Knocked Up says,
“Finding the time to cook when switching to  a whole foods diet is a huge stopping point for a lot of people. Just the thought of having to soak grains or spend 48 hours making chicken stock sends people running to their familiar boxes and cans.
A fellow blogger and real food lover, Trina has written an ebook to help you and your family figure out how exactly how to fit it in your schedule.”

“If you are struggling with making the switch to a real food diet, you will especially love this book! I recommend printing the ebook, arranging it in a binder, and keeping it in the kitchen for simplicity’s sake.  You’ll be using it often.”

Kristen at SnowJoy says,
“I wish I had [Real{Fast}Food] four years ago, ten years ago! It encompasses so much of what I’ve learned to do in the kitchen, as well as some awesome new tips I’m looking forward to incorporating into my routines!”

“Often we think that if we want speed we have to sacrifice quality – Trina shows us that it just isn’t so!” – Claire)

“Absolutely perfect…This is such a wonderful resource for those of us who want to feed our families well, stay within our budget and have food that actually tastes good! …I can see it becoming my favorite recipe book in the very near future! – Rachel (Fashion Gone Thrifty)

“If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of effort it takes to prepare”real” healthy food, you need Real {Fast} Food. Trina’s brilliant methods make it possible to cook from scratch, soak your flour, shop once a month, and be freed from endless meal-planning. She shows that a little advance planning makes everyday cooking so much easier, and walks you through the process step-by-step. And it’s more than a nice theory: Trina actually cooks this way, with three small children. Highly recommended!” – Jeannie Castleberry Pederson)

“It’s one thing to read Nourishing Traditions and quite another to see how a real cook and housewife prepares all this food! Trina’s personal tips are the most helpful part of the book.” – Maria

“WOW! I was blown away by how good [your book] was!  Chock full of all kinds of good recipes!  I have several traditional-foods and real-foods e-books and paper books, and honestly, yours is one of my new favorites!  I loved that it has all the basics covered in it, so I don’t have to use one book for soaking recipes, one for yogurt, one for salad dressings (etc.) and they are all quick and easy too.” – Amy Durham

“Trina Holden set out to make healthy unprocessed food accessible to even very busy Moms and she delivers that and much more. From meal planning and shopping advice, to actually preparing delicious food in a minimum of time Trina delivers a terrific dose of real advice and mixes it with mouthwatering recipes that will delight you and your family. Ann (read more of Ann’s thorough and informative review of my book on her blog!)

“Thanks for this fabulous resource for such a great price.  I have a lot of whole food resources, but this seems really practical, inspirational and realistic.” – Renae

“We made Trina Bread and Trina Yogurt and it WORKED! They are both the best recipes we’ve found so far, and that’s what we call them, Trina Bread and Trina Yogurt.” – Maria

“Thank you so much for a timely book! I was on the verge of abandoning ship and in a last ditch effort did a search in Bing for “real food fast”. Tada! you website showed up, I purchased your book and read it from cover to cover in a day. We have eaten your soaked oatmeal several times now, the kids enjoy it as did I.” – Angela

Thanks to all of you who have reviewed the book!

  • please use the comment section of this post for reviews only 
  • contact me personally or jump over to Real{Fast}Food’s facebook page if you have a question regarding the book or a particular recipe.

Let’s Celebrate This Heatwave!

It’s hot, people – let’s do something to distract ourselves, shall we? This post will be an attempt to update you on all the stuff that’s been happening behind the scenes with the release of my book. You, my readers, deserve to know! And I have something special for you at the end of the post that should provide lovely distraction. :)

1. Coming to Kindle and Nook! Jeremy’s working hard right now on formatting the book so those of you who have these handy gadgets can read the book in your preferred format! We’re shooting to have that available the beginning of August.

2. Official Launch Coming Soon! You know how a new store opens and then, a few weeks later actually has its ‘official opening?’ Well, my book release has been like that. I released it to you, my readers, in June, but that was sorta practice for launching it out beyond my own sphere of influence.
I just read the new book “How to Market and Sell Your eBook” by Sarah Mae.  A lot of the ideas center around making it easy for you, my readers, to help me spread the word. It’s literally impossible for this book to be a success without you! So, I’m putting it on sale, just for you! Oh, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself!

3. Community is Here! Another thing I learned from Sarah Mae is how important it is to create community around your book. I’ve been trying to do this, but now I’ve had some very clear direction. Here’s what’s new…

  • Real {Fast} Food is on Facebook! I’ve created a facebook page for the book. You can ‘like’ it to keep updated on sales, news, and bonus material!
  • Real Fast Cooks is a facebook group you can join – we’re already discussing recipes, questions, ideas, and encouraging each other toward feeding our families well and still having time to enjoy some summer fun!

4. Sales and Free Stuff! And this is just because I love you all…

  • As of this post, the book is 1/2 OFF – just $4 – through the end of July!!! Use coupon code “HALFOFF” to get your copy of the book!
  • But wait, if you’re really fast, you could get your book for free – The first 8 people to ‘like’ Real {Fast} Food Facebook page  will win a FREE COPY of the book. Ready, set, GO! (If you already own the book, I’ll give you a free copy to forward to a friend!)

(I think the best part of making something yourself is getting to put it on sale and give it away. I’m so glad I get to do this for you all)

How’s that for some fun to distract you from the heatwave?

And just in case any of you are as intimidated as I was the first time I bought an ebook, here’s step-by-step instructions….

1. Click here - it will take you straight to the online host that sells my book.
2. Fill in your zip code (so they can calculate sales tax)
3. Enter discount code ‘HALFOFF’
4. Click ‘Update cart’
5. Choose your payment method (Credit, Debit, or PayPal) and complete transaction
6. Fill in your name and email address and choose if you want receive updates from me on the book (I don’t spam – I’ve yet to email my customers :))
7. Click, “proceed with checkout’.
8. Next screen gives you the link to download. When you click on it, a window should pop up on your screen asking you what you want to do with this file. Choose ‘save file’ and hit ‘ok’ or ‘continue’.
8. The file will now be on your computer, and the easiest way for you to find it is to look under ‘recent downloads’. Once you find it, you may want to save it elsewhere, like on your desktop or under documents.

Get your book now so you can read it and be ready to help me tell the world about it next month!

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