Born and raised in New Orleans, Caroline is a foodie at heart. She is the founder of The Thrifty Spoon, a blog and Instagram focused on eating real food on a budget.

“My love of funky and healthy foods has become a running theme in my life. If we’re going out to eat, you bet I’m going to suggest something ethnic. And if I’m baking for the office, it’s safe to assume there’s zucchini hidden somewhere in there (my coworkers have stopped asking what they’re eating and just take a mouthful).”  We dig that!

Caroline’s paleo journey started when she discovered that removing processed foods helped with her stomach aches. She is based in Washington, DC, where life gets expensive, so she got inspired to develop affordable, wholesome recipes. She shares realistic ways to enjoy the best food a city has to offer—while staying true to your budget and health goals.

So here is Caroline’s paleo day!


Egg Roll In a Bowl

Makes 4 servings.

“After some pondering on the possibility of a healthy version of egg rolls, I discovered the concept of an “egg roll in a bowl,” where you create a stir-fry of sorts with the contents of an egg roll. If you ever have the self control to look at the contents inside an egg roll after you’ve had your first bite, you’ll find it’s often loaded with veggies like cabbage and carrots – in a sense, it resembles coleslaw paired along with ground meat. Not only can you turn this into a healthy meal, but you also can keep it quite affordable.”


  • 1 bag coleslaw mix
  • 1 lb ground chicken or turkey
  • 3 stalks green onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds optional
  • 1 tsp salt
  • .5 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder


  1. Sauté a pound of ground turkey or ground chicken on medium heat until browned

  2. When meat is browned, add remaining ingredients to pan (except sesame seeds) and stir to combine

  3. Continue to sauté until cabbage and carrots have wilted

  4. Serve in a bowl topped with sesame seeds (optional)


Potsticker Meatballs (Whole 30)

Makes 4 servings.

“Being on a tight budget, it’s a priority to me that every bit of food I put in my fridge eventually ends up in my belly. While this often serves as a challenge, I try to think of it as a fun way to experiment with ingredients I wouldn’t typically put in a dish.

My fridge is always stocked with some variety of veggies, so when I have a few that are about to go bad, my back up plan is to shred/dice them and stick them in a meatball.

These particular meatballs can be made with any combination of vegetables but I find that this particular combination makes them taste most like potstickers.”


  • 1 cup carrots, grated
  • 1 cut zucchini, grated
  • .5 cup onions
  • .5 cup bell pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lb ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • .5 tbsp salt
  • .5 tbsp onion powder

  1. Grate and chop vegetables

  2. Add vegetables, ground turkey/chicken, eggs and seasonings to a mixing bowl and stir to combine

  3. Chill overnight in fridge or in freezer for one hour

  4. Roll mixture into 1 inch spheres and add to greased baking pan

  5. Cook for 20 minute


Spicy Shrimp Handrolls

Makes 3 handrolls.

“When I started Whole30, I was determined to fit sushi into my new lifestyle, and I found that was totally possible. For those nights when I was craving sushi but didn’t feel like going down to the grocery to get sushi-grade tuna, I would make a spicy shrimp hand roll with ingredients already in my fridge, freezer, and pantry.”


  • 20 medium frozen shrimp, raw
  • seaweed wraps
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 bell pepper
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • tbsp avocado oil mayo
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

  1. Saute frozen shrimp on medium in coconut aminos and cayenne pepper until shrimp is cooked through

  2. While shrimp cools, slice veggies into thin strips

  3. When shrimp is cool, mix shrimp with avocado oil mayo and hot sauce

  4. Layer shrimp and veggies in one corner of the wrap and roll the contents of the wrap as if you’re rolling flowers into a bouquet

  5. Dip handrolls into coconut aminos and enjoy!


My Favorite Green Smoothie

Makes 1 smoothie.

“When I make a smoothie, I like it thick – like when they flip over your shake at Dairy Queen and your life flashes before your eyes. Thick. The perfect way to achieve this desired thickness is to freeze all of your ingredients beforehand.”


  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 cup baby spinach, frozen
  • cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp raw oats
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • handful of ice cubes

  1. Place frozen baby spinach and coconut milk in blender. Blend for 10 seconds.

  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth


That’s Caroline’s dream paleo day! Subscribe to our newsletter, if you would like to receive a fresh set of paleo recipes every week from creators like Caroline!