Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This week's menu

Sunday: chicken with artichokes, couscous, salad
Monday: chili mac and salad
Tuesday: stir-fry tofu and green beans
Wednesday: leftover chili mac, steamed beets, spinach balls
Thursday: leftover black bean stew (from freezer)
Friday: was going to be black bean stew, but I'm running a 10k on Saturday morning. So I think I'm going to go with tortellini with tomatoes...more carbs, less fiber. Don't want to be desperate for a bathroom.

$50 challenge

I decided to recommit to my grocery budget. I tend to pick a budget, stick to it for a few weeks, then give up.

My new budget is $50/week, cash. This does not include $20/week for the CSA. For two adults and a toddler, that's $70/week, almost $300/month.

I'm only in week one. I'm at $30, but I have another $10 to spend before the end of the week. My master plan is to save $10 a week & set it aside for Costco. We only buy a few items there, but they are all about $10.

The biggest part of this is just not shopping. I'm doing pretty well there.

Unfortunately my dh just spent $420 on four new tires today, on our 2-year old car. Who knows why they wore so poorly...though I wouldn't put it past the dealer to do that to get business for repairs. We just replaced four tires on the old car a few months ago. Sigh. I realize the two aren't related (grocery bills and car repairs) but still it sucks to save $100 on groceries and toss out 4x that for tires.

Next on the agenda: switch to a cheaper gym (saving $600/year), start carpooling 3x per week (saving 3 gallons of gas per week, $12 a week).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bean and Spinach Patties

Bean and Spinach Patties

This recipe came courtesy of a yahoo board that I am on. It originated with Nava Atlas:

It's been adjusted a tiny bit. I made it tonight and it was delicious. Vegan, tasty, and it's inspiring me to try it with different bean/flavor combos (black bean and southwestern, and kidney bean and italian).

1/3 c. oatmeal (0.06)
2/3 c. boiling water
1/3 c. wheat germ (0.70)
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry (0.60)
15 oz can cannelini or northern beans, drained and rinsed (0.70)
2 scallions, minced (0.20)
1 tsp dried thyme (recipe called for dill, didn't have it)
1 tsp all purpose salt-free seasoning (I used steak seasoning)
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, pressed (0.10)

Combine oatmeal and boiling water in a bowl. Let stand 5-10 min. (There was leftover water for me, so I scooped out the oatmeal and left out the water).

Mash beans very well in a mixing bowl.

Add oatmeal, squeezed spinach, and rest of ingredients. Mix well. Form into patties.

Heat nonstick skillet to medium high. Add oil. Saute 6 min on each side until browned.

This made 7 patties for me, at about $2.50 when you add the oil. So that's $0.36 each. But I ate two, as did my spouse. Toddler ate 1/2.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Moroccan Lentil Soup

This recipe comes courtesy of BigDan on The Simple Living Network. It's a vegan pressure cooker soup that he says costs less than a buck. I made it, it cost me $2.05, but it was 6-8 servings.

Now, I'm not a fan of soup. I wish I were. It's healthy. But I do like stew. So on night #1, this soup was okay. By night #2, it had thickened & the flavors had melded, and it was awesome.

Moroccan Lentil Soup

1 cup lentils (0.30)
6 c. water
1 onion, diced (0.25)
3/4 tsp salt
pinch cayenne
1 carrot, diced (0.20)
1 celery rib, diced (0.13)
1 red bell, diced (0.97)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/8 tsp turmeric
4 cloves garlic, chopped (0.15)
1 T. grated fresh ginger (0.25)
8 oz diced tomatoes (canned) (0.25)
2 T cilantro

Sort and rinse lentils. Toss into pressure cooker. Bring to boil. Cover, bring to high pressure, cook 7 min. Let pressure reduce naturally.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Best Intentions

So, I have this recipe for spinach bean burgers to try. A couple of weeks ago, it got put off because I had too many other leftovers, didn't need to make them. I was all set to try yesterday, and I got sick. This is a total bummer. I just decided to throw out the $1.29 already defrosted spinach pack. But man, I was shivering and miserable. I still have another pack, so maybe I'll try again tomorrow.