Monday, June 10, 2013

How to eat well on a budget.

Last Friday was insanely busy at work and I forgot to blog after goes on.

Then I got trapped in a time suck this weekend of Netflix and puppies.  I also joined Instagram so I apologize in advance for the Luke-overload that is inevitable.  We had Luke's friend Maggie stay with us on Saturday and because it was rainy outside they played in the house non-stop.  It was hilarious.  But first, Luke had to get his nails trimmed and be fitted for his new life preserver so he can swim in the Gulf this summer.
I'll call this one.....shark bait.

While these two pups wouldn't go out in the rain, we had plenty of porch time watching it come down. 

I made more falafel from the recipe I posted last week because it is soooo good.  You should make some this week and thank me.

And I'm sure people are jealous of how amazing Luke's hair is all of the time.  His "mom-cuts" really are the talk of the neighborhood with how fresh he looks prancing around. 

It helps to have an extremely laid back labradoodle that doesn't mind me cutting his hair while he naps.  Seriously.  It is amazing.  He could care less. 

Side note:  we have a really great vacuum.

My favorite thing to use my food processor for is making "rice" from cauliflower (and hummus and peanut butter and banana ice cream..seriously, get yourself a food processor).  I use the shredding plate and it always turns out perfect.  I would eat this everyday if it didn't do crazy things to your digestive system.  Oui.

Cauliflower rice!

The last meal from my meal plan last week was curried red lentil.  I used about 3/4 pound of dried lentils, water, a can of coconut milk, green curry paste, and some additional spices I added as it cooked.  This goes best with a cup of sriracha poured on top.  Oh my goodness.  I love this stuff. 

Behold......the meal I could eat every day.  Toot toot.

I had five meals planned for last week and we only ended up eating four because we had so much leftover.  I'm always interested in teaching people how to eat well, especially people that assume, eating healthy and fresh food is expensive and difficult to prepare with limited time.  That is so far from the truth.

The weeks groceries sans milk (carton of almond and regular for the week) and cereal for Matt because he refused to get on the oatmeal train. 

 I was amazed at how low our grocery bill was this week after making a list of the ingredients needed for the five meals I wanted to make and making sure there was plenty of options for lunches throughout the week so Jimmy Johns doesn't dedicate a route to my office in my honor.  For under $50 I got dinner for five nights, stuff to pack for lunches, and what I need for 10 juices.  I ended up buying the herb plants instead of the cut herbs because it was cheaper.  And they smell nice.  Bonus for saving more money.  Granted, if you have a member of your family that HAS to have meat in their diet, your grocery bill will be far higher but my husband is a champ who eats whatever I make (and NEVER complains) and will order meat dishes if we go out if he wants something different.  Pro tip....if you are on a tight budget, go vegetarian.

Typical day.....

Breakfast of champions:  1/2 cup of oats, one brownish banana, one heaping teaspoon of ground flax, one cup of water, sprinkle of cinnamon
Breakfast:  It is the same every single day.  Oatmeal with a banana (my oats are about .10/serving and the banana is about 8 cents a piece, I do add a heaping teaspoon of ground flax seed on top which I buy in bulk and comes out to about 5 cents a serving), overall, my breakfast is cheeeeeeeeeeeap.
Clockwise from top right: spinach and lentils with balsamic vinegar, spinach and romaine with lentil taco "meat" with veggies, romaine with leftover lentil taco "meat" and garbanzo beans with leftover veggies, field greens with almonds and vanilla balsamic vinegar.
Lunch is always a salad, I would rather have more freedom at dinner in terms of calories than at lunch so I keep it simple with a salad brought from home.  This week I bought a big bag of spinach, some mixed greens, and three Romaine hearts which I will switch back and forth between.  I might add leftover lentils, another bean or just veggies on top.  Dressing is normally just balsamic vinegar, it sounds weird but it'  s really good and I've gotten really picky about my salad dressing....everything I buy from the store has started tasting like chemicals.  My friend Amy makes the most amazing salad dressings from scratch and she bought me the recipe book where she gets her ideas but I'm lazy and just wait for her to make them and bring them to me.  I would buy hers if she bottled them....She could call it "Amy's"....oh wait.  Bummer.

Clockwise from top right:  pineapple/apple/lime with red wine:), kale/beet/carrot/apple, kale/apple/beet, carrot, apple/apple/ginger.

Snacks are normally apples.  I am a terrible snacker so I don't buy anything to snack on.  Matt hates it but I can easily start snacking and by the time I realize what I'm doing I've eaten an entire bag of pop chips.  No control.  So I limit snacking.  I'm going to make an awesome mom, no?  I eat lunch at noon everyday (I am very schedule oriented) and I do get hungry around 2:30pm so I'll make a smoothie or juice for Matt and I.  This week I bought lots of kale and fruit/vegetables to juice......The line up for the week are apples, ginger, cucumber, carrots, beets, and a pineapple.  Juicing can be expensive but sometimes farmer's markets and produce stands can have organic or freshly picked fruits and vegetables available for so much cheaper than Publix.

Dinners for last week....I'll only plan four for this week, as I know we'll have leftovers and we are traveling this weekend.
Clockwise from top right:  Falafel pie with tzaziki sauce, lentil tostados, grilled veggies, curried red lentils over cauliflower rice

I haven't gone shopping yet but this is what I'm planning on for this week...

-Butternut squash tacos inspired by our favorite taco stand, Taco Bus
-Shepard's Pie
-Pumpkin Curry
-Black Bean Soup


  1. I wish I loved curry and spicy things in general like you do. I love seeing your recipes and try to think of how we can modify them. ;)
    Also, we don't really snack either. We have raw almonds or Trader Joe's organic popcorn with olive oil. That's it. I prefer it.

  2. Your recipes always look so yummy!! I've made a few notes to try some of the things you've put on here:) Do you do anything special for your cauliflower rice? I've seen that on food blogs and have been interested in trying it but they always mention things like aminos or other things I'd be unlikely to purchase...

    1. I love cauliflower rice. I've seen people saute it with some oil for a "fried" rice that looks good but usually, I just put it through the food processor, and steam it in the microwave for about 3 minutes. Don't even worry about buying's pretty much soy sauce.
      PS...You looked beautiful at your wedding!