Week of 08.01.11

I am loving the summer foods. Not loving the summer heat. But I am definitely loving the fruit. Especially the cherries. Who needs dessert when you’ve got a bowl full of cherries. We may have gone a little over our fruit budget the last couple of weeks…but in the summer I just have to eat this deliciousness. I’m leaving the cheaper fruits for the fall and winter! This week I’ve got the standard “fruit” item listed, but I’ve also got a pineapple, apple, and avocado on the list. And cherries are on sale…soooo…

And in case you’re new around here, you won’t find any meat in these items. Because we don’t eat meat. But most of them are very easy to add meat to if you want. Although I promise the vegetarian versions are yummy too.

Here’s this week’s meal plan for around $50:

This week for breakfast you’ll have toast, fruit, and you probably still have oats left…and don’t forget how good and cheap banana bread is to make.

Day 1
Lunch: Veggie Ruebens
Dinner: Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers

Day 2
Lunch: Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers
Dinner: Potato and Corn Soup

Day 3
Lunch: Potato and Corn Soup
Dinner: Veggie Ruebens

Day 4
Lunch: Potato and Corn Soup
Dinner: Ravioli with Veggies and Marinara Sauce

Day 5
Lunch: Spinach Salad Topped with Veggies/Fruit with Sweet Potato Fries
Dinner: Ravioli with Veggies and Marinara Sauce

Day 6
Lunch: Grilled Cheese with Avocado
Dinner: Sweet Sauerkraut Casserole (Got to use up the sauerkraut!)

Day 7
Lunch:  Grilled Cheese with Avocado
Dinner: Sweet Sauerkraut Casserole

And here is the grocery list with approx. pricing:

4 bell peppers: $4 (Our colored ones are still $. I think I’ll get one of each.)
Rice: $1
Pasta Sauce: $2
Bag of onions: $2
Black beans: $1
Cheese: $2
Bread: $1.50
Sauerkraut: $2
Apple: $1
Swiss cheese: $2 (I just have them slice me 1/4 lb)
Garlic: $.50
3-4 baking potatoes: $4
3 cans creamed corn: $3 
OJ: $3
Cream: $1.50
Pineapple: $4 (Calls for canned, which would be cheaper, but I’m using fresh)
Spicy pepper of choice: $.50
Fruit: $5.50
Ravioli: $3 (One of these days I’m going to make my own…but not this week.)
Avocado: $2
Spinach: $2
Sweet potato: $1
Thousand island dressing: $1.50

* If you need to buy broth or any of the spices (maybe curry?) add a couple of dollars.

And the recipes:

Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers: I love these. And they go in the slow cooker, super easy. Cut the tops off your peppers (the tops would be great to cut up and use in your stir fry!) and remove the seeds and all. In a bowl mix together 1/2 cup pasta sauce, a small diced onion, the can of black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 1/2 cups of rice, pepper, salt, and a cup of shredded cheese. Fill your peppers with as much mixture as you can. Place them in the slow cooker (mine fits four peppers that’s why I cook 4) and pour 1/3 cup of water into the bottom of the cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3.

Vegetarian Ruebens: Make them like a regular ruben but without the meat. Instead we’ll be filling ours with sauerkraut, onion, apple, salt, pepper, and garlic that we cook in a pan and then layer on the bread with swiss cheese and thousand island dressing. Yummy. But obviously very easy to add meat too if you want.

Potato and Corn Soup: In a large pot melt 2 sticks of butter. Add 1 chopped white onion and saute. The lady who gave me this recipe (she made the soup and I had to have it!) adds a little olive oil to keep the butter from burning. Add 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 32 oz vegetable broth, and 2 peeled and diced baking potatoes. Bring to boil and cook until the potatoes are tender.. Add 3 cans of creamed corn, and a little cream to thicken and to taste. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with shredded cheese. It’s also good to add some parsley in when you add the corn…if you want to add it to your budget.

Sweet Sauerkraut Casserole: This calls for meat, but we won’t be adding that into it…does sound yummy with ground beef though. I guess we could make some black bean patti for it…we’ll see what Nate says. Most people have spices in their pantry, so I didn’t list them on the grocery list, but if you need them you’ll need to add a couple extra dollars to the budget. Recipe here: http://www.kayotic.nl/blog/sweet-sauerkraut-casserole

Sweet Potato Fries: Did these last week, doing them again. Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil. Peel your sweet potato and cut into strips about 1/2 wide. Place the slices in a ziploc bag. Add 1/4 cup oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Seal bag and shake. Spread the potatoes on the baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Once they’re browned transfer them to a paper towel lined plate and let them cool a little before eating. Again, this is something we plan on making twice. So we’re going to half this each time.

Grilled Cheese with Avocado: Make a grilled cheese like normal, but put avocado on it. Super delicious. You should have some extra spinach, you could make a little salad or pair it with some fruit or something.


Monkey Bread: My mom makes the best monkey bread. It’s a great breakfast. Especially on the weekends. Easy, cheap, and delicious…but not healthy: http://une-deuxsenses.blogspot.com/2009/10/monkey-bread.html

Nutella Hot Chocolate: We’ll be saving this one for fall and winter…is it almost fall and winter yet? http://www.thehungryhousewife.com/2010/12/nutella-hot-chocolate.html

I plan on just eating it. But here are some yummy things to do with the left over pineapple:

Yep, pineapple state fair style: http://sweetlifebake.com/2011/05/26/pineapple-funnels-from-matt-armendarizs-on-a-stick/

Pineapple Mango Salsa: http://penniesonaplatter.com/2010/10/20/pineapple-mango-salsa/

Blueberry, Mango, Pineapple, Spinach Smoothies: http://mamagrubbsgrub.blogspot.com/2011/06/blueberrymangopineapple-and-spinach.html

Some photos of recent meals:

I love when I can cook an entire meal in one pan. Veggie stir fry/fried rice is one of those meals. Well, two I guess, one for rice, one for everything else.

Cook the veggies first then throw the egg in at the end. Mix it all up and you’re done.

Veggie stir fry/fried rice.

Bean and veggie fajita tacos is one of those one pan meals too.

And this week we had some queso around the house. I smothered them in queso. Yum.

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