Week of 09.05.11

This week we’ve got some items left over from previous weeks that we need to use before they go bad. I don’t like to waste food, but I also don’t eat things that have expired…so there are some repeats. It’s going to be a rainy week around here (yay for rain!) so I’ve got a copule of soups on the menu this week. Nate’s really craving the potato corn soup again, and I’m excited to try the carrot soup. You may have some cabbage left over that you can steam or cream and have for a side, and if you haven’t tried making “chicken” salad with chickpeas yet you really should. I promise it’s good.

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

This week for breakfast you’ll have eggs, fruit, and if you’re like us you still have some oats left. We’re also using some left over bananas from last week’s fruit and making banana bread.

Day 1
Lunch: Roasted Carrot Soup
Dinner: Spinach and Ricotta-Stuffed Shells

Day 2
Lunch: Roasted Carrot Soup
Dinner: Spinach and Ricotta-Stuffed Shells

Day 3
Lunch: Vegetarian Ruebens
Dinner: Mock Chicken Salad

Day 4
Lunch: Vegetarian Ruebens
Dinner: Bean and Veggie Burritos

Day 5
Lunch: Mock Chicken Salad
Dinner: Potato and Corn Soup

Day 6

Lunch: Bean and Veggie Burritos
Dinner: Potato and Corn Soup

Day 7
Lunch: Potato and Corn Soup
Dinner: French Toast with Eggs and Fruit

And here is the grocery list with approx. pricing: We actually have several of these things left over from last/previous weeks (I’ll mark them with an *), so maybe you do too. I know it’s going to save us quite a bit this week. And I really don’t like wasting food, so we need to use it up!

* Carrots: $1 (Our 1lb page of organics is a dollar. I have a bunch left from last week.)
* Onions: $2
* Garlic: $.50
* Cream: $1.50
* Jumbo pasta shells: $2
Marinara sauce: $2
Tomato: $1 (a couple romas for tacos)
* Ricotta: $2
Spinach: $2
* Shredded mozzarella: $2
2 Cans chickpeas: $2
2 Green bell pepper: $2
Mayo: $3
Bread: $2
Tortilla: $1
Cheese: $2
Sour cream: $1
Black beans: $1
Cabbage: $3
*Rice: $1
Fruit: $4
OJ: $3
Apple: $1
1000 island: $1.50
Deli swiss cheese: $2.50 (we get about 1/4-1/3lb thinly sliced)
Half dozen eggs: $1
Cream corn: $3 – 3 cans
3lbs potatoes: $3

If you need to buy broth or any spices add a couple of dollars. Reminder: I don’t include broth in my grocery lists anymore because I always make it. : )

And the recipes:

Roasted Carrot Soup: Preheat the oven to 350. Peel and quarter 7-10 carrots and an onion. Place the carrots, onion, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp butter, and 1 tsp ground cumin in the middle of a sheet of foil. Wrap up and roast until the carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. In a large saucepan combine 5 cups of veggie broth and the roasted veggies. Using a hand held blender blend until smooth. Add 2 tbsp cream and season to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes until the soup thickens a little.

Spinach and Ricotta-Stuffed Shells: These are SO good. Use as much spinach as you want though. We like a lot. And I’m not sure you need 30oz of ricotta really. We used a 15oz and it easily made 20. Heat oven to 400 degree. Cook your pasta shells. Drain and rinse in cold water. Spread marinara sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. In a bowl combine 30 oz ricotta, 2 cups chopped spinach, 1/2 cup grated mozzarella, and 1/4 tsp pepper (I’ll probably use more pepper though). I also garlic my spinach. Yum. Spoon mixture into shells and place them in the pan on top of the sauce. Bake until shells start to get as dry as you want them. I don’t like mine noodles to be too dry/hard. I think we cooked ours for 10-15 min.

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. We made this a month or so ago and it was awesome. It made a TON of soup though. We had some help eating it all. : )

Mock Chicken Salad: Love this stuff. And it’s such a quick easy lunch. Drain and rinse a can of garbanzo beans. Mash them in a bowl and mix in some chopped bell pepper (we like yellow), onion (I leave it out and Nate adds it in to what he’s eating since I don’t like raw onions),  mayo to taste, and salt and pepper. We top it with relish and spices, but really whatever you make your regular tuna or chicken salad with would work. Serve on toast or as a sandwich. This takes less than 5 minutes to make and is awesome. And trust me, non-vegetarians will love it too.

Veggie Burritos: Chop or slice all of the veggies you’d like to put in the burritos. Saute them with garlic, pepper, whatever spices you want! Heat up black beans and build some burritos! If you want to put rice in them go for it. Rice is always good in burritos. We’re using cabbage, onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomato, cheese, and sour cream

Vegetarian Ruebens: Make them like a regular ruben but without the meat. Instead we’ll be filling ours with sauteed cabbage, onion, apple, salt, pepper, and garlic that we saute 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.

Some photos of recent meals:

Muffin tin calzones. These were really good. A little tricky to get to stay closed. You have to really keep the liquid from the veggies and cheese from getting on the part of the dough you want to seal closed. They also took more dough than I anticipated. So we only got 5, not 8. I updated the list above to include two packs of dough. We will definitely be making these again though. They were great.

They were yummy even if they weren’t totally pretty. Definitely need extra sauce with them though.

Baked tortellini. Our red peppers were the same price as green, so we used all red. Could use some spinach next time to make eating so much cheese not feel so wrong. : )

Soooo good. I could eat tortellini every week. But it’s rich, so I shouldn’t.

Sweet potato chili. Nate really liked this. I think he had three bowls one night.

Served over rice


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