This post is long time coming. I think you (fellow bloggers) know what I mean. Everything you do or take pictures of becomes a new post in your head (it’s All Good Stuff!) but you never sit down to write about it. Well, I finally decided to kick procrastination in the butt. Here we go.
First off, my week was fabulous. I hope yours was too, but if it wasn’t, here are some lovely food pictures for you.
All that you see happens to be made from organic meat, produce or bulk. I went to Whole Foods last week and had complete sticker shock up in there. I completely resign my comment several weeks ago when I said that my challenge was to eat on a budget at Whole Foods; I had no idea. Now my challenge is to slowly work up to eating all organic anywhere I can find it. Farmer’s Markets, Kroger, etc.
So far, that adds up to eating a lot of bulk foods, including muesli, orzo (YUM), and couscous. In fact, that picture with the kidney beans, kale and pork sausage has couscous in it. That meal was fantastic! I am going to replicate it in a couple of weeks with more flavor.
So, if you are looking to go organic (slowly) in a normal neighborhood grocery store, look for products that either have the label USDA on it, or if you can’t find that, go for locally grown produce. As long as it fits your budget. As I am learning more and more about how much food I eat (and inadvertently waste), I have developed a grocery list to fit my style:
T-bec’s grocery list:—-That’s Trebecca, shortened. You didn’t know that was my name? Well, now you do
Planned big meal/little meals: I’m learning how to cook, so I usually make a one-pot meal and a meat with sides meal. I only ‘cook’ lunch and dinner meals (these become snacks too, when I make enough). My sources for yummy food include steamykitchen.com and thekitchn.com. And also Mark Bittman, what can I say?
Veggies: literally anything and everything that’s on sale. I try for 3-5 in medium-sized quantities; I had a near-veggie crisis on Wednesday until I found some asparagus in my crisper drawer. I try to follow ingredients needed for my planned meals, and broccoli (if the recipe doesn’t call for it) if everything goes wrong. I’m sure you’ve been there.
Fruits: only two; I get blueberries ONLY if they are on sale for 2 for $5 (they are conveniently a fruit snack and a midnight dessert in a glass with graham cracker crumbs–the ones you use for cheesecake— at the bottom and CoolWip on top). I also try to get a stone fruit for breakfast, or something in the orange family. Tangerines and nectarines are perfect for eating at the bus stop.
Meat/Protein: I’m always hungry, and I have recently learned it’s due to my rather severe lack of protein in my diet. I would recommend a trip to your local Whole Foods Market to pick up the leaflet ‘Bulk Basics’ if you have time, or browse here for article on the subject from the Whole Foods blog. I’ve been buying black-eyed peas and pinto beans, but a general rule is “the sweeter the bean, the easier to digest”. Just in case though, I throw a bay leaf in there to reduce gas. In the meat department, my general rule has become only buying meat every two weeks. Buy enough and freeze it, and kick that $6-$8/week factor out the window.
Milk/dairy: this is always my 0% -2% lactose-free milk; I’ve found that the store brand add locust bean gum and guar gum, which helps thicken it, and some chemical to preserve it. Even when $4 a half-gallon packs a punch on my grocery list, I still choose my organic lactose-free milk over the store-bought brand. The only ingredients in the organic version is 0%-2% organic milk, and lactate enzyme.
Sweet: only one. I have to do this, otherwise I leave with white grape juice, that 3 for $5 pop-tart sale, and a 12-pk of oatmeal pies. And also pie mix. I know.
And I try, and have been rather consistent, at keeping this at less that $40 a week.
In parting, here’s what I was making while writing this post:
Get the recipe here: http://steamykitchen.com/12755-black-eyed-peas-with-ham-recipe.html
I’ve got enough for about a week and a half. All right peoples! Stop staring! Go get you something to eat!
Have a wonderful one,