Week 49 Budget and Menu

How are we at week 49 of 52 already? I feel like the spoiled child who doesn’t want to go to bed yet. The year can’t be over–I’m still awake and having fun!

This week’s menu takes advantage of our seasonal vegetables and some last Thanksgiving leftovers. We are also trying some new gluten free pizza crusts delivered by our local Produce Box. We usually make our own, but this seemed like a fun way to support another local business!

Budget [$109.71]

  • The Produce Box (organic salad mix, pesticide free baby sweet potatoes, organic rutabegas, organic acorn squash, organic green kale, organic radish, organic broccoli, organic spinach, gluten free pizza crusts): $40.50
  • Trader Joes (frozen fruit, chia seeds, almond milk, yogurt, onions, Ezekiel bread, steel cut oats, goat cheese): $39.21
  • Mae Farm (pork roast): $16.00
  • Locals Seafood (shrimp): $14.00

Menu

  • Wednesday–Chicken, cranberry, goat cheese salad w/sweet potato biscuits
  • Thursday–Soup and grilled cheese (Band concert night!)
  • Friday–Roasted broccoli with shrimp over rice
  • Saturday–Sweet potato pasta with bacon and kale
  • Sunday–Roasted pork loin with cranberry apple chutney, maple squash, rutabegas
  • Monday–Pizza Palooza! Make your own pizza night
  • Tuesday–Leftover buffet
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Thanksgiving Menu 2013

Cranberry Sauce 003

We’ll have organic cranberries two way–in salad and in sauce!

Do you obsess about Thanksgiving dinner? It’s hard not to once Halloween is over. Every food blogger and Pinterest pinner is sharing lovely, tantalizing dishes for the food glutton holiday season. It’s easy to get carried away with planning a meal that is both too expensive and too much food.

This is our second year of producing a locavore Thanksgiving dinner. We’re adding a couple of new dishes, but mostly we are sticking to what works and makes people happy. In addition to our heritage breed, free range turkey, we’re picking up a mini boneless ham from Mae Farm. These are absolutely amazing! The kale and carrots in our salad will be local and the rest will be organic. This salad is new–I’ve seen it floating around Pinterest and can’t wait to try it! I love having a fresh salad to balance all the rich, roasted foods we’ll be having.

So here is our draft menu. We may tweak it slightly depending on what is actually available at the farmer’s markets that week, but the basics should stay the same. What is on your menu for Thanksgiving???

  • Herbed Roasted Heritage Turkey (Homestead Harvest Farm)
  • Honey Mustard Glazed Mini Ham (Mae Farm)
  • Kale, Cranberry and Edamame Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
  • Deviled Farm Eggs with NC Shrimp (Mae Farm and Locals Seafood)
  • Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Mae Farm and CSA)
  • Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes (CSA)
  • Thomas Jefferson’s Sweet Potato Biscuits (CSA)
  • Giblet Gravy
  • Cinnamon Cranberry Apple Sauce (CSA)
  • Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie (Trader Joes Pumpkin Ice Cream)
  • Pecan Pie (homemade)

Week 48 Budget and Menu

It seems like January was just a few weeks ago–not sure how this year flew by me! Here we are at the entrance to the biggest food holidays in the U.S.–Thanksgiving, Hannukah and Christmas. What are your plans? Are you going traditional or shaking things up a bit? Are you planning a Thanksgivukah meal this year? Share!

Week 48 of this year features some great local produce and seafood. We will also celebrate Tom’s birthday with his requested collard quiche and sweet potato pound cake, which fits into our seasonal rotation of food! Our budget is helped by some carryover in our freezer. We have some swordfish that was parked in the freezer due to a previously crazy week and we are using some of the last of our canned tomato soup from last summer.

Budget [$93.27]
The Produce Box (chemical free lettuce, organic sweet potatoes, organic kale, organic beets, organic persimmons, organic arugula, apples and pears): $39.75
Farmers Market (spinach, collards, eggs): $9.00
Trader Joes (lemon, pie crust, frozen fruit, yogurt, almond milk, chia seeds, cucumber): $27.52
Whole Foods (raw cacao powder): $17.00

Menu
Wednesday–Apple, Pear and Goat Cheese Salad
Thursday–Out attending a fundraiser
Friday–Sweet Potato Kale Pasta
Saturday–Swordfish with Arugula Pesto, Braised Kale and Beet Greens
Sunday–Collard Quiche, Roasted Beets, Sweet Potato Pound Cake
Monday–Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Tuesday–Pasta with Roasted Tomato Sauce

Week 47 Budget and Menu

A packet of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Our weekly menu will no doubt include some of this. Not vegan, organic or local. But still…

 

Happy Halloween! This week, we are back to spring-like temperatures. It’s crazy, this weather, but great for trick or treating, running and yard work! Our shopping this week reflects a super busy mom–not only are we hosting a group of teenagers for Halloween, but Tom and I are running in a Day of the Dead race and I’m working late a couple of nights. So, we have more grocery store items this week, but we’re still focusing on the organic and making healthy choices.

Hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween! Here is what is on our menu when we are not sneaking Reeces Peanut Butter Cups.

Budget [$103.42]

  • The Produce Box (pears, organic kale, organic bibb lettuce, organic radishes, organic beets, pesticide free persimmons, pasture-raised ground beef): $40.00
  • Trader Joes (mushrooms, steel cut oatmeal, chicken sausage, organic pumpkin, organic beans, goat cheese, frozen pizza, candied pecans, organic yogurt, frozen fruit): $63.42

Menu

  • Wednesday–Pear and Goat Cheese Salad
  • Thursday–Pizza (and, probably, candy)
  • Friday–Swiss Chard , Beet Greens and Mushrooms with Egg
  • Saturday–Chili with Buttermilk Cornbread
  • Sunday–Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale
  • Monday–Leftover chili
  • Tuesday–Pumpkin Coconut Ginger Soup

Week 46 Budget and Menu

English: Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris) with vari...

Well, we’ve been out of commission for over a week due to events that absorbed all my extra time, but now we are back with another week of healthy, locavore goodness! The weather is turning cooler after some unseasonably warm temperatures, so our menu is gearing up for fall again! I made some delicious chicken noodle and vegetable soup this week using homemade stock from our freezer and leftover chicken and vegetables. And, we are getting some wonderful, fresh fall greens this week along with locally produced bratwurst– yum!

Enjoy your fall cooking! Hope you are finding wonderful vegetables and fruits at your markets right now!

Budget [$94.89]

  • The Produce Box (organic yellow squash, bokchoi, tatsoi, Swiss chard, turnips, kohrabi, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, apples, cabbage, and bratwurst): $50.25
  • Farmhand Foods (small flank steak): $6.00
  • Homestead Harvest Farm (eggs): $5.00
  • Trader Joes (mushrooms, frozen fruit, yogurt, steel cut oats, almond milk): $33.64

This Week’s Menu

  • Wednesday–Egg salad sandwiches, apple slices
  • Thursday–Homemade chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese
  • Friday–Stir fried greens w/beef and spicy peanut sauce
  • Saturday–Swiss chard w/mushrooms and eggs
  • Sunday–Roasted whole bluefish, roasted broccoli, sauteed yellow squash
  • Monday–Braised cabbage, turnip and apples with bratwurst
  • Tuesday–Leftover buffet

Week 44 Budget and Menu

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This week is full of fall goodness–pumpkin, acorn squash, chowder, kale–yum! Our weather finally feels like fall, and while I’m sad to see our summer weather go, I’m glad to get my cute boots and sweaters out of storage!

Our markets are full of peppers, squash, pumpkins, lettuce, kale, green beans and hopefully we will have broccoli soon! I am missing our summer berries–that season always seems too short–but we are enjoying apples. Last season, North Carolina had an apple shortage due to a late spring freeze in the mountains, but this year is a completely different story! So glad to see lots and lots of apples out there!

Breakfasts this week include homemade muffins, bagels, and steel-cut oatmeal. Our lunches are typically leftovers and fruit or oatmeal.

The budget this week is good! We are helped as always by Tom supplying us with the fish he catches (one of the benefits of living close to the ocean!).

Budget [$87.51]

  • The Produce Box (apples, green beans, acorn squash, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, peppers, kale): $47.25
  • Trader Joes (Romano cheese, pasta, ground organic turkey, taco shells, avocado, frozen fruit, yogurt, almond milk, whole wheat flour): $34.26
  • Panera (bagels) $6.00

Weekly Menu

  • Wednesday–Green salad with hard boiled eggs
  • Thursday–Leftover pasta with red pepper sauce
  • Friday–Chicken and kale stuffed acorn squash, quinoa
  • Saturday–Baked fish, green beans, salad
  • Sunday–Corn and crab chowder, salad
  • Monday–Pumpkin kale pasta
  • Tuesday–Turkey tacos, spicy rice

Week 43 Budget and Menu

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Our weather has been perfect for mushrooms! The markets are full of fresh Shitake mushrooms this week!

October! October is here!!! It’s still in 80’s here in North Carolina, so we’re not exactly feelin’ the fall weather, but all the same, we know fall is approaching. Leaves are starting to turn, the often oppressive humidity is gone and mosquitoes are fewer in number. Every region has their own seasonal benchmarks. You may have fall hayrides, we have a decline in blood-sucking mosquitoes.

I’d love to have nothing but chili, stew and baked pasta this week, but it’s too warm for such cozy fare. Instead, we are focusing on lighter foods that still feature our seasonal fruits and vegetables. I am especially excited that I found fresh, organic Shitake mushrooms at our downtown farmer’s market! Apparently, our fall weather has been perfect for them!

I also had great success with making my own refried beans this week! It was very easy, and I used some heirloom beans leftover from making chili, so it was a good use of extra food. I made the refried beans  on the bland side so I can add whatever spices I want later. We’re using them on bean tostatas later this week along with some leftover tortillas and cheese. We also have extra corn and leftover crab meat (now frozen) from a few weeks ago and that will make a lovely corn and crab chowder. Don’t you love it when leftover foods come together in something that approximates a meal?

Our budget this week is definitely helped by Tom’s fishing success and a weekly coupon from Locals Seafood. Every little bit helps, especially when the cost of food keeps rising.

Breakfasts this week include Ezekiel bread, muffins, and probably some whole wheat buttermilk pancakes. We are using our homemade jam, which is wonderful and we will get another jar of local honey in this week’s Produce Box!

I hope you are taking advantage of some wonderful fall produce in your area (or spring if you are in the southern hemisphere!). Have a happy and healthy week!

Budget [$109.51]

  • The Produce Box (acorn squash, honey, sweet onions, lettuce, apples, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash, green beans, mixed sweet peppers): $48.00
  • Locals Seafood (shrimp): $10.00
  • Hilltop Farm Organics (Shitake mushrooms): $4.30
  • Mitchell Family Pantry (jam): $3.00
  • Hillsborough Cheese Company (goat cheese): $6.00
  • Trader Joes (pasta, organic rice, organic chicken, frozen fruit, almond milk, almonds): $38.21

Menu for Week 42

  • Wednesday–Roasted red pepper, mushroom and shrimp pasta, salad
  • Thursday–Leftovers (we have some left from last week!)
  • Friday–Game night–Refried bean, mushroom and cheese tostatas
  • Saturday–Corn and crab chowder
  • Sunday–Roast chicken, acorn squash with honey and sage, green beans
  • Monday–Game night–Chicken and vegetable quesadillas
  • Tuesday–Roasted whole fish, squash and zucchini saute

Week 42 Budget and Menu

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I know I resisted fall for as long as possible, but I am finally embracing it (which is good since I can’t do anything about it anyway!). We are all about warm, cozy, plant-based suppers this week, and I’m looking forward to trying out some new ideas, like acorn squash soup with heirloom beans, which is an invention born of necessity (I rehydrated too many beans for another recipe!), and pizza with pumpkin, sausage, fried sage and gruyere cheese, which has been on my mind a lot lately. Do you ever dream about recipes?

Our budget this week is helped by Tom’s big score! After a day of fishing, we have some lovely bluefish and mackerel that we will be enjoying over the next couple of months. We have a busy week ahead, but it should be fun as well! Have a happy and healthy week!

Budget [$111.63]

  • The Produce Box (lettuce, yellow squash, tatsoi, string beans, eggplant, bell peppers, potatoes, heirloom tomatoes): $41.00
  • Hillsborough Cheese Company (mozzarella): $6.00
  • Locals Seafood (NC shrimp): $12.00
  • Coon Rock Farm (Italian sausage): $10.00
  • Trader Joes (organic rice, curry simmer sauce, pepperoni, sage, shredded gruyere cheese, frozen fruit, yogurt, Ezekiel bread): $42.63

Menu

  • Wednesday (scout night)–Green salad with hard boiled egg
  • Thursday–Girls night out
  • Friday (softball night)–Acorn squash soup with heirloom beans, cornbread
  • Saturday–Shrimp and vegetable stir fry with organic rice
  • Sunday–Curried eggplant, green beans and potato over organic rice
  • Monday–Make your own pizza night
  • Tuesday–NC bluefish, sauteed squash, green beans

Week 41 Budget and Menu

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This week’s Produce Box brings us delicious summer and fall goodies–the best of all worlds! We ordered heavy on the vegetables this week, but some of the items like acorn squash and spaghetti squash will be carryovers into next week and others like corn are in such huge quantities that we will eat some and freeze some for later. The items that are killing our budget aren’t the farmer’s market items, but the grocery store items! Have you noticed how prices have really increased?

I’m excited about some new recipes this week, including a corn and crab chowder with our fresh corn and fresh crabmeat and a hearty chicken and mushroom dish from blogger The Midnight Baker. Since our weather is changing from summer to fall, I’m switching breakfast up to include more steel cut oats and less Ezekiel bread. That should help our budget some as well!

What are you making this week?

Budget [$121.31]

The Produce Box (organic string beans, sweet corn, apples, organic lettuce, organic spaghetti squash, yellow squash, organic cherry tomatoes, acorn squash, watermelon): $51.00
Homestead Harvest Farm (eggs): $5.00
Mae Farm (smoked sausage): $6.00
Locals Seafood (NC crab): $11.00
Trader Joes (organic chicken, mushrooms, half and half, asiago cheese, wine, milk, steel cut oats, prosciutto, frozen fruit, yogurt): $48.31

Menu

Wednesday–Dinner with friends
Thursday–Game night! Tossed salad with eggs and prosciutto
Friday–Pasta alla ligure (pasta with pesto, green beans and potato)
Saturday–Local smoked sausage with cabbage, onions and apple, yellow squash muffins
Sunday–Asiago chicken with mushrooms, green beans, yellow squash
Monday–Corn and crab chowder with crispy prosciutto, salad, yellow squash muffins
Tuesday–Leftover buffet

Have a healthy and delicious week!

Week 40 Budget and Menu

Fall is on the horizon here and no matter how much kicking and whining I do about not having enough peaches or tomatoes, my time is still running out. Our farmer’s markets in central North Carolina are shifting to fall crops and some of our vendors who specialize in summer season crops have bowed out until next year. Kinda sad, but like all casual friendships, we will look forward to seeing them soon and hearing all about the new spring crops.

While I will certainly miss all my summer favorites, I am looking forward to running without 90 degrees and 110% humidity. Tom and I begin our half-marathon training in earnest this month, so our dishes will be focused on giving us the nutrients and power to add on miles to our runs.

This week’s menu is helped out by two bloggers, Amy at What Jew Wanna Eat and Jovina at Jovina Cooks Italian. Glad to have some inspiration! Both have wonderful blogs, so check them out!

Budget [$123.50]

The Produce Box (peaches, apples, sprite melon, squash/zucchini, bell peppers, cucumber, local butter!, organic cornmeal, lettuce, organic cherry tomatoes, organic okra): $51.00
Locals Seafood (flounder): $14.00
La Farm Bakery (bread): $4.50 Various farm vendors (onions, kale): $3.00 Trader Joes (yogurt, beans, organic canned pumpkin, frozen fruit): $28.00 The Cultured Cow (cheddar, gouda): $14.00
Mitchell Family Pantry (tomato soup, jam, frozen corn): $9.00

Menu

Wednesday–Egg salad sandwiches, fruit salad
Thursday–Cornmeal dusted flounder, okra “fries”, squash
Friday–Pasta con sarde, green salad
SaturdayCheesy Pumpkin Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, green salad
Sunday–Pumpkin chili with zucchini cornbread
Monday–Grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup
Tuesday–Leftover chili and cornbread

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