Week 18 Budget and Menu

This is the craziest spring I can remember. It is May 1 and I still have flannel sheets on the beds because the weather is so chilly. Last year, we had an early spring and most crops came in 2-3 weeks early. Not so this year! We do have plenty of salad greens, onions, asparagus and kale coming in. And the Swiss chard in my garden is STILL going gangbusters!

This week’s menu reflects our need to use up what is left in the deep freeze as well as take advantage of all the spring greatness that is out there. We have some quick meals on tap due to softball schedules and a science fair–gotta love spring! We are under budget just a bit at $97.45!

Budget [$97.45]

  • Locals Seafood (shrimp): $12.00
  • The Produce Box (organic veggies: broccoli, kale, arugula, sweet potatoes, radish; conventional asparagus): $28.75
  • Homestead Farm (eggs, chicken, chorizo): $20.00
  • Trader Joes (sliced turkey, tortillas, pineapple, organic banana, frozen fruit, yogurt, organic mushrooms, organic black beans): $36.70

Menu

  • Wednesday–Turkey, cheese and arugula pesto roll ups, fruit salad
  • Thursday–Swiss chard and kale with eggs
  • Friday–Roasted broccoli and shrimp over organic rice
  • Saturday–grilled chicken, asparagus, sautéed greens
  • Sunday–Sweet potato/black bean/chorizo quesadillas, harvest grains
  • Monday–homemade pizza, salad
  • Tuesday–pasta with homemade tomato sauce

Have  a healthy and tasty week!

Advertisements

Parisian Salad

20130427-170755.jpg

This recipe is based on a wonderful salad I had at a cafe in the Marais neighborhood in Paris. It is chock full of seasonal, local vegetables as well as tasty bits of prosciutto and a lightly fried egg. The egg and ham with the asparagus is really going to rock your taste buds! Delicious! And a complete meal. We are on day 5 of our Salad-a-Day challenge and having fun making up new salad recipes!

Parisian Salad (serves 2)

  • 1 head organic fresh lettuce (romaine, red leaf, green leaf), washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup of micro greens
  • 1 organic garden radish, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 organic carrot, washed, peeled and diced
  • 1 organic tomato, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 organic cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, washed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto
  • 2 farm eggs
  • Grated Parmesan reggiano cheese
  • Salad dressing of your choice.
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil.
  2. Trim asparagus and toss with olive oil. Spread on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Roast asparagus in oven for 15 minutes or until browned ( this will depend on how thick the stalks are).
  3. While asparagus is roasting, arrange greens on a salad plate or nice bowl. Make a well in the center and put tomatoes in the well.
  4. Arrange the remaining vegetables on the greens.
  5. Arrange two slices of prosciutto on each salad plate.
  6. When asparagus is done, remove pan from oven and add 1/2 of asparagus to each salad plate.
  7. In a saute pan, fry the 2 eggs, but leave the yolks a little soft. Add one egg to each salad plate.
  8. Serve immediately with your choice of vinaigrette dressing and a sprinkle of cheese.

Week 17 Budget and Menu

20130424-093853.jpg

Nothing like fresh, NC strawberries to bring out the food hoarder in me!

 

Spring is finally here in central North Carolina and along with it, we have the opening and rejuvenation of all our smaller, seasonal farmer’s markets! Hurray! If you have been following our blog for a while, you know that this enters dangerous territory for me. After a long winter of eating collards, kale and sweet potatoes, I want to snap up every lovely spring vegetable I see. This makes staying on a budget even more of a challenge. Who can resist beautiful strawberries or the season’s first carrots? Not me, that’s who.

So while I am trying to be good and stick to my budget, this week clearly isn’t going to cut it. We are having lots of salads this week and we are eating mostly local, which is great! Our big expense this week is a mini boneless ham from Mae Farm, which will provide us with some meals next week as well. This is by far the best ham I have ever eaten in my life. Hopefully, we will actually have leftovers 🙂

Our Produce Box delivery service is in full swing again, so we have fresh, NC vegetables and fruit delivered every Wednesday–that is saving me some running around the farmer’s markets, but I still get out there and support our farmer’s market vendors!

One big change in our dinner preparations is that Ellie and Tom are both playing spring softball. That means I need to get my act together and whip up some healthy food we can eat quickly! While I don’t usually buy pre-cooked chicken, we are using Trader Joes’ chili lime chicken strips as the basis for salad wraps tonight. Salad on the go!

Budget [$115.58]

  • The Produce Box (double strawberries, 2 kinds of lettuce, carrots, radish, white potatoes, green onions, arugula and rosemary sourdough bread): $37.01
  • Mae Farm (ham): $15.00
  • Farmer’s market vendors (eggs, asparagus): $10.00
  • Trader Joes (Ezekiel bread, pre-cooked chicken, avocados, garlic, soy milk, yogurt, frozen fruit, tortillas): $53.57

Menu

  • Wednesday–Chicken salad wraps, carrot sticks, homemade pickles
  • Thursday–Wilted romaine salad, rosemary sourdough; vegan strawberry chocolate “ice cream”
  • Friday–Parisian salad with prosciutto, roasted asparagus and sourdough toast w/melted goat cheese; vegan strawberry ice cream
  • Saturday–Sautéed Swiss chard with eggs and mushrooms, strawberry shortcake
  • Sunday–Ham, roasted asparagus, potatoes, fruit cobbler

Monday–ham and cheese omelets
Tuesday–salad with chopped ham and goat cheese

A Salad a Day

20130510-162456.jpg

We made this salad with local produce from our farmer’s market last week!

I’ve blogged before about our Saladpalooza nights, our salads in Paris, and my daughter’s desire for her school to have a salad bar in the cafeteria (still hasn’t happened). Seems we’re all about some salad. Well, I saw a tweet this morning about Whole Foods and their new challenge to get everyone to eat a salad a day (yes, this is a tad self-serving since they have a salad bar, but still a good idea).

To promote this initiative, Whole Foods will be blogging recipes for salads every day and will commit to helping schools get salad bars in their cafeterias. Now that we have loads of fresh greens and spring vegetables in our local farmer’s markets, this is a great time to start rethinking your salads! You can read more about the Whole Foods Salad-A-Day Challenge HERE.

We have salad wraps planned for tonight and a version of our Parisian salad on tap for tomorrow! Let’s go, salad!!!

Organic Spring Salad

20130510-151843.jpg

So, what really happened was…I was in a hurry…and hungry…

Although the weather here does not even approximate spring yet, I am craving spring salads. Now, I love some collards, but I am really ready for the light, raw greens of spring. I love all the wonderful ingredients put together–lettuce, crunchy cucumber, broccoli, tomatoes and whatever else happens to be fresh. Unfortunately, with our cold spring so far, that isn’t much. So I dove into the organic section of Trader Joes and Whole Foods and came up with this salad on the fly. I was in a super hurry because I had not planned out this craving very well. It was nearing dinnertime…and I was really hungry.

I found that an organic veggie tray can be your best friend. Mine had cherry tomatoes, jicama, snap peas, and carrots. I also scored a very ripe, organic avocado. Combined with some leftover raw broccoli and some pre-cooked balsamic chicken, I was in salad heaven.

What really makes salads a happy thing in my house, though, is the salad dressing. After reading the ingredients in most grocery store dressings, I decided to try making my own so I can control the ingredients and eliminate unnecessary sugars and high fructose corn syrup. Here is what I have learned about making salad dressing:

  1. It is much easier than I thought.
  2. I have most of the ingredients in my pantry already.
  3. My stick blender (immersion blender) is my greatest ally.

With a few handy ingredients and my little, easy-to-clean stick blender, we have been able to create very delicious dressings in about 5 minutes. On the topic of dressings, I have to give a shout out to another blogger who has given me a lot of inspiration to seek fresh salad ideas. A fellow blogger at Creative Noshing has been a great inspiration to me as we explore making different dressings. She has wonderful, fresh, recipes for dressings that have become our staples. Our favorites are homemade ranch dressing and a spicy Asian peanut dressing (which is also amazing on stir fry vegetables).

Visit Creative Noshing for some superb dressing recipes. Whether you like ranch, Russian dressing, poppy seed or spicy peanut, she probably has a recipe that will have your family happily eating their greens!

%d bloggers like this: