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
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Week 28 Budget and Menu

This week I am playing catch up of sorts. I haven’t been blogging as regularly because I have been canning and freezing much of our summer fruits and vegetables. I have recipes to share coming up! We’re slowly getting closer to our budget goal of $100 per week, but we are still a bit high. Due to the heavy rains and unseasonably cool temperatures this summer, many of our farmers have lost their tomato crops and watermelons aren’t doing so well either. Hopefully things are turning around, but the end result is that prices at the farmer’s markets are a bit higher than last year. That’s life, right? We still have some great summer treats in store this week–a wonderful local shrimp salad, fruit salad and grilled kabobs. I can’t wait!

Budget [$111.32]

The Produce Box (watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries, peaches, blackberries): $25.00
Locals Seafood (shrimp): $10.00
Mae Farm (bacon): $8.00
Rare Earth Farm (kabob beef): $12.00
La Farm Bakery (sourdough bread): $6.00
Various farmers market vendors (onion, okra, tomato, peppers): $12.00
Trader Joes (avocados, organic rice, organic chicken, organic sugar, frozen fruit, yogurt): $38.32

Menu

Wednesday–shrimp chili lime salad
Thursday–BLT sandwiches, roasted baby okra
Friday–tuna salad in tomato cups, fruit salad
Saturday–birthday party (out)
Sunday–grilled beef kabobs, rice, grilled peaches
Monday–pasta with ceccha sauce
Tuesday–chipotle chicken salad in avocado, fruit

Week 27 Budget and Menu

I love the July 4th holiday with all it’s patriotic red, white and blue, ice cream, fireworks and fun. It is one of my favorite holidays, which is good because I get to officiate at a July 4th celebration every year! This is great fun and always a summer highlight. But working on July 4th means that I’m not all that excited about cooking when I get home. Mostly, I need a shower and a glass of wine. So our menu this week reflects Tom’s grilling and my make-ahead cold salads. We are still a bit over budget this week, but we splurged on some grass fed, ribeye steaks for the 4th of July–I think it’s worth it!

Budget [$110.45]

  • The Produce Box (fresh garlic, sweet corn, blueberries, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, onion, Bibb lettuce): $28.50
  • Mae Farm (grass-fed steaks, eggs, ground beef): $27.00
  • Other market (peaches): $7.00
  • Trader Joes (taco shells, organic chicken thighs, yogurt, frozen fruit, almond milk, wine, cream cheese): $47.95

Menu

  • Wednesday–Tuna sandwiches
  • Thursday–Grilled steaks, potato salad, grilled eggplant, peach cobbler
  • Friday–Tuna and white bean salad
  • Saturday–Grilled chicken and peaches, farmer’s market pasta salad
  • Sunday–Pimento cheese ravioli with onion and crispy prosciutto
  • Monday–Southwestern vegetable pizza
  • Tuesday–Taco night!

Week 24 Budget and Menu

Summer, summer, summer is here! Not “officially”, I know, but in reality we are in lovely, lovely summer here in central North Carolina. The markets are bursting with goodness and we are in high blueberry season once again! What is your favorite food of summer? I think mine is ripe tomatoes, but I love it all.

This week’s menu focuses on some rather quick dinners as we are still finishing up softball season and games invariably fall around supper time. We are having some delicious fish this week and some grilled pork with our new mango cardamom jam–I can’t wait!!!

Our little garden is coming along, but we have much more success in our yard with a winter garden. I think the plants benefit from the leaves coming off the trees in our yard. Still, we plant our tomatoes and squash and cucumber and hope for the best!

Budget [$105.92]

  • The Produce Box (ALL ORGANIC: blueberries, potatoes, kale, broccoli, Napa cabbage, sugar snap peas, cauliflower): $26.50
  • Locals Seafood (mackerel fillets): $12.00
  • Mae Farm (pork chops): $15.00
  • Hillsborough Cheese Company (mozzarella): $6.00
  • Melina’s Pasta (spinach fettuccine): $6.00
  • Wild Onion Farm (organic cucumber, organic yellow squash): $4.00
  • Old Milbourne Farm (fennel): $2.00
  • Homestead Harvest Farm (eggs): $5.00
  • Trader Joes (frozen fruit, yogurt, soy milk, olives, salt): $29.42

Menu

  • Wednesday–Game Night! Overnight blueberry oatmeal (really)
  • Thursday–Chicken & veggie stir fry w/ spicy peanut sauce, rice
  • Friday–Napa salad with vegetables and leftover peanut sauce
  • Saturday–Fish with tomatoes and fennel, roasted new potatoes
  • Sunday–Grilled pork chops w/mango cardamom jam, zucchini
  • Monday–Game Night! Bagel pizzas with homemade roasted tomato sauce and Hillsborough Cheese Co. Mozzarella
  • Tuesday–Spinach fettuccine with cauliflower cream sauce, mushrooms and leftover pork chops

Have a wonderful week, get out to your local farmer’s markets and cook some wonderful, healthy foods!

Week 21 Budget and Menu

We are gearing up for another exciting, busy week. Softball season is keeping us hopping and we are enjoying every second of it! Our menu this week reflects not only our need for quick dinners, but also our celebration of Memorial Day! We haven’t had beef on our menu in a long time and we are going to enjoy every bite of these grilled hamburgers!

Our budget is under budget, even with wine from Trader Joes 🙂 Happy Memorial Day, everyone! Let summer begin!

Budget [$88.58]

  • The Produce Box (asparagus, romaine lettuce, garden peas, cilantro, strawberries, spring onions, kale): $27.50
  • Locals Seafood (crab cakes): $10.20
  • Mae Farm (smoked pork): $6.00
  • Melina’s Pasta (spinach fettucine): $6.00
  • Black Hoof Run Farm (heritage, grass-fed ground beef):$6.32
  • Trader Joes (burger buns, organic onions, organic chicken, frozen fruit, wine): $27.56
  • Mitchell Family Pantry (roasted pepper ketchup, jam): $5.00

Menu

  • Wednesday–Scrambled egg tortillas
  • Thursday–Pasta with smoked pork and garden peas
  • Friday–Salad with strawberries, pecans and goat cheese
  • Saturday–NC crab cakes, creamy grits and asparagus
  • Sunday–Grilled beef burgers with bacon-onion marmelade, green salad, fruit parfaits
  • Monday–Barbecued chicken, deviled eggs, broccoli salad
  • Tuesday–Leftover buffet

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

Week 5 Budget and Menu

English: Cucurbita pepo (butternut squash). Lo...

January is going out like a whirlwind here in central North Carolina. This week we are expecting days with freezing temperatures and days in the upper 60s. Hard to know how to dress, hard to know what to cook! My weekly trip to the farmer’s market was hampered by icy weather. I made it to the market, but none of the vendors were there! So, I shopped more at Trader Joes than usual. We’re using a lot of our frozen and canned food this week, which should be great! Can’t believe it’s almost time to make room for spring veggies. Our budget this week was $83.19–not too bad!

Budget

  • Locals Seafood (shrimp, fish): $18.00
  • Mae Farm (andouille sausage, ham steak): $18.00
  • Trader Joes (butternut squash, cheese, frozen fruit, soy milk, penne pasta, organic split peas, wine, green peppers): $47.19

Menu

  • Sunday–shrimp, fish and andouille jambalaya with organic basmati rice
  • Monday–grilled cheese and soup
  • Tuesday–split pea soup with ham
  • Wednesday–leftover jambalaya
  • Thursday–butternut squash macaroni and cheese (from THIS recipe)
  • Friday–leftover buffet
  • Saturday–late cookie booth; eating out
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