Okay, here we go. New year, new shot at staying up to date with the blog! It’s been forever since I have been consistent about talking about groceries, and how I strategize with my weekly shopping time to stick to my $6-a-day budget, so let’s start there.
3 grocery trips so far this month:
1-pound loaf of Tilamook cheddar: $6.99
1 box rigatoni pasta: $1.25 — I made a super awesome mac’n’cheese on a cold, rainy night, making use of some leftover heavy cream I had in the fridge
bell pepper: $2.00
mixed greens: $3.09
brick cream cheese $1.34
big box of basil $4.99
1 head green cabbage $1.76 — This turned into a refreshing mayo-free cole slaw to accompany the mac’n’cheese
1 jalapeno pepper: $0.48 — I’ve gotten into the strange habit of roasting these in the oven and eating them while my dinner cooks…?
Remaining for the month: $128.10
can diced tomatoes: $2.50 — I’ve been into making gargantuan pots of vegetable-lentil soup at the beginning of the week and bringing it to work for lunches. That’s where these tomatoes, and most of the veggies on this list, went this week.
bulk chickpeas: $2.89 — also stocking up on a lot of my bulk legumes apparently!
nutritional yeast: $2.52 — a necessary staple for me; I put it on EVERYTHING
dried tortellini: $2.64 — I made the mistake of shopping hungry, and made a quick lunch of this + Classico pesto + a chopped up chicken sausage before even unpacking anything else when I got home
bulk corona beans: $5.29
wild rice: $9.49 — wild rice is so damn expensive!!
bulk flageolet beans: $2.25
bulk green lentils: $1.97
dozen eggs: $3.19
half & half $2.59
cottage cheese: $3.69
collard greens: $2.49 — I’ve been craving this recently; wrapping up anything I can find in flash-boiled collard leaves and eating it like a burrito
fresh spinach: $2.52
yellow onions: $2.26
sunburst squash: $1.47
red onion: $1.13
ginger root: $0.21
1 Haas avocado: $0.79
caracara oranges: $1.87
ground turkey: $3.21 — sauteed up with some curry-spiced rice and stuffed into the aforementioned collard leaves
1 spinach-feta chicken sausage: $1.92
Remaining for the month: $69.94
Freschetta frozen pizza: $4.99 — on Sunday night I hosted our rotating Ladies’ Wine Night at my house, and for some snacks I made smoked salmon toastettes, a flatbread pizza, and put out some pretzels. Already had some wine on hand from a party a few months ago. Score!
cream cheese: $2.99
fresh lox: $4.00
fresh dill: $1.99
1 lb. bag of pretzels: $2.99
bell peppers: $1.50 — can’t seem to get enough of these lately
orange juice: $3.00
poblano pepper: $0.39
imitation crab meat: $2.99 — I’m a little embarrassed about this. Again, shopping hungry, I got a weird craving for a fake crab louie salad with sprouts, sunflower seeds, and homemade buttermilk dressing
bartlett pear: $0.65
salmon burgers: $3.00 — Threw one of these on the George Foreman while I was getting ready for work in the morning and brought it for lunch to accompany the bean salad you’re about to read about
vanilla yogurt: $2.79 — for emergency breakfasts at work when oatmeal just won’t cut it
Remaining for the month: $31.39
Okay, let’s talk about beans. Even though I’m a totally avid meat eater these days, I’ve been an off-and-on vegetarian for about 15 years, so am totally comfortable using beans as a primary source of protein. I love them in everything — soups, salads, boiled down with yummy spices…I could even do away with tofu and all the soy substitutes and still be a happy veg.
But the other day, roaming the bulk aisles at New Seasons, I realized I’m totally selling myself short. There is so much more to explore. I bought a small baggie of a few new-to-me beans and decided to do some experimenting. So on Monday, I threw the huge handful of flageolet beans (a.k.a. the most huge-ass beans you’ve ever seen) into a pot to soak — I had no idea for how long, but given their size, I banked on them taking at least overnight.
These beans are so gigantic, I figured there’s no option but to make them the main character in this salad. And they’re so creamy white, they needed some color accompaniment.
For this super-simple salad, I chopped up some red and yellow bell pepper (1 each), and about half a cucumber. Once the beans had soaked for about a day, I boiled them for a good 45 minutes, until they tasted good biting into them on their own.
I drained the water, and tossed them in a bowl with the fresh veggies, a small bit of leftover crumbled feta that I had in the fridge, and a dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast. Like I said, super simple.
Oh, and I couldn’t resist a cute little can of these to toss in. Already sliced and the perfect serving size for a multi-day salad, they’re worth the $0.79.
So far, this salad — paired with some open-faced tuna or egg sandwiches on my homemade bread — has lasted me over three lunches!