Can I tell you how much I love the Portland Fruit Company? Sooooo much. It has become a permanent part of my Tuesday afternoons, swinging by after whatever other errands or appointments I’ve lined up on my “day off.” It’s not even that it’s got sucha gigantic selection, or that all the produce is super organic (but I think it’s mostly all local?), but they have just the right amount of everything, enough new stuff each week to give me a suggestive nod at a new dish, and are crazy, crazy cheap. Like I walk away with a bag full of fruits and veggies that would cost me probably $28 at New Seasons, for only $16.93. And there’s always something yummy near the register like fresh peaches or plums that I can grab one or two of, for the bike ride home, for like $0.38.
This week, I was wooed by the mushrooms. I usually go for crimini, because they’re the cheapest, but this time I was like, you know, it’s the beginning of the month, I have a little wiggle room now that Jesse’s grocery budget is combined with mine, and seriously, the oysters are not that expensive.
So that’s how this meal started. Wednesday night, I had the house to myself while Jesse went out on a bike ride with his friend. It was also a chicken-roasting night, prepping some meat and stock to have on hand for the rest of the night, so I decided to whip up some stuffing for roasted peppers while that sat in the oven.
First: a few stalks of celery, some jalapeno, and half a yellow onion.
Then, I added in the cubed yam, and let that sautee and soften up, adding a bit of chicken stock when the pan got too dry, and added about half a pound of chopped oyster and shitake mushrooms.
Meanwhile, I had started 1 cup of red rice cooking, with just a bit of salt and nothing else. Red rice takes a little longer than white rice — but not quite as long as brown rice — to cook, so it was done right as this skillet was done cooking.
In it goes…
And finally, some shredded cheddar cheese to get it all sticking together. And tasting delicious. I bought an amazing cheese grater from Ikea that lets you grate the cheese directly into a seal-able Tupperware, so I’ve started doing this to a 1-lb brick of Tillamook every few weeks and just keeping it in our cheese drawer. This is genius. Way to go, Ikea.
I had bought two beautiful orange bell peppers, just for this occasion.
These got stuffed, and placed directly into the roasting pan with my chicken for its last 20 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees.
Oh, and of course, there are TONS of leftovers of the stuffing, so I’ve been eating that for lunches this week with a few slices of the chicken breast and red cabbage slaw. Also, I just have to say, I still have not gotten over the novelty of having a kitchen sink. Guys, it is SO MUCH EASIER to clean up while you cook and always have an uncluttered, everything-in-its-place kitchen with sparkling countertops when you can do dishes as you go and wipe everything down with a sponge!! Seriously, I hope this never gets old.
This Week’s (and last week’s) Groceries
Grocery Outlet 9/22
- Spring mix: $4.99
- Coffee beans: $6.49
- Granola: $0.99
- Cucumber: $0.79
- Cherry tomatoes: $0.99
REMAINING FOR THE MONTH: $0.37 — Yesssss!
Portland Fruit Company 10/2
- Shitake mushrooms: $3.01
- Cucumbers: $0.80
- Kale: $1.29
- Carrots: $1.11
- Sweet onion: $0.61
- Red onion: $0.47
- Ginger: $0.28
- Sweet potatoes: $0.68
- Cantaloupe: $1.95
- Celery: $0.99
- Asian pear: $0.72
- Bartlett pear: $0.23
- Roma tomatoes: $0.83
- Random produce (not specified on receipt): $3.96
REMAINING FOR THE MONTH: $283.07
New Seasons 10/2
- Sea salt: $2.34
- Himalayan salt: $2.99
- Dozen eggs: $2.99
- Dave’s Killer Seed Bread: $4.99 — I think this is the first time I’ve bought a loaf of bread in 5 years! I’ve been off the breadbaking wagon lately, but do crave some dank toast in the morning sometimes with a fried egg or some cottage cheese and roma tomatoes. This loaf stays in the freezer for those occasions.
- Cottage cheese: $4.49
- Milk: $3.39
- Whole roasting chicken: $10.71
- Olives: $3.80
REMAINING FOR THE MONTH: $247.79 — So far this seems like $300 a month for the two of us will be a piece of cake. Granted, Jesse hasn’t been around as much for dinners this week and definitely doesn’t make all his breakfasts and lunches like I do, so we’ll see if his contributing an equal share is really realistic for the time being…