The Perfect Snack

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I had a plan this week to tell you about my very first foray into the world of crockpot-tery, because this week Jesse borrowed me (OMG did I just write that?  That is some serious Midwest rubbing off on my subconscious…) his to experiment with, and for dinner on Tuesday, I made us mole pulled pork tacos, wild rice pilaf, and buttermilk cilantro slaw.


And while I will tell you about that at some point, I realized this week is no time for deep blogging.  It’s one of the busiest work weeks of my entire year, and I already have my plate full.  


But, I wanted to take a moment and tell you about how good it feels to listen to your body.  I spent most of Tuesday, which is technically my day off, at the shop prepping for this weekend.  By the time I was on my way back home, a slow, rainy drive that included a detour to downtown Portland to pick up our incredible raffle basketI was ravenous.  


I started plotting my snack attack at stop lights so I’d be 100% prepared when I got home.  It was 4:00, too late for a serious snack, but too far from dinner to just have a handful of salt & pepper potato chips.  I was contemplating peanut butter on toast, but as soon as I had that thought, I felt my stomach frown from the inside, and remembered that for some reason, Gluten & I haven’t been getting along lately.





I wouldn’t even go so far as to call myself gluten intolerant, but every once in awhile, I just need to take a break; even the wheatiest, grainiest of whole grain isn’t doing me any favors, and my body reminds me of this as soon as I even have a thought about it (with the exception of pasta salads, for some bizarre reason.  I could eat these every meal of every day and still be psyched).  





But the peanut butter…now we’re getting somewhere.  I suddenly had a flashback to String Summit last summer, when my friend Andrea broke out a bunch of celery and started making ants on a log for everyone, just because.





In case you’ve forgotten, ants on a log are the perfect balance of goopy, crunchy, sweet, salty, satiating, and refreshing.


I’d better stock up on celery until my body decides to let Gluten back in the house, because in a snack world devoid of satisfying crunch, this is kinda perfection.



Did I just blog about ants on a log?  Yep, I went there.


How are we doing on groceries this month?  Well, I had to do this week’s shopping on Monday, as per the usual, so technically that was still in February, but I’m counting it as part of March.  So in February, thanks to some serious frugality, I came out about $7 ahead!


Here’s where we’re at now:


New Seasons 2/27
Thompson raisins: $0.99
Dried ancho chiles: $0.68
Dozen eggs: $2.89
Red leaf lettuce: $1.50
Green cabbage: $2.83
Yellow onions: $1.03
1 lb. strawberries: $3.99 – how are these coming from Cali in February??! No arguments here.
Baby red potatoes: $2.89
Shallots: $1.35
Garlic: $1.26
Bunch radishes: $1.49
Collard greens: $2.49
Pork stew meat: $9.02
TOTAL: $32.36
REMAINING FOR THE MONTH: $117.64


Trader Joe’s 2/27
Raisin Bran: $2.79
Cottage cheese: $1.99
Sundried tomatoes: $1.99
Olive oil: $5.99
TOTAL: $12.76
REMAINING FOR THE MONTH: $104.88


Fred Meyer 2/27
1/2 gallon milk: $2.99
Chicken sausage: $4.99
Cucumber: $0.50
Deli turkey meat: $2.50
TOTAL: $10.98
REMAINING FOR THE MONTH: $93.90





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Chana Masala & Indian Cauliflower-Sunchoke Roast

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This has got to be a sign.  When I sat down Tuesday morning to eat my breakfast of a fried egg on a toasted English muffin with TJ’s eggplant spread and a kale-carrot salad, this was one of the many abandoned browser tabs I’d left open the week before, for perusing while I feasted (since one of my favorite things to do is read about food while I’m eating food).  


I had just realized about twenty minutes earlier that grocery shopping was one thing I could check off my list for this weekend, after tallying it up and realizing that I only have about $14 left for the rest of the month’s groceries.


New Seasons 2/1/12
corn tortillas: $1.19
half and half: $1.69
buttermilk: $1.99 — because I made this! Yum!
yellow onions: $1.95
Japanese eggplant: $1.52
green onions: $0.99
fresh spinach: $2.31
minneola tangelos: $1.00
crimini mushrooms: $3.11
brussels sprouts: $2.13
garlic: $1.02
fresh herbs: $0.19
chicken thighs: $3.84
TOTAL: $22.93
REMAINING FOR THE MONTH: $48.44


New Seasons 2/7/12
half gallon milk: $2.99
crimini mushrooms: $1.45
brussels sprouts: $2.27
grapefruit: $3.28
eggplant: $1.87
papaya: $3.47
leeks: $1.61
cucumber: $1.49
avocado: $1.50
red leaf lettuce: $1.99
sunchokes: $4.03
ground espresso: $8.39
TOTAL: $34.34
REMAINING FOR THE MONTH: $14.10


No worries, though.  If you’ll recall, I’ve got some food on hand that I can delve into, keeping the grocery runs to produce-only.  Plus, last week I’d stocked up on some hearty, keep-well veggies that will easily last a week or two — things like a head of cauliflower, a bag of “Southern greens,” some fingerling potatoes, carrots, sunchokes, and a head of lettuce that are all still left in the fridge.  


And with a loaf of whole wheat rosemary herb bread rising as we speak, I know this means my lunches this week will be more sandwich-oriented (roasted eggplant and cheese!  Egg and fresh lettuce!  Tuna and nori!), and my dinner simpler.  Probably would have been the case anyway, given that this week not only do I have V-Day dinner with the girls, but am either hosting Knit Night or teaching a class all three weekday evenings.  


So when I started reading this recipe, and remembered that chickpeas are one of my favorite foods in the world, I jumped up and got some soaking right away.


And then, I kept reading, only to discover that she recommends accompanying your chana masala with this cumin-bathed cauliflower and potato roast (which in my world, will be supplemented by sunchokes, a.k.a. potatoes with a little bit of an attitude).  It’s like she was playing Iron Chef in my fridge or something.


And then, I remembered that, for no particular reason, the night before I’d used the remaining tub of Greek yogurt in my fridge, that I had been worried would go bad, to make a big batch of cucumber raita.  For real??  The universe is trying to tell me something, clearly.


I’m going to spare you my recipe and just send you right over to Smitten Kitchen’s instead, because not only did I forget my camera at work this week and my iPhone shots of this culinary experiment are so woefully grainy and overexposed I can’t even bear to post them online, and because while trying to drag and drop a different photo in here (note to Bloggers: don’t do that), I lost the entire post I’d just written, and anyone who’s spent 45 minutes writing something and then lost it knows that round two always feels just a little bit bitter and despondent.


Basically, both of these dishes are amazing, miraculously use up exactly the vegetables that I have lying around in my kitchen at the moment, and have already done a fine job of carrying me through my work week, and probably well into the weekend, without spending a dime on groceries this week.


Thanks, chickpeas.



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Trader Joe’s

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All right!  I came in under-budget last month, which is why I didn’t feel the least bit guilty about kicking off February with a big Trader Joe’s binge.  (Nor the fact that I technically did this grocery run on Monday, January 30th.  Monday/Tuesday is my weekend, so that’s when the shopping’s gotta happen.)


Here’s my haul:
Ak-Mak crackers: $1.69
frozen edamame: $1.69
frozen spinach: $1.49
tater tots: $2.29
Spanikopita: $3.99
frozen peas: $1.29
whole wheat pizza dough: $1.29
frozen mahi mahi pieces: $4.94
organic tofu: $1.49
frozen salmon: $7.58
Mediterranean humus: $3.99
crumbled feta: $2.79
TastyBites punjab choley: $1.99
TastyBites Indian jaipur vegetables: $1.99 
1 can turkey chili: $1.99
lemon pepper pappardelle pasta: $1.99
orecchiette pasta: $0.99
organic whole wheat spaghetti: $1.39
whole wheat fusilli pasta: $1.39
walnut pieces: $6.49
French roast coffee: $5.99
Oriental rice crackers: $2.99
2 cans tuna: $2.98
2 cans organic diced tomatoes: $3.98
eggplant spread: $2.29
1 can marinara sauce: $1.79
1 can organic tomato paste: $0.89
salt & pepper potato chips: $2.99
honey wheat pretzel sticks: $1.99
TOTAL: $78.63
REMAINING FOR THE MONTH: $71.37


I have four very clear objectives when I go to Trader Joe’s, which is usually only every few months:


1) Snacks





Salt & pepper potato chips are probably my favorite snack in the world right now. I think about these my entire bike ride home, and have a handful while I cook dinner.  It’s always exactly enough.


2) Emergency Lunches





I’m usually really good about packing a lunch — mostly because owning a store means that, as quaint I feel slapping a “be back in 5 minutes” sign on the front door, there’s not really a legit exit strategy for meals.  


However, because I’m de facto trapped at work for 7 hours every day, I’m forced to get creative with lunches, whether that means leftovers, sandwiches on homemade bread, or a slow procession throughout the day of carbs, protein, and veggies.


Of course, I’m also crazy busy and spend a few nights a week at my boyfriend’s house, and sometimes just don’t have an organized enough week to pack multiple days of lunch fixings with me, so I always like to have some of this stuff on hand – cheap, filling, and healthy non-perishable food that I can keep in the pantry and heat up using my genius double-boiler system.

3) Fridge





Some of their stuff is just too dang good/cheap/convenient to make yourself.  I know I can make this humus from scratch for like 1/10th of the price, but this is still the best damn humus I’ve ever tasted…and I lived in Israel for a year.


4) Freezer

Enough said.


5) Pantry & Miscellaneous



Those walnuts…they’re crucial to my favorite breakfast as of late: Raisin Bran with almond milk and a large handful of them.

Have you ever ripped into a package of these edamame when you’re starving, boiled them up, and tossed them with salt and sesame oil?  If not, you should.  Also, best last-minute potluck contribution on the planet.


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Taking Inventory

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Okay, I just did a super weird thing this week.  Maybe this is the retailer in me, having only recently recovered from doing a full year-end inventory of the shop, but this week, on my day off, I decided to take a full inventory of my kitchen.


This was partially motivated by curiosity, partially motivated by the fact that I had set out to clean out and organize my cupboards anyway, and I figured it couldn’t take that much more energy to write down every single thing I found along the way, and partially motivated by accountability.  


With another full time blog and four other businesses to run, I long ago accepted that I only have time to recipe-blog once a week and show you all what I’m cooking and eating within this budget I’ve set for myself.  And while I am pretty darn good at saving all my receipts (thanks, Lemon!  And how the hell did they score a 5-letter domain name in this day and age??), it’s true that you’ll see ingredients pop up in my meals that you won’t be able to find in my weekly purchases.


That’s because apparently, as my good friend recently put it, I am a pantry cook.  I have — as I now know — an absurd amount of food already occupying the shelves and cupboards of my kitchen, which leaves me with plenty of options of delicious things to cook, and lets me stick to a pretty simple grocery budget if I need to.


The cool thing that I realized during this inventory project, however, is that almost every food item in my house, with the exception of spices and condiments, is less than a year old, which means that even my pantry staples were at one point purchased within my Six Dollars A Day budget.  Which honestly makes me feel a lot more legit.


So, let’s get down to it.  Here’s all the food I have at my disposal to cook with, even without grocery shopping.  It’s pretty unbelievable.  Needless to say, when the apocalypse comes, you’d better come wait it out down here in Lindsey’s Lodge.  We’ll have a feast.


FREEZER
I’m blessed to have both an icebox freezer, and an entire standalone freezer in the laundry room, which allows me to do economical things like roast entire chickens, store the meat for future meals, make big batches of homemade stock, chop and save seasonal veggies, and store Trader Joe’s frozen junk food snacks out of daily sight.



FRIDGE


SAVORY SNACK CUPBOARD & DRY GOODS
(what, you don’t have sweet and savory snack cupboards?)


SWEET SNACK CUPBOARD
(subconsciously forgot to take a photo out of embarrassment?)

GRAINS/LEGUMES

My lifeblood.  It has been my dream for many years to have a kitchen prominently featuring “beans in jars.”  I don’t like the taste of aluminum so any beans I make are implicitly of the dried-and-soaked variety.  I like to buy weird grains like millet and amaranth and challenge myself to make something yummy out of them.  That’s how my love affair with bulgur started.

TEA/COFFEE
How else do you think I could pull off running four businesses?


ASIAN CUPBAORD
(The fact that I have an entire set up cupboards dedicated to this cuisine demonstrates what a large role it plays in my life…)

CONDIMENTS/OILS/VINEGARS


So, there you have it.  Why do I even go grocery shopping at all??

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Flageolet Bean Salad

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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:


QFC
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…?
TOTAL: $21.90
Remaining for the month: $128.10


New Seasons
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
zucchini: $1.27
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
TOTAL: $58.16
Remaining for the month: $69.94


Fred Meyer
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

baguette: $2.49

bell peppers: $1.50 — can’t seem to get enough of these lately
orange juice: $3.00
sprouts: $1.79
cucumbers $2.99
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
TOTAL: $38.55
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!


Orange Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

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NEW SEASONS :: 8/8/11
walnut halves & pieces: $6.83
whole nutmeg: $0.76 – so much better than pre-ground!  And way easier to hand grate than you might think
firm tofu: $1.69
kale: $2.49 – for a kale, radish, and carrot salad, inspired by Kate this past weekend
red potatoes: $3.22
seedless watermelon: $1.84
carrots: $3.48 – carrot ginger coconut soup!  Hot or cold, up to you.
tangelo: $1.37 – I need your zest, and will eat the rest of you for dessert.
peach: $1.00
eggplant: $2.09
roma tomatoes: $1.89
TOTAL: $27.65
REMAINING FOR MONTH: $40.64
Can you tell I’m craving the veggies?  After a weekend of Phish at the Gorge, pretty much all I want to eat is fresh fruit and veggies.  Although, to be fair, my traveling crew kept it pretty damn healthy for a weekend of debauchery: my two kitchen buddies and I feasted all weekend on high-protein sandwiches with fresh garden greens, falafel with yogurt dressing and fresh veggies, hearty scrambles, a huge tub of homemade tricolor pasta salad…and of course, Morning Blend and Santa Cruz to make the cocktails of champions.
But still, after 9 weekends in a row either out of town or in town with intense work weekends, I’m pretty ready to just mellow out and eat a lot of salad.
But first, I have this to contend with:
1c measuring cup, accompanying for perspective

Jesse’s got a bumper crop of these this year, but this one is like a freak of nature.  He sent me home with it this morning with the hopes that it will return in the form of zucchini bread (which of course, it did), but what he didn’t realize is that it will also reappear later this week in some adaptation of these baked Asiago zucchini fritters.  I just treated myself to a new Cuisinart last week, and I already grated this entire monster up in a matter of 2 minutes.

April Groceries

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4/1/2011 :: Fred Meyer
emergency lunch stuff: $15.00 – i.e. tuna, canned soup, mayo, crackers…stuff to keep at work just in case I’m not at home in the morning to make lunch for that day!
olive bar: $3.52 – because I can’t resist.
V8 juice
: $3.87 – the fruity kind, not the tomato, for mixing with iced tea at work now that it’s getting nice out!
Diet Coke: $6.39 – Yes, my secret vice.  With lime.
pasta: $2.76
red potatoes: $1.52
red onion: $0.37
ground turkey: $5.97
shredded cheese: $2.50
TOTAL: $41.90
REMAINING FOR MONTH: $108.10
 
4/8/2011 :: Fred Meyer
half & half: $1.99
sharp cheddar cheese: $3.49
head of romaine lettuce: $1.50
milk
: $2.99
Kettle chips
: $2.00 – score! 
turkey breast: $3.99
TOTAL: $17.95
REMAINING FOR MONTH: $90.15

4/11/2011 :: New Seasons
romaine lettuce: $1.50
parsley: $1.29
avocado: $0.99
basil: $2.99
broccoli: $3.74
penne: $2.60
parsnip: $1.76
green cabbage: $2.52
pink lady apple: $0.84
roasting chicken: $13.45
carrots: $2.42
serrano pepper: $0.10
beets: $2.36
red onion: $0.91
meyer lemon: $0.78
TOTAL: $38.25
REMAINING FOR MONTH: $51.90
4/18/2011 :: Trader Joe’s
coffee: $6.99
diced tomatoes
: $5.97
tuna
: $2.98
trail mix
: $4.49
almond milk
: $3.38
dried cranberries
: $1.99
lemon pepper pappardelle pasta
: $1.99 – this makes amazing pasta salads!
trek mix
: $3.69
instant oatmeal
: $3.49
red pepper spread
: $2.29
brown rice fusilli
: $5.97
orecchiette pasta
: $0.99
TOTAL: $44.22
REMAINING FOR MONTH: $7.68

4/25 :: New Seasons
spinach: $2.59
salad mix: $2.52
sparkling wine: $8.99
crimini mushrooms
: $3.91
strawberries
: $2.99
eggs: $1.99
half and half
: $1.69
grapefruit
: $0.77
green onions
: $0.99
TOTAL: $26.44
REMAINING FOR MONTH: ($18.76) — Darn, went a little bit over this month…

March Groceries

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New Seasons

half and half: $2.39
parmesan
: $3.99
free range roaster
: $11.84
Nature’s Path cereal
: $1.99 
Annie’s mac & cheese: $1.00
frozen butternut squash
: $2.29 — I’m thinking of doing a butternut/mushroom risotto later in the week…
carrots
: $0.86
mixed greens
: $3.08
fresh herbs
: $0.76
vine tomatoes
: $2.47
sunchokes
: $2.54
blood orange
: $1.29
grapefruit
: $2.23
ginger root
: $0.70
frozen pearl onions
: $2.99
crimini mushrooms
: $3.31
shallot
: $0.76
almond oolong tea
: $0.87
ginseng peppermint tea
: $2.94
cinnamon
: $0.93 

FRED MEYER 
Chex snack mix: $1.25
Sweet onion Kettle chips: $2.50
Honey Nut Cheerios: $2.50

TOTAL: $55.48
REMAINING FOR MONTH: $94.52

CASH & CARRY
Torani syrup (6 bottles): $18.20 — (am I the only non-cafe owner who buys syrups for her coffee at a restaurant supply store?)

REMAINING FOR MONTH: $76.32

NEW SEASONS
romaine: $1.99
almond milk
: $2.49
sparkling water
: $1.30
chard
: $2.29
celery
: $1.93
coffee
: $3.78
carrots
: $0.83
black eyed peas
: $2.18
italian sausage
: $1.08
grapefruit
: $1.24
yellow onion
: $0.86
artichoke
: $1.99
looseleaf tea
: $4.87
fresh herbs
: $0.57
sundried tomatoes
: $1.04
apple
: $1.13
shallots
: $0.84
bartlett pear
: $1.01
tangelo
: $1.00
dozen eggs
: $2.79

TOTAL: $35.21
REMAINING FOR MONTH: $41.11

NEW SEASONS
milk: $2.99
orzo
: $4.18
chickpeas
: $2.51
beef bullion
: $5.99
kale
: $2.29
green cabbage
: $1.44
yellow onion
: $2.26
beets
: $1.44
golden beets
: $1.52
mixed greens
: $2.94
spinach leaves
: $2.52

TOTAL: $30.08
REMAINING FOR MONTH: $11.03

NEW SEASONS
carrots: $0.61
tofu
: $2.59
lettuce
: $1.99
garlic
: $0.66
limes
: $0.48
fresh herbs
: $0.38
jalapeno
: $0.24

TOTAL: $6.95

REMAINING FOR MONTH: $4.08


February Groceries

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So this first grocery run of the month was mostly all stuff for my big birthday bash that I threw last weekend:

New Seasons
capers: $2.79 – for a marinated eggplant salad
gruyere cheese
: $11.19 – for gougeres
American grana cheese
: $3.60
eggplant
: $3.40
apple chicken sausage
: $1.68
collard greens
: $2.29 – I’ve been obsessed with collard greens lately! They’ve totally ousted the kale somehow in my cruciferous love life
fresh mint
: $0.57
blood orange
: $1.29 – for whiskey sour punch!
shallots
: $7.38 – for caramelized shallots
eggs
: $1.99
can of lemonade
: $1.45 – for the aforementioned punch
can of orange juice
: $1.49 
TOTAL: $39.12
REMAINING FOR MONTH: $110.88




New Seasons
Cut up fryer chicken: $8.84 – this month instead of roasting a whole chicken, I’ve been seasoning these individual pieces with salt, nutritional yeast, and herbs, wrapping them in foil and freezing them. In the morning while I get ready for work I just pop the foil ball in the oven at 400 degrees and let it roast for 40 minutes, toss it in my lunch bag with a tupperware of spinach and other fun toppings like blue cheese, sunflower seeds, chopped red onion, and chopped blood orange, and I have an amazing roasted chicken salad for lunch!
Red onion
: $1.01
carrots
: $0.74
celery
: $2.01
half and half
: $1.49
heavy whipping cream
: $3.19 – making butter this week!
top sirloin steak
: $5.75
extra firm tofu
: $1.99
mixed greens
: $2.03
spinach leaves
: $3.36
tortillas
: $1.25
baby red potatoes
: $4.13
yellow onion
: $0.95
broccoli
: $2.13
green onions
: $0.99
tomatoes
: $2.84 – OMG, hothouse tomatoes from California?! Tomatoes, I’ve missed you so…
grapefruit
: $2.09
blood orange
: $1.23 
TOTAL: $46.02
REMAINING FOR MONTH: $64.86 (or $31.37 if I’m going to be good and try to make up for last month…)


January Groceries

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Okay, I’ve been really delinquent about posting my grocery runs, so here’s a rundown of probably a whole month’s worth of shopping.  And to be completely honest, I went a little over-budget in January.  I think this was due to an overzealous Trader Joe’s run, and though most of those groceries will last me for months to come, it was a little oversight in the planning.

So, in chronological order…

bulk granola: $2.33
mixed greens
: $2.59
spinach leaves
: $2.45
plain yogurt
: $2.49
bunch of kale
: $1.50
1 pomello
: $2.15 – are you kidding me? From Cali ? Yum!
navel oranges
: $1.55
1 haas avocado
: $0.99
shallots
: $1.00
package of tofu
: $2.59
dozen eggs
: $1.99
half gallon organic milk
: $2.99 – in case you’re wondering what I use all this milk for, I make lattes many mornings when I have to transcribe before work
free range roasting chicken
: $15.54

TOTAL: $40.16
REMAINING FOR MONTH: $109.84

This was the Trader Joe’s run that tipped the scales…
tricolor radiatore pasta: $1.99
bowtie pasta
: $0.99
lemon pepper pappardelle
: $1.99
frozen peas
: $1.29
maple syrup
: $16.99 – this big guy lasts forever and is the key ingredient in my favorite salad dressing
jasmine tea
: $1.99
3 cans albacore tuna
: $4.47
organic diced tomatoes
: $1.89
package of gnocchi
: $1.99
red wine vinegar
: $1.79 – totally should have bypassed this since I just started making my own with all the leftover half-bottles of wine from my birthday party…
smart dogs
: $2.99
veggie italian sausage
: $3.49
frozen mahi mahi
: $5.69
blue cheese
: $3.29 – so good in spinach salads for lunch!
gouda
cheese: $3.09
macaroni and cheese
: $0.99 – you know, sometimes you have those nights where you just need to eat an entire pot of macaroni and cheese
goddess salad dressing
: $1.99 – I keep this at work for lunch salads so I don’t have to worry about dressing in the morning as I’m packing
red pepper spread
: $1.99 – my fave
thompson raisins
: $2.29
slivered almonds
: $2.49
mission black figs
: $3.99
walnut pieces
: $5.49
thai lime and chili cashews
: $5.99 – throw these in with any sauteed veggie and an Asian-inspired sauce, and your side dish is good to go
TOTAL: $79.15
REMAINING FOR MONTH: $30.69

New Seasons
broccoli: $2.61
spinach leaves
: $2.87
spring greens
: $2.45
bok choy
: $2.30
bulk red lentils
: $3.49
bulk couscous
: $4.59
carrots
: $1.01
pears
: $2.24
beets
: $1.24
blood oranges
: $1.97
green onions
: $0.99
lemon
: $0.54
leeks
: $2.34
celery
: $1.50
yellow onion
: $0.94
garlic
: $1.08

TOTAL: $32.16
REMAINING FOR MONTH: -$1.47 (yikes!) :-/
New Seasons
spinach leaves: $2.17
yellow onion
: $0.89
fair trade coffee
: $5.29
carrots
: $0.51
ginger root
: $0.35
parsley
: $1.29
minneola tangelos
: $0.80
comice pears
: $1.22
brussels sprouts
: $3.74
fuji apples
: $1.06
collard greens
: $2.29
cottage cheese
: $3.39
navel orange
: $0.50
TOTAL: $23.50
REMAINING FOR MONTH: -$24.97
New Seasons
green cabbage: $2.18
collard greens
: $2.29
broccolini
: $2.19
fuji apple
: $1.16
pear
: $0.70

TOTAL: $8.52
REMAINING FOR MONTH: -$33.49