Follow our family's weekly vegetarian menu, access recipes, and download weekly grocery lists, during my quest to get our weekly grocery bill down to $70 per week, while supporting local agriculture and eating healthy organic foods!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Project Food Budget: Week 3

Goal: $70
Actual: $70.76


  • 1 Bunch Garlic
  • 1 pkg Tofu
  • 1 Jalapeño
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple 
  • Peanut Butter
  • 1 lb Black Beans
  • 1 lb Chickpeas
  • 1 small can Tomato Paste
  • 1 large block of cheese
  • 6 pack Cliff Bars
  • Dry Milk
  • 1 Lemon
  • Ginger
  • Brown Rice
  • Vinegar
  • Eggs
Included in CSA share:
  • Turnips
  • Kohlrabi with small greens
  • Beets
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprout Greens
  • Scallions (green onions)
  • Cilantro
  • 1 orange
  • Sweet potatoes

     The only additional recipe used this week is the Whole Wheat Flax Tortillas and a bread machine pizza crust.  It is by far the most delicious and softest pizza crust I have found. When I make it, I cut it in half to make two pizzas or use half for another meal. For instance, I will only loosely follow the kolhrabi empanada recipe. Mainly for the filling, but I will use half the dough to make kohlrabi pockets instead of following the recipe to make the empanada crust. I find this to be easier on me and less wasteful. It just stretches our budget. As you will also notice, I found a new recipe website. I use for a huge portion of our meals this week. This is mainly due to the ability to search their page for recipes that include specific ingredients. This made planning around our CSA share a breeze! So far they have all been  pretty good. I am going to start rating the dishes on a 5 start scale, just so you don't have to randomly try unrated foods, like I make my husband and daughter! 

Bean Burritos: When making a meal with pinto beans, or black beans cook the entire lb of beans. Save half to make bean burritos a couple days later. For instance, this week we have Costa Rican Style Black Beans and Rice. I used half the black beans in that recipe and then saved the remaining beans and the juice the beans were cooked with. In the next day or two I use the beans to make refried beans for burritos.  
  • Refried Beans
    • Beans in juice
    • 1/2-1 onion diced
    • green or red pepper if on hand
    • 1 bunch of greens stemmed and cut thinly or left over cooked greens, if on hand
    • 2 Tbls oil
    • Ground Chipotle pepper to taste
    • Smoked Salt to taste
            Blend beans in juice and set aside. Heat oil in skillet or wok and add onion and green pepper. Cook until onions are translucent. Add ground chipotle pepper to onions and cook for about 1 min. then add blended beans. Cook for several minutes and add smoked salt and greens, if desired. Cook beans and stir constantly, until beans reduce and thicken. 

  • Whole Wheat Flax Tortillas:
    • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 6 TBL ground flax (You can use 2 TBL of butter  or shortening instead of flax seed. If you do decrease water by 1/2 cup.)
    • 2/3 +1/2 cups warm water
    • 1.)Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Then gradually add the water while mixing. Mix into a dough, cover and let rise for 20 mins.
    • 2.) Roll into a rope and divide into 10 equal pieces
    •  3.) On a lightly floured surface knead each piece into a flat circle and use rolling pin to make tortilla.
    • 4.) Cook on stove top on medium to low heat. Tortilla will bubble and then flip.

       Our grocery bill was actually $80.33 plus a couple dollars for frozen pizza, I had my husband get on his way home one night I was sick. The difference includes toiletries and Valentines Day items. I would like to work these types of items into our $70 budget, but I am giving myself a little wiggle room for the first little while, and counting only the food items in the actual. That being said, I won't spend more than $10 on these additional items. I also want to point out the cliff bars are my husband's daily lunch. I tried the home made option this week and they were great and very simple. My husband still has to weigh in, so it is still up in the air whether or not we switch to home made. 
      Central Texas just weathered an extreme unseasonal freeze. It definitely impacted our CSA share. Our CSA received major damage to their crops. This was one of my biggest worries when joining a CSA. Your share is based on the success of the farms which is directly related to the weather. In the 20 weeks we have received shares I am positive we received a great deal more than $30 worth of vegetables in our weekly shares. Most weeks my very large grocery bag is overflowing with vegetables. Even in these previous two smaller shares, it has been enough to get us through a week. I also realized these weeks of surplus and weeks of less would also occur at the grocery store. Vegetable prices at the store are also based on industry yields and disasters. If I gave myself a $30 budget at the grocery store for veggies, there would be times when my bag was fuller than others. Even during this time when our CSA is adjusting and replanting, I know I am getting the better deal, and healthier fresher vegetables, and supporting a local farm all in one shot. I am so glad we gave it a chance. It really has been one of the best decisions we have made for our health and budget. 


  1. wow. way to go with the budgeting this week! sounds like you have a lot of tasty meals on the menu. :)

  2. Chipotle peanut butter sauce spaghetti. I hope you write about that. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it.

    Refried beans tip: I just sautee the veggies and then add the beans w/ juice (and veggie stock or water if needed to make them thinner) to the pan and use a potato masher right there on the stove. (Just in case you don't want to get the blender out.) I saw that watching Rick Bayless make tortas.

    Regarding the CSA: Kudos to you big time. It's kind of like a marriage or relationship you have with the farms. Better or worse, sickness and health...

  3. The Chipotle peanut butter sauce and spaghetti was more like pad thai. I have another recipe from vegetarian times that I think I like better. I really did enjoy the way the chipotle spiced thr dish unlike the chile/ garlic paste from the other recipe. Going forward I will do a hybrid of the two recipes.