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!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Project Food Budget: Week 1

Goal: $70
Actual: $75

Dinner Menu: 

Breakfast Menu:
Grocery List:
  • Start your shopping in your pantry! We were able to eliminate a lot of needed items from the list, b/c it we already had it. We only had to buy: $45
    • Black strap molasses
    • Basil
    • Chickpeas
    • Dry milk
    • Raisins
    • Yeast
    • Tomatoes
    • Bananas
    • 1 large block cheese
    • 1 package of Parmesan cheese
    • Tortillas
    • 1 dozen eggs
    • Cliff bars
    • Soap
    • Sugar
  • Our CSA share included: $30
    • 1 bunch of carrots
    • 1 head of cabbage
    • Turnips with greens
    • Rutabaga (Swedish turnips)
    • Cilantro
    • Dill
    • 1 head of cabbage
    • Beets with greens
    • 1 bunch rainbow chard
    • 2 large sweet potatoes
    • Brussels sprouts with greens
    • Big bag of broccoli
    • Green onions
If you choose to go the CSA route, your share will have a different variety of veggies. Be creative. You do not have to follow recipes to a the letter. Substitute and try variations! 

Next week I will work on posting a complete shopping list in case you don't have everything we have on hand. 

  • Any menu item with a hyper link will lead you to the recipe I used. Those without a hyper link are listed here. 
    • Chipotle Chickpeas:
      • 1 lb dry chick peas, soaked over night, cooked and drained
      • 1/2 TBL ground chipotle pepper
      • 1 TBL oil
      • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Place oil, chickpeas and chipotle pepper in 9x13" baking dish. Shake until chick peas are evenly coated. Cook for 20 mins. Shake and cook for another 10 mins. 
    • Roasted Root Veggies: 
      • Use any root veggies you have. This week I used sliced turnips and rutabagas.
      • 1 TBL oil
      • Pre-heat over to 400 degrees. Place veggies and oil in 9 x13" baking dish. make sure veggies are fully coated with oil and cook for 45-60 mins.
    • Greek Yogurt with dill:
      • Make yogurt. We use non-fat dry milk and a yogurt maker. Here is a video on how to make yogurt without any special equipment. 
      • Once your yogurt is ready to use, strain the whey completely using a coffee filter. Save whey for other uses. 
      • Chop fresh dill and stir into yogurt.
    • Smoked Black Beans:
      • 1 lb dry black beans, soaked overnight, and cooked. (do not drain.)
      • 1 tsp smoked salt or to taste
      • 1/2- 1 onion, diced
      • Once beans are cooked add smoked salt and onion and cook for about 15 mins. Save left overs to make refried beans. 
    • Raisin Oatmeal:
      • Follow banana oatmeal recipe, omitting the bananas and adding 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/3-1/2 cup raisins. 
    • Pesto:
      • 2 cloves garlic
      • 1 bunch basil
      • 1/4 olive oil
      • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
      • Combine all ingredient in a food processor and blend. 
    • 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.
Omitted and Substituted: 
  • I try to avoid canned and frozen ingredients. When a recipe calls for canned beans I use dried beans. When a recipe calls for canned tomatoes I use diced fresh tomatoes. Anytime a recipe calls for a variety of veggies, I check my current stock and use whatever I have. For instance, I used carrots, broccoli, cabbage, onion and garlic in the stir fry, and did not even pay attention to the veggies they called for. I did not have red pepper on hand, so that was completely omitted from the sun-dried tomato stew as well as navy beans instead of white kidney beans. I have carrots but not parsnip, so carrots were used in the cabbage stew. There are many many more examples. The key to keeping the bill as low as possible, is to use what you have so there is no waste and don't buy things you don't really need. So far flavor and satisfaction has not suffered. I also always mix greens while refrying my beans. This ensures veggies in the meal and it is a great way to sneak them passed my 2 year old. At the very end of the week, I was out of a lot of items. For instance, when I went to make the oatmeal dinner rolls, I realized we had eaten the eggs for breakfast. Instead of running out to get more eggs or skipping the rolls, I did a quick search for egg replacer substitutes. I found 2 TBL of cornstarch is the equivalent of 1 egg in baking. The rolls turned out great! 


  1. I can't believe you are my sister.

  2. You guys with good CSAs make me so jealous! And I am definitely going to give these tortillas a try. I have a giant vat of flax seed to use.

  3. Dear Anonymous sister,
    I am not sure if that is a compliment or repulsion! ;)

    We are really lucky. living in Central TX means year round veggies. I hope you like the tortillas.