Y’all, I am killing it on the grocery front this month. Things got off to a good start when I took out cash at the beginning of the month, divided it up, and went shopping…only to come home with $45 still in my pocket from Week 1’s grocery/spending money. So on Saturday I added $60 to my wallet (Week 2’s spending money) and set out to do the shopping.
I made up an additional goal for myself to add to my previously-established 2015 goals. This goal: ZERO thrown-out food in 2015. I’m not going to get too wild — I won’t be composting vegetable scraps or making stock out of all my chicken bones — but I don’t want to toss any perishables languishing in the vegetable drawer, or any leftovers I just didn’t want to eat. Maximizing my food dollar and minimizing my waste: what’s not to like?
Here’s how I did this week:
Limes, 3 for $1
White onion, $.95
Canned tomatoes, $1.59
Canned tomatoes with green chiles (2 cans), $1.50
Dried dates, $2.49
Bob’s Red Mill – Steel Cut Oats Organic – 24 oz., $3.69
Freezer bags, $2.99
2 avocados (on sale!!!), $2.00
Total with tax: $18.29
Italian sausage, $1.68 (hot) and $3.46 (sweet)
1/2 lb Feta cheese, $3.11
chicken broth, $1.99
dried pinto beans, $3.60 (from the bulk bin)
blackberry-oatmeal scone, $1.99 (worth every penny)
Total with tax: $18.22
cheese (ricotta and mozzarella), $9
cinnamon-sugar pretzel (breakfast), $3
Grand total: $50.51…and with $54 in cash still in my pocket for the week’s spending money. I don’t generally use that much, but I’m going to take my former housemate out for breakfast after church tomorrow so we’ll probably burn through $20 of it collectively. I feel ok about that.
My meal plan for the week: oatmeal with dates and pecans for breakfast; posole for lunch; lasagne for dinner. Here’s my lasagne recipe — I’ll share the posole recipe too if people want, but it’s a little more labor-intensive.
Six very generous servings or eight smaller ones. Reheats beautifully in the oven for up to a week. You can make it vegetarian by just skipping the sausage, and of course you could add other vegetables if you wanted.
1 package no-boil lasagne noodles (I like Barilla)
1 bundle kale, stems removed (shred it if you like; I usually don’t bother)
1 small zucchini, sliced thin
1 small yellow summer squash, sliced thin
28-oz can crushed or pureed tomatoes
about 1 lb Italian sausage, sweet or hot or a combo
1 lb ricotta cheese
some quantity of fresh mozzarella (I really don’t know; probably about 1/2 lb is right, just eyeball it)
1/2 c parmegiano cheese, grated
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
salt and pepper to taste
1) Stir the ricotta, parmegiano, and egg together in a bowl until smooth; set aside.
2) In a large skillet, saute the onion in some olive oil for about 5 min, then add the garlic and saute for another 2 min. Crumble in the sausage (having slit the skin and taken the meat out) and brown. When the sausage is cooked through, add the can of tomatoes and let the whole thing simmer for 20 minutes or so. (Meanwhile you can slice the vegetables.)
3) Spread a little tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 pan and lay out some lasagne noodles. Then start stacking: spread some ricotta, layer on some kale and squash, add bits of mozzarella, then some tomato sauce, then more noodles–>ricotta–>kale–>squash–>mozzarella–>tomato sauce…. I usually end with some mozzarella and a thin layer of tomato sauce on top of the top noodle layer.
4) Cover in tin foil and bake at 350 for about half an hour, then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.