Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Week of Meals in My House

Before I post the details about my food budget for all who have asked, I wanted to post an example of what we eat. I don't make meal menus because I am a procrastinator and because our food on hand differs each week. We have a few things that we eat pretty regularly and a few freezer meals that I make in advance when I have time. (We ate a lot of freezer meals when we were living in the camper!) If you want recipes, let me know and I can post them. I never follow recipes and am forever modifying them to what I want, but I should be writing things down.

Day 1

Breakfast: Omelets with spinach, onion and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese (We eat omelets a few times a week and what I put in them always depends on what comes in our CSA box-sometimes spinach, collard greens, peppers, etc.)

Lunch: Raw veggies with hummus, yogurt & fruit, granola (The hummus is homemade, the produce is from our CSA box, and the yogurt is store-bought.)

Dinner: Cabbage Runza casserole (This is cabbage, onion, ground beef, cheese & pastry layered in a casserole dish. It's delicious and it's a great way to get my kids to eat a TON of cabbage.)

Dessert: Pear pie (We have had an abundance of pears this month so I've been using them in everything lately! This is not a healthy dessert when you consider the amount of butter I used, but it was delicious.)

Day 2

Breakfast: Crockpot oatmeal with cinnamon, apples, raisins, flax seed, and brown sugar (I modified this recipe from Kate's blog. I use either steel cut oats and add a bit of extra water, or just use the regular organic oats. It cooks overnight so it's ready to go in the morning and I like to drizzle it with a bit of coconut milk.)

Lunch: Sandwiches with peanut butter and honey, yogurt & granola, apple slices (We didn't can any jellies this year and our supply ran out so we've been using honey more often until berries are in season again.)

Dinner: Leek & Potato Soup with bread (Confession: I had never had a leek until I started making this soup recently. I usually make soup once a week and the type depends on what's in our CSA box. My kids are particularly fond of the leek soup and cream of celery soup. Both of these soups are pureed so they are thick and smooth and very filling. I had green onions a few weeks ago and rinsed them, chopped them, dried them, and popped them in the freezer to be easily added into any meal.)

Day 3

Breakfast: Cereal & fruit (Dry cereal, often Cheerios, is for the days when I'm too busy to make something. On a super busy week when I have to run out somewhere , the box of cereal saves me.)

Lunch: Tortilla chips with salsa, yogurt, fruit salad (We love Mexican food and eat it at least once a week in some form. I make it from scratch so I consider it pretty healthy since it's full of fresh veggies. I buy the organic tortilla chips in huge bags from Costco. The fruit salad is never the same-it also varies based on the contents of the CSA box. Right now it's mostly apples, pears, and citrus fruits.)

Dinner: Thai chicken stir-fry (This is one of our favorite meals! I never make it the same way twice. Last week we had this beautiful veggie in our box-Romanesco broccoli! I added it to our usual stir-fry ingredients of broccoli, onions, and peppers. Sometimes I serve the stir-fry over noodles and sometimes I add in cabbage and omit the noodles. I make the sauce with organic peanut butter and a delicious bottled Thai sauce. There is nothing funnier than watching my kids slurp up long strings of onion and cabbage just like it is spaghetti noodles! Oh, and speaking of spaghetti, we do eat that as a fast meal when I'm in a rush. I like to layer spaghetti ingredients and spinach leaves in a casserole dish and bake it. Yum!)

Day 4

Breakfast: Breakfast bars (This is a recipe of my own creation using oats, Cheerios, raisins, and coconut along with some "secret" ingredients like wheat germ and flax meal.)
Lunch: Sandwiches with almond butter, oranges, carrots (This was our picnic lunch at the park so I grabbed anything portable. The artisan bread book has an amazing recipe for sandwich bread and it's the best sandwich bread I've ever tried. We always used to buy the organic wheat sandwich bread but this is so much better!)
Dinner: Mexican vegetarian mix on tortillas (This was my homemade salsa with tomatoes, peppers, onions, black beans, corn, and cilantro. I rolled it up in tortillas but I sometimes layer it on tortilla chips and melt cheese on top. If we have avocados I will make fresh guacamole too.)

Dessert: Bubbly Pear cupcakes (It's a long story, but I had this old bottle of champagne that had been sitting around for years. When googling recipes for pears cupcakes, I found one that called for bubbly in the mix. I decided to go for it and I made the most delicious, moist, pear cupcakes. They had a cream cheese icing. I couldn't believe how good they were!)

Day 5

Breakfast: Oatmeal (on the stove) with honey and raisins (My dad got us hooked on this oatmeal. I love trying new types of honey-right now it's blueberry honey from a local farm. I have never had a problem finding delicious, raw honey wherever we live. Perfect for oatmeal on a chilly morning!)

Lunch: Peanut butter & honey sandwiches, yogurt, fruit salad (I always mix it up by adding different things to the oatmeal. Brittany gave me the idea of using chia seeds as a topping for yogurt and oatmeal.

Dinner: Omelets stuffed with the last of the Mexican mix (Jason calls these "MVF omelets" because we've seen similar omelets on Man Vs. Food. These particular omelets were filled with my salsa and veggies, black beans, a bit of shredder cheese, and sour cream. They were oh-so-good in a bad sort of way.)

Dessert: Grapefruit Morning Cake (This was a recipe I had never tried and was considering using it when I have guests over next week so I wanted to test it. The cake uses the fresh juice of 2 grapefruits and oatmeal, among other things. Then you top it with the grapefruit wedges and a bit of yogurt. Tasty!)
Thursday is the day my CSA box shows up. For those wondering, this is what it looks like.

Day 6

Breakfast: Grapefruit morning bars (These were the leftovers from dessert.)

Lunch: Hardboiled eggs, yogurt & blueberries, veggies & hummus

Dinner: Pizza Night!!! (For the past several weeks we have been enjoying the most delicious pizzas ever. I've tried some interesting ones-like caramelized onion & Gorgonzola cheese- and some traditional ones-like cheese pizza or pineapple pizza. We usually have it with a fresh salad and some raw veggies. The bottom line is that the homemade pizza crust is what makes it so awesome.)

Dessert: Chocolate Lava cakes (In case you haven't noticed, I have a sweet tooth. We usually have dessert a couple of times during the week and sometimes I just feel the need to make something really sweet. The chocolate lava cakes were a fast recipe and I made them the size of mini cupcakes so they were a small portion.)

Day 7

Breakfast: Caramel Pecan Sticky Rolls (To die for. Seriously. The recipe was from the artisan bread book. I picked up some organic pecans from the bulk section of the store where I buy my wheat. The kids told me I was the best mommy ever. The rolls were that good.)
Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwiches, salad, fruit (I like to add things to the sandwich-like avocado. Some of the kids prefer tomato. The salad is mixed with whatever veggies we have on hand-spinach, carrots, cucumber, red onion, tomato, etc.)

Dinner: Chili & bread (I did not eat chili until I was in my twenties and even then, I'd only eaten it one time in my life. I had never cooked it until recently. Now chili is one of my favorite meals. I make it with very little meat or without meat at all and I use fresh, organic produce. Sometimes I hide things in it (like pureed squash-I hide that in spaghetti sauce too) and I use flax meal to thicken it up. This is a perfect freezer meal.)

There you have it. That's what we ate last week. You also have to remember that what we eat varies by season. I am finishing up a post about how much I spend on food each month. Everything we ate during this week was organic except for the Thai sauce. The meat for the 3 non-vegetarian meals was locally pastured. All of the produce came from the CSA box-except for the beans, which were canned. I think our meals are pretty "normal" when compared to what most Americans might eat. (I am not really sure what "normal" is though!) I didn't include what we drank because we are boring and only drink water. I also didn't include snacks because I rarely prepare anything for snacks. I let the kids grab a piece of fruit, some crackers, or veggies & hummus. They'll eat whatever is in sight so it's pretty easy. That's it-food for 8 for a week.

I'd love recipe ideas so please feel free to share what your family loves to eat!

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