This Week in Foodie & Frugal

Local U-pick & farm market: $50.00

Farmer’s Market: $15.00

Local Grocery Store: $70.00

This is a bit higher than last week’s bills, because we added some long-term items to be used over the next several weeks/months. We went back out to our favorite U-pick & Farm market Friday, and picked up a bunch of goodies, including some lovely fresh-cut flowers. Fine, I know that’s not frugal; but, it was a treat and we’re allowed those occasionally. Saturday, as usual, we finished our weekly fresh shopping at the market. Got home, cleaned the refrigerator, and logged the items needing to be used this week. We made our meal plan accordingly, then the shopping list, then went to the store and finished up today. UC made whole wheat and white (with germ) organic bread for this week. I made vegetable and chicken stock, some for this week and some frozen.

On the topic of chicken stock: there’s really nothing like organic, pastured chicken from start to finish. This stock is by far the richest I’ve ever had, needing no salt. I added 1 bay leaf and about a tsp. of oregano, and that’s it. I did break the bones for the marrow, which I always do when making meat stock. I could easily get twice the soup out of this stock as “commercial” chicken, and still have better flavor. It’s worth the $3/lb price because we get so much more for the dollar that we actually end up either breaking even or spending less than we’d have done buying Tysons.

On the menu this week is behind the cut.

Dinners

Sunday evening: Vegetarian Spring rolls in rice wraps, cold. We used up carrots, lettuce, cucumber, and shitakes that were in the fridge. We’ve had the rice wraps forever (there are so many to a pack that they last forever), and I made a peanut sauce for dipping. It was a quick, light dinner packed with vitamins and minerals. It’s also a fantastic way to use up small bits of leftover veggies.

Monday: Meatballs with mashed potatoes and peas. It’s grass-fed beef from my new supplying farm, which has been fantastic so far, and the price is reasonable, too. I went to visit their farm last week, and their production methods are spectacular–some of the best I’ve seen to date, actually. If you’re in VA, and you want my recommendation for a great producer, leave me a message with your contact info and I’ll put you in touch. The potatoes are blue potatoes, freshly dug with the dirt still clinging, and they’re blue all the way through. They’re also much creamier than store-bought, because they’ve not been refrigerated. We don’t eat potatoes often, but when we do this is the way to go. The peas are organic, and frozen. They’re actually in season out here, but we didn’t get any at the market.

Tuesday: Lentil and Italian Sausage soup. This is a spectacular, frugal, highly nutritional dish. You can also use smoked turkey sausage, which I use for my clients, to take out some of the fat. The sausage is from Babe in the Woods, which raises rare-breed, forest-fed hogs. Wonderful flavor, local, and this particular sausage is spicy. (You should try their pork chops, btw.) This dish feeds us for days (1-2 dinners, a few lunches, and some frozen for later) at pennies on the serving, and will be made with my homemade vegetable stock. The stock had some zing in it this time, too, because the scrap bag contained leftover ginger, seeds and tops from some jalepenos, and a good bit of onion skin. The flavor is really rich, too, so this should be wonderful.

Wednesday: Chicken patties with green beans and fruit & nut cous cous. Local beans, and our own roasted walnuts and dehydrated fruit (yes, I know walnuts are not local). The salmon patties are made with canned, wild-caught salmon, local eggs, dried bread crumbs from our own bread, and seasonings.

Thursday: BLTs with homemade pasta side. The pasta is dried leftover pastafrom last week, and UC will be making a light sauce to top it. Of course, we’ll be putting the BLTs on his organic, whole wheat bread.

Friday: Salmon with fried green tomatoes and swiss chard. Wild-caught salmon, local green tomatoes (hot house, but grown in soil so they still have nutrients and flavor).

Saturday: Stuffed shells with salad. This is our “use up the leftovers” dish, as all the leftover veggies and meats will go into the meat grinder with a small bit of cheese and seasonings, then we’ll stuff the large pasta shells and bake with sauce. The salad is organic.

Breakfasts: egg sandwiches on homemade English muffin bread, smoothies, porridge, fried oatmeal, fruit.

Lunches: Quiche (leftover from Saturday), tuna & egg salad lettuce wraps and sandwiches, lentil soup, PB&J on whole wheat.

Snacks: Boiled eggs, fruit, cottage cheese, roasted nuts, chunked cheese, smoothies, yogurt, lunch meat.

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