Sunday, February 23, 2014

It's Sunday Again?!

I can't believe it's already the start of another work week.  This week it will be one month since I started posting about eating well on a budget of both time and money.  I hope that it's helped you see that you really can do both!

Here's this week's receipts:

I spent a total of $106.80 this week.  I should point out that the receipts I've posted for the past four weeks are for 2 people and cover 3 meals a day per person plus snacks.  We eat out a couple of times a week, usually on the weekend once or twice and maybe once during the middle of the week if I have to work overtime or if the urge strikes for pizza.  But this amount, using just today's receipts, breaks down to approximately $7.62 per person per day.  You'll spend more than that for one meal out.  And since I'm a member of my grocery stores rewards program, it also has the added financial bonus of giving us up to $0.50 off per gallon of gas at least once a month!  And I can't even begin to list the health benefits.  But this is actual, visible proof that one can eat healthy on a budget.  

Here's what it bought:  

The following took me 2 hours:  
  • I put the eggs on to boil for hard boiled eggs for Rik's lunch.
  • I chopped and sauteed the veges for his muffin cup omelettes and got them put together and in the oven.
  • While they were in the oven, I mixed up 2 batches of breakfast muffins and got them ready to go in the oven when the  omelettes were done.
  • By then, the omelettes were done and the other muffins went in when they came out. 
  • The eggs were now done so those came off the burner and under cold water so I could get them peeled.
  • While those were baking, a mixed together a loaf of Healthier Zucchini Bread.
  • And also prepared a baked tofu that I like (way to healthy tasting to post here though I think!)
  • While the vegetables were still out after grocery shopping, I chopped the ones I plan to use for tonight's dinner and then got them put away.  
  • When the muffins were done, I put the zucchini bread in to bake along with the tofu strips.  
  • I got the grains on to cook, and then cut up a pineapple and 2 pints of strawberries so they're ready for the week if Rik wants to use them in smoothies, or if I want them as a snack.  
  • I made 1 jar of Refrigerator Oatmeal and got it in the fridge. 
And here's what 2 hours yielded!

From top left clockwise (on the cooling racks):  Tofurkey Omelette Muffins, Breakfast Brownies, Pumpkin Oat Bars, [hard boiled eggs], my version of Breakfast Oatmeal Cupcakes To Go, and Healthier Zucchini Bread.

Sadly, the muffins didn't turn out so great.  I tried Pumpkin Oat Bars that I substituted coconut sugar for the brown sugar, and I'm not sure if it was my mistake or that the recipe was disgusting, but they tasted like nothing.  Really gross.  The other muffin was Breakfast Brownies (which strangely have no chocolate whatsoever) and were okay, but not something I'd make again.  Very bland and dry.  You can't win 'em all! But the zucchini bread is quite good.  I substituted the sugar in the recipe for agave nectar and it turned out really good!  

So for tonight, all that is left for me to do is grill 2 salmon steaks for Rik's lunch this week and fix dinner!

Here's dinner:  

Kale Fritatta With Asparagus and Rosemary

Prep Time: 10 minutes  Baking time:  20 Minutes  Start to finish: 30 minutes
Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary, destemmed and chopped (or 1 Tbsp if using dry)
8-10 Asparagus stalks broken into bite sized pieces
8-10 Cherry tomatoes, diced
1 cob of fresh corn removed from cob (you can substitute 1 c. of frozen)
2 large handfuls of kale, hard stems removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 c. sliced leeks (you can substitute onion or green onion for this)
1/3 c. diced red bell pepper (you use any color bell pepper)
8 Large eggs, beaten
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
Salt and Pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes, a dash

Heat your oven to 420 degrees.

I.  In olive oil, saute the leeks (or onion) and pepper.  When they start to get soft, add in the kale and saute until it wilts.  Add in the asparagus, tomatoes, and rosemary.

II.  Beat the eggs with the cottage cheese and milk.  Season them as you would scrambled eggs.  Add in a dash of red pepper flakes.  
III.  In a 9 x 9 inch square pan, spread your sauteed veges.  Pour the egg/milk/cottage cheese mixture over the veges and give it a little stir.  
IV.  Top with the Parmesan and bake for about 20 minutes or until a butter knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  

Like stir fry, fritattas are those fast, perfect meals for times when you're A) feeling lazy; B) feeling tired; C) have veges you need to use up, or D) want comfort food on a cold winter night.  Tonight, I was all four.  It's also a recipe that's very forgiving when it comes to ingredients.  If you follow this alternative recipe below, you'll end up with something equally delicious.  I came up with this recipe because I had kale I needed to use, the cherry tomatoes were developing wrinkles, the corn on the cob wasn't going to last another week in the fridge, I'd bought a leek last week as I've never really cooked with them before and was curious but it needed to be  used, and Rik wanted something higher in protein for dinner.  But use what you have on hand! I even threw in a small handful of shredded zucchini that I had left over from the bread and didn't want to just throw away. 

2 c. of a green leafy vegetable (the sturdier kinds work best like spinach or kale)
1 c. of a savory vegetable like onions
1 c. of any other kind of vegetable you have lying around, or a combination of different vegetables equaling 1 c. or so
8 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 c. grated cheese of any kind (drier cheeses have less fat)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes, a dash
1 Tbsp. of dried savory herbs.  Almost anything will work: thyme, dill, oregano, basil, even poultry seasoning if that's all you have!  Remember that if you're using fresh herb, use twice as much as you would dry.  Dried herbs are more concentrated in flavor.  

Otherwise, follow the directions and you'll come up with a delicious and completely nutritious meal with 2 servings of vegetables in a single slice, with leftovers that are delicious cold or heat up in the microwave in about 30 seconds for tomorrow's lunch!

Happy Week everyone!