Hey y’all! Welcome to the series Weekly Eating.
Here is where I’ll talk about the week’s meal plan versus reality, what we ate for the week, and how we did budget-wise. I hope it gives readers a behind-the-scenes look into our life through the lens of food, and it’s also a way to keep us on track with meal planning and grocery budgeting.
Feel free to share your wins and lessons in the comments below!
Well I got to go mushroom foraging with my friend finally! I’ve been wanting to since last year, but finally we both had time, hunting season was over, and it had just rained, so I got to frolic in his acreage and benefit from his knowledge.
And what knowledge he has! This friend has been in the food business for decades, and foraging for many years. It was quite eye opening to have all the things pointed out, like light and tree types and ages and water and elevation. What kinds of things to look for at what time of the year.
And when we found a cache of oysters, what they should smell and look and feel like. We then compared them to two different books when we got back, just to be extra sure. If he says it won’t kill me, I’ll eat it.
I also made a big batch of pierogi because since I took them to a food swap last year people have been asking for them again. I did 3 types: mashed potato, sauerkraut, and applesauce; all the fillings were also homemade.
Oh, and totally nailed my first vegan lasagna! The boy even said the cashew-tofu “cheeze” tasted “ricotta-y” haha I followed this recipe pretty much to a T. Full disclosure: pretty sure the noodles were not vegan. But the “cheeze” and lentil “meat sauce” was delightful.
Breakfast – smoothie
Lunch – veggie burgers of the leftover curry mixed with leftover chili and oats and flax added as binder. I love veggie burgers for using up any leftover odds and ends. Topped with green sauce, hot sauce, and cashew cream.
Dinner – I made a mushroom deuxelle stuffing type thing, but added some pickled figs because why not. And a red beans and brown rice to go with this lovely foraged topping.
Breakfast – 1 blueberry organic yogurt
Lunch – leftover sweet potato fries with avocado and BBQ jackfruit
Snack – blueberries and walnuts
Dinner – leftover pumpkin gnocchi, and a salad
This was food swap night, and we had a ball at Durty Bull Brewing.
Breakfast – local chicken eggs on toast with vegan pepperjack cheese. I finally found some brands that taste like actual cheese, not chalky, and melt! It’s wonderful.
Lunch – veggie burger with vegan cheddar, sauerkraut, and avocado, and a big side salad with green goddess dressing.
Snack – blueberries and almonds
Dinner – Annie’s organic shells and white cheddar mac, with a can of white beans, nutritional yeast, almond milk, garlic salt, and turmeric for color as the sauce!
It looked convincingly like real mac n cheese. I had a pound of pastured beef from the Butcher Box thawed, and added it for a super healthy but hamburger helper like meal.
Breakfast – smoothie with bananas and coconut water, citrus fruits, frozen mango and peaches
Lunch – leftover red beans and rice and a salad
Snack – dried prunes and figs, and almonds
Dinner – Corn and potato chowder in the instant pot!
I just put 5 potatoes, quartered, a tbsp veggie stock, 1/2 cup cashews and some water in for 15 minutes. When it was done I used the immersion blender to make it smooth and creamy. Then I added 2 more potatoes, diced, a can of corn, not drained, and some spices, and put it in for another 5 minutes. BOOM. Delicious.
Breakfast – toast with 2 quail eggs and vegan pepperjack cheese
Lunch – went out with a friend to our favorite Chinese spot. They had a new tofu curry, so of course I had to try it! It was pretty good, though the tofu was a bit overcooked and chewy, the sauce was nice and had a slow burn to it. Great with the fried rice.
Snack – a banana in the morning, and chocolate cherry pecan mix on the way home! I just mixed a tbsp pecans, a tbsp dried cherries, and a tbsp chocolate chips in a small container.
Dinner – sister in law is in town, and she is vegetarian. We took her out to Bull City Burger and Brewery, because I heard they have the Impossible Burger and I am dying to try it!
But, turns out, they got rid of it 🙁 Apparently, once you dig into the details of how it is made, it actually takes a lot more resources to make and transport that patty than they take to obtain locally raised pastured NC cows for their burgers and process them in-house. Which is actually a decision I can get behind. Hence me having the Green Monster instead.
While sis-in-law is in town, we are going to take her around Duke’s campus and downtown Durham, to show her all the things she might do and places she might live if she ends up being matched here. Since I am a tour guide on the side, this is right up my alley! And Durham has SO much to offer, it’s not hard to persuade people that living here is pretty cool.
Oh, and this weekend is Step 2 of my grand food experiment this year: home fermented soy sauce! I think this is a thing most people don’t want to know how it’s made… but I find it fascinating.
Basically you create a dough from cooked soy beans and flour. Then cut it into rounds, and let it grow mold, on purpose. After 12-14 days, you put the rounds into a brine, which only lets the right guys keep growing (hopefully). Between 6 months and 2 years later, you have a salty, complex and flavorful sauce!
Food Total: $129 + 29.98 + 15.66 + 41.17 = $215.81
That hurts a bit, totaling it all up. So, first there was the Butcher Box that I forgot to unsubscribe from, so another box came. The promo box that included 2 free pastured chickens was totally worth it, but this one not so much.
But, the deal they are running now includes the normal box, plus $25 for 2 pounds of Alaskan wild caught salmon. If you use my affiliate link –> http://fbuy.me/lwpAj <– and sign up, we both get 2 pounds of wild salmon free! I would keep going for another box for that!
Second, the Produce Box, which this week included broccoli, winter strawberries, pears, cauliflower, lettuce, carrots, and potatoes. And then a stop by the Co-op with sister-in-law just because she was curious and it turned into some bulk stock up shopping. Finally a quick trip to the regular grocery store because we were out of tissues, yogurt for the boy, and almond milk.
How about you guys? Did you have a learning week or an awesome week of wins?