Tag Archives: sweet potatoes

Weekly Eating – 8/6/18

 

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 survived my long drive last weekend to Ohio, and turns out it was pretty worth it. The bridal shower was beautiful, they did a great job of decorating and making the hall magical. And it was so nice to see family, I hadn’t been to town in about 2 years.

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We caught up on life and things, and just being around the people who raised you is always comfortable. I also benefited, as there were several items I brought home that I previously hadn’t been able to get because I flew rather than drove. I inherited an Instant Pot my mom used once and didn’t like (hello, canning in my future!), a cast iron griddle that was too heavy for my grandma to use, a box full of mason jars, and handkerchiefs from my great grandmother.

weekly eating budget epicurean

I’m pretty excited to use some family heirlooms in my Zero Waste journey. It goes to show you that you should always ask around, old folks lived in times where zero waste was just a way of life, and they know things that we as a society have forgotten.

 

Monday:

Breakfast – potatoes, eggs, and pancakes

Lunch – chili at work. It was a crazy busy day, so I would not have been able to eat at all if a co-worker hadn’t brought chili and pretty much forced me to eat a bowl. The cornbread muffin was really good

Dinner – Chipotle! I know that’s 2 weeks in a row. I’m not mad. Does derail the diet plans a bit…

Tuesday:

Breakfast – Leftover pancake, with bacon and candied walnuts

Lunch – Baked sweet potato, black beans, avocado, and salsa

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Dinner – Rest of the Chipotle

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Wednesday:

Breakfast – Corn tortillas with fried potatoes, peppers & onions, and sweet potato leaves! Turns out they taste just like spinach when cooked, and we have an abundance of them right now.

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Lunch – baked sweet potato with black beans, avocado, and salsa

Dinner – Slow cooker tofu masala. I chopped up onions and bell peppers, mixed garlic, ginger, tons of spices, tofu, and coconut milk and let it simmer on low all day at work. When I came home, the house smelled amazing and as soon as the rice cooker was done our dinner was ready. Ridiculously healthy, tasty, and satisfying.

weekly eating budget epicurean

I made a big batch of blueberry banana muffins using this recipe from Amazing Paleo because I want to experiment with more gluten free recipes (so I have things for next time my sister visits). I used local NC blueberries instead of nuts.

weekly eating budget epicurean

I also made 2 more loaves of my favorite white bread because we were out. It was getting late, so I decided to let it rise overnight and go to bed rather than rush it or stay up too late baking. In the morning it turned out they had risen into monster blobs!

budget epicurean weekly eating

Haha still tasty, and actually the loaves were extra light and fluffy due to the overnight rise time. I bet I could turn this dough into 3 loaves with the extra rise time.

Thursday:

Breakfast – Paleo blueberry muffins

Snack – hummus & raw veggies

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Lunch – tofu tikka masala

weekly eating budget epicurean

Snack – my favorite chocolate PB bars, and a salad because they had a potluck at work for someone’s retirement

Dinner – Thursday night Co-op $3 dinner! Loaded baked sweet potatoes with black bean and corn salsa, vegan butter and sour cream, and cinnamon sugar & raisins.

It was a blast, and I also finally made the leap and became an owner… It’s a one time fee of $100 and you get discounts and deals all year long. This was also my first Zero Waste grocery shopping adventure!

weekly eating budget epicurean bulk grocery shopping

Bringing jars and tare-ing was a little awkward at first but the cashier clearly is familiar with the process. And the per pound deals are pretty great. Sadly I did smash my biggest pickle jar, so I was quite sad about that…

weekly eating budget epicurean bulk grocery shopping

Friday:

Breakfast – PBFit on fresh bread

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Lunch – lunch out with a friend. I did half great with this. I remembered to bring my towel as a napkin, and even brought my own real fork for the salad. But I did not have a container, so I was stuck with a huge plastic clamshell. Baby steps, this is still progress.

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Snack – fresh fruit! I cut up a TON of fruits last night, so we have a wall of containers in the fridge with local NC fruit now.

Dinner – Last of some leftover beef n vegetable soup with my homemade bread.

The Weekend

This will hopefully be a pretty chill weekend. We don’t have any real plans yet, besides several potential friend hangouts, weather permitting. I will probably do some sort of baking or sewing project, like trying a batch of tortillas or crepes, maybe some gnocchi. We are still slowly sifting through the freezer and pantry and cleaning it out, so I’m trying to come up with recipes to use what I have that the boy will also actually like and eat.

We also have a lot of yard work to do, and various housekeeping and cleaning. Vacuum, sweep, laundry, clean the bathrooms… you know, adulting things. I may make some time for relaxing, a new sewing project I have in mind, and/or taking my books back to the library too.

Food Total: $44.12 + $146.27

This is extra high because it includes the $100 membership fee to become an owner in the Durham Co-op. It is a one time fee, and without it I still only spent $90 on food this week! Yay!

Lessons Learned

Bulk shopping is super cheap, and not as hard as you may think. Any glass, or even plastic, container will do. I did learn that a wide-mouth jar is best, as the pour spouts for the bulk containers are very wide, and if your jar you’re pouring into is too narrow, you will fling pinto beans and dried rice all over the place. Don’t be that guy. Luckily my store had a handy wide mouth cup to use, to pour from the container into and then pour from the cup into my smaller containers. It’s like they’ve done this once or twice.

 

 

How about you guys? Did you have a learning week or an awesome week of wins?

Almost Work-free Curry

 

Curry is one of my favorite meals ever, because you can make it in a crock pot and basically do no work, or in a sauce pot and also do almost no work!  I’m sure that there are curry recipes which take many exotic ingredients and hours of preparation, but for a basic recipe, and an American palate, curry is super simple.

This curry incorporates chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and other aromatic vegetables for an amazing, nutritious, tasty recipe.  I used basically a jar of salsa starter that I had canned earlier in the summer, but you can also use frozen veggies, or fresh diced veggies. This is very filling, especially if served over rice.  If you must have meat, feel free to also add some pork or chicken or beef.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • 1 medium white or yellow potato, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • Optional: 1 tbsp turmeric, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp red chili pepper, 1 tbsp garam masala

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Step 1: Dice up the potatoes and throw them in a sauce pot or crock pot.  Add the diced tomatoes and vegetables.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer and cook 20-25 minutes.  (Or set to low and cook 2-4 hours).

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Step 2: Open the chickpeas and drain.  Add to the pot, along with any spices you want to use.  Cook just until everything is heated through, if using a crock pot, add about 30 minutes before serving.  If desired, boil some rice and serve with the curry, or you can serve with flat bread.

 

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

 

A favorite of some, a mystery to others, the sweet potato is a nutritional powerhouse long under-appreciated by the mainstream. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, copper, and several B vitamins. They also contain digestive-health-promoting fiber, potassium, and phosphorus.

Luckily more and more people are getting on the sweet potato band wagon. While delicious on its own baked or steamed with a drizzle of cinnamon-sugar or maple syrup, there are many ways to use this delightful vegetable. Cook as you would a regular white potato and use instead for healthful results.

This recipe takes a classic comfort food and switches up the ingredients to create a new classic that’s far more nutritious and healthy. Small swaps can lead to big results, and can introduce your taste buds to whole new worlds. Starting small is a good way to slowly introduce someone (or yourself) to a new flavor without being overwhelming.

I use half white and half sweet potatoes for the topping here, and create my own creamy filling to keep the fat content in check. Stuffing as many extra veggies as possible in is also a great addition.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 regular potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cooked turkey or chicken
  • 1 16oz bag of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 cup soy/almond milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt

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Step 1: Dice your potatoes into small chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and simmer the potatoes for 10-15 minutes, until soft. Drain, and mash together.

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Step 2: Spray an oven-safe pan, and add the frozen mixed vegetables. You could microwave and thaw them first if you have time. Add the milk, sour cream, and turkey and mix well. Leave the turkey out if you’d like a vegetarian dish.

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Step 3: Cover the veggies with the mashed potatoes. Pop into the oven at 350 for 45-60 minutes. Cook longer if you didn’t thaw the veggies first, less time if using fresh chopped veggies that are dry.

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Scoop out a helping and season as you wish. The sweet potatoes do live up to their name and will add a slight sweet taste to the dish. I think just about any mix of veggies would work here, but I especially liked the broccoli/cauliflower and zucchini. This dish has tons of healthy nutrients and minerals with very little fat.

 

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 regular potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cooked turkey or chicken
  • 1 16oz bag of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 cup soy/almond milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Dice your potatoes into small chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and simmer the potatoes for 10-15 minutes, until soft. Drain, and mash together.
  2. Spray an oven-safe pan, and add the frozen mixed vegetables. You could microwave and thaw them first if you have time. Add the milk, sour cream, and turkey and mix well. Leave the turkey out if you'd like a vegetarian dish.
  3. Cover the veggies with the mashed potatoes. Pop into the oven at 350 for 45-60 minutes. Cook longer if you didn't thaw the veggies first, less time if using fresh chopped veggies that are dry.
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