Ugh. We ate out quite a few times this week. Crappy fast food, too, which is convenient in the moment but always makes me feel a little gross afterward. Not I think solely because of the food but because the food is greasy and heavy and shoved into a random opening in my schedule, which make the process of eating it stressful as well. My schedule now includes an every-other-Saturday obligation related to my internship, which cuts into my food prep and grocery shopping time and really impacts how much I get done. So. I’m not quite sure how we’re going to manage that, but it seems like freezer and crock-pot meals might be the most helpful for that week. Actually, when I did cook this past week it mostly involved the freezer. We had the baked spaghetti twice and then used the Encrusted chicken breasts for meals twice as well. They are okay, but I don’t think I’ll buy them again.
I did end up spending a bit more on groceries than I had tallied last weekend. As I thought, I needed half & half midweek and also bought a small bunch of bananas. The total for that purchase was $3.25. I forgot that I had ordered some spices from Penzey’s, mostly for holiday gifts, but I stupidly did not double check my inventory of spices because I was convinced that I NEEDED more cinnamon. And I do prefer this particular kind of cinnamon, but it was a dumb purchase because in addition to the small jar I have in the spice cabinet, I already had TWO bulk size jars in the pantry. So I spent $11.29 on fancy cinnamon that I don’t need. I think I am going to give my nieces and nephews a cooking/baking kit for Christmas, now that I have so much cinnamon to disperse…sigh. And then my hormones were running wild this week so my emotions were also going crazy and I indulged in some candy for a little emotional eating. That was $4. So I went $15.50 (or so) over my monthly budget. Not the end of the world, but I feel like I bought dumb stuff or made stupid mistakes, which is annoying. Honestly I care less about the money and more about giving in to emotional food cravings for such total crap. I’ve gotten back into the habit of tracking calories and that was kind of a depressing series of entries, lol. Next week and next month will be better, though, as I have a strategy for my new schedule (I think).
So, last week got really intense with everyone trying to make up everything after the long period of time off from the hurricane. Pictured above is everything that I remembered to take photos of as far as dinners are concerned except for the stuffed peppers, which I shared in a recipe post last week. The pita pizzas were ok, but not great. Mostly they ensured that the pitas were eaten. I didn’t take a photo of the hot dogs we ate because a) not very interesting and b) we ate in a hurry in transition from one thing to another. Anyway, here is my plan and how we actually did:
- Italian-Style Stuffed Peppers
- Pita Pizzas
- Hot Dogs & Sauteed Cabbage (weird combo, maybe)
- Chickpea, Cauliflower, & Potato Curry
- Spinach Pie
What We Ate:
- Italian-Style Stuffed Peppers √
- Pita Pizzas √
- Hot Dogs &
Sauteed Cabbage (weird combo, maybe) √ I don’t remember what we had as a side, probably just veggies and dip.
- Chickpea, Cauliflower, & Potato Curry √
Spinach Pie NOPE I didn’t have time to fiddle with the filo dough this past week and the weekend was pretty full, too, so not sure if I’ll get to that before the spinach is used in other meals.
- ADD ON: Simple Pasta Bolognese & Roasted Broccoli √ I used up a jar of Barilla pasta sauce — the sweet peppers variety — and it made a fantastic bolognese. Then I feel like I get extra points because I immediately used the leftovers to make a small baked spaghetti for Michael and I to enjoy this week.
This week’s meal plan:
- Southern Style Chicken Breasts, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Green Salad
- Pantry — potatoes, garlic
- Fridge/Freezer — Perdue Encrusted chicken breasts, milk, salad greens, cabbage
- Baked Spaghetti, Green Salad
- Pantry — whole grain pasta, pasta sauce, onion
- Fridge/Freezer — ground beef, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, salad greens, cabbage
- Sticky Sesame Cauliflower & Tofu, Rice
- Pantry — rice, soy sauce, honey
- Fridge/Freezer — tofu, cauliflower, pepper strips
- Spinach Pie
- Pantry — onion, olive oil, garlic
- Freezer/Fridge — spinach, cottage cheese, feta, filo dough, butter
- Egg Roll in a Bowl
- Pantry — coconut aminos, garlic, onions
- Fridge/Freezer — ginger, carrots, green onions, cabbage, ground beef
I’m also gearing up for my “shelftober” challenge and wondering if my $15 budget was a little too ambitious. Mostly because we have very little fresh fruit in the house right now and that always makes me feel like I need to stock up. We shall see, I guess!
I feel like it’s forever since I’ve blogged, but apparently it’s only been a week. Time is strange lately. Anyway, I had to laugh at myself — I was really proud of managing to cook and meal prep and just stay on top of things this past week. Then I looked at my photos (which I also managed to capture, yay me!) and realized we had pasta three times this week. Ack! and LOL. Because, really?! In my defense I needed to use up the greens and ricotta sauce, and then there was still leftover cauliflower from almost two weeks ago and I had been craving that roasted cauliflower pasta dish. However, the photos tell a very starchy story. 😛 I also don’t really remember when I made these dishes…but this is what we ate:
- Pasta w/Greens and Ricotta (Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home)
- used up most of the spinach still lingering but on it’s last legs, some of the arugula, basil from my porch plant, cottage cheese, fresh pasta
- the second time we had this I used a bag of frozen tortellini, that Giovanni Rana brand I’ve been buying at Publix. Seriously the best stuff ever!
- Spicy Red Pork and Bean Chili (Gourmet via Epicurious), Cheddar Cornbread
- used a package of sirloin pork chops from freezer (far less than the four pounds called for in the recipe), home canned/pickled jalepenos, 3 cans of black beans, and I think I forgot the cumin. It was still really tasty. Michael made the cornbread.
- Orecchiette w/Roasted Cauliflower (I didn’t use a recipe, but this is close and I did think as I was eating it that it would be good with bread crumbs. 🙂 )
- used up two open boxes of pasta (so, orecchiette and farfalline), chopped up the very last of the arugula as well as a little basil and stirred in with extra olive oil at the end
We ate salads for lunch a lot and also I grabbed Taco Bell one night, which was gross but also satisfying as I was REALLY HUNGRY. Two classes ran over so there wasn’t really time to eat at all that day…
I didn’t go to the grocery store until today, and that really helped us control food waste and also has kept the amount of food in the fridge to a reasonable amount. My goal is to not allow it to get so crazy like it was before…when cleaning it was a major adventure.
Guess what’s on the menu for tomorrow night?! Skillet lasagna. Until I wrote all this out, I honestly didn’t realize how often I’ve been relying on pasta. I think this might be a coping skill leftover from prior college/grad school experiences!
I have no pictures of our meals this week. It’s just been really hectic and I feel proud that we’ve not succumbed to eating out. I’ll worry about pictures when I have a bit more time. Before the week really started, I spent some time Monday and Tuesday (morning) prepping food to keep up stocked up for lunches and snacking. I made:
- Veggie Pizza
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Salad Base (3 BIG bags)
- Chicken Tenders (1/2 bag, baked)
For dinners we have enjoyed:
This seems to be just about the right amount of food to keep us going through the week with a manageable quantity of leftovers.
For my lunches I have largely been eating salads comprised of the salad base, a handful of torn spinach, a handful of torn arugula, chopped peppers, corn, grape tomatoes, chopped cucumber, chopped chicken tenders, croutons and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. And then a little container of dressing for over top. I also pack one of the snack-y type foods I’ve picked up over the last month or so and some fruit. It’s really filling.