Week 14: Still Costcoing

The Mexican Shepherd’s (Mex Shepx) pie was a sucess. Made with organic beef and veggies, topped with crumbled tortilla chips. This one dish meal will definitely make more appearances in our dinner table.

Star of the week: Green Beans with Turkey Bacon

Although our Costco trip was productive and our fridge is still full, I’ll be heading to the market later today. I’m planning to buy only extra ingredients for our week menu. Tonight we’ll make lasagna together. The kids really like assembling it and eating it!

As for the rest of the week, here is a rough menu:

Monday: Vegetable gnocchi soup and quesadillas or grilled cheese (Meatless Monday)

Tuesday: Lundberg Italian risotto with chicken and salad

Wednesday: ?

Thursday: Teriyaki Chicken Bowl with veggies

Friday: Gourmet

What’s in your table this week?

Week 13: Costco extravaganza

Week 13 menu starts tomorrow, Monday. The $210,87 worth of Costco food and food only, must cover this week and part of next weeks meals. Feature items in my fridge and freezer: Pears, papayas, organic ground beef, organic chicken breasts, organic spinach, organic spring mix salad, organic carrots, Roma tomatoes from Euro Farms (No pesticides), HUGE mushrooms, bread, more bread, Havarti cheese, Avocados, organic milk, organic peanut butter and strawberry jelly…If I could only have a Costco size fridge!

Monday: (Meatless Monday) Organic Salad and dirty quinoa

Tuesday: Mexican Shepherd’s pie and veggies

Wednesday: Pasta Primavera with creamed tofu sauce

Thursday: Left overs

Friday: Gourmet

Saturday: Bowling Alley birthday party

Sunday: Soup and Oven Bauru sandwiches (traditional Brazilian sandwich)

Week 11: Coupon clipping nonsense

Clipping and using coupons can be a complicated and very impractical routine. I hate it. I try to be organized and even use coupon folders, envelopes and other dumb tools. I tend to leave a trail of coupons whenever I go shopping – some in the car, some on the kitchen counter, my yellow bag, my black purse, my pockets. Who has time to clip coupons from lots of different sources, categorize and organize them? Seriously. It’s time for the Unicard, where you can electronically clip all coupons you can find and put it in one single card or even app. How hard can that be?

On a not-so-bitchy note, I did serious damage to my grocery budget this week but I also saved $58.00 with coupons and Vons Club Card. I spent $160.00 at Von’s for our week meals and other pantry items and $46.00 at Sprouts for gourmet Friday.

From Vons: Fresh caught Pacific Red Snapper $4.84, Broccoli c77 lb, Organic Delicata and Sweet Dumpling squash $1.49 lb, Organic red grapes $1.99 lb, Ground Veal 97% lean manager’s special $3.00 for 1lb.

Menu week 11

Baked Snapper: On a large piece of foil place 2 whole green onion, aprox. 1lb of fish, salt, pepper, 1tsp of butter, dry celery seeds, 1tbsp of capers, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme.Wrap it and baked for 15 minutes at 380F.



Wednesday: Baked Red Snapper, roasted asparagus and mushrooms

and brown rice. Baked breaded Snapper for the kids made with Ian’s whole wheat panko.

Thursday: Big Boy’s fundraiser dinner.

Friday: See Gourmet Friday for a simple and elegantSweet Dumpling Squash Thai soup.

Saturday: Dim Sum (eat out).

Sunday: Steak dinner

Monday: Couscous stuffed Delicata squash with roasted beets.

Tuesday: Veal meatballs cooked on TJs turkey gravy,mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Week 10

It’s week 10. I’m genuinely happy about being committed to this blog and it’s purpose.  Having a planned menu based on the weekly deals has saved me time and money.  Our family has been eating even healthier after I started planning our meals and the kids are more adventurous about trying new foods and combinations.

The goal this week is to seek inspiration. Quite frankly, I’m a little tired of my own cooking. I think I need some food porn. Some inspiration coming from a source other than Food Network. Maybe is time to research some local cooking classes. I took classes at Christine’s Restaurant 4 years ago and suddenly my kitchen was a better place to be. I was more than inspired…I was possessed. I need that feeling again.

I’ve spent $51.00 at Sprouts and I’m anticipating at least $30.00 more until next Wednesday.

The list:

From Sprouts: Fresh wild caught Pacific salmon at $4.99 lb. Roma Tomatoes 77c lb. Kiwi 4 for $1.00. Green onions and cilantro 15c each. Cantaloupe 15c lb. Asparagus $1.99 lb. Candy corn.

From Ralphs: I’m skeptical about the $7.99 lb filet mignon, but it’s definitely a deal.

The Menu:

Wednesday: Baked salmon asparagus pasta with garlic Dijon mustard sauce

(Applegate Organic hotdogs and “Peas of Mind” broccoli oven fries for the kids)

Thursday:  Green Tea cold noodles with miso dressing and Teriyaki baked tofu

Friday: Gourmet pizza (possibly homemade)

Saturday: eat out/take out

Sunday: Friends over for dinner. Hawaiian food? BBQ?Cajun?

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Rice & beans Brazilian style with collard greens



Week 8: It’s HOT

My grand plan of soups and stews for this week have been sabotaged by the unusually hot weather. I’m just too lazy to come up with alternatives, so I’m making the family sweat…together at dinner.

For those who don’t eat fish that often, Whole Foods has Santa Barbara fresh caught Yellow Tail for half price (under $5 a lb.). We’ll stay away from tuna fish this week since we had sushi last Friday. Mercury and other heavy metals are more present in large fish like tuna. I try to do some mercury control, especially for the kids. This deal is so great I couldn’t let it pass. I made this “dealicious” Yellow Tail Sesame Ginger burgers and stuck them in the freezer until we meet again!

Sesame Ginger Tuna Burgers

2 lb tuna (finely chopped)

2 basil leaves chopped

2 scallions chopped

1 tbs sesame seeds (black or white or both)

3 tbs soy sauce (I used low sodium soy sauce)

3 tbs honey

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp sesame oil

Combine all ingredients and form 1 inch thick patties. Grill or pan fry with light oil, turning once, until medium-rare. It can be topped with this yummy Wasabi Mayo:

2 tbs wasabi paste

3 tbs low-fat mayo or Vegenaise

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Ralphs has the best deal on Avocados (under 40c each) and Organic California grapes (green or red) for $1.99 lb. Whole Foods has Organic Gala apples for $1.49 lb. Sprouts has broccoli and cauliflower for 77c lb. Vons has buy 1 get 1 free Foster Farms ground turkey and organic Heirloom tomatoes at $1.99 lb.

Wednesday: Veggie & Meat ensopado (Brazilian style stew) with Quinoa

Thursday: Gnocchi (from TJs by the pasta aisle) and Chicken albondigas (frozen last week) with ‘pink’ sauce and a side of steam broccoli and cauliflower

Friday: Gourmet Friday

Saturday: Take out/Eat out

Sunday: Israeli Couscous salad with pear and cranberry and Turkey Spinach rolls

Monday: Cream of zucchini and quesadillas (Meatless Monday)

Tuesday: Turkey Avocado sliders with garlic oven fries

Week 7…and 8

Ok, so week 7 was a blur. My daughter was sick for 6 days and I was grounded. Among doctors appointments and a visit to the ER, we manage to commit healthy diet crimes like MacDs and Campbell’s soups. But, hey…we’re back on track and ready to detox.

I’m planning to include lots of fresh fruit and veggies on my week 8 menu. Cantaloupe’s grown in CA are waiting for me at Sprouts for 49c each and avocados at 88c each. My son is really into cucumbers and Ralph’s have organic ones for $1.50 each. Raspberries  are $1.99 for a 12oz package at Vons.

Yes, I’m planning to hit all the above markets and work on a detox menu for the week under $100.00.

Week 6: Asian menu

I love going to Asian markets. There’s so many products I just have NO idea of what it is or how to cook it. I almost wish each item could come with a virtual manual showing where it comes from, how to use it and how to cook it.

While in Hawaii I had a delicious green tea noodles salad with grilled tofu that I’ll try to incorporated in our week menu. As that isn’t challenging enough, I decided to make Japchae (Korean noodles) today for the first time. Japchae is one of my favorite Korean dishes. I ate it many times (homemade and store bought) and watched a Korean friend make it years ago. Hopefully, it’ll all came back to me and it turned out really good.

I went to Freshia Market at Crenshaw Blvd. in Torrance and was surprised to find many organic items. Dry black beans, rice, fresh bean sprouts, spinach, mushrooms and even Fuji apples for 89 cents a pound. I spent less than $50.00 at Freshia and around $60.00 at Sprouts (organic chicken, milk, cold cuts, etc).

Week 6 Menu:

Wednesday: Japchea and “cheat” organic soy chicken (Instead of marinating the chicken I just cook it for 1 hour on 1/2 litter water+1 cup of your fav Teriyaki sauce+1 tbsp dry ginger+1tbsp sesame oil+1 cup soy sauce+garlic powder+4 whole green onions). I used leg meat and after cooking for one hour the meat couldn’t being more tender. The kids LOVE the salty and sweet flavor of this melt in your mouth chicken.

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Looking forward to making green tea noodles with miso dressing and grilled marinated tofu.

Saturday: Eat out

Sunday: Curry eggplant or eggplant parmesan?

Monday: Hopefully leftover eggplant (Meatless Monday)

Tuesday: NO idea

Week 3

I realize it’s hard to come up with a real budget when it comes to groceries. I’m in desperate need of some input and perspective. How much is adequate? How much am I really saving by cooking with seasonal and sale items? Why is organic so dang expensive? What to and how to compromise?

So, I’ll blog how much I’m spending on food per week and hopefully I’ll be able to determine a budget.

Do you have a food budget?

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We had some yummy vegetarian spaghetti yesterday. I added 2 zucchinis, left over spinach and broccoli to the sauce and blended it. The kids really enjoyed it. I really missed having some kind of protein with it. Imaginary meatballs kept playing with my carnivorous mind. So I decided this week we’re having a steak dish, and since the weather is just too cold for grilling, I’ll be making Brazilian Style Beef Stroganoff.

The shopping list for this week:

I was planning to get some avocados at 49 c each at Sprouts but they looked overripe and so did the tomatoes. I got a bag of organic roma tomatoes at $2.99 for the Orzo salad, a little over 1 lb. of organic sirloin steak $5.99 lb. for the Stroganoff, chicken thighs at $1.99 lb. for Sunday’s dinner, tempeh, mushrooms, bananas, sprouts, whole wheat tortillas, apples, onions, etc ($47.00 total). From Ralphs I got 1 lb. of jumbo shrimp at $5.49 for today’s dinner and $93.00 dollars worth of cereal, juice, bread, milk, yogurt, etc. I used a bunch of coupons I had from Ralphs, some I clipped from the Sunday LA Times and some I found online at Mambo Sprouts.

I’m planning to shop for vegetables at Whole Foods or Tj’s sometime this week. I’ll stay FOCUSED!

Menu for week 3:

Today: Orzo pesto salad with mushrooms, tomatoes and shrimp. Leftover collard greens and turkey bacon soup.

Thursday: Brazilian Style Beef Stroganoff (I’ll post recipe and pic tomorrow)

Friday: possibly Pizza

Saturday: eating out

Sunday: Chicken and vegetables stew with mashed potatoes

Meatless Monday: Coconut curry tempeh with jasmine rice

Tuesday:  leftovers and salad

I had some turkey bacon so I made wrap sandwiches for B- and me for lunch.