Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Grocery Game: Day 6

The day was crisp and beautiful, with a nip in the air as I stepped outside first thing.  Feeding the chickens was top on my list, and I was glad for the red sweatshirt.  While I knew the morning chill wouldn't last long, let alone all day, it was evidence of changing seasons elsewhere on the continent, even if our seasonal change was a meager one.

Before I returned to the door, Keller was there, greeting me enthusiastically, and grubbing for breakfast, as if he would not make it another minute.  I decided a treat was on tap ~ a chilly yet deliciously robust treat ~ a perfect compliment to the chill out of doors.

I began pulling the ingredients from the fridge:  kiwi.  peach.  strawberries.  white grape juice.  A banana was already on the countertop, and the honey just above my workstation.  Breakfast would be served in no time!


A smoothie is a great source of Vitamin C, and, if you are like me, and don't care for bananas eaten alone, a dynamic way to garner a double dose of potassium without the choke down.

There was much to be accomplished today, and the light and easy fare of a quick intake of power-packed fruits would set us on a course for getting it all done.

By late morning, the fuel was wearing thin, and fortunately, I'd prepared a great pot of chili the day before.  It would simply be a heat up of the flavorful concoction, and we'd be back on our way once again.

The chili was a warm spicy, just right for the fall palette.

There would be no heavy kitchen activity today.  And much of the prep work for many days ahead was accomplished already, making the next few weeks look simpler in nature.  A good thing, knowing that many days "supper on the table fast" is all I'd be able to muster, given the schedule.

As I've shared a bit of strategy with you, you've shared strategy with me, and I'm lovin' it!  Here are a few of the comments and ideas that have come in over the past few days:

I tried something the other day that worked out pretty good- I cooked red bell peppers, onion, and garlic in the crock pot. Now I can quickly add this to whatever I'm cooking. I use that combination in a lot of recipes.  ~Tammy

Cooking beans is a bit of a challenge up here at 6,500+ elevation, but mostly just takes more time and zero salt till they are done. I've had beans work and not work up here at my elevation, but the last few times they've worked.   ~  Jan

I have heard disbelief as well when I state my belief that fresh fruits and veggies are not an expensive luxury. I try to buy lots of whatever is in season. Some stuff, like bananas and lettuce remain fairly constant throughout the year. Potatoes, apples, pears, squash and the like are in season now. I'll buy more of those and save the strawberries for June. (when I will buy as many as I can and freeze some for winter treats)  ~ Cheryl

And Pamela was kind enough to share one of her lentil recipe's with me.  She can be the jump start on those, since I haven't introduced you to them here, yet!  LOL  That will be posted on the recipe document.

Chili is a veritable nutrition powerhouse, with dietary fiber reaching beyond the 50% mark.  Protein levels are high, as is iron, calcium, vitamins A and C . . . manganese, phosphorus, selenium, potassium .  . . yes, it seems to have it all.  :)  Inexpensively, too.

For this particular pot of chili, I spent 1.15 on a bag of beans; spent .99 on tomatoes, using three cans, 4 dollars and some change for the hamburger, .30 for an onion, and let's say another .50 for all the spices, according to their use per teaspoon.  Eight dollars for a large pot of earthy soup that packs a health punch?  That will feed a crowd?  Five generous servings were imbibed today, and barely made a dent in the pot.  This batch will easily serve another five, making .80 a serving a nice price in today's market.  

The smoothie?  Equally inexpensive and healthful.  The ingredients within totaled approximately $1.50 and made four generous servings, a little over 1/2 a cup each.  That's less than .50 a cup.  Again, plenty of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, calcium . . . a great treat!

Well, that about wraps up today's meal.  Still well under budget per daily eating, and overall, no sense of 'somethings missing'  . . . well except maybe the chocolate.  We can fix that!  LOL

The GilGuy worked today into the evening, so popcorn will have to wait.  Perhaps tomorrow?  :D

Smoothies, Chili, Skillet Lentils - The Grocery Game:  Day 6



Monica said...

I am absolutely LOVING this series, Angie! I do have a few questions that I've been wanting to ask:

1) When you make your chili, the spices in the chili recipe are in addition to the spices added when making the chili beans earlier in the week?

2) Do you buy all of your fruits and veggies at once for the two week period? How do you keep them so they stay fresh for that length of time?

I also shop for two weeks at a time, and I'm excited that this week will be another shopping trip - i.e. I can't wait to incorporate some of your ideas/techniques. I've been wanting to do more with beans/legumes, however I just never knew how to prepare them with variety. So, THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking the time share share all of this with all of us!

~ Angi :) said...

I apologize for the delayed response, Monica ~ it has been a very busy 36 hours.

Yes, the spices in the recipe are ADDITIONAL. The chili sauce for pintos, while the same, are to steep the beans in flavor. The spices added to the entire set of ingredients is to bring about chili in it's fullness. :) This recipe is just a springboard as well. Feel free to tweak and add as you might enjoy. The base, though, is FANTASTIC. :)

Yes, all F & V for two weeks. I use the bins in the fridge to their capacity. When items are wrapped in plastic, chilled, and shut in the bin, it adds to the life, somehow. Honestly, the only item I ever struggle with is cilantro. I have to use that up quickly, or suffer the sliminess of not. LOL

I have chilled bananas before, but for some reason, when they are in the fridge, I use them less? A strange phenom. At any rate, the chill factor seems to keep all well for a two week period. Some lasts even longer, such as cabbage. I can get three weeks out of peppers/broccoli, etc sometimes.

Thank you for letting me know it is helpful. I have many more recipes up my sleeve, as the month goes on, I'll add to what you've already received. :)

Monica said...

Thanks, Angi! I've already printed all of your recipes so far and can't wait to see what else you have up your sleeve. :)

Cricket said...

Cilantro- I'm a cilantro-a-holic. The grocery baggers know me by the bag of cilantro held in my hand. I have it scanned last and then I snatch it up immediately. Baggers do not know how to treat cilantro. If it gets bruised it goes badly much more quickly. Once home I store it on the top shelf where it's least likely to be shuffled about. I keep it in the produce sack - twisting it shut first. :)

Anonymous said...

This is the sink that is capable to perform the tasks that the other sinks are too small for. In some cases the laundry is going to be cramped for space but it should always be possible to at least include a corner utility sink somewhere in the room.

Heidi, The Blissful Stitcher said...

Pamela! Is that what my cilantro's problem is???? Oh. Things are gonna get more cilantry 'round heeuh!!

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