Posts Tagged ‘what we eat’

Menu- September 12-18

September 12, 2010

Since you may be wondering: I stocked up with $20 of veggies the farmer’s market for last week’s menu and managed to get away with a $90 total grocery bill!  Including the groceries we already had at home, that means $90 fed three hungry vegans for an entire week.  That comes to just about $4.5 per meal, or $1.50 per person per meal.  We still have bunches of stuff left over, too, since one farmer gave us no less than 10 cups of kale for our $2, and we got some free veggies from a friend of ours who gardens.

Here’s our menu for this week. You may notice a couple of repeats from the last menu:  that’s because we had a few scheduling issues come up, and had to rearrange some meals.  A couple of my recipes got shoved to this menu instead.  This week I’m taking it easy.  We’re going to be busy so I tried to make lunches easy.

Sunday, September 12

Lunch: Boca Nuggets and homemade Dill-Spiced Cottage Fries

Dinner: Roasted Vegetable Lasagna (made using a recipe from 1000 Vegan Recipes) -also making a raw portion

Monday, September 13

Lunch: leftover Lentil Pasties (from last week) and Cabbage Saute

Dinner: Yellow dal with Spinach over rice (1000 Vegan Recipes p263)

Tuesday, September 14

Lunch: Quinoa Burgers with Grilled Mushrooms and steamed green beans

Dinner: Chickpea Cutlets (from Veganomicon), coleslaw, steamed carrots

Wednesday, September 15

Lunch: Boca Chikn Nuggets, leftover cottage fries from Sunday, peas

Dinner: Breakfast for Dinner!  Mushroom Frittata (Vegan With a Vengeance), Oven Roasted Potatoes, fruit smoothies

Thursday, September 16

Lunch: Chickpea Broccoli Casserole (Vegan With a Vengeance) and fresh fruit

Dinner: Summer Rolls with Dipping Sauce (VWAV p84), Rice Noodle nests (Wok cookbook), Thai Green Soup (VWAV)

Friday, September 17

Lunch: Smoothies and sandwiches, fresh veggies and Goddess Dressing

Dinner: Seitan and mushroom stroganoff

Saturday, September 18

Lunch: Sicilian rotini with mint-almond pesto

Dinner: Argentinean Vegetable Stew (1000 Vegan Recipes p254) with homemade bread bowls

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What We Eat: September 6-11

September 6, 2010

I’d love to start using more recipes…I have a huge library of cookbooks, but my rebellious nature leads me to ignore them often and make things up as I go.  My creativity has run short, though, and those books should get some use!  Here is our menu for this week, incorporating some more ambitious recipes than last week, as well as some homemade basics.

September 6

Lunch: @ the Minnesota Renaissance Festival (we may starve!  we’ll see)

Dinner: Smorgasbord (lots of leftovers from last week!  probably dinner salad)

September 7

Lunch: Vegetable Stir Fry over Soba Noodles

Dinner: Green Bean and Artichoke Bake (from 1000 Vegan Recipes)

-also making vegan parmesan from 1000 Vegan Recipes p.193

September 8

Lunch: Coconut Jasmine Rice with Edamame (1000 Vegan Recipes p.273)

Dinner: Raw Chili (own recipe) with Kale Chips (own) and Cornbread (Veganomicon p.113)

September 9

Lunch: Chickpea Cutlets (Veganomicon) and steamed vegetables

Dinner: Miso Soup and leftover cornbread

-also making rhubarb coffee cake (own recipe)

September 10

Lunch: Raw zucchini noodles and fresh tomato sauce (sauce 1000 Vegan Recipes p. 548)

Dinner: Lentil Walnut Pasties (1000 Vegan Recipes p.136) with Apple-Pear Chutney (p. 563) and oven roasted potatoes

September 11

Lunch: @ Chapati in Northfield, MN

Dinner: Roasted Vegetable Lasagna (1000 Vegan recipes p.216)

A Sample Menu Page

September 6, 2010

This week I started a new notebook for menu-planning.  I have a one page summary which I post on the refrigerator, but then put in-depth plans for each day in the notebook (this is a trick I picked up from working in a commercial kitchen…it’s tremendously helpful).  In the in-depth page I can make notes of which page and cookbook recipes can be found, to-do notes for things I need to make ahead, and reminders of appointments and other things that might interfere with meal times.  When I am finished with the menu I draw up a master grocery list for the week–this helps avoid my frequent problem of buying one pepper when I need three, or forgetting something at the farmer’s market and having to wait until the next week.

I’ll post the in-depth entry for one day this week to give you an idea of what my notebook looks like:

September 7

Overview:

  • Lunch: Stir Fry
  • Dinner: Green Bean Hotdish

Lunch

Vegetable Stir Fry over Soba Noodles

-sauce using lime juice and tamari, fresh chopped cilantro garnish

-julienne carrots, green onions, green bell pepper, peas, tofu, broccoli, water chestnuts, spinach

Dinner

Green Bean and Artichoke Bake

-use recipe from 1000 Vegan Recipes

-topping using Parmiaso, p.193 of 1000 Vegan Recipes


To Do

Bake cornbread for tomorrow (Joy of Vegan Baking recipe)

Bake apples from orchard (apple chips?)

Also Today

First day of school

Schedule dentist appointment

Menu Planning

September 6, 2010

Being a very on-the-fly type girl, I have long scoffed at menu-planners.  I, like many women, have cravings for certain foods sometimes, and if I feel like having spaghetti and stir fry is on the menu I am not a happy camper.  I also hate the feeling of having an elaborate meal planned, only to find I’ve barely time to make a bowl of cereal much less a spinach-leek risotto.  Planning ahead, it seemed, was not for me.

Well, menu-planners, the time has come for me to apologize.  In an effort to cut down on my exorbitant grocery bills I finally decided to sit down and try a menu, just for part of a week.  It worked beautifully and I am now trying it a second week.  It’s so fun, in fact, that I had to control the temptation to plan out my whole month.

Since it was just a trial menu, I took the first one easy, and thus a little junkier than usual.  Here’s what I came up with:

Tuesday

Smorgasbord (we had leftovers from our weekend trip, and were not all home at the same time to eat)

Wednesday

Lunch: Asian Noodle Bowl with Tofu

Dinner: Lentil Soup with Wild Rice Dinner Rolls

Thursday

Lunch: Sandwich bar, chips, and fresh fruit

Dinner: Pasta Bake

Friday

Lunch: Boca chik’n nuggets, sauteed broccoli, baked beans

Dinner: Chef salad and leftover dinner rolls from Wednesday (rotini for the little one, since she’s not yet a lettuce muncher)

Saturday

Lunch: Sloppy Joes, steamed carrots, leftover dinner salad

Dinner: Homemade Vegetable Pizza (at last minute this ended up being take-out, because we had a friend stop over)

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I posted this menu on the fridge along with short lists of dessert, snack, and breakfast suggestions.  Breakfast is usually a free-for-all in our house (since one day my daughter decides to eat two bananas, a glass of orange juice and a waffle, the next she just wants yogurt), but I did end up making Peanut Butter Banana Stuffed French Toast one day (from the book 1000 Vegan Recipes… and it was incredible).  We stuck to the menu very well and found that we ate less.  I found it very helpful to have a list of set snack options staring me in the face every time I entered the kitchen…it kept me from scarfing ice cream before dinner or having a dinner roll as a “snack”.  I was able to ration ingredients better when I knew I would use them again later in the week, instead of using a whole can of olives on one meal and having to return to the grocery store again and again.  And amazingly, when I knew what meal was coming up, it cut down on cravings.  There wasn’t a single time this week when I felt like making something other than what was on the menu.

Overall I think I saved about $90 on groceries this week.  I haven’t kept track before so it’s hard to say, but I think food spending is typically about $200 a week.  This week I spent $110, which is for three people.  Not horrible, but I do plan to try and get it below $100.  We spent an extra $25 on chips and salsa and some beer when our friend stopped over.

In case this information helps anyone else trying to eat vegan on a budget, I will try to start posting our weekly meal plans, along with the resulting grocery bill.  If you’re reading this and want to check on our other menu plans, see the “What We Eat” tag.