I love Monday nights because my fridge is typically stocked with groceries done the previous night and I rarely have any obligations to attend to – which means I get to stay home, cook a nice dinner and watch whatever I feel like on TV.
Lately I’ve been on a budgeting kick, limiting my week’s groceries to $50. You’d be amazed at what $50 can accomplish. I am able to buy mostly organic, local or non-GMO produce, dairy and frozen foods enough to prepare at least 9 meals for two people. At the beginning of the week, I plan out every meal in a spreadsheet. I think about what I have at home (I usually have pasta or noodles well-stocked) and also what I’d like to eat, then create a grocery list based on that. I try to limit frozen items to 3 (a pizza and two lunches) and the rest are fresh produce. I don’t cook red meat so I splurge on things like butter, cheese, hummus and seafood (occasionally).
I found this awesome blog, hipsterfood, that features cheap yet gourmet recipes, so I decided to try the Balsamic Chickpea recipe tonight. Let me tell you, this recipe is a heaven-sent. It’s SO darn good!
I really didn’t have to buy much to make this. I grow green onions in a jar (all you have to do is change the water and get rid of the dead stems every day) and typically have a lot of garlic, as well as a basket of organic cherry tomatoes, washed in a bowl to eat for snack or to cook with. I altered the recipe a little to sauté with butter, add lemon juice for more moisture, and also added cubes of avocado left over from lunch. I then toasted some Ezekiel bread and ate this salad on the toast. YUMMMMM!!!!!
I also decided to bake an apple pie since I had an extra organic whole wheat pie crust left over from making a quiche last week. The pie crust I bought only came with the bottom crust so I had to make the top crust. This was certainly not the first time I ever made apple pie, but since I always insisted on making pie crust from scratch, and I eye-balled the ingredients for a recipe cut in half, the dough came out super sticky – and my attempts to fix it by adding more flour turned into an absolute disaster.
Hence, the world’s ugliest apple pie was made tonight.
The good news is, it turned out SUPER DUPER yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In fact, I may have succeeded in making the best apple pie crust I ever made, ever! I am eating it with my new favorite ice cream, the three twins fair trade vanilla bean speck. Mmmmm.