Monday, February 20, 2012

This week's menu and a new answer

Wow, I didn't post anything but my menu last week. I think the week just got away from me. It happens with a kid who's teething AND learning to sooth himself to sleep. Oy.

This week's question is one I've been getting a lot, since we decided to go grain free:

How are you going to afford to eat all that fresh produce and meat if you have to eat only organic veggies and pastured/free-range protein?

The short answer: it won't be easy.

The long answer: It won't be easy, but it might still actually be cheaper than all the eating out we were doing before this. Since this is our first month, the jury is still out, but I do think we are going to end up spending a couple hundred dollars less each month. We ate out A LOT. And it was all junk. We like good food. When I cook, I rarely do anything half-assed. Yet we were ordering junky pasta, pizza, or bar food from crap restaurants in our neighborhood three or four times a week! Made no sense.

Anyway, I do what I can to save money and what that usually translates to is going to multiple grocery stores each weekend to get the best deals at each one. Once a month we go to Costco, and this month we got a bunch of their organic chicken breasts and ground beef. I like their meats because the chicken is pre-portioned (two breasts in each mini-pack) and the beef is already separated into 1 lb blocks. I stalk sale items at Whole Foods, too. I've been going there on Friday evenings because they always have some sort of sustainable meat on sale just for Friday - one week we even had lobster tails because they were so cheap! While I'm there, I'll buy almost any produce that is on sale, depending on what we are due to get in our CSA. I also shop the sales on beef and poultry. I almost never buy a full price item there. About twice a month, we travel out to Wegman's in NJ, which has an amazing selection of organic produce, meat, and pantry items at pretty good prices. We shop sales there, too. And last but not least, we have our CSA. They have a small farmer's market on pick-up day, and have been putting one meat on sale each week, so I always buy whatever it is. This week's shepard's pie, for example, will contain the ground veal that was 25% off this week.

And if all else fails, we eat non-organic vegetables and non-pastured/free-range meats, because I refuse to get crazed about these things.

On to the menu...

You will see some repeats this week. That's because I never got around to making these items last week either because we had to make something quicker, or we had a dinner out with family or friends. (More on the friends part in a later post.)

For breakfast for the week, we are having a sweet potato hash with breakfast sausages (on sale at Whole Foods!) and a poached egg (we get them with our CSA).

Yesterday, I made the hash/sausages, more bacon-wrapped, cheese-stuffed jalapenos and a blood orange (WF sale, yet again) and fennel salad to take to a potluck.


Leftover blood orange and fennel salad with Chicken


Cajun catfish, cauliflower rice, and asparagus


Skirt steak w/citrus marinade and brussel sprouts


Roast Chicken in the slow cooker


Shepard's Pie

This post is part of Menu Plan Monday.


  1. looks like a great week. Great job on changing your eating.

  2. We have had a bad eating out habit too. That's been one good thing about moving to MA is that we've been much better about eating at home. (the upside of fewer interesting restaurants close to home). I have been trying to get all pastured meats and organic veggies, and I think we are saving money. We weren't even eating out at fancy places, but lasagna from the corner Italian place, Thai take out, etc. Kudos on your efforts.