Posted by: thisiswhatittakes | June 20, 2011

Weekly Menu June 19-26, 2011

I’ve decided to do something a little different. I am feeling the pains of trying to start something without a clear enough focus/format to actually maintain it on an ongoing basis. I spent a lovely afternoon in Oakland today, hanging out with Kate of Blue Chair Jams, Kate Payne “The Hip Girls Guide to Homemaking”, Sean Timberlake of Punk Domestics and some other creative folks. There was a lovely spread of teas, sandwiches, baked goodies to enjoy while chatting. Something that Kate Payne said really struck me when she was talking about her book. She mentioned having to learn to eat well off food stamps for a time and that got me thinking (oh no!). So I started doing a little online research and found that for a family of three that meets the minimum income requirements (ie no net income after allowable deductions), the maximum they would receive in Food Stamps would be $526 a month. Now I think I am pretty close to that goal of $132 a week but I am really going to try and stick to that only. Seems to me if I want to advocate that anyone can have a healthy and interesting diet with just a little work and planning then I better model that behavior and stick to the same budget. So I’m going to start spending like I’m on Food Stamps and share what I learn. So get ready. It’s going to take a few weeks to get real as I do have things in my pantry that I will be using until I need to replace them.

These are my staples:
rice
beans
masa
flour
pasta
sugar
yeast
oatmeal
olive oil

Along with that I have a good selection of spices and supplement our diet with fruit and vegetables from our garden. I enjoy the lifestyle but I understand that for many people they have no idea where to begin and have extremely limited resources. I’ll try to let you know what works (or doesn’t and then maybe you will feel you can give it a shot. I will try to be more descriptive of the menu on a daily basis and discuss the time and equipment it needs and the amounts to make.

Menu

Monday
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Tuna Sandwiches
Dinner: BBQ Chicken, Portobello mushrooms, corn and baked beans

Tuesday
Breakfast: Fruit and yogurt
Lunch: Lentil Salad
Dinner:Stirfried broccoli and tofu

Wednesday
Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: Stirfry
Dinner: Tacos

Thursday
Breakfast: Cowboy Egg
Lunch: Lentil Salad
Dinner: Pasta

Friday
Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: Pasta
Dinner: Soup

Saturday
Breakfast: Pancakes or French Toast
Lunch: Tuna Sandwich
Dinner: Chicken or cheese enchiladas with rice and beans

Posted by: thisiswhatittakes | April 11, 2011

Fish Chowder

Fish Chowder

As a child my favorite soup in the whole world was a creamy (Boston Style) clam chowder. However at the age of 14 I developed an allergy to all shellfish and crustaceans. I thought I would never again have that wonderful steaming bowl of goodness. My friend Robyn’s mother was British and she made a wonderful fish chowder with Haddock and I had hope again that I could have my favorite food with just a slight modification. Haddock is an Atlantic fish and very difficult to find except for frozen or smoked here on the West Coast of the USA. I have found that Talapia makes a good substitute and I use less dairy than Robyn’s mum to cut down on calories and fat. I am so glad the members of my household love this easy soup as much as I do!

2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
6 Cups Diced Onions
1/4 Cup Flour
2 Quarts Vegetable Stock (I use 1/2 Imagine No-Chicken Broth and 1/2 Water)
1 Pound Talapia Fillets (or any other firm white fish)
1 1/4 Cup 1% Milk
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Put oil and butter in a large pot (6-8 quart) on medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook until translucent. Add the flour and stir constantly (you are making a roux). Then add the stock just a little at a time and stir really well so you don’t get any lumps. Once it starts to look like a liquid instead of a paste you can add the rest of the stock. Then add the Talapia fillets (whole because they will break up as they cook) and potatoes. Cook until the potatoes and just soft then add the milk. Add in salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Posted by: thisiswhatittakes | April 11, 2011

Weekly Menu April 11-17, 2011

Monday
Breakfast: toast with Nutella
Lunch: Salad with Tuna
Dinner: Pasta with Italian Grain Sausage, Tomatoes, Fennel and Homemade No-Knead Bread

Tuesday
Lunch: Turkey Sandwich
Dinner: Fish Chowder

Wednesday
Lunch:
Dinner: Polenta Bake (white beans, cheddar cheese, chard, artichoke hearts, tomatoes)

Thursday
Lunch: Turkey Sandwich
Dinner: Vegetable Korma with Naan

Friday
Lunch: Kid Chow
Dinner: Polenta Bake (left over form Wednesday)

Saturday
Lunch:
Dinner: Out

Sunday
Brunch: Leftover Scramble
Dinner:

Posted by: thisiswhatittakes | April 11, 2011

Weekly Menu January 24-29, 2011

Sunday
Lunch:
Dinner: Thai Food Out

Monday
Lunch:
Dinner: Tacos

Tuesday
Lunch: Falafel Plate
Dinner: Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash in a Sage Cream Sauce

Wednesday
Lunch: Baked Pasta and Salad
Dinner: Vegetable Korma, Tofu Saag Paner, Rice, Naan and Pear Chutney

Thursday
Lunch: Indian Leftovers
Dinner: Potato-Leek Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Friday
Lunch: Falafel Plate
Dinner: Spaghetti

Saturday
Lunch:
Dinner: Tacos

Posted by: thisiswhatittakes | December 6, 2010

Weekly Menu December 6-12, 2010

Monday

Lunch: Corned Beef Sandwich on Sprouted Sourdough Bread
Dinner: Vietnamese Salad Rolls and Hot and Sour Fish Soup

 

Tuesday

Lunch: Vietnamese Salad Rolls with Almond Sauce
Dinner: Polenta Bake

 

Wednesday

Lunch: Corned Beef Sandwich on Sprouted Sourdough Bread
Dinner:

 

Thursday

Lunch: Polenta Bake
Dinner: Stirfry with Vegetables & Tofu over Rice

 

Friday

Lunch: Pasta
Dinner: Bean Burritos in Sprouted Wheat Tortillas

 

Saturday

Lunch:
Dinner: Spaghetti

 

Sunday

Lunch:
Dinner:

Posted by: thisiswhatittakes | June 1, 2010

Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 pound mushrooms, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 cup white wine or sherry
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 carton Imagine No-Chicken Broth (or your own veggie stock or homemade chicken stock)
1/2-1 cup milk or cream (I used 1% but it depends on your tastes and how creamy you want it to be)

I start by cooking the onion in olive oil until translucent and then add the fresh mushrooms. When they are cooked I add the sherry/white wine and boil it for a minute or two to cook off the alcohol. Then add the stock and dried porcini and simmer for 30 minutes or so. At this point I put it in a blender and put it into a bowl or other large container. Once it is all pureed I add salt, pepper and cream/milk to taste and then put it in containers for freezing.

Posted by: thisiswhatittakes | May 31, 2010

Weekly Menu May 30-June 6, 2010

Just S and I this week. We are going for a short trip Friday-Sunday so all next weekend will be meals out.

Sunday
Breakfast: Poached eggs (from our friend’s chickens), Vital Vittles toast with Strauss Creamery butter, organic peaches, strawberries and apricots from our CSA box.

Sunday Salad

Sunday Salad

Lunch: Salad- Iceberg lettuce, marinated beans, seaweed salad, carrots, and some caraway Finn Crisp crackers

Spaghetti Puttanesca

Spaghetti Puttanesca

Dinner: Whole wheat spaghetti with Puttanesca sauce

Monday
Lunch: Curried split pea soup and toasted cheese sandwiches
Jamaican Black Bean and Coconut Cornbread BakePeach-blueberry galette

Dinner: Jamaican black bean and coconut cornmeal bake (from the May/June issue of Vegetarian Times. It’s vegan) and catfish. Dessert is peach-blueberry galette.

Tuesday
Lunch: Leftover Jamaican Bake
Dinner: Soup (in freezer- Curried Split Pea, Carrot-Ginger, Barscht, Lentil)

Wednesday
Lunch: Sandwich
Dinner: Soup

Thursday
Lunch:
Dinner: Tacos – Alvarado Street Sprouted Wheat tortillas, Amy’s Chili with Vegetables, cheese, tomato, lettuce, onions

Friday
Lunch: Leftover tacos
Dinner: Out

Saturday
Lunch: Out
Dinner: Out

Posted by: thisiswhatittakes | May 23, 2010

Weekly Menu May 16-22, 2010

I lost track for a few weeks so I am trying to remember what we had based on my notes but some info is missing.

Sunday
Breakfast: I had fruit and S & M had Eggs and Toast
Dinner: Out. Terrible Pub Food with relatives. Ick.

Monday – M goes back to her Mom’s House
Lunch:
Dinner: Stirfry Snow Peas, Carrots & Spinach with Udon Rice Noodles

Tuesday
Lunch: I had a burrito at work. Half for lunch, half for dinner.
Dinner: Out. I have Scooter Club Meeting and S has Band Rehearsal

Wednesday
Lunch:
Dinner: Potluck Birthday Party at Friend’s House. We brought a Polenta Bake.

Thursday
Lunch:
Dinner: Carrot Soup and Toasted Cheese Sandwich

Friday
Lunch:
Dinner: Take-out Burritos

Saturday
Lunch:
Dinner: Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce

Posted by: thisiswhatittakes | May 23, 2010

Weekly Menu May 23-29, 2010

Sunday
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs (from pastured chickens) with Green Garlic. Toasted Acme Bread with My Father’s Homemade Citrus Marmalade. Coffee.
Lunch: Salad with red Leaf Lettuce, Carrots, Marinated Beans, Cherry Tomatoes & Lemon Dressing. Finn Crisp Crackers with Asparagus Spread and Jack Cheese.
Dinner: Out. I have a special event at a tapas place in SF and S & M will probably go to a movie and get something out as well.

Monday
Lunch: M- Eel River Pastrami Sandwich, Carrots, Apple. S- Spicy Hummus Sandwich, Carrots, Apple. I am having lunch with my father.
Dinner: Fish, Rice & Stir Fried Vegetables (Snow Peas, Carrots, Shitake Mushrooms, Black Bean/Garlic Sauce)

This is my cooking afternoon. I will make a big pot of Curried Split Pea Soup and a Vegetable/Pesto Lasagne.

Tuesday
Lunch: Salad with Leftover Fish and Stir Fried Vegetables
Dinner: Vegetable/Pesto Lasagne

Wednesday
Lunch: Lasagne
Dinner: I have Book Club tonight so I eat with my friends. S & M will have Curried Split Pea Soup with Toasted Cheese Sandwiches.

Thursday
Lunch: Split Pea Soup, Fruit
Dinner: Homemade Bean/Rice Tacos

Friday
Lunch: M- School Lunch S & I- Tostadas from Leftovers
Dinner: M- Goes to her Mom’s House for the next week. Not sure what S & I will have but it will be from stuff on hand.

Saturday
Lunch: ? Probably Salad or Sandwiches
Dinner: DATE NIGHT! S & I will be going out for a meal. Maybe Ethiopian? South Indian? Not sure but neither one of us should have to cook or do dishes tonight.

For breakfast this week we can choose from cereal, fruit, yogurt, eggs, potatoes, toast, oatmeal.

Posted by: thisiswhatittakes | April 26, 2010

Weekly Menu 4/26-5/02/10

Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with the blog the way I had intended to. It’s the first thing to get cut out when life gets hectic. If I ever have enough free time then I will back track and try to enter in all the data. I still write my weekly menus, keep receipts etc just no time for writing. Anyway…M is with us this week and here is my plan. When things change I do go back and make edits so the realistic view usually comes at the end of the week. I know folks are really concerned about school lunches so I will try to provide more detail about what I pack for school/work. Remember that unless otherwise specified everything is organic and now I will be listing suspect items that are guaranteed to be non-GMO as such (genetically modified organisms).

Monday
Lunch: Sliced Chicken Sandwich with Mustard, Mayo, Lettuce (from the garden); green salad (from the garden); dried peaches, chocolate cookie, water
Dinner: Fish, Rice, Asparagus, Gai Lan

Tuesday
Lunch: Falafel in Pita Bread with Lentil Salad, Fresh Fruit
Dinner: Polenta Bake and Salad

Wednesday
Lunch: Polenta Bake
Dinner: Spaghetti (with Meatballs for M) and Salad *I have Book Club so I eat there

Thursday
Lunch: Chicken Sandwich
Dinner: Turkey Sausage or Veggie Sausage with Mashed potatoes & Veggie

Friday
Lunch: School Lunch
Dinner: Let’s Eat Out!

Saturday
Lunch:
Dinner: Make Homemade Ravioli with M & sleepover friend!

Sunday
Breakfast: Potato Fritatta, Sausage, Fruit, Juice
Lunch: German Festival
Dinner: Soup & Sandwiches

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