A Year of Eating Locally Challenge-Meal Plan + Food Costs: June 17, 2018


If you’re just tuning in, this is our 1 year challenge in which I share our weekly meal plan as we try to eat primarily locally grown food.  You will see that I often I make 2 different meals because I am primarily plant-based and my husband is not.  Most of what we eat is made from scratch and any boxed, canned and/or frozen products follow the Real Food guidelines.  Meal planning is my way of controlling the grocery budget (read as a LOT of dollars saved), ensuring there is no food waste for the week, as well as saving time.  You can read more about meal planning here.

Read the entire series here.

I was so excited to shop at the farmer's market again this week - zucchini, cucumbers, beets and scallions made their debut.  Although I had originally planned to create 2 asparagus dishes this week, I opted to call asparagus season officially over and switched up those veggie recipes so that I could take advantage of the new findings.

Strawberry season is in full swing.  I debated (momentarily) going to a u-pick field for my jam-making berries but instead purchased a flat from a farmer at our Sunday market.  This saved me from sweating in a hot field, the pain of bending over and over and over...., and a few hours that I could instead devote to something else.  Seemed like a no-brainer.  I happily carried my flat from the booth across from ours and announced to my husband that I was checking "strawberry picking" off of my list.  I will be able to complete jam-making as well as freeze quite a few for use later in the year.  And, of course, set aside quite a few for simply eating.

I used honey as the sweetener in the strawberry jam I've already made and I really like it!  So I purchased more this weekend for my second jam-making adventure of the season.  Also, this year, instead of granulated sugar I'll be using maple syrup in my blueberry jam.  I've heard from a number of people that it's amazing.  If you've tried it, I'd love to hear what your thoughts are.

I've just about used all of the lettuce I planted this year.  I decided against continual planting (and continual watering, and continual weeding) and instead will buy it.  I do have kale planted that I've been harvesting to add to salads.  It should provide for another month or so before the heat begins to take a toll on it.  I will plant it again toward fall.  I like to grow it so I can pick it as baby kale - so much more tender.

I have tomatoes on the vines but it will still be awhile before they are ready.  Just seeing them, however, makes me very very happy.  You'll notice that we bought steak at the grocery store this week.  Here's the thing with grass-fed beef.  It's more flavorful, but it's also tougher.  We've had some really good grass-fed beef steaks in the past.  Yes, they were a little tougher but not bad at all.  Lately, however, they've been incredibly tough, so, we are buying any steak that J will be eating at the grocery store going forward.  We've had great success with any cuts that you slow-roast as well as burger, so those we will continue to purchase from our local farmers.


On to this week's menu!

Weekly Meal Plan:
Sunday
Breakfast - Asparagus Frittata 
Lunch - PB&J's, misc. raw veggies
Dinner - Fajitas (beef for J and Veg & Bean for me); Mexican Rice; Salad

Monday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with Strawberry Jam & Raw Walnuts
Lunch - (me) Salad (including mesclun mix, sugar snap peas, sun-dried tomatoes, black beans with roasted red pepper dressing, (J) French Bread Pizza
Dinner - (me) Baked Sweet Potato Stuffed With Beans & Veggies, (J) Chicken Burger & Coleslaw

Tuesday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with Strawberry Jam & Raw Walnuts
Lunch - Leftovers
Dinner - (me) Pasta with Pesto & Veggies, (J) BBQ Pork Tenderloin, Rice, & Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas

Wednesday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with Strawberry Jam & Raw Walnuts
Lunch - (me) Salad (including mesclun mix, sugar snap peas, sun-dried tomatoes, black beans with roasted red pepper dressing, (J) French Bread Pizza
Dinner - Burgers (me - veg, J - beef), Potato Salad, Quick Pickles, Kohlrabi 

Thursday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with Strawberry Jam & Raw Walnuts
Lunch - Leftovers
Dinner - (me) Chop Salad, (J) Grilled Steak, Homemade Rice-A-Roni, & Oven-Fried Zucchini

Friday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with Strawberry Jam & Raw Walnuts
Lunch - (me) Salad (including mesclun mix, sugar snap peas, sun-dried tomatoes, black beans with roasted red pepper dressing, (J) French Bread Pizza
Dinner - Quinoa, Beet & Orange Salad, (J) Grilled Pesto Chicken Breast

Saturday
Breakfast - Sourdough Waffles
Lunch - Flat Bread Pizza (me - veggie, J - pepperoni) and Salad
Dinner - Tacos (me - bean & veg, J - beef), Guacamole, Mexican Rice, Cilantro-lime-corn Salad

Weekly Food Cost:

Farmer's Market - $97.00
  • CSA (sugar snap peas, kohlrabi, cucumbers, beets, mesclun mix, & radish) - $18.00
  • Flat of Strawberries (8 quarts), zucchini, scallions, & lettuce - $44.00
  • Milk - $2.50
  • 1/2 & 1/2 - $2.50
  • Pork Tenderloin - $13.00 (cut in half for 2 meals)
  • Grass-fed Beef Ground Burger - $5.00
  • Honey - $12.00

Hannaford - $36.75
  • limes - $1.98
  • oranges - $1.69
  • horseradish - $1.69
  • taco shells - $1.99
  • burger rolls - $3.69
  • prime rib steak - $9.08
  • cherries - $7.42
  • sweet potato - $1.04
  • red potatoes - $3.49
  • coleslaw mix - $1.69
  • blackberries - $2.99

Grand Total - $133.75

Weekly Food Notes:
  • You should never (ever) see eggs on our shopping list since we raise chickens for eggs.
  • I had on hand: herbs (garden), Corn (frozen from last summer), kale (freezer & garden), sun-dried tomatoes, onions, carrots, mayo, black beans, rice, pasta, beef flap meat, boneless skinless chicken breast, olive oil, butter, avocado (last week), ground oats, flour, yeast, sourdough starter, roasted red peppers, and flour tortillas.

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