Thursday, February 25, 2016

Food on Friday: Fresh Veggies Edition, February 26, 2016

I'm sharing an update on this week in food, and you guys! I am learning a lot and finding new ways to be creative without going over my budget. I have some new recipes I am excited to share with you today!

But first, I'm curious: what do you spend on fresh veggies?

I've been on a mission for the past few weeks to incorporate more veggies into my meals. Here in Maine, we have a pretty short growing season. I love buying fresh fruits and veggies in season, but that is just not possible year round! Thankfully the health food store I work at sells a lot of local produce, so I have a pretty good supply 9 months out of the year.

But these 3 months of winter leave me with not a lot of local options, so I've been buying mostly organic produce in the meantime. I know the label "organic" gets thrown around a lot, and doesn't always mean much, but since I can't get local this seems like the next best option. I try to look for items on sale and get the best deals, and I have found that eating this way has really cut down my weekly food spending!

Here are a few of the fresh food items I have bought this week, and I'd love to hear how prices compare in your area?

Organic Avocado: $1.39/each
Organic Celery: $1.99/bunch
Organic Oranges: $0.50/each
Organic Baby Spinach: $8.99/#
Organic Onions: $1.79#
Organic Ginger Root: $5.99#
Organic Carrots: $3.39/2# bag
Organic Parsnips: $1.99/1# bag
Organic Yams: $1.69/#
Non-organic Brussels Sprouts: $2.99/# (The organic ones were twice as much...I just couldn't justify that. :/)

I'm super pumped about this list! That is a lot of fruits and veggies that went towards my meals this week and will continue into next week! Want to know how much I paid for all that produce?

Grand Total: $19.92

Under $20 for two weeks worth of veggies! Granted I picked up a few other items to make complete meals, but really not too much more. It is so exciting to know that I am eating food that is good for my body and spending less money doing so.

I find that real food prep takes time and can be messy! BUT...it is worth it! I am learning how to be faster and using tools like the Ninja and crockpot to cut time down. 

Here are a couple new recipes that I tried this week using real food ingredients (and focusing on veggies!)


My BFF Holly sent me a bunch of links to great veggie recipes, and I tried one this week: Slow Cooker Chicken Artichoke Soup. I left out the rice because I'm not a fan of rice in my soup, but it was still good! I'm a fan of a recipe that is this simple: throw it in the crockpot and eat it when I get home from work. :) This one meets that criteria, plus it was full of veggies, including artichokes which I wouldn't normally eat. I also used the chicken broth I got on sale a couple weeks ago for this recipe.


I used the parsnips, onion and ginger, plus broccoli and garlic to make Parsnip "Rice" with steamed Broccoli. I snipped this out of a magazine a couple years ago, and really it is a pretty easy recipe to make! It is packed with flavor from the garlic and ginger, too!


Parsnip "Rice" with Steamed Broccoli
Ingredients: 

  • 4 cups of parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 orange bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 pinch plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)


Directions:

1. In a food processor, pulse parsnips and lemon juice until parsnips are minced and resemble rice. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet, toast shredded coconut over medium heat, stirring until golden, about 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.

3. In the same skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and the pinch of salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add reserved minced parsnips, stirring until the pan becomes dry, then add water and remaining salt. Cook until parsnips are softened and just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in toasted coconut.

4. Meanwhile, steam broccoli until tender. Serve over parsnip "rice" and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with cilantro if desired.





Last but not least, I tried this recipe from Heavenly Homemakers for No-Bake Granola Bar Bites. These are a great sweet treat without the sugar! I put oats, raisins, organic mini chocolate chips, organic chia seeds and organic flax seeds as my mix-ins, and had all the ingredients on hand. They are so good, addicting, really! I will be making these often (and eating them for breakfast, no doubt!)





So there is my week in food, and I'd love to hear from you! What do you spend on fresh fruits and veggies in your area? Do you have any recipes to share that use whole, real foods, veggies especially? Leave links in the comments, or email me, I'd love to try something new!


Cooking and Saving for One person -Whole food deals and recipes for the week

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