One week in and it’s off to a good start. The eggplant parmesan and the veggie stew has been satisfying my hunger in the most pleasant manner. A balanced meal does taste quite delicious!
What’s in my veggie stew?
It’s eggplant, mushrooms, spinach, shallots/onions, chicken stock, and marinara sauce. Since I just got my clay pot from the holidays, I wanted to test it out…and it works! The stew turned out perfectly with the slightly sweet tomato sauce paired with the slight bitterness from the spinach and eggplant, it was great combination. Pop in some crusty bread for a bit of crunch and it’s got everything I’d want in a dish.
As for the challenge, I need to beef up breakfast, but at least I have lots of fruits and veggies to keep me healthy. So far, the only meats I have are eggs and salami, which seems to curb my meaty cravings for now. Rice and pasta help add that extra boost of energy when veggies are not enough.
The week is almost over and I have half an eggplant left. I guess eggplant week will be extended to next week as well. I forsee ratatouille!
Hopefully I won’t have to buy much for next week.
For the past couple days, I’ve been eating the same thing for dinner and I’m still not tired of it. The challenge is going well so far, though I haven’t been having as big a breakfast as I’d like. However, dinner has become a time to bring out my “chef” aspirations. Despite a bit of prep work and effort, just looking at my plate makes it all worthwhile.
That delicious plate of food is eggplant parmesan with penne pasta. The additional toppings are spinach, fried egg, provolone cheese and marinara sauce. It’s so delicious…I can’t believe it’s almost gone!
Now onto the recipe:
A new year, a new challenge.
For January, I’m starting the Food Stamp Challenge again. I wrote about the conditions for this exercise already, so I won’t repeat, but I hopefully I’ll keep up the weekly updates.
Groceries for the First Week
For the first week, I hoped to spend $20 in groceries in preparation for the challenge. Luckily, I have most of my necessities on hand before heading to the store, so I didn’t need to pick up much. It’s going to be eggplant week to kick off this Food Stamp Challenge (FSC) and what better way than with a vitamin packed fruit.
Here’s the list of this week’s groceries from Trader Joe’s:
- Sweet crisp canned corn ($ 0.89)
- Light Coconut Milk -canned ($0.99)
- 1 large eggplant ($1.39)
- 1 dozen large white eggs ($1.49)
- 8 bananas – $0.19 each ($1.52)
- White mushrooms – 8 oz. carton ($1.69)
- Baby Spinach – ($1.99)
- Blood Oranges – 2 lb bag ($1.99)
- Organic Multigrain Oatmeal ($2.29)
Total Amount Spent: $14.24
Amount Remaining: $35.76
Hopefully I planned this week well so I won’t have to waste any food and it will last me all week and perhaps next week as well. I’m starting this challenge officially on January 4th since I was visiting my family previously. Also, I will do my best to keep all my meals and snacks balanced and healthy. There will no MSG and no overly processed foods this month unless specified. I’m hoping that through this challenge, I will demonstrate that healthy eating is not expensive and it’s not complicated either.
I don’t clip coupons and I don’t read the weekly grocery ads. I just plan out the entire month, but I’m flexible with my menu based on the items at the store and what appeals to me. This isn’t the only way to be healthy and cheap, but this is my way of eating healthy for the new year.
What’s on this weeks’ dinner menu?
- Eggplant Parmesan with Pasta
- Modified Ratatouille or Confit Byaldi with Pasta
- Eggplant Stew with Harvest Blend (Couscous, beans, barley, quinoa)