Of Saffron, Blueberries, and Duckpears

August 24, 2009 at 6:18 am 1 comment

potato curry2

Well, it’s the end of the week, and I’m happy to announce that I pulled off another week on the $50 grocery bill challenge!  Although I spent a cool $42.43 on produce, I dipped pretty deep into my $30-per-month bulk food fund, spending my entire monthly allowance (plus some of next month’s), at Famous Foods ($35.48).  On the flip side, I ate 3 meals out (my maximum) to the tune of $40, which is pretty much what I paid in groceries for an entire week!  Pretty crazy how it adds up, hey?  (Only one meal out is deserving of mention, which was at Chutney Villa : every Monday and Wednesday they have a 7 course vegan sampling menu based on the village food of South India.  What a treat!)

Ok, so here’s the goods:

Farmer’s Market: $15

  • org. corn- 6 ears
  • org. new potatoes- 2 lbs
  • org. garlic- 1 bulb
  • org. heirloom tomato
  • org. habenero peppers- 2

Everfresh Produce, Main Street: $2.74

  • scallions
  • local plums, 2
  • local, organic carrots, bag

Buy-low foods, Kingsway: $13.82

  • Organic Strawberries
  • Organic Honeydew
  • Local, Organic apricots -2
  • Organic Apple- 1
  • ginger
  • 1 Lb. Tomatillos
  • Local tomatoes 4
  • onions, 2
  • local cilantro

Famous Foods, Kingsway: Produce $10.59, Bulk Food Fund -$32.24 (!)

Produce:

  • Org. Granny Smith Apples- 2
  • Org. Bananas- 4
  • Local Blueberry Box
  • Mystery “Produce” items ($1.58)

Bulk:

  • Organic Chamomile (Huge Bag )
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Coriander seeds
  • Dulse Flakes
  • Veg. Shortening
  • Golden Raisins
  • Tahini
  • Org. Rolled Oats
  • Saffron
  • Unbleached Flour

With the exception of me and my boyfriend’s one-year-anniversary, it was a week of meals for one.  I gorged on tons of fruit!  I made a point of buying as much local, organic produce as I could within my budget, and was excited to realize that this was totally doable.  But the culinary highlight was the anniversary meal I packed over to Mr. Boyfriend’s house:  Manzana Chili Verde with Jalapeno Cornbread from Veganomincon.  To top it off, I made my first-ever blueberry pie,  homemade pie crust and all.  I completely forgot to take a picture of it, which means I’ll just have to make it again…(dramatic sigh). You should know that this pie is rather legendary in my family.  I begged for the recipe from my mom, who has kept it under lock and key for years.  If I were to divulge the secret of this pie, I’m not sure exactly what would happen, but it wouldn’t be pretty.  Anyway here are some pictures of the Anniversary meal:

the secret weapon in the chili verde was granny smith apples!  This was my first time cooking with tomatillos...YUM!

the secret weapon in the chili verde was granny smith apples! This was my first time cooking with tomatillos...YUM!

I know, I'm becoming so domestic!  Crust wasn't very pretty around the edges, but it was totally light and flaky and melt-in-your-mouth delicious!  I used a vegan EarthBalance shortening, and it gets 10/10!

I know, I'm becoming so domestic! Crust wasn't very pretty around the edges, but it was totally light and flaky and melt-in-your-mouth delicious! I used a vegan EarthBalance shortening, and it gets 10/10!

Mr. Boyfriend's backyard is an orchard, with pears, apples, blackberries, and even grapes!! He picked these for me <3. They were so beautiful and delicious.

Mr. Boyfriend's backyard is an orchard, with pears, apples, blackberries, and even grapes!! He picked these for me <3. They were so beautiful and delicious.

he was just too darned cute to eat.
Duckpear4fix
anniverary

Our backyard anniversary picnic! And Mr. Boyfriend's backyard punching bag.

Tonight, using up the rogue vegetables in the fridge was top priority as the week has come to an end, and grocery funds run low.  I googled the contents of my icebox: “carrots, potatoes, corn + vegan,” and landed on this gem of a curry dish.  (I chose it since the only ingredients I didn’t have on hand were the tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.)  It was really good.   It’s called “Carrot Rice and Creamy Potato Curry” Here’s the link to the recipe, and a pic:

Creamypotatocurry
Not only was it satisfying, it was surprisingly quick as well- by the time the potatoes were finished boiling, I had the rice finished and within minutes the rest of the meal came together!  Probably only 30 minutes from start to finish.  I think next time I might try adding some balsamic vinegar or lime to get a little extra brightess to balance out the coconut milk.  That said, I totally missed adding the teaspoon of sugar called for in the recipe- perhaps that would have taken care of it.  This would be delicious with some fresh corn added, which I meant to do :S  I halfed the Carrot Rice recipe, and it made the perfect amount to go with the curry.  At the end, I dusted the rice with some American Saffron, which made it even more special.  I have a sneaking suspicion that cooking some golden raisins into the rice would blow this off the charts…and I also have a few slivered almond ideas, but I’d better calm down for now.

Looking forward to next weeks treats!

Laurakins

xoxo

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Entry filed under: Budget.

Tips for Saving Money on Weekly Groceries: Guess who got to be one of 5 taster-testers for Sarah Kramer?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Vaishali  |  August 28, 2009 at 12:47 am

    Hi Laurakins, glad you liked the tomato curry and carrot rice. I like the idea of adding saffron– it looks and sounds wonderful. And yes, adding dry fruit to rice does blow it off the charts– I’d saute the raisins in a tiny bit of oil and add them at the very end.
    Thanks for the feedback! 🙂

    Reply

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