Menu Plan: Week of March 23rd

Last week I totally fell off my menu plan wagon. I got sick on Tuesday, had guests, went out on Friday night, blah, blah, blah. I did make the portobello goat cheese panini (I'll post that recipe later) and it was fabu.

This week I'm back on my 21 Day fitness diet (day 9). Here's what we've got going (some are repeats from last week since I never got around to cooking them):

Mon: Rosemary Tuscan chicken with couscous pilaf Crap
Tues: Shrimp scampi with salad More crap
Weds: WTFE (what the fuck ever - Anthony's doing day travel and won't be back until late)
Thurs: Grilled salmon with asparagus
Fri: Warm steak & potato salad
Sat: Firehouse hot chicken sausage chili (I made this a week ago or so and it was fucking delicious. Recipe is below)
Sun: L/O

We hosted brunch yesterday and spent $100 on food (and here, I thought by hosting we'd save money! Why am I always SO wrong about this stuff??). And earlier in the week I spent about $100. I guess $200 for the week isn't too bad, although that doesn't include a $120 dinner out on Friday night.

- As a quick aside, if money were no object I wouldn't buy diamonds, a new car, or get plastic surgery. I would buy whatever food item I wanted, whenever I wanted. I would never feel guilty for getting the expensive cheeses or wines, the organic oatmeal instead of the super cheap regular, the organic, lactose-free milk or the $5 natural organic butter. I would purchase the best ingredients for me and my peeps and we would live a rich and diverse food life full of nutrients and color GUILT FREE. Because as it stands now, I think we eat pretty damn well, but it's not guilt free. At least not on my part. I read articles all the time about how to hit $100 a week on groceries and quite frankly, I don't want to eat meat and potatoes every day, or forego nice tea, but because of this decision I feel guilty because our food expenses is the one place we can actually cut back. -

Firehouse Hot Chicken Sausage Chili
Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 23 minutes

1 T olive oil
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup chopped scallions, divided
1 lb hot chicken sausage, removed from casing
2 T chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1/2 T brown sugar
Pinch of salt

In a large sauce pan, heat oil over med-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Toss in garlic and all but 2 T scallions and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.

Add chicken and conitue to cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, for 2-3 minutes or until browned.

Stir in chili and cayenned powders and cook for 1 minute more.

Add tomates, kidney beans, bell pepper, carrot, brown sugar, and salt.

Bring to a boil over hight heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly thickened (you don't want soup).

Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with remaining 2 T scallions. Top with a dollop of sour cream.

1 comment:

  1. I totally feel you on your expense comments here. Aaron and I are pretty neurotic in how we track our expenses (long story); food - groceries and eating out - is one of the biggest line items and unquestionably one of the most controllable.

    We are frequently challenged by our decisions to keep food related expenses in check because it often affects our social life. It's natural that food and friends go together, but can also be unfriendly to the active budgeter.

    Last fall, I tried to start a dinner club with 2 other couples where we were to take turns hosting by providing a main dish and the other couples bring either wine/beer, dessert or apps, etc depending on the menu. I hosted the first one with great success (I even made a budget friendly entree), but efforts to schedule the next dinner fell off the radar after two reschedules. I tried to get things back on track a couple times without any luck - and then decided it wasn't enough of a priority to the others. :-(

    I'm also so with you on the organic yummy goodness/fab wine versus more budget friendly purchases. I experience some form of this inner strife at EVERY grocery trip - 'Spend the extra dollar on organic celery vs. save an extra dollar.' Ah such is life - decisions, decisions everywhere.