Posts Tagged ‘ whole foods ’

Tasty Tuesday: Hearty Hamburger Soup

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

I first had this soup at my uncle and aunt’s place in Georgia and loved it immediately. Although it could appear bland due to lack of seasonings, it is far from it! It is full of hearty flavors and the tomato juice gives it a great tangy twist. Since my husband prefers thicker, heartier soups, this soup is one of his favorites. I often add extra veggies to make it thicker and even more filling. And if you want to save money, you can easily cut back on the hamburger too (see note below). I do this often and even though we are meat lovers, we don’t mind it at all.

Hearty Hamburger Soup
1/2- 1 lb. hamburger*
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 c. tomato juice
2 c. potatoes, diced
1 c. carrots, chopped
1/2 c. celery or green peppers, chopped (opt.)
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/3 c. flour
4 cups milk

Brown beef and onions in 6 qt. kettle. Stir in all ingredients but milk and flour. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender; about 25 min. Combine flour and 1 c. of milk, stirring until smooth; add to soup. Add remaining milk and heat through, stirring often. Do not boil.

Yield: about 4 qts.

* If using 1/2 lb. hamburger, increase the potatoes and carrots by an additional 1 to 2 cups.

For other recipe ideas, check out Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday, Blessed with Grace’s Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, and 33 Shades of Green’s Tasty Tuesday, Weiner Tales’ Tuesday’s at the Table.

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Menu Plan: What Our Family of 4 Eats on $200 Month (Post #2)

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Update:  You can read all my Menu Plans under the Menu tab and all the recipes that I’ve posted under the Tasty Tuesday tab.

After reading my post on 4 Things I Do to Keep Our Grocery Budget at $200/mo. for a Family of Four, quite a few of you asked if I could please post what we eat. So I’ve attempted to record it for you.

A couple of things that will be helpful for you to know up front:

  • Our family of four consists of two adults with fairly big appetites, a 4-year-old boy and a 11-month-old girl. The baby is eating mostly all table foods but is still partially breast fed. She usually eats whatever we are eating or things like bananas, peaches, yogurt and bread.
  • I buy lots of fruits and veggies in bulk from local farmers/orchards in the summer and then freeze or can them. This is not only much cheaper it is also healthier too. But that is why if you look at my Weekly Spending Summaries you won’t always see lots of fruits and veggies.
  • The other factor is that I have a stockpile. My cupboards are full from previous shopping. Here’s why. When I can get pasta for free with coupons I buy as much as I have coupons for. When I can get flour for really cheap (last year I got about 6 bags for $0.50/bag and put it in the freezer and am just now using the last of it) I buy as much as I think is reasonable. I do this as much as my budget allows, on as many items as I can and as a result save lots of money. So when I go to plan out what we eat, I just try to plan my meals around what I already have in the cupboards. Obviously I still might have to buy a few things at regular price here and there but by stocking up when the price is at rock bottom I save a lot. And that is why it might appear just by looking at a couple of week’s worth of my groceries that we don’t eat very well or very balanced.
  • We rarely snack.  By eating “heavy” food like granola at breakfast we don’t get hungry until lunch time.  And the same goes for the afternoon…our lunches are big enough that we rarely need a snack before dinner time.  When we do snack I try to keep it mostly healthy by offering fruit, nuts or maybe No Bake Energy Bites or a homemade granola bar.  I do have iced coffee or a homemade latte almost every day… I don’t really consider that a snack, but maybe you do.  :)
  • Our breakfasts consist of Homemade Granola or Homemade Grape-nuts, the occasional bought cereal that I was able to get for $0.50/box and sometimes some fruit too. I know that might seem awfully boring to some of you, but we actually all really enjoy it and prefer it over other breakfast food.

The lunches you see below for Monday-Friday are just for my son and I. My husband takes sandwiches, fruit, leftovers and the like in his packed lunches.

WEEK 1

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

  • Leftover Turkey/Gravy/Potato Filling; Leftover Green Beans; Homemade Applesauce; Leftover Gingerbread Cake

Wednesday

  • Out with relatives

Thursday

  • Leftovers; Homemade Yogurt; Home Canned Peaches; Frozen Blueberries (I preserved)
  • Dinner with in-laws—took 3 qts. Frozen Fruit (peaches/strawberries/blueberries) that I preserved—I like to mix these three fruits together and serve them slushy…it’s so good and refreshing!

Friday

  • Leftovers; Homemade Yogurt; Peaches/Blueberries/Strawberries (I preserved)
  • Rehearsal Dinner (we coordinated a friend’s wedding)

Saturday

  • Brunch of various leftovers
  • Dinner at wedding

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WEEK 2

Sunday

  • Lunch at in-law’s

Monday

Tuesday

  • Eggs in a Nest (an egg fried in bread); a few leftovers; Homemade Yogurt; Banana; Home Canned Peaches
  • Soup Bucket Soup (as talked about here); Cheese/Crackers; Homemade Applesauce—This was the first time I tried the Soup Bucket thing and I was fairly impressed. It was easy to add some tomato juice, cooked hamburgers and some seasonings to the soup bucket contents to make a tasty soup.

Wednesday

  • Surprised my husband and took lunch to him at work. We ate with him. It was a last-minute decision and I bought sandwiches and chips at a local deli. (If you want to make your husband’s day, try this!)  :)
  • Crock-pot Tamale Pie; Green Beans (I preserved); Homemade Applesauce; Homemade Cookies (from freezer)

Thursday

  • Eggs in a Nest (an egg fried in bread); Cheese Sticks; Homemade Yogurt—didn’t have any fruit as I made too many Eggs in a Nest and we were full!

Friday

  • Leftover Crockpot Tamale Pie; Homemade Yogurt with Homemade Granola; Frozen Strawberries and Peaches (I preserved)
  • Cheddar Cheese Chowder (meatless); Lettuce Salad with Homemade Dressing; Homemade Applesauce; Pumpkin Trifle (used graham crackers instead of Biscoff cookies). This chowder is supposed to have ham in it—for some reason I forgot to add it and discovered that it is really good meatless too! So we got a bonus meatless meal in for the week.

Saturday

  • Leftover Soup; Homemade Yogurt—this was just for me and the baby as my husband and son were gone
  • Eggs; Homemade-From-Scratch Pancakes with Homemade Gravy, Homemade Pancake Syrup and Peanut Butter; Fruit Slush; Homemade Applesauce

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WEEK 3

Sunday

Monday

  • Leftovers; Homemade Yogurt; Frozen Strawberries and Peaches (I preserved)
  • Leftover Vegetable Soup; Lettuce Salad with Mexican Salad Dressing; Cheese and Crackers; Homemade Applesauce

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

  • Leftover Cauliflower Cheese Soup; Homemade Yogurt; Peaches and Blueberries (I preserved); Cookies (bought)

Friday

Saturday

  • Leftovers for the hubby and baby; Our 4-year-old and I went out on a date for lunch :)
  • Leftovers

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WEEK 4

Sunday

  • Both lunch and dinner at my in-laws

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • Leftover Salmon Soup; Homemade Yogurt sprinkled with Granola; Home Canned Peaches and Blueberries (I preserved)

Thursday

Friday & Saturday

  • Forgot to record what we ate…yup, I really am quite human!

Sunday

  • Ham Loaf (partially homemade); From Scratch Mashed Potatoes; Cooked Carrots; Pumpkin Cake; Ice Cream
  • Various Leftovers

I’d like to periodically do these “What We Eat” posts.  If you have any suggestions on how to make it more helpful or readable please do let me know! 

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Recipe: 100% Whole Wheat Bread

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Several of you have asked for my Whole Wheat Bread recipe. I was a bit hesitant to post it since the directions are specifically for a Bosch mixer but I think it should be easily adapted to any mixer or even to kneading by hand.

When I first started making bread about 4-5 years ago it looked pretty daunting. I was sure I would have lots of flops before I actually had any loaves that were decent enough to eat. But I soon discovered it really is a pretty easy thing to do.

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law this spring after eating her homemade bread and being really impressed. Not only is this recipe super simple, it also makes the most delicious bread. My previous recipe was okay but the bread tended to be a bit dry. And while I appreciate homemade 100% whole wheat bread, I really prefer it to be soft and more flexible like bought bread. This bread is more like that. In fact, it is so soft that I have to cut thick slices so that it doesn’t tear! Since I started making this bread I have eaten more bread than I ever have- it’s just that good.

(If you are new to bread making you might enjoy this post about how to make bread, along with lots of tips.)

100% Whole Wheat Bread

10 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. salt
5 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup quick oats
2 Tbsp. lecithin (powdered)
2 Tbsp. dough enhancer or powdered wheat gluten
4 Tbsp. yeast
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup oil
extra whole wheat flour

This recipe is for a Bosch mixer, so the instructions are for that, however, you should easily be able to adapt it to other mixers or simply just knead it by hand.

Dissolve yeast in water and pour into mixer bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients to mixer bowl.  Mix on speed 1 for 5 minutes, then turn to speed 2 and add flour until dough pulls away from bowl. (For me, I’ve found that one extra cup usually is about the right amount.)  Knead for 5 more minutes. Shape loaves, place in well-greased bread pans and let rise until not quite doubled. Bake at 340 degrees for 22-25 min. Makes 5 loaves or 6 if you like them smaller!

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$10 Vitacost Credit: $1.02/15 oz. Organic Pumpkin, $0.80/bottle Honest Tea, $2.24/lb. Coconut, $1.62/pack Baby Wipes and More!

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Vitacost is an online store that sells health foods, all natural cleaners, gluten free products, vitamins, organic products, whole foods and more.  Some of the brands they sell are Kashi, Bobs Red Mill, Annie’s, Kiss My Face and Seventh Generation.  Right now Vitacost is offering a $10 credit when you sign up and create an account, which of course is making for some great deals.  Shipping is a flat rate of only $4.99 or free on orders of $49 and more.

Here are a few deal ideas- obviously you can mix and match items as you wish!* Farmer’s Market Organic Canned Pumpkin 15 oz. $1.85 each (Buy 6)
Shipping cost of $4.99
- Use $10 Vitacost sign-up credit
Final Cost: $6.09 total or $1.02/can!

* Vitacost Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil 54 oz.  $20.99 (Buy 1)
Vitacost Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil 16 oz. $8.95 (Buy 1)
- $4.48 (Limited time sale Buy One Vitacost Item Get One Half Off)
- Use $10 Credit
FREE Shipping on Orders of $25 or more of Vitacost Brand Products
Final Price: $15.46 for 70 oz. Coconut Oil!

* Honest Tea 16 oz. bottle $1.52 each (Buy 7)
Shipping cost of $4.99
- use $10 Vitacost sign-up credit
Final Price: $5.63 or $0.80/bottle!

* Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flakes Unsweetened — 12 oz $3.35 each (Buy 3)
Shipping cost of $4.99
- use $10 Vitacost sign-up credit
Final Price:$5.04 or $1.68/per bag

* Seventh Generation Baby Wipes 70 ct. $2.88 each (Buy 4)
- Use $10 Credit
Pay $4.99 Shipping
Final Price: $6.51 or $0.023/wipe

* Mrs. Meyer’s Liquid Hand Soap 12.5 oz. $4.11 each (Buy 3)
- Use $10 Credit
Pay $4.99 Shipping
Final Price: $7.32 or $2.44 each

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Here’s how to make the most of this deal:

1. Sign up for Vitacost.  After sign up you’ll receive an email with the $10 off coupon code.  You MUST do this in order to receive the $10 credit.

2. Visit the Vitacost website, search for the items you would like to purchase and add them to your cart.  If you would like to earn an additional 10% cash back (for a limited time- usually 9%) on your entire order, visit Shopathome and shop through Vitacost there.  (Shopathome is a cashback site where you can earn cash back for shopping at hundreds of online merchants.)

3. Once you’ve added all the items you wish to purchase to your cart, click the “Free Samples” tab and choose up to 2 samples free of charge. Then go to checkout and enter the $10 coupon code you received via email at sign up.

4. You’ll see the option to choose your shipping and place your order.  You’re done!

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Vitacost: $10 Credit + FREE Shipping on $25 Orders (today only!)

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

I’ve posted before about how Vitacost is offering a $10 credit to new customers.  Today only (5/10/12), Vitacost is also offering free shipping on orders $25 and over. Combine these two offers and you can get some great deals on Mrs. Meyers cleaning supplies, Bob’s Red Mill products, Cliff bars and more.

Here’s what I’m getting ready to order:

I’ve been wanting to try coconut oil for a long time and from what I know, this is a great price.  And I guess chia seeds are the new rage…full of fiber and omega-3 they are supposed to be super healthy.  I’ve been watching for a deal on them and plan to add them to our smoothies and possibly granola too.

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