Market bounty as Week 6 begins!

July 13, 2013 1:44 pm by Pooja

Let’s just start this baby off with a picture, shall we?

july 13

We visited three markets today. We woke up early and made our way downtown after weeks (maybe months?) of not visiting the most gloriously large market in our city, only to be greeted by Art on the Square. First, we were a little disappointed by the market displacement. We were sleepy and hungry and wanted market bounty. But, once we started to look around, it was so cool!!

photo 3 photo 1 Art

After wandering around, we did eventually find the downtown market. There, we bought the door county cherries ($4.50) and tomatoes from my favorite – Canopy Gardens (1.8 lbs for $7.30).

Then, we wandered over to our beloved westside market. Yes, the downtown market has an awesome yet inexpensive variety of food, but the westside has character. And friends 🙂 There, we bought breakfast (goat cheese quiche and apricot shortbread bar, $3.50 each), a bunch of onions ($2), a bunch of garlic ($2), dreamfarm herbes de provence goat cheese ($6.25), cottage cheese ($3.75), and lb of pinto beans ($3).

Finally, we went to Hilldale, because, well — why not? There we bought a half loaf of sourdough bread. Not for any particular reason… perhaps mostly because I wanted a reason to munch on all of their sample cookies and breads. It was worth $2.50. And now I have sourdough!

So, that’s this week’s bounty. That’s added to what’s leftover from last week: several summer squash, a head of lettuce, 3 large cucumbers, a pint of cherry tomatoes, a small bunch of carrots, some garlic,  a bunch of green onions,  several small heads of broccoli, an RP’s fettucini,  several ounces of cheddar, and several eggs.

And what’s on the menu this week?

Tonight: Ricotta dumplings with yellow squash and a tomato sauce made of Canopy tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil from the garden.

Tomorrow: Cabbage soup using pintos, garlic, onion, and probably carrot. And probably the sourdough bread. Recipe forthcoming when I figure it out?

Later: Roasted vegetable pizza with broccoli, yellow squash, homemade pizza dough, tomato sauce from tonight (hopefully), and Dreamfarm goat cheese.

Along the way: Salads galore for lunch!

It’s going to be another yummy week.

Return to WI and Weeks 4 & 5 Progress!

July 12, 2013 4:14 pm by Pooja

We’re back!

We just had two amazing weeks with our family in NC (and a bit in Baltimore) and we are back home and ready to roll! I want to tell you more about our awesome trip, but we have a lot of business to attend to, so let’s get down to it.

First, our progress for week 4 (which was a loooong time ago now):

Goal 1) To eat fresh local food! With 87% of our food $$ spent at the market, we did better than usual!

Goal 2) Eat healthy! Feta & broccoli pasta, black bean quesadillas, pulled pork  with roasted potatoes & kale, margherita pizza, & salads here and there. I think we did pretty well.

Goal 3) Don’t break the bank! We spent $85 this week: $74 at the market only $11 at the grocery store! So, we definitely did pretty well this week! However, we overspent last week, and therefore had a lot to finish including pepper jack, RP’s pasta, broccoli, soy sausage, sour cream, and other odds and ends. On the other hand, we did entertain twice again this week and have a ton of pulled pork in the freezer! So, looking across the last four weeks, we’ve averaged $95/week. Considering how much we used to spend on food, that’s not bad for us.

Goal 4) Learn more about buying local meat! We bought a pork shoulder – hooray! Next time, we’ll try a less fatty meat. But, boy, it was good 🙂

That Saturday (which was technically the next week) we bought a ton of goodies and made market-based portable meals and snacks and goodies for three for our drive down to NC. Three? Yes, three. We picked up BiL John on our way through Chicago and gained some nice company for our long drive.

Okay, glad that’s wrapped up. Now we can start a new week!

We got home on Sunday night and the fridge was EMPTY. I mean EMPTY. Good thing the freezer wasn’t! Remember all of that feta and broccoli pasta I made the week before we left? I saved all of the unused broccoli stems and some of the florets in a big plastic freezer bag. No one really wants to eat stems, even though they’re just as tasty as florets. But, in a broccoli soup – no  one minds! So, Monday’s dinner was broccoli soup, made from leftover broccoli parts, chicken broth from the store, and a few left over carrots I found the fridge. I made some parmesan croutons from the few slices of bread I’d stuck in the freezer before we left and a lonely lump of parm.  Cheap and easy! I also grabbed the pulled pork from the freezer and we’ve been enjoying it with Tuesday’s CSA bounty:

CSA july 7

We got some GREAT stuff! Green beans, broccoli, snap peas, sun gold tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, yellow summer squash, garlic, green onion, and lettuce! How’s that for $8.75 worth of veggies?!

Then on Wednesday, I went to the market again:

Market Bounty 7.10

I bought a dozen very large eggs ($4), two seconds tomatoes and a pretty tomato from Don’s ($3.20), more snap peas for picnic snacking ($2), a bunch of basil for a pasta salad ($1), a bunch of garlic for said pasta salad ($2), and one splurge: a hunk of 3-year white cheddar from (who else?) Farmer John’s cheese – .8lb for $8.75. But, let me tell you, this stuff is freakin’ delicious.

Many of these things went into a picnic dinner we had with our friends that night, as an early celebration of Glenn’s birthday!! (Man – he’s getting old!) I didn’t take a SINGLE PICTURE, but here’s that yummy pasta salad I made.

And now, it’s already Friday. Already time for a progress post! Since you’re only getting this one post this week, I’ll make it brief.

It was a weird week that started with an empty fridge on a Monday. And we got a number of random items from friends (the ricotta, some heavy cream, a head of cabbage, etc.)  So, I’m not sure that it should “count”. But, we spent $33 at the market and $43 at the grocery store (yikes! some of that was for our picnic, though). Including the CSA share, we spent about 49% locally. Not the greatest week, but it was a weird one. On the bright side, we have a TON of leftover veggies for next week!

Pulled Pork, Roasted Potatoes, and Kale

June 18, 2013 7:16 pm by Pooja

I bought a 3.4lb pork shoulder from Pecatonica Valley Farms on Saturday, without really knowing what I was going to do with it. Fortunately, my buddies Jen & Tim also bought one, and gave me a little inspiration!

I threw that piggy butt in the crock pot with some white wine (from Wollersheim Winery, again, on Jen’s suggestion), and a chili powder, brown sugar, salt, and cumin rub and let it sit there for about 8 hours. In the end? Porky perfection.

pork kale potato

I made a “massaged kale salad” (aka kale squished around with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper) from the kale (from our CSA farm) and roasted some yummy potatoes we got at the Westside market (from Don’s).

To top it off, we still have loads of pulled pork leftover, despite way over eating last night – I couldn’t help it! I’m dreaming of pulled pork pizzas…. pulled pork grilled cheese with smoked gouda… pulled pork enchiladas… Success!

Black Bean & Pepper Jack Quesadillas

2:32 pm by Pooja

This will be a quick one, since it is delayed!

black bean quesadilla

I wish you could really see the gooey cheesy goodness of this…

Black beans (from Flyte family farm) cooked with bay leaf, garlic, and cumin + pepper jack (from Farmer John’s) = a spicy delicious quesadilla filling when its all mashed together and pan fried in a tortilla!

We ate these with lettuce (from our CSA farm), the rest of the garlic chipotle lime salsa (from Chip Magnet), and a little bit of sour cream mixed with yogurt (from Sugar River Dairy) (well, I did, Glenn doesn’t like sour cream).

Localicious! 😀