Lazy Budget Chef: January 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Lunch is Boring, Can You Help?

I work from home. Most of my lunches are either leftovers or sandwiches. It saves serious cashola on the lunch front and it is healthier than fast food.

When we don’t have leftovers on hand, I take the easy way out and make a sandwich for lunch.

With my new lactose free diet, lunch is getting boring.

Especially sandwiches, I can’t put cheese on my sandwiches every day like I used to. I got a nasty surprise in more ways than one (ahem) when I found lactose listed in the ingredients of my turkey lunchmeat yesterday. Aw, man! I have to give that up too?!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January Meijer Grocery Shopping Trip

During the winter, when our farmers markets and roadside vegetable stands are closed, I buy most of our fresh produce at Meijer. On the money saving front, I lucked out. I planned my January Aldi shopping trip to   get us back in line with Meijer’s 10 for $10 get the 11th item free sale cycle. We got off track during the holidays.

A serious chunk of the 10 for $10 items are produce. In the event I don’t have 10 qualifying items, like this week, everything rings up at $1.00. I still save money. (You should check if your store does this. Not all of them do.)

Two bags of potatoes and one loaf of wheat bread are missing from the photo. I forgot to empty that bag on the table until after I put all of the groceries away. Whoops.

This was an unusually good shopping trip. I only paid full price for 4 items:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Taste of Summer Vegetable Soup

One my favorite cold weather dinners is a good, filling crock pot stew. To save time in the morning, I often load up the slow cooker and put it in the refrigerator over night. The next morning I pop the crock in the cooker, turn it on, and let it do its magic.

A warm treat on a cold winter's night.

I made this stew mostly from vegetable and herbs I froze from our summer garden. That’s why I call it Taste of Summer Stew. We didn’t grow the sausage, obviously. It was in the back of the freezer from last summer’s we-have-a-new-grill-let’s-cook-everything-we-can-to-break-it-in food frenzy.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January Monthly Grocery Shopping Trip

The last few months we were concentrating on eating from the freezer and pantry. Between that and the holidays we were running low on everything.  This was a stock up on basics grocery shopping trip, particularly produce and meat/fish.

My plan was to buy Aldi frozen vegetables to get us through to Meijer's next fresh produce sale which should be coming up in the next week or so. I've had bad luck with Aldi fresh produce going bad quickly in the  past, although most of my neighbors haven't.

I changed my mind when I saw most of the fresh produce at Aldi was Tanimura & Antle. I had a good experience with the fresh Tanimura & Antle produce I reviewed.  I bought their Artisan Lettuce several times at Aldi after the review. The produce looked  good and wasn't squishy. We decided to give it a shot.

Monthly grocery shopping, January 2012
Hopefully this will last us for the month, with the exception of milk. Husband likes the moo juice.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Shrimp and Spinach Pizza on a Whole Wheat Basil Crust

My food stores are a little weird right now. I'm heavy on the Christmas cookies and fruitcake thanks our Moms loading us up before we went home and light on everything else.

It's the perfect time to make a pantry pizza for dinner!

homemade wheat and basil crust pizza topped with shrimp, spinach, onion, garlic, and two cheeses. 
Homemade whole wheat and basil pizza crust with spinach, onion, garlic, shrimp,  cheddar and mozzarella cheese

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How Do You Survive on a Lactose Free Diet?

I find I’m better at keeping a New Year’s Resolution if I make it sometime during the year when I need it than making one  on January 1st just for the sake of I have a  New Year’s Resolution.

For example, last November (2011) I made a New Year’s Resolution to admit to myself that I’m lactose intolerant and to get a better handle on it by cutting cheese from my diet. This one might kill me because I LOVE cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, and milk chocolate. 

If I waited until New Year’s Eve, I might have forgotten my resolution or made it hard to start after wolfing down a bunch of yummy milk based food I know don’t agree with me over the holidays.  So far, I’m doing OK but I’m still looking for a way to cheat the system because I seriously miss me some daily cheese!