Thursday, October 7, 2010

Local Eating Challenge: Week 2

Recap From Week 1
We pretty much followed the meal plan I set out in the beginning of the week.  I had forgotten to include lunch on the weekend, but we just made a pasta dish with some of the tomatoes from the box my husband got.  Overall, we spent $57 at the farmer's market (McLean's $29 & $28 at Falls Church for a box of tomatoes, parsley & bacon) and $38 at the grocery store...for a total of $95.  That's less than our budgeted amount of $100/wk but more than what we usually spend ($70-80/wk)...and we didn't really buy any meat.

I do have some veggies leftover, though.  I ended up not using the kohlrabi bulbs and we have 2 acorn squash I didn't use. Plus, most of the box of tomatoes went to the freezer for later usage.

First Week Observations
I cheated a bit in my first week which I kind of feel horrible about.  I just didn't want veggies to go to waste!  And, I used fresh ginger.  I tried to console myself that non-local ginger was OK because it is really a spice, but now that I know that local ginger exists, I really shouldn't have used it.  Despite considering myself to be someone that is pretty knowledgeable about what grows in this region & when it's harvested, I find myself learning a lot.  This is a good thing!  I'll do better in the coming weeks!

One thing I am surprised at is that the McLean and Falls Church farmer's market don't have local chicken.  I'm hoping that Annandale does because we mostly eat chicken.

And, finally, I'm finding meal planning to be a bit more time consuming than usual.  Not being able to use a can of tomatoes or lime juice has started to limit my go-to recipes.  Many recipes also mix in- and out-of-season vegetables which is frustrating.  In some cases you can find an easy substitute or just leave it out, but in many cases it's important to the recipe.  In addition, The meals are taking a bit longer to prepare because I can't just dump in a bag of frozen veg or a box of stock...I have to prep the vegetables or make that stock myself.

Week 2
At the grocery store this week I only needed milk, coconut milk, steel cut oats, local mushrooms (no vender at the FFX county markets) and some assorted beans (to replenish our pantry) in the way of food.  Total cost was $25. 

The Annandale market was open & they did indeed have chicken!  I got a half of chicken, ham roast, green beans, onions, turnips, 2 bunches of kale, arugula, a bag full of collard greens, 2 peppers and butternut squash.  All for $53.  The onions were annoyingly expensive though; 4 of them were almost $4!  I did forget, however, to buy some apple cider so we'll do without juice for the week.  I'll make some flavored iced tea instead. 

Total for the week: $78!  This is more like what we usually spend each week.

Menu for the week:

Thursday, Friday & Saturday: Veggie Pot Pie (half the kohlrabi from last week, carrots from last week, green beans, turnips with their greens & onions)

Sunday, Monday: Roasted ham with greens (plus apples from U-pick)

Tuesday, Wednesday: Roasted acorn squash pizza topped with arugula

My lunch: Veggie Thai Red Curry (the other half of the kohlrabi, peppers, and butternut squash)

My husband's lunch: Pasta with roasted tomatoes (tomatoes from last week)

Weekend lunch: Roasted tomato & basil soup with grilled cheese

Breakfast: Steel cut oats with apples or plain yogurt with homemade jam, bacon pancakes on Sunday morning

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