Frugal February Challenge – Week 3 Update

It’s been a long day but I had a great shoulder workout this morning and a productive day at work.  Liam helped me out with the shopping this week (I may have bribed him with a trip to the pet store…)

Anyway, here’s my update for Week 3!

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Granola Tuesday!

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I don’t make granola very often but I made this last week and I liked it enough to share the recipe. I put it on top of plain Greek yogurt and salads but you can eat it with milk too. It is high in nutrients, fibre, and calories so 1/3 cup will do it for a serving (unless you are my mom who trains for super triathlons…in which case, fill your boots!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (the green ones)
  • 1/2 chopped apricots
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Method:

  1. Mix everything together in a glass baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 20min.  Let cool before enjoying.

Mason Jar Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes

20150214_064846This is my absolute favourite way to make pancakes!  It is super easy and the cleanup is minimal (I really don’t like doing dishes so I try to use as few as possible).  My pancake recipe is high in protein and complex carbs – perfect fuel to start your day.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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Yield: Makes 6-8 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 banana
  • dab of coconut oil (for the pan)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup blueberries

Method:

  1. Heat a medium to large pan on the stove on medium heat
  2. Put everything in a big mason jar (except blueberries – add these AFTER blending everything and just stir them into the batter)
  3. Screw on the top of the blender
  4. Blend until smooth
  5. Add in blueberries and stir (skip this step if not using blueberries)
  6. Add a dab of coconut oil to the pan and spread it evenly with a spatula
  7. Pour batter into pan and cook pancakes 3-5min/side until done.
  8. Enjoy!

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Tip: Use a wide-mouth canning funnel to make it easy to get everything into the mason jar.  Also really awesome for little helpers who sometimes are a little bit messy!

Sweet Potato Edamame Shepherd’s Pie

Last night I made this recipe from the cookbook Big Vegan – and it was awesome!  I changed a few things – did not use 1/2 cup of white wine, added rosemary and thyme, and used soy sauce instead of miso. Here’s a picture of this fabulous dish:

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I know I changed the recipe a little bit but I still don’t feel right posting someone else’s recipe. I bought this cookbook a few years ago and there are tons of good recipes in it that I wouldn’t necessarily think of. (Mostly I borrow cookbooks from the public library). Anyway, this recipe is posted here on VegKitchen.com.  They also have fancy pictures 🙂  I’m not that fancy lol but it still tasted awesome!

Definitely worth checking this one out 🙂

Pan-Cooked Lentil Burger Recipe

This was one of the recipes I made last week.  It turned out really well and I am definitely going to make them again. They are great on buns with toppings like a regular burger but I also cut some up for salads. They would also be good for tacos and sandwiches. My toddler really liked them too which is always a good sign! Enjoy the recipe!

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Yield: 12 burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw red lentils (soaked for 4 hours or overnight in water)
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup cashews or peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Drain water from soaked lentils. Put lentils into a food processor and dice until smooth. Scoop into a medium bowl.
  2. Dice onion with oats, cashews, and rice in the food processor (If using peanut butter you can add it directly to the lentil burger mixture in the mixing bowl). Add to the bowl and stir together.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the burger mixture and stir through.
  4. Heat olive oil (or coconut oil) in a pan on the stove on medium heat. Use spoon to scoop batter onto the pan and shape into burgers.  It is a little stickier than a hamburger but they cook up nicely and I didn’t have any trouble with them falling apart 🙂
  5. Cook 4-5 minutes/side or until cooked through.
  6. Enjoy however you want!

Nutrition Info for 1 burger (using USDA Nutrient Database):

Calories 132; Protein 4.8g; Carbs 12g; Fat 4.4g

Week 2 – Grocery Shopping

So Week 2 of my Frugal February is here and I was WAY over budget today.  There were a few staples that I needed to buy (oats, olive oil, quinoa, etc.) and I wanted to try a few things – like making seitan (aka “wheat meat”) that required special ingredients. Fresh salmon filets were also on sale so I bought 5 of them so I can freeze a few portions for later. Thankfully I have a PC Plus card and got $60 of free groceries today with my points!  My total would have been $170 but it was only $110 🙂  Pretty close to the $100 weekly budget but I still feel like I’m kind of cheating. I’m starting to wonder if $100/week is really realistic if you want to eat well and have variety.

Price matching did save me a fair amount today – I got a pineapple for $1.99, English cucumbers for $0.99 each, and saved a few bucks on the sweet potatoes and grapes.  I go to a cheaper store so many of the deals I had listed were already cheaper!  My trip to Bulk Barn on the other hand was very expensive.  One thing that I need to start doing again is making a Price List (a list of things I buy often and how much they are at different stores) so that I can see if it actually is cheaper at the bulk store.

Looking forward to trying out the seitan recipe from the cookbook “Big Vegan” by Robin Asbell!  I will definitely write about that since it is seems super weird and I’m not sure that I’m going to like it but if it turns out then it will be a great meat substitute 🙂

All the glorious food I got this week!

All the glorious food I got this week!

Frugal February Challenge Week 1 – How did it go?

Week 1 of my Frugal February Challenge went pretty well!

I tried to take pictures of everything but wow – that takes a lot of effort to do that!  I definitely ate more than what is in the pictures.  Not in a stuff-my-face-and-try-to-hide-it kind of way.  More in a I’m-really-craving-some-hummus-and-veggies-and-I-am-too-lazy-to-take-a-picture kind of way. I actually lost 2 lb this week 🙂

I haven’t been a big fan of tracking my food intake since I competed in a Fitness America Pageant forever ago but I actually did find tracking helpful to see patterns. For example, on Wednesday I didn’t eat my afternoon snack that I took to work and Thursdays I teach in the afternoon so I find that I get distracted and often don’t eat lunch.  This week I am going to try to have lunch before my class and bring a shake for the break (which will allow me to still answer questions and discuss with students compares to say, a salad.  I am going to be a little more diligent with using myfitnesspal to track my nutrition as well – it is SO easy to forget what you eat!

In terms of the budget plan, I caved yesterday and bought Tim Horton’s coffee for me and my co-worker ($3.40) and I did have to go buy coffee this morning ($7.99 for a bag of Ethical Bean on sale) so I am a little over budget for the week now but I enjoy my coffee and sometimes sharing is caring, especially after a long week of grant writing and editing.

Anyway, here is a run down of what I ate this week:

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I will post some recipes I made this week in separate posts after I do some marking…

Have a lovely Saturday!