Weekly Meal Plan 9/19-9/25/14

Market Basket Seafood Counter Sign

Lobsters for $4.99 a lb and steamed at no extra charge? God bless Market Basket! That is truly a good deal and one I couldn't pass up.

While looking on my Feedly reader for recipes, I found a great one for a Grilled Chicken salad from Delicious Dishings and Roasted Herbed Mushrooms from Cookin' Canuck. I also saw a recipe for Chicken Pot Pie that included dijon mustard! It never occurred to me to add mustard to my Chicken Pot Pie recipe.

I've been eying pork belly after seeing so many Paleo cooks feature it regularly on their social media. I've never cooked pork belly before so I'm curious to try it. While I won't be buying it this week, I'm hoping to find a stellar recipe to into next week's plan.

If you follow my weekly meal plans you'll find that I make French Toast nearly every week. I buy a loaf of Challah Bread at Whole Foods for $7.99. That sounds really expensive but I only use half for Sunday brunch and use the rest the following week. Per person that comes out to $2 worth of Challah Bread a serving which is not bad at all! Their bread is really good and makes for amazing French toast.

Friday – Steamed Lobsters, Roasted Green Beans and Steamed Butternut Squash (previously frozen, going with fresh next time!)
SaturdayGrilled Chicken and Corn Salad  with a side of rice for Carlos and Roasted Mushrooms for me.
Sunday Brunch – French Toast with fresh Strawberries
Sunday Dinner – Parmesan Chicken and Caesar Salad
Monday Chicken & Leek Pot Pie (with the addition of Dijon Mustard)
Tuesday – Philly-style Cheesesteak Rolls with a side of Roasted Green Beans
Wednesday – Beef Chili (with three different beans, peppers and butternut squash) and Gringo Tortilla Chips
Thursday – Hoisin Chicken, Cucumber Salad, Rice/ Roasted Sweet Potato

Here are the deals that I'm taking advantage of this week:

Market Basket Deals
$4.99 per lb lobsters steamed!
Pillsbury Pie Crust
Amerlander Swish Cheese
Foxy Romaine Hearts
European Cucumbers
Bartlett Pears

Whole Foods Deals
Green Peppers
Butternut Squash
85/15 Ground Beef
Gringo Tortilla Chips

What are you cooking this week?

Weekly Meal Plan 9/5-9/11/14

Market Basket is back! And that means my weekly meal plans are back. I took a hiatus from my weekly planning during the Market Basket boycott. I depended a lot on their sales flyer and had no clue what would be affordable at other stores. Market Basket just released a new circular this week. It's modest but it's a great start!

I'm going to start looking more closely at inflammatory foods. I'm cutting out my usual intake of peanuts, bananas and cheese for a start. I'm thinking that peanuts have been at the root of my persistent knee bursitis. My chiropractor recommended I look into it so this will be my first peanut/banana/cheese free week!

Friday – Mustard Pork Loin, Asparagus, Garlic Butter Roasted Potatoes
Saturday – Lemon Sage Roast Chicken, Carrot and Parsnip Puree, Spinach and Tomato Salad
Sunday Brunch – Peach Gallette, Scrambled Eggs, Sausage and Iced Tea
Sunday Dinner – Broccoli Rabe, Carrots, Mushrooms, Pea Pods steamed in vegetable broth, Roasted Potatoes and Panko Crusted Pork Chops (for Carlos) and Ritz Cracker Haddock (for me)
Monday – Hoisin Chicken Thighs, Cucumber Salad, Rice (for Carlos) and Sweet Potato Fries (for me)
Tuesday – Market Basket Cooked Meatballs (Italian), Squash or Patty Pans with Roasted Green Beans, Alexia Garlic Bread
Wednesday – Shrimp Scampi, Roasted Spaghetti Squash (for me) and Steamed Green Beans – Rice, Steak (for Carlos)
Thursday – Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes and Applegate Chicken Nuggets (for me); Steamed Veg with Butter, Roasted Potatoes, Bunless Burgers (for Carlos)

New Breakfast – 1-1/2 eggs scrambled, 3 oz of yogurt and ½ cup berries
New Snack – Celery with Almond Butter

Here are some deals I'm taking advantage of...

Market Basket Deals

Schrod Haddock Filets
European Cucumbers
Market Basket Cooked Meatballs (Frozen – Italian)

Whole Foods Deals

Yellow Peaches
Olivia’s Organics Baby Spinach
Alexia Sweet Potato Julienne Fries (plus Alexia Coupon)
Applegate Chicken Nuggets
Luna BarsCoupon
Alexia Garlic French Baguette

Low-Carb Dinner Idea - Pizza Frittata

Reducing carbohydrate intake is crucial to healthiness, well-being and weight management. In this series I share some of my ideas for low-carb dinners.

Pizza Frittata

Extra Light Olive Oil to taste
1 Green Pepper Chopped
10 Eggs
2 Plum Tomatoes Thinly Sliced into Rounds
Shredded Mozzarella
Uncured Pepperoni (I used Applegate)

You'll need a Cast Iron Skillet or another type of oven-proof skillet for this.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Heat up your cast iron skillet and add a little extra light olive oil. Sautee your chopped peppers until they start to become soft.

While those are cooking, crack your eggs into a bowl and whisk them only until the yolks and whites have blended together. Add them to the cooked peppers and stir only one to mix everything together. Cook on medium heat until most of the egg has set. Add the sliced tomatoes on top.

Move the skillet into the oven and cook until the top is set. Each oven is different but this was 5 minutes for mine.

Add the cheese and pepperoni to taste. Turn the oven to a low broil and add the skillet to the middle rack. Cook until the cheese is melted and starting to brown at the edges. This was about 5 minutes for me. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn!

Let cool for a few minutes before slicing. It's a little difficult to eat because the egg base is soft. Unless it's been completely cooled, you can't really eat it with your hands. Fork and knife are the way to go. Enjoy!

An Ode to Market Basket

Woburn Market Basket on the day of my return

On this Labor Day, I sat down to think about what Market Basket means to me.

It's been a really tough summer without Market Basket. Words cannot express how glad I am that it's back. I'm very proud of all the Market Basket employees who stood up for what they believed in and refused to give in to corporate greed. They fought even when things looked bleak and in the end they got their beloved Artie T. back. We have to stop supporting the CEOs who line their pockets at the expense of the workers below them and we have to start supporting businesses like Market Basket that demonstrate that profitability does not come at the cost of unhappy and poorly paid workers.

I've been shopping at this local supermarket chain for over 15 years. It all started when I was a teenager and worked next door to the Bellingham, MA store. My mother and I loved Market Basket's prices and the proximity to my job. It was so convenient. We didn't love the packed parking lot and the rude customers who took up precious aisle space needlessly. But those situations are inherent in any grocery shopping experience. Market Basket always seemed worse than others. I knew people who would pay more to go elsewhere for a quieter shopping experience. I learned how to navigate the craziness and avoided peak hours. It was worth it the extra effort. Why? Because Market Basket has two basic things that made it the best grocery store around: low prices and variety.

When I left my parent's home and moved closer to the city, I was really poor. I barely had enough to pay all my bills. I depended on the nearby Market Basket in Burlington, MA for my groceries. I tried going to the local Stop n Shop but those trips always proved to be disastrous. I would overpay for basics and could never find everything on my list. The hike to the Burlington store could be frustrating and that store's layout before it's renovation was not ideal but even a bad Market Basket was better than any other grocery store in the area.

There was a time I really wanted to leave Market Basket. I dreamt of shopping at Whole Foods or Wilson Farms full-time. But all I could manage was buying produce at those stores and everything else at Market Basket. Then I discovered the Market Basket in Woburn, MA. It was leagues better than the Burlington store with more product and a much better lay out. I could find everything there.

When I moved in with my husband Carlos, my grocery bill tripled. He's a big man with a big appetite and he prefers healthy food. And as we all know it's much cheaper to buy junk food than it is to buy fresh meat and produce.  Now that I had the responsibility of buying so much food, how were we going to pay for it all?

I began to hone my grocery shopping and meal planning skills. I made a menu plan and plotted out dinners for each night of the week. Dinners had to be four servings so that the leftovers could be eaten for lunch the next day. That would maximize the food as well as my time. We went out to eat a lot less and I started cooking more often at home. When finances got really tight, I started paying close attention to the Market Basket circulars. My menu plan was influenced by which meats, produce and pantry staples were on sale.

We've been able to always afford food thanks to the reliability of Market Basket. When the boycott started, I didn't know what to do and I spent most of the summer with a lot of sadness. I felt like I lost control of my life. Grocery shopping was always something I had a complete handle on.

During the boycott, I shopped at Aldi, Whole Foods, Roche Bros. and Stop n Shop while the boycott was happening. I wanted to support the workers who were fighting for what they believed in. I always thought Market Basket was cheap because they kept the overhead low and paid their workers poorly. Little did I know that Market Basket was a great place to work because of Artie T. He gave them a living wage, profit sharing opportunities and made them feel like they were contributing to the company. They weren't just underpaid peons. I wish I had known this before.

The weeks away from Market Basket were brutal. I wanted the boycott to be over so badly. It was sad to see photos of empty store shelves. And it was terrifying to see products like rotisserie chicken sold at other stores for $8.99-$10.99 when I knew I could get the same thing at Market Basket for less than $5.

The Market Basket boycott came at a time when income inequality was dominating my thoughts. I had just watched the documentary Inequality for All and was wondering if good business was a thing of the past. Now that Market Basket is back, I know that it's possible. It's restored my faith in the future.

And now, I'm very proud to call myself a Market Basket customer.

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