Here is our menu for this week. I haven’t done one of these in a while. This week is probably the most expensive menu we’ve had since Christmas week, and all due to one item. Copper River Sockeye salmon is in the stores and we love this salmon. I would eat this in preference to any red meat. Given that it is the first week or two of the season, the prices are sky-high, higher than when I purchased last year. If patterns hold, the price will come down over the next few weeks.
We bought a big 1.5 pound filet today, and it cost about $15.00/pound. It will be part of three meals.
|Weekday||Main dish||Shopping list|
|Sunday||Grilled Salmon||Salmon, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, shallot, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, olive tapanade, lemon|
|Monday||Pinto Bean & Tuna Salad||Pinto beans, lemon juice, peperoncini, tuna, green onions, parsley, spices, purple kale|
|Tuesday||Green Curry Tofu||Tofu, green curry paste, rice, eggplant, broccoli, coconut milk, ginger|
|Wednesday||Pesto Pasta w/Salmon||Salmon, basil, garlic, olive oil, almond meal, pasta, Parmesan|
|Thursday||Mushroom Stroganoff||Egg noodles, mushrooms, onions, sour cream, sherry, butter|
|Friday||Roast Chicken Cacciatore||Chicken thighs, red wine, tomato paste, butter, garlic, fennel, bell pepper, tomatoes, onions, olives|
|Saturday||Soba Peanut Noodles||Canola oil, onion, jalapeno, garlic, peanut butter, condiments, carrot, cucumber|
|Sat. Brunch||Salmon Tortas||Salmon, eggs, parsley, onions, canola oil, Tabasco|
Saturday has two meals listed – brunch and the evening meal. Friday is our 22nd wedding anniversary, so we are going to extend the celebration for a few days. The week as a whole is fairly indulgent. Overall, the week’s menu will cost $58.42, at an average of $2.92 per meal. Anywhere there is salmon, the price really goes up.
|Pinto Bean & Tuna Salad||2||$4.55||$2.28|
|Green Curry Tofu||2||$3.10||$1.55|
|Pesto Pasta w/Salmon||2||$10.14||$5.07|
|Soba Peanut Noodles||4||$4.19||$1.05|
- The salmon cost I simply divided by 3 and then used that for each of the meals where it appears. Thus, today’s dinner, Wednesday’s dinner and Saturday’s brunch are all kind of pricy. The enjoyment of eating this salmon makes up for the price.
- The potatoes I prepared for dinner today were out of this world, roasted in olive oil, then mixed with olive tapanade and lemon peel. No leftovers of that!
- The cheapest meal overall for the week is the green curry tofu, since it contains no meat and few condiments, just a few scant spoons of a very hot green curry paste plus a grating of fresh ginger and a few minced leaves from our Keffir lime.
- The cheapest meal per serving is the Soba Peanut Noodles since it makes four servings (and I suspect it’s actually going to be 6 servings by the time we’re done).
- Even with the salmon, the average cost per serving is $2.92, which is decent, but still higher than we usually see.
- The most expensive ingredient after the salmon is the mushrooms in the stroganoff, at $4.49 for a 24 ounce carton from Costco. Second most expensive is the can of tuna in the pinto bean and tuna salad, which is $1.61 for a 6 .oz can, water pack. Next up are the three chicken thighs that go into the cacciatore at $1.53. The package of soba noodles (12 .oz) costs $1.39 and the fresh tomatoes in the cacciatore ($1.28/8 .oz) round out the top five most expensive ingredients.
As with my previous weekly menus, my point here is to show what I buy, prepare and eat on a regular basis, making note of exceptions (like the salmon) as they occur. I’m very fat. This is what I eat. It is delicious, satisfying and healthy by pretty much any reasonable dietary standard out there. The Spousal Unit and I eat better than most people, and I don’t waste a lot of time worrying about my macros, my calories or the nutrient fad of the week. If someone asks, I’ll even post a recipe so the nosy neighbors can scour it for bad ingredients or out-of-control portion sizes.
As for the ingredients themselves, there are a few organic things here and there (the grape tomatoes at Trader Joe’s, the bunch of kale from Ralphs), but I make absolutely no effort to seek out or preferentially select organic anything. I look for good prices on food that meets my quality standards. So, this week, I passed up the cheaper red bell peppers at a local grocery because they were in terrible shape, and bought significantly more expensive ones at Ralphs because of the quality. I don’t much care if meat is organic, since I really think that is taking things to extremes. You’re better off to eat less meat or just go vegetarian than to go broke trying to buy organic.
Our meals are a mix of minimally and highly processed ingredients, selected to provide the best balance of price, quality and convenience. They contain all the stuff we’re supposed to avoid like the plague (sugar, GMO crops, gluten, white rice, non-organic, diet sodas, salt, things my grandmothers wouldn’t know what to do with, etc.) and stuff that scores high on the morality scale (organic kale, fresh produce, fish, low/non-fat dairy, etc.). They keep us well fed and content.
Like good meals should.