This past week I wanted to find out if I could meal plan for a week, on a budget of $125, while purchasing as much food as possible from the Davis Farmers Market. Spoiler alert: I went over budget by $25. I also had a few ingredients in my pantry already (listed below). I have listed the groceries I purchased and the meal plan I followed. You will see a simple meal plan with links followed by a more detailed version of how it all came together. I tried to make the meal plan as autumn-y as possible, using as many in-season items as possible.
The Grocery List
*Note: A few of my recipes came out of the Davis Farmers Market Cookbook. I included links to similar recipes but the ingredients may vary slightly!
Farmers Market ($47)
1 dumpling squash (Winter Veggie Pasta)
1 delicata squash (Winter Veggie Pasta)
1 medium sugar pie pumpkin (Pumpkin Butter)
6 sweet potatoes (Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes, Winter Veggie Pasta)
1 bunch of leeks (Winter Veggie Pasta)
3 bell peppers (Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas)
2 tomatoes (Optional garnish for Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas)
1 lb mushrooms (Polenta with Mushrooms and Collard Greens, Leftover Mushroom Frittata)
1 bag of stir fry greens (Scallion Crepes with Stir Fried Greens)
Parsley/Thyme fresh herbs (Chicken Stock, Soupe au Pistou, Winter Veggie Pasta, Leftover Mushroom frittata)
Davis Co-op ($105)
1 whole 5lb chicken (Chicken Stock, Crockpot Chicken Fajitas)
4 chicken breasts (Crockpot Balsamic Chicken)
30 eggs (Breakfasts, Leftover Mushroom Frittata, Scallion Crepes with Stir Fried Greens, Leftover Fried Brown Rice)
1lb pizza dough (Winter Veggie Pizza)
1 box tomato soup
6 ounces Feta cheese (Winter Veggie Pasta)
1 cup Parmesan cheese (Winter Veggie Pasta, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Leftover Mushroom Frittata)
1 cup Ricotta cheese (Winter Veggie Pizza)
8 ounces Shredded mozzarella cheese (Winter Veggie Pizza)
1 can refried beans (Leftover Chicken Fajita Burritos)
30 ounces POMI chopped tomatoes (Crockpot Balsamic Chicken)
1/2 lb dry cranberry & 1/2 lb dry butter beans (Soupe au Pistou)
1/2 lb dry polenta (Polenta with Mushrooms and Collard Greens)
1 lb brown rice (Rice side dish for Scallion Crepes with Stir Fried Greens, Leftover Fried Brown Rice)
Package of tortillas (Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas, Leftover Chicken Fajitas Burritos)
1 bag frozen peas (Leftover Fried Brown Rice)
2 medium butternut squash (Grilled Squash Side dish for Scallion Crepes with Stir Fried Greens, Winter Veggie Pizza)
1/2 lb green beans (Soupe au Pistou)
2 bunches of carrots (Chicken Stock, Soupe au Pistou, Kids side dish for Polenta with Mushrooms and Collard Greens, Winter Veggie Pizza)
bunch of collard greens (Polenta with Mushrooms and Collard Greens)
bunch of bananas (Optional for Breakfasts)
bunch of celery (Chicken Stock, Snacks)
5 medium yellow onions (Chicken Stock, Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas, Soupe au Pistou, Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken, Polenta with Mushrooms and Collard Greens, Leftover Fried Brown Rice)
1 red onion (Winter Veggie Pizza)
2 medium zucchinis (Soupe au Pistou)
2lbs small red potatoes (Soupe au Pistou, Winter Veggie Pizza)
1 lemon (Leftover Mushroom Frittata)
2 limes (Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas)
1 bunch of scallions (Scallion Crepes with Stir Fried Greens, Leftover Mushroom Frittata)
1 bag of mixed greens salad (Optional to make simple salads with lunches or to complement Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken dinner)
* Items I already had in my pantry
1/2 cup + 2 Tb Balsamic vinegar (Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken, Winter Veggie Pasta)
Soy sauce (Leftover Fried Brown Rice)
15 cloves of garlic (Soupe au Pistou, Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken, Winter Veggie Pasta, Winter Veggie Pizza)
1 Avocado (Optional for Crock Pot Chicken Fajita garnish)
Shredded cheddar (Optional for Crock Pot Chicken Fajita garnish, kids polenta garnish, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches)
16 oz. Spaghetti noodles (Soupe au Pistou, Winter Veggie Pasta)
Bread (Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, to dip in Soupe au Pistou)
Butter (Polenta with Mushrooms and Collard Greens)
Almond milk (Leftover Mushroom Frittata in place of half n half, Scallion Crepes with Stir Fried Greens)
1 cup Flour + Flour for Dusting (Scallion Crepes with Stir Fried Greens, Winter Veggie Pizza)
1 1/2 cups Apple cider (Pumpkin Butter)
1/3 cup Maple syrup (Pumpkin Butter)
1/3 cup light brown sugar (Pumpkin Butter)
Salt & Pepper
Ground cumin (Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas)
Chili powder (Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas)
Sesame seeds (Scallion Crepes with Stir Fried Greens)
Fresh rosemary (Chicken Stock)
Fresh sage (Chicken Stock)
Fresh basil (Soupe au Pistou)
Dried oregano, basil, thyme (Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken, Winter Veggie Pasta)
Ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves (Pumpkin Butter)
The Meal Plan
Breakfasts: Eggs (usually 1 each) and Oatmeal or Toast with Pumpkin Butter (Recipe Courtesy of 52kitchenadventures.com) I added the pumpkin butter this week to give our toast some flair.
Dinner Crockpot Chicken Fajitas (Recipe Courtesy of 52kitchenadventures.com)
After grocery shopping, I went home and immediately started my homemade chicken broth to use for the week. I used the Davis Farmers Market Cookbook chicken stock recipe but here is a similar Chicken Stock Recipe courtesy of www.foodnetwork.com. While I was making the chicken broth I started the chicken fajita crockpot meal, minus the chicken. I doubled the recipe because I knew I would have more than 1lb of chicken. After a half hour the chicken stock recipe called for the meat to be removed from the chicken before returning the bones to the stock to boil longer. I just threw the meat right into my crockpot at that point. I then cooked everything on low until dinner time. After dinner I made sure to put the dry cranberry & butter beans in a pot to soak for tomorrows dinner.
Lunch Leftover Fajita Burritos
Dinner Soupe au Pistou (I used the Davis Farmers Market Cookbook recipe but the Saveur recipe link is similar)
On Sunday we made burritos for lunch with our chicken fajita leftovers. We added refried beans and cheese to the fajita mix and wrapped it all up in tortillas. For dinner I made the Soupe au Pistou using my own chicken broth and it came out beautifully. We did splurge on a loaf of french bread to dip into the soup.
Lunch Leftover Soupe au Pistou
Dinner Slow Cooker Monday: Balsamic Chicken and Baked Yams (courtesy of 52kitchenadventures.com)
In the morning I brought out my two crock pots and started the Balsamic Chicken in one and the sweet potatoes (substituted for yams) in the other. If you dont have two crock pots I recommend crock potting the chicken and baking the yams in the oven an hour before you are ready to serve dinner. For lunch on Monday we had leftover soup and leftover french bread. At dinner time I made a simple salad (salad greens with dried cranberries and pecans) and dished out the chicken and sweet potatoes. They were delicious and hardly any effort!
Lunch Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup
Dinner Winter Vegetable Pasta with Cheese (From Good Humus Farm Recipes)
For lunch on Tuesday we made simple grilled cheese sandwiches (cheddar/parmesan) with tomato soup (purchased in store/not homemade). And for dinner we cooked up the Winter Vegetable Pasta with Cheese. It called for 4 cups cooked winter veggies. We used dumpling squash, delicata squash and sweet potatoes. For the kids we separated the noodles so that their half was just cheese covered with the squash on the side. I put a tiny pinch of brown sugar on the squash and it went down easy. We also added sliced apples to the kids plates. There were leftovers, despite the fact that the kids ate well.
Lunch Leftover Winter Vegetable Pasta with Cheese
Dinner Polenta with Mushrooms and Collard Greens ( I used the Davis Farmers Market Cookbook Creamy Grits with Collard Greens and Wild Mushrooms recipe but the recipe in the link, courtesy of Roopa Kalyanaraman, is similar)
We had leftover pasta for lunch and it was just as good day two. For dinner we cooked the polenta with mushrooms and collard greens. I wasnt sure if any of us would enjoy this dinner to be honest, but it was delicious! For our daughter we put shredded cheddar on her polenta and boiled some carrots in place of the collard greens and mushrooms.
Lunch Leftovers Frittata aka Wild Mushroom Fritata (Recipe Courtesy of Rachel Ray on thefoodnetwork.com)
Dinner Scallion Crepes with Stir Fried Greens, Brown Rice and Roasted Butternut Squash (Recipe Courtesy of Good Humus Farms Recipes)
We had leftover mushrooms from Wednesdays dinner so we made mushroom frittata for lunch. Frittatas are nice because they take little effort to make and are tasty and filling. For dinner we made the scallion crepes with greens and roasted butternut squash/brown rice on the side. If were being honest, I left the onions out of my daughters crepes.
Lunch Leftover Brown Rice Chinese Style Fried Brown Rice (Recipe Courtesy of TLC Cooking)
Dinner Roasted Fall Vegetable Pizza (Recipe Courtesy of marthastewart.com)
We used our leftover brown rice to make a fried rice lunch. Noticing a leftovers theme yet? For dinner we made the Roasted Vegetable Pizza with the winter veggies we had left. It worked out perfectly. However, if you dont have much time for dinner Friday night, I suggest you roast your pizza veggies the night before so that theyre ready to go.
The meal plan worked in that we used all of our groceries for delicious meals and nothing went to waste. The only way it failed was in going over-budget. I am going to keep trying to get that cost down!