I’ve returned!

After quite the hiatus, I am back to blogging! Wonderful circumstances had prevented me from blogging for a while…out family is going to grow from TWO to THREE!!!! That’s right, we are having a baby! I’m about 13 weeks along, and for many of those weeks I couldn’t stomach the thought of cooking. And to be perfectly honest, my very busy semester kept me from cooking as much as I would have liked. I am just weeks away from being finished with my PhD coursework. Done, Fine, finished. I am looking forward to reading good books and cooking amazing food.

Getting pregnant has kicked me in the butt. There are a couple things I am going to be working on over the course of the next couple months:

1. We absolutely have to eat organic–produce, meat, and dairy. I want as little toxins to be introduced to my baby as possible. This means being more conscious of what I am putting into my body, as well as how I intend to feed my family.

2. Mark and I spend way too much money on food. And it’s not just eating out. We are horrible about not using all our food before it goes bad.

As such, I’ve made a commitment to try to plan meals weekly, all organic, for less than 50 dollars a week. Challenging? Certainly, but I think I can do it with some meal planning.

We have quite a bit of food in the house right now, but I went to the store and got some fresh produce and some extra supplies. It was a cheap week, since we have so much food at home. It’s my plan to make dinner each evening, and to eat the leftovers for lunch.

Today I bought the following at Whole Foods:

28 oz cans of organic diced tomatoes (2 @ 1.79)

organic black beans (2 @ 1.39)

organic italian dressing (1.99)

organic tricolor pasta shells (1.69)

organic salsa (3.39)

organic extra firm tofu (2 @1.49)

organic yellow sweet onions (2.52)

organic white mushrooms (3.99)

organic grape tomatoes (2.99)

Total: $26.19

Based on these items, as well as my fairly well-stocked fridge, freezer, and pantry, I intend to make the following dishes this week:

Pasta salad

tofu stir fry with brown rice

tomato-based soup with rice

black bean and corn burritos

herb-crusted white fish with brown rice

Something else with tofu (the baby LOVES tofu)

We have at least a couple more meals from the ingredients in the fridge….I figure I will clear out what we have in the freezer and pantry, and then the real challenge starts!

Today’s dinner, pasta salad, was super simple, but an all-time favorite! I made it this past weekend and we wolfed it down in a day!

Pasta Salad

1 lb of tricolored pasta shells (these are actually made with veggies, not just colored for fun), cooked al dente

1 red pepper diced

1 cucumber, peeled and diced

1 pint of grape tomatoes, sliced in half

10 mushrooms, diced

15 baby carrots, sliced

1 bottle of Italian dressing

1. Mix all the ingredients together, and boom…pasta salad!

My mom usually adds some cheese…and you can add almost anything else to this salad. I love it because it’s simple and healthy. Sorry for the lack of photography…I’ll get back on that soon!

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