Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Grocery Day.

I.  Love.  Grocery Day. 

I have many fond memories of grocery day.  There's nothing quite like opening the fridge and cupboards to a plentitude of choices.  For my kids (and even my husband!), grocery day is nearly synonomous with Christmas.  Its all I can do to shoo everyone out of the kitchen so I can get it all put away. 

Having 3 rather small children to tag along with me, I strive to grocery shop as little as possible... which means when I do go grocery shopping, I stock up on as much as I can to minimize my trips to the store.  I am one of those customers that people behind me in line will grumble about, because YES, I use coupons and YES, it will probably take forever to ring me up, and YES, my girls will most likely be running wild during the entire process. 

I abhor processed food... yes, abhor (to shrink back from, to shudder at).  So I make about 97% (roughly) of what my family eats from scratch.  Some people think I'm over ambitious, but with a little planning its actually much easier (and healthier!) than most people think.  My husband always says, "You invest in what you believe in," (which I think he borrowed from Dave Ramsey.)  I choose to invest a little of my time into preparing wholesome food for my family under the assumption that we will enjoy quality of health both now and in the future. 

One of my favorite tricks is in the way I prepare ground beef.  Most recipes seem to call for 1 lb. of ground beef, but I NEVER use more than 1/2 lb. for any recipe.  Don't get me wrong, we love our red meat, but consumption in high amounts can lead to health issues.

So in light of that, when I make anything calling for ground beef, I only use 1/2 lb. and subsitute the other 1/2 with brown rice (usually Minute rice because its quicker) or veggies, depending on the recipe.  For example, when I'm making enchiladas, I use 1/2 c. brown rice, red peppers, and onions.   If I'm making a pasta dish (like spaghetti), I omit the rice altogether and load it up with carrots, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, etc.  If it were up to me, I'd just make a veggie sauce, but hubby loves his meat.  :)  For beef stroganoff, I use lots of mushrooms and onions... my whole family adores mushrooms so I can never go wrong there. 

It also really stretches our meat dollars because meat can be so darn expensive!  Double whammy.  If I'm bright enough to plan ahead for the week (which I usually do), I will brown enough meat ahead of time (and add the rice & veggies) for the whole week of meals.  This makes meal prep a snap, especially on busy week nights. 

So grocery day is done... at least for the next couple weeks.  And now its time to kick back and enjoy my coffee because nap time is almost over. 

Coffee of the day:  Starbucks Caffe Verona on ice with a bit of skim milk and a dollop of Edy's French Silk ice cream.  Delish!

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