A while ago on a talk show I heard someone mention the idea of taking turns cooking all of your meals out of one cookbook each week. I love the idea because I have a lot of cookbooks that I only use sporadically, plus there’s something nice about not going into a computerized spiral. I wasn’t sure how it would work out since I didn’t know how many recipes would overlap with ingredients (which is how I usually meal plan to save money) so read on to see how I did…
Had in kitchen: Honey, walnuts, blue cheese, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped peanuts, maple syrup, soy sauce
Bought: Granola, Brown Rice Vermicelli Noodles, sesame oil, 1 can chicken broth, package of chicken cutlets, 2 apples, 1 bunch bok choy, 1 seedless cucumber, 1 package garden salad mix (lettuce with red cabbage and carrots, 1 ginger root, 1 pint grape tomatoes, 1 green jalapeno, 2 avocados, 2 lemons, 1 lime, 1 mango, 1 bunch of radishes, red grapes, 1 bunch scallions, 1 zucchini, 1 pint miso paste
Spent: $43.41 (aka $8.68/day for basically 3 meals/day)
BOOK I USED: Bountiful Bowls
Daily Breakfast: Creamy Ricotta Breakfast Bowl
Comments: from Claire: As you go through the week, you’ll see I take lots of creative liberties with the recipes in the book (I’m not someone who follows them quite to a tee), and I started off with a bang. I was skeptical about ricotta cheese being a breakfast meal but this was so delicious–it was like a citrusy cheese cake and the granola made it suitable for the morning. Mine didn’t look as pretty because what were labeled as blood oranges in my grocery store definitely weren’t, the mango I bought was brown on the inside, and I skipped the passion fruit. Still it was very tasty (even if not as Instagram-worthy).
Lunch: Leftover from the weekend
Dinner: Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup (a spicy miso-based chicken noodle soup with bok choy and carrots)
Claire’s Quips: I chose this recipe because I was coming off of a cold from the weekend, and it didn’t come out great but it was honestly my own fault. My grocery store didn’t have red chili, so I got a jalapeno which didn’t really mesh with the Asian flavors of the soup. I also couldn’t find the right noodles, so I got ones I didn’t realize you had to soak for 15 minutes before you cooked them. So my bok choy ended up just cooking down in the broth and also made a weird flavor/texture. And then this type of noodle (brown vermicelli) were just not good for soup – they are ultra thin and long and stick together a lot. So, if you get this book and end up making this, I would recommend sticking with the recipe exactly!
Dinner: Chicken Waldorf Salad
Comments from Claire: In the book this was supposed to be turkey, but since I cooked chicken for the soup I decided to make it with chicken. I omitted the celery, since I was already buying a lot of vegetables, and I think the rest of this mostly followed a traditional Waldorf salad recipe (apples, walnuts, red grapes). The book added red and white cabbage to the mix, so I just got a premade pack with iceberg lettuce and cabbage (and carrots – that’s where I pulled them for from the soup too). The book also had a tahini dressing, but I don’t really like the taste of tahini so I just did a balsamic. I saw the salad is traditionally mayo-based though so maybe I’ll try that next time! I threw on some blue cheese I had leftover from last week.
Dinner: Spring Roll Bowl with Sweet Garlic Lime Sauce (noodles, cucumber, radish, tomato, avocado with a yummy sauce)
Comments from Claire: I used the same noodles as the soup, which as you heard, now aren’t my favorite kind to work with, but this recipe was really light and flavorful. It definitely tasted like a deconstructed spring roll and I think would be perfect for the summer. I pretty much followed this recipe to a tee, except I left out the herbs (cilantro and mint) because I knew if I only used them for one recipe they would just end up going bad in my fridge.
Lunch: Spring roll bowl
Dinner: Tomato, Ricotta and Grilled Bread Bowl
Comments from Claire: This is where I mainly doubled-up on ingredients – the ricotta cheese for both breakfast and this, the tomatoes for the spring roll bowl and this (I also omitted the basil). It was easy to put together and simple flavors really packed a punch, but it isn’t the most filling. I would recommend for a lunch over dinner!
Lunch: Ricotta bowl
Dinner: Homemade pizza at a friend’s house for their birthday
Comments from Claire:
See you next week! To see what I’m eating in the meantime, follow me on Instagram or Twitter @ClaireLeaden