I am at day 5 of my food experiment, and I have a few observations to comment on so far. One, I am NOT surprised at how much I have been spending on food. Two, I have not kept within my allotted budget of $85 for the week. However, I am very surprised by observation number three: how easy it has been to eat healthy, wholesome food on just slightly over my budgeted amount. I have not spent more money than the initial $71; however, I have used ingredients from my pantry to finish off a couple of the meals, namely olive oil and Kashi bars (for my son’s lunch). I also accounted for the full cost of the salad ingredients I had leftover in my fridge since I would have had to buy the larger quantity if I’d had to buy them from the start. In all I went approximately $30 over budget. Okay, so maybe that is not just ‘slightly’ over my budget…but it is great that I only spent around $100 for us to eat so well this week. I did this mainly from Whole Foods (often referred to as ‘Whole Paycheck’). The bread I used for sandwiches was the only thing not from Whole Foods…it is the Orowheat Whole Wheat Bread, which Whole Foods does not sell.
On to tonight’s meal: Goulash. Now this is not goulash in the traditional Hungarian sense of goulash. This version is the American comfort food my mom used to make, and the only thing Hungarian about it is the paprika. My mom’s version included ground beef, paprika, elbow macaroni, green bell peppers, onion, and a tomato sauce. My college roommate said her mom made the same thing but called it ‘American Chop Suey’. My version is somewhat evolved from my mom’s. My kids don’t really care for bell peppers (and by ‘don’t care for’ I mean really dislike), red or green, so they have been eliminated from the ‘original’ recipe. I do add the paprika, but I use hot paprika rather than mild. Also, I use whole wheat elbow macaroni…a healthier option. With the tomato sauce you really cannot tell it is whole wheat. Plus, whole wheat pasta tastes much better than the whole wheat pasta of only a few years back. The best part? I have enough for both tonight’s dinner and tomorrow night’s…and possibly a lunch or two. Not too shabby!!!!