Friday, September 9, 2011

Back-to-school: Grocery list

This menu should provided a week worth of very large meals (my husband and I actually use this for a week of meals for ourselves), so you could half the amount, or simply eat the same set of meals for 2 weeks if you are a light eater. This week's focus is on portion control when it comes to expensive ingredients (e.g. chicken). As always, leftovers from dinners double as lunches.

1.3 Chicken wraps
2. Pasta stir-fry
3. Chinese Chicken & Rice
4. Pasta Salad
5. 3 Tuna salad wraps
6. 3 Chicken fajitas wraps with left over veggies
7. Leftovers

Cheapest: Oatmeal
*Interesting(not included in the pricing below): Peanut butter toast, fruit, and yogurt

Shopping List:
1 head garlic
1 small piece ginger root (about 1-2 in)
3 medium onions (I bought a 3lb bag)
7 green peppers (about 3lb or 1.5kg)
1 head romaine lettuce
1 pint of baby tomatoes or 3 tomatoes

1kg cooked chicken breast strips (usually in the frozen meet section near the fish)
2 cans tuna

10 large tortilla wraps

Dry Goods
6 chicken bouillon cubes ( could substitute chicken broth or similar)
1 bottle Italian dressing (oil kind)
1kg quick cooking oats
900g pasta
Rice (check that you buy parboiled, or that the instructions indicate cooking time is less than 20 min)
Soy sauce
Corn starch

Expected Pantry Items

Bullion/Broth powder



Corn starch

Soy sauce



Italian Dressing


This was the actual total for my trip to No Frills" $38.96, but if you have the pantry items it should come to under $30.

Useful hints:
This week requires you to use the chicken 5 times. Try dividing it into five portions before your first meal to make sure you have enough for the whole week.
If you can't get the $10 bag of cooked chicken, try cooking your own and slicing it thinly once it cools.
Leftover bread from last week can be frozen
Try cinnamon or maple syrup on your oatmeal to keep it interesting


Quick oatmeal:
Measure the recommended amount of oats into a bowl. Add the recommended amount of boiling water and a sprinkle of cinnamon or some maple syrup if you have some. Let stand for a few min. If it doesn't reach the consistency you like, microwave for 1 min.

1.  Chicken Wraps
·          Slice one pepper, one tomato (or handful of baby tomatoes), lettuce (if you want)
·          Thaw 1/5 of the chicken in the microwave or leave it in the fridge overnight to thaw.
·          Assemble 2-3 wraps(save one for lunch) with mayonnaise or salsa (add some grated cheese if you have some left from last week)

2. Pasta Stir-fry
·          Boil water and cook 1/2 or the pasta until done (about 10minn)
·          Slice 2 peppers, 2 small (or 1 medium) onion, and 1 clove of garlic
·          Fry with some Italian dressing and 1/5 of the chicken until heated and slightly soft.
·          Combine with pasta and serve

3. Chinese Chicken & Rice
·          Cook rice according to instructions.
·          Slice 1 onion, and 2 peppers thinly
·          Mix in a cup:
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dried or 1 in grated fresh ginger
pepper to taste
·          Fry 1 minced clove of garlic in a little oil for 1 min
·          Add veggies and 1/5 of the chicken. Fry until heated
·          Add sauce and fry for 3-4 min until it thickens.
·          Serve over rice

4. Pasta Salad
·          Boil water and cook 1/3-1/2 the package of pasta
·          Chop 1-2 peppers, and 1 tomato (or handful of baby tomatoes) into 1-2 cm chunks.
·          Thaw 1/5 of the chicken in the microwave or in the fridge overnight
·          Once pasta is cooked, mix everything with enough Italian dressing to suit your taste.

5. Tuna Salad Wraps
·          Mix 1-2 cans of tuna, with 1 chopped tomato(or  handful of chopped baby tomatoes), some mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste.
·          Shred lettuce
·          Assemble 3 wraps (one for lunch, 2 for 2 dinner) using tuna mixture and lettuce.

6. Chicken Fajita Wraps
·          Cook rice if desired adding 1tsp broth mix or 1 bouillon cube to the water to flavour the rice.
·          Slice the remaining peppers and 1-3 small (1 large) onions into strips
·          chop 1 clove of garlic finely
·          Shred some lettuce
·          Fry peppers and onions, with the garlic in some Italian dressing.
·          Once the veggies are warm add chicken and a little more dressing as needed. Fry until heated through.
·          Using 3 wraps (one for lunch) as follows:
Rice (if using)
Veggie and chicken mix
Salsa (if desired)