Save Your Money- Buy Our Groceries: Vol. 18

For the scoop on this series of posts, click here!



  • Banana Pudding Yogurt Parfaits


  • Minestrone Salad with Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Bruschetta


  • Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans and Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata


  • Carrot and Lentil Dip with Pita Wedges

THE GROCERY LIST  (for 2 people)

  • 1 bag carrots
  • 6 bananas
  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh rosemary
  • 2 bags of green beans or 4 large handfuls
  • 2-3 smallish zucchini
  • 2 lbs. assorted tomatoes
  • pork tenderloin (as much as you want for 5-6 days)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 red onions
  • 3 small shallots
  • 6 heads garlic
  • baguette
  • country style peasant white bread
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 oz. crumbled goat cheese
  • dried lentils
  • dried herbes de Provence
  • whole wheat short pasta (macaroni or rotini or even orzo will work)
  • 2 15 oz. cans cannellini beans
  • frozen corn
  • 10 oz. frozen artichoke hearts
  • vanilla wafers
  • 12 servings of yogurt, vanilla or banana flavored
  • 6 eggs
  • 1% milk
  • 5 pitas


  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • cooking spray
  • balsamic vinegar
  • ground cumin
  • ground coriander
  • cooking sherry


Minestrone Salad

This is a great Martha Stewart recipe that Jeff and I have been making for years.  I’ve doubled it here to make it last for the week and cut out some of the olive oil to keep it light.  To make it taste fresher at lunchtime, you can leave out the tomatoes and chop those each day to add to the rest of the mixture.

  • 2 tsp. coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 16 ounces whole wheat small pasta, like macaroni or orzo
  • 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 to 3 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 8 oz. green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 lbs. assorted tomatoes, roughly chopped

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt to the boiling water. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water; set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes.  Add garlic and cook an additional minute.  Add carrots, and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add zucchini, green beans, and corn. Cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a medium bowl to cool. Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, beans, tomatoes, and reserved pasta. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired. Store in the fridge for the week.

Bruschetta Topping

  • 4 heads of garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400.   Cut about 1/4 inch off of the top off of the garlic heads to expose the tops of the cloves.  Place the heads close together, cut side up on a piece of tin foil about 12″ long.  Drizzle with olive oil and lightly salt everything.  Fold up the foil around the garlic forming a little closed foil pouch.  Pop into the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes or until the cloves are soft.   Let cool about 15 minutes.

Squeeze the soft garlic out of the skins into a bowl until you have all of the cloves but none of the papery skin.  Drizzle with a touch more olive oil and stir in the cheese while mashing the cloves into a paste.  Salt if needed.  Store topping in the fridge for the week.

Marinate the Tenderloin

I’m leaving the amounts open on this one because although Jeff and I only eat 4 oz of the meat each a night, I realize that not everyone can stick to this small amount.  Buy and cook however much you want each a night!

  • pork tenderloin(s)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Trim any weird fatty or silver skin bits off of your meat.  Cut your loin or loins into portions for each evening.  Mix all seasonings together on a plate.   Use your hands to rub a little olive oil all over the meat.  Roll the loin hunks in the seasoning and wrap each tightly with plastic wrap.   Store in the fridge for the week.

Most of the Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 10oz. package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • cooking sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add shallots, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in artichoke hearts and garlic; cook for 8 minutes or until artichoke hearts begin to brown, stirring occasionally.  Pour in about 1/3 to 1/2 cup cooking sherry and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan (this is called deglazing the pan).  Stir until the pan is mostly clean and the liquid evaporates.  Remove from heat, and stir in herbes de Provence.   Cool 10 minutes.  Stir in Parmesan Cheese, salt and pepper.  Store in a container in the fridge for the week.

Carrot and Lentil Dip

  • 4 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • fistful of fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350.  Stir together carrots, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt and 2 tbsp. olive oil.  Spread mixture on a baking sheet lined with foil and cover with foil.  Bake for 45 minutes until the carrots are just tender.  Increase the oven temperature to 425 and cook 10 minutes more, until the carrots are golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Transfer to a food processor and process until chunky.

While the carrots cook, cook the lentils in boiling water for 5 minutes or until tender.  Let sit in the water for 10 minutes and drain well.  Add the lentils to the carrot mixture and process until well combined; some of the lentils will still be whole.  Fold in cilantro, rest of the olive oil and salt to taste. Transfer to a container, stir in the remaining oil and store in the fridge for the week.


BREAKFAST- 10 minutes

Banana Pudding Yogurt Parfaits

  • 2 cups vanilla or banana yogurt
  • 6 vanilla wafers, roughly crumbled
  • 1 banana, sliced

Layer everything like a parfait in two bowls, wine glasses or parfait glasses.  Let sit for a couple minutes to allow the wafers to begin to soften.  Eat!

LUNCH- 5 minutes

Minestrone Salad with Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Bruschetta

  • 2 portions of the Minestrone salad (if you opted to leave the tomatoes out, chop some up and toss them in now)
  • 4 slices of baguette
  • 2 portions of the garlic spread

Toast your bread, once or twice to get a nice crunchy browned toast.  Spread on the garlic mixture while the toast is still hot.  Serve with the chilled salad or warmed in the microwave for a minute.

SNACK-  5 minutes

Carrot and Lentil Dip with Pita Wedges

  • 2 portions of the dip, warmed in the microwave
  • 1 pita, cut in half

Toast the pita halves in the toaster and cut into wedges.  Serve with the warmed dip!

DINNER-  45 minutes

Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans and Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata

Preheat oven to 375.

  • about 1/2 cup of artichoke mixture (or 1/5 of all of it)
  • 1 cup of peasant bread cubes (just rip 1 cup of them roughly off of the loaf and store the rest for the week)
  • 1/5 of your feta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup 1% milk
  • 1 hunk of the pork tenderloin
  • olive oil
  • 1 healthy handful of green beans
  • salt and pepper

Whisk together the egg and milk in a bowl.  Toss in the artichoke mixture until everything is well coated.  Let sit while the oven heats to let the bread soak up the goodness.  Spray one large ramekin or a small baking dish with cooking spray and layer the bread mixture with a little goat cheese, ending with a light sprinkle of the cheese on top.  Bake for about 35 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

While the strata cooks, heat a little olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and boil water in a medium saucepan over high heat.   Add the pork to the cast iron skillet and let sear on each side for about 3 minutes without moving it around after you turn it.   When the pork reaches 155 degrees in the center, take it out of the pan and cover it loosely with foil to rest.   Throw your beans into your boiling water and boil for about 4 minutes or until al dente.   Drain beans and toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Pull your strata out of the oven and serve with sliced pork and green beans.


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3 responses to “Save Your Money- Buy Our Groceries: Vol. 18

  1. keldoo

    That dip sounds bananas! And so does the banana pudding! YUM!

    • Jeffrey

      The strata is what’s really bananas. I’d never even heard of such a thing, and I only hope that it shows up on my plate more often.

      • Jeff is right! The strata was actually in a magazine as a veggie entree, and I’m regretting that we AREN’T eating a huge plate of that alone!
        And the dip is super yummy as I’ve posted, but WAY better warmed up just in case you decide to try it. 😉

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