Entrées, Food

Beef and Potato Curry

Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Paleo

Check out the the size of these organic potatoes I got from Misfits Market. They’re as big as my feet and they weigh about a pound and a half…each!

Our family really likes Misfits Market because they help reduce food waste by rescuing food that’s too big, too small, or too oddly shaped to be sold at your local grocery store. Last year, Misfits Market saved over 10 million pounds of organic produce and sold it to subscribers like us who saved up to 40% off grocery store prices for fresh, though sometimes weird, produce. Double win! Check out this post here for a referral code.

Anyway, I know you’re here for Beef and Potato Curry so I’ll get right down to business; I’m a mom and I know that time is precious.

This fresh and flavor-packed recipe brings the tastes of India home for the whole family to enjoy. Seriously, even our toddler liked it! If you want to make it an even more authentic dish, you can exchange the ground beef for lamb. Either way, though, you’re going to love it! Not only does it taste delicious, it’s also perfect for a busy weeknight because it’s quick, it’s easy, it’s healthy, and it only requires one pan! Can’t beat that, right?

Enjoy!

How to Make Beef and Potato Curry

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef
1 TBS coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
7 cloves garlic, chopped
2 in piece of ginger, chopped
4 tsp cumin
4 tsp coriander
1 tsp black pepper, ground
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
1 cup water
5 – 6 cups potato, chopped
to garnish: halved cherry tomatoes and fresh parsley

Preparation

Add oil to to a pan over medium heat, add the beef and break apart with a spoon.

Add in chopped onion, green pepper, garlic, ginger, spices and salt and mix until well combined. Stir occasionally until meat is browned.

Add the water and potatoes. Cover and allow the potatoes to cook for 15-20 minutes until tender. Stir occasionally.

Top with fresh parsley and cherry tomatoes and serve.


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Entrées, Food

One-Pot Potato Curry

Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Paleo*, Vegan

Yesterday we got our second shipment from Misfits Market, the organic produce subscription service we are trying out. I originally ordered their Madness box (which contains 18-20 lbs of fruits and veggies) thinking it would last us two weeks, but I was wrong. I guess we eat more fresh produce than I thought because I had to change my order to once a week!

Here’s what we got in our box this week.

I was pleased to see that we got several new veggies and fruits to try this week like strawberries, heirloom cherry tomatoes, butternut squash, and rainbow chard. We also got a couple turnips which I will be feeding to my husband because I just can’t stand turnips!

I decided to make a vegan potato curry using some of the limes, cherry tomatoes, and peppers that we received. Though it was my first time making potato curry, my husband and I both thought it was bowl-licking good and worthy of seconds. By itself, this curry serves two hungry adults and one toddler. Served with a side of rice, it will serve four or five people. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Note: If you follow a Paleo diet, substitute the garbanzo beans for diced chicken and you will have a quick, easy, and delicious dinner!

How to Make Potato Curry

Ingredients

6 small red potatoes, diced
1 small red onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 15 oz. can of garbanzo beans, drained
1 15 oz. can of coconut milk
2 limes, juiced (3-4 TBS juice)
1 TBS ground ginger
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp dried cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
8 kale leaves, chopped
6 basil leaves, chopped

Preparation

Saute potatoes, onion, pepper, and garlic over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Mix in garbanzo beans, coconut milk, lime juice, and spices. Simmer until potatoes are soft. Stir occasionally.

Add in tomatoes, kale and basil leaves and simmer until leaves are wilted. Serve and enjoy.


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Lifestyle

15 Ways to Save Money on Groceries: How to Buy Organic on a Budget

“That can’t be right,” I thought to myself as I looked at our budget. “Our monthly grocery bill is more than half our rent! Are we spending more than we should for the size of our family?”

Surprisingly we weren’t, at least according to the 2019 Official USDA Food Plans chart. This chart details the average amount that Americans in different age brackets spend on food during a given period. It features four food plans which Americans fall into: Thrifty, Low-Cost, Moderate-Cost, and Liberal.

For a family like ours with a one-year old and two adults between 19 and 50 years old, the grocery costs per month are as follows:

Thrifty: $256.50
Low-Cost: $579.90
Moderate-Cost: $704.70
Liberal: $876.40

Our monthly grocery bill for the last six months has averaged $585.40. This means that even though we buy all organic produce and grass-fed or organic animal products, we still fall into the low end of the the Low-Cost Food Plan category! I felt reassured to learn I wasn’t overspending on groceries for our family. But it was also a little scary to learn that food is just plain expensive!

Since we’re apparently doing a decent job of eating organic on a budget, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite money-saving tips.

How to Buy Organic on a Budget

1. Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk is one of the easiest ways to save a ton of money. For example you can buy a single organic granny smith apple at Stop & Shop for $1.20 ($2.99/lb) or you can buy a 3 lb bag of them for $5.99 ($1.99/lb). That’s a savings of $1 per pound!

If you decide to buy in bulk, first consider if you will be able to use all of the food before expires. There’s no point in buying a bunch of food that is going to go to waste. Next, make sure that you have sufficient storage space for your purchase. Finally, be certain that you are checking unit prices and comparing apples to apples, so to speak, to make sure buying in bulk is actually a better deal. Bulk purchases are often, but not always, better.

2. Check Out Misfits Market

Looking for cheap organic produce? Look no further! Misfits Market is an online subscription service that we use to get seasonal, organic produce shipped directly to our door for a fraction of the cost. How do they do it? They sell misfits: produce that was too small, too big, too oddly shaped, etc. to be sold in a supermarket. This perfectly good produce would otherwise be disposed of. Subscribing to Misfits Market not only reduces your grocery bill, but it also reduces food waste!

My favorite thing about Misfits Market is that you get an interesting variety of fruits and vegetables every week (or two, if that’s what you choose). Last week we got Black Spanish radishes. I had to look them up because I didn’t know what they were! They also have great customer service – if one of your tomatoes gets squished in transit, they will take care of you.

If you’re interested in checking it out, be sure to use this link here because you’ll get a discount. It’s a referral link, so I will too. But, that’s not why I’m sharing it – I just really like this company and I think you will also!

3. Choose Frozen over Fresh…

Seafood is a great way to get heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, but it’s also expensive. You can save a few dollars by purchasing frozen fish instead of fresh. This strategy also works for berries, fruits and veggies too. For instance, we like to eat sauteed spinach with our eggs in the morning. We can either buy a 4 lb bag of frozen spinach for $6.99 or we can buy a pound of fresh spinach for $4.69. By buying frozen, we save $2.94 per pound.

4. …And Canned over Frozen

I don’t typically buy veggies in a can (unless it’s tomatoes), so for me this rule mostly applies to fish. If frozen fish is breaking your budget, then try canned. It’s more cost effective to buy canned salmon than it is frozen or fresh. If you choose smaller fish, like sardines or Atlantic mackerel, you could save even more.

5. Clip Coupons…But Not All of Them

Coupons are a great way to save money…unless you start buying things you don’t need simply because you “have a coupon for it!” Resist the urge and only buy things that you need. For more tips on using coupons to their fullest potential, check out this article here.

6. Don’t Make That Extra Trip

Did you run out of bananas shortly after your last shopping trip? Don’t be tempted to go out and buy more. Why? Because you will probably find other things you “need” as well and pretty soon you’re spending more than you budgeted. Your bananas can probably wait until next week. Limit your shopping trips and get creative with what you do have.

7. Download a Receipt Scanning App

There are a few apps out there which will give you cash back or points toward a gift card for scanning your grocery receipts. This article gives you a detailed breakdown of the different apps that are available. This is one money-saving tip that we don’t actually use anymore. We tried it for a while, but for me, the time spent scanning receipts wasn’t worth the extra change we were saving. But, it may work for you!

8. Grow Your Own Produce

Right now it’s zucchini season and these versatile, green squashes are arriving daily by the truckload. (Well, at least it seems like that). If you have space in your yard, grow some veggies. You can either buy an organic zucchini for $2.50, or you can purchase a seed packet for the same amount and have an endless supply of zucchinis – you decide.

9. Time Your Trips Right

Did you know there’s a right time and a wrong time to go shopping? If you’re looking to catch the best deals and the finest produce, head to the store around mid-morning or early-afternoon on the day that new sales come out. This ensures the items you are interested in are well-stocked and fresh. If you want to get a great deal on meat, check in with the manager of the meat department to find out when they do their markdowns, and plan you shopping trips around that.

10. Purchase Organic When It Counts

Every year, the Environmental Working Group tests fruits and vegetables for their pesticide content and ranks them based on the amount of residue they find in their skins and flesh. They compile two lists from the data collected: the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen. It’s best to choose organic if the fruit or veggie in question is a part of the Dirty Dozen because produce on that list has more pesticide residues. You can use the Clean Fifteen list to help you decide which produce to purchase conventional, or non-organic. This can help you save a few dollars in the produce aisle. Find the full list here.

11. Shop Around

Did you know if can cost you big time if you only shop at one store? There’s no single grocery store that has the best prices on everything (or at least if there is, I haven’t found it!) This means it pays to shop around. We’ve found that grass-fed chicken is the cheapest at BJ’s, but avocados and eggs are cheaper at Aldi. You might have to travel a little more, but the savings do add up.

12. Roast A Whole Bird

Speaking of chicken, if you like to eat grass-fed chicken but don’t like to pay a wing and a thigh for it, try roasting a whole bird! Not only will you save a bunch of money, but you’ll be getting extra goodies like nutritious giblets and bones for stock.

13. Sign Up For Loyalty Programs

Most stores have some sort of loyalty program where you can access special deals and rack up points towards a cash reward. Take advantage of these! It may take a few minutes to sign up, but after that it’s money in your pocket!

14. Try the Store Brand

Your mom was right when she told you to buy the store-brand. According to an article in Forbes Magazine, “A recent study from the Private Label Manufacturers Association found that consumers save an average of 33 percent on the total grocery bill by buying store brands.” The packaging might not be as pretty, but it will probably taste just as good, if not better!

15. Wait For Sales and Stock Up

Our local supermarket sells grass-fed beef for $6.99, but often it is on sale for less. On rare occasions, it goes on sale for $2.99! Those are the times we like to stock up. If you want to take advantage of great sales, give yourself a little extra space in your budget so that when the time comes, you can fill your freezer! Your wallet will thank you later.


So there you have it. Those are the top fifteen ways that our family saves money at the grocery store. What about you? What are your favorite money-saving tips?

Lifestyle

It’s Here! It’s Here! My Misfits Market Order Has Arrived!

This post contains a referral code for Misfits Market. If you click on the link for Misfits Market through my page, you get a 25% discount on your first purchase, and I get a 25% discount on my next one. It’s a win for both of us 😉

If you have been following my meal plans, then you’ll know that I have been eagerly anticipating my first shipment of fresh organic veggies from Misfits Market. I thought that I would share my first box with you all so you can share in my excitement.

I was hoping my box would arrive before I went shopping today, but it didn’t. Instead, it arrived around 4 pm. However, I made a point when I was shopping to only get the bare necessities (aka the snacks like 90% dark chocolate and aged cheese) so that I wouldn’t end up wasting food. I knew that I might have to change this week’s meal plan a bit.

Here is my box as it arrived on my doorstep.

When I first opened the box, I was a bit disappointed, because I thought that I got a bunch of vegetables that would be hard to make meals with. However, after I laid it all out, I realized that I did get some good fruits for snacking and a decent assortment of veggies to cook with. I might even be able to make some of the meals that I was planning to, albeit with some adjustments.

Here are the veggies after I unpacked and sorted them.

In case you’re wondering what was in our box, we got:
2 acorn squash
2 broccoli heads
2 cauliflower heads
2 cucumbers
2 bunches of kale
4 limes
4 mangoes
6 apples
8 onions
10 red potatoes
35 mini peppers

Some things I like about our first box? Overall, I’d say it’s a good variety of quality, seasonal organic fruits and vegetables for a good price. They arrived quickly, in good condition, and in compostable and reusable packaging which was pretty cool. (I cut up the compostable foam and it’s currently entertaining my little tot while I write this. Win!) I also like that we got some fruits and vegetables that we normally wouldn’t have purchased, like mangoes and mini peppers. It’s also fun to get produce by mail; not only do you get to anticipate the arrival of a package, but also you also get to dream about the organic goodness waiting inside! It’s a great little surprise.

One thing I didn’t like was that you can’t opt out of certain veggies or fruits (at least to my knowledge). Since we are doing a low FODMAP diet for the sake of my husband, we normally wouldn’t purchase onions, broccoli or cauliflower because they tend to be problematic for him. But now I’m going to have to find something to do with these veggies. Maybe they’ll just make their way into this week’s stir-fry and the baby and I will eat them! One other thing that will take some getting used to is planning meals around what arrives in the mail because it switches up the usual flow of things. But it will be a good opportunities to get my creative juices flowing.

Will I reorder? Probably. It’s hard to get a good feel for a product or service until you try it for a while. So we’re going to test it out and see how it works for us. Stay tuned for updates?

What do you think about getting fruits and veggies by mail? Have you ordered from Misfits Market?