Month-long Food Challenge

For the month of June, I’m attempting to:

  • eat less red meat (we typically eat meat almost every night; I’m going to try for no more than twice a week)
  • buy organic food whenever possible, as a financial experiment

We went shopping last night and started the challenge “early” by purchasing organic blueberries and milk among other sundry items. I commented to Steve that one possible solution to purchasing organic food while being fiscally responsible is to only drink water, after picking up a gallon of milk (on sale) for $5.99 while going past the “buy two gallons for $4.49” milk.

Last night I also created a month-long menu plan for June, trying to plan more red-meat-less meals. Incidentally, this is also a month where I’m trying out new recipes like crazy. I think there are thirteen new dishes in the list below:

  1. Spaghetti and meatballs, salad
  2. Leftovers
  3. Homemade pizza with tomato sauce and veggies, fresh corn
  4. Leftovers
  5. (Home group potluck) Roasted potatoes
  6. Curried tuna, mushroom curry, Indian-spiced spinach (with naan bread from local Indian restaurant)
  7. Leftovers
  8. Skillet lasagna
  9. Leftovers
  10. Roasted salmon, spicy cauliflower
  11. Eggplant curry, rice
  12. (Home group potluck) Indian-spiced green cabbage
  13. Dahl, chard sauteed with garlic, rice
  14. Leftovers
  15. Dinner w/ mom
  16. Camping
  17. Eat out
  18. Maple soy salmon, salad, brown rice
  19. (Home group potluck) Baked ziti
  20. Vegetable hot pot with cheese triangles
  21. Leftovers
  22. Tofu stir fry with egg noodles, stir-fried spinach
  23. Leftovers
  24. 5-spice lettuce wraps
  25. Salt and pepper prawns, stir-fried cabbage, brown rice
  26. (Home group potluck) Bread and drinks
  27. Chinese Brussels sprout, breaded pork, rice
  28. Peanut butter Chinese noodles with egg and veggies
  29. Leftovers
  30. Sweet and sour pork, rice, veggie stir fry

We’ll see how it goes! (From past experience, I probably will not cook at least four of these planned meals — either because quantities from a previous meal are enough to last several days, because we eat out, or because I get lazy!) If you live nearby, please drop in for dinner to experience the meal of your choice. ๐Ÿ™‚

9 thoughts on “Month-long Food Challenge

  1. [almost] *EVERY* night? Wow… We must look totally vegetarian to you. I have “real” meat maybe once a month. We use a lot of soy-meat products.

    You should also try to buy local. Great deals to be had at farmer’s markets.

  2. I love me some meat. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Steve is a big milk drinker (I used to be, but have been mainly trying to get my 32 oz of water in, which doesn’t leave much room for milk!), although after getting our $6 milk last night he used the tiniest cup we have for some cookies and milk last night. ๐Ÿ˜€

    We do have a great farmer’s market (Wed nights and Saturday mornings) that I intend to check out again, and we also have a great food coop in town. However, Safeway is a two-minute bike ride from our house, while the Farmer’s Market and Coop are a ten-minute bike ride, so I’m usually less motivated to go to them. The organic veggie/fruit selection is poor at Safeway, so I may bike out of desperation! We will probably add the Farmer’s Market to our Saturday circuit… looking forward to it!

  3. P.S. I forgot to mention that part of why we’re trying to eat less red meat is because we read this article. The funny thing is that one of the researched facts stated from the article compares cancer in women who eat meat every day vs. women who eat meat once a month. Steve couldn’t believe that anyone who chose to eat meat would only eat it once a month — but now we have you as living proof!

  4. ooh! thank you for that article. I’ll look into it. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good steak every now and then but it’s every now and then. I can’t exactly say why I chose not to eat lots of meat (which includes not much poultry either). I think part of it was i don’t eat very well… and by eating more grains and having to rely on veggies to make a meal make me hope i’m getting nutrients I need. I have much more variety in my diet. I also think some of it was when I went to strict kosher it was easier just to have a kitchen that was either “meat” or “dairy” at first (as I learned what keeping strict kosher meant) and then I just got used to it.

    I will say it is TOTALLY worth it to go the extra distance to the farmer’s market. Fresh tomatos, corn, etc that were picked mere hours ago in comparison to the hothouse stuff that was picked eons ago.. [oh wait, you LIVE in Cali.. hmm…] Anyway, it’s worth it. There are a bunch of books out right now on the “100-mile diet challenge”.. I’m not that into it, but I try to support the smaller businesses. It’s also fun to meander around the market see what I can buy and figure out what to do with a combination of ingredients I otherwise wouldn’t put together.

    All that said, tonight will be a meal of leftovers out of the fridge. I should get to the market though.. I want to have something fresh and all the lettuce in the stores here looks HORRID. [if there is no lettuce i hope to find something green and crunchy we can enjoy. sadly i won’t get there until this afternoon. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ hope things are left!]

  5. Great challenge! I’m doing a similar thing – including only getting organic, vegetarian fed meat products. Yikes! That is more expensive. But I try to remember, there’s more than one kind of “fiscally responsible”. Spending more for an item out of your pocket that is better for the environment, reduces health care costs, and helps out a local farmer as opposed to a giant conglomerate (that could care less if you get cancer) is a way of being fiscally responsible.

    Back in the day meat was a luxury, and not eaten every day. When I buy organic, it becomes a luxury again and I am forced to be wise about when i buy and serve it instead of just doing it off-hand. As I experiment with this whole organic thing, I think I’m getting a better appreciation of the natural seasons for foods, how abundant CA is, how much expendable income I have, how valuable good food is, etc.

    Anyways, good for you and Steve!

  6. Doodah – Where do you get organic, vegetarian fed meat products?! How long have you been trying to do this, and how has it been going for you?

    We are going to add the Farmer’s Market to our Saturday circuit. A little bit ironically, we might drive instead of bike today because I might try to pick up a piece of furniture at the consignment shop. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not looking forward to driving downtown and trying to find parking!

  7. Nugget has some poultry. You can also have luck sometimes at Trader Joes, Whole Foods, or the Sac Coop. Haven’t tried the Davis Coop, but I think they sell meat there, right?

    I’ve only been doing this for a month or so. And I can’t always find it, so I don’t sweat it too much. Also, I live with several people, so I can’t control what they buy. Although we’re all trying to do the same thing. One roommate almost exclusivelys hops at TJs now.

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