Meal plans, grocery lists and weekly cooking tips to cook in Vancouver for under $150 a week.

Fall Cleanup Recipe and Grocery List September 16 to 21

Crack open your pantry door and do some cleanup! Canned tomatoes, dried beans, jars of capers and bags of rice are calling you, just waiting to be dusted off (figuratively, hopefully not literally). Save money and time, and always check out what you’ve got before going to the store. You might even find some inspiration!

My pantry contained: lentils, navy beans, cannelini beans, kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, coconut milk, arborio rice, basmati rice, canned plum tomatoes, jar of capers and a bag of espresso.

Meal Plan

Monday Pollo en Escabeche Oriental (Yucatan-style onion and chicken stew)

Tuesday Lima bean and sweet pepper gratin

Wednesday South indian lentil cakes with raita

Thursday White beans in herbed tomato sauce with fresh sausages

Friday Zucchini with potatoes and thyme with grilled chicken breast

Saturday Risotto with capers and espresso 

Grocery List & Where to Shop

Whole Foods $34.59

  • 4 jalepenos
  • 3 chicken legs
  • 1 package corn tortillas
  • 5 poblano peppers
  • 200 g arugula
  • 2 chorizos
  • 4 spicy Italian sausages
  • 1 box low-sodium organic chicken stock

Kin’s Farm Market $21.37

  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 4 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 package garlic
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 3 lbs. white onions
  • 1 lb. sweet onions
  • 4 red peppers
  • 5 oranges
  • 1 piece ginger
  • 5 limes
  • 4 grapefruits
  • 1 Long English cucumber

Safeway  $34.46

  • 1 bag frozen lima beans
  • 170g bag parmasean
  • 1 tub plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 package bacon
  • 1 box macaroni
  • 1 package chicken breasts (*on sale this week: $11/kg)

Total this week: $90.42

Tips for the Week

  • Chicken stew: Use chicken legs, with some thighs and/or chicken breasts instead of the complete chicken to save money, and to save your hand from touching the “delicious” giblets present in a whole chicken. Also check out Gourmet Warehouse’s cinnamon selection for this recipe.
  • Sweet pepper gratin: I haven’t included bread in the grocery list – buy it the day of for a fresh taste. Oliver’s French Bread, which is cheap at IGA, Whole Foods, and Save On/Price Smart Foods, works well here. This recipe came from Food & Wine’s great search function: search for recipes based on ingredient, cuisine, course and season when you’re out of ideas and don’t want to go out to the store.
  • Lentil cakes with raita: To roast a head of garlic faster and without mess, put a bit of water in the bottom of a brie baker, drop in the garlic head, drizzle some olive oil over it. Bake at 400F for around 15 minutes.
  • White beans in tomato sauce: Cannelini beans are the same as white kidney beans, so don’t pay for the name. Also don’t be afraid to experiment with different kinds of sausage for this recipe for a real zing. You’ll have an authentic-tasting Italian dish with the sweet Italian sausages, but if you like the heat, try something spicier.
  • Zucchini with potatoes and thyme: Bring this one out to the BBQ with some chicken breasts for a nice, summer flavour. Definitely don’t resort to dried thyme for this recipe – you’ll quell the freshness of the end-of-season zucchini.
  • Risotto: Whole Foods has some of the cheapest arborio rice if you’re ready to challenge a risotto. It’s not as difficult as “they” say – the key is stirring it the entire time with a wooden spoon, for around 17 minutes. Guaranteed, risotto will be one of your pantry favourites – if you have arborio rice, butter/cream and stock, you have the beginnings of a nice, creamy pasta.

Still have black beans leftover? Bake a Black Bean Chocolate Cake, serve it to your friends, and tell them what’s in it afterwards for a real laugh. They’ll never guess, otherwise!


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This entry was posted on September 18, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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