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

Pretending to Stick to a New Year’s Resolution Recipe and Grocery List January 5 to 10, 2013

Let the ambition and delusion continue! Quick and healthy recipes abound this week – beans, greens and rice (gasp!) will do a great job of soaking up the Bailey’s and champagne coating your stomach.

One might think this menu would have been better suited to December 31 to January 4. In line with the new year, I made the resolution to be committed to this blog, and to eat healthy. But, I didn’t blog last week, and I ate a Ritter Sport for every meal. Alas. (If you’re too lazy to cook, I swear there’s a  lot of protein in the Marzipan Ritter Sport anyway.)

With everyone else sticking to their resolution for a couple of weeks yet, you’ll find certain vegetables and foods are hard to find (where did all the chard and broccoli go?). So, you’ll just have to get creative or make an extra stop. Kale will do for collard greens in this week’s curry, and you’ll have to dig to find cilantro.

And, always try to remember – just because a recipe calls for Iranian Sargol Saffron, it doesn’t mean you need to use it. Google understands the phrase “substitute for…” very well!

Meal Plan

Monday Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad with Ketumbar Chicken (Braised Chicken with Coriander)

Tuesday Roasted Carrot Soup  with Baharat croutons

Wednesday Gulai Sayur (Indonesian-style collard greens curry) with black rice and baked chicken breast

Thursday Tuscan Vegetable Soup with White Beans and Parmasean

Friday Green Harissa with roasted chicken, cauliflower, zucchini and black  rice. 

Saturday Cuban-Style Red Beans and Rice with Shredded Beef

Grocery List & Where to Shop

Spices I already have, ready for this week: coriander, cumin, thyme, basil, fennel seeds, tumeric, paprika, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon.

Kin’s Farm Market

  • 2 pounds carrots
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 package shallots
  • garlic
  • 3 bunches of kale
  • 2 handfuls of Brussels sprouts
  • 1 piece ginger
  • 4 stalks lemongrass
  • 1 bag yellow onions (on sale this week)
  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 3 potatoes
  • 5 zucchini
  • 1 package jalepenos
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 4 red peppers
  • 2 green peppers


  • 1 package sesame seeds
  • 1 can tomato puree
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Greek yogurt
  • Dijon mustard
  • 1 small package grated Romano cheese
  • dark soy sauce
  • 4 poblano peppers (in place of Thai chiles)
  • 6 skinless chicken breasts (on sale this week)
  • 1 can cannelini beans
  • 1 small roast
  • 2 bunches cilantro
  • 1 bottle lemon juice
  • 1 can red kidney beans

Tips for the Week

  • Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad: Yes, it sounds like something they’d serve as a snack in a Kitsilano yoga studio, but it actually tastes outstanding. Chicken legs are considerably cheaper than breasts, and have a lot more flavour, so it’s a guaranteed win here.  Also, don’t skip the step of toasting coriander – you’ll regret it.
  • Roasted Carrot Soup with Baharat Croutons: If you’re not giving up carbs (aka deliciousness), serve Terra Breads’ olive loaf as croutons on this soup. Also, seeing as pistachios are incredibly pricey these days, make a baharat spice blend instead of the dukkah the recipe asks for. If you’re feeling particularly lazy, buy Meinhardt’s Ras El Hanout spice and sprinkle some on top of your soup instead.
  • Gulai Sayur: Collard greens can be a bit hard to find in Vancouver, but a few shops have them. Superstore and Whole Foods will be your best bet. If you can’t find them, though, use mustard greens, Swiss chard or kale instead.
  • Tuscan Vegetable Soup: Although fresh tomatoes are best, Whole Foods’ organic diced tomatoes are cheap and flavourful. To get a more wintery flavour in the soup, use a bit less basil, and add in a few fresh sage leaves. Sage’s flavour is pretty strong, so don’t go overboard, though.
  • Green harissa: Make the harissa early in the week and store in the fridge to save some time and guarantee a strong flavour. Harissa’s versatile, and great with roast vegetables, couscous or rice, so take your pick on the grain with this one.
  • Shredded Beef with Cuban-Style Red Beans: For the beans, don’t buy the cilantro ahead of time, as it wilts very easily. Use black rice instead of the white to keep the good grains in – the spices’ll give it so much flavour, you won’t notice anyway. For the beef, use your slow-cooker to cook up a roast instead of the skirt steak if you’re planing to be out for the day.

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This entry was posted on January 8, 2013 by in Food, Recipes, Vancouver.
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