Meal Evolution

by HEAB on August 12, 2011

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Remember how I told you the nearest grocery store is 30 minutes away? Well, CD and I have decided to only go twice a month while here, and below are some meal highlights from the last couple of weeks.

ClassicHEABStirfry.psd

Dinner of choice: Veggies stir-fried in butter and topped with tahini.

CalypsoWannaBe.psd

Celery and mushrooms all gone and rationing our kraut supply. So, I move onto the bagged romaine and canned goods and make myself a black bean salad: romaine, black beans, canned tomatoes, cheddar cheese, sour cream, & blue tortilla chips.

Omelet&Chips.psd

Romaine gone but still have a some cheddar left and add a little to this omelet and eat with blue chips.

BlackBeanTomatoSoup.psd  

Cheese gone. Therefore, I move onto black bean soup: 1 can black beans, 1 can diced tomatoes, & 1 can tomato paste, heated on stove-top until warm. Serve with sour cream and chips and smile because this only took about 5 minutes to prepare.

LastOatBranMeal.psd

Down to the bear minimum. Today’s lunch: the last of my oat bran from home prepared with water and cinnamon and topped with Bakers unsweetened chocolate. Thank goodness tomorrow is grocery shopping day!

{ 63 comments }

Little Bookworm August 12, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Love the black bean salad – bet guacamole would be great addition to it! :P Oat bran and chocolate sounds great too!

HEAB August 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm

LB,
Yes, guac would have been amazing. Definitely buying some avocados tomorrow! :)

Kristin @ STUFT Mama August 12, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I don’t know how you survive only going to the store twice a month. I go twice a week. ha! Maybe I’d save a lot of money. The chocolate- you jst get the Baker’s unsweetened baking chocolate bar (the one in the baking aisle)? It’s sweet enough to eat on it’s own? I need to try it. :)

HEAB August 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Kristin,
For most people, no, it’s not sweet enough to eat on its own. The Bakers is bitter, but I love it. Discovered it out of desperation one night when I NEEDED chocolate, and it’s all we had in the house. Started eating it slathered in almond butter, but now I love it all on its own. However, it’s really the only unsweetened chocolate I like. Hershey’s makes a good one too, but all the organic/expensive/fancy brands of unsweetened chocolate are too bitter for me.

Jennie (the gf-gf) August 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Your pictures in this post are so vivid! Must be that Michigan sun.

I keep trying to challenge myself to make fewer grocery store trips, but inevitably, I run out of eggs or I read something on a blog that I musthavenow and wander into Trader Joes, and that one thing I need turns into “that looks good, too!” It’s terrible! I am down from the daily grocery store visit to two or three times per week, tho.

HEAB August 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Jennie,
It is sunny here, but the vividness comes from a little photo brightening and sharpening in Photoshop Elements. :)

I used to be the same way with grocery store trips until we really started watching our grocery budget. Made a world of difference. Oh, and being a 30 minute drive from the nearest grocery store makes an even bigger difference! At home, it’s a 3 mile drive to both Whole Foods and TJ’s. Dangerous!

Alex @ Spoonful of Sugar Free August 12, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I hope your not out of Baker’s! I don’t know how I could survive without that stuff! :D

HEAB August 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Alex,
Are you kidding?!? Unsweetened chocolate is one thing I never go without, and fortunately, you can find it almost anywhere. Always hit up the baking aisle at every single grocery store I go to! ;)

Claire @ Live and Love to Eat August 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm

That’s some impressive food-stretching right there!

the delicate place August 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm

haha i love that bakers came along for your vacation. if it aint broke… ;)

HEAB August 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Bakers goes everywhere as far as I’m concerned…well except for maybe the beach. ;)

Jen at The Wholehearted Life August 12, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I so understand what you’re trying to do! I’m doing the same at home and FINALLY my fridge looks like I’m making some headway, lol. I think having too much food in the cupboards and fridge yet longing for more is just a fact of being a foodie but as with everything…there needs to be balance /grin.

emily (a nutritionist eats) August 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Love this evolution – you are an inspiration on making do with what you have! (something I struggle with!)

Erika @ The Teenage Taste August 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Wow, Heather! I give you so much credit for only going to the grocery store every two weeks. Using up what I have on hand is something that I have a hard time with and actually made a pact to myself to skip the grocery store this week and use up everything in my fridge and pantry. It’s not as hard as I thought considering my fridge is LOADED. ;-)
Have fun at the grocery store. I love grocery shopping!

Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg August 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Wow– twice a month would be a HUGE challenge for me, haha. Actually, it would probably be good for me :-) I hate to think about all of the unnecessary dough I spend at the grocery store (multiple times a week).

Tangy August 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm

The closest grocery store to me is at least 30 minutes…all year round :( We also only go about every other week, since every trip takes half a day! It definitely forces me to meal-plan and to use creatively whatever food I have around the house on the days right before the big shopping trip!

HEAB August 12, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Tangy,
Oh wow, you inspire me. I’m sure you could teach me a thing or two about making the groceries last. We’re learning. :)

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga August 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm

The last of the oat bran and baker’s chocolate. Well if that doesn’t sum up a HEAB meal, I don’t know what does.

And the second salad pic from the top….so pretty. I am assuming you ran a little PS E magic on that one. Isn’t it amazing what a little brightening and exposure adjusting can do for pics!

Not that this is all about the photography or anything :) I mean the food looks good too :)

Have a great weekend, Heather! Hope you and the fam have a fun one planned!

HEAB August 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Averie,
Pioneer Woman’s Sharpen and Define plus Boost PSE Actions make all the difference. :)

Stephanie @ extremebalance.net/blog August 12, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Hmm. Devolution is evolution sometimes, indeed—let’s hear a shout-out for the chocolate! :D

You’re a trooper. I would have insisted on one a week, and felt stressed about even that.

HEAB August 12, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Stephanie,
Yes, thank goodness for chocolate…ALWAYS! :)

caroline lunger August 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm

your big plate of veggies is what i admire mot about you!! nobody in my family does this except me, and occasionally my mom. do people ever give you weird looks after eating about 5x the amount of veggies they do? i wish everybody had at least one whole veggie meal..is more satisfying than people think!! :) i love grocery shopping day!

HEAB August 12, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Caroline,
Weird looks? Yes, even from CD. Trust me, I get it, and everyone but you and me is totally missing out! Love my big plates o’ veggies. :)

Susan August 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Kudos to you and Chris for being so resourceful! I know I always feel proud when I am thrifty and creative in the kitchen.

That oat bran looks like my night snack on Wednesday – subbing the cinnamon for nooch of course!

HEAB August 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Susan,
Missing my nooch! Please enjoy some for me. :)

Jen August 12, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Awesome idea for making a quick black bean soup! That’s genius. It would be super (I mean SOUPer, hehe) yummy with goat cheese on top. You definitely win brownie buttons for creativity. I can hardly last a day without needing to skip out to the market for something. Teach me your ways!!!

Pure2raw twins August 12, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I will take the plate of stir fry veggies and tahini please! looks delicious and calling my name!!

xo
~Lori

Katie August 12, 2011 at 5:06 pm

You were the one who introduced me to the big stir fry salad (that’s what I call it) with just butter and tahini. I eat this at least twice a week. I owe you a huge hug!

HEAB August 14, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Katie,
Sending you a tahini-filled hug right now! :)

Haley August 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Nice! You are oh-so resourceful Heather! hehe. My fave = Stirfry with tahini! I’ve been in love with veggies stir fried in coconut oil w/ tahini + nutritional yeast lately.

HEAB August 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Haley,
Yum! Missing my nutritional and Brewer’s yeast!!!

Ellie@fitforthesoul August 12, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Yowwwzaaaa the nearest store is 30 minutes away?! haha I didn’t know that. If I were you, I’d probably camp out by the store at least 3 days out of the week :P

Heather! I just realized that you have a diet page and I thought all your conclusions were really interesting!! I think I’ve been inspired by you to try out different things so my stomach feels better than now. For some reason, I tend to love protein soooooo much as well as carbs, and maybe that has to do with my indigestion. But perhaps higher fat would help? I’m lookin’ forward to trying it out! :D Have a beautiful day~

HEAB August 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Ellie,
Hope you’re feeling better soon. A diet higher in fat works really well for me. I know it’s not for everyone, but it makes my belly happy. :)

Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather August 12, 2011 at 6:54 pm

So cool that you guys cut yor grocery shopping trips down to 2 a month!

HEAB August 14, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Heather,
I doubt it will last when we get back to Nashville, and Trader Joe’s is less than 3 miles away. ;)

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List August 12, 2011 at 7:12 pm

What a great little Black Bean soup recipe!! I’m going to have to use that one. Paired with grilled cheese, Henry might just eat it!

Lori August 12, 2011 at 7:57 pm

They all look delicious.!

Janknitz August 12, 2011 at 8:07 pm

We used to live about 30 minutes away from the grocery store when we lived near Hilo, Hawaii (poor us, huh! ;o) and we did big shopping trips every two weeks (much easier with no kids). We still call those over $100 shopping trips “Hilo Shopping Trips”–LOL!

With kids, every two weeks is tough, because we’re always running out of milk and fresh produce. And we get fresh fish weekly. But we really try to limit it to once a week, even though we’re literally 2 blocks from the grocery store now. We make lists and plan menus. However, DH hits the organic produce stand on his way home from work once during the week (where we also get frozen grass fed beef at an amazing price because the store is owned by his employer) and we pick up milk and special Friday night treats for the kids on Fridays. So we’re “kind of once a weekers, but not really”.

One kid is heading off to college next week, so it will be interesting to see if we can cut down on some shopping trips with one less mouth to feed (not that she’s a big eater). I think at the very least we may be able to stretch the milk to last the entire week.

HEAB August 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Jan,
Yes, I have a feeling our shopping trips will change dramatically when Summer starts making meal requests of her own. CD and I tend to eat the same meals over and over which has really made me put more of an effort into eating more variety and making sure she has variety. For now, it’s easy b/c her meals are so basic, but I know that won’t always be the case, and I like the idea of Friday nights treats. Friday night was always pizza night at my house growing up, and I would love to start some sort of fun tradition like that with Summer. :)

katie @KatieDid August 12, 2011 at 8:36 pm

2 weeks is seriously impressive for 3 people… If I buy more than a weeks worth it starts going bad, and any less and I’m hungry in three days. I’ve got it down to a science at this point. And I just finished such a you dinner…. brussels, onions, carrots, beef, tomato paste + hot sauce all sauteed in butter. Mixed with some cream cheese! sour cream would have been so good also.

HEAB August 14, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Katie,
Yes yes YES! Definitely a me dinner, and wish it was a me lunch sitting in front of ME right now. Ha, it’s 1 PM, and I’m hungry! ;)

Ameena August 12, 2011 at 10:14 pm

It must be kind of liberating to avoid the grocery store…but around here that just wouldn’t fly because I’d actually need to plan ahead. And that doesn’t happen too often when it comes to food!

Courtney August 12, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Note to self: BUY OAT BRAN!

Maija August 12, 2011 at 11:03 pm

okay so here’s my question- do you ever struggle with not being able to eat what you’re really craving when you’re low on food? I find that I’m 100% okay being flexible with what I have until I crave something I can’t make or go to the store for so I just end up snacking all day on blah things and never really feel satisfied. Does this happen to you at all?

HEAB August 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Maija,
Yes! Earlier this week, I had a mad craving for chips. Total tortilla chips brain – it was the salt and crunch I wanted. Truth be told, if were in Nashville with grocery stores all around us, I probably would have just gone to get a bag, but here, there is no store. So, I ate a can of tuna mixed with a little sour cream and pepper. Cured my salt craving, but I definitely missed the crunch! I made sure that a big bag of chips was purchased when CD went shopping. So, to answer your question, if you know you are going to mindlessly snack and never be satisfied, I would just go to the store. Sometimes, a girl just needs her chips. Trust me, I’ve been there. :)

Hannah August 12, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Teehee, love it! It’s like a reverse of Each Peach Pear Plum, where you have to guess what won’t be in the next picture :P

Eden August 13, 2011 at 1:04 am

what can I say, your super woman!
I wouldn’t last a week! If only I liked oatbran. Taste like baby food to me (no offense, Summer).

Sarah-Mae August 13, 2011 at 3:41 am

I love the way meals ebb and flow around grocery trips, it’s very similar in our household as well – from meals packed full of fresh fruit and veggies, slowly moving on to the packaged foods and freezer goods. It feels creative :)

Stephon August 13, 2011 at 10:17 am

Heather,

Hi, I first would like to say that I really like your blog! I stumbled upon it by accident while looking to make a few changes in my diet.

Here’s a little info about me, first I am a 34 year old male and I noticed more women here than anything, lol so hope that doesn’t seem to odd. I also had weight issues for years as well as problems with Asthma and allergies, until I came across Primal Blueprint and will admit it helped with a lot especially weight. At 5’5′ I climbed to an alarming 186lbs, despite an athletic background as well as years as a boxer and service in the military Navy/Army. So to the point…. I enjoyed my success through my renewed eating lifestyle with a six pack abs that accompanied it in which I hadn’t seen in years but like you the no oatmeal (never tried oatbran) is killing me and I am looking to implememt some of your dietary ideas, just not clear on the types of fats and carbs you consume regularly? you also mention you eat lower protein which seems to work for me nicely, just wondering also about protein sources?. Sorry about all the questions, just want to pick your brain a bit if I may and hopefully can implement some of these things in my eating lifestyle as well. Thanks! :-)

HEAB August 14, 2011 at 11:54 am

Hi Stephon,
Welcome – I’m so glad you found me, and believe it or not, there are a few male HEAB readers out there. So, you are not alone. ;)

Also glad to hear Primal Blueprint worked so well for you. I’m a fan of Mark Sisson – his Case Against Cardio post changed my life and so much for the better. However, I don’t eat like him. It’s not that I disagree with his dietary choices, I simply find that my body vibes really well with some grains and root vegetables. I just try and avoid sugar, in all forms including a lot of fruit, honey, etc. I do use stevia and small amounts of maple syrup on occasion. I eat gluten free grains for the most part and both white and sweet potatoes. I lost all of my weight eating this way and have never had a problem with maintaining my weight loss eating carbs. Again, for me it’s the sugar, and yes, like you, excess protein seems to have the same effects on me that excess sugar does – goes straight to my belly. Therefore, I stick to more of a high-fat diet – whole eggs instead of egg whites, dark meat instead of white, etc. I eat all kinds of meat but I’m not one to eat 6-small meals consisting of lean chicken breast, etc. My body seems to do much better with a little beef instead or veggies stir-fried in butter. I also love all kinds of seafood and eat a lot of salmon. Here are some other posts you might find helpful:

http://heathereatsalmondbutter.com/2010/01/28/fat-is-our-friend/
http://heathereatsalmondbutter.com/the-heab-diet/
http://heathereatsalmondbutter.com/2010/02/10/chia-seeds-animal-fat-hormones/

There has been a lot of talk lately amongst paleo bloggers about carbs and what the optimal carbs are, which foods should be avoided, etc. I know for me, carbs are fine, but sugar is definitely the enemy. Fat is not, and a little protein is good, just not too much. However, I know people will disagree with me on this one, but I truly believe we are all different creatures. So, keep that in mind. What works best for my body will not work best for everyone.

Hope this helps, and please feel free to email me with any other questions you might have. Best of luck and again, thanks for reading!

Stephon August 15, 2011 at 9:01 am

Heather,

Thanks for the links, made some good reading. What i need to do now is add some carbs and I will be set. I have heavy cream and eggs, going to the store to grab some avocados, potatoes, almond butter, and oat bran to give it a go. Thank you for your response and the great information!

Kristen, Sweetly August 13, 2011 at 11:05 am

Too funny!! I try to go bare-bones when I’m home sometimes. I always end up with canned and frozen EVERYTHING and just forget to use it up when I buy new things. The simple black bean soup sounds great.

HEAB August 14, 2011 at 11:31 am

Kristen,
It was good, but I’ve decided it would have been even more amazing with some onions sauteed in butter and perhaps a little chili powder and cumin. Next time for sure! :)

Baking N Books August 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Your oat bran is so thick and creamy!

Katie @ Peace Love and Oats August 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Haha, sounds kind of like my week that I’ve chronicled on my new blog, Peace Love and Oats. I flew home to Kansas City yesterday to visit my family so all week I was trying to use up everything in my fridge since I’ll be gone for 8 days. I had some interesting meals that last day!

Kilee August 13, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Hi Heather,
I loved reading your blog about one or two years ago & then I fell off the healthy-blog reading wagon for awhile. Now, I’m back and loved looking at all of your links from this post. I respect how you explain that your style of eating and workouts works for you and that we all need to explore what works best for our individual bodies. You have such a beautiful family and peacefulness that’s conveyed through your blog.
Sending you some blog love,
Kilee

Kilee August 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

* I was referring to your last post, but loved seeing these meal ideas too!

HEAB August 14, 2011 at 11:26 am

Thanks so much Kilee…and welcome back! :)

Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous! August 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Those look delicious! Although it would be hard to only go to the grocery store twice a week it looks like you do an amazing job of being creative with what you ahve on hand!!

Health Bee August 14, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Great photos, Heather! Love the cheddar omelet and oat bran photos.

Kim August 14, 2011 at 11:19 pm

We are going to homeschool starting tomorrow! So now you have a reason to move sooner than later! LOTS to fill you in on once you have more internet access!

Halley (Blunder Construction) August 15, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I love to see the evolution of groceries in this way. I am always impressed when I pull together a meal from odds and ends, and even happier when it tastes good! One ingredient I morph from meal to meal often is brown rice. I make a big batch in the beginning of the week and use it in many different ways.

janknitz August 16, 2011 at 3:05 am

It’s your fault! First I discovered how to make my own coconut butter on your site after devouring a jar of Artisana. Then I saw all these posts about you putting Baker’s chocolate in stuff. Today I needed a “treat” because I’d really not eaten enough, so I melted 1 square of high cocoa chocolate (82%, I’m not quite up to unsweetened yet) into 2 tbsp. of coconut butter. AWESOME!!!

It’s going to be a challenge to keep this a sometimes treat and not an everyday thing. I’ll feel a little better when I conquer the unsweetened chocolate. YUM! Thanks for your great blog.

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