Clapping On The Down Beat

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Buyer Beware! and Meal Plan 5.2.12 May 2, 2012

Filed under: Interests,Meal Planning — clappingonthedownbeat @ 8:15 PM

I have had some books and films on my to-do list.  I finally got  around to watching Food Inc.

It was fascinating and yet totally disturbing at the same time.   If you like living in a world of oblivion, then DO NOT watch this.  However after viewing this I am going to be making a lot more changes and cuts to what I food I buy and where I buy it from.  Michael Pollan narrates the film.  He also wrote a great book Omnivore’s dilemma.  He traces back where food comes from in a typical American diet.  If you read or watch the movie, you should also see King Corn and SuperSize Me.

SO here’s the meal plan for this week:

Price Matching


Gatorade $.67

Fritos or Cheetos $1.77

Heinz Ketchup $2

Corn 6 for $2


McCormick Taco seasoning packets 3 for $1

Barilla Pasta $.99

Corona 12 pk $12.99

Gain $4.99

Clorox $.99


Mission tortillas $.99

Cholula BOGO free

Chorizo $.99

Go gurt $1.88

Dr. Pepper A&W $.99


Strawberries 4 for $5

Zucchini &  Broccoli   $.99/lb

Spinach $.99

Mangos 3 for $1


avocados $.39 each


lemons and limes 6 for $1

Meatless Monday: Hoagies

  • 4 (3-ounce) hoagie rolls, split
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup vertically sliced yellow onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 thinly sliced zucchini
  • 1 cup thinly sliced poblano chile
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) container plain hummus
  • 4 (1/2-ounce) slices provolone cheese
  1. 1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. 2. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell; reserve torn bread for another use. Place rolls, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil 1 minute or until toasted.
  3. 3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper); sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  4. 4. Spread about 1/4 cup hummus over bottom half of each roll; top with 1/2 cup onion mixture and 1 cheese slice. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Top hoagies with top halves of rolls.  Serve with cole slaw or a salad.

Tuesday: Pickle Poached Eggs and Ham

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1/2 large French baguette, crust removed and torn into bite-size pieces

1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed

1/2 cup pickle juice

4 eggs, at room temperature

1/4 pound thinly sliced smoked country ham

1. Preheat the oven to 500˚. In a blender, combine the mustard, honey and vinegar and pulse at medium speed until well mixed. With the motor running, slowly add 1/4 cup of the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and set aside.

2. In a medium skillet, warm 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 1 minute. Discard the garlic. Add the bread to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer the croutons to a paper-towel-lined plate.

3. Toss the asparagus with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Roast for about 8 minutes, or until tender.

4. Meanwhile, fill a pot two-thirds full with water and add the pickle juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Crack the eggs one at a time into a small bowl, then slide them into the simmering water. Poach the eggs until their whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a paper-towel-lined plate.

5. Divide the asparagus among 4 plates and top each serving with a few slices of the ham, a scattering of croutons and a poached egg. Drizzle the vinaigrette over each serving and serve immediately.

Wednesday: Chicken and Broccoli Rice Bowls

  • 3 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1 (8.8-ounce) pouch precooked brown rice (such as Uncle Ben’s)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 3 ounces light processed cheese (such as Velveeta Light), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  1. 1. Steam broccoli 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.
  2. 2. Heat rice according to directions.
  3. 3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes or until done, stirring occasionally. Add onions and cheese, stirring until cheese begins to melt. Stir in rice; fold in broccoli. Cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with almonds.
Thursday: Spring Pasta
  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 ounces French bread baguette, torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1 1/2 cups (2-inch) diagonally cut asparagus
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 6 ounces uncooked fettuccine
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup  low-fat milk
  • 3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup packed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  1. 1. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven.
  2. 2. Place torn bread in a food processor; process until coarse crumbs form. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 garlic clove to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add breadcrumbs; sauté 3 minutes or until golden brown and toasted. Remove breadcrumb mixture from pan; wipe pan clean with paper towels.
  3. 3. Add asparagus and peas to boiling water; cook for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Rinse under cold water; drain.
  4. 4. Add pasta to boiling water; cook 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and keep warm.
  5. 5. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and the remaining 2 garlic cloves; cook for 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Place flour in a small bowl; gradually whisk in chicken broth. Add broth mixture and milk to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat; add cheeses, salt, and pepper, stirring until cheeses melt. Add pasta, asparagus, and peas; toss well. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and tarragon.

200 Calorie Tacos:

Black Bean fiesta

1½ tablespoons feta cheese + ¼ cup black beans + ¼ cup sautéed zucchini + 2 tablespoons charred corn + 1 tablespoon fresh salsa

Wakey Breaky

1 tablespoon roasted poblano peppers + 1 tablespoon queso fresco + 1 tablespoon diced tomato + 1 large egg, scrambled + 2 tablespoons hash brown potatoes

Fajita-Style Steak

1.5 ounces grilled flank steak + 1 tablespoon guacamole + 1 tablespoon pepper Jack cheese + ¼ cup grilled peppers and onions

Crustacean Crunch

2 tablespoons pico de gallo + ¼ cup shredded red cabbage + 2 ounces lime-grilled shrimp + 1 tablespoon salsa verde

Mahi & Mango

1 tablespoon sliced red onion + 2 tablespoons mango + 2 tablespoons avocado + 2 ounces grilled mahimahi fillet

Cinco de Mayo is often mistaken for Mexican Independence Day, which is actually September 16. On that date in 1810, Mexico declared its independence from Spanish rule.

Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Yet Cinco de Mayo is celebrated only sporadically in Mexico, mainly in the southern town of Puebla (see map of Puebla) and a few larger cities.

In recent years, though, Cinco de Mayo rapidly gained popularity in the U.S., where changing demographics have helped to turn the holiday into a cultural event. Latinos are the largest minority in the U.S. today with 44.3 million people, representing 15 percent of the population, according to a July 2008 U.S. Census Bureau report.

In 2006 the number of official Cinco de Mayo events was 150 or more, according to José Alamillo, professor of ethnic studies at Washington State University in Pullman, who has studied the cultural impact of Cinco de Mayo north of the border.

Cinco de Mayo is even celebrated in towns across the U.S. that are predominately non-Hispanic, he noted.  Cinco de Mayo, he said, is “definitely becoming more popular than St. Patrick’s Day.”


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