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A Back of the Box Meal

by Meghann on February 1, 2010

Looks like my secret jar of almond butter is running low.

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I see a ‘in a jar’ creation in my near future. πŸ˜‰

Luckily, I was able to scrape just enough AB for my snack this afternoon.

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Oranges + AB = Amazing! Finger licking good!

Tonight I had no idea what to make for dinner. I stood in front of my pantry for a good 10-15 minutes just staring at all it had to offer. Inspiration finally struck in the form of a box.

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Or I should say the recipe I found on the back of the box.

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Oriental Garden Pilaf? Why not?

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I followed the simple directions on the back of the box, only I bulked it up with extra veggies and some tofu.

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Wildwood sent me some coupons a couple of weeks ago. LOVE their pre-baked tofu!

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Who says healthy, delicious meals need a big production? Dinner came together in less than 15 minutes!

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Just realized this recipe was suppose to produce 4 servings. I definitely was only about to get two out of it. One for tonight and one for lunch sometime this week. It was also meant to be a side dish. Personally, I thought with the extra veggies and tofu it was perfect as a complete meal. πŸ™‚

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For dessert I had a tiny bowl of mini peanut butter cups, dark chocolate covered edamame, and dried kiwi.

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I enjoyed eating the dried kiwi with the chocolate mix. I still need to get around to making chocolate dipped kiwi. I can only imagine how great those would be. πŸ™‚

More Answers…

Question: You eat so, so healthy. I know at one time you didn’t. So, do you ever miss fast food?

Sometimes, but not all fast food. I could easily go the rest of my life without ever eating at a Burger King, McDonalds, or any other burger place again, but fried chicken joints are a whole other story.

I love Zaxbys and used to eat there at least once a week when I lived in Tallahassee. Fortunately there isn’t one near me now otherwise I would probably talk myself into making the occasional trip there. I do still eat at Chick-Fil-A every once in a while. Though, I think the last time I ate there was the night I brought Maddie home back in August. Maybe I’m due for another trip?

Question: What is the average amount you spend on groceries per month? (Veggies and organic ingredients seem to be sooooo expensive)

Thanks to Mint.com I can tell you I spent exactly $293 on groceries in the month of January.

$293? Yikes!

That seems like a lot for one person for a month. I just can’t help myself when it comes to groceries. I love food and it’s the one thing I am willing to spend a little more on. I may not buy expensive make up, but I do buy fresh, healthy food each week.

And if you consider the $293 covers three meals and two snacks a day and that I rarely eat out during the week then it doesn’t seem to bad. πŸ™‚

Question: Is it ever hard to know that your readers make certain assumptions about you and your lifestyle? (Not you in particular, but when you have a public blog, I’m sure it opens you up to a lot of scrutiny!)

Yes, it is hard. As much as I post about my life on the blog there are still parts that are private and people do intend to make a lot of assumptions. But, as you said it is a public blog and it really is to be expected. I just want to make sure people know that I am a real person and there are parts of my life that I would like to keep personal.

Question: How many minutes/hours a day do you spend reading health/fitness/food blogs? Or you could give a weekly average.

Hmmm… this is a toughie! I really have no idea. Maybe an hour a day? I’m a speed reader! πŸ™‚ I wish I had time for more though!

1 Evan Thomas February 1, 2010 at 9:27 pm

I wasn’t quite a fan of that Wildwood tofu. Don’t know why, buy it just tasted beter if I baked it myself πŸ™ Their fried tofu, on the other hand, lemme at it!

2 weightwatchersforone February 1, 2010 at 9:31 pm

That looks great! I love the wildwood tofu.. I am too lazy to press my own and whenever I do it comes out awful. The wildwood is so easy and has a great taste to it!

I usually spend about $300- if not close to $400 on groceries just for me! I have pretty much given up on trying to make it lower but some months are better than others!

3 Carol Tufts February 1, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Your monthly food budget seems right on. I am a CPA turned foodie but have helped many with their personal budgeting. The key to making the $60-$75 a week number is doing what you did tonight. The pantry offers so many options if you are creative.

I said once before, I love barley! Check us out at thebelist.com.

Carol
http://www.thebelist.com

4 Amy February 1, 2010 at 9:51 pm

I’m still working up the courage to cook tofu… I have no idea why it scares me so much!

And I totally understand the grocery bill- for some reason I find relaxation in regular trips to the grocery store (ironically, I don’t feel that way going to the mall- but I’ll just go with it).

5 abbynormally February 1, 2010 at 9:51 pm

I think that I need a secret jar of almond butter at work. That is a great idea!

6 Run Sarah February 1, 2010 at 9:52 pm

YUm! I love one pan/pot meals. I have some barley in my pantry I havent known what to do with, that looks great!

7 Heather February 1, 2010 at 9:53 pm

I would be perfectly satisfied if BK and McDonald’s didn’t exist…but I sure don’t know about Chick-fil-a…I’m with you, that’s a good one!!! πŸ™‚

8 Jenna February 1, 2010 at 9:59 pm

I keep a jar of almond butter at work too. Hey, a girls got to have a stash for emergency purposes. πŸ™‚

I kind of spend a lot on food as well. However, it is healthy, organic food, so I don’t feel as guilty since I am putting nutritious food in to my body!

9 Erin February 1, 2010 at 10:03 pm

My sister recycled the nearly empty nut butter container before I could make my OIAJ. Nooooo! Oh well, I’ll just have to plow through this new one even more quickly. πŸ˜‰

10 tramey1 February 1, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Where do you get your dried Kiwis? I have seen a TON of dried fruits at Earth Fare, but never Kiwi. Sad panda!!

11 Mara @ What's For Dinner? February 1, 2010 at 10:06 pm

I really wish I’d read that the little bowl was dessert before i thought “omg she put PB cups in her barley?”

Glad that wasn’t the case πŸ™‚

12 Island Girl Eats February 1, 2010 at 10:07 pm

You are so creative with how you put together a meal. So inspiring!

13 Karla February 1, 2010 at 10:13 pm

I think I spend about that much on groceries too.
I’ve seen a lot of people eat almond butter with fruits and veggies but I’ve yet to try it. Sounds kinda good πŸ™‚

14 Darci February 1, 2010 at 10:16 pm

the questions/answers are fun! thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

15 Matt February 1, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Haha that really isn’t that much on food for a whole month. I probably spend more than that and I live on my own as well.

16 eaternotarunner February 1, 2010 at 10:27 pm

I’ve never had chic-fil-a or dried kiwis…maybe I am missing out!

17 Heather (Heather's Dish) February 1, 2010 at 11:03 pm

i adore chick-fil-a! i’d say you should DEFINITELY take a road trip soon πŸ™‚

18 Jamie February 1, 2010 at 11:10 pm

thats exactly how much i spend each month! i count my dollars/day and i swear most of that money goes to greek yogurt πŸ˜‰ i don’t use mint.com yet, but i think once i leave college I’m going to have to try it out!

19 caronae February 1, 2010 at 11:17 pm

I’ve been lovin’ the chocolate covered edamame lately, and chocolate covered kiwi sounds even more amazing!

20 eatinggreenstayinglean February 1, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Gosh, I could go ONN and on about how delicious almond butter is! And those chocolate-covered edamame sound yummy, did you just find them at a local health food store?

Also, on another note, I just wanted to say thanks for the great advice in your email because I was just approved to be a FoodBuzz featured publisher too! Thank youu!

-Jenna

21 meyergirl February 1, 2010 at 11:24 pm

My husband and I spend WAY too much money on food, but I’m not willing to buy crap to save a little $ until it becomes necessary.

22 Ashley February 1, 2010 at 11:29 pm

That’s about how much I spend on groceries for just me, too. I’m all into personal finance and being frugal, but food is one place where I’ve decided it’s worth it to me to spend extra money on things I enjoy eating (like yogurt that costs $1.25+ a cup) and things that I feel good about eating and that put money back into my community (like free-range, grass-fed meats from the farmers market). But I think you probably get more for your money than me–my fridge is where leftovers go to die, but you always seem to find a way to dress yours up into new meals!

23 Jenna February 1, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Ab seems to look a lot thicker than pb?! No?

24 Rose February 2, 2010 at 12:04 am

I know exactly what you mean about wanting/needing to keep things personal!

25 justjac February 2, 2010 at 1:54 am

I remember the first time i saw almond butter and oranges and i was like wtf are you doing? well, i tried it awhile ago and totally approve ;)…hahah just thought i would let you know!

your dinner looks great… hahah love that it made two servings. nutrition labels are overrated anyways lol

http://www.justjac.wordpress.com

26 Jamie @ The River Runs February 2, 2010 at 2:26 am

I agree with spending a little bit more on groceries; I think treating yourself to better and healthier ingredients makes you feel better across the board – the cliche ‘you are what you eat’ is so true and people throw that out the window for convenience… sad but true

27 foodfitnessandfreya February 2, 2010 at 3:41 am

I just discovered Oats in a Jar the other day and I LOVE IT! It’s my new obsession – hence I’m very jealous that you have an almost empty jar and I don’t πŸ˜›
I always find recipes on packets etc often give TINY portions as the servings…I always have 2 haha!!

28 Jenna [RunEatRide] February 2, 2010 at 7:32 am

I’ve never had dried kiwi before but I love dried fruit so I’d love to try it! I agree with you, Chick-Fil-A is good, but we don’t have them around here! And I think its good to spend extra money on groceries too!

29 dianacheung February 2, 2010 at 10:31 am

I heart almond butter with ANYTHING. BTW does your boyfriend read your blog?

30 Meghann February 2, 2010 at 10:33 am

He reads every word. Maybe thats how our long distance relationship works?

31 dianacheung February 2, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I was in a long distance relationship for a year! I finally moved to be with him. Good luck with yours. Looks like everything is great between you two!

32 Teri February 2, 2010 at 12:51 pm

orange and almond butter, really?? I’ll have to try it. And I love your Q&As…you make me laugh. πŸ™‚ And now I feel a lot better about our grocery bill. My husband and I struggle to stay under $300 every month! Maybe we need to up the budget on Mint (and I’m obsessed with that website).

33 Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) February 2, 2010 at 1:58 pm

chocolate covered dried kiwi would be sooo good!

34 Katie G February 2, 2010 at 3:59 pm

loving the questions and answers! keep ’em coming!!

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