Project: Food Budget Week 3

I had an exciting grocery week! I actually really like grocery shopping (is that weird?) and I knew I would need to stock up on lots of fresh produce, proteins and grains. I realized halfway through the excursion that my shopping cart was totally vegan!


Barley, tofu, Lightlife entrees, nuts, dates & raisins, fresh fruit & veg, and a bunch o' canned beans

This wasn’t on purpose, but I guess that’s what happens when I’m mostly shopping for myself and buying healthy goodies. I will say the only non-vegan thing that made it into the cart was the ice cream I tossed in at the end. Totally worth it.

On multiple shopping trips this week, I spent $80.02. That amounts to $317.76 so far this month with a few days, and probably one more small trip, left to take. Even though I’m not exactly on track with my $300/month goal, I think I’m making progress on this budgeting thing! When I first started participating in Project: Food Budget, I thought I would just be focusing on dollars, but I quickly learned that it was more about my planning abilities so that dollars and waste could in turn be reduced.

With this week came a rise in menu planning and recipe making! I even wrote meal notes on the fridge for each day of the week and asked Hubs to request which days he would need my sandwich making skills (I make a mean, perfect-for-studying sandwich). On Sunday, I whipped up some lunches to last the week, chopped up lots of veggies to snack on, and baked a portable “dessert” (black bean brownies).

Here’s one of the adapted recipes I made and am still enjoying, courtesy of Project: Food Budget originator and Reluctant Vegetarian Emily!

Recipe: Whole Wheat Pumpkin Ravioli



  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 2 tbs pure maple syrup
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced zucchini (I added for bulk & because it needed to be used up!)


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1+ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2-2/3 cup water

Balsamic Glaze

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar



  1. mix the flour and salt in a large bowl.
  2. add the olive oil and mix in the flour until there are no large chunks of flour-oil mass left.
  3. add the water slowly, mixing with the flour until you achieve a smooth dough. drier dough > wetter dough.
  4. set the dough aside in a covered bowl for at least 15 minutes.


  1. while dough is “resting” get to work on the filling.
  2. heat pan over medium-high heat.
  3. saute onions, garlic and zucchini with a little olive oil until onions are translucent.
  4. add pumpkin and broth. stir until warmed.
  5. add sage, salt and pepper. saute for another 1-2 minutes.
  6. add maple syrup {to taste} and remove from heat.

Balsamic Glaze:

  1. Heat balsamic vinegar on medium high until it starts to lightly boil
  2. Turn down to medium heat, them sprinkle sugar throughout vinegar to form a bubbly reaction
  3. Let vinegar & sugar simmer and reduce to about half
  4. Remove from heat. Once it cools, it will be deliciously syrupy!

Making the Raviolis:

  1. separate dough into 2-3 pieces.
  2. roll into snakes (like play-doh)
  3. roll into long, flat lines of dough, approx 1-2mm in thickness.
  4. place a line of 1 tsp filling about an inch from the edge along one rectangular sheet of dough, leaving 1.5-2 inches between each.
  5. fold the other half over the top. press and seal around the edges.
  6. use a knife to cut around the edges to make individual raviolis. press edges with a fork.
  7. collect any remaining dough, roll out and follow the steps again. repeat until no dough is left.
  8. cook the raviolis for 1-2 minutes in boiling water. remove.
  9. transfer to skillet with a little olive oil and cook for 1 minute per side.
  10. garnish with balsamic glaze.
  11. serve. eat. enjoy.

I will say that I was extremely heavy handed with the dough and it wasn’t nearly thin enough. So I ended up having a lot of extra filling, but it worked out because I simply topped the ravioli with it at the end while sauteeing in the pan for a couple minutes, and it made the filling even creamier. The balsamic glaze was a perfect sweet and tangy balance to the heavy dough and savory filling. Yum!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the other Project: Food Budget bloggers and their progress this month!


      2 Comments (+add yours?)

      1. emlevenson
        Jan 27, 2011 @ 15:35:36

        yum! those ravioli’s look delectable.

        and yay for menu planning! it’s a huge help.


      2. Trackback: CSA Update « Motor City Girl in the Steel City

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