authentic living

Tag: wholefoods

September Grocery Budget Challenge: Week 3

September Grocery Budget Challenge: Week 3

Hello Friends! Welcome back to my September Grocery Budget Challenge, I can’t believe we are in week three, where is the month going! If you missed out on week one and two, you can find them here: September Grocery Budget Challenge: Week 1 September Grocery […]

Easy Black Eyed Pea Curry

Easy Black Eyed Pea Curry

Hi Friends! Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post! Today I am sharing my delicious and easy Black Eyed Pea Curry recipe! Cooking with black eyed peas is actually new to me, I have never tried them before! I was in my local green […]

September Grocery Budget Challenge: Week 1

September Grocery Budget Challenge: Week 1

Hi Friends,

Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen blog post! If you read my last post, you know that I have been on a mission to reduce my spending on groceries without sacrificing quality.

I am a strong believer in cooking from scratch and the value in preparing fresh healthy nutritious meals. I love to cook (obviously) and even with my goal of saving money for our new arrival, I refuse to sacrifice quality and sustainability when planning my weekly meals. If you want to read more on this and some of my top tips for cutting your grocery budget, see my last post here.

Confession time: I actually love checking out other peoples groceries, I find it so interesting to see what other people eat, how much they spend and how (or if) they plan their meals! Because of my nosiness I love reading other people’s Instagram and Blog posts on this topic. If you’re a curious cat like me, this post is for you!

via GIPHY

So, what is my grocery budget?

Previously I would spend $200+ to feed Nathan and I per week, for this grocery challenge, I have cut it down to a goal of $120 per week which covers groceries AND household products with an additional $100 per month (if needed) for protein from local farms. For anyone reading this, keep in mind, I live in Australia, groceries are considerably more expensive here than they are in America which is why this may seem a little high to some of you. Everyone needs to find the amount that is right for them based on their location, family members, preferences and priorities.

For this challenge, I will be sharing my meal plan for each week, what ingredients I purchased, how much I spent and where I shopped. As a general rule I prepare all of our meals at home besides 1 dinner (or lunch) per week where we eat out with friends, go on a date night or have takeaway (usually a Saturday night) which is not included in our grocery budget. Some ingredients I already have in stock in my pantry or fridge so I do not need to buy these every week and I will try to indicate that where I remember. I’ll also include any recipes I have used for the meals.

This week’s grocery shop

For the first week of September, my grocery shop came in at $137.83 so only slightly over budget, this is ok though as it all tends to balance out by the end of the month. I have included below a breakdown of what I purchased and where!

Local Green Grocer – $64.66

  • White potatoes x 1.3kg
  • Brown onions x 995g
  • Sweet Potato x 440g
  • Fuji Apples x 2kg
  • Dried Black Eyed Beans x 1kg
  • Whole Butternut Pumpkin x 1.3kg
  • Sweet Paprika
  • Garam Masala
  • Carrots x 185g
  • Lebanese Cucumbers x 375g
  • Zucchini x 280g
  • Tomatos x 660g
  • Hass Avocado x 1kg
  • Kiwi Fruit Gold pk of 6
  • Red Onion x 185g
  • Purple Garlic
  • Broccoli x 840g
  • Ginger x 140g
  • Red Chilli x 25g
  • Bananas x 1.6kg
  • Fresh Dill
  • Strawberries x 750g
  • Blueberries
  • Baby Spinach leaves x 500g

Aldi – $40.30

  • Organic natural yoghurt
  • Vanilla yoghurt
  • Organic milk
  • Orange and mango juice
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Canned chickpeas x 2
  • Flavoured tuna x 4
  • Organic quinoa
  • Natural cashews
  • Natural almonds
  • Rolled oats
  • Light rye bread
  • Organic tomato paste
  • Choc chip cookies

Woolworths – $26.79

  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Canned coconut milk x 2
  • Tuna in spring water x 2
  • Canned Wild Alaskan Salmon
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Babybel cheese rounds
  • Lindt 70% Dark Chocolate x 2 blocks
  • Sardines in spring water x 2 (for dogs)

Local Butcher – $6.08

  • 2 free range chicken breasts, skin on

 

Meal plan for the first week of September

Week Commencing Sunday 01/09/19
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Breakfast Organic sourdough toast with peanut butter or vegemite and butter Kiah: Overnight oats with natural yoghurt, almond milk, chia seeds, fresh berries and chopped walnuts

Nathan: Weetbix with honey and milk

Kiah: Overnight oats with natural yoghurt, almond milk, chia seeds, fresh berries and chopped walnuts

Nathan: Weetbix with honey and milk

Kiah: Overnight oats with natural yoghurt, almond milk, chia seeds, fresh berries and chopped walnuts

Nathan: Weetbix with honey and milk

Kiah: Overnight oats with natural yoghurt, almond milk, chia seeds, fresh berries and chopped walnuts

Nathan: Weetbix with honey and milk

Kiah: Overnight oats with natural yoghurt, almond milk, chia seeds, fresh berries and chopped walnuts

Nathan: Weetbix with honey and milk

Sourdough toast with eggs or oats with leftover fruit
Morning Tea Coffee from local cafe Kiah: Homemade banana muffin, raw almonds and cup of tea

Nathan: Vanilla yoghurt and piece of fruit

Kiah: Homemade banana muffin, raw almonds and cup of tea

Nathan: Vanilla yoghurt and piece of fruit

Kiah: Homemade banana muffin, raw almonds and cup of tea

Nathan: Vanilla yoghurt and piece of fruit

Kiah: Homemade banana muffin, raw almonds and cup of tea

Nathan: Vanilla yoghurt and piece of fruit

Kiah: Homemade banana muffin, raw almonds and cup of tea

Nathan: Vanilla yoghurt and piece of fruit

Raw almonds and leftover fruit with a cup of tea
Lunch Leftovers from the week Vegetarian split pea soup with toast Salmon salad bowl with quinoa, cucumber, spinach, tomato and a honey mustard dressing Vegetarian split pea soup with toast Vegetarian split pea soup with toast Toasted sandwich (cheese, tomato and avocado) Green smoothie with leftover spinach, frozen banana and Tropeaka protein powder
Afternoon Tea Cup of tea and fruit/cookies Kiah: Natural Babybel cheese round and an apple

Nathan: Homemade banana muffin and piece of fruit

Kiah: Natural Babybel cheese round and an apple

Nathan: Homemade banana muffin and piece of fruit

Kiah: Natural Babybel cheese round and an apple

Nathan: Homemade banana muffin and piece of fruit

Kiah: Natural Babybel cheese round and an apple

Nathan: Homemade banana muffin and piece of fruit

Kiah: Natural Babybel cheese round and an apple

Nathan: Homemade banana muffin and piece of fruit

Homemade banana muffin
Dinner BBQ at Nathan’s parents house for Father’s Day (bring salad) Mustard, parmesan and panko crumbed chicken breast with roast potato and steamed greens Pumpkin and chickpea or sweet potato and chickpea curry with spinach and rice Pumpkin and chickpea or sweet potato and chickpea curry with spinach and rice Salmon and potato patties with side salad (spinach, tomato, cucumber, avocado, sunflower seeds) Salmon and potato patties with side salad (spinach, tomato, cucumber, avocado, sunflower seeds) Date night
(dinner out or takeaway)
Dessert Dark chocolate and cup of tea Dark chocolate and cup of tea Dark chocolate and cup of tea Dark chocolate and cup of tea Dark chocolate and cup of tea Dark chocolate and cup of tea Dark chocolate and cup of tea



Breakfast

For breakfast Nathan and I tend to stick to the same thing most days, we know what we like and it’s easy, this week was no exception. I had overnight oats Monday – Friday, this is what I purchased the oats, organic yoghurt, almond milk and berries for, I also added chia seeds, sunflower seeds and chopped walnuts which I had on hand. Nathan had his usual WeetBix and honey which I already had in the pantry, so all I needed for him was the organic milk and fruit juice. On Saturday and Sunday we tend to have toast!

Lunch

I usually prep the first three days of the week, in the cooler months this is often soup as it’s so easy to make in advance and freeze. In the warmer weather I’ll do more salads and nourish bowls. On the last two days of the week we tend to make a salad on Thursday (with whatever is in the fridge) and Friday is toasted sandwich day, weekend lunches involve leftovers from the week.

This week I prepped this Vegetarian Split Pea Soup as I had some leftover celery and carrots from last week and a bag of dried split peas in the pantry, I didn’t need to buy any ingredients for this as I make my own veggie stock using scraps and had everything else on hand.

We actually ended up having salad for lunch on Monday as we had leftover salad from our Father’s Day BBQ, I added tuna instead of salmon and made a homemade dressing using tahini, olive oil, water, maple syrup, dijon mustard, salt and pepper all of which I had in stock. I had originally purchased the sweet potatoes and cucumber for the salad bowl but because we ate the leftover salad I now needed to find something else for them, it also mean’t I didn’t use the quinoa! We had the soup on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and then a toastie on Friday. For the toasted sandwich we already had cheese so didn’t need to buy any, I just grabbed some tomatoes, avocado and some tuna for Nathan. Because our Friday dinner plans changed, we ate leftovers from Thursday night for lunch on Saturday and I made a huge salad using fresh spinach leaves, tomato, cucumber, fresh dill and tahini dressing, it was delish!

Dinner

I tend to plan to cook 3-4 nights per week, the nights in between we have leftovers, this works well for us as it is easy, saves us time, reduces dishes and minimises food waste. One night we’ll usually have fish, we might have meat another night and the rest of our meals are vegetarian or vegan.

Sunday night we were at Nathan’s parents house for a fathers day BBQ, I did make a really nice roast pumpkin, green bean, rocket, spinach, haloumi and pine nut salad but the ingredients for this were not purchased out of our grocery budget.

Monday night we walked the dogs and then I made this easy Parmesan Mustard Crumbed Chicken, I had most of the ingredients on hand for this I just had to buy the Parmesan cheese and chicken breasts. I served this with baby spinach, steamed broccoli, green peas and roast potato.

Tuesday night I had prenatal yoga so Nathan cooked, he made this delicious Pumpkin and Chickpea Coconut Curry which we just served on rice with some plain yoghurt and added a heap of fresh spinach for some greens.

Wednesday night we got home from work, walked the doggos and then had leftovers which made things easy and gave us both a break from cooking (plus curry is even better the next day). I store leftovers in glass containers and I reheat them on the stove rather than using the microwave.

Thursday night I threw together some potato and salmon patties using the remaining white potatoes, fresh dill and canned wild salmon, served with baby spinach, tomato, cucumber, avocado and steamed broccoli. I have published this recipe on the blog as it was a winner in our house, so if you’d like to check it out, click here.

Friday night was supposed to be another leftover night however Nathan’s mum invited us over for family dinner to catch up with Nathan’s grandpa who we haven’t seen in a little while so we saved the leftovers for lunch on Saturday.

Saturday night we had a date night but instead of eating out I decided to cook at home and use up some leftover produce such as the sweet potato, zucchini and fresh spinach! We then headed to the movies to see IT Chapter 2 (I had my eyes closed for 90% of the movie, can’t handle the jumpiness especially while pregnant!).

Snacks

Since falling pregnant I have had to snack more than I used to, previously I would have an almond latte as morning tea and a piece of fruit in the afternoon. These days, I take raw almonds and cashews, homemade healthy banana muffins (I usually make a batch of muffins every Sunday using what fruit we have leftover), fresh fruit and a Babybel natural cheese round. Nathan is somewhat similar although he takes vanilla yoghurt rather than nuts and cheese.

This week I made these healthy banana muffins using leftover bananas from the previous week, I had all other ingredients already.

I also purchased the apples, kiwi fruits and bananas as our snack fruit for the week.

In Summary

Overall things went pretty well for the first week of the September Grocery Budget Challenge, I actually ended up with too much food as a few of our plans changed so I’ll have to incorporate that into next weeks meals somehow. I also did go a tiny bit over budget by $17 but overall I’m pretty happy with my efforts, I did purchase some things that weren’t on my list like the black eyed peas and choc chip cookies, and I grabbed two blocks of the Lindt chocolate because it was half price and I couldn’t resist!

So that is it for the first week of the grocery budget challenge! If you too are looking to cut some money from your grocery budget I hope this has given you some motivation, or at the very least, I hope it has given you some meal ideas and inspired you to do some more cooking from home with fresh ingredients! If you’d like to stay up to date on the remainder of this challenge, feel free to subscribe via email so you receive a notification every time a new post is published.

I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below or over on my Instagram page, maybe you’re trying to cut costs or just looking at ways you can be more sustainable both financially and environmentally, I love chatting about both of these topics.

Until next time friends,

Xx Kiah

 

Easy Red Lentil Dahl Recipe!

Easy Red Lentil Dahl Recipe!

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Coconut Kidney Bean Curry with Steamed Greens

Coconut Kidney Bean Curry with Steamed Greens

Hi Friends! Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post, I’m sharing a super delicious, cheap and easy Coconut Kidney Bean Curry recipe! I have been continuing to read and explore the principles of diet according to Chinese Medicine and taking a more holistic approach […]

Slow Cooker Mushroom and Barley Stew Recipe (Vegan) & Chinese Medicine learnings

Slow Cooker Mushroom and Barley Stew Recipe (Vegan) & Chinese Medicine learnings

Hi Friends!

Welcome to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post. I recently read a book called Food for the Seasons: Eat Well and Stay Healthy the Traditional Chinese Way by Lun Wong, it was a gift from my mum for Christmas and I loved it! I have actually been getting fortnightly acupuncture treatments since around October last year from Nashira at Middle Path General Practice of Chinese Medicine. I have already made some changes to my diet based on the Nashira’s advice and have been feeling a lot better for it. Reading this book really helped me to understand why some of these changes were necessary for me and provided great foundation knowledge of the role diet plays in Chinese Medicine overall.

According to the principles of Chinese Medicine, autumn is the time for nurturing and supporting our organs, fluids and blood as we transition into the cooler weather. It is important to move away from summer salads to more warming foods – both in temperature and in qualities. It is a great time to start introducing soups and stews, the longer food is cooked for the more warming it is and the easier to digest, so time whip out the slow cooker!



The recipe I am sharing today is a Slow Cooker Mushroom and Barley Stew which is perfect for this seasonal transition time. I created this recipe to address some of my own health objectives, however I feel it is a great option for anyone looking to nourish their body and energy at this time of year. The stew contains barley which is great for building strength, blood and supporting yin, mushrooms which benefit the lungs and stomach, carrot which strengthen the spleen and boosts digestion, celery to benefit the spleen and liver and reduce the effects of wind which can be felt in autumn, and potatoes to strengthen the liver yin and benefit the spleen and qi. The stew is cooked over a period of 5-8 hours making it more warming and easily digested.

Health benefits aside, this stew is a great autumn staple, it is full of flavour and so easy to make, you can throw everything in the slow cooker in the morning, set it on low and come back at dinner time to dig in. I do hope you enjoy this recipe!

If you make this delicious stew, please let me know how you liked it in the comments below, and if you share it on social media, please tag @kiahs.kitchen or #KiahsKitchen so I can check out your creations!

Until next time, enjoy the plentiful fruits and veggies that autumn has to offer, stay healthy and take care of yourselves!

Kiah xo

Slow Cooker Mushroom and Barley Stew (Vegan)

Warming, nourishing and delicious autumn stew, as simple as throwing everything in the slow cooker, set and forget!

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Australian
Keyword Autumn Stew, Easy Vegan Dinner, Mushroom Stew, Stew, Vegan Stew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 4 cups salt reduced vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 400 grams mushrooms
  • 150 grams oyster mushrooms
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch parsley (for serving)

Instructions

  1. Clean and slice the leek, carrots, celery stalks and mushrooms and add to a large slow cooker

  2. Wash the potatoes, dice into 2 cm pieces and add to the other vegegtables

  3. Add all remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and stir everything through

  4. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 5 hours (until barley is cooked through and vegetables are soft)

  5. Serve immediately with fresh parsley and cracked black pepper

Recipe Notes

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight refrigerator for up to three days or frozen for up to one month to ensure maximum freshness. I cooked this on high for around 5.5 hours and it turned out perfectly, different slow cookers may vary, adjust based on yours.


Dairy Free Pesto Pasta Salad (Vegan)

Dairy Free Pesto Pasta Salad (Vegan)

Hi Friends! I’m back with another recipe for you! It is coming to the end of an exceptionally hot summer here in Australia. As much as I love the sun, the crisp edge in the air as we transition to autumn is very refreshing. One […]

Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Green Bean Curry

Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Green Bean Curry

Hi Friends! Today I’m sharing my super yummy, super healthy Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Green Bean Curry recipe! Now for my fellow Australians, I am very aware it is November and we are heading into summer, however, curry is an all season staple for me, […]

Pear, Raspberry and Walnut Oats – the perfect winter breakfast!

Pear, Raspberry and Walnut Oats – the perfect winter breakfast!

Earlier in the year I shared my go-to summer breakfast, vegan bircher muesli which is a staple for me in the warmer months (find the recipe here). However now that the leaves have fallen, the days have become incredibly short and I can literally see my breath in the mornings, it is time to retire my bircher muesli in favour of something warmer.

Enter my pear, raspberry and walnut oats recipe. This breakfast recipe is so delicious, super warm, comforting and very easy. I love making this on cold Sunday mornings for Nathan and I along with a big mug of tea. This breakfast provides plenty of good nutrition to start your day whist also being a little sweet and decadent.

The almond milk I use is by the brand Nutty Bruce which can be found in the refrigerator section of most supermarkets – it is deliciously creamy!

The coconut yoghurt I use is by the brand Nakula and I would 100% recommend this, it’s my favourite coconut yoghurt. You can find it at most Woolworths stores and other independent grocery/health food stores.

My final tip is to make sure you are using 100% pure A grade Canadian maple syrup, not the synthetic stuff – nobody wants that fake shit!

If you make this recipe and share it on Instagram, please tag me @kiahs.kitchen or #KiahsKitchen – I would love to see your re-creations.

The full recipe is listed below, however if you want a downloadable PDF version, please click this link: Pear raspberry and walnut oats

Pear Raspberry and Walnut Oats Recipe

Yield: 2 servings     Prep time: 2 minutes     Cook time: 18 minutes

Ingredients

1 large brown pear

1 punnet of raspberries

1/4 cup water

1/2 tbsp maple syrup plus more to serve

1/3 cup walnuts

2/3 cup oats

1 cup of almond milk

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Coconut yoghurt to serve

Method

Cut the pear into quarters lengthways, remove seeds, then halve each quarter lengthways and slice into small chunks

Roughly chop the walnuts and set aside

Place a small pot on a medium heat, add the pear, water and maple syrup, bring to a simmer

Simmer stirring frequently for about 10 minutes until it starts to thicken and the pear begins to go a big mushy

Add the rolled oats, the almond milk, half of the punnet of raspberries, half the chopped walnuts and the cinnamon

Bring to a gentle simmer and stir frequently for 5-8 minutes until the oats are cooked, add more milk if required

Once the oats are soft, divide the mixture between two bowls,  top with remaining raspberries, a dollop of coconut yoghurt, the remaining chopped walnuts and drizzle with maple syrup

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

Great for a lazy winter morning in! This recipe makes two medium servings, ingredients can easily be doubled to serve more people or provide larger portion sizes. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for the next day, just add a bit more milk when reheating and don’t add yoghurt until serving. 

Easy Bruschetta Recipe

Easy Bruschetta Recipe

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