Whole Foods Challenge Archive

  • The Whole Foods Food Stamp Challenge This challenge was born of a curiosity about whether you can shop at a high-end store known for higher quality food (and often criticized for its prices), and do it within a tight budget by making intelligent choices and teaching myself a few new tricks. Could I do it again?
  • Menu Planning for the Whole Foods Food Stamp Challenge … a Challenge! Friday night was a busy one for this girl, as I finished off a rough plan of meals & snacks for the first half of the month, and translated that into a shopping list for Saturday morning’s foray to Whole Foods Market to stock up. The first shopping trip was intended to pack the pantry with ...
  • Where the Rubber Hits the Road: Shopping for the Whole Foods Food Stamp Challenge Last night, I put together the mother of all shopping lists, longer than any I can remember making in the last ten years. When I was finished organizing all of my outputs and inputs in my notebook, I had a neat little list to take to the store. Except it turned out to be anything but ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Recipes: Almost Whole Wheat Bread (a la bread machine) With the bread machine we received for free from Freecycle.org, we make this bread at least once a week.  It’s far better and far cheaper than any organic bread you can get from the store (loaves often run $4.00 each or even more). 1-1/8 cup lukewarm water 1 teaspoon sea salt 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup local honey 2 ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Recipes: Hummus Hummus is pure protein, pure deliciousness, and well worth the steep price tag on the jar of organic tahini in my shopping list. It’s also worth getting or borrowing a food processor (again, one of those things you can find at a thrift store like we did), though you can make this in a blender ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Recipes: Pita Breads We love making these. Not only are they cheap and yummy, there’s something really fun about having a stack of them available in the fridge to stuff with whatever you’re eating for a fast, fantastic lunch or snack (or dinner….or breakfast….)  They’re one of the more involved things we make, but worth it. 1-1/8 cups water 2 ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Recipes: Burger/Sandwich Buns We adapted this recipe from one we found on Food.com  (thanks, Engineer in the Kitchen!) and it’s a real keeper. 1 cup water 1 egg 2 cups organic unbleached white flour 1 cup organic whole wheat flour 3/4 teaspoon sea salt 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup sugar 3 teaspoons yeast Directions: Toss all ingredients in bread pan, and start it up on Dough setting.  ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Recipes: Apple/Walnut/Oat Breakfast Bars We adapted this recipe from Prevention RD’s Meatless Monday section. Here’s the link to this neat recipe and site: http://www.preventionrd.com/2013/03/meatless-monday-giant-whole-wheat-apple-oat-breakfast-cookies/ Whole Wheat Apple-Oat Breakfast Bars 3 cups organic whole wheat flour 3 cups thick-cut oats (not instant oatmeal – eeeeuw) 1 cup sugar 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1-1/2 teaspoons salt 1-1/2 teaspoonsbaking soda 1 cup organic walnut pieces, roughly chopped 1/4 cup organic shelled sunflower or ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Recipes: Potluck-Worthy Fresh Corn Bread with Chilies This is a bit of work, but if you just want to time-splurge on yourself or your friends, this comes out really spectacular. It is very rich and very addictive….it’s a good thing it take so much effort or I’d be tempted to make it all the time. Oh heck, I may anyway. 3 ears of ...
  • Whole Foods Food Stamp Challenge Day 1: First Cooking Day (and first consternation) Diving into the Whole Foods Market Food Stamp Challenge with both feet today, along with an array of kitchen weaponry and recipes. Part of what makes this challenge possible is my willingness to do some cooking at home.  So I’m just going to come right out and say it:  If you’re a person who just detests ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Day 2: Meaty Monday You’ve heard tell of “Meatless Monday,” right, where people go completely meat-free on one day per week?  Well…..in a house where one person is completely meatless (albeit fish-friendly) and the other is extremely picky about the quality of animals she consumes, we end up going delightedly meatless pretty often. So our fliparound of this is “Meaty ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Day 4: Beet Burgers….Holy Cow If anyone thinks I’m some sort of anti-meat-eater, you need to know that I am actually a carnivore of the highest order.  Despite all the perfectly legitimate reasons NOT to eat animal products if you choose that, I think including a modicum of responsibly-raised animal foods (from goat cheese to a perfectly seared burger) is ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Day 6: Gallo Pinto – and Gifts! Today I was able to make one of my favorite dishes, a holdover from the time I spent in Costa Rica.  The informal national dish of Costa Rica is gallo pinto – spotted rooster – which is a jazzed-up dish of black beans and rice.  There are as many variants in Costa Rica as there ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Day 7: One of the Best Soups Ever, or Making Up with Lentils I have issues with most lentil soup recipes.  I like the thought of lentils — inexpensive, fast-cooking, take on the sumptuous flavors of whatever you cook them with, and super-high in protein for active human bodies like ours. But no matter what I’ve ever done to them, the result has always been something…I don’t know….lentil-y.  There’s ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Day 9: Leftovers Frittata With the lovely gift of a dozen eggs from a chicken-raising friend Rachel to supplement our diet this week, I wanted to make something with it!  One thing I’ve subjected my husband to for years is a frittata made with whatever’s in the veggie drawer.  Why? It’s cheap. Even store-bought eggs of top quality can be ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Day 11: Shopping Trip 2 of 3, or Figuring Out Where I Screwed Up When I ran out of canned roasted tomatoes, my palms started getting a little sweaty. I hugged the last can to my neck just before opening and dumping it into the Smoky Tomato Lentil Soup with Greens.  This was WAY last week, like FOUR DAYS AGO, and what was I supposed to do?? What I did, ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Day 12: Was I Addicted to Food Shopping? It has occurred to me this week that I’m saving money on more than just food. Generally I keep the previous month’s food receipts in a folder by the checkbook so I can keep an eye on what we’re spending, and also to compare prices with other possible places to buy something (i.e. “this gorgonzola is ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Day 20: Why Scratch Cooking is Worth the Hassle One of the good things so far about the challenge has been that it’s removed a whole section from our near-vegetarian household’s shopping list: the packaged meat substitutes we use to keep enough protein in our diet without too much effort. Before starting this, it seemed the path of least resistance to just grab a box ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Day 21: Less Than a Hundred to Go Well, it’s September 21st and our monthly budget has less than a hundred dollars left.  That seems very do-able on the surface, especially since we still have a lot of good staples in the cupboard, plenty of olive oil, and even a can of roasted tomatoes. But it does make me look at some things in ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Day 22: A Nifty Book Now, those of you who travel in organic food circles will roll your eyes and point out this is soooo two years ago. Please, feel free.  I’ll wait. Regardless of how this heretofore slipped past me, during my exploration of ways to eat well and cheaply this month, I finally stumbled over Linda Watson’s wonderful book Wildly ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Day 23: Fail! Looking for a Few Good Tortillas I’ll let you in on one of our dirty little secrets:  Mr. Green Hedonist and I eat a lot of tortillas.  As in, a lot.  Low-carbers would shudder.  We love them as quesadillas, as breakfast burritos with homemade green sauce, wrapped around hummus and crunchy veggies, PB&J with seeds & raisins, you name it.  The ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Day 24: What’s Important? I’ve been receiving a bit of feedback in my circles about my own personal choices for this month’s food budget – which I suppose is indicative of why this is a topic of discussion in the first place. What are people on a tight budget “allowed” to consume?  Do others have the right to judge or ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Recipes: Spicy Peanut Soup This is an alarmingly delicious recipe that packs a huge protein punch. Spicy Peanut Soup 2 T olive oil 2 large onions, diced 2 large organic bell peppers, 1 red and 1 green, diced OR a big bag of frozen organic mixed peppers 2 tsp chopped ginger 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped salt ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Day 26: What Can Be Hard Yesterday was  a busy work day, and when I finished up at the end of the day, I found myself in front of the fridge with this deep sense of deja vu:  What can we eat that’s already made, or so easy I could make it (almost) with my eyes closed?  Most of us have ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Recipes: Tunisian Couscous Late in the Food Stamp month I found and adapted this terrific recipe from an old-old gem of a book called Bean Banquets, from Boston to Bombay: 200 International, High-Fiber, Vegetarian Recipes. Really delicious, and it’s a recipe that makes a huge amount, good for several lunches and dinners. NOTE that you have to cook ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Day 28: Getting Down on Leftovers One thing I’ll never understand is why some people don’t eat leftovers. We have a family friend who will not eat leftovers, period.  It could be steak and mashed potatoes from a restaurant meal, the remainder of a pot of great soup, whatever — he will not touch it, and it’s hard to watch someone ...
  • Food Stamp Challenge Day 30: I Am Not Lobster Girl, or the ABAWDs’ Last Hurrah It’s the last day of the challenge month, and there is still plenty of food in the house.  I’m making another loaf of bread right now while I type (thanks, bread machine) and I turned my potted basil plant into pesto last night.  Tonight being Meaty Monday, for dinner Mr. GH and I will enjoy ...
  • Whole Foods Market Food Stamp Challenge: Post Mortem The day after my Whole Foods Market Food Stamp Challenge ended, I found myself standing at the counter at my favorite coffee joint,  The Bean Cycle in Fort Collins, waiting for my 2% latte with an extra shot of espresso.  I noticed on the counter a stack of chocolate bars – not just any good ...
  • Whole Foods Market Food Stamp Challenge: Did We Succeed? Or Didn’t We? So there I was, standing at the Whole Foods checkout counter with my third and last batch of groceries for our month’s Food Stamp Challenge. Here’s how the month had gone: Monthly SNAP Benefits:   $367.00 Shopping trip #1 8/31/13:       $177.00- Shopping trip #2  9/11/13:    $ 92.49- Shopping trip #3 9/22/13:     BUDGET: $97.51 In the store, I’d carefully measured and weighed ...
  • The Hedonist Hill O’Beans: Why and How to Cook Yourself a Big Ol’ Pot of Beans During the Whole Foods Food Stamp Challenge month, Mr. GH and I were able to eat very, very well on the maximum monthly SNAP allocation of $367/month, even while shopping exclusively at Whole Foods Market.  There is almost no chance we could’ve pulled this off without beans. Many people see beans as really pedestrian fare, nothing ...