Thursday, January 29, 2009

Low-Cost Mexican

February 1 nears as we contemplate what lessons from the month to take forward with us into the rest of the year. We want to continue to be frugal but not deprived. Some ideas:
-No shopping from any national chain stores.
-No buying any packaged food with artificial ingredients
-Limiting how often we go out to eat
-Absolutely no disposable shopping bags or purchased products with excessive/non-recyclable packaging

We are still discussing, but this is some of what we are considering. In the meantime, we knew we would contemplate better over some good food, so I rolled black beans and cheese into big soft whole wheat organic tortillas, then baked them covered in salsa, more cheese, and green onions (use FYH "cheese" or regular cheese, as your heart desires). Finished with a garnish of chopped cilantro. I also took leftover rice and fried it with real chile powder I got in New Mexico, fresh chopped tomatoes, more green onions, and more cilantro. While it isn't really Mexican, I added sesame oil, cider vinegar, and skillet-toasted sesame seeds to the leftover chopped cabbage. A bowl of grapes rounded out the meal. Delicioso!


  1. That looks REALLY good! We're dong Mexican on Friday night and I cannot wait for it. :-)

    I love your goals but have a question about goal #1. My husband and I tried doing this (no Hy-Vee only Campbells in Des Moines) and found it really hurt our bank. How do you plan on doing this without having it hurt your budget, especially during the winter when local produce is not abundant? If you have a secret I WANT TO KNOW! :-)

  2. Hi! First of all, we decided Hy-Vee was regional so it wasn't a national chain. Also, Fareway is Iowa-based and very economical. We save a lot of money there. We keep on eye on our local food co-op for sales. Then the problem becomes: organic or not. We've compromised here, sometimes choosing organic when it's seasonal and affordable, sometimes not if we think the pesticide load probably isn't too severe. I truly believe it can be done. It just takes a little more effort. But, if you are obsessed with food, it's fun effort. Of course, in the summer, doing CSA helps a lot. I'll keep posting with any ideas, and let me know when you think of any, too. I'll keep an eye on your blog.


  3. Thanks for the input. We're really trying our best to be smart, savvy, and environmentally friendly food shoppers. We've totally cut red meat (besides deer) and pork out of our diet(thanks to your articles on the sidebar). We have the organic or not struggle too and have ended up doing what you have done. I agree with you, it is a fun effort and I enjoy educating myself on all of this. Love your blog too. It's nice to read a fellow Iowan's food blog.

  4. Right back atcha! I was very pleased to find *your* blog. We're still living off venison from a friend--which I mainly make for the boys since I'm not a big fan of the meat thing. It's truly a local resource. Good to know others are out there fighting the good fight too, and keeping their money in Iowa. We may try to do a locavore thing this summer again...but last summer it was really hard! I had such avocado cravings... Anyway, thanks, and keep in touch!