Meatless Monday: Cashew Tofu Stir Fry

Although I have been only been writing about our grocery budgeting we have also set up a budget for basically everything else in our lives which includes dining out. That being said we have been trying to get creative at home by re-creating some of our favorite restaurant and take-out meals while still staying in our grocery budget. Tonight was one of those successful nights of dining in while eating one of our Chinese take-out favorites- Cashew Tofu Stir Fry.

Meatless Monday- Cashew Tofu Stir Fry Cashew Tofu Stir Fry
Serves 4- inspired by this recipe

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 14oz firm tofu, pressed and dried, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1.5 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (divided) coconut oil
  • 4oz shiitake mushroom caps
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 8oz button mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced with whites and greens separated
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons garlic hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4-1 teaspoon chili flakes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Place the cashews on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until lightly toasted.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.

Toss the tofu cubes with the cornstarch.

Heat the 1.5 tablespoons of coconut oil in a wok over medium-high heat. When the wok is hot add the tofu and cook until lightly browned; make sure to toss frequently. Remove from the wok with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of coconut oil to the wok and add the mushrooms and peppers. Cook for 4 minutes, tossing frequently and then add the garlic and the whites of the green onions. Cook until veggies are tender; about 6-8 minutes. If necessary add a small amount of water if the veggies look dry – start with 1 tablespoon.

Add the tofu and cashews to the veggies and gently toss to combine. Whisk the sauce once more and then pour the sauce over the stir fry. Give everything a bit toss and cook just until the sauce thickens; 2-3 minutes. Top with the greens of the green onion.

Meatless Monday Cashew Stir Fry Tofu I served this up with some short grain brown rice and my husband and toddler devoured it. I have to thank my husband for being my taste tester during this whole process because unfortunately my cold is getting in the way of my ability to taste my food – please tell me this will pass! Anyways now I’m on to plan our next restaurant/take-out meal at home!

What is your favorite take-out meal?

Budget // Groceries + Meal Plan Realities

So last weeks meal plan didn’t go quite as I had planned. We ended up with some extra leftovers and we were all hit by a round of sickness so things changed slightly. I would love to share that things went just as planned but that isn’t the reality and sometimes that is just what happens. We have for the most part stuck to the groceries we purchased and haven’t made any crazy changes to the meals just minor ones or shifted our days.

Pen-and-Paper

Last Week’s Meal Plan (see here)

What we really ate last week:

Friday: Planned Meal
Saturday: Planned Meals
Sunday: Breakfast: As Planned Lunch: Hoisin Stir Fried Noodles with Veggies & Edamame; Dinner: As Planned
Monday: Lunch: Neil- Leftover Curry & E & I -Cauliflower & Quinoa Bites with Marinara; Dinner: Pizza (we had leftover dough and toppings) and Green Salad
Tuesday: Lunch: Neil- Leftover Quinoa Bites & Green Salad; E & I – Soup; Dinner: Homemade Lentil Soup, Homemade Bread & Green Salad
Wednesday: Lunch: Smoothies; Dinner: Tofurky Sandwiches

So we ended up doing a little extras shopping this week that we hadn’t planned to and it doesn’t fit into our “rules” but we also didn’t plan on all of us getting sick, especially Edith. So we ended up picking up a few things to help with hopefully healing us all and I picked up a few extras <– this is why one shopping day per week is important.

I had also planned to go to our co-op to use our monthly 10% off but I think I will wait until the following weeks order when we have our budget replenished. Side note: Our budget is based on paydays so $230 1st-15th and $230 for 15th-Last Day of Month; this helps us to stay on track better so that we don’t go ahead and blow all of our grocery budget in the first half of the month. 

New Season’s $40.84 (unplanned purchases)

Frozen Wild Blueberries $4.99
Organic PB $6.99
Frozen Organic Corn $1.00
Frozen Organic Broccoli $1.00
Frozen Organic Peas $1.00
Frozen Organic Cauliflower $1.00
Organic Red Bell Pepper $2.39
Bulk Mushrooms $4.49
Tofurky $2.50
Bubbies Pickles $6.99
Sourdough Bread $4.99
Tomatoes $3.50

As you can see stopping in to get a few cold and flu items adds up because we end up picking up a few other things while we are there. I would like to note we also picked up white vinegar to clean our humidifier, natural vapor rub, raw honey, lemons, popsicles, squeeze packets for Edith and chamomile tea but that came out of our “medication” and cleaning budget.

So we are down to about $98 for our groceries for the next week which means I’ll have to get creative in the kitchen. I had initially planned our menu through Wednesday but because we went a little off schedule and we have been sick I am not planning on doing any major shopping until Saturday at the earliest.

Extended Meal Plan

Thursday: Soup
Friday: TBD
Saturday: TBD

Breakfast will be oatmeal or smoothies for the remainder of the week and lunches will be leftovers.

Budget // Groceries // Week One

I hope you have been enjoying this series so far on our budgeting plan for groceries. If you need to catch up here is my first post on buying Conventional v. Organic and my second on how we set a budget.

First things first here is our meal plan for the coming week. I have decided to try grocery shopping on Thursdays so that we can leave our weekends free to do other things. So these are our planned dinners and potential lunches based on leftovers. For breakfast most mornings will be oatmeal, chia pudding or quinoa hot cereal.

Meal Plan

Friday: Edith: Edamame, Black Beans & Hilary’s Bites; Neil & I: Black Bean Nachos & Wings (date night)
Saturday: Lunch: Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry; Dinner: Homemade Bean Burgers & Fried Brussels Sprouts
Sunday: Breakfast: Biscuits & Gravy; Lunch: Leftovers; Dinner: Pizza Party
Monday: Edamame Hummus & Veggie Nori rolls
Tuesday: Crockpot Lentil Penne
Wednesday: Cashew Tofu

When I decided to go grocery shopping this week I decided to check the local flyers and found that New Season’s is having a huge birthday sale so there were a lot of good deals to take advantage of. I also took our pizza party into consideration and decided that Trader Joe’s had a number of the items I needed for this as well as for a few other recipes. Now we had planned to try out some new stores this week but based on sale flyers these seemed to be the best based on our menu for the week. So here is the breakdown of what I purchased and spent.

RWT-Groceries1

Trader Joe’s $26.45

Penne $0.99
Organic Tofu $1.49
White Button Mushrooms $1.69
White Button Mushrooms $1.69
Decaf Irish Breakfast Tea $2.49
Organic Sweet Onions $2.49
Vegan Mozzarella Shreds $3.49
Dried Green Lentils $1.69
Organic English Cucumber $2.29
Cannelini Beans- canned $0.89
Light coconut milk $0.99
Shiiitake Mushrooms $2.79
Crimini Mushrooms $1.79
Green onions $0.99
Red Onion $0.69

New Season’s $53.70

Almond Milk Unsweetened Original $2.99
Chocolate Bar $2.00
Chocolate Bar $2.00
Pepperoncini $2.99
Muir Glen Pasta Sauce $2.50
Muir Glen Pasta Sauce $2.50
Muir Glen Pasta Sauce $2.50
Nori Sheets $2.99
Organic Mini Corn Chips $1.00
Organic Mini Corn Chips $1.00
Nutritional Yeast $1.68
Organic Popcorn $3.15
Earth Balance $5.49
Organic Frozen Corn $1.00
Organic Frozen Peas $1.00
Organic Shelled Edamame $2.99
Organic Baby Kale $2.99
2.5lb Bag Organic Apples $4.99
Bag of 4 Organic Avocados $2.99
Organic Orange Bell Pepper $1.80
2 large Organic Yellow Potatoes $2.07
1/2lb Organic Brussels Sprouts $1.13 <– because Edith was insistent on buying them
Bag Refund -$0.05

New Season’s $11.77 (not photographed)

Orange Juice $4.99
Rolled Oats $4.39
Organic Salsa $2.39

Grand Total $90.92

Note we had groceries leftover from the previous week that are also being used in our meal plan and are not included in expenses. 

As you can see we are $24 under budget for the week! That is a huge success and honestly I don’t know the last time we spent under $100 for a weeks worth of groceries. Now I know I have some items leftover from this past week but I’m still pretty proud of myself that things worked out this way. As you can see we made a second New Season’s trip and that was due to my forgetting to put a few things on the list and Edith being a bit wild when I took her grocery shopping with me. I am actually thinking that I might try going grocery shopping after dinner on Thursdays so that I can go alone.

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