I am completely worn out from yesterday's shopping extravaganza. Not luxurious shopping like new clothing or bedding....grocery shopping. YUCK! And not just grocery shopping for the week, but the entire month. This took about 2 days worth of planning and coupon clipping, 3 stores, and 6 hours of shopping with comparing prices and coupons and the health factor (especially since we're on the Weight Watchers plan). Sounds crazy doesn't it; well I think it was worth it. I saved $72.40 from manufacturer coupon, store coupons, and sale items at Target, Kroger, and Meijer; plus thankfully I had gift cards that could be used at these stores that totaled $50. With a grand total of savings of about $122.40; not bad. With the groceries purchased that are non-perishables and frozen goods dinners should stretch easily into most of next month as well, if I plan correctly.
To re-energize from such a long and somewhat torturous shopping trip the women of my church, Springdale Community Church were gathering together for demonstrations of recipes on comfort food with a healthy twist. Perfect for the day that of grocery shopping that I experienced. After this encouraging evening of food and fellowship I came away with some new knowledge and recipes. Here is one recipe that I took away with from last night that I'm making today to have on hand as a healthy dip. This is perfect for our family because we tend to snack, and we are big chips and salsa people so this is a great replacement. Not only is this dip healthy, but also cost effective. Making anything from scratch , no matter what is, is always cheaper and usually healthier as well.
Kelly's Healthy Dip*
1 cup quick barley, cooked
1 can each (drained and rinsed) black bean and garbanzo beans
1 large cucumber, diced
1 small diced red onion
1 tomato diced
1 tub of salsa (fresh made in deli section) med or hot depending or your taste
Mix above ingredients together than add Ken's Steakhouse Northern Italian with basil and Romano salad dressing, (use desired amount over ingredients after you mix them together)
Refrigerate 1 hour. Serve as dip, also good over leafy green salad, in a chicken wrap, and served as a warm relish over baked chicken.
I am substituting barley for brown rice because my pantry is stocked with that, but the barley added such great texture. I am also making my own vinaigrette with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and some chopped fresh basil (for me this is more cost effective). And I am also making a pico de gallo with (2 tomatos/1 large can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 small onion, cilantro, jalapeno, 1 garlic clove, salt and pepper) instead of buying the fresh made salsa, which is another inexpensive alternative. You have got to try this it is fresh and delicious!
*Recipe courtesy of Kelly Hawkins and demonstrated by Jen Mannarelli.