(Photo Courtesy of the Walt Disney Company)
This week is all about the avocado.
We were at Costco, doing some home goods shopping (gotta love those Kirkland brand paper towels) and I did a quick look see in the produce section, like always. Whenever I am in a store that carries food, even if I am not there for food, I pop my head in because you never know what is on sale.
And what do you know, avocados were on sale! $4.99 for six, which ends up being about 83 cents a piece. At Kroger right now they’re running $1.25 each, so you know I was grabbing some. Then a very nice Costco employee asked me if I wanted to verify my email address for a $2 coupon off any produce item. Lady, you had me at coupon. So I did what anyone who loves coupons and avocados would do. I got another bag. Twelve avocados for 66 cents a piece? Am I dreaming??
I was not dreaming. But now I had a new problem: what was I going to do with all these avocados?
Come to find, the avocados were on sale because of the Big Sports Game. Turns out people wanted to watch eagles and patriots fight it out while munching on some guacamole. Ok, there’s an idea. One night can definitely involve guacamole. That’s two avocados down. Ten to go.
Let’s play a game with this meal plan. It’s called “spot the avocado”. Some of the dishes are obvious in their avocadoness, while others might be a little more subtle.
This brings up a good point, though. What do you do when you have an over abundance of one particular item? I deal with this a lot with protein. Sometimes we’re in a long chicken phase, where all of our meat is poultry. During certain seasons, some produce might see a price jump, limiting your purchase options. Folks on a budget have to deal with the issue quite a bit: how do I make interesting meals with a similar set of ingredients night after night?
Thus far the best solution I have found for the ingredients doldrums is changing up the flavor profile. Chicken roasted in the oven with an Italian spice blend is very different from chicken pan fried with a Cajun spice blend. Experimenting with spices really can break up the routine when you are using the same ingredients night after night. If you don’t feel confident mixing your own blends just yet, check out my fool proof spice blends! They just might help you put a new twist on an old standard.
On to the avocados!
- Breakfast-Cereal with Sliced Mango
- Lunch-Turkey Quesadillas with Sliced Avocado
- Dinner- Chipotle Chicken Salad
*Double points for double avocados! Avocados are a great side item, especially if you’ve got picky little eaters. The creaminess of them is so different from the other greenies I’m always trying to trick my children into eating. Sprinkle with salt and pepper for an easy site item. Dice with some tomatoes and add a twist of lime for a mini-salad. As far as my salad goes, I mashed the avocado together as if I were making guacamole (but did not add any seasoning) to give the salad a unique texture.
- Breakfast-Kitchen Sink Omelets
- Lunch- LO Chipotle Chicken Salad
- Dinner- Avocado Burritos with Grilled Pineapple
*The Kitchen Sink Omelet includes everything but the kitchen sink. I love this when I have random amounts of ingredients I need to use up, or have stretch some ingredients over a whole week. The trick to not overloading your omelet is to mix all ingredients together in a bowl BEFORE you put them in the omelet. Don’t mix too hard or too long, or you’ll lose the individuals flavors. It’s really just a light toss. Make sure your eggs are just firm enough that they’re cooked, but not so firm that they won’t settle over the mixture. For this one, I’m using Blue Cheese, Irish Cheddar, tomato, red pepper, turkey, and…you guessed it…avocado!
- Breakfast-Blueberry Banana Smoothies and Cheese Slices
- Lunch- LO Avocado Burritos
- Dinner-Chocolate Chili
*Savvy readers will notice I was supposed to have chocolate chili last week, but it wasn’t in the cards for us. Just like with Disney World trips, my meal plan motto is “have a plan, but be ready to adapt the plan.” Sometimes you have more leftovers than you intend to, or a sweet friend has you over for dinner, or you’re too tired to cook and you just eat cereal for dinner. Whatever the reason, everything with chocolate chili was ready to go, so we just did it this night instead. Bonus points, we used some of those avocados as the topping.
- Breakfast-Cereal with Bananas
- Lunch-LO Chocolate Chili
- Dinner-Buffalo Chicken Salad
*For this salad, I diced my avocados and tomatoes. This made my blue cheese, tomatoes, and avocados all the same size, contrasting with the larger chicken chunks. One thing I’ve learned is that not only do things like spices and cooking method change the taste of a meal, but so does the way the food is presented, ie: food size. If I sliced the avocado so that it was the same size as the chicken, I wouldn’t get as much flavor distribution. Avocado, like blue cheese, packs a lot of flavor, so don’t be afraid to go for smaller pieces.
- Breakfast-Protein Bars with Clementines
- Lunch- LO Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Dinner- Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
*Did you spot the avocado? I’ll whip up some guacamole to compliment the Enchiladas. Fun tip if you’re making a big batch of guacamole, save one of the pits from your avocado and pop into into the container before you put it in the fridge. It will help keep the color of the guac that beautiful, bright, appetizing green.
- Breakfast-Homemade Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
- Lunch-LO GCC Enchiladas
- Dinner-Mr.B’s Scrambled Eggs with a Side of Fruit
*I have a women’s group thing at church this night, so the rest of the B family is on their own. When I asked what I should make them, my Little Mermaid piped up, “Daddy can make his eggs!” My husband makes scrambled eggs. They are eggs that he scrambles. I do not know why, but my children think this is the highest culinary achievement they have ever seen. Never mind that I make them eggs for breakfast multiple times a week. These are the eggs they special request and rejoice when hearing it’s what they’ll be having for dinner. Go figure.
- Breakfast-Sunny Side Up Eggs over Red Peppers and Avocado
- Lunch- Turkey Cheese Rollups with Clementines
*We tend to stay in on Valentine’s Day. We do a Family Movie Night, we eat dinner together, and just generally snuggle up. So my Valentine’s Day gift to myself was to cook my favorite meal! I love jambalaya. It is one of the dishes I never tire of making. I love it so much, it’s going to be my recipe of the week for Kristen B. Cooks next week! You can prepare for that recipe by checking out my Homemade Chicken stock that I use as a base. We had that sale Ben & Jerry’s for dessert. The perfect ending to a perfect meal.
- Breakfast-Whatever Fruit is Left Smoothies and Cereal
- Lunch- LO Jambalaya
- Dinner- Leftover Smorgasboard!
*Normally, I leave Thursday night dinner open. But this week, I have a ton of leftovers because Mr. B had various lunch meetings and I need that fridge space. So we’re just going to put everything out on the table and everyone can graze.
How do you feel about avocados? Any good recipes that feature avocado? What’s one food element you can base a whole meal plan on? Tell me about it in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!