A Very Productive Day

Today has been satisfying so far. I was up at 4:30am to take Joey out after MrBalentine went fishing. He went with a buddy of his, and they caught a lot of bass. After a couple cups of coffee I rustled around in the kitchen and got some cheese grits and vegetarian sausage for breakfast. Then I got to work cutting up a bunch of cherry tomatoes from our garden. I sliced quiet a few in half and placed them on two trays of my Nesco dehydrator.

The top of my food  dehydrator.
The top of my food
dehydrator.
One of two trays of cherry tomatoes from our garden.
One of two trays of cherry tomatoes from our garden.

I plan on using the dehydrated tomatoes crushed up into a powder to be used directly in soups, or reconstituted with water to make a tomato paste. I’ve been letting them run all day, and rotated the trays after about 7 hours in. I plan on letting them go for a few more hours. I definitely want them to be very dry when I store them. I will sometime in the next day or two grind up the dried tomatoes in a coffee grinder to turn it into powder. Then I’ll put it in a small Mason jar, and I’ll store it in a cool, dry place.

Mid-morning I started preparing the food for the slow cooker that would be our dinner. When I started Weight Watchers I began looking on Pinterest to find recipes that I could use that were waistline friendly. One that really stuck out to me was “Slow Cooker Savory Superfood Soup”. It has kale, carrots, sweet potatoes, black beans, vegetable broth, onion, garlic, and lots of yummy spices. I was missing two ingredients of the soup; frozen green beans and V8 juice. So instead, I used frozen sugar snap peas and tomato paste. I added some water, and I let it cook for 8 hours. The soup wasn’t as good as the ones I’ve previously had made, but MrBalentine really liked it so I’m happy. We have plenty of leftovers too.

Savory Superfood Soup
Savory Superfood Soup

After MrBalentine had been home a little bit after his morning’s fishing excursion, I surprised him with a project that I have been wanting to do to help with our food budget. We have two pantries; the one that is a closet that came with the house, and the other is a tall stand alone set of cabinets that MrBalentine brought home one day. The cabinets don’t really match the rest of my cabinetry, but I don’t mind as it does a great job. Over time, we’ve accumulated a ton of stuff that needed to be thrown away and organized. I got serious, and we took everything out of the pantries. I took an inventory of every can and bottle in a notebook. Separating everything by category. I have an iPhone app called “Out of Milk” that has an inventory feature. I’ve normally been using this app as a grocery list tool only, but I’ve started entering my pantry inventory into it today. The app can be shared between MrBalentine and I on our individual phones. We got it all done, and it’s amazing how much more organized and clean it looks.

We stopped in the middle of cleaning to eat lunch. MrBalentine had vegetarian burgers, and I had leftovers. After we finished our inventory, MrBalentine was off to the grocery store for more dog food for the boys. Over the years, we’ve went back and forth about what food to feed them. We just started them on Rachel Ray Nutrish food. They seem to like it pretty well. There were a couple more purchases at the grocery store totaling up to about $69. We still have some things to work on, like decreasing our convenience food intake. I’m going to work on gathering recipes and start making from scratch meals. I’ll share my finds on Pinterest, and as I try them out I’ll post it here.

The rest of our evening will be spent at home watching a little tv. I think this month has started out rather productively!

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