Thursday, February 24, 2011

Project Food Budget - Week 7: The Awesomeness of Coconut Oil

Recently, I received a free sample of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Standard Virgin Coconut Oil to try without any obligation to buy or write a post about it. I started to use some in recipes this week and what I discovered is that it is AWESOME!

I used it to replace other fats, such as butter and vegetable oil in my No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread recipe (which turned out better the second time once I followed all the directions!) and I also used this coconut oil in a recipe I made before but I modified it and also added steamed lentils. Yum! It smelled wonderful cooking in the oven with a slight coconut smell and the taste was even better!

Creamy Carrots and Lentils version 2.0
Serves 6

2 pounds cooked carrots, peeled, cooked until tender (and I mashed coarsely with a potato masher)
1/2 cup canola mayonnaise
1/4 cup red onion, minced
4 Tbsp horseradish sauce
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (I used Progresso brand)
1 tsp paprika, or more
fresh parsley
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 package of Trader Joe's Steamed Lentils (1 lb., 1.6oz)
1/4 cup Tropical Traditions coconut oil

Save 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup of the carrot cooking liquid and mix with mayo (2 parts mayo to 1 part liquid).
Add onion and horseradish, salt and pepper. Add lentils (they're a great source of fiber, iron, protein and low-glycemic carbs!)
Toss with carrots.
Spread carrot/sauce mixture in a 9x13 pan. Top with breadcrumbs, sprinkle paprika, parsley and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle coconut oil over top.
(NOTE: under 76°F coconut oil will solidify--looks like Crisco; to reliquefy, put in a pan of warm water. I spooned out a good chunk of it into a measuring cup and microwaved it a little until it was a liquid again. I hope that was allowed considering how impatient I am!)

Bake at 375°F, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes.
According to my calculations, this ended up being 9 Weight Watchers PointsPlus a serving.

To switch gears, getting back to the Project Food Budget, after I had posted last Thursday about how I wasn't going to buy anything last week, I ended up at Trader Joe's again and spent $63.02,  which was under my $75/week budget, but it only leaves us with $17.21 until the end of the month (to stay under my $300/month grocery budget). I am determined to stay under that until next Tuesday March 1st!
I have run out of milk for myself, so I may pick up a few staples before then, but I plan on using what I got left in the freezer and the pantry!

Here is a list of other bloggers participating in the Project Food Budget Challenge:


Emily said...

yay for being under budget!! fingers crossed you make it to the end of the month on target. :)

Crafty P said...

I really want to buy and try the coconut oil. I had it in my amazon cart (apparently, they have a great price on it according to my searches) but haven't purchased it as yet.
That dish looks yummy and I need to go back and read your no knead post. I have had that bread on "the back burner" so to speak but haven't taken the plunge to try it. I should, shouldn't I?

Leah the Foodie said...

Crafty P, sure, give it a try!