Thursday, October 29, 2009
Stay tuned for regularly scheduled recipes and non ranting posts!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
So this week I will be cooking for myself and Jason (yay!). Im glad that he will be home and not have to travel for work for about another month or so. This week I am going to be cooking a bunch of things in the crock pot and continuing to pack my lunch every day. Here is my menu:
Breakfasts: Granola, zucchini muffins, english muffins with peanut butter, and fruit.
Lunches: leftovers, soup from the freezer (which I made last week), hummus with tortilla and carrots, hard boiled eggs, and fruit.
Monday- Crock pot Zucchini Parmesan- I don't use a recipe for this. I just add a jar of sauce, 2 cups of zucchini, 1 cup of ricotta cheese to the crock pot. Then sprinkle it with mozzarella cheese and bread crumbs and cook on low for 6 hours.
Tuesday- Mushroom stroganoff
Wednesday- Pierogie casserole
Thursday- Bean and rice
Friday- Creamy rice with mushrooms and peas
Saturday- Pasta with tomato cream sauce- I adapted this recipe from one I found in a cook book that I found at goodwill- classy I know. The cookbook was from the 50's and it was all about home freezing, it is quite possibly my favorite cookbook ever. Anyway, the recipe is sooo easy..
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic
3 tbsp butter
8 oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken stock)
In a pan saute onion and garlic in butter (Pretty please use butter! I tried olive oil and cooking spray and neither compare to the amazing taste that the butter gives to the sauce) Once the onions and garlic are somewhat soft and translucent add one 8 oz can of tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of dry white wine. cook for about 5 minutes to let alcohol cook off. Next add the heavy cream. Simmer for 5 minutes and voila the best cream sauce ever!
Monday, October 19, 2009
I got the recipe from this blog, which I just found. I suggest checking it out. It has some amazing recipes!
To turn my cake mix from yellow to chocolate I added 1/4 cup of cocoa powder. Then I added 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of oil, and about 3 tablespoons of water. The original recipe from the blog above calls for 1/3 cup of oil but I used 1/4 cup and they turned out really good!
The batter kind of looks like ground meat which was gross. Luckily it smelled like chocolate!
I then rolled the batter into calls and placed them onto a cookie sheet (which I lined with foil for easy clean up, because I'm lazy like that)
Next I flattened them out and baked them at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
I bet you're all wondering what professional kitchen gadget I used to flatten out all of the balls and keep them looking so uniform. Was it pampered chef? Kitchen Aid? An antique cookie press handed down for generations?
Nope... it was happy harvest tomato sauce. Which it a very useful kitchen gadget! It serves so many functions! It can be used as a rolling pin, cookie press, meat tenderizer, and when combined with white wine, onions, and cream it makes a delicious cream sauce!
These cookies came out so so sooooo good! They are going to be my new default cookie. You can use different cake mixes for different flavors too. I can't wait to try a carrot cake and top the cookies with cream cheese icing. Yum!
my $5 a week grocery budget is working out really well! I didn't originally plan for it to include cookies but thanks to my pantry and the eggs that I bought last week I could get my chocolate fix and stick to the budget!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I had fully planned on grocery shopping this week and then being sick threw me off schedule. Thankfully I didn't go or I would have over drafted my account even more. So I went shopping today after work and budgeted $10 which I plan to last me until next Friday. Meaning I spent on avergae $5 for this week and $5 for next week. The menu I made is for lunches and dinners. Lukily I have somethings in the freezer and pantry. Unfortunately I didn't go grocery shopping last week, and just picked up a few things. So this is really going to depleat what is in my panrty but I am glad that I am semi prepared and able to make 2 weeks of lunches and dinners for $10.
Here is what I bought...
Lunches: PB&J, english muffin pizza's, hummus on tortilla, left over soup, pasta, hard boiled eggs, and left overs from dinner
Thursday- Vegetarian chili using tomato soup and beans from the pantry, peppers and TVP from the freezer, and onions which I just bought
Friday- Ravioli with tomato cream sauce using ravioli from the freezer, sauce from my pantry, and cream which I just bought
Saturday- Corn chowder using a can of corn, potatoes, carrots, onions, and cream that I just bought.
Sunday- Crock pot curry using potatoes onions and carrots that I just bought and tomato paste, peppers, curry powder, and pea which I had already
Monday- Taco's using TVP, peppers, and tomatoes from the freezer, tortilla that I already had, sour cream that I just bought.
Tuesday- Mac and Cheese using noodles from my pantry and cheese and cream that I just bought
Wednesday- Potato soup using potatoes, onions, and cream that I just bought and faux chicken boullion that I had on hand
Thursday- Rice pilaf using rice and pea's that I have on hand and onions and carrots that I just bought
Friday- Spaghetti using noodles I had on hand and left over sauce from the ravioli.
I hope this didn't bore you too much. I just wanted to show that even when money is very tight you can still throw together tasty meals. The other life saver for me was definately shopping at aldi's. If I would have shopped anywhere else I probably would have spent 15-20 dollars for the same things. If you have an Aldi's near you and have never gone try it out!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Here are the basics about TVP:
What is TVP?
TVP stands for textured vegetable protein. TVP is a food product made from soybeans. It is produced from soy flour after the soybean oil has been extracted, then cooked under pressure, extruded, and dried.
Benefits of TVP
TVP is very high in protein and fiber and has zero cholesterol.
With TVP you never have to worry about ecoli or other bacteria that is associated with cooking raw meat.
The shelf life of TVP that has been dried and stored in an airtight container is 2 years. I don't know any meat with a shelf life of 2 years!
Generally I can find one pound of dried TVP from the bulk bins for $1.49 per lb. Rehydrated TVP triples itself. So that breaks down to 3 pounds of meat for $1.49 or $.49 a pound! When Making tacos burritos or other mexican dishes I also tend to put 1 part rice to 2 parts TVP which make it stretch even farther.
How to cook with TVP
To rehydrate, add 1 cup boiling water (or stock) to 1 cup TVP and cook 6-10 minutes in the microwave. If making TVP in small batches I will add taco seasoning, powdered BBQ seasoning, garlic powder or other flavoring to the water that I rehydrate the TVP with. Usually I make TVP in large batches and freeze it once its been rehydrated so all I have to do is take a scoop from the freezer and heat it up. If I make TVP this way I cook it plain and add the seasoning as its reheating.
For meat eaters a good way to introduce TVP into your diet (and trick your family) is to mix a bit of TVP into your meat dish and gradually increase the amount until you are cooking with primarily TVP. Your family will not be able to tell the difference between ground meat and TVP, its amazing!
I hope this helped to open some minds to TVP and some people will give it a try! If you have any questions please ask!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Stuffed pepper soup
1 package veggie Crumbles (I use morning star or boca)
2 quarts water
1 (28 ounce) can stewed tomatoes (undrained)
1 (29 ounce) can tomato soup
2 cups cooked long-grain rice
2 cups chopped green bell peppers (about 2 large peppers)
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
Add all ingredients to crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. You can substitute ground beef for the veggie crumbles but I would suggest browning it first before adding it to the crock pot.
Loaded baked potato soup
2 cups potatoes peeled and chopped into cubes
1 8oz pack of cream cheese
2 cups chicken stock
½ onion- chopped
Baked potato toppings of your choice such as bacon, chives, sour cream, etc
Combine potatoes, onion, and chicken stock in a pan and bring to a boil. Once potatoes are tender you can either mash potatoes with a potato masher, blend in blender or pulse in your food processor. It just depends on what kind of texture you are looking for. Once blended add cream cheese and stir until melted. Spoon soup into bowls and top with your choice of baked potato toppings.
4 cups chicken stock
½ onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 package of frozen spinach
½ cup carrots peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon celery salt
1 package tortellini
In a sauce pan sauté onions and garlic until tender. Add all remaining ingredients except for tortellini and bring to a rolling boil. Let boil for 15 minutes or until carrots are tender. Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions. Top with parmesan cheese and enjoy!