Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday In The Know: Spending Fast Food

A few of you have asked what we eat during Spending Fast. I should start by saying my husband is not a huge eater. We always have leftovers, so a meal will last two nights and probably a lunch or two. We also tend to be creatures of habit and eat the same things every day for breakfast and lunch. I do a lot of different things for dinner though, so that's helpful. 

Also, during the spending fast I plan to eat one meal from the freezer each week. Throughout the year if I'm making enchiladas I make two pans full and put one in the freezer for an easy meal later. I also double soup recipes and do the same thing. So that is one less meal I have to plan on each week. 

I don't generally buy a lot of snack items like chips and cookies. I do make sweets, but making them is cheaper than buying them.

Breakfast: My husband always eats Maple & Brown Sugar oatmeal or cinnamon/sugar toast and a banana. Very simple, very cheap. Calder and I usually eat cereal or homemade oatmeal with raisins and a banana. Again, not very expensive. During Spending Fast I make more oatmeal because it is cheaper than cereal. 

Lunch: Jason usually eats leftovers from the night before or a salami & cheese or PB&J sandwich. I make all of our bread and that greatly decreases the cost of things. He then has fruit leather, string cheese and an apple. Calder and I generally eat PB&J or leftovers as well. 

Dinners: Here's where we get exciting! I'll list below a few of my go-to cheap meals that are full of flavor and have veggies. I tend to do one pot meals in general because although I don't dislike cooking, I don't find great enjoyment making a two hour meal. At least 1-2 times a week we eat salad for dinner. My favorites are BBQ Chicken Salad and just a simple green salad with tons of fresh veggies, no meat. And like I said, Jason isn't a huge eater and he is fine with salad for dinner. 

Here are two of my favorite inexpensive dishes that we are eating this week. Both of these are vegetarian, which I prefer and it keeps it cheaper. Although, if you don't want to do vegetarian, shrimp or chicken would be good additions to both of these.

Couscous with Chickpeas and Feta
1 box of couscous
juice of 1 lemon
15oz can of chickpeas, drained
1 red bell pepper cut into strips
1/2 c. fresh basil chopped
2 med. garlic cloves, minced
1T olive oil
4 oz feta (or goat cheese)
1/2 cup parsley

Make the couscous like the box tells you to, then add the rest of the ingredients.  I'm not kidding, it's that easy.  I prefer goat cheese and I always substitute goat cheese for feta but it tastes good either way.  The original recipe says to serve it at room temperature but I like it warm as well. If you want to use regular couscous instead of a boxed mix you will need 1 1/2 cups of couscous and prepare as directed on the bag. Then continue with above directions.

Greek Orzo
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. olive oil
1 (28oz) can plum tomatoes, drained
1 T. capers, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 cup orzo
1/3 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

In a large frying pan over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the tomatoes and break them up with a spoon. Stir in the capers, oregano, sage, black pepper and pepper flakes. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid given off by the tomatoes has evaporated.

Meanwhile cook the orzo in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and add to the pan with the tomato mixture. Stir in the feta (or goat cheese) and cook for 1 more minute or until the cheese starts to melt.  Serves 4 very generously.  Very low calorie.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

I love that Greek Orzo recipe! Josh must definitely be a bigger eater than Jason, because last time I made it Josh asks, "so what else are you going to make with it?" It's a side dish for him and he needs grilled chicken or something to go along with it. I could do more vegetarian meals, but Josh needs his meat! :)

Also, I need to get your bread recipe from you! I've tried making bread a few more times and I always fail. One of my goals for this year is to successfully make bread.


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