Food + Wine

April 26-May 2 Mealplan

This week, I spent $65 and saved $78. Not too shabby. And I also got my 2 $25 gas cards as a ‘thank you gift’ for shopping. So, it’s really like I saved $128, (right?) Yeah, I feel pretty good about it. But I do feel the need to clarify something about my way of shopping. First, the $65 was not spent solely on food items, it never is. I buy anything and everything they sell at a grocery store if I need it and if it’s on a good sale. Also, recently there have been a lot of people on television and the internet who pride themselves in being smart shoppers, using the combination of coupons and store sales to save money like I do. They brag about spending in the $20-$30 range weekly. That is an astonishingly low number, but before you start paying more attention to them than me, let me let you in on their dirty little secret. They are purchasing a lot of ‘convenience foods’, as I like to call them. The snack bars, chips and crackers, the sodas, the frozen/pre-made entrees, etc., the items purchased from the center aisles of the store…you know the aisles with all the pretty, shiny things? Shopping that way can definitely save you more money than me, but I was a cook and a healthy person before I became a thrifty shopper. So I cannot, in good conscience spend my husband’s hard earned money mainly on ‘junk’. (There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying any of those items I mentioned before, I have many of them in my kitchen as I write this, it’s the only buying those items that I personally frown upon.) I would rather spend the $30-$40 more weekly and provide my family with healthy, home-cooked and well balanced meals than brag about how I spent $11 on groceries for my family for four. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, here is this week’s mealplan…
*Veal Piccata over Parsley Egg-Noodles
-This is tonight’s dinner. There was Veal Scallopini on a ‘gotta get rid of this now’ sale last week so I brought it home and froze it. We do not eat veal often, but it was a special something that I found that day and it will be delicious. Piccata refers to the fact that it will be in a lemon, caper and white wine sauce. So good, So easy.
*Texas “BBQ” over brown rice
-I just figured out a great way to cook london broil. (It’s on a BOGO sale at HT now). It comes out very similar to brisket, so that’s why I’m calling this Texas BBQ. This doesn’t even require a Non-Recipe posting. All you do is put the london broil in a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven and season it well with s&p (or garlic salt would work too). Cover it with a can of diced tomatoes (liquid too), salsa, or something similar…I’ve even used BBQ sauce and a little water. Cover the pot (if the pot doesn’t have a lid, cover tightly with foil) and bake at 350 for 2 1/2-3 hrs. Then shred with 2 forks and serve over rice to soak up the sauce.
*Chicken and Tortilla Casserole
-I bought a whole chicken last week and froze it, so I’ll poach it in salted water with carrots, celery and onions. But I’ll only need about 1/2 the meat, and save the rest for another dish. This casserole is like a tex-mex lasagna, if you will.
*Provencal Burger Patties with Brie-Stuffed Potato Croquettes
-I buy lean, ground beef whenever it goes on sale and freeze it in individual 1/4 lb portions. The main flavor component in the patties will be tarragon (LOVE tarragon). And I found brie on sale last week and stocked up because it’s one of those luxury ingredients that we don’t have often. The croquettes are basically baked, mashed potato balls…but with a cheesy surprise inside!
*Greek Burritos and Lemon Potatoes
-I’ll use the leftover poached chicken from the casserole and spice it up with some oregano and garlic. And the other fillings will probably be roasted tomatoes, spinach, feta and onions. When G and I lived out in LA, there was this little Greek restaurant called Le Petit Greek. It was amazing and they served these awesome potatoes. I think I figured out a way to come close to the taste. (Slow roast/poach them in chicken stock, olive oil, oregano and lots of lemon.)
*Balsamic Babyback Ribs with Mac n Cheese and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
-I love making casual food fancy. I’ll make a barbecue sauce using balsamic vinegar instead of my usual apple cider, and individual mac n cheeses. (The ribs are on a BOGO sale at HT now and the brussels are from a sale last week.)
*Masala-Rubbed Pork Chops and Cinnamon Applesauce with Roasted, Curried Carrots
-I’m taking this Brady Bunch fave to India. It’s amazing what a few spices can do to ‘spice’ up the mundane. Making your own applesauce is so damn easy. And so damn good. (Can I say damn on a blog?) You literally chop up some apples, throw them in a pot with a splash of water or apple juice and as much or as little sugar as you would like. Bring it to a boil and simmer until its mushy. Then mash. I leave the skins on, always. (I got bone-in, thick cut, porterhouse- style pork chops last week on a sale and froze them)

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1 Comment

  • Reply lilmagil1 April 29, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    mmmm, i remember those greek potatoes! i’ll have to try that!

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