2 Moms on a mission to make planning and shopping for dinner easier and cheaper - but still healthy. We live different lives from one another, and they might be different from yours, but we all face the universal age-old "what's for dinner" question. We're going to help you solve it one week at a time and for less than $70.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Egg McJoe Sandwich - a microwave meal in 3 minutes $ 1.55
I thank my husband regularly for making me one of these when I'm scurrying off to the bus with the kids. It's a great warm pick-me-up that Joe makes me - and his is not just average - he's a pro at making this sandwich.
Egg McJoe Sandwich
1 egg .15
1 egg white .15
Dash Black Pepper .02
2 strips bacon or 2 slices deli meat .60
1 slice cheese .45
1 english muffin, bagel, or 2 slices toast .20
Begin toasting your “bread”
Cook bacon between two sheets of paper towel on a microwave safe plate on medium high setting for 1 -2 minutes depending on desired crispiness.
Break open both the egg and the egg white into a small, microwavable bowl/cup (we use custard cups). Season to taste with pepper.
When the microwave is available, put the bowl of eggs into it. Cook on high for 30-40 seconds, remove the egg, “jiggle it” to move the liquid egg from the center to the edges. (you may flip it in the bowl if desired, not necessary). Continue to heat another 30 seconds.
Remove English Muffin from toaster, put slice of cheese on bottom piece of muffin, then bacon, then slide egg from bowl straight onto bacon. Top with upper bun, and Enjoy! It will be hot, so indulge with caution.
wow...long week last week
Sunday - Meat Sauce on Ravioli
Monday - lime and tortilla encrusted whitefish
Tuesday - ginger beef with stir fry veggies & rice
Wednesday - green pepper stuffed with chicken and white beans
Thursday - green pea pesto on pasta
Friday - cowboy caviar (on chicken or chips - your choice!)
Saturday - Portabello Pizza
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Chimichurri Sauce over roasted pork loin $ 9.43
Never had it - never heard of it - but Barbara is stoked about it, and I am totally up for this. I copied the recipe from Epicurious, and then, as you are accustomed to, I tweaked it. See, that's the thing about recipes - in my mind they are guidelines, not rules. Concept not concrete. And so, here's my take on the Argentinian finishing sauce that Barbara's been talking about - and trying to explain.
Pork Tenderloin $3,95
1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley $1.19
1/3 cup olive oil .70
1/3 cup red wine vinegar .35
1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro .20
2 garlic cloves, peeled .15
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper .02
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin .04
you throw all that in the food processor, let it whirl, then top your meat with it after it's done cooking - more like a finishing sauce.
I grilled (OK, Joe grilled) a whole pork loin - like 3 1/2 pounds of meat - and the meat, from Aldi of course, was AMAZINGLY juicy and tender and awesome. It was $2.49 per pound, and I spent a bit over $9.00 of my weekly budget just on the meat - but it's so awesomely tender, and there is a lot left, so we'll be enjoying pork sandwiches all weekend!
For what it's worth, I'll keep this recipe here too. this one from Global Gourmet is very different, and is PROBABLY more "Argentinian" than the one from Epicurious above.
You can mince the ingredients by hand or use a food processor, which is faster and easier. There are many variations on this condiment, and it is served with everything from empanadas to grilled steak.
1/2 cup olive oil .50
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice .45
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley .40
1 clove garlic .08
2 minced shallots .30
1 teaspoon minced basil, thyme or oregano, or mixture .10
Salt and pepper to taste .10
Combine all ingredients and let set for at least 2 hours before serving.
Read more: Recipe: Chimichurri Sauce (Argentina) http://www.globalgourmet.com/destinations/argentina/sauce.html#ixzz10NiowQec
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Frutti di Mare $7.78
2 15 oz cans crushed tomato sauce $1.38
2 tbsp olive oil .60
1/2 medium onion diced .15
1/4 cup carrot minced .10
1/4 cup celery .12
2 cloves garlic minced .15
1/2 cup white wine .30
1 lb bag assorted seafood(shrimp, calamari, scallops) $3.99
1b linquine or spaghetti .99
heat oil on low/medium in big sauce pot
Add onion, a few minutes later add minced carrot
when onion begins to soften and become glassy toss in garlic, saute another 5 minutes, on low(careful not to burn garlic)
add entire contents of tomato cans
stir constantly for 10 minutes until all the flavors are mixed together
add salt and pepper to taste
splash of red or white wine(optional)
place lid on sauce and simmer for40 minutes
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Nacho Platter with Chicken and Black Bean and Corn Salsa $4.25
for the salsa:
1 can 15 oz Diced Tomatoes (not drained) .69
1 can 15 oz BlackBeans (rinsed) .59
1 can 8 oz Corn(rinsed) .39
1 tbsp Taco Seasoning .10
mix all in a bowl including taco season, toss thoroughly
For nacho Platter
40 Tortilla Chips .30
1 can Chicken Breast or 1 fresh chicken breast broiled or baked $1.08
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese $1.10
spread layer of tortilla chips on a serving platter that is oven proof(half the chips)
on top chips layer 1/2 can of chicken, half salsa, and half cheese evenly
top with another layer of chips and then relayer the rest of ingredients
bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is all melted.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Penne Pasta with Pistachio Pesto and Sweet Peas $9.27
1 lb pasta .99
3/4 cup shelled pistachios $1.99
3 tblsp olive oil .60
1 lb frozen peas
2 garlic cloves .20
1 tbsp dried parsley .10
1/3 c grated Parmeasan cheese .40
salt and pepper .10
boil water for pasta, salt water when the water boils(save 1/4 cup boiling pasta water)
in skillet add all pistachios and heat to bring out flavors(5 minutes)
when done remove from pan and let cool 5 minutes
in same skillet heat 1 tbsp olive oil
add 1 garlic clove minced
add tsp salt and pepper
saute for 5 minutes
remove from heat
in food processor or blender combine 1/2 cup pistachios, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/3 cup grated parm cheese, pepper, 1 garlic clove, 1 tbsp parsley, 1/4 cup boiled water from the noodles
in large skillet combine cooked pasta, pistaccio pesto and toss for 2 minutes until all noodles coated.
top with remaining pistachio nuts
Sunday, September 19, 2010
lime almond encrusted tilapia $3.51
This entree is so inspired by Barbara's lime encrusted white fish of last week. I just needed to try something totally different with my crust. Nutrtionally this is pretty sound, with less fat than you would think when you peruse the name. And the tiny bit of bread crumbs is not really enough to throw off anyone's diet unless you have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant (is there a difference?).
I made this - and Joe said it was a great crust. On a fish night, the word great coming from Joe's mouth are like gold found in a pond. Almost as exciting as the kids loving baked potato night a couple weeks ago. Life does hold great mysteries, doesn't it!
Here's my "secret" recipe!
Lime Almond Encrusted Tilapia
2 oz Blue Diamond Lime Chili Almonds (from Walgreens :-) ) .80
2 Tbsp plain dried bread crumbs .20
1/2 tsp paprika .02
1 lime .20
16 oz Tilapia (4 4oz portions) $2.29
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. My fish was frozen, so while still frozen I threw it in a bake-able frying pan (metal handle, not plastic). I set the fish in the pan over the stove top at about medium heat, squeezed 1/2 of the lime over the fish and let it start to cook while I did this...
Using the "grater" part of your food processor, grate the nuts into a powder or fine particles - with a few chunks. stir in, by hand, the bread crumbs and paprika.
Very gently flip the tilapia (not sure this is necessary, but I did it, so you might want to if your fish fillets were frozen as mine where. Pat the nut/crumb mixture over the fish, then squeeze the remaining 1/2 of lime over the four fillets. Place the frying pan into the hot oven (400-450 whatever) for about 15 minutes, or until the nut mixture starts to brown nicely.
This was a gorgeous plate served with wild /white rice mixture and brocolli. YUMMO! Thanks B.
Shopping List for 9/19-9/25
IF you haven't bought fresh (new) dried spices lately, this might be a good time of the year to do so. As we've repeatedly reported, Aldi and Walgreens both have GREAT prices - get yourself some good fresh spices and toss anyting more than a year old. When you about 1/4 what the grocery store charges, you can afford to get new bottles periodically.
Red wine Vinegar
Crushed Red Pepper
Blue Diamond brand Lime-Chili Almonds
Sliced Cheddar Cheese (singles or slices)
Turkey Bacon or regular bacon or Canadian Bacon
Spaghetti or Linguine
2 to 3 lbs. Ground Beef or Turkey (or 1 ½ lb of each)
Pork Roast or tenderloin
Chicken Breast or Tenderloin or Ready to Eat Chicken Chunks
Fuitti di Mare (frozen blend of seafood – shrimp, scallops, muscles, etc.)
English Muffin, Bagel, or Whole Wheat Bread
Menu 9/19 to 9/25
Crazy busy day today, concluding with a picnic to which I took chips and hummus (store bought). BUT, that's just one day, and just one outing, but now we gotta get the menu back on track.
We're recommending the following seven dinners this week:
Pistaccio Pesto with sweet peas over Pasta
Pork Roast in a Chimi Churi Sauce
Tilapia with chili lime almonds crust & wild rice & veggies
Fuitti di Mare
Ravioli with Kim's Meat Sauce
"Joe's Breakfast Sandwich"