Monday, February 27, 2017

Lunch Meat for Less



Are you a fan of the lunch meat sandwich? I do enjoy a nice meaty sandwich every now and again. However, I'm not a big fan of some aspects of deli lunch meat. I really don't care for not knowing what parts of the meat went into the chopped and pressed deli meats. The preservatives and additives are some of those questionable issues with cured meats of any kind. And then there's the price of deli-style lunch meat. Fortunately, there are a few alternatives which side step all of the above.

The traditional meatloaf sandwich is one of the least expensive of the meat sandwiches -- it never disappoints.

Leftover roasted turkey, chicken, pork and ham make mighty tasty sandwiches, and are a fraction of the price of deli meat.

And then there's one of my favorites, for its leanness, price, lack of extra ingredients, and ease of preparing -- the baked boneless, skinless, chicken breast.

I buy the boneless, skinless chicken breasts when I find them priced around $1.50 to $1.75 per pound. This is usually in the value package; so, when I get them home, I divide them into one and two breast mini-packages for the freezer.

To use, I thaw one or two, and then prepare for baking. I lightly butter the baking tray. Next, I drizzle about 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil over the tops, and turn to coat completely. Then, I season with a bit of salt, garlic powder and chili powder. I bake at 350 degrees F, for about 20-25 minutes, or until done. That's it. Easy-peasy. Once chilled and sliced, I have lunch meat for several days.

For a cost comparison, recently when I have bought deli lunchmeat, I've spent in the neighborhood of $3.75 to $6.00 per pound, depending on variety and sales. For home-baked chicken "lunch meat", my cost is under $2.00 per pound, including the seasonings and electricity for the baking.  The bonus is that I know what is in my meat, and I control sodium, fat and preservatives.