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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

this past week's Cheap & Cheerful suppers

Potato-Spinach-Ham Casserole

Wednesday (about $1.60 for 5)
garbanzo bean soup, made with ham stock, garden parsley, carrots, ham, garbanzo beans, onions and celery

Thursday (about $1.80 for 5)
Potage à L'oseille (sorrel and potato soup made with garden sorrel, potatoes, thyme, shallots, garlic, bay leaves, milk, stock, nutmeg, butter, dash of rosemary vinegar to replace white wine called for, salt/pepper) followed, but adapted, this recipe -- to suit my own ingredients
rhubarb crisp with a custard sauce (a thin almond blancmange)
French bread, slices of cheese, zucchini bread and butter pickles

Friday (about $2.15 for 5)
cheese, green pepper, onion pizza
carrot and celery sticks
deviled eggs (I looked at each plate and thought we needed one more item, so made some deviled eggs at the last minute)

Saturday (about $1.75 for 5)
bean, rice and cheese burritos with avocado, and food processor salsa
cabbage and herb slaw
brown rice with salsa topping

Sunday (about $2.75 for 5)
turkey in gravy
bread, onion, parsley and sorrel stuffing (garden sorrel and garden parsley)
brown rice (didn't make enough stuffing, so added some leftover brown rice to dinner)
cranberry-orange-celery gelatin salad (made with frozen, homegrown cranberries, 1 small orange and 2 large stalks of celery, along with a bit of sugar, lemon juice and plain gelatin -- pretty yummy, would've been awesome with the addition of chopped walnuts or pecans)
watermelon pickles

Monday (about $1.95 for 5)
hummus on fry bread
ginger-soy carrots
open-face plum pie (garden plums, frozen, 1/4 cup sugar, orange zest, 2 tablespoons flour)

Tuesday (about $3.50 for 5)
ham, potato, spinach, egg casserole (a modified version of a popular casserole, less cheese, no milk, one less egg)
cabbage slaw
watermelon pickles
prunes (from garden)
leftover plum pie for 2 people

Some nights, supper was much more expensive than other nights, about double the cost from least expensive to most expensive. However, we averaged about $2.20 per dinner for 5 people, not including beverages (milk for 3, water for 3). I think that's pretty good for our family. We do eat large lunches, probably equal in cost to our dinners.

On the odd night that I need to add something to one person's meal (usually my husband's), I add a slice of bread and butter, or a scoop of brown rice. We all eat about the same sized portion of protein and fruit/veggie. I adjust the carbs and desserts from one family member to the next.

What was on your menu this past week?



  1. Hi, Lili--
    I've decided I shouldn't read your blog before breakfast! LOL Rhubarb crisp--one of my favorites! Turkey and gravy-- ditto. And the gelatin salad sounded delightful.
    I didn't cook much this week (busy week), but got a big package of corn tortillas and made a couple of batches of enchiladas-- some ground elk and some cottage cheese/jack cheese. It was enough to serve several meals here, feed friends who the mom just got out of the hospital two nights, and also put away five other quick meals in the freezer. (Love the instant gratification of heating up enchiladas from the freezer! :) )

    I also had to use up some applesauce and some cream cheese before their "use by" date, so I made an applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting that fed two families for several desserts.

    Have a great day! Sara

    1. Hi Sara,
      But it does sound to me like you cooked a lot! And you're right, those enchiladas in your freezer will be great to have a simple heat and eat night. Yum, I love applesauce cake -- it sounds delicious! I think you just gave me inspiration on what to do with some lingering pears in the freezer (these are from Sept 2013, so I guess I should do something with them soon). Maybe puree them and make a ginger-pear cake.

      I hope your day is wonderful, as well!

  2. Since you've started blogging about your food and meals, do you think the fact that you're going to be reporting it to the cyber world has changed the way you do anything? Does knowing that you are going to be writing about it motivate you when you're tired? Blogging about something usually gets people to put more effort into it, but you're so organized and motivated anyway, you may be the exception.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      It sure has, and I'm so thankful for that, as I need all the help I can get right now! The accountability factor seems to motivate people to do all kinds of things. I'm not nearly so organized. I just work hard and try to focus.

      But also, the act of putting my meals down in print helps me to see places I could make changes, to both give us variety and save some money. And blogging about it has given me that opportunity.

      But the thing that really motivates me to do something like cooking at home, when Im really tired or been very busy, is remembering what's at stake. Our financial goals depend on me keeping to a tight budget for the time being.

  3. We cook whenever we need to use up something in the refrig, freezer, or pantry. Or if husband or I want to eat something in particular, or if I want to try a new recipe. Other than that, we pretty much have been relying on our bean patties in the freezer to round out the days when we don't have leftovers or are too tired to cook. I can't say enough about those bean patties...I've been trying different ingredients, often using leftover veggies in the fridge. In case the patties turn out too water logged (using leftover boiled cabbage), I add instant mashed potatoes and that seems to do the trick. I can eat bean patties every meal (and even look forward to eating it again the very next meal). It used to be a real chore to figure out what to eat every day...not anymore. Our salads are equally simple, just shredded cabbage, lentil sprouts,( cucumbers and tomatoes when on sale) and a certain oriental salad dressing that complements the tangy sprouts. Again, cheap and easy. I guess that would be our style of meal planning and cooking.

    When I read your menu....I know a lot of work is involved every step from pantry to dinner table. Effort and skill seem to add so much value to the menu. I don't think expensive ingredients would necessarily add as much value.


    1. Hi YHF,
      I keep wondering what cooking for just one or two of us will be like. You've given me a bit of a picture into that, with what you've said about cooking with/for yourself, husband and father.

      Invent added instant mashed potatoes to bean patties, yet. But when I find them too "wet" before cooking, I add more bread crumbs or uncooked oats.

      You're right, more expensive ingredients wouldn't necessarily make our meals any better. I have to remind myself of that from time to time. Tonight's dinner was bean and rice burritos. Very basic. I added homemade salsa, some cheese and 1 pee wee avocado (tiniest avocados I've ever seen, but they're only 25 cents each). But as I was eating, twice I mentioned to my daughter how good it tasted tonight.


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