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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Cheaper Than Take-out!

Last night's dinner was a treat for me after getting a major job completed. I was in the grocery store in the late afternoon picking up some fruit and I came upon these stir-fry bags on markdown. This one is snow peas, broccoli and bok choi with a sesame pepper sauce packet. At $1.49 I thought it was worth a gamble. Once home, I added some diced chicken breast and marked down mushrooms. I served this over brown rice, along with a fruit salad consisting of berries from our garden, grapes given to me and 2 marked down bananas. All-inclusive, dinner for the entire family cost about $5. That's really not too bad. And it was quite delicious. The sauce packet was flavorful enough even with chicken and mushrooms added. I didn't need to add a single extra thing.

And this is for Carol -- quickie marinara from tomato paste.

  • tomato paste
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder or granules
  • dried oregano
  • minced basil
  • cayenne or other ground red pepper (optional)
  • salt
  • water
  • microwavable bowl
I stir this all together in the microwavable bowl, heat and either toss with pasta or use as pizza sauce. 


  1. Lili, can you tell me the size of the tomato sauce and how much water? Thanks!

    1. I'm not exactly sure on the tomato paste to water ratio, maybe, but a ratio of about 1 (paste) to 1 1/2 to 2 times water. To make enough sauce for our family I think I start with about 10-12 ounces of tomato paste. When I was making 3 to 4 adult servings I used a 6 ounce can. now that we all eat more, the amount from a 12 ounce can would be about right. I buy tomato paste in those huge cans, and just scoop out what I think looks right, so hard to know exactly. Th olive oil is about 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon, garlic powder or granules equal to 1 clove of garlic (about 1/2 teaspoon if powder, more if granules, I think) and salt and seasonings to taste.
      Hope this helps!

    2. ... and the secret ingredient according to my Italian grandmother... add a bit of sugar (to taste) to take the bite out of the tomato. :-)

  2. Congratulations on finishing your project! I Love the WooHoo stickers. I always get so happy when I find a bargain like that at the store!

  3. Such a great bargain you found! I love getting those stickers. Sounds like it made for a good dinner too. :)


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