Mostly I have found that the savings come in with pantry items. When writing my shopping list I found that most of the recipes I wrote down main ingredients (meats) and things I run out of because we eat it so much (cheese, onions, etc) the rest were things I keep in my pantry (rice, spices, flour, etc). This is the easiest and best way to stretch your food dollar. CREATE MEALS FROM WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE ON HAND.
Occasionally I splurged (my favorite mai fun noodles instead of rice for the broccoli beef, fresh pork for the orange curry rather than leftovers, etc) but it was still a great shopping trip. About $100 for 12 dinners, kid snacks, lunch stuffs, and critter veggies...hey the guinea pigs need yummies too!
So here is the first recipe I'll be making with/from/by Jonni...
Broccoli Beef with Maifun Noodles
Caught some thin cut eye of round on sale for $3.61 for a little over a pound... the recipe calls for only 1/2 lb!
Mai fun noodles are Japanese rice noodles. They are easily found in most stores today.. I shop at Wal-Mart! Mine were about $1.15... Just check the Asian foods aisle. I find these fun and a way to have my rice and pasta too!
Cost per serving: about 60¢ with mai fun or 45¢ with rice from the pantry. Since I got a good deal on the beef, I'm doubling the dish (not noodles) to freeze for a quick meal later. The basic 4 serving recipe follows.
Broccoli BeefIngredients (and my helper!):
- 1/4 c low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 T. peanut butter (whatever is your fav)
- 1/4 t. tabasco
- 1/2 c warm water
- 1 T cornstarch
- 2 tsp vinegar (I'm using rice wine vinegar from my pantry)
- 1/4 t. pepper
- 1/8 t. powdered ginger (it's strong so use carefully)
- 1/2 t. garlic powder
- 1/2 t. onion powder OR 1 c. thin-sliced onion
- tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 T oil
- 1/2 lb beef diced, cubed, or sliced thin
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- One package Mai fun noodles or 2 cups COOKED rice
- In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, peanut butter, tabasco, water, cornstarch, vinegar, pepper, ginger, garlic, powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper (if using either).
- Mix well and set aside.
- Prepare mai fun according to package directions before beginning stirfry.
- In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium high heat.
- Add the beef (and onion if using fresh) and cook stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the broccoli and stir for another 2-3 minutes.
- Scrape all ingredients to the edge of the skillet or wok.
- Add the sauce and stir as it thickens.
- Stir all together to warm through.
- Once thickened remove from heat.
- Serve immediately over Mai fun or rice.