The snow is flying here in Minnesota again. I am no lover of snow, but it's pretty, my house is cozy, and I have nowhere I need to be. And I have soup.
I have a lot of food based resolutions this year; I want to resume my weekly bread baking and expand my bread repertoire to include a bread Izzy will actually eat- right now I'm working on a 100% whole wheat bread from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Bread Every Day- it's a great recipe and the one time I've tried it the bread tasted great, but it collapsed in the oven and wasn't very pretty. I have some ideas on how to fix this, I'll let you know how it goes. I also plan on making bagels, rye sandwich bread, coffee cake, and pizza dough. My plan is to make a week's worth of dough (and in some cases more) on Wednesday's during nap and freeze or refrigerate the dough as appropriate. Then we'll have fresh bread easily whenever we want with just a little planning and minimal work. I really like to bake breads- working with dough, seeing it turn from very simple ingredients to a fragrant, bubbly mass and then into soft bread with a crunchy crust is extremely fulfilling. And I love the feel of dough. I've graduated from no knead to little knead bread because I love the feel of dough, and because I find dough that still had a high hydration level but is lightly kneaded to be easier to work with and more dependable. I don't recommend that everyone bake all their bread- even the easiest method takes time and effort, and if you don't love baking it may become a burden. But I do think that everyone should try to bake bread once. You may discover a new love.
- super healthful (not just "kinda" healthy)
- super fast and easy
- super satisfying
Too many supers, I know, but it really is a super meal. I will serve it with the last of a batch of whole wheat biscuits I made last weekend. So here's the recipe and a guestimated cost breakdown:
- Juice from a beef or pork roast (free, I always always save the juice from roasts, usually to use to make rice or cooked grain more flavorful. You could also use homemade stock), I used about 2 cups.
- 1/2 an onion, chopped (about .10)
- 2 carrots, chopped (about .20)
- 2 ribs celery, chopped (about .20)
- Any additional leftovers banging around your fridge- potatoes, meat, other veggies...
Put everything in a small pot and simmer until veggies are tender. Add already cooked leftovers later so they don't turn to mush.
That's it! Serve with leftover bread, or add a starch to the soup itself to round out the meal (chopped leftover potatoes, barley, rice, cous cous, noodles (leftover or raw). Thats a hearty, healthy, and fast lunch for a total of .50, plus whatever you spent on the starch (unless it's a leftover, I always count leftovers as free because I already counted their cost in the primary meal). This was enough for my kids and I- if you were feeding another adult you may want to double this recipe.
This recipe is nothing revolutionary. This kind of cooking has been done for centuries. It maximizes every drop of goodness from the piece of meat that you and your partner used your hard earned money to buy. Why have we stopped doing simple things like keeping the juice from a piece of meat? How hard is it to pour the juice into a container or bag instead of down the drain and stash it in the freezer? Help me resurrect this old practice to the benefit of your family's health and your grocery budget.
And before you hate me for being too healthy, we're having pizza and coffee cake later today...
Anyone have any lunch recipes that are similarly easy and frugal? I struggle with lunch- I don't plan it (it's on my too do list...) and am tired of falling back on leftover, sandwiches, and quesadillas. Let's help each other out.
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