Thursday, 21 February 2013

Reinventing the leftovers and helping my food budget...

Written by Linda Gauthier

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In case you wonder why the cat pictures? I have noticed that the internet is ruled by  the "Cats" so I thought it might bring more readers to my blog  if I threw a random cat picture in now and then. Is it working?   Bwa ha ha Cats rule!!!

So as a continuation of my blog entry  "Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone"
I thought I would show you what I did with the excess Black Beans and Chicken slow cooker dish.  We fed 4 people the first meal, the following day I portioned out the leftovers with the resulting 2 packages of 2 cups each for the freezer and 1 portion of 2 cups of the chicken rice and beans for a soup for that day's meal.  Which also gave us soup for a couple of lunches during the work week.  

2 packs of 2 cups each for the freezer to be used for meals at a later date.

The next picture is what I used to create our soup for the Sunday Supper.

I'm calling this my

"Skookum Soup"

1/3 of a large bottle of Motts sodium reduced Garden Cocktail Juice
1 pint of my own roasted tomato sauce 
1 1/2 c frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 medium onion chopped small to medium dice
3/4 c celery diced 

I did this step in the morning, letting the flavors develop throughout the day.
Add to rice and bean mixture bring to boil let simmer until flavours have a chance to develop and veggies are getting soft.  Turn heat off, cover and let sit until you are ready to use.  Reheat and serve with crusty bread and salad for a wonderful flavourful lunch or dinner.

Soup just coming to a boil

As my mom used to say, you now have a "Skookum soup"
 Full of good things guaranteed to fill empty tummies!!

So from a relatively inexpensive original meal preparation costing approximately $11.29 for ingredients.  I am able to create a minimum of 12 meals with just the Chicken and Bean and Rice mixture, (4 dinners first meal, and an additional 8 with the 2 packages in freezer).  Plus the Skookum Soup for an additional 8-10 meals.    

That is a grand total of 22 healthy easy meals, with most of the work already done for future meals.  How great is that?

I then added an additional $5 in ingredients (and that is on the generous side) to create the Soup which has given me an additional 8-10 meals.  

So for a grand total of $16.29, I was able to create 22 meals for my family.  I won't complain about that, as it really helps the budget out, and works out to 74 cents per meal for your main ingredients.  That allows you room for a nice bread and salad plus a dessert and your budget would still be on the low side.  You cannot go out and buy a complete meal for your family in a restaurant or with pre-prepared foods, for that price, that is for sure, at least not in Canada.

I would say that is pretty darn good, and the cost isn't the only wow factor.  I have been able to prepare this without a lot of sodium, or additives, the flavours have been great, and the meals were not repetitious.

This simple mixture of Chicken, Rice and Beans can be found in many recipes from countries around the world, such as Haiti, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Mexico, Louisiana (Cajun), African nations, Malaysia, just to name a few.  Simple ingredients, but a world of choices, to expand your menus and your food budget.  Give it a try.

I hope you have found this information useful, and that you might try doing it for yourself.  Until next time, smile, eat and enjoy.

Dude! Where is everybody?  Happy Thursday Everyone!
I'm off to do something with my hair, I'm beginning to look a lot like this guy.