Oct 30, 2008

Eat for less than $5 per day.

For $5 you could get a foot-long or maybe a burger and fries off the dollar menu, but that’s one meal on one day. How about $5 for three full meals?
This first Why Pay More post is all about eating well at rock bottom prices.
Food, we all must have it and I’ve feed myself well for a month for less than the cost of a night or two out. If you want to try this you’ll need to do a little cooking, but it’s not hard and I’ll take you through it step-by-step. Yes, you’ll need to invest a little time, but I’ve found that most of it can be done on the weekend while you’re doing you other chores, like cleaning or washing clothes, usually an hour or two on Sunday for me. Throughout the week when you’re busy with work and life, you’ll simply heat up a meal. There’s little real cooking during the week.
You will need some kitchen basics, which I’ll go into detail about later things like pots, pans, plastic wrap, etc. So, what on the menu? No, you won’t be eating Ramen and cornflakes like a college student.
Here are some sample menus
Menu 1
Braised Short Ribs
Buttered Noodles
Green Beans
Menu 2
Roasted Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Menu 3
Menu 4
Fried Chicken
Rice and Beans
Menu 5
Pot Roast
Roasted Potatoes
Roasted Vegetables
Menu 6
Pasta w/meat sauce
Menu 7
Chicken Salad
Pasta Salad
Menu 8
Pepper Steak
Menu 9
Curried Chicken
Here’s a look at the shopping list. The prices were sourced from Safeway’s website. Feel free to research the prices or maybe find better prices elsewhere. I am not, nor do I expect you to be, a calorie counter, but the average adult needs about 2,000 calories per day, so this list calculates the minimum number of calories in this list to ensure that there are at least 60,000 (2,000 per day for 30 days)
Shopping List

To download an Excel version click Shopping List
Here is the first recipe. Check back for more.

Braised Beef Ribs

This recipe delivers a hearty, simple, one pot, stove top dish that allows you to start cooking then walk away as it finishes itself. Take the simmer time to read a book, watch TV, exercise, or do house chores. You’ll be well rewarded when you’re done. True oenophiles may choose to substitute wine for the water or some of the stock mentioned in this recipe.

2 tablespoon oil (olive oil, butter, or blend)
4 pounds beef back ribs – individually cut (big ones, not thin cross cuts)
1 onion - chopped
3 carrots - chopped
3 celery ribs - chopped
2 tablespoons flour
4 garlic cloves – peeled and chopped
2 cups beef stock, homemade or reduced sodium chicken broth or bullion
1 cup water
One 14 1/2-ounce can tomatoes
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

1. Heat a large pot or stovetop safe casserole dish on stove top using medium-high heat until warm
2. Add onion, carrots, and celery (do not stir)
3. Add olive oil, butter, a pinch of salt and pepper (do not stir)
4. Once onion, carrots, and celery slightly brown, stir
5. Remove onion, carrots, and celery to a plate or bowl, once slightly browned but still firm (do not reduce heat or clean pot)
6. Add beef back ribs to pot in batches to pot to quickly brown outside (do not cook through) after browning set aside on a separate plate.
7. Add one half of the slightly browned onion, carrots, celery back to the pot along with chopped garlic
8. Reduce heat to medium
9. Cook until vegetables are soft
10. Add flour and stir until incorporated and slightly browned (not burned)
11. Add stock and canned tomatoes
12. Use a potato masher, whisk, wooden spoon, mixer, or blender to blend cooked vegetables, smooth (or at least less chunky)
13. Reduce heat to medium low
14. Add browned beef back ribs and any juices to pot
15. Add water as needed to slightly cover ribs
16. Add bay leaf
17. Skim any excess fat
18. Simmer uncovered until braising liquid is reduced by half (1 to 2 hours)
19. Remove and discard bay leaf
20. Add remaining half browned but firm vegetables
21. Heat until vegetables are warm
22. Season with salt and pepper to taste then serve
Makes 8 servings. Eat one now.
Once you’re done. Bag or plate the other 7 individual servings and refrigerate or freeze them for another day.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment