This week we only spent $24.38! Holy moly!
1. Ad-hoc pasta meal
After last week’s extra special (read: expensive) anniversary dinner, we needed to spend a little less this week, so we definitely included an ad-hoc meal of fresh pasta and whatever-else-is-in-the-kitchen. We’ll eat this with some Italian spinach, a little deconstructed – recipe to come.
My favorite fresh pasta tutorial/recipe is David Lebovitz’s.
2. Breakfast for dinner
Oh, yeah. Another super cheap meal, we hardly eat mega-breakfasts in the morning, so some real maple syrup, fried eggs, and buttermilk waffles are so satisfying from time to time. I added a side of Italian spinach, because it seemed to make sense.. and really, how nutrient-dense is a waffle anyway?
3. Jerk chicken legs with pigeon peas and rice
Ah, yes, this was on last week’s meal plan, but we ended up going out for a friend’s birthday to the restaurant that inspired this dish last week.. weird, right? As soon as we got the invite, I threw the chicken legs in the freezer so we could eat them later on. The pigeon peas are dried, so no spoilage there, either.
Check out last week’s meal plan for more details on the how-to.
4. Fresh ramen with bacon dashi
Is there anything more satisfying than a big bowl of noodles and rich, savory broth? No. No, there’s not. Momofukuk’s bacon dashi is super easy and much less time-consuming than traditional shio ramen (envision hours upon hours of roasting pork bones, simmering and skimming, reconstituting shiitakes..) and damn good. I make homemade ramen noodles (another coming-soon here!) and top the big bowl with scallions, kale, soft-boiled eggs, naruto maki (steamed fish cake), and whatever else might be around the house. I’m pretty certain I’ll find some “miscellaneous” meat in the freezer I’d like to use up, so I’ll be braising whatever I find (within limits..) for a topping on ramen night.
You could easily buy a whole chicken for this week for use in the jerk chicken legs and ramen.. Pan-sear a couple pieces–leave the skin on–and rip into pieces, then place on top of your noodles. Tada!
5. Chicken and wild rice soup
I made a ton of chicken stock last week, and I wanted to use it up so I didn’t have to freeze it. Since the weather’s a bit cooler these days, chicken and wild rice soup sounded like just the thing. I have a weird affinity for packaged flavored rice, so I bought a little on-sale box of Uncle Ben’s long & wild rice, but you could just as easily get a scoop in the bulk section. We have a chicken breast in the freezer, so I decided to supplement the soup with some mushrooms for bulk. We’ll eat this with roasted sweet potatoes.
I figure I’ll do something like this: fry up some mirepoix (onion, celery, and carrot) and a bay leaf and some herbs in a bit of oil, add the chicken broth, simmer for a bit, add some rice.. tada? Simple, but classic. Easy.
Granted, we had lots of what we needed already, sort of. But we truly just.. ate cheap this week. We had to, after last week’s anniversary dinner and mid-week surprise birthday dinner out. And it’s not painful at all! Check out what we bought in our receipt.3