Thursday, November 11, 2010

What's for dinner?

Second only to "How are you?" it's probably the most frequently asked question in the country.  We care about what we eat and when we eat.  Food fills not only a physical need but also psychological and social needs.  Historically the role of preparing food has fallen primarily on women but some of the best chefs in the world are men proving that it is a skill that knows no gender boundaries.

How can we put good food on the table when we are watching every dime and in a rush?  Here are some of my favorite choices passed down from the generations:

  • Spaghetti
  • Macaroni and Cheese (throw in a few spaghetti noodles for variety)
  • Stew
  • Shepherd's pie
  • Chili and cornbread
  • Chicken and dumplings
  • Salisbury Steak
  • Hamburger Gravy on mashed potatoes
  • Shipwreck casserole
  • Pinwheels
  • Breakfast for dinner (a family favorite)
  • Tater Tot casserole
  • Tacos
  • Pot roast with potatoes and carrots
  • Enchilada casserole
  • Swiss steak (made with hamburger patties or round steak)
  • Sukiyaki
  • Stuffed green peppers
  • Spanish rice American style
  • Anything with mashed potatoes and gravy or potato salad
  • Soups of any and all kinds (is there anything you can't make soup out of?)
Every culture has it's own low cost meals.  Looking through an assortment of cookbooks will provide new and creative ideas that you would have never thought of.  If you need recipes or more ideas there is a Betty Crocker and cooking for $5 a meal links on the side bar. 

Photos from Google


Practical Parsimony said...

Once, just after my divorce I had so little food, nothing to take for lunch to an all day class. I took some pasta leftover from mac and cheese, enough hamburger for maybe 1/4 a hamburger (two bites?), and a can of tomatoes. I cooked the pasta, browned the hamburger, and dumped in the can of tomatoes. I had never made this combination before. When cooked for a minute all together, stored until noon, and microwaved, it smelled and was delicious.

All the other students wished, longed, drooled. I was too ashamed of my poverty to admit to them that this was ALL I had to bring to lunch. Fortunately, there was another helping at home for a good meal the next day. Thankfully, I have an abundance of food now.

Anything with chicken (always on sale) is my standby now! Okay, canned tuna and salmon too. I can make a gazillion things with these.

When, if I make mac and cheese, it is never cheesy enough...Kraft, not homemade. So, I don't cook all the pasta. There is a fruit jar where pasta from mac and cheese is stored, so I never have to buy any. Plus, I eat very little mac and cheese now.

Or, I boil all the pasta, and put a Tuppeware bowlful in the refrigerator for another meal. Two days ago, I had pasta left from Suddenly Salad, Ranch and Bacon. The next day I drizzled it with olive oil, added broccoli,chicken and cheese and put it in the microwave. It was sooooo good.

Yes, I love Suddenly Salad and found it for $1 box with sale and coupons. A box every two weeks won't hurt me.

Since I lost 10 lbs, I must be eating better--less calories in stuff like macaroni.

Spaghetti and potato salad are the only things on your list that I eat!

Carol said...

Just a note about the mac n cheese. There is nothing like a good homemade white sauce. The amount of cheese can be added to taste. Betty Crocker has the recipe and it's easy once you learn it. This cheese sauce can also be adapted to pour over vegetables. All it takes is butter, flour, onion, salt, pepper, and cheese.

Practical Parsimony said...

Carol, I know how to make white sauce, but somehow making edible mac and cheese has evaded me. I don't like cheese sauce on vegetables. Okay, I do. But, that is one thing I can avoid eating in order to lose weight. Besides, I discovered cheese gives me migraines if I eat too much of it. sigh...3 meals and day and 3 snacks. I love cheese way too much. Eating a normal and rational amount will not give me migraines, but I am not rational when it comes to cheese. Well, at least it is not booze or drugs.