Tuesday, March 29, 2011

German Red Cabbage

I found this recipe from allrecipes, and it's here. I substituted some regular vinegar for cider (I ran out of cider), and used powdered allspice. It was very tasty and freezes well. We got a very big red cabbage from the CSA this week.

I love the CSA. I have learned to really love my greens, even the bitter ones. We've had plenty this winter and spring!

With the red cabbage, I made the sauce from the Sesame Cashew Noodles, and tossed it with cooked brown rice, steamed and chopped collard greens, and a can of mixed vegetables. Yes, I do sometimes eat canned veggies. When you buy them for an "emergency ration", you need to rotate them occasionally.

German Red Cabbage
1 red cabbage: 2.00
1 medium onion: 0.20
2 apples: 1.00
3/4 c. cider vinegar: 0.25
1/4 c. sugar: 0.31
1 T. butter: 0.06
1.5 c. water
1 tsp salt
6 peppercorns: 0.02
2 whole cloves: 0.02
1 bay leaf: 0.02
1/8 tsp allspice: 0.04

2tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp water. 0.05

Total: $3.97 for a LOT of cabbage. Probably 12 generous servings. $0.33 per serving.

Click on the allrecipes link above to get the directions. It was really just cook everything except cornstarch and water in a pot for 1.25 hrs, then mixed in the cornstarch and water and boil to thicken.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cooking in a hotel room

If you google that term, you can find a lot of good and funny information. Like here.

When we travel on vacation, we generally try to stay in a condo with a full kitchen. For health and monetary reasons, I simply am not interested in eating out 2-3 meals per day. However, sometimes you feel like a resort, not a condo.

We've stayed in hotels with mini-fridges and microwaves. You can do a lot with a microwave. But what if you have a fridge and no microwave? Then what can you do? Apparently, google says you can do a lot with a coffee pot and an iron. Um, no thanks.

For our family vacation to Hawaii, I purchased a Continental Electric Hot Pot. It's basically a plastic electric kettle for $19.99 with a heating element on the bottom. You can boil water in 2 minutes. What else can you cook? A quick search turned up not much - even searching for "dorm cooking" was not very helpful, unless you are really in to ramen. Anyway, here's the plan, which will depend a LOT on how big the fridge is, and if there is a freezer.

Equipment: (in the checked luggage, one bag is our cooler. I'm going to say, for the first and maybe only time - yay for my husband's business travel. He gets to check 2 bags free)
Hot Pot
Pampered Chef Microwave Steamer (a bigger recepticle that will keep things warm longer, and isn't heavy)
small container of dish soap
Dish towels
Wooden spoon
Plastic spatula
Small cutting board
small steak knife
3 bowls, 3 spoons, 3 forks, 2 knives

Taking with us:
Annie Chun's noodle bowls (add hot water, let sit)
Trader Joe's Indian packets (warm packets in boiling water - that's where we will boil the water, put it in the steamer, and add the packets)
Trader Joe's pre-cooked coconut lime rice
TJ's (see a theme here?) red curry and green curry tuna
Boxed mac and cheese
Trail Mix
Tea bags

Purchase there:
roasted chicken from Costco (if there's a big enough fridge)
frozen mixed veg (to add the the noodle bowls and mac and cheese)
fresh fruits and veg for snacking
Milk and Froot Loops (which my son ONLY gets on vacation, I swear)
Cheese, yogurt

Breakfast is included for two.

Now, I know what SOME of you are thinking. You're in Hawaii! On vacation! Enjoy the local cuisine! And I plan to, really. Fresh fish, pineapple, among other things (maybe not so much on the Hawaiian plate lunches). But I don't need to eat out 2x a day for 3 people, which is likely going to cost $100/day. Or more. Near our resort, meals are $20/person + for lunch and dinner. A simple purchase of a $20 hot pot can save us $40/day (conservatively), or $280 for the week.

Friday, March 25, 2011


This week I made Kath's Banana Whipped Oats. My toppings: chocolate almond butter (from the farmer's market) and some shredded coconut. YUMMY!!

1/3 c. oats: 0.08
1/3 c. water: 0
1/3 c. soy milk: 0.26
1/2 banana: 0.10
1 T. almond butter: 0.67 (yeah, this is the pricey addition)
2 T. coconut flakes: 0.06

Total: $1.17

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Breakfast Rice-Crust Mini-Quiches

I had leftover rice and quinoa that needed to be used FAST. So I googled "what to do with leftover rice". A few clicks later and I found what I wanted: rice crust quiche, made in muffin tins.

Quiche here, but it originated with The Complete Tightwad Gazette. Of course I had to use google to find a recipe that I already own.

2 c. cooked brown rice and quinoa: 0.40
1 egg: 0.38 (local, organic, free range)
1.5 oz cheddar: 0.19

1/4 onion: 0.15
1/4 16-oz bag frozen chopped spinach: 0.30
2 eggs: 0.75
3 oz shredded cheddar: 0.38
1 c. milk: 0.50
8 kalamata olives: 0.40
herbs (nutmeg, basil)
cooking spray

Total: $3.45 for 12 muffins. $0.29 each, but two makes a decent serving for me.

And a smoothie...soy milk, frozen banana, frozen berries, Amazing Grass, an orange, and some ice.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Caesar Salad with Beef

It's not a classic Caesar. I made the dressing with whole grain dijon, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire (no anchovies or raw eggs). I made homemade croutons. And chopped up some of our leftover tri-tip. Which I probably forgot to post earlier when we made it (yum!!)

I ate this with something else, and didn't take the picture until after. And...I don't even remember what it was, that's how busy things have been. Last weekend we hosted about 40-50 adults and children for my son's birthday. Lots of cake, sandwiches, toys...we are still kind of recovering.

We are still in the CSA season of greens. Kale, chard, collards, lettuce, spinach, arugula. Lots of leafies on our plates.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What we ate this week:

Weekly Meal Plan, 3/6/11 (dinners)

Sunday: Sesame Cashew Noodles, salad
Monday: salmon patties, fried potatoes, turnips, onions, green beans
Tuesday: veggies burgers, sauteed mushrooms, salad
Wednesday: bean burritos, kale chips, snap peas
Thursday: salmon in a lime-maple sauce, roasted potatoes, beets, onion, fennel
Friday: skillet pasta marinara, steamed broccoli
Saturday: tri-tip, potatoes of some kind, salad

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lots of meal photos

I found these images, and decided to share. I was a single parent all week last week, and have been playing catch-up this week, all while preparing for my MIL's visit tomorrow, and my son's 5th birthday party on Sunday. Most of these meals were from the weekend and ???

Have I mentioned that I decided to give up alcohol, sugar, and most dairy for most of the rest of the month? It hasn't been all that hard even. The real test will be next week, when I have PMS.

Fried egg, brown rice and quinoa, sesame glazed bok choy (from Perfect Vegetables) with sriracha.

Sauteed turnips, onions, and potatoes, with a can of green beans tossed in there, just because. Another way to eat turnips that isn't so bad. Salmon patties in the background.

Salad, and Sesame Cashew Noodles. More sriracha.

Kale chips, chili-lime tofu from Appetite for Reduction (it was...meh), the last of the rice/quinoa, and jaipur vegetables from Trader Joe's.

Tonight we had veggie burgers, salad, and balsamic glazed mushrooms. I forgot to take a picture.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Beans and Rice and Overnight Oats

These things have been saving my LIFE this week, a week as a single parent. I'm beat. I'm also very very tired of beans and rice. I have to say, the advantage and disadvantage food-wise of the spouse being gone is that he eats half our food. So it lasts longer - yay! and boo!

He comes home tomorrow. And we're ordering pizza.