Menu Sunday

Our suggestions for what to eat during the week- based on sales in the weekly circulars.  For more information on sales this week see our posts on ShopRite and A&P.

Monday:  Pan Fried Flounder with Rice and a Vegetable
Dip flounder in egg and cover with bread crumbs. Pan fry in butter. Flounder is on sale at A&P for $3.99lb through Monday. Serve with rice and veggies of your choice. Carolina Rice is on sale at A&P- $0.99 but Free after coupon. Some varieties of Green Giant frozen boxed veggies are on sale at A&P 5/$5.
(Or) if you are in the mood for something a little more adventurous- you can make the rice in chicken broth College Inn broth is on sale at A&P for $0.75 per can and add some veggies to the rice with a little chopped onion.  Cook the onion in a pan until translucent then add to the rice.

Tuesday: Baked Ham with Sweet Potatoes (or Candied Sweet Potatoes) and a Vegetable
America’s Choice Spiral Sliced Honey or Brown Sugar Ham is on sale for $1.37 lb. at A&P through Monday. Bake it in the oven with some sweet potatoes and a veggie and you have an easy meal with extra for leftovers to freeze or serve later in the week. A&P has assorted frozen veggies on sale this week and at ShopRite BirdsEye Steam Fresh 4 pack corn cobs or 10-12oz package any variety vegetables are on sale for $0.99 or $0.66 after coupon.
(or) For something a little more decadent, serve your ham with candied sweet potatoes. Peel potatoes and cut into medium size cubes. Toss into a frying pan with butter and add brown sugar towards the end when potatoes are cooked through.

Wednesday: Grilled Lamb Burgers with Tomatoes and Cucumber in Yogurt
Ground meat is on sale 50% off at A&P this week (including lamb). Mix 1-1/2lb ground lamb with1 diced onion 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 3 shots of Worstechire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste (I usually use 1/2tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper). Cook in a grill pan or broil in oven until cooked through. While cooking dice one large tomato and a small cucumber and mix with plain lowfat yogurt of your choice. Add salt and pepper to taste and a bit of dill.

Thursday: Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy and a Salad
Perdue Oven Stuffer Roasters are on sale at ShopRite for $0.99lb this week. Rub a little olive oil over chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 400 degrees and cook until done. Serve with mashed potatoes and gravy. To make a quick pan gravy- discard some of the fat from the roasting pan (leave about1-2 Tablespoons). Over medium high heat, add 1 can of chicken broth (College Inn broth is on sale at A&P for $0.75 per can) and bring to a boil while stirring to get the browned bits up from the bottom of the pan. If you are going to have a glass of wine with dinner, you might want to add a bit of this wine to the sauce with the stock (say 1/3 cup) but it is not necessary. Cook until sauce is slightly reduced and thickened- and add salt and pepper to taste. (NOTE- you will have extra chicken left over. Save some to shred for tomorrow’s recipee and save the chicken carcas- put into a ziplock bag and shove in the freezer as this can be used to make a nice soup- (I have an idea for a new posting already)  I’m planning on picking up some lettuce at a green grocer on Washington Street to make a salad as a side but you can make a frozen veggie as well.  

Friday: Pasta with Roasted Red Peppers, Pignoli Nuts, Raisins and Shredded Chicken in a Balsamic Vinegar and Oil Sauce
Ronzoni pasta is on sale at A&P this week for $0.69. Cook pasta- while cooking open a jar of roasted red peppers and pulse in the food processor. Do not throw away any oil in the jar- reserve for later. Chop up some pignoli nuts to make them a little smaller. Chop up some fresh parlsley- or some frozen spinach (cook first then squeeze out the water and chop). Shred some chicken from last night’s roasted chicken (the idea is to use the pieces that were small and on the bone) When pasta is done, mix in large bowl with red pepper puree, pignoli nuts, raisins and chopped spinach or parsley and shredded chicken. Add oil from jar roasted red peppers came in and some balsamic vinegar (you can use white balsamic vinegar which is a little more delicate or the regular red type). Mix togeter. Add olive oil if more oil is needed.

Saturday: Pulled Pork
I’m defrosting mine.  When I make stuff in the slow cooker I make more to store so I can skip a night of cooking every once in a while. To get the recipe click here.

Sunday: Lasagna
I’m defrosting mine.  I have a tray from last time I made lasagna ready to go.  However, this would be a good week to make two lasagnas (one to eat and one to freeze for later) as some key ingredients are on sale at ShopRite. To get recipe click here. Ronzoni Oven Ready Lasagna is on sale this week at ShopRite for $0.99 as is Sorrento Mozarella which is on sale for $1.98 or $0.98 after coupon.

Menu Monday: Cabbage

Everyone knows that cabbage is one of the cheapest foods you can get and sauerkraut is one of the cheapest meals to serve. Why not consider this interesting take on sauerkraut for a bit of a different meal:

Sauerkraut Strudel

1 package of frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1 lb prepared sauerkraut
1 egg
3 oz grated swiss cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 pound bacon cut into inch long strips
2 tbs melted butter
sausages (ex. bratwurst), for serving with

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together in a bowl sauerkraut, egg, cheese, cream and bacon. Lay phyllo dough on a baking sheet. Arrange sauerkraut mixture down the center of the dough, covering only about one third of the dough. Brush the exposed dough with melted butter. Roll dough up and brush top with more butter. Bake for 45 minutes. Serve with sausage (ex. bratwurst) on the side.

Menu Monday – Rethinking potato

Cooking on a budget means making the most of cheap ingredients. The potato is king in this regard. Consider some of these potato recipes:

Potato Pizza

Instead of topping your homemade pizza with tomato sauce and mozzarella, make it a potato pizza. Thinly slice potato (food processor works great) and then blanch by dropping it in boiling water, leaving it there for 3 minutes, then draining the water. Top your pizza dough with goat cheese, some rosemary, and the potato and brush with olive oil. Who knew potato could be so fancy?

Potato gratin plus as a main dish

Instead of making potato au gratin as a side dish, add some ham or vegetables to make it a main meal. Thinly slice potato (again, food processor works well). In a glass dish, put one layer of potato, one layer of shredded cheese, one layer of ham or broccoli, and repeat. Bake in oven for 45 minutes.

Garden mashed potato

Make mashed potato your main meal by adding some veggies and cheese to it. My favorite mix-ins are peas, grated carrots, chopped spinach, sauted onion (maybe not all at the same time!). Serve with some sausage or ham and you are set for dinner.

Potato dough

Potato can be added to different types of dough to create a heartier dish. Consider the following: Potato cake, gnocci , potato cookies.

Menu Monday – March 2

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My mom grew up in Germany during WWII and so she cooked for us plenty of cheap meals when I was a child. Many of the meals I view as breakfast food, but she ate them for lunch or dinner, usually after a soup appetizer. I’ve posted a week’s worth of ideas that you can use for breakfast or for main meals.

CINNAMON TOAST

This is one of my favorite recipes for a quick breakfast that my kids love. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. For a family of 4, take 8 slices of whole wheat sandwich bread and place side by side on a baking sheet. Take 2 tbs of softened unsalted butter and spread evenly among the slices. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar. Bake until the sugar is crunchy, about 8-10 minutes.

RICE PUDDING

As a child, my mom would come home from school to a note saying “lunch is in bed.” In her parent’s bed under the down comforter would be a pot wrapped in dishtowels filled with rice pudding! Accordingly, this recipe has been adapted to the slow-cooker.

The evening before, put 1 cup rice and 3 cups milk in the slow cooker. Add a 1/4 tsp salt, a tbs of sugar, and a thumb sized piece of lemon rind. Put slow cooker on low overnight. In the morning, remove lemon rind, mix, and add more milk if the rice pudding looks to dry. Spoon into bowls and top with apple sauce and cinnamon-sugar.

APPLE PANCAKE

I guess this is “German” Apple Pancake! Peel, core and dice an apple. Place apple with 1 tbs unsalted butter in a frying pan and saute over medium heat until softened. Meanwhile whisk together 2 eggs and 1/2 cup flour in a bowl and gradually whisk in 2 cups milk, a little bit at a time so it doesn’t get too lumpy. When apples are soft, pour batter over them. Heat until set, about 6-9 minutes. To flip pancake, slide pancake off of pan onto a plate. Invert frying pan over plate and flip. Remove plate from top of pancake. Heat until bottom is brown. Slide pancake off onto serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve hot.

YOGURT WITH BREADCRUMBS

In a frying pan melt 2 tbs unsalted butter. Add 1/5 cup breadcrumbs, 2 tbp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon. Fry, stirring frequently, until crunchy and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. While breadcrumbs are cooking, put out two bowls each filled with a cup of plain yogurt. Top each yogurt bowl with 1 tbs of apricot preserves. Sprinkle hot or cooled breadcrumb mixture on top. Makes a great breakfast!

RICOTTA PANCAKES

In a bowl combine a 12 oz container of ricotta, 1 egg, 1/2 cup flour, a 1/4 tsp of salt, 1tbs sugar, 1/4 cup raisins. Over medium heat, melt 1 tsp butter in a frying pan. Put 1/4 scoops of batter in pan. Flatten with spatula. Cook until brown, then flip and cook other side. Add more butter to pan as needed. Top hot pancakes with your favorite preserves.

FARMERS OMELETTE

This recipe is great for getting rid of leftovers and is best if you have leftover boiled potato. In a frying pan, melt 1 tbs butter. Add to pan thinly sliced leftover boiled potato and fry until starting to brown. Add misc leftovers to pan (ham, veggies). Pour 2-3 lightly whisked eggs over the mixture in the frying pan and top with cheese. Heat until set. Slide farmer’s omelette off pan onto plate and enjoy hot.

EGG IN A HOLE

Take a slice of bread (sandwich bread is good but sourdough is even nicer) and make a hole in it using the rim of a drinking glass (make sure the glass is small enough so the bread doesn’t fall apart). Set “hole” to the side. In a frying pan, melt 1 tsp butter. Quickly dredge bread and hole in butter on both sides, then place in pan side by side. Crack an egg into the center of the bread, filling up the hole in the bread. Cook until set. Flip both the bread with egg and the hole. Cook until browned on the second side. Place egg in a hole on a plate with the crunchy bread hole on top. I always tell my children that this dish was made especially for kids.

Menu Monday – Feb 23

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Since I’m a working mom who comes home after 7pm several nights a week, it is a challenge putting a home cooked meal on the table every night. I am always on the look-out for easy to make meals for the days I work late or those days where I just don’t feel like cooking. For this week, my “easy” meals are:

Black bean and corn quesadillas. Dinner is served in 5 minutes.
Pasta with sauteed zucchini and tomato. Takes about 15 minutes if you saute the veggies while you are boiling the water.
Sausage, sweet potato, and salad. There is virtually no prep when you fry up some meat, boil potato, and toss a quick salad. Dinner is ready in 15-20 minutes.
Thai chicken veggies noodles (my husband’s specialty – no labor for me!)
“Second meals.” They are not leftovers, but deliberately made double batches. These are labor intensive, so I usually make them on the weekend and serve the second meal on a busy day.

My “multiple meal” plan for the week is:
Slow cooker pulled pork This makes about 3 meals – one for now, one for later in the week, and one for the freezer for a day when I don’t feel like cooking.
Eggplant parmesan This baked version is not as greasy and also makes 2 meals.

Good luck with your meal plans for the week! If you have any quick easy ideas for us, please leave a comment!

Menu Plan for the Week of Feb 16

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This week my grocery purchases ended up being pretty much fruit, veggies, eggs & milk, and boxes of cereal (ok and some mac n cheese for the kids and raviolis on clearance). It used to be so much easier planning meals and then buying ingredients. It is much harder planning meals around what I have in the house.

DINNERS

Shepherds pie but I will substitute the lamb for beef, the frozen peas for string beans, and add some cheddar cheese to the potato. This recipe feeds my family 2 dinners and maybe lunch for 1.

Mushroom stew with creamy polenta I make creamy polenta instead, omit the goat cheese, and add a little red wine when I cook the mushrooms

Pesto pasta with chicken (New Hoboken Farm at 3rd and Washington always has such nice cheap fresh basil)

Burritos (my husband is an expert at finishing off leftovers this way – it will probably involve rice, beans, and spinach in addition to whatever leftovers we may have)

Spinach & cheese quiche with celery/apple/pecan salad

Potato/leek soup, beet salad, and cheese sandwiches

Hot dogs, mac n cheese, corn

LUNCHES

Most of the dinners should have enough leftovers for at least 1 lunch
Otherwise, ravioli and ham sandwiches are on the menu

BREAKFAST

Cereal
Eggs
Cinnamon toast (amazing what a bit of butter and cinnamon/sugar can do to your breakfast toast)
Pumpkin pancakes (I discovered a leftover can of pumpkin from Thanksgiving)

Bon appetit!