Sunday, June 20, 2010

SNAP Challege Update: Week Three

I think Dennis and I may come out even after all. I decided that the last couple of weeks, to stay under budget we’d just eat very simple meals. These are meals that I throw together with absolutely no recipes and using just what I have on hand. We bought some eggs, cheese, and fruit to supplement the box. Other than that, I was on my own. This is very rare for me. I usually have very detailed menus, using recipes that incorporate my local vegetables.

So Wednesday night rolled around and I had to figure out what I could make with on hand ingredients. I still had half a bag of red leaf kale and some pork sausage (left over from my Potato and Kale Soup). I took the eggs and cheese we bought, added some red onion, and made a frittata. I served it with some boiled potatoes mashed with Gorgonzola cheese (leftover from Polenta Squash Sauté), and steamed some broccoli that was just a few days shy of becoming completely wilted and rubbery. We even had some left overs to enjoy, which is rare for this Tiny Tables cook.

Here is the recipe I used for the first frittata I ever made. It’s scaled down to serve two. Perfect for Tiny Tables!

Thursday I found out one of my best friends was coming into town very briefly from Chicago. I got asked to cook, and I couldn’t turn down the request. As it was so last minute, I literally had no time to make anything elaborate. Nor did I want to break too much from the budget. I had some potatoes, cheese, bacon, and eggs; all the makings for another excellent frittata. I had some cucumbers and red onions that I sliced up and dressed with mustard vinaigrette. To finish it off, I cooked grits, made sweet tea, and a banana bunt cake.

This whole feast only required me to buy a dozen more eggs at the local convenient store. Everything else I had on hand in my pantry. Now I understand that some of you may not have a well-stocked pantry, but buying a bottle of vinegar here and some vanilla extract there will help you for impromptu moments.

Frittatas are a cheap and easy meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I learned Saturday that people really enjoy them, and it feels much more substantial and luxurious than simply serving breakfast for dinner. Somehow eggs and cheese can take even the most random ingredients and make them have a cohesive taste.

Crab and Spinach Quiche

Broccoli and Cheese Frittata

I have been participating in the June Food Stamp Challenge issued by Katy at The Non-Consumer Advocate. To see more about this challenge, visit her blog where she updates daily on her progress.

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