Ok. I am not really one for negativity, but Martha Stewart Show was on cooking on a "BUDGET".
What kind of a budget is twenty dollars a dinner? That's four dinners, not one. Of course, they were buying their food at Whole Paycheck Foodstore. Now I know where the 15 dollar a pound chickens are from > LOL. Honestly, the dinners weren't that great. They did have desert with them, something that I usually don't plan. I usually get one $5.00 Friday cake or whatever Safeways has and fruit.
They also bought panko bread crumbs foe 2.39 a box. Honestly, 2.39 for about a ten ounce box of someone else's dry stale bread. I can get that at home for almost free. Chicken is a dollar or less a pound for northwest grown, natural, grain fed chickens. What more, really, can you ask for? So I usually roast the whole chicken...a ten minute prep job and the rest of the time is in the oven so I can go do something else. After it is cooked, it is easier to cut up the pieces and then make BBQ chicken with the legs and thighs and something else out of the breast. A chicken breast dinner and some leftovers for a cassarole , pizza, or pot pie.
Salad greens are always less than a dollar a salad. Even for the dark leafy greens. The darker the green the more food value is in them. I usually make salads really simple. One of the best ways to save on salad fixings is to make your own croutons and salad dressing. It is really fast., and saves a ton of money. Again, croutons are buying someone else's dry bread for an exorbitant price.
So, does it make sense to throw away your stale bread and pay big money for someone else's. Just get the bread out of the plastic wrapper before it starts to mold. I put mine in the oven with the oven off and let them dry.
Recipe for Croutons. ( can also be adapted for dressing mix., another money grabber.)
12 Bread slices ( makes 4 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil or 4T butter melted.
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dry basil
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Trim the crusts from bread. (save them for breadcrumbs) Cut bread into 1/2 inch cubes and place in single layer on baking sheet with sides. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven. Drizzle olive oil over crumbs and sprinkle with herbs. Stir. Continue baking the cubes for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so. Allow croutons to cool to room temperature. Store in air tight container at room temperature for up to three weeks.
Cheap Almost Caesar Dressing.
2 T Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup oilve oil.
Into 2 cup or larger bowl.
1. Juice the lemon.
2. Add vinegar, mustard and pepper.
3. Peel the garlic and mince.
4. wisk together.
Drizzle the oil into the bowl in a thin stream, wisking as you go until the oil is incorporated into the dressing.
Lasts three days.
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