Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Terrific Tuesday, no waste edition

I read an article yesterday about a study that says we throw too much because of misreading stale dates on food.  Many times the date is just to tell grocers how long it has been  in the store, not necessarily when the product is not good to eat.  Cold cereal is good for three months if you close the inside wrapper after you use it.  Deli meat will last two weeks unopened even if it's after the pull date.putting the bread on the fridge will extend it's life two weeks.  Eggs will last 3-5 weeks in the fridge.  Red apples will last 3 weeks if in a ventilated plastic bag in the fridge.

One of the ways to cut food costs is to use up perishables and keep track if your fridge.  About Wednesday, I try to check the fridge an use up anything we need to use.  It might be a good day to make soup.  Stirfry , or oven roast  root veggies works too.  Just grease or line a sheet pan with foil rough cut veggies about the same thickness, toss them with olive oil and salt and pepper them.  Any herbs you want to add is fine too.

There are web sites where you can plug on what you have and you can see recipes that use that ingredient.  Make best use of perishables..  Milk getting close to the pull date?  Make a milk based soup or bread pudding , or chocolate pudding.  Bread crusts go in the oven to dry before they turn to mold. Leftover heels of baguettes can be dried and grated for crumbs.

Bread crumbs can be used in a topping for casseroles.  I use breadcrumbs, grated parm or other hard cheese, and herbs.  Also you can bread chicken or veggies or use breadcrumbs in meatloaf, meatballs, or Salisbury steak.

I make meatballs when I batch cook hamburger.  I use a portion scoop  to make them about the size of a walnut.  I put them on a baking rack on top of a sheet pan and bake them at 375 until they are no longer pink.  This way the fat drains into the sheet pan and they brown on all sides without having to turn them.

Using portion scoops assures you that they are all some at the same time.  It works good for cookies as well.  Ditto cupcakes.

I only use olive oil for everything but baking.  Olive oil boosts your good cholesterol.  I keep salad oil for baking when I need it. If I am making white sauce, I start with 1/2 butter, 1/2 olive oil.  It keeps the butter from browning too soon and cuts the bad fats.  My nutritionist says it is better to have a skim of butter on your toast than to have a slathering of some margarine product.  The key here is moderation.  The denser the butter, or spread product. The worse it is for you.  Ditto lard.
I would not cook with bacon fat either.

You can defat hamburger so that it has less fat than a boneless, skinless chicken breast.  When I make hamburger crumbles or taco meat, I

  • Fry the meat slowly, breaking it up.  
  • When it is browned and no pink remains, drain it in a colander in the sink.  If you don't want fat to go down the drain, put a pie  plate or bowl under it,  
  • Pour boiling water over the colander ( after you remove the grease pan. ) 
  • Return the meat to the pan and bring up to temp.  
  • Pull the meat you want for crumbles and portion control it into freezer bags.  I usually use 1/2 to 1 cup portions.  ( 1/2 cup for pizza, 1 cup for things like spaghetti sauce etc. 
  • Add water and taco seasoning to the  rest of the crumbles and simmer long enough to season the meat.  Drain and bag in meal sized portions.  I use a cup for four people.  Remember tacos also have cheese and beans in them.  We also usually have rice with salsa in it on those nights.  Some of the family are semi vegetarian.  
That's all, I'm out of time.  

Thanks for stopping by

Pleas share 


1 comment:

  1. JoAnn - Central PennsylvaniaFebruary 25, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    Great tips for burger - prep for freezing and easy meals. Thanks!!!