Good grief! Would you look at that calendar? We are into the very last week of January already! The month is nearly gone and the grocery budget is toast! What’s a cook to DO? Maybe we have an idea or two that will keep your loved ones fed until the food budget gets fat again…
Most people at your table are likely to be pasta lovers; everybody knows how inexpensive pasta is…you may think you must have meat balls with pasta to have a complete meal. But if your budget doesn’t allow for meat balls, try this: Just mix some bread crumbs with a bit of oil, toss in some herbs, like parsley and maybe a touch of oregano, a tad of garlic powder and salt and pepper. You might even have some of that dry “spaghetti cheese” to go with it! Now, a pasta bowl of that combo would bring most everyone to the table pronto! And they’d leave all satisfied…especially if you also had some roasted veg as a side.
Maybe you have not paid much attention to roasted vegetables. I love them raw, cooked, sliced, diced or mashed, no matter what vegetable it is. This is not true for all folks but veggies are sooo much more inviting when they are roasted! They are sweeter and so pretty on the plate!
You can use thick slices of cabbage, for example. Drizzle some oil or shoot some spray oil over a roasting pan, lay the cabbage out and season it with salt, pepper, whatever you like. Maybe a dash of hot sauce or cayenne if you like that extra kick and give it another thin coat of oil. Put it into a 400* oven for about 20 minutes. When it smells wonderful and has a caramel coating, it’s ready to take to the table.
Other vegetables that are perfect for roasting are carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips…whatever strikes your fancy. Just make sure all the pieces are about the same thickness, make one layer, season them as you like, coat them with oil and pop them into a hot oven. I like to stir them gently and turn the pan around about halfway through the cooking process.
If you serve the pasta as described above and have a platter of roasted veggies, you will hardly notice there was no meat on the menu!
What do YOU do to economize when the money runs out before the month?
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