Monday, 2 March 2015

Monday's Frugal Menu

A cold (in fact, ice dammed) reality check has us facing some leaner times.  We hope the vast majority of our winter ice damage will be covered by insurance, but our delightfully quirky old house is sure to have some stories and surprises behind the sodden walls.  If we're lucky, in some places, the insulation will simply be insufficient.  In other places, it likely doesn't exist, and in still others, it could be old seaweed, a common insulation material used in NS around the time the original parts of the house were built.
So, I was inspired by different (and cheaper) cuts of meat, canned tomatoes, dried lentils/peas, which along with healthy doses of leftovers will be on the menu for the next few months as we try to squirrel away some pennies to cover our winter loses.
Sunday - Pollo alla cacciatorra Jamie's Italy.  I use rice flour for dusting the chicken. A divine dish, bursting with flavour.
Monday - Tuna Melts.  An old favourite.  To make mine, I dice up some of my homemade garlic/dill pickles, stir in some salt, pepper, Frank's, and cage-free lemon-caper mayo.  I top Jeff's with mozzarella and mine with Daiya dairy-free cheddar. A little salad on the side, and we're in comfort food central!
Tuesday - Pig and Pea Soup from Michael Smith. I've adjusted this slightly over time...I use the slow cooker for mine.  8 cups of water with chicken bouillon cubes, one big old ham hock right in the pot with the onions and carrots, 2 tsp dried thyme, 2 bay leaves and a tsp of garlic powder.  I do not use celery (it goes funky in the slow cooker), and I tend not to use fresh garlic, as it can leave a metallic taste if used in the slow cooker.  About 10 minutes before I'm ready to serve, I fish the ham hock out, peel away the skin and fat, remove the bones and shred the meat, returning it to the pot with a cup of thawed fresh peas.  I also stir in a Tbsp of Dijon mustard instead of the vinegar.  I don't add extra pig...the ham hock is plenty rich, but I guess if you're feeling really swine-ish, bacon does make things better.
Wednesday - Butternut Squash, Pear and Chestnut Salad from the Healthy Foodie
The true glory of the feast cannot be captured in pixels.
Thursday - Slow Cooker Pear and Raisin Pork Loin Roast from the Healthy Foodie.  Hot damn.  In her post, Sonia claimed that upon her first taste she proclaimed to her dogs that she is a 'true, profound, culinary genius'.  I also do this on a regular basis...and this dish is very worthy of such proclamations.  Spend the time to marinate.  Spend the time to make the gravy.  The leftover salad from Wednesday complemented the meat perfectly. 
Friday - Glorious leftovers.
Saturday - One Pot Turkey Chili with Cornbread Crust.  This is all about the smoked paprika.  Make sure you have some in stock.  Some changes I've made to the recipe: chickpeas instead of beans and, one package of Bob's gluten-free corn bread...taking easy to a whole new level.  I also used the Daiya cheddar to top. (I let the batter rest for an hour before putting it on the chili and in the oven, it makes a big difference).  For dessert, I made my gluten-free version of Chocolate Diablo Cookies.

Until next Monday, happy cooking!

1 comment:

  1. Chili was great! Love the cornbread crust and will definitely be doing this at home :)