October 9, 2011

A Week of Budget Eating with Lots of Greens

The weather is crisp and cool and perfectly fall, so everything has a little fall flavor.

We eat the same breakfast almost every day, oatmeal, and lunch is usually scrounged snacks so I'll just be sharing dinners.

Monday: Baked Polenta with Cheese and Swiss Chard.  T LOVED this.   Even the chard.  It was very rich and creamy.  Had we made our own polenta (I used the tube kind), this would have also been VERY cheap.  It was much mushier (almost liquid) than I thought it would be so it was a soupy dish for bowls rather than a solid casserole.

Tuesday: Leftover Polenta and home made whole wheat biscuits.  The polenta was great on day two, but the biscuits were only good covered in butter and honey.  I was trying to be healthy, but I think next time I'm just going to do it with white flour and consider it a treat.

Wednesday: Collard Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuits.  I subbed the sausage for mushrooms and used homemade chicken stock.  This was okay.  It was very very rich.  It might have been my chicken stock, but I'm not totally sure.

(someone learned to load and unload the dishwasher this week)

Thursday: Same cobbler from the night before, but added mixed rice (from TJ's), brown, red, and white, which killed some of the richness and added a great crunchy texture.  Next time we'll layer the rice under the collards and maybe use half water and half stock.

Friday: Roasted a Chicken.  This was heavenly.  Amazingly heavenly.  Perfect, beautiful, amazing, best chicken ever.  So simple, done in an hour, and genius.  The chicken was the happy farm free bug eating chicken we bought at our produce market.  Tricks: let the chicken get down to room temperature by leaving it out for two hours.  Use more salt than you think you need.

Saturday: We had company over so we made Homemade pizzas.  I made this overnight dough.  The jury is still out as to whether it was worth the work and the mess.

It took a lot of planning (started it at 2pm the day before) and a lot of flour all over the kitchen.

We made three kinds of pizza (spinach, mozzarella, garlic, tomato shown here)

1) hot sausage (local happy pigs), mushrooms, mozerella, parmesan
2) mozerella, paremesan, heirloom tomato, spinach, roasted garlic
3) green olive and garlic, mozerella

They were all good, but the best was the sauage.  The others were kind of flavorless.  In an effort to save money I didn't buy the good cheese or the smoked mozerella like I usually buy for pizza.  It was just lacking a little something.

I made a salad with romaine lettuce hearts, pears, blue cheese, heirloom tomatoes and a killer balsamic vinagrette (balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard and olive oil).

For dessert, I tried to make an olive oil pumpkin bread, but it was a tremendous I took the last few pears we had, cored them, peeled them

and covered them in butter, brown sugar, and apple juice,

then baked on 400 for an hour.  They were fantastic.  Especially with vanilla ice cream on top :)

Overall, it was a very successful week.  I made double of almost everything and we froze half of it.
Right now the chicken bones and dark meat is boiling into a stock for some of this week's recipes.

Just got back from the farmer's market and Trader Joe's buying groceries for this week...all new recipes to try!

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