Broke Bee Diet – 2 1

Since the previous Broke Bee Diet* recipe post I wrote was such a hit, I’ve decided to do occasional updates on this philosophy of eating and throw in ideas and recipes along the way. 

A few other ways I’ve found to cut down on the expense of eating as well as I like to eat are:

  • Cut down on the percentage of meat in a meal and cut-down on portion sizes in general. 
  • Eliminate having a starch at every meal. ( I’ve been trying to eliminate starch from three meals per week. That means ½ to 3/4of the plate has colorful, yummy, nutritious veggies.)
  • Downsize the plates you eat from. (I had purchased some small, red, oval plates for my red kitchen some months ago and I am using them more frequently.  I grew up in a fill-the-space-on-your plate household and that’s a hard habit to break so having small plates allows me to feel I’m having a generous portion.)
  • Buy one or two special ingredients every time you go shopping to add to your larder so that they’ll always be on hand.
  • Look at the condiments and other food stuffs at Marshall, TJ Maxx, Ocean State Job Lot, etc.  This is where I’ve bought sesame oil, walnut oil, olives, maple syrup, peppercorns at good prices.  I saw a jar of minced shallots but for some reason didn’t buy them.
  • Freeze herbs – I have frozen parsley and cilantro in ice trays, then popped them into a plastic bag (I wash and reuse these until they go are ready for the plastic bag recycle bin at the supermarket).  They can be used straight from the freezer.

(I apologize for not having photos of these recipes.  I will try to remember to take a photo of the food before we devour it. Oink.Oink.) I had lamb chops my husband had purchases and they were back in the freezer, so out they came.  I didn’t grow up eating lamb but I eat it every now and again since my not-so-new husband buys it every now and again.

Sunday Lamb Chops

4 small kidney chops
2 T olive oil
3 cloves if garkuc – minced finely
1 small onion – diced finely
½ cup red wine**
1 cup diced tomatoes w juice

Trim fat from chops.  Heat 1 T olive oil and sear chops about 4 minutes per side.
Remove chops.  Add 1 T oil and saute onion for 3-5 minues, then add garlic and saute for 1 minute or so.
(I always stand right by the stove and stir while sauteing garlic.)  Add wine, reduce by half.  Scrape bottom of the pan (deglazing I think it’s called.)  Stir in tomatoes, add chops, low simmer for 15 minutes or so.  Remove chops, reduce sauce.  You can add fresh parsley (I dug a bunch from the freezer).  Serve sauce over lamp and serve with side veggie.  I serve with cabbage and carrots (see below).

Braised cabbage and carrots
½ head cabbage (shredded, rinsed – some water will cling to the leaves)
1 large carrot shaved (I used my vegetable peeler to make long ribbons of carrots)
2 T chicken broth

Put it all in a skillet then cover.  Add pepper, kosher salt, and dill and/or red pepper flakes to taste.  Takes about 10 minutes.  Scrump-dilly-umptious.  For some reason I didn’t add onions or peppers which I usually do when I saute cabbage.  I kept it simple and it worked.

That was it.

I recently made a Tuna-Noodle Casserole, something I hadn’t fixed since my children were actually kids.  I always have cans of tuna and at least one bag of frozen peas on hand and some sort of cheese.  I also always have onions (except once or twice a year when I run out.  I don’t like to buy bags of onions so I usually buy two big ones at a time.  I may have to revisit this though with this Broke Bee lifestyle – not going to the grocery store as frequently).  I had half a bag of noodles from some other recipe prepared months ago.  Four baby bella mushrooms were in the crisper.  I’d also bought a can of cream-of-mushroom soup despite shuddering at the ingredients.  (Next time I do this, I think I’ll skip the tuna and just use more fresh mushrooms and make a cheese sauce.)

Broke Bee Tuna Noodle Casserole

Two cans tuna (mine was albacore in water but dark tuna would work as well)
4 baby bella musrooms chopped
1/2 medium onion (diced finely)
2 small stalks celery (diced finely)
Saute these veggies in 1T canola oil.

Meanwhile, prepare egg noodles according to package directions and drain.
1 can cream-of-mushroom soup
1 can milk (you can use evaporated, whole, skim – whatever you like…you can use whatever you like…I had a T,I. moment back to the recipe.)

Cheese (I had jalapeno monterary jack – about 1/2 stick which I shredded, if I were to do over, I’d add a little more cheese)
1 1/2 cup frozen peas (I set them out when I began making the dish so any ice crystals would melt)
Ritz Crackers for topping (I had half-a-row of whole wheat Ritz, which I crushed.)

Drain and flake tuna, Mix with cream of mushroom soup, milk,sauteed veggies and peas.  Sprinkle with pepper if desired.  (I added a pinch or two of pepper because I like things spicy.  Didn’t add salt because I figured the tuna already had enough.)  Add cheese.  Mix all this up with noodles.  Put in a casserole dish (I wiped mine with a little oil but if you use a cooking sprays, you could do so.  My Misto sprayer is clogged. I pulled it down to clean it…back to recipe.)  Top with crushed crackers,

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until casserole is hot and bubbly and cheese has melted.  This tasted even better on the second day after the flavors had really melded.  It’s nice when accompanied with a simple green salad but there are also veggies here so you can make it a one dish meal.

I was transported back to my days of young motherhood. 

Broke Bee Diet recipes are turning out not to be so bad at all.

*copyright 2009 by Candelaria Silva-Collins

** I bought the small six pack  of Sutter Home red wine and white wine to have on hand for cooking.  Otherwise I’d never have wine for cooking since we’re not big wine drinkers and I would hate to open a large bottle for cooking purposes.

About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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