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Friday, August 7, 2009

‘Having Options’ versus ‘Having a Plan’

When I worked, we operated on the Options plan. I felt like I had to keep a vast, Mormon household sized stash in the pantry, freezer, and fridge. Since I’ve been home, I’ve been slowly but steadily using up the contents of particularly the fridge and freezer (easier to do a deep clean when it’s empty). It is a little shocking to me how much food we had on hand.

I think we ate more processed food on the Options plan. I always felt like I had to have chicken burgers and potstickers and meatballs in the freezer. I didn’t really have the energy for meaningful meal planning, but I always had choices and Options.

I am trying to operate under the “Having a Plan” plan while I’m home. Now that it is no longer as hot as the surface of the sun, I am interested in cooking again. Mediterranean Feast and jam production aside, summer isn’t really my cooking season. I’m more of a soups and stewed meats kind of girl, so it’s doubly challenging. This week, with a little shopping, we are eating some fabulous meals while simultaneously cleaning out the larder.

One night we had whole wheat rotini with chicken, peas, sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts in a creamy pesto sauce. The sauce got its creaminess from reduced fat cream cheese and pasta cooking water. This is inspired by a similar dish I remember loving many years ago at Bizzarro Italian Café in Wallingford. The only item I purchased was the chicken and it was on sale for under four dollars. Since I was going to use it the same day, I went for it.

Another night we had what I lovingly call 75 cent dinner. All I bought was a 75 cent bag of stale baguette already conveniently sliced. I tossed this with a custard of milk and eggs, thawed frozen spinach, some leftover feta, cooked bacon, mushrooms and sweet onion I had laying around. I made it in the morning, let it soak in the fridge all day then baked it. Cheap strata.

Stay tuned for more frugal Having A Plan dinners…

1 comment:

  1. Good going, cleaning out the fridge. I like the 75 cent meal idea--gotta try that sometime! Just made some apricot jam , too, last night. The first to ever turn out edible. I can see how it could become addictive. Like your blog. Keep writing!