I’ve been wanting to be more organized with my cooking lately. It’s easy to become haphazard in your meal preparation when you work at a grocery store. You finish work, clock out, wander onto the floor, and dazedly gaze at all of the foodstuffs surrounding you. What do you make for dinner? Why, that looks easy, and then off you go, spending too much money on your soon-to-be-made dinner.
What’s worse, at least for me, is that it’s my job to post daily recipes on Facebook for all of BriarPatch’s lovely fans, so all I have to do is take my own advice. How often do I actually end up doing that? About once a month.
I spend too much money on food, especially since I make 90% of our meals. It mostly comes down to convenience – it’s way too easy to pick up a simmer sauce, a bell pepper, and some chicken thighs, add some premade naan to the plate, and throw a fifteen minute meal together. Quick and tasty, yes. Affordable cooking at home, no.
In the spirit of thriftiness, and also getting into the habit for when our CSA starts in a couple of weeks, I’ve decided to make a week’s worth of meals ahead of time. On Sunday I prepared two dishes that I could stick in the freezer, cook, and then feed us leftovers for at least three days each. Mostly based around food we already had around the house, I put together a salmon casserole with sharp white cheddar cheese, cream of mushroom soup, herbs de Provence, fresh black pepper, and two different types of leftover pasta; and a lasagna with spelt noodles, garlic tomato sauce, Italian chicken sausage, pesto, ricotta, and parmesan cheese. Charles was feeling like eating casserole yesterday, so that’s what I popped in the oven. Omega 3 comfort food – oh, yeah! Personally, I can’t wait until we polish off the casserole and move on to the lasagna. I’m really looking forward to the combination of the spelt noodles with the pesto and tomato sauces.
Usually, I try not to serve more than one pasta dish a week, but since I was trying to use ingredients we already had, this is what we got. It can be a bit challenging preparing meals with the types of things my grocery manager man brings home, but I always feel proud of myself when I accomplish a tasty dinner out of random samples. And my pocketbook loves it too.
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