Pulled and diced chicken with rice and veggies are three key ingredients for many 5 X 3 meals. ‘K-Bobs and Stuffed pepper are pictured here.
by donR October 14, 2016
Choosing meals for a Cook-In is made easier by creating a 5 X 3 chart. It is just a list of featured ingredients which you cook and package to use as a base for three future meals. A well-stocked pantry provides additional ingredients to complement the featured items
Previously, we described how pork loin roasts can be cooked and packaged for use in many different ways. Chicken and turkey, are featured in this article. Read more about these and other versatile ingredients to use when planning 5 X 3 Cook-Ins. Continue reading →
The biscuits on pot pies can be made with a master biscuit mix. see video
by donR September 12, 2016
“5 X 3 meals” means that your family can have a Cook-In to prepare 5 different foods for use in 3 dinners. You could easily assemble more but for now let’s keep it simple and use the time to play with the kids.
Our last post used pork loin roasts for several entrees. But this saves little time because you still need to prepare future meals separately. Instead, how about cooking 5 ingredients on one day with family or friends and use those for 3 or more future meals? Here is one example to give you an idea for a Cook-In.
Roast the pork and place in convenient packages for your first ingredient.
Combine 10C flour, oil, baking powder and soda, plus salt to make a biscuit master mix. You can make the biscuits ahead of time or bake them later as for pork sliders, pot pie, fruit tarts or strawberry shortcake.
Roasted beets can be eaten as-is or in salads. See Epicurious recipe.
Harvest 4 lbs beets with beet greens. Wash and cut greens from red beets. Cut beets, potatoes, onions and other veggies to be ready for roasting in oil and garlic butter.
Cook 2 lbs penne whole wheat noodles in boiling water until al dente. Rinse and divide for use in two meals: IE; 1. Penne salad with chopped celery, nuts, tomatoes and dressing. Chill before serving. 2; Penne Lasagna: Layer noodles with low fat cottage cheese, beet greens, tomato sauce, and pulled pork. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake or freeze for later meals.
Wash chop, slice and dice the beet greens and your favorite veggies and leafy greens. Place a damp paper towel on the bottom of several plastic or glass containers. Fill each container with salad greens, cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Add nuts, seeds, pickled beets, cheese or diced pork and dressing just before serving.
Note: If your family follows the “Choose My Plate ” recommendations, simply add dairy, water and fruit for a balanced meal. Once your family gets accustomed to planning and cooking together they will look forward to these memorable gatherings.
Your family of 6 can feast on five or more meals using food gathered from Our $50 spree @ WinCo.
by donR May 18th, 2016
The Family Meals Project originally shared ideas with health-conscious families to plan, prepare and share budget-friendly meals. The goal was to assemble family meals for less than $10 using whole foods in the menu plan. That was four years ago and it’s now time to revisit the idea of preparing a $10 meal*. Yes, it’s still very possible to keep healthy meal costs under $10. To prove it, we spent $50 at WinCo and assembled 5 family meals using these ingredients plus a few planned-overs and pantry staples.
Winter squash is budget-friendly in season, easy to prepare and a good source of vitamins A and K
by donR May 5, 2016
Cooking wholesome meals on a limited budget can be challenging. By “wholesome” we mean the meal satisfies the nutritional needs of family members. The $10 meal price is calculated by keeping the cost of the main ingredients under $8 and simply add $2 for the pantry items like flour, condiments, planned-overs, and spices.
So, if at the end of the month, you have spent, on average, $10 per main meal and have eaten a rainbow of whole foods, you deserve a “Gold Star” and are welcome to share your ideas with the rest of our audience! Continue reading →
Freshly steamed veggies and chilled fruit are children favorites.
by donR February 29, 2016
Okay, you’ve set goals and the agenda for your “Family Cook-In, aka Family Meal Series.” Now it’s decision time as you plan the food menu, a fun game, and age-appropriate conversation starters. Let’s start with a simple food menu and save games and conversation for another day. Choosing the right food for a Cook-In can be difficult but here are a few tips to make meal planing easier. Continue reading →
Fresh Soba noodles are made from buckwheat; thick, nutty, and comforting.
Pasta is a popular choice for Springtime meals; light, spicy, easy to prepare and nutritious if you choose healthier ingredients. We described how to prepare Perfect Pasta in our basic cooking series and today I had a craving for a pasta dinner. But, to take advantage of the “Hot Sheet Sale” at Cash & Carry, I purchased a 5# bag of fresh Yakisoba noodles ($3.24) along with a 5# bag of shredded cabbage ($2.98), 25# zucchini squash ($14.49) and 14# pk of pork shoulder cushions ($1.15 per pound).
I know…$36.81 is more than the “$10 Meal” in the title but let me share a few of the many meals that can be prepared with these ingredients…see the rest of the story. Continue reading →
You can use ground sausage or Polish sausage links in this lentil stew.
Before moving on to other topics this month, I’d like to share some ideas about the best appliance to cook budget-friendly meals. The best answer would be “it depends.” The Asian community would certainly prefer a wok because it is so versatile. Others would choose a frying pan over gas heat or casserole dish in an oven. My preference would be to use the slow cooker, which is not commonly used in many parts of the world. So why would I want to use it? I like soup and casseroles and these can be cooked easily in a slow cooker. I can set it and forget it. But there’s more to it than that. Continue reading →
Stuffed pork loin is a budget friendly alternative to beef and it’s so easy to cook.(iclipart illustration of stuffed pork chop)
Pork loin, when purchased from a restaurant supplier, is one of the better food values if you are a flexitarian. We purchased a 7 pound package for two dollars a pound on sale. One thick 9 ounce slice was more than enough for the two of us because it was stuffed with apple dressing. By adding coleslaw, whole grain bread and vegetables, we came close to My Plate recommendations and under the $10.00 challenge limit. Continue reading →
Pot pie, like payalla and Hodge-podge lasagna, can be made with almost any veggies. But if it lacks flavor……?
last night I made a vegetable pot pie that looked great, and all for under $10. Then, I knew I was in trouble when my wife tasted my creation and said “Honey…”
It looked beautiful when it came out of the oven and when serving it on plates but one taste and we realized that it was missing a lot of flavor and the texture was a little mushy because I put planned-over macaroni in it. But this entree can be salvaged, read more… Continue reading →