Leftovers and trying to cut down the food budget…

So after a couple of months of menu planning, I’ve realized that it hasn’t cut our grocery bills. Ugh. So, now I am trying to do more “repurpose” cooking with less expensive items. Here is what my menu looked like last week to give you an idea:

Mac-n-Cheese (Its good to make a big meal on Sunday that will work for lunches, and quick leftover meals for the first part of the week) I’m not sharing my recipe yet as I am entering the Tillamook Mac-n-Cheese contest. I’ll let you know when I win, or not 🙂

Turkey chili with Zucchini corn bread (I bought a large zucchini, as mine from my garden are not ready yet, at the farmers market and had defrosted some ground turkey over the weekend. First sautee about 1/2 onion in soup pot with some olive oil. When onions are translucent, add 1stp of garlic, 3 palms full of chili powder, dash of cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Add ground turkey and cook through. Then add 2 small cans diced tomatoes and 1/2 can of tomato paste. Drain a can of black beans and add to pot. Add a handful of shredded zucchini. Let cook for about 15 minutes. If too thick add a little chicken stock until you reach desired consistency, if too thin, smash some of the beans up and then let cook until thick enough. Taste and add more seasonings as you need.

A friend of mine showed me the Zucchini corn bread recipe. It is so easy. I used the Jiffy corn bread mix and prepare as directed, but cut the liquid a little. Add 2 cups shredded zucchini, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and some salt, pepper and chili powder. Bake about 30 min. Sorry this isn’t more precise, one day I’ll measure what I thrown in 🙂

Great for lunches for my husband and Karina. She loves the bread!
Pot Roast with polenta and roasted summer squash – Recipes are here: http://mammascooking.blogspot.com/2009/01/post-holiday-pressures.html

With left over pot roast, I made a beef and brown rice soup. Pour left over gravy into a soup pot and add about 7 cups of beef broth (I use the boullion cubes as they are more cost effective) and bring to a boil. Either use 2 cups of left over rice or make some in the rice cooker while the broth is coming to a boil. I then added a handful of frozen carrots and chopped up the remaining pot roast. When the rice was done, added it in and let the soup cook for about 10 more minutes.


Roast chicken with barley risotto and roasted corn. Barley risotto recipe here: http://mammascooking.blogspot.com/2009/02/my-new-finds.html

With the leftover chicken and corn I made soup. Similar to the recipe for beef above. Add the left over gravy to a soup pot and about 7 cups chicken stock. Bring to a boil and add about 1 1/4 cups orzo or other small pasta. Once the pasta is cooked (about 7 minutes) add leftover chicken (diced). I then added some more of the frozen carrots which I had diced and cut the corn off the cob that I had roasted. Add more seasonings as needed and you have soup!


Dinner out – sushi..mmm (Have to splurge every once in a while)

My husband brought leftovers for lunch each day and Karina and I both had leftovers for lunch at home and we ate leftovers for lunch all this weekend. Tonight I’m making mac-n-cheese again (trying to perfect my recipe) and then will plan next week’s meals. I’m going to see if I can cook without going to the grocery store this week. We already have milk and diapers for Karina, so I think it should be possible. I’ll let you know.

I am searching for a good recipe using blackberries…We have a couple of pounds that we collected on a walk yesterday morning. Love fresh blackberries! If anyone has one, let me know!

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One thought on “Leftovers and trying to cut down the food budget…”

  1. I'm glad you updated. When you are ready to 'release' the mac n cheese recipe (hopefully the winner) please send it my way. I usually use the one in my WIlliams Sonoma Vegetarian cookbook, which is quite nice. I tried Ina Gartner's but it turned out bad. My girlfriend Meg has made that for me twice and when done right, its a really good mac and cheese.
    I gotta email you cause we are going to start Connor on solids in the middle of Sept. I have a cookbook, and am planning to make most of his food!

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