$3 Meals: Feed Your Family Delicious, Healthy Meals for Less than the Cost of a Gallon of Milk [NOOK Book]

Overview

250+ cost-busting, simple, healthy recipes for great meals!

 

From traditional American favorites to popular ethnic foods such as Tex-Mex, Asian, and Italian, $3 Meals is brimming with scrumptious—and amazingly affordable—recipes the likes of Seafood Gumbo, Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings, Shepherd’s Pie with Cheddar Potato Topping, and Southwest Spinach Loaf. Who will miss “luxury foods” when these are on the menu? And say goodbye to expensive convenience foods like ...

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$3 Meals: Feed Your Family Delicious, Healthy Meals for Less than the Cost of a Gallon of Milk

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Overview

250+ cost-busting, simple, healthy recipes for great meals!

 

From traditional American favorites to popular ethnic foods such as Tex-Mex, Asian, and Italian, $3 Meals is brimming with scrumptious—and amazingly affordable—recipes the likes of Seafood Gumbo, Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings, Shepherd’s Pie with Cheddar Potato Topping, and Southwest Spinach Loaf. Who will miss “luxury foods” when these are on the menu? And say goodbye to expensive convenience foods like salad dressings and barbecue sauces with more chemicals than foods on the labels when Ellen Brown reveals how easy it is to make these at home.

 

Meals in a Bowl
• Caribbean Curried Seafood Soup
• Tuscan White Bean Soup with Sausage

Fishy Business
• Baked Fish Provençal
• Creole Fish

Poultry with Panache
• Mexican Chicken with Molé Sauce
• Gazpacho Turkey Salad

“Meating” the Challenge
• Guinness Beef Stew
• Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage

Vegetarian with Verve
• Risotto-Style Barley with Spinach
• Asian Black Bean “Chili”

Bakery Basics
• Parmesan Herb Muffins
• Irish Soda Bread

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599218311
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press
  • Publication date: 4/14/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 507,342
  • File size: 436 KB

Meet the Author

Ellen Brown, who gained the national limelight in 1982 as the founding food editor of USA Today, is the author of nineteen cookbooks, including the forthcoming five-volume series Great Year-Round Grilling.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface

 

The preface is short and personal; the author’s first professional job in the culinary world was in 1974 teaching cooking classes at the University of Cincinnati’s extension program. The most popular course was one titled Budget Buffet; at that time it was serving great dinners – from soup to dessert – for $2 per person. The preface sets forth the premise of the book: delicious and exciting meals need not be expensive; taste and healthy eating do not need to be sacrificed to keep food costs in check.

 

Introduction

 

The points covered in the introduction include the major themes of the book:

 

  • Cooking delicious and healthful meals can be done in a cost-effective manner and without sacrificing significant amounts of time. None of the recipes in the book require more than 20 minutes of “hands-on” preparation time.
  • The dishes are more healthful than those made with high-cost convenience foods that contain chemicals, preservatives and trans-fat.
  • Low-cost cooking is far from mundane. All of the dishes contain contrasting colors, textures, and flavors to keep the food exciting.
  • The foundation of cost-busting cooking is to create a plan for each week’s meals that begins with a survey of foods on hand and then factors in weekly sales and seasonality.
  • $3 Meals wastes nothing. Carrot peels and parsley stems are used to make stocks, egg whites left over from custards using yolks only become meringue cookies, and stale bread is transformed into bread crumbs orcroutons at a fraction of the cost of purchasing them.

 

Chapter 1: Savvy Shopping

 

This chapter includes myriad ways to save money on grocery bills. Included among the topics are:

 

  • Basing meal plans on weekly sales, especially the loss-leaders such as boneless chicken breasts that can be frozen for future use.  How to maximize the use of coupons and rain checks.
  • Learning to be a smarter while shopping. Reading the comparative per pound cost of items on shelf tags is an easy and efficient way to calculate costs when packages are of a different size, and it is also the way to determine if generic supermarket products continue to be a better deal than a national brand featured in a weekly sale.
  • Becoming a coupon sleuth. Not only are they available in every newspaper, a few minutes online can yield hundreds of dollars of bargains a month.
  • Passing up convenience foods that are far higher in price for essentially the same product as one that can be made at home in minutes. For example, an herb stuffing mix is $2.50 per pound, while a box of seasoned stuffing to which you add water and butter is $6.40 per pound – for basically the same food.
  • Avoiding waste by shopping for only the quantity of a dry food needed in bulk bins.
  • Shopping alternative venues to the supermarket for bargains. These include ethnic markets (where an 8-ounce bag of dried shiitake mushrooms is less money than a 1-ounce bag at the supermarket), discount bread stores, farmers’ markets, and working out a buddy system with friends to benefit from the lower prices offered by warehouse stores for case pricing.
  • Evaluating if kitchen gadgets are really needed or if a simple one you already own can accomplish the same task. For example, the small holes on a box grater are as good a way to remove the colored zest from citrus fruits as a $10 zester that can be used for no other purpose.
  • Creating ways to store pantry items to take advantage of sales. Plastic bins that slide under the bed can be filled with canned goods just as easily as they can be filled with out of season clothing.

 

Chapter 2: Basics of the Cost-Busting Kitchen

 

Centuries before there was a can of “cream of something soup” to make casseroles, cooks were making white sauce to bind ingredients. Buying bottles of barbecue sauce or salad dressing is far more expensive than making these condiments yourself. Readers learn that rather than paying for the small pretty squeeze bottle of Thousand Island dressing, a few teaspoons of mayonnaise, a teaspoon of ketchup and a teaspoon of relish or chopped pickles produces the same result at a fraction of the price. Chicken stock ranges in price from $2.29 to $4 a quart, while for $2 it is possible to make six quarts of stock at home as well as using up bits and pieces of meat and vegetable trimmings otherwise destined for the garbage.

 

This chapter presents strategies for saving money on a continual basis, and then gives recipes for some commonly used items.

 

One important concept delineated in this chapter is “batch cooking.”  In addition to saving time, this concept also saves money on utility bills because a few large items are cooked simultaneously at the same temperature. This is followed by instructions on how to adapt favorite recipes for cooking in a slow cooker, an appliance that saves energy as well as needing no tending while tenderizing foods.

 

Partial Recipe List:

            Chicken Stock

            Vegetable Stock

            Meat Stock

            Seafood Stock

            Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

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