Monday 20 April 2009

Frugal Foods # 1

My first Frugal post was a bit of a disaster. I was going to wax lyrical about how to prepare fresh yabbies.

Except Furry didn't catch any.

So, for this weeks frugal post, I made sure that we actually DID have something in the pantry. And this is the key to this weeks post.

Don't buy anything if you can avoid it. Without doubt, I bet you a pound to a bent penny, you've got the makings of at least one meal tucked away in your fridge/pantry/cupboard. The statistics show that we throw away at least one bag of every seven bags of groceries we buy.

That's appalling, in my opinion. So, rather than spend money we just don't have, here's what I whipped up this weekend. It's a variation on a recipe that Mater Beige used to cook on Good Friday, and I believe it originated in one of those ubiquitous Woman's Weekly Recipe books of the 70's/80's.

I had:

1/2 stick of unsalted butter. Melted in in a frypan and added about 10 button mushrooms, sliced. They were starting to dry out, so they had to be used, and I fried them off in the butter until golden. Next I added about 1 heaped teaspoon of tomato "pesto", which is basically some sundried tomatoes, in the oil they are preserved in, whizzed up to a pulp with the stick blender. I opened a can of tuna in springwater, and deglazed the pan with some of the liquid. Then whacked in the tuna and heated through. I had a small tub of sour cream in the 'fridge, so that got whacked in as well.

Cook a whole packet of spirals/shells/elbows and when done, add the sauce and combine. top with some freshly cracked black pepper and some torn Italian parsely from the garden.

I guestimate the ingredients cost me less than $10, and we got 5 serves out of it.

The point is, that if you like this recipe, go out and buy the ingredients, it still qualifies as frugal food. But I'd LOVE to hear what you guys can make, sourcing all the ingredients only from what you've got on hand!

I'm eyeing off the 1/2 packet of Black pepper Savoy's and thinking savory tart shell.


Su-Lin said...

I've been trying to eat frugally too and I always seem to turn to pasta. It's delicious but probably not too great for the waistline! Yours looks fantastic!

purple goddess said...

pasta/rice.. carbs in general are a good way to eek out a meal. But yes, not too good for the waistline.Last night got 6 serves out of 500g of mince, and a whole lot of fresh veggies. A keema curry, served on rice. Guestimate less than $1.50 a serve.

Jazz said...

I remember Mr. Jazz coming home and my telling him, we have to go out, there's nothing to eat.

45 minutes later, we had a delicious meal on the table.

My problem is, I see what's in the fridge or pantry, but I can't see how it could fit together into a meal. Without a recipe I'm lost.

I have NO imagination when it comes to food.

Maree said...

I'm a bit like Jazz and need a recipe usually- thats where some of these new recipe sites come in handy that have ingredient search- like the "Whats in Your pantry" page on group recipes- - alot of American foodies on there- and their taste is not always to my liking, but I have found some fab recipes on that site.

Griffin said...

Hmm, I'm the other way around. I can follow a recipe, but sometimes it's more interesting to see what there is and try to turn it into a meal. I stay with simplicity as my key tho', mainly cos I'd make a right mess otherwise!!

Anonymous said...

well there is always baked beans or spaghetti on toast :) ... but yes, the pasta bake or pasta and sauce with tuna and tomatoes is an old standby in our house when we are down to a "pantry meal". Sometimes i cook up a batch of flavoursome sausages, slice and add to a pot of pasta and tomato sauce - cheap, fast, easy and pretty tasty, specially when you are feeding hungry boys! Lentil chilli is cheap and easy too, goes for miles with rice or whatever. I don't make it super spicy, but used to call it "mental lentils" when the kids were small.