Yesterday, I just felt cruddy all day. My husband was inspired to make French toast for breakfast. It was delicious, but since I haven’t tackled my own bread making yet, it definitely did not fall into clean or lo-cal! But, the kidlets loved it and I didn’t have to cook! Lunch was leftover chicken and dumplings, which is a nice revamp of one of my favorite comfort foods. The husband likes the clean dumplings well enough, but every time I make them, I hear “ah, clean dumplings.” I’ve also started making my own broth after I cook a whole chicken, so it’s a great way to get another meal without having to buy more meat. So, that was two meals I was able to do nothing for!
However, I knew that dinner was looming ahead. This is where having a stockpile of freezer meals or some quick and easy recipes comes in handy and will keep you from ordering a pizza. Since we are moving soon, I’ve depleted our freezer meals. So, that option was out. However, I try to keep a bag of frozen vegetables around all the time and I always have some brown rice. That led me to another comfort food from childhood….fried rice. I decided to make pork fried rice because I had some frozen pork already chopped up and frozen. You can get a big pack of assorted chops for much less than chops of all the same thickness. I will buy a pack, pull out enough for dinner, and then chop and freeze the odd size ones for days like this.
Ingredients I used:
3c of frozen mixed veggies (great when fresh aren’t in season plus they are already chopped) – about $0.70
2 oz fresh mushrooms – $0.50
1c brown jasmine rice – about $1.00 – I love the flavor over regular brown rice, so I don’t mind paying a little more
1 lb pork – $2.30
3 green onions – these were leftover from the sweet potato kale soup I made earlier in the week, so they cost about $0.30
For this meal, I used low-sodium soy sauce because I still have it to use up. – $0.15. Liquid aminos can be subbed for soy sauce to keep things clean – it’s a little over $4 a bottle, but you tend to use less because it’s a spray.
2 eggs – $0.40
This meal cost just over $5 and we had about 1 serving leftover even after Papi had seconds. I realized that it had a lot of meat so I easily could have double the rice and veggies and still have had two very meaty meals for just about $7. It was a big hit for all but the 3 year-old old food critic of the house, but I’m pretty sure that is because Papi took Macho for ice cream before dinner!