Thursday, June 24, 2010

Keep meat costs down

So far I'm doing pretty well at keeping my food budget at $50.00 a week. Remember, though, that I get help from a food pantry so that helps keep the overall cost down. We rarely eat pasta or rice for health reasons so I'm unable to use many of the items the food pantry offers. But, we are blessed with the food we are given and it does help a lot.

I've been trying to find recipes that have a small amount of meat and lots of veggies to stretch my meat budget. (Does anyone have any good recipes?)  My husband loves Chile Relleno's but I rarely make them because I've had such a difficult time peeling the skins. A few weeks ago at the 99 cents store they had the chile peppers in a bag. I already had pepper jack cheese at home so I knew it would cost me next to nothing for the meal. A Spanish woman walked up as I looked at the chilies. I asked her if she had an easy way to peel them. Boy, am I glad I asked because it made peeling a snap!

Here is what she suggested:

Wash and dry your peppers. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes on each side ( until blistered) and then turn, repeating until all sides are blistered. Wrap each chile in a dampened dish towel and place inside a plastic bag to 'sweat'. Peel and de-seed. 

Here is the recipe for the Chile Rellenos:

 Stuff chilies with monterey jack cheese (I used pepper jack because that is what I had on hand). Pour some white flour on a plate.  Heat oil in a skillet. In a bowl beat 4 egg whites and fold in gently 1 egg yolk.  Dip the chile in flour. Take a large tablespoon of egg mixture and place it the skillet. Smooth it out with the back of your spoon to the size of a chile. Place the chile on top of the egg mixture. Take another large spoonful of egg mixture and place on top of the chile. Smooth it out to cover the chile. Let the egg mixture brown on the bottom. Flip onto the other side and let brown.

Meanwhile, you can make a sauce if you like one on your chile. My husband does.  I've made white or red sauces.

Cheese Sauce:

Heat until bubbly:
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt

Add 1 c. milk slowly whisking it so that you don't get lumps. Add one cup of yellow cheese. Add 1/4 c. salsa.

You can also use a red sauce or a salsa verde.


  1. If you are unable to use any kind of rice or pasta (even brown?) then it does make it more challenging I think but not impossible.

    Can you make things like enchiladas or tacos with corn tortillas or low-carb flour tortillas? I would also make good use of inexpensive fresh summer produce and make lots of different types of salads - chef salad, bean salads, antipasto, and just go light on any meats or cheese you use.

  2. Yes, Lyn, I do use low carb tortillas. I'm going to try my hand at a recipe for low carb tortilla. We have some veggies for salads growing in our garden and so I hope to make more salads soon. Thanks for the suggestions.

  3. I believe you can put those peppers in a paper bag after the oven as well and it will do the same thing. We love Mexican here. I also love to try any ethnic dish because usually the traditional old recipes are cheap and flavorful. Hubby had dinner with his Indian boss in Fargo last night and I told him make sure you get recipes or at least the names of dishes. Write it down! He said they had a BBQ chicken dish that was delicious. I hope he has the recipe when he gets home. Also-- if you have ethnic grocers near you-- go! Spices in particular can be a great deal less pricey. We live driving distance to Asian, Mexican and Indian grocers and I just love to visit those.

  4. I'd like the answer myself. I'm not doing so well lately with my food budget, trying to buy organic and that means smaller amounts. Meat is not the only thing that can bust a budget, dairy and veggies can also be expensive. Food is expensive in our area. My strategy, when I'm being good, is to eat less. Salads are good, but they don't really fill you up like carbs. Putting cheese and nuts is them helps or lots of veggies. I found it's hard to do low carb and low fat at the same time. I eat a lot of eggs. Quinoa is suppose to be lower in carb and a great protein. I have beans occasionally. Have you checked out the glysemic index, it might help.Another thought have you checked out raw food, my dd is eating a lot of it and having good results. Not all of it works for us, but there are some recipes. She make tacos using a lettuce leaf and you also can make a taco from a slice of cheese microwaved and it become chrispy. It had a lot of veggies instide and a aolie type sauce. If you want more detail message me or email me. RYC-I'm pretty much over the Vertigo, but occasionally have a little dizziness. It can take a while for it to completely go away. As far as my other problems I'm focused on the weight and hoping that will help. My liver numbers were better so I guess it is. Linda

  5. I cut squash in half long way add spagetti sauce or something like that then add cheese on top of that
    you can put onions or bell peppers on top of the cheese like a pizza then is take on pizza
    I also sliced squash and used as noodles for lasagna. What about crepes with a low carb flour.
    I also like egg casserols with all kinds of garden veggies and cheese on top,I make mine in the micro
    in the summer or bake in the morning and micro later.
    Have a blessed week


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