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Menu Frustration

December 3rd, 2006 at 05:11 pm

I know that cooking at home saves alot of money. And for the most part, we kind of HAVE to, seeing as we live in Nowhere, Alaska, which has no cars, no roads, and most importantly, no resturants.

But we find it so easy to run to the Native Store or the AC to just pick up a thing or two everyday. And, seeing as everything sold up here is VERY expensive, due to the shipping cost and handling added in, this adds up really fast.

Plus, we're currently eating junky freezer stuff. Frozen bean and cheese burritos (what, like those are HARD to make?), frozen fried chicken breasts, frozen french fries..

Not very healthy, especially as Im pregnant and need to be eating better.

We have some weird food things that go on in our lives anyway..husband Brandus is a vegetarian, but Im not.

I dont eat tofu, or most of the meat substitutes - although I like the fake sausage and veggie crumbles.

Neither of us eats seafood, mushrooms, or onions (although onions we bend on for flavoring)

Brandus is a GREAT cook, and can create things off the top of his head. Whereas, I HAVE to have a recipe to follow.

Finding things we will both eat is slightly complicated.

So, Im trying to get the kitchen cleaned up so that we can start doing more actual cooking, and less nuking or heating up.

I just need to sit down and plan some menus. Maybe I can make some stuff we can freeze and heat later.

4 Responses to “Menu Frustration”

  1. threebeansalad Says:

    The more you cook, the easier it becomes to cook and to think of things to make. What kind of foods do you like and are affordable in AK? Maybe we can offer you some suggestions. I'm not a big fan of cookning in bulk, but many people are. I do find that I can often cook two night meals in one night, though, It saves a lot in clean up time and in dishes used. Good luck!

  2. alianora Says:

    Being able to cook a double recipe is really all Im aspiring too, so if you have any ideas, Id love to hear them!

    The problem with afforable stuff is complicated..we do one big shopping trip to Sam's Club when we can get in to Anchorage. It averages out to about once a month, and we have to plan pretty carefully when we go.

    Currently, we have several frozen uncooked chicken breasts and thighs (for me), veggie sausage ("ground"), a large bag of frozen broccolli, motz, parm, and chedder cheese, several kinds of pasta, large can of tomatoes, and a HUGE bag of basmati rice. We have more dry goods coming, because we just did our big trip, and we ship the dry goods back. Im also forgetting several things we currently have..like canned corn and canned green beans. And canned tomato soup.

    Ive tried searching at the websites that give up ideas based on what foods you have on hand, and they generally never come up with things that both of us will eat, even with some tinkering!

  3. threebeansalad Says:

    I'm new to your blog so I don't know your whole situtation, but it sounds like you might qualify for WIC. You can check out the AK income guidelines here: http://www.hss.state.ak.us/ocs/nutri/wic/about/about-incomeguidelines.htm. WIC is terrific and effective program for moms, mom-to be's, and children under 5. Once your baby is born, they can also help hook you up with low cost (or free) breast pumps and other nursing supplies if you chose to BF.

    Regarding your couurent stash: I'm picturing an Inidian curry with chicken for you and chick peas for your husband. If you don't have chick peas, any bean will do, or just go plain veg.

    Thaw out your chicken breasts. If you have plain yogurt, take a cup of that, add 2 Tsp chili powder, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp cinnamon. Marinate chicken in yougurt and spices in fridge for 1 hour. If no yougurt, just toss chicken with spices. Cut into small pieces and bake in oven in rimmed baking sheet at 350 for ~10-12 min.. Meanwhile, saute some garlic. Add a 32 oz can of tomato sauce. Add in the spices listed above to taste. If you hve garam masala throw taht in... otherwise, just add chili, paprika, cumin, cinnamon. Throw in chick peas, green peas, broccoli, whatever frozen veg. Simmer and adjust spices. Add in 1 cup cream or milk (reconstituted powdered milk is OK), remove from heat. (don't keep on heat too long after milk is added ofr it can curdle) Serve over basmati. Add the chicken to your serving. This is a play off aloo mutter if you are familiar with Indian food.

    It sounds like you could also make pizza (there's a recipe fro crust on my blog), several pasta and baked pasta dishes, and enchiladas (you can make tortillas using flour, water and a smidge of oil, I can send a recipe or you can find one online).

    Happy cooking!

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    You could make a broccoli/cheese/egg quiche with a rice crust. If you have ham throw in ham, too for more flavor. Use all three cheeses for a flavor punch.

    Spaghetti (or any pasta) bake--put cooked spaghetti (with tomato sauce) in a pie pan, add the can of drained tomatoes, some garlic, cover liberally with cheese and bake for 45 minutes at 375 or thereabouts.

    Do you have salsa? An easy TexMex chicken with rice is cooked rice, 2 jars of salsa and diced cooked chicken mixed together.

    Meatball sandwiches--Mix the veggie sausage with garlic and the three types of cheese, form into balls and cook. Cover in sauce and eat on bread, french bread if you have it or can make it is best but any will do.

    Something I really liked when I was pregnant was to melt cheddar on chicken in the last few minutes of cooking, didn't care for it any other time, but loved it then.

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