Friday, March 13, 2009

My favorite frugal lunches

Lunch is probably my favorite meal, because I'm only cooking for me, so I can eat whatever I want. It's probably also my most frugal meal of the day, because I use this meal as an opportunity to eat leftovers and other odds and ends I can't really use for breakfast or dinner. Here are some of my favorites!

Homemade soup with muffins
1 tomato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 pound chopped vegetables, such as carrots, celery, cabbage, zucchini, corn, etc
1 pound meat, cooked and shredded or diced
1/2C dry rice
4C chicken or vegetable broth
2Tbsp fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, dill, sage, tarragon or basil.
1Tbsp acid, such as lemon juice or soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce

Heat 1Tbsp oil in a large soup kettle. Add the onion and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the broth and tomato and bring to a boil. Add the vegetables, meat and rice and return to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add the fresh herbs, acid ingredient and salt to taste. Let sit for 5 minutes to let the flavors meld. Some of my favorite soup combinations are:
1. zucchini, corn, carrots, shrimp, tarragon and lemon juice.
2. Carrots, cabbage, zucchini, peas, chicken, rosemary and Worcestershire sauce.
3. corn, carrots, celery, white fish (such as orange roughy) dill and soy sauce.

Munchable muffins
(preheat oven to 400 degrees)
2C all purpose flour, or 1C white flour and 1C whole wheat flour
1Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1C milk
1/2C melted butter or vegetable oil
2/3C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1C blueberries, blackberries or raspberries (optional)

Mix together flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, sugar and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir a few times. Add the optional berries and stir the batter until all dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into a muffin tin lined with paper muffin liners. Fill each one up to about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for about 20 minutes. I have to hide these muffins from my husband so there will still be a couple left for me!

Artisan Apple balsamic salad
1/4 large English cucumber, peeled and cubed
8 grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 sweet apple, peeled and diced
10 baby carrots, chopped
1/2 Haas avocado, peeled and diced
1-2Tbsp walnut oil (walnut oil is kind of expensive, but it lasts for a long time in the fridge)
1-2Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt to taste

Mix together all fruits and vegetables together in a large bowl. Drizzle oil and vinegar on top and mix well. Add salt to taste and mix again. I love this salad!

1 comment:

Mary said...

Homemade soup is the best! If little kids don't like veggies, you can puree the soup and they'll usually eat them that way!