Friday, March 16, 2007

Iron Chef Mom Challenge: Day Five

Thanks for stopping by the last day of our Iron Chef Mom Challenge!

Amy and I have been cooking up a storm this week, and I, for one, learned just how lazy I've become in the kitchen. Loss leaders and a menu plan surprised my family with tasty, homestyle meals on a tiny budget.

As with yesterday's pepper-smothered steak and asparagus soup, tonight's menu uses what's left from my shopping trips:
  • half bags of spinach and cauliflower
  • diced tomatoes
  • tomato sauce
  • mushrooms.

My family observes a Lenten fast on Fridays. I found this retro dish from Nashville Seasons Cook Book for meatless inspiration:

Kroger included 16-oz. tubs of cottage cheese in its 10/$10 sale. I substituted diced frozen cauliflower for the zucchini--and omitted the ham, oil, butter, and mozzarella.

Then I made a quick tomato-dill soup. The Tightwad Gazette recommends 1 six ounce can of tomato paste to four cans full of milk, but I whisked the leftover sauce and diced tomatoes with a cup of milk, 1 tsp. celery seed, and 1 Tbsp. dill.

I find that a soup course really extends a meatless meal, not to mention adding a pretty red color!Cost breakdown:

  • 16 oz cottage cheese, $1
  • 3 eggs, .30
  • less than half a bag frozen spinach, .50
  • less than half a bag frozen cauliflower, .50
  • remaining mushrooms, .50
  • 1 cup milk, .15
  • 8 oz remaining of tomato sauce, .50
  • 2/3 can of diced tomatoes in juice, .30

Total cost: $3.65, or 91 cents per person.
(Though the recipe states that it serves 8, I'm including the whole pie as 4 servings.)

I see that the Aldi Queen made a hearty meal of mini meatloaves, broccoli and mashed potatoes tonight. Let me do the math and see who came out ahead as we wrap up our challenge...

Click here to see ALL the posts in the Iron Chef, Aldi vs. Sale Challenge!


Anonymous said...

I would say you were both winners! Thanks for the great examples of buying and cooking frugally. :-)


3boysmama said...

Did you make a crust for the pie, or is it crustless??

I've really enjoyed this week's recipes. I don't think I could ever pay that little for groceries, our's are just so much more expensive here for some reason. But you've inspired me to try harder!

Mama Squirrel said...

Meredith, you floor me sometimes. The Aldi Queen may have won the contest, but you've inspired me no end this week as well. Thanks!