Thursday, March 15, 2007

Iron Chef Moms Challenge: Day Four

Today I need to use the other half pack of lean ground beef. When Harris-Teeter offers an in-store special, I buy as much as I can freeze.

But another night of ground beef?

We had spaghetti last week, and meatloaf was too similar to the cabbage rolls. I spotted this retro recipe in my 1940's Everyday Foods book.

Well, I knew I wouldn't be adding EXTRA fat to this ground beef, no matter how tasty it would be! Instead, I increased the ground beef to almost 3 cups and added a shake of dried parsley, dried minced onions, and a leftover piece of low carb toast.

I shaped each hamburg steak into an oval. Since I didn't have an onion, I topped the whole dish with 1/3 of a bag of frozen onion and pepper slices (from Kroger's 10 for $10 sale). These are a frugal extra I add to eggs, fajitas, and sausage. I'm always trying to squeeze in 5-a-day!

My family loves soup. No recipe here, just a simplified method of making pureed soups. (Here's the full Martha Stewart version.)

I do boil the woody ends in the broth first, because I think they add a "green" note that stretches the asparagus flavor. Just remove them before adding the leftover spears!

Most pureed soups use a potato for thickening; I used a handful of last night's cauliflower. At the end, I add one cup milk for every two cups broth. Save the green tips to float atop each serving.

Above, the dinner before being packed to taketo my husband's office. I used the last half-pound of Florida strawberries to round out the meal. The cost breakdown is as follows:

  • less than a pound of lean ground beef, $1
  • 1 cup milk, .15

  • 1/3 bag mixed peppers and onions, .35

  • 1/2 jar mushrooms, .50

  • 1/2 lb Florida strawberries, .65

  • Spices, asparagus, and broth previously accounted for

Total cost: $2.65, or 66 cents per person.

The hamburger steak received a big thumbs up from my husband! However, my worthy competitor Amy undercut our thrifty meal with her 40-cent breakfast-for-dinner. Drats! Now I'm craving French Toast.

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


Anonymous said...


Just wanted to say that your blog is a great encouragement to me.

Keep up the good work on the meals. The Challenge is certainly challenging me to whittle down our meal costs.


Green Tea & Kimchee said...

I am super-impressed and have been telling a lot of people about this Challenge. Way to go, Meredith & Amy!!!!

Someone Beautiful said...

Meredith, this has been so much fun! I am really enjoying how you use more food groups and including fruits and veggies. That blackened chicken you made the other day looks so good; I am going to try it. I prefer the moist dark meat; so the leg quarters looked just perfect to me!

Do you send lunch with your husband to work? What kind of containers do you use? I make my husband's lunches and want to make it easier for him.

Anonymous said...

I live in Florida and my strawberries cost MORE than yours!
Good posting, good challenge, good results.

Anonymous said...

Great job and a great meal that I am going to try! Thanks, it's always nice to add to my cookbook.

jay n tricia said...

You do such a fantastic job of making well-balanced meals (with LOTS of fruits/veggies) for next to nothing. I am inspired, truly! Thanks for sharing all these great recipes, and how-to's with us. One question (b/c I'm trying to follow diligently!): where did the leftover tomato sauce go? Is it in the hamburger dish?

Anonymous said...

I've really enjoyed this weeks challange. Thanks!!