Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dinner Diva Menu Week of 9/28

Big week! Our neighborhood's frozen meal swap may be appearing on the local news as an example of one way to save money. To that end, I'm including some more money-saving food tips in this week's blog.

Monday: Stir Fried Pork with Broccoli and Cashews, rice

Tuesday: Sloppy Joes, home fries, steamed green beans

Budget tip: use ground turkey, which is cheaper (and leaner) than ground beef. Or, compromise with a half and half mixture of turkey and beef.

Home Fries:

Wednesday: Meal Swap Day, Kary's turn to cook. Leftovers (another budget-saver) are a good alternative. Hint, change it up a little: Bake a few potatoes and stuff them with the leftover joe meat, top with cheddar and bake at 350 5-10 min or until cheese melts.

Thursday: Meal Swap Day, my turn to cook: Stuffed Pork Chops, parmesan noodles, sautee'd yellow squash

Stuffed Pork Chops
4 Pork Loin Chops, 1 1/4" thick
1/2 lb pork sausage (or turkey sausage)
1 C. onion, chopped
1 cup cornbread, crumbled and dried
3/4 C. shredded apple
2 t. fresh thyme, minced, or 1/4 t. dried thyme
1/3 C. apple jelly
1/3 C. apple Juice
1 1/2 T. lemon juice

Cut a slit in each chop with a sharp knife, the length of the fat side almost to the other side, but not all the way through. Refrigerate chops while preparing stuffing. Cook sausage and onion in large skillet until sausage is brown, drain well. Wipe skillet with paper towel. Return to skillet and and stir in cornbread, apple, and thyme. Spoon 2 T. of apple juice over stuffing mixture and toss to combine. Spoon 2 T. stuffing into each pork chop pocket, use toothpicks to secure stuffing in pockets. Set aside remaining stuffing. Place chops on a rack in a roasting pan. In small saucepan combine jelly and lemon juice. Cook over low heat and stir until jelly melts. Brush chops with glaze and bake, uncovered, in a 375 oven for 20 minutes. Brush chops again with glaze, and add the remaining stuffing around the chops. Return to oven for another 20 minutes.

Noodles (use spinach fettucini for the most elegant and colorful meal presentation),1850,154168-236193,00.html

Friday: (budget friendly, vegetarian): French toast, turkey bacon, fresh fruit

Substituting breakfast for dinner 2-4 times per month is a fun way to save money!

Saturday: pizza, carrots

(buying frozen pizza or even take-and-bake pizza is significantly less expensive than delivery)

Sunday: Steak, baked sweet potatoes, steamed mixed vegetables

Budget steak: buy a top sirloin large enough to feed your family. Marinate it in commercially bottled italian dressing for several hours (half a bottle for a 1-2 lb steak, full bottle for a larger steak). Grill to desired doneness, then thinly slice it across the grain. Fan it out on a platter for serving. Elegant, tasty, and not too pricey (for steak that is)!

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