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Friday, November 09, 2012

You may have noticed, hidden in among the Christmas stuff that's been in the stores since before Halloween, some hints that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Two weeks from yesterday, to be precise. What are your plans for Thanksgiving this year? Will you be going low carb or traditional high carb? Budget or traditional excessive and expensive?

I will be having Thanksgiving dinner at my house. So far, I know it will be me, two students from China, and the mother of one of the students who happens to be here visiting. I hope that I'll have a bunch more students. I told them at the organization that matched me with my students that I'd have room for at least 4 more.

I have done low carb Thanksgivings the past few years, but I've never really thought about making it budget, too. While budget is not going to be the first thing I'll be looking at, I thought I'd play around with some ideas for reducing the cost while not reducing the flavor or the traditionalness of it. (One advantage to having foreign guests is that they have limited expectations about what it's supposed to be like!)

So, do you have any suggestions or plans or recipes or tips to reduce the cost of Thanksgiving dinner? Other than managing to get yourself invited to someone else's house, that is!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KICK-SS 11/9/2012 5:14PM

    I'm hoping not to do anything for Thanksgiving - maybe going out to dinner somewhere... But no plans have been made. I do know I'm NOT cooking!! The one place I know I'll be invited is not where I want to go...

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DIET_FRIEND 11/9/2012 2:44PM

    Cook as much from scratch and keep it simple. Consider not adhering to traditional Thanksgiving foods. Look in your pantry and freezer to see what you have on hand already and think about ways to use it versus going out to buy everything. Try not to cook enough to have excessive left-overs that may not get eaten. Throwing food away is expensive! I would like your challenge! It would be fun to host foreign guests for such an American occasion as Thanksgiving Dinner! Have fun!

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Thursday, Day 24

Friday, November 09, 2012

B - eggs scrambled with mushrooms, tomatoes and onion in lard and chicken fat
L - Peanut Butter Chicken Veggie Soup
Snack - tea with splenda and cream
S - Tuna Casserole III (from Linda's website - basically a tuna/rice casserole with caulirice), butter broccoli and carrots

Estimated cost of food eaten Thursday - $3.89

Kadysmom, thanks for reminding me about recipes! As I said, I have thousands of recipes. Tens of thousands of recipes. But for some reason I wasn't using them. It even took me a few days after reading and responding to your comment to realize that I wasn't using them. So I made the tuna casserole last night, and plan to make a spaghetti squash and chicken casserole for supper tonight, and a quiche for lunch tomorrow and a few days beyond that. I have plenty of food - including meat - to get me through the end of the "month" (which ends next Thursday) with lots of variety. Thanks again!


Cheap Triumverate

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Cabbage, carrots and onions are available year round, are usually pretty cheap, keep very well, are extremely versatile, are pretty nutritious and fairly low carb. And, depending of course on how they're cooked, taste pretty good, too.

A cup of shredded cabbage, half a cup of shredded carrots, and a fourth of a cup of chopped onion costs about 35 cents around here, at regular (not sale) prices. It has 55 calories, 13 total carbs with 4 grams of fiber for 9 net carbs, no fat, and just 2 grams of protein. It has more than a day's worth of Vitamin A, about half a day's Vitamin C, a good chunk of the day's potassium, and smaller amounts of other stuff.

What to do with them?

Coleslaw, of course. It can be as simple as adding some mayo (full fat of course!), or you can jazz it up with celery seeds and other seasonings. I like to make a full meal out of coleslaw by adding some cheese and/or hard-boiled egg and/or ham or hotdog or sausage, plus some splenda and lemon juice. A cup of cabbage, a fourth of a cup of onion, 2 T mayo, part of a packet of splenda, some lemon juice, 2 oz diced cheddar (I like the chunks so grating it doesn't work for me), and 2 hardboiled eggs makes a very filling meal for about a dollar. It has 699 calories, 15 total carbs with 4 grams of fiber for a net of 11 carbs, 59 grams of fat, 29 grams of protein, half of the day's calcium, about a quarter of the day's folate, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin D, and more than a third of the day's Riboflavin, plus of course the Vitamin A, Vitamin C and the Potassium. BarS franks are frequently about a dollar a pound, which makes a hot dog about the same price as either an ounce of cheddar or an egg. Delicious.

Soup is another natural. Cabbage, carrots, onion, celery, canned tomatoes, and canned green beans, plus some hamburger and seasonings, makes a very filling, cheap and nutritious soup. Or put the carrots and onion in some chili. They go well in lots of other soups, too.

They're also great in stir-frys (or should it be stir-fries?). Saute some cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic, and whatever other veggies you happen to have on hand that sound good or that need to be used up. Add some meat (leftover is fine) and/or an egg or two. Some soy sauce if you happen to have it, maybe some grated ginger (which is also amazingly cheap when you consider how little of it you use). Or use other seasonings if you don't feel like Chinese. While I'm not one of those who says that you can serve the same thing every day but use different seasonings and you'll never know you're eating the same thing, different seasonings do help mix it up a bit.

So pick up some cabbage, onions and carrots the next time you're at the grocery store, and stock up on extras when they go on sale. With these three on hand (and they keep for months in the fridge), you'll always have something to eat!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KICK-SS 11/8/2012 9:09PM

    Good thoughts! I most always have those things in my refr. I like to stir fry the cabbage and onion (never added carrots) and then add some ham or ground beef or something as well.

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Wednesday, Day 23

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Just 8 more days to go! 7, actually, since today is half over. Not that it will make a lot of difference. As I said before, I eat pretty much the same anyway, except for all the wonderful veggies at the Farmers Market.

Wednesday's food -
B - MIM (flaxmeal, egg, butter, cinnamon, baking powder), coconut milk
L - eggs scrambled with bacon (including most of the fat), tomatoes and onion
S - pork shoulder steak, roasted green beans with bacon grease
T - tea, splenda, cream

Estimated cost of food eaten on Wednesday - $3.38

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NAYPOOIE 11/8/2012 12:45PM

    I've got to remember to try the MIM. Didn't want anything heavy this morning, but couldn't think of anything else.

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Tuesday, Day 22

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

I'm not sure what I had for breakfast on Tuesday, but eggs scrambled in butter seems likely. I finally got around to making a pot of Peanut Butter Chicken Vegetable Soup for lunch. 92 cents for a generous serving of a bit over 2 cups. The recipe is in my recipes at SparkRecipes. I hope you can get to it from my nutrition tracker. It's a modification of a recipe from Jane Brody's cookbook. She was (and maybe still is) a very popular, very well-respected nutritionist from the high carb/low fat school. Some of her recipes can be used pretty much as written, and others can be used with some modifications. I used some of the chicken broth I had going in the crockpot, and some of the chicken I had cooked. The recipe, as posted at SparkRecipes and used for my nutrition tracker, calls for 8 oz of frozen broccoli-cauliflower blend. I used 4 oz each of fresh broccoli and cauliflower because they needed to be used. The peanut butter I got at a health food store from one of those grind-your-own machines. That's the only place I know of to get it around here. Where my mother lives you can get it at Winco and at Fred Myers, but we don't have either store around here.

Tuesday's food -
B - eggs scrambled in butter
L - Peanut Butter Chicken Veggie Soup
S- Skin from a 10 pound bag of chicken leg quarters
Snack - tea with splenda
T - tea with splenda

Estimated cost of food eaten on Tuesday - $2.14

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COOP9002 11/7/2012 2:27PM

    Sounds like a plan. Best of luck in staying on track.

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