Leave that restaurant table empty! You’ve got a date with some fruits and veggies.
I feel the need to establish a little credibility, first. I’m not one of those win-the-lottery type individuals paid for blogging and cooking. I work forty hours a week and have a kid and a house to keep up with, so I wouldn’t say I have an abundance of spare time. I’m also a fairly lazy person and much prefer reading to doing things around the house.
So…now that you know that, you can believe me when I say that, if I can do 7 home-cooked meals a week, you definitely can, too. It really takes no special skills, just a little planning (which, by the way, I hate, but I’ve found to be necessary…I’ve mentioned that Keith’s in grad school, right? A tight budget is a reality, so I’ve learned to be a planner).
The beauty is that once I do the planning and shopping, I’m done. No special, last-minute trips to the store to get that one thing I don’t have to make the meal I just decided to make. No standing in front of the refrigerator wondering what to make with the hamburger buns and two eggs inside (not that that’s ever happened to me). I hate the planning process, but it’s kind of a pay-it-forward deal for a week with low stress. So…on to the plan for the rest of the week.
And no, there’s nothing gourmet on here. I aim for fast but healthy on weeknights, and I always make enough for leftover lunches the next day. Here’s the menu, and if you scroll down, there are pictures of tonight’s meal (since it becomes tomorrow’s lunch):
Tonight’s meal: Vegetarian Korma with Rice (we aren’t really vegetarians, but we try to only eat meat about once a week…for health, financial, and environmental reasons).
1 c. Jasmine rice in 1 & 1/2 c. water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 sweet potatoes, peeled
1 jar Korma or Tikka Masala sauce
1/3 package of frozen peas or peas & carrot mix
a dash of extra yellow curry powder
pepper to taste
2. Add chopped sweet potatoes and sautee for a few more minutes
1. Sautee onions in olive oil until translucent.
3. Add jar of korma or tikka masala + a half jar of water for a little extra moisture (I like the Seeds of Change brand because it’s as good as anything I can make at home, much faster to prepare than from scratch, and has no high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated yuckiness in it).
4. While the sauce and veggies simmer, start a pot of rice (Jasmine rice cooks fast, so you don’t want to do this too early). For extra nutrients, use brown rice, but I’d start it before you start any veggies because it takes longer to cook. Combine the rice and water in a pan, bring to a boil, and then turn down to simmer. Let set ~15 min. for Jasmine rice, more like a half hour or 45 min. for brown.
5. Add in as many frozen peas and carrots as you like. I used about 1/3 a package. Allow all to simmer until sweet potatoes are soft and peas are warm.
6. Tear up and add in fresh spinach (I always keep a bag of spinach on hand–makes any dish healthier!)
7. Cover the pan, let the spinach wilt just a little, and then serve over rice.
30-45 minutes (depending on how fast you chop–I’m notoriously slow at it).
Total cost: $1.79 per meal!
$7.15 total divided by 4 meals–two adult dinners + 2 lunches…and a toddler-sized dinner, too)
1/2 onion: 50 cents
2 sweet potatoes: 66 cents
1 jar Korma: $3.99
1/2 bag rice: $1.50
1/3 bag peas & carrots: 33 cents
1/12 bag spinach: 17 cents