Saturday, March 7, 2009
Today I decided to spend my dollar on tangerines—one for each remaining day of the project. So now I can have a tangerine every day without having to truck over to the Compare. Good news on that.
For Meal One, I had the rest of the Jiffy biscuit mix with scrambled eggs and a tangerine.
And for Meal Two, I managed to again pull off a meal that is a close proximity of an actual recipe.
Thanks go to my friend Elizabeth, who lived in Japan for a number of years, for this suggestion.
When she saw the first week that I had cabbage and could get noodles or pasta pretty easily, she suggested I make yakisoba—Japanese fried noodles.
Took me a while to get back to it, but here it is.
I poached the chicken in salted water and then put the broth in the refrigerator to let the fat solidify, then skimmed that off the top and used it for the stir fry.
Chopped my carrot and some of the cabbage and the little bit of onion I had left, along with some garlic, and also added the remaining jalapeno that was left after Monday’s salsa. Threw that into the wok with the heated fat—garlic and onion first, then carrots, then cabbage, then jalapenos for just a second.
I cooked about six ounces of angel hair pasta, then added that after the vegetables were mostly cooked, then added some of the chicken that I had chopped up, and stir fried everything together. So basically like a lo mein.
[And note that I was going to buy packages of ramen and doctor those up with the fresh vegetables, because I thought it would be good to show how you can make a universal cheap food like ramen better for not that much more, but when I ran the numbers it was cheaper to buy a pound of pasta than to buy ramen. Ramen is pretty consistently 5 for $1, which is $0.20 per package. The packages are 3 ounces, so that’s 6.7 cents per ounce. I can get a pound of pasta for $0.87, so that’s 5.4 cents per ounce. A pound of pasta at the ramen rate would be $1.07 vs. $0.87 for what I got the angel hair pasta for. That’s a pretty significant difference when you’re working with a budget like mine.]
The actual yakisoba recipe has a sauce—usually soy sauce and/or Worcestershire and I’ve also seen recipes that use rice wine or sake in addition to soy and Worcestershire.
My version is just plain, no sauce, but it was still pretty good, and it made a good amount of food. I should get two or three more servings out of what I made today.
Which brings me to my main thought for the evening, which is that if you have only a tiny amount of food, you should make soup, because you would be amazed at how much soup you can get from a very small amount of ingredients (especially if you do the stone soup thing and make everyone else bring the food).
Another good option is to make a casserole—just throw everything together with some rice or pasta and a white sauce and a little cheese and some bread crumbs on top and you’re good to go. (Unfortunately, I can’t demonstrate the beauty of the casserole during this project because I don’t have ingredients to make a white sauce—no butter or milk or flour.)
The next great option is a stir fry—heat some oil and toss a few things in with some rice or noodles and soy sauce (if you’ve got it) and it’s all good.
So that’s what I did tonight.