Budgetary constraints mean we are eating in more. A lot more. Like never eat out unless we are traveling, have a gift card or there just isn't any way carry out will do in a pinch. However, that doesn't mean we're eating lower quality food because, I hate to say it, I'm sort of a food snob.
That doesn't mean I only eat lobster and truffles with a side of caviar or anything. Actually, I prefer hearty, home cooked comfort foods over fancy dining any day. Beside, my boys would totally freak out and threaten to strike if fish eggs were on the menu... For that matter, me too.
What I mean is that I prefer my local raw organic cheese, which isn't cheap. I love my fair trade, freshly roasted organic coffee from my food club, but it's certainly more expensive than Folgers. I can't live with the mental anguish that comes with buying meats from factory farms. So, by cutting out the eating out we can still afford these little necessities / luxuries.
Still, I'm back to a full time working mom status and that means that I don't have as much time to prepare all these home cooked, comfort food meals. That said, I've started a new tradition in the Eco Burban household... Sunday cram-session cooking. Cram in as many meals (using similar ingredients) and prep them, or fully cook them so they can be quickly reheated and do it all in one afternoon. This way I can stretch my food dollar and my precious time with my kids.
Today I whipped around my kitchen like one of those crabby celebrity chefs, muttered swear words and all, and managed to bang out the following meals in under three hours:
One humanely and locally raised chicken in the slow cooker gave me:
1 cheesy chicken noodle casserole
1 extra large pot adobo chile, chicken, bean & corn tortilla soup
7 cups of chicken stock reserved in the freezer for another meal
I also prepped a 2.5 lb. tangy BBQ turkey meatloaf and cream cheese smashed potatoes
18 freshly baked chocolate cupcakes perfect for hungry boy's lunchboxes (organic and local mix courtesy of our local mill)
These three meals will provide not only meals possibly not one, but two nights these week. They will also provide leftover lunches for me to take to the office all week.
That is, of course. depending on hungry boys... Last week in a single sitting we put down 2.5 pounds of chicken, 2 pounds of potatoes and 12 bread sticks.
In. One. Meal. Scary, ain't it? Now you know why I have to stretch my food dollar!
2 weeks ago