Friday, October 4, 2013

Still Going Strong at the Farmers Market, and Weekly Specials with Mary Anne

Happy October! Are you ready for Halloween yet? I hope not – it’s much too early, though it seems like the stores have been selling Halloween stuff for ages.

The best deal this week seems to be milk. Aldi has it for $1.69 a gallon, Kroger for 88 cents for a half gallon, which comes out to $1.76 per gallon, but is a better deal if you wouldn’t use a whole gallon before it goes bad. Marsh has Egg-Land’s Best Eggs two dozen for $4.00, which is a good price on that brand. When I was at Aldi on Wednesday, they had regular eggs for $1.29 a dozen. Kroger’s ad says that they have 5.3 ounce Greek yogurt for 29 cents each, if you buy four of them. Butter at Kroger is $1.88 a pound, cottage cheese and sour cream are $1.00 a pound (or pint or 16 ounce), and various kinds of cheese are $1.88 for 6 – 8 ounces. It’s a good price for 8 ounces, not so good for 6 ounces. Kroger also has fresh green beans for 99 cents a pound.

Pumpkins are on sale, too, and they’ll keep until Halloween. Until Thanksgiving and probably until Christmas if you don’t carve them. Marsh has pie pumpkins for $1.99. Aldi has regular pumpkins for $1.99 (I have no idea how big they are). And the Kroger store at the corner of Second and College has pumpkins for 99 cents each through Saturday. It’s part of their Grand Re-Opening sale, and it seems to be only at that store.

Not much on sale in the way of meat. Kroger has 73% lean ground beef for $1.97 a pound in three pound chubs, which cost $5.91 each, and pork chops and spareribs for $1.97 in the large value packs. Marsh has boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.97 a pound in the family size packs.

I’m going to give some more recipes for summer veggies this week. (And by the way, I’ll be serving samples of Moussaka, a Greek dish eggplant casserole) on Friday at the Hub, starting about 4:00 or so. I hope you’ll stop by my tasting table!) Summer veggies won’t last much longer at the Farmers Market. Eggplant was running $1.00 each last Saturday, or sometimes 75 cents each for small ones. I usually get the big ones. The seeds don’t bother me in casseroles. I’m told that the big ones don’t work as well, though, if you’re going to slice the eggplant, like you would for Eggplant Parmesan. Really big zucchini were also $1.00 each, and I could still get the big red bell pepper seconds for 50 cents each. Canning tomatoes were a bit more than they were last week, but still a good price. Check last week’s for more recipes using eggplant and zucchini.

I have tried eggplant over the years, and could never find a recipe that I liked. I kept trying, though, because so many people said it was good. Finally, when I was testing recipes for a cookbook by Judy Barnes Baker, I found a really good recipe. And since then, I’ve found more recipes that I like. Here’s that first “good” recipe, for MOUSSAKA. Moussaka is a traditional Greek casserole made with layers of eggplant and sauce, with a custard over the top. Kind of like lasagna, except it’s Greek instead of Italian, has slices of eggplant instead of noodles, has lots less cheese, and is topped with custard. It's more work than I really want to do most days, what with the slicing and salting and draining and frying of the eggplant and then making multiple alternating layers of the eggplant and the meat sauce. I came up with a SIMPLIFIED MOUSSAKA that has the same great taste but is lots easier and takes lots less time in the kitchen.

A batch of either version of Moussaka should cost about $6.00, and will make six generous servings, at about $1.00 each. Serve it with a salad and or some fresh veggies from the Farmers Market, and you’ve got a complete meal for less than $1.50 per serving.

I think that SAUSAGE SQUASH CASSEROLE is my favorite zucchini recipe. It’s not for calorie counters, but it’s good and it’s inexpensive. And it freezes well, which is important since I like to make lots of squash and eggplant casseroles in the summer and then freeze them. Assuming the sausage is $3.00 and the zucchini is $1.00, this recipe costs about $6.05 and makes six servings at just over $1.00 each. (Aldi’s regular price on mayo is $1.99 for 30 ounces, and their regular price on Cheddar is $1.79 for 8 ounces if you shred your own.) There’s not much texture to it, so you’ll want to add either a salad or some tender-crisp vegetables to it. Another complete meal for under $1.50 per serving.

Do you like Sausage and Peppers? I usually don’t, because the peppers are always way overcooked, at least for my taste. I prefer them tender-crisp, like in a stir-fry. So here are two recipes - ITALIAN SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS for the traditionalists among you who like your peppers really soft, and STIR-FRIED ITALIAN SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS for those like me who like their veggies to still have a bit of bite to them.Take your pick. A lot of people must like the overcooked peppers, because that’s the way most recipes say to cook them! A recipe of either one would cost about $4.50, assuming $3.00 for the Italian sausage. It makes 4 servings, so each serving would be about $1.15. A good sized spaghetti squash is $2.00 at the Farmers Market now and would serve four generously, at 50 cents per serving. The Italian Sausage and Peppers over spaghetti squash would be about $1.65 per serving.

A similar dish from a different part of the world is Fajitas. Since I don’t eat grains, I serve the fajita meat and veggies on a bed of lettuce for FAJITA SALADS, instead of serving it in tortillas. You can add whatever toppings you want. I’ve included the cost for sour cream, shredded cheddar and salsa, but you could also add jalapenos, olives, guacamole, etc. If you’re not going to eat all six servings immediately, put aside the extra meat and veggie mixture before you put it on the lettuce or add the toppings. Then, when you’re ready to eat it, just heat up the meat and veggies, and continue with making the salads. Without the sour cream, etc., this costs about $8.00 for six servings, assuming boneless skinless chicken breasts are $2.00 a pound and allowing $1.00 for all of the seasonings, which is likely quite a bit more than it really is. You could use fajita seasoning instead of all of the individual seasonings, or use taco seasoning instead. Let’s say $1.35 per serving. Two tablespoons each of shredded Cheddar and sour cream would be another 15 cents. Aldi has jars of salsa for (I think – I haven’t checked recently) about $1.20 each, so say another 15 cents for salsa. That would bring the total up to about $1.65 per serving. And these would be BIG servings! 

No comments:

Post a Comment