Thursday, July 3, 2014

Chicken Breasts and the Weekly Specials with Mary Anne

Before I get to the sales at the stores, a quick reminder for those of you who use food stamps. Don't forget that you can exchange up to $18.00 of food stamps each week for up to $36 of Market Bucks to use for fruit, vegetables, meat, etc. at the Farmers Market. You're getting the Market goods at half price. A wonderful deal!

Aldi has lots of fresh fruit on sale again this week. Strawberries are $1.49 a pound and blueberries are 99 cents a pint. Mangos are 39 cents each and seedless watermelons are $2.99 each. Cherries are new this week at $1.99 per pound. Five-pound chubs of regular (73% lean) hamburger are $10.99, or $2.20 per pound. Feta crumbles are $1.99 for 4 ounces. Kalamata olives are $2.79 for 6 ounces. “New low prices” include canola oil for $2.49 for 48 ounces, vegetable oil for $2.29 and corn oil for $2.59, both also 48 ounces. Steak sauce is 95 cents for 10 ounces. Heavy whipping cream is $1.79 per pint. Nonfat yogurt is $1.69 for 32 ounces, or one quart. Canned salmon is $2.39 for 14.75 ounces. Salad dressings are $1.29 for 16 ounces. Ketchup is $1.29 for 38 ounces. Prices are good through Tuesday, July 8.

Marsh has Oscar Meyer franks at buy one get one free, but don’t know how much that first one costs. Seedless watermelons (average 10 – 12 pounds) are $2.98 each. Prices are good through Wednesday, July 9.

IGA has boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken tenders for $1.69 a pound, which is the lowest I can remember seeing in a long time. Corn on the cob is 5 ears for $1.00. BBQ sauces are 99 cents for 18 ounces. Frozen veggies are 10 for $10.00 or $1.00 each, for 12 – 16 ounce bags. That’s a good price for 16 ounce and ok for 12 ounce. Kraft cheeses are $5.00 for 3 packs, or $1.67 each, which is good for the 8 ounce packs and not so good for the 5 ounce packs. Tomatoes on the vine are $1.47 per pound. Prices are good through Sunday, July 6.

Kroger has 8 packs of hamburger and hotdog buns for $1.00. Cheeses are $2.99 for 12 to 16 ounces, which is good at 16 ounces and ok at 12 ounces. Sour cream and dip are $1.00 pint (16 ounces). Ice cream is $1.98 for 48 ounces (a quart and a half) but that may just be through Sunday. The ad wasn’t clear about that. Regular (73% lean) ground beef in packages of three or more pounds is $1.99 per pound. Again, that may be just through Sunday. Eckrich hot dogs are 89 cents a pound. Ground turkey is $2.50 a pound. Oscar Meyer franks are $1.50 per pound. Green beans are 99 cents a pound. Cherries are $1.88 per pound. Red, orange or yellow bell peppers are 99 cents a pound. I’m guessing that’s somewhere around 50 cents each, but it depends of course on the size. Prices are good through Wednesday, July 9.

Rats! Kroger did it again. I try to get as much as possible done on Wednesday (especially when the Hub is closed on Friday), but that means that I have to select my meat before seeing the Kroger ad. I probably would have gone with their ground beef for $1.99 a pound if I’d known they had it for sale. Oh well. I just talked about ground beef a couple of weeks ago, and anyway, you can still get it at that price and have it for hamburgers on the Fourth. Buy some extra at that price, too, if you possibly can, so you can eat it later in the month and get some variety then. Ground beef recipes are under the Meat heading of the Other Recipes page.

So, since I didn’t know about the ground beef, it’s chicken breasts this week. Which is fine since I found a whole bunch of new chicken recipes recently. Don’t forget the links to chicken recipes on the special Fourth of July post, too, and the complete list of chicken recipes under Other Recipes.

Speaking of the special Fourth of July post, be sure to check it out if you haven’t already done so. It’s got links to all of the picnic-type food that’s been posted on the new blog so far.

bánh mi is a traditional Vietnamese sandwich which includes meats and vegetables. (Here’s a site with a bit of info about the bánh mi.) Since I’m not doing bread, I’ve changed it to a GRILLED CHICKEN BANH MI SALAD by serving it on a bed of lettuce instead of between two slices of bread. I’m using grilled chicken breast, since chicken breast is the featured meat this week, but other meats can be used instead. And if you don’t have a grill, go ahead and season the chicken and then cook it in a skillet instead. It comes to right about $6.00 for four big servings of salad, though I had to estimate on some of the ingredients. I tried to err on the side of higher costs. Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave room in the budget for anything else. If you can squeeze it in, some fresh fruit would go well with this. A two cup serving of watermelon would run about 20 cents. Or serve WATERMELON ICE POPS for dessert for less than 10 cents per serving.

A traditional ingredient in bánh mi is do chua, or pickled daikon radish and carrots. I haven’t included it in this recipe because the recipe I’m copying from doesn’t use it. Here’s a link for a recipe for do chua  in case you want to try it for yourself. Daikon is available at the farmers market, though I’m not sure if this is the right season for it.

Summer, tomatoes, basil and grilled chicken all seem to go together, don’t they? BASIL AND TOMATO STUFFED CHICKEN is another take on that combination. This makes four servings at a cost of about $4.70. Add some GARLIC CORN ON THE COB and MINT WATERMELON SALAD for a summery dinner at a tad under $6.00.

Seems like there have been a lot of recipes lately that call for cooking on a grill, and not everyone has one or knows how to use it. So this final recipe is cooked on the stove top instead. CHICKEN LAZONE has a rich buttery cream sauce that would be good over rice or noodles or something starchy like that. Instead, buy a big zucchini at the Farmers Market and grate it coarsely. You want pretty big pieces – bigger than grains of cooked rice – but not too big. Maybe about the size of a piece of macaroni cut in half lengthwise? Put the grated zucchini in a bowl, cover it, and nuke it for a couple of minutes. It should still have some bite to it. Serve that alongside the chicken to sop up the sauce and, if there isn’t enough sauce, add some butter. Add some color to the plate with some sliced tomatoes.

The CHICKEN LAZONE will cost about $3.40. You should be able to get an overgrown zucchini at the Farmers Market for $1.00. A pound of tomatoes on the vine is $1.49, which brings the total to $5.90. By the way, when I say an overgrown zucchini, I mean it. Not baseball bat size, but bigger than normal. They aren’t much good for slicing that way because the seeds are too big, but grated or julienned (cut into matchsticks) they’re fine. And the farmers are usually glad to get rid of them and price them cheap.

50 Cent Budget Breakfasts

This week’s STRAWBERRY & BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE DELUXE uses plain milk instead of yogurt. You could use yogurt if you wanted to but you might need to add a bit more sugar. For a special summer treat pour the smoothie into popsicle molds (or small paper cups), stick in popsicle sticks, and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours. Send the kids outside to eat them! This makes two smoothies of not quite 2 cups each, for a total cost of $1.00, or 50 cents each.


Mary Anne

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