Monday, September 15, 2014

Real Men Do Eat Quiche! and the Weekly Specials with Mary Anne

Aldi has grape tomatoes for 99 cents a pint and cauliflower for $1.29 a head. Don’t know how big the heads are. Red and green grapes are $1.78 for two pounds, or 89 cents a pound. 85% lean beef burgers are $8.99 for three pounds, or $3.00 a pound.

Marsh has ground chuck for $2.99 a pound in the family pack and bacon for $2.99 a pound. There’s a limit of two pounds of bacon, which isn’t surprising since that’s a great price.

Kroger has eggs for $1.25 a dozen (four dozen for $5.00). Cheese is three packages for $10.00, or $3.33 per package. The packages range from twelve to sixteen ounces. That’s $4.44 a pound for the twelve ounce packages or $3.33 for the sixteen ounce. It’s an ok price for the twelve ounce and a good price for the sixteen ounce. Broccoli crowns, Bartlett pears, romaine, red and green leaf lettuce, and tomatoes on the vine are all 99 cents a pound.

I wasn’t really checking prices at the Farmers Market on Saturday, but here are a few of the prices that I noticed. Some vendors had tomatoes for $1.00 a pound, and they went up from there. Zucchini were 75 cents each (I got a great big one at that price). Seedless cukes were 40 cents each. Eggplant was $1.00 each. Huge heads of cabbage were $3.00 each.

Don’t forget that you can exchange your food stamps for Market Bucks, which basically means you can buy produce, dairy, eggs and meat for half price.

Bacon and eggs are both on sale this week. Let’s work with that.

The problem with bacon is that it cooks down so much. It never really seems like a protein source; it’s not satisfying like meat usually is. It’s more of a flavoring. It does have a lot of flavor, though. You can take advantage of that by using all of the bacon. Save the bacon grease and use it later to fry or scramble eggs, use it to cook the onion and pepper for a Denver omelet, or use it pretty much any time you need oil to cook something. It adds a great flavor.

BLTs are great summertime food, when the tomatoes are garden fresh. When you don’t eat bread, you make BLTS’s instead. That’s Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Salads. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Just bacon, lettuce and tomato with a mayo dressing. And very good. A pound of bacon, a head of lettuce, a pound and a half of tomatoes, and a cup of mayo will run $6.03. You shouldn’t need anywhere near a cup of mayo, though, so it should stay under $6.00 for four big main dish salads. You can get other salad dressings for about the same price.

I like breakfast food any time of the day. Not cold cereal, but real food. Omelets or quiche or scrambled eggs. Things like that. I make a lot of quiche because it’s good, it’s easy, and it’s cheap. Well, the basic quiche is, though it can get pricey depending on what you put in it. My BASIC QUICHE recipe calls for six eggs, half a pound of cheese, and two cups of cream or milk. Using half and half, it comes to $3.35 and makes anywhere from four to eight servings. Let’s call it four. You could stop with this basic quiche (a blob of mustard is good in it and practically free) or you can start adding extras. A pound of broccoli would bring it to $4.35, leaving plenty of room for a lettuce and tomato salad while staying under $6.00. Or make six servings at 75 cents per serving ($2.90 for four servings) and add some grapes, too.

One of my favorite main dish salads is a big CABBAGE SALAD. I’ve talked about them before, and probably every time I do I give a different recipe. That’s because it’s so versatile. The base is cabbage and onion in a mayo dressing, but then I add eggs and/or cheese and/or meat of some kind (bacon, smoked sausage, ham, etc.) and/or sunflower seeds. Half of one of the huge heads of Farmers Market cabbage is plenty for four big servings. Add a third of a pound of bacon, half a pound of cheese, and six hard-boiled eggs and you’ve got a wonderful supper for four for under six dollars. Worried about all the cholesterol in that salad? One of the great things about eating low carb like I do is that you don’t have to worry about cholesterol. (There’s a lot of research that says that cholesterol is not an issue for most people who eat a low carb diet. If you are concerned about it, you should of course talk to your own health care provider.)

For more recipes using eggs in a starring role, check out the after Easter blog post and the EGGS category under the Cook tab.

Eggs keep in the fridge for a long time. I’ve kept them up to three months and they were still fine. Use your own judgment, but remember that the date stamped doesn’t mean that you need to use them by that date or toss them.

Eat well!

Mary Anne

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