Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Anakin's Favorite Green Beans & Sausage

Anakin (11) calls it “the best food I’ve ever had.” Tonight he ate a large dinner plate full.

Green Beans and Sausage
Modified from Fix-It and Forget It Cookbook (crockpot recipes)

Here’s my version. It’s been doubled to feed my big family. I use a 6 qt. Crockpot.

2 quarts green beans, cut into 2” pieces (I use frozen, thawed. In the summer I use raw.)
2-3 carrots, chopped
1/2-1 small green or red pepper, chopped (I freeze them in the summer, cut up.)
16 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 t. dried thyme
3/4 t. salt
1 lb turkey kielbasa (a rope sausage, cut into small bites)

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover. Cook on high about 4 hours (without lifting lid!) In the summer I also add zucchini or summer squash.

Serve over noodles. I like to use penne. I make a regular batch and a gluten free batch for 'LilDude.

Tonight, Grandma and Grandpa came for dinner. We had this dish, berries from the freezer and the squash/pineapple recipe I posted earlier. This was my frugal attempt of the day. My husband had made plans for everyone to go out to dinner. I volunteered to cook instead. Here’s the breakdown of the price difference:

Mexican Restaurant (sit down)

5 adults x $9 = $45 (my oldest eats an adult portion)
3 kids x $4 = $12 (two of these kiddos would eat an adult portion normally...but we do well with portion sizes at this restaurant)

Tip = $10

Total = $67 (this is without ordering any drinks…just water)

Ingredients in Tonight’s Meal
2 quarts green beans
2-3 carrots, chopped
1/2-1 small green or red pepper, chopped (I freeze them in the summer, cut up.)
16 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 t. dried thyme
3/4 t. salt
1 lb turkey kielbasa
3 c. (or more) cooked, mashed butternut squash
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 (20-oz or less) can pineapple**
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
1/8 t. ground nutmeg
1/3 c. chopped peanuts

Garden: green beans, peppers, squash (cost of seeds divided between umpteen meals = pennies…I’ll estimate high and say $1.50 to include some energy cost for freezing the beans)
Berries = free from a friend in exchange for green beans from our garden
Grocery: spices, peanuts (from bulk bins), sugar, tomato sauce, carrots = high estimate, $2.50
Kielbasa = $2
Pineapple = 50 cents (used partial can, saving remainder for smoothies)
Noodles = $3.50 (including more $ gluten-free)

Total = $10
(and we have leftovers that will cover husband's lunch well as squash for at least one more side veggie/meal)

Savings = $57 for tonight’s meal--which doesn’t include the gas saved by not having to drive to town or the leftover food

In this case, the $57 can be considered “income” for not working. Had I worked outside of the home today, I would not have had the time or energy to cook even this simple meal. When I work—which I do, very occasionally—I’m wiped out. I admire anyone who can work a full day outside the home and then come home and cook a meal. Not me!


Jennifer S said...

But I go to work, stop by McDonalds on the way home, I come out ahead and I didn't have to plan ahead on all that cooking stuff!!!!

Enjoying your blog!

richmomma said...

LOL. Um, well, my kids watched SuperSize Me! and they won't eat McDonalds anymore. ;)

But it doesn't help in our family anyway...for us it takes a $6 meal/each to feed the 2 adults and 3 biggest kids (and Anakin will still say he's hungry--this was 2 years ago before watching SSMe!)

Thanks for your comment!

jennifer said...

okay. tongue out of 6+ year old has eaten at McDonalds once.....sort of.....because of a birthday party. But we sure do appreciate our green beans from your garden last year.

Kelly Hogaboom said...

My husband just pointed me to your blog and you are right up my alley!

Another 'cost' in eating out (McD's or otherwise) is health. Your meal here looks tasty and lovely!

Thanks for the income props for us stay-at-home ladies.

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