Thursday, March 8, 2012

Crispy Light #lowcarb TOAST!

There are lots of toasted bun recipes out there, and I'm sure they're all good, and mine is probably no better. But this was so good that I have to write it down so I don't forget how I did it, and what better place than here?

I don't pay much attention when I make the microwave bread anymore, I just toss in a little of this and a little of that and it usually turns out fine for a sandwich, and I have never toasted it.

This morning I wanted fried eggs on toast, so I greased a dish, blended an egg, added about 1/4t of baking powder, 1/4c of Carbquik, about a heaping Tbsp of golden flax meal, and a few drops of white vinegar. Mixed, it became a paste, so I drizzled in some half'n'half until it was the right consistency (like a cake batter maybe? thinner than peanut butter). I would have used heavy cream but I don't buy that too often anymore because it is so expensive.

Once I whisked everything together I put it in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.

(Note: I've started adding at least a little Carbquik to my microwave breads, just because I like the texture and taste of the end result. But certainly I've made it plenty of times without, and it's ok too. Just like it a little better with Carbquik - either a little, or a lot.)

When it was done I cut the "bread" in half and popped it in the toaster. Now maybe all of these other microwave breads would have been just as good, but I gotta say that the outside toasted crispy and almost like what I'd imagine panko crumbs would be like, before they were crumbed. And the inside was tender, almost fluffy. I've never had toast like this before!

I've been wanting more of this ever since this morning, but I try to eat the grain-based stuff twice a week or less. I may hold out until tomorrow...but in the morning, all bets are off, and I KNOW I'll be having more for breakfast!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WOOHOO! The Cupboards are full! #lowcarb shopping

Things were getting a little bare in my freezer, so I finally had to put everything else aside, bite the bullet, and go shopping! This first week in March I seriously needed to do some stocking up of just about everything (and still need to place a couple of online orders!), so it will be a big month for our food bill. It isn't often that I need to stock up on everything in the same month - thank God!

I started out at Steve's Country Market in Harrison, MI - LOVE that store! - where I spent $82.02 on over 33# of meat: chicken leg quarters were 79c/lb, pork chops (good fatty ones!) were $1.89/lb, bacon (ends and pieces, with LOTS of good big chunks!) was $2.19/lb, both tilapia and catfish were $1.99/lb, and the chuck roast was $3.19/lb! Overall, I paid less than $2.50/lb for my meats...and it's all (except the fish) FRESH and better than anything I can find in a local grocery store!

Then we went over to Cadillac where we enjoyed lunch at our favorite restaurant, and went to Meijer and GFS.

(2) rutabagas $1.73 ($0.79/lb)
6.62# squash $6.66 (lots of zucchini/yellow squash, 1 butternut @ $0.99/lb)
(1) daikon $3.18 ($1.39/lb)
(2) bundles of fresh asparagus $2.27 ($0.99/lb)
TOTAL - $13.73

3# pollock "fish sticks" (for grandson) $6.99
(3) 2# frozen cauliflower $8.97
(2) 2.5# bags whole green beans $5.98
(1) 5# bag peanuts in the shell $8.99
(1) 2# frozen broccoli florets $3.79
(1) 2# frozen chopped spinach $2.99
TOTAL - $37.71

Then yesterday we had to go to Saginaw for an appointment, so we stopped at Aldi's for another big "stocking up" trip:
(2) 24 oz cottage cheese @ $2.29 ea
(2) 11.3 oz decaf coffee @ $2.79 ea
(1) 33.9 oz regular coffee $5.49
(4) 1# butter quarters @ $2.29 ea
(1) big can crushed tomatoes $0.99*
(5) cans diced tomatoes @ $0.59 ea*
(3) cans beans @ $0.55 ea*
(1) 16 oz processed american cheese slices $0.99
(1) 16 oz swiss cheese slices $1.79
1.87 lb ground beef $6.13*
(6) small cans mushrooms @ $0.59 ea
(2) 8 oz cream cheese @ $1.19 ea
(3) 15 oz sour cream @ $1.29 ea
(6) quarts half'n'half @ $1.79 ea
(1) 8 oz. can parm cheese $2.39
(4) bags pork rinds @ $0.89 ea
(1) jar mayo @ 2.19
(1) 100 ct sweet'n'low (their own brand) $1.19
(2) big bars dark chocolate @ $1.49 ea.
*I'll be making a big potful of chili for hubby and grandson (I don't care for it.)
TOTAL $72.15

So, the first week of March I've spent $205.61. By the time I place my online order for baking supplies I will probably be at, or above, the $300 mark, and will also need odds and ends between now and the end of March.

IMPORTANT POINT: Comparing last month's many mini-trips and how much they cost with this month's planned shopping, I've already gotten a LOT more food even though I've spent less so far.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My #Lowcarb "Dish to Pass" for Potluck at Church

I was rather at a loss what to make for today's potluck. Last week I had just bought a bag of potatoes, and since I'm the only low carber there I decided I'd just make seasoned potato wedges. They were great (I used the whole bag, and they were gone!), but nobody really brought a meat dish (which I usually bring, or a casserole containing meat) I will make sure to take one from now on.

Anyway, here's what I came up with, and it was really really good!

I sliced several yellow squash and several zucchinis on a bias so I got big slices, and also rough-chopped 3 onions, then I tossed them all with olive oil and sea salt and roasted them at 425 for about 25 minutes, tossing once.

Meanwhile I browned and crumbled about 2# of ground beef and ground turkey together.

In a bowl I mixed together 2 cans of drained diced tomatoes and a 15 oz. container of whole milk ricotta.

When the vegetables and meat were done I let them cool a bit, then tossed them with the tomatoes and cheese, and topped it all with some lowcarb bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. At the church the "food ladies" :) put it uncovered into the oven to heat, and brown the top.

I had 2 huge helpings (and a single spoonful of potato salad, and a slice of salisbury steak, and a small piece of pumpkin custard) and it was really really good! Got a lot of compliments on the dish too, it made a 9x13x2 pan full to the top!

I used about $3 of meat, $2.25 of squash, $1.18 of tomatoes, $1.59 of ricotta, and less than $1 of onions (got some out of the bargain basket yesterday). I'd say there were about 10 good helpings, for about $0.85 per helping. (Veggies, meat, and dairy all included!)

DEFINITELY something I will make again :).

Final February Food Costs #lowcarb

We ended up with more stuff from Sav-a-Lot on the 26th, then we went to Merchandise Mart where I found quite a low carb items including various crunchy snacks, crackers, and SF fruit juice. Great bargains included Dreamfield's spaghetti for $1.29 (I bought 5) and Miracle Noodles for $0.79 (I bought 2)! The total for these items was $20.46.

The total from Sav-a-Lot was $35.30 and included
(4) quarts Half'n'Half @ $1.99 ea
(6) individual pizzas @ $6.34 total (they were different brands)
(1) 12oz bottle of SF maple syrup @ $1.29
(1) head of cabbage @ $0.39/lb
(1) 24 pack of water @ $2.99 (our drinking water is awful here!)
(1) 12-pack diet cola @ $2.69 (for my mom when she's here) + $1.20 deposit
(1) 24 oz shredded mozzarella cheese @ $5.79
(1) 24 oz shredded cheddar cheese @ $5.79

So my grand total for February was $263.00.

March, I believe, will be a little higher, since I'm going to try to put in a order for my baking supplies. I only do this 2-3 times a year, and it usually adds about $100 to the budget for that month.

So far this year I'm averaging under $60/week for groceries including snacks, or about $8.50/day! This makes me happy!