Friday, September 11, 2009

Stop and Shop Bargain Meal week of 9/11-9/17

This week at Stop and Shop, broccoli is a great deal at .88/pound. Boneless Center-Cut Pork Chops are 1.99/lb, and Success Rice is 2 for $4 for both white and brown rice. I totally heart Success brown rice- regular brown rice takes 45 minutes to cook, and it is really nice to be able to cook up nice healthy whole grains in a matter of a few minutes. There were $1 off coupons for Success Rice a couple weeks ago, making the rice only $1 a box- there are also printable coupons here.

With these ingredients you could try this recipe for pork-fried rice. I also might make a pork stir-fry. I always have the ingredients on hand to mix up a stir fry. Using a little vinegar is a trick I learned from Erin at $5 dinners... it keeps you from having to use a ton of soy sauce and having really high sodium in your recipe as a result.

Easy Pork Stir Fry

3/4 lb. pork loin, sliced into thin strips
3-4 cups cut-up vegetables of your choice (broccoli, peppers, onions, carrot strips... anything)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp flour
pepper to taste
2 cups cooked brown rice
  1. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the pork until the outsides are no longer pink.
  2. Put the vegetables in with the meat and turn the heat to medium-low. While veggies are cooking, mix up the sauce. Add all liquid ingredients together. Stir in the ginger and then stir in the flour gradually, breaking up any lumps. Pour sauce over the stir-fry and keep stirring.
  3. When pork is cooked through and veggies are tender, remove from heat and add pepper to taste. Serve over rice.

One thing about my cooking is that I never make dinner with measuring cups- I've been mixing up my own tasty stir-fry sauce for eons but I have only a rough idea of how much I use of each ingredient. So please feel free to adjust amounts- if your sauce seems too sweet, add a little more teriyaki; too salty, add more orange juice.

I was very flattered last night at my daughter's open house at school- she had a poster taped to her desk with all of her "favorites." Under "Favorite Smell?" She wrote "My mom's cooking." Which is too funny, because she's a very picky eater! She says she loves the smell, even if she doesn't want to eat what I'm serving. Oh well.

Roast Chicken: Shaw's Bargain Meal, week of 9/11-9/17

I always talk about how bargain shopping makes me try things that are new and different for me. This week is no different... I have made a roast chicken once in my life- when I was in my late teens and making my own little Thanksgiving dinner for two people. It was easy and tasty, but I've never gotten around to doing it again. I've just been a boneless/skinless chicken-breast type person because that's how I was raised. But with Perdue roasting chickens being .88/lb a week at Shaw's, it might be worth giving roast chicken a whirl.

So, what does one do with a roast chicken? Well, basic tips for how to roast a chicken are here. There seems to be some debate back and forth as to whether cooking whole chickens is really more economical than boneless skinless chicken breast (on sale, of course.) I found the discussion here to be interesting. I'm thinking that in general, you probably get more meat for your dollar when you spend $1.59 a pound for chicken breast vs. .88 a pound for a whole chicken, bones and skin and all. However, you can make really good broth with your chicken bones once you've actually cooked and eaten your chicken and saved any leftover scraps of meat. This post at the Simple Dollar sums up what to do with your whole chicken pretty well. And beyond the cost difference, roast chicken is just very tasty. Chicken breast can sometimes be just... blah.

This week at Shaw's, Maine potatoes are 1.98 for a 5 pound bag. You can make a nice, easy meal with roasted chicken and potatoes- try this recipe for ideas. I make roasts all the time on weeknights... I get home around 4, get the roast ready, and it cooks away while I'm getting other stuff done. Of course, they always make a nice Sunday dinner too.