Monday, March 12, 2012

Cooking Ideas

We need to start coming up with more easy meals that are easy, cheap and filling. I've asked people before and get advice about buying a whole chicken because it will make 2 or 3 meals and about making soups. This advice is unfortunately not at all helpful.

My family can decimate a whole chicken in one meal. If someone is slightly less hungry than usual, there might be enough bits left for a bit of a sandwich. This is without any teenage boys or my youngest eating yet. To give a bit of perspective a 4lb store bought lasagna is *just* enough food for us now. If no one is really hungry. When I make stir fry, I use 2 packages of meat, half a huge bag of vegetables & 3 cups of raw rice. We maybe have a bit of rice left.

Soup is an interesting idea, but dh refuses to eat them unless they're practically stew and it's hard to tell from a recipe how thick it will be and if it will be enough for everyone. Plus, I've never made soup in my life and it seems really daunting.

Needless to say, we eat a lot of carbs because they're cheap and our main protein is ground beef.

"Ground beef!" you say, "Why not beans or lentils?"

Well, because dh can't eat high fibre foods. Even the ground beef is a problem sometimes, probably due to the fat, even though I buy the more expensive lean beef and drain off the fat.

As for vegetables, from what I understand if we had a wider range, there's ones we could use as meals. My second son is really picky, though. He won't even eat sweet potato fries. He also hates cooked carrots (but loves them raw). Until now our vegetables have been incredibly basic: peas, carrots, beans (kids hate them), potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce (occasionally)and occasionally things like cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms and whatever else comes in our big bags of frozen veggies for stir fries.

A few months ago I tried making a casserole with butternut squash. I was the only one who liked it. I tried buying an eggplant to make eggplant parmesan, but when I cut it open, it was bad inside. I plan on trying again, though. Crossing my fingers it's actually something the kids would eat. I've also heard that spaghetti squash is good, but I'm not sure I've ever actually seen one, much less have any idea what to do with it. As for any other vegetables, never had them, don't even know if I can get them but if I can, I'd like to try more, especially if they can be made into an easy, filling main dish. Bonus points for cheap even if you're feeding people who eat A LOT.

Spam me with your ideas and recipes in the links, please! We need to get more variety and spend a lot less on groceries.