Budget Meals: Day 6

Ingredients
GOYA black bean soup $1.50
Dried rosemary $6.29
1 carrot $0.23
1 zucchini $0.94
4 tomatoes on the vine $1.33
10 oz white button mushrooms $1.79
Total: $12.08

Directions
Chop fine 1 red onion, 3 cloves of garlic. Saute in olive oil in a medium pot. Season with salt, cracked black pepper, red pepper flakes, crushed rosemary. Chop 1/2 carrot, 1/3 zucchini, 1 tomato, 5-6 mushrooms. Saute vegetables over medium heat. Add the can of black bean soup, plus another cup of water rinsing the can. Season with turmeric, thyme, oregano, paprika, and cumin. Raise heat and cook until boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer. Here I added 1/4 box of penne rigate and enough water to cover it, cooking it al dente for 5 minutes. Serves 3-4.

I recently acquired some cheese from Trader Joe’s, so feel free to slice / grate some on top for a Tex-Mex feel. It’s rather hard to shop plastic-free at TJ’s I realize now — not great for #plasticfreeJuly then.

~Jessica

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Budget Meals: Day 5

Ingredients:
6 eggs $0.99
1 medium carrot $0.25
1 medium green zucchini $0.82
4 red onions $0.98
1 small yellow squash $0.40
Ginger $0.54
Total: $3.98
2 packages udon noodles
roasted peanut oil / sesame oil + vegetable oil
Kosher salt + freshly ground pepper
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced diagonally
3 tablespoons soy sauce

Directions
Thinly slice red onions, ginger. Slice thinly into sticks 1/2 carrot, 1/2 yellow squash, 1/4 zucchini. Saute onions and ginger and carrots in vegetable oil. Add the two squash, and cook, stirring.

In a separate pot, boil water and cook the udon for 1-2 minutes. Drain and add to the vegetables. Mix thoroughly. Season with soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil. Add a spoonful of cornstarch mixed with cold water, to form a slurry. Set aside

Scramble two eggs with chopsticks in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in some green scallions. Fry separately in a little oil in a pan. Add to the rest of the stir fry. Serve immediately. Serves 3-4.

Redoing my sister’s udon with tofu and bok choy, this is my budget version. I had a bag of frozen edamame lying around, so I tossed that in the stir fry. My kingdom for some crushed red pepper flakes!

~Jessica

Budget Meals: Day 4

Ingredients:
32 oz. tomato sauce $1.50
Paprika $2.19
Ronzoni penne rigate $1.89
1 carrot $0.25
1 green zucchini $0.82
4 brown portobello mushrooms $0.77
4 red onions $0.98
1 yellow squash $0.40
Total: $8.80

Directions
Chop 1 red onion, 1/2 yellow squash, 1/2 zucchini, the mushrooms, 1/2 carrot. Mince 3 cloves of garlic. Saute the onion, garlic until fragrant. Add the carrot, then the two squash. Add the mushrooms. Cook together a few minutes, stirring. Add the can of tomato sauce. Season with paprika, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper.
Boil salted water. Add half the box of penne. Cook 5 minutes until al dente. Add pasta to sauce. Serves 3-4.

Just to make it fancy (and I didn’t have Parmigiano because it’s wrapped in plastic and expensive unless I buy it at Trader Joe’s), I added a drop of my truffle olive oil, which I brought back from France, before serving. Just for the aroma, which I really really like.

~Jessica

Disney’s ratatouille

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Doesn’t look like much. I know.

Adapted from Dishes by Disney

Ingredients:
1 zucchini, cut into large cubes
1 eggplant, cut into large cubes (I subbed with a green bell pepper for lack)
1 yellow squash, cut into large cubes
1 sweet red pepper, cut into large slices
1 red onion, cut into large cubes
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 sprigs thyme
1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
4 eggs

Directions:
Saute the red onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add the rest of the vegetables. Add the salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the can of crushed tomatoes. Crack the eggs and poach them in wells in the pot, like shakshuka. Spoon sauce over and let heat cook them a few minutes. Serve hot.

I had half a box of white mushrooms, so I tossed them in last, chopped same size as all the other veggies. Apparently the modern ratatouille included marjoram, fennel and basil, or bay leaf and thyme, or a mix of green herbs like herbes de Provence, so I threw in a few bay leaves while our little potted basil re-grows its leaves from the last Continental recipe.

~Jessica

Shakshuka

aka Shakshouka (Arabic: شكشوكة‎‎) Adapted from smitten kitchen and Simply Recipes

olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, ground cumin, paprika
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
1 medium summer squash or zucchini, cored and thinly sliced
3 Anaheim chiles or jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
4-6 eggs
3/4 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought (optional)
Handful of fresh basil leaves / parsley, for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
warmed pitas / bread, to serve

Heat oil in saucepan/pot over medium. Add onions, then garlic, and cook until golden and fragrant. Add the chilies. Add the spices. Crush and add the tomatoes with their liquid. Add half a cup of water. Add the zucchini / squash. Simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Crack eggs evenly across the sauce. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Spoon hot sauce over the eggs to poach them. Garnish with pesto (to replace zhoug) if using. Serve with feta cheese and bread of choice.

~Jessica

P.S. Amber was craving African food, after her most excellent trip earlier this year. Voila!

Tian de Courgettes au Riz

Zucchini, Rice and Cheese Gratin Adapted from smitten kitchen, From Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume II. Serves 6

~1 kg zucchini (I used 3 green & yellow squash)
90 grams plain, uncooked white rice
1 medium onion, minced (I used 2 shallots)
75 mL olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, mashed or finely minced
15 g all-purpose flour
Milk, as needed (I used veg. broth)
55 g grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Butter for dish

Wash the zucchini and trim ends. Halve lengthwise. Coarsely grate and toss with salt in a colander set over a bowl. Let drain for 20-30 minutes. Save the drained liquid. Taste. If too salty, rinse and drain the zucchini again (not saving the liquid this time). Squeeze in handfuls, gently, collecting the drained liquid. Blot dry on a paper towel.

Saute the onions on medium-low in olive oil for 8 – 10 minutes, until tender and translucent. Raise heat slightly and stir several minutes until lightly browned. Stir in the grated (dry) zucchini and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Toss and turn for 5 – 6 minutes until the zucchini is almost tender. Sprinkle in the flour, stir over moderate heat for 2 minutes, and remove from heat.

Measure the drained liquid. If you have less than 600 mL, add milk/broth until you have this. Stir this into the zucchini-onion mixture, return pan to stove over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring. Remove from heat again, stir in the rice and all but 2 tablespoons cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

In a baking dish, add mixture, then sprinkle with reserved cheese and remaining olive oil/butter. Heat oven to 220 deg C. Bake in upper third of oven until bubbling and browned on top, about 25 – 30 minutes. (If yours begins to brown too quickly, you can cover it with foil up until the last 5 minutes.) The rice should absorb all the liquid. Serve immediately.

~Jessica

Fried tomato galette with corn and zucchini

Adapted from smitten kitchen

refrigerated puff pastry dough
15 ml olive oil
coarse sea salt
250 grams cherry or grape tomatoes
1 ear corn (I used canned)
1 small (225 g) zucchini and summer squash, diced
1 bundle (3 to 4 ounces or 85 to 115 g) scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (2 ounces or 55 g) grated parmesan
mozzarella
ricotta

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Saute tomatoes in olive oil, salt, and red pepper flakes at high heat until they burst. Add zucchini and cook on medium until soft. Add corn and scallions and cook until done. Remove from heat. Preheat oven at 200 deg C. Add vegetables onto puff pastry with the cheeses. Pleat edges and bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve.

Happy Earth Day!

~Jessica