Kittens, I know this week we went a bit light on the cooking but we both had a couple of social activities on the schedule. Originally we had planned for a Thursday night meal but sometimes life happens, you know?
In all seriousness (and I know that I’m officially Flying The Flag), Great Easy Meals is a budget-saver of a cookbook. Obviously we’ve been continuing to purchase LOTS of fresh produce, but it has been so helpful in encouraging us to cook from our pantry and find creative ways to do it.
Sunday – Steak with Avocado Sauce and Tomato Salad, Cheesy Chile Rice and Black Beans
Holy plating job, right? We’ll make that something to work on for next week 😉
This meal was a classic case of make it, but don’t make it. We used the cheap steak, actioned a pico de gallo-type arrangement instead of the tomato salad with hearts of palm and ditched the avocado cream sauce because the avocados we had were so far from ripe that they never stood a chance.
What we learned: Chili Powder is a great rub for steak. Not only is it also extremely cheap, but an extremely fast fix for some really intense (and complimentary) flavor without any hassle.
Why black beans? I knew we were making enough rice to enjoy leftovers for a few days, but rice alone does not a meal make. Since we were going to be a little bit short on the steak side, beans were the perfect (inexpensive and delicious!) answer to stretching the meal out.
Apparently we were supposed to serve this with tortillas, but as you can see from the snap above, I just felt like that might be a little bit excessive.
Monday – Linguine with Tuna Puttanesca and Steamed Broccoli
What do you get when you combine olives (which Marcus despises) with canned tuna (which I loathe)?
A surprisingly fast, flavorful pasta dish straight out of the pantry.
I feel like over the past year, there have been a number of instances where Marcus and I have set out to cook something with no real idea of whether or not the end result would even be edible. But this meal really took the cake. As I continued to chop things up and toss them into the pan, I raised my eyebrows a little higher and I said a little prayer for the final product.
I’m still not sure if the olives+capers and the tuna complimented one another or they simply cancelled one another out, but the sauce was wonderfully rich and we both loved it.
What are your favorite budget-saving meals?