By Cathy Wilson
Whether you have a food budget or not, it’s obvious food costs are rising about every time you go back to the store. It’s time to control your controllables. You are in control of what you purchase and what you don’t, so create your own purchasing power and stretch those dollars.
I would imagine we have all had a time in our lives we made a big pot of something and survived the week consuming it each day (surely it wasn’t just me). A pot of chili, spaghetti, stew or soup goes a long way and heading into winter makes all those sound really enticing.
Friends have told me they are walking away from the meat counter due to the skyrocketing prices and I gladly share non-meat ideas. If you eat meat, though, stretch out that pound of meat by using it more of an accompanying part of the meal which would be more grains and vegetables, or use just enough in the pot to enhance stew, chili or soup.
Shop what’s on sale. Meal planning is good, but right now we are in survival mode, so check out the flyers and plan around what’s on sale. If it’s shelf stable and on sale, stock up. Fresh vegetables are always preferred, but frozen works, as will canned. Just get your vegetables on your plate.
Break out the slow cooker or pressure cooker and make homemade meals that will last more than one day. Use all leftovers. Make bread — it’s easy, fun and so much less expensive. It’s time to hone your skills in the kitchen, control what you purchase and how you create healthy, less expensive meals at home. Make conscious decisions that focus on healthy home-cooked meals and minimize the unhealthy prepackaged meals and snacks. Stay well.
From IG plantpurenation
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, diced
½ cup dry red wine
2 ½ cups low sodium vegetable broth (divided)
2 carrots, diced
1 large russet potato, small dice
15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon garlic power
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons tamari (or soy) sauce
¼ cup whole wheat flour (or white)
Salt and pepper to taste
(Or, skip the chopping and use a frozen bag of stew mix)
In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté the onions and mushrooms in the red wine until tender. Add 1 1/2 cups of the vegetable broth, carrots, potato, tomatoes, garlic, sage, rosemary, molasses and tamari sauce and continue cooking over medium heat.
In a separate bowl, add the remaining 1 cup vegetable broth and whole wheat flower — whisk until the lumps are removed and add to stew. Turn the heat to low and continue simmering 10-15 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add more vegetable broth.
Cat Wilson lives in South Bend and transitioned from a vegetarian diet to eating a plant-based diet more than two years ago. She may be contacted at [email protected].