03 August 2009

Miserly Meals #1 Broccoli Beef

I found a book at the library titled "Miserly Meals" by Jonni McCoy. Published in 2002 the meal prices aren't really that far pff from what she spent when writing the book. Out of 12 meals for this weeks menu, 8 are featured in her book. I hope to have fun with this, they ALL look tasty!

Mostly I have found that the savings come in with pantry items. When writing my shopping list I found that most of the recipes I wrote down main ingredients (meats) and things I run out of because we eat it so much (cheese, onions, etc) the rest were things I keep in my pantry (rice, spices, flour, etc). This is the easiest and best way to stretch your food dollar. CREATE MEALS FROM WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE ON HAND.

Occasionally I splurged (my favorite mai fun noodles instead of rice for the broccoli beef, fresh pork for the orange curry rather than leftovers, etc) but it was still a great shopping trip. About $100 for 12 dinners, kid snacks, lunch stuffs, and critter veggies...hey the guinea pigs need yummies too!

So here is the first recipe I'll be making with/from/by Jonni...

Broccoli Beef with Maifun Noodles

Caught some thin cut eye of round on sale for $3.61 for a little over a pound... the recipe calls for only 1/2 lb!

Mai fun noodles are Japanese rice noodles. They are easily found in most stores today.. I shop at Wal-Mart! Mine were about $1.15... Just check the Asian foods aisle. I find these fun and a way to have my rice and pasta too!

Cost per serving: about 60¢ with mai fun or 45¢ with rice from the pantry. Since I got a good deal on the beef, I'm doubling the dish (not noodles) to freeze for a quick meal later. The basic 4 serving recipe follows.

Broccoli Beef

Ingredients (and my helper!):
  • 1/4 c low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T. peanut butter (whatever is your fav)
  • 1/4 t. tabasco
  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 2 tsp vinegar (I'm using rice wine vinegar from my pantry)
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1/8 t. powdered ginger (it's strong so use carefully)
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. onion powder OR 1 c. thin-sliced onion
  • tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 T oil
  • 1/2 lb beef diced, cubed, or sliced thin
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • One package Mai fun noodles or 2 cups COOKED rice

  1. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, peanut butter, tabasco, water, cornstarch, vinegar, pepper, ginger, garlic, powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper (if using either).
  2. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Prepare mai fun according to package directions before beginning stirfry.
  4. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium high heat.
  5. Add the beef (and onion if using fresh) and cook stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the broccoli and stir for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Scrape all ingredients to the edge of the skillet or wok.
  8. Add the sauce and stir as it thickens.
  9. Stir all together to warm through.
  10. Once thickened remove from heat.
  11. Serve immediately over Mai fun or rice.


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