Friday, December 19, 2008

Pork Taco’s and Lentil Soup

This ends up being 2 meals. Half the pork tenderloin is used for the pork tacos and half is used for the lentils. The lentils form almost like a chili, it is a very hearty bean soup. Also note, I used the tenderloin, not a loin roast. I think that is much better for this dish.

Pork lion 2.5 lb ($9)
1 Onion chopped ($.75)
1 bag of red lentils ($.85)
2 tbs cumin ($.20)
1 jar of sofrito sauce ($ 2.50)
6 cups of chicken stock (made with bullion cubs less than .10)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of red wine optional ($1)
Sour cream ($.50)
1 can of refried beans ($1)
Rice ($.30)
Lettuce for taco ($.25)
Salsa (.25)
Guacamole (.75)
Salad (1.25)
Tortillas ($1.50)
1 tbs oil (.10)

The total for the two dishes comes in at just at $20 dollars, however I feel pretty confident you could get 3 meals for 4 out of this even if you have big eaters. The first meal is pork tacos, with refried beans and rice. The second meal is a pork and lentil soup with salad.

Here is how I did it. In a stock pot I sautéed the onions in a bit of oil. Add the bullion and lentils. Add the wine ( if you do) and sofrito sauce (reserve about 3 tbs for the rice). Bring to a boil. Salt pepper pork tenderloin and add to pot. Add cumin. Reduce and allow to simmer for 45 minutes. Check periodically to make sure tenderloin is under liquid and stir the beans. Once the tenderloin is good and tender take it out and shred the meat. Add half back into the lentils. Set the lentils aside for another day. The meat that is left is for the pork tacos. It should have a good flavor form cooking in the lentils, but if you want you add more cumin.

When making the rice for a side to go with the tacos, add the reserved sofrito sauce and put it in with the rice and water. When rice is done fluff and serve. I put a little lime juice and salt in the sour cream too, but you don’t have to. We had our pork tacos with lettuce, sour cream,guacamole and salsa. Obviously if you put more things on it will change the overall cost of the meal. Also we used corn tortillas which I think are better for this. I do suggest, since they fall apart easily, use two tortillas instead of one.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rosemary Pasta

I am having a hard time keeping up with Family Meals for Less. I am going to try and get a new meal out here once a week, so bare with me. This is easy and so good. Add some chicken or shrimp for a protein if you want. As it is, the meal is around $6, however if you add a pound a shrimp you are right at $10. I suspect you could use any fresh herb (oregano, basil) to do this, I just love the rosemary so much I have never strayed. However, if you are serving little ones, rosemary may be a bit much for them and you might be safer with a basil. Since this is really simple the Parmesan is a real stand out in this. Get some of the good stuff. I recommend ,hands down, Locatelli. However, if you don’t want a big block go to Ukrops you can by the end pieces and it will cost your near nothing. Plus you can use the extra on popcorn (yummy).

1 lb pasta ($2)
½ c. olive oil ($1.50)
1 stick butter (.75)
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary ($1 or free if you have a plant)
Fresh Parmesan ($1)

Start pasta, while that is cooking melt butter and oil in a pan. When the butter mix just starts to bubble, throw in the rosemary and take off the burner. Allow rosemary to steep in the butter for 5 minutes or more. Once pasta is done, remove rosemary and toss with pasta. Serve immediately with fresh grated cheese over.