Judy Woodhouse ECE

Children’s author

Anselma volunteer

With the price of groceries going up, up and up, it is becoming harder to eat healthy on a budget.

We can all save money by cooking at home more often. It can be an enjoyable and rewarding process that usually ends with something delicious. I have found some great ideas and recipes at www.budgetbytes.com.

Here are a few tips to get started.

1 Plan your meals. Pick your recipes based on ingredients that are on sale, produce that is in season or items you might have on hand.

2 Use ingredients wisely. Fresh herbs, cheese, nuts and meat all taste great, but also have a large price tag. Stretch the flavor and your dollars by combining those expensive ingredients with bulkier, inexpensive ingredients like pasta, rice and beans.

3 Don’t be afraid of leftovers. As long as you store food properly, you can continue to enjoy delicious meals for days.

One of my favourite ways to use leftovers is in a homemade minestrone soup recipe from my friend Karen Stickel at silverspatula.ca. Instead of the meatballs, you can use leftover ham, chicken or whatever meat you have on hand. You can also add any vegetables from the fridge.

 

 

MINESTRONE, THE KIDS WILL EAT

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup each chopped onion, grated carrot, sliced celery, grated cabbage

5 -6 cloves garlic minced

6 cups beef stock

1 19oz can black beans rinsed and drained

2 28oz cans diced tomatoes

1 cup small pasta shapes (stars, alphabet etc.)

Handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

2 lbs. frozen Italian meatballs (or any leftover meat)

Grated parmesan cheese

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, cabbage and garlic. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are fragrant. Add beef stock, beans and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Add pasta and stir. Cook until just tender. Add parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add meatballs and cook until hot. Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

This recipe can be found in the Taste the Diversity cookbook, put out by the International Plowing Match Committee 2012.