Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Spinach Experiment

between mr p and me, i think you ALL know who is better in the kitchen (that master chef he is... psh)

but, yesterday i had to pat myself on the back for what i will call my "spinach experiment". 

we have a BJ's within walking distance from our house that has rockin deals on some things (not all, but some).  mr p and i discovered that they sell organic salad greens in bulk for super cheap, and we have been getting a 1 lb package about every week since we got the membership.  last week when i made strata, i needed spinach, and got the huge container of it, expecting it would force me to eat the rest of it.  well, i'm totally a spring mix kind of girl when it comes to eating a salad, and the spinach just didn't satisfy my tastebuds like i thought it would.

(just to give you an idea of how rockin the deal on spinach is... our local "big box" grocer has organic baby spinach for $3.99 for a 5 oz. bag, making it roughly $12.75/lb .  BJ's sells their 1 lb bags for just $4.99 craziness!!)

so, yesterday i tried something AWESOME .  i put the spinach in my pyrex lunch container with the rest my lunch, pulled pork and brown rice.  the container has a little steam vent for the microwave.  when i packed my lunch, i misto-ed it with some olive oil (because who uses Pam anymore, really...), chopped up 1 small garlic clove, and sprinkled it with salt and pepper.

( before: fluffy fresh spinach with garlic, salt, pepper, and a quick spray of olive oil)

anticipating that it would nicely wilt in the microwave as i heated up my lunch, it did JUST THAT!   i microwaved my lunch for 1 minute, then stirred everything around and folded the spinach so that the wilty part on the bottom was now at the top, then microwaved for another minute and a half.  presto! "sauteed" spinach in 2.5 minutes.  and it was soooo good!

( after : perfectly wilted and delicious spinach)

mr p and i have been spending more on groceries since we have been trying to eat healthier, so we really tried to cut back this week, and we were definitely successful!  here's a breakdown of our lunch and dinner costs for the week:

(1) 5.5 lb pork butt @ $1.99/lb = $10.95
1 lb spinach = $4.99
brown rice (already had, though i will estimate we are eating about $3 worth all week, and that's probably high)
(3) cans of black beans @ $1.99/ea = $5.97
(3) baguettes from the bodega = $1.00 (for mr p's pulled pork sammiches)
(1) frozen bag of Brussels Sprouts = $1.00
(2) green peppers = $1.50
(1) large yellow onion = $0.70

Total:  $29.11 (let's round to $30 when we add in the price of condiments and spices)

That means for 2 meals for 2 people for 5 days, $30/2 meals/2 people/5 days = $1.50/meal.
(take THAT, Wal-Mart)

what are your best money-saving tips for cooking at home?



Dana said...

What kind of black beans are you getting that are $1.99 a can? Are they organic? Ours are $.89 and I just rinse off the icky stuff!

jenn @ beyond the stoop said...

BIG cans!! it's not worth making some just for 1 night, so we make a lot at once!

Melissa Blake said...

That's awesome! We usually make lots of everything, so we'll have leftovers!