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Saving Money & Good Health

 

Since meat prices have been going up and are expected to continue to rise in 2011,  this week I have been sharing delicious alternatives to meat in order to help you save money.

Saving you money during this recession is one of the goals of MTTD.

Going meatless does not mean eating dry, tasteless, cardboard like food or eating tofu.

As you can see by the three recipes I shared here this week, going meatless does not mean giving up flavor or delicious food.

I would be remiss, however, if I did not also at least mention that eating meatless once in a while may improve your over all health.

Recent research by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and by others maintains that going meatless just one day a week reduces consumption of saturated fat by 15 percent, enough to ward off the “lifestyle diseases” such as heart attacks, strokes and cancer. 

When you eat a Tuna Fish and Egg Open Face Sandwich, or Mushroom Toast, or today’s featured recipe you won’t have to go through what we saw in Everybody Loves Raymond in the Tofu Thanksgiving Turkey episode below.

Because I will only share tasty, delicious, real food, meatless with you. And that is because I won’t eat food that is not tasty and delicious. And I would never share anything with you that I did not like too!

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Featured Recipe   
Sautéed Scallions, Mushrooms, and Asparagus

This recipe is a rerun. I first ran it last spring during asparagus season. But it fits perfectly in this week’s theme of meatless meals.

In this meatless recipe the mushrooms take the place of meat. They, along with the rice are very filling. This recipe is so tasty I douby uou miss meat.

This is what you will need for 3 people:

1 pound fresh shitake mushrooms

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound asparagus

2 bunches green onions

S&P to taste

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Serve with:

¾ cup rice

1 teaspoon butter

*NOTES on ingredients:  

1. To cut down the cost I only used ½ pound of shitake mushrooms. Use as many as you want or can afford.

2. I only use 1 (or less) bunch of green onions because I think the star of this recipe should be the asparagus and the mushrooms, not the onions. First time I made this recipe there were so many onions they over powered the recipe and the delicate taste of both the asparagus and mushrooms. So I cut back. In this recipe I used four onions.

3. The rice is my idea. Martha’s recipe did not suggest serving this with rice. But it is a very nice addition. Serving this with rice makes the dish extremely filling.

Here is what you do:

Start making the rice according to package directions.

Clean and cut all  of your vegetables first so they are ready when you need them.

With a brush or lightly damp paper towel clean the mushrooms, remove the stems, and then slice.

Slice the asparagus on the diagonal.

Slice the onions on the diagonal as well.

When all of your veggies are cleaned and cut, add the vegetable oil to a non-stick skillet and heat over medium heat till hot. Add the mushrooms.  Toss the mushrooms often until they are lightly browned. This will take about ten minutes.

You really do not need more than 1 tablespoon of oil here. If you use too much oil the mushrooms become soggy. How do I know this? I tried it once. 

While the mushrooms are browing cook the asparagus. You can boil them in water or microwave them.

Martha’s recipe calls for cooking the asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes and then putting in them in ice water to stop the cooking.  

Well, you know me well enough by now to know this lazy cook is not about to do all that.

So, I steam them in the microwave for about 3 minutes. When they are done I put them in a colander and run them under very cold tap water to stop the cooking. The asparagus is not over cooked and stays just as crisp and for me, but  is easier and quicker to do.

I have a microwaveable steamer. All it is is a plastic tray with feet. The tray has slats that allows veggies to steam. I place it in a microwaveable dish with water in it, place a lid on it and place it in the microwave.

I found it at a Corning Ware outlet store many years ago. I have three, two this size and a large one. It is a great tool.

 Here is the asparagus ready to go into the microwave.

You can also steam the asparagus on the stove in a conventional steamer in a pan of water. Steam for about 3 minutes and then run under cold water to stop the cooking.

Conventional Steamer

Place an inch or two of water in pan under the steamer and add veggies. Cook till crisp tender.

When the mushrooms are nicely browned add the cooked asparagus and the green onions. Add some salt and pepper.

Cook tossing until the green onions start to wilt and the pan is dry; about 2-3 minutes.

Stir in the white wine vinegar. 

 

By now your rice should be done. Place some on each plate and add some of the asparagus mixture.

There you have it; another tasty, inexpensive, and meatless meal.

Martha  says this recipe is only 111 calories, 4 grams of fat, 6.9 grams of protein, 16.6 grams of carbs, and 6.3 grams of fiber. Pretty healthy recipe for something that tastes so good.

Bon Appetit!!!

Costs

Asparagus                     $1.27

Mushrooms                   $2.99

Green onions                 $0.32

White wine vinegar        $0.04

Rice                              $0.30

1 tsp. butter                  $0.15

Total cost for 3 people: $4.80
Cost per person: $1.60

Quote of the Day

In this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.

Mother Teresa

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