Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tuesday Dinner: Veggie Pasta (money continued...)
Here is a continuation of my meal-planning this week. I'm trying to put all these Berkeley Bowl goodies to an economical yet delicious use. I decided to freeze some fish and a whole chicken for future use, so that we wouldn't have to use them up quickly in the first few days. Freezing fish, meat, and tofu is a great way to preserve your protein. The texture of the fish and meat do not change when you defrost them. The tofu's texture does change a bit, but the new texture actually allows the tofu to hold together more firmly and absorb sauces better.
So instead of fish two nights in a row, I decided to make a vegetarian pasta. I made my own sauce, since I didn't want to spend $3.50+ on a jar of premade pasta sauce. Plus, this gave me an excuse to get creative with plain ol' pasta.
I made just over a pound of whole wheat penne pasta ($2.44 from the bulk section). I added a lot of canned tomatoes ($1.45 + $0.85 + $0.89 for 1 large can and 2 small), because Jeremy and I really like them. I sauteed half of a defrosted package of organic tofu ($0.75) and chopped up a bunch of mushrooms (about $1.35), throwing them into the pot. I also added some Italian parsley (probably less than $0.10) and fresh rosemary (free!). Finally, I added 3 cloves of garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, with salt, pepper and grated cheese to add on top. I guess you can calculate $0.50 for all of those.
Total: $6.98 and a yummy tummy
I would say this comes to $3.49 per person, but the reality is that this could have fed like six people. Jeremy had two plates the first night, and there are still leftovers. I ate some for lunch today and will probably polish it off for lunch tomorrow. So that's really like 6 helpings of pasta--or $1.13 a plate.
Furthermore, not to toot my own horn, but it was delicious! Whole wheat penne is the way to go--it filled me up more quickly than white pasta and I like its slightly nutty and grainy flavor. Plus the shape of the penne helps hold the mushrooms and tomatoes. The defrosted, sauteed tofu came out (surprisingly) really well! Jeremy said that the texture was so good, it could be mistaken for fish. Ok, now I am tooting my own horn. But hey I don't have a car, so I like to honk when I get the chance :)