Thursday, November 15, 2007

Weekend Cookbook Challenge 22 - $40 A Week

As all of you regular or semi regular readers know, Scott and I picked up and moved from Calgary Alberta to Kamloops BC at the end of September.

Moving, selling and buying houses is expensive business. So I was primed and ready to go when the hostess of this months Weekend Cookbook Challenge, Cady of $40 A Week challenged us to stick to a food budget of $40 a week per person, and share a recipe from the week.

To stay under $40 a week per person, you have to average $5.71 or less per day. Not hard to do I think, but you certainly need to be creative. Here's how a couple of my days looked.


Breakfast - 1/4 of a fresh pineapple - $0.99 per person

Lunch - split pea soup, apple - $1.73 per person

Dinner - 2 pcs pizza from Costco - $0.67 (cheap!!!)

Total for one person $3.39


Breakfast - 2 eggo waffles, sliced strawberries - $2.10

Lunch - green salad $1.32

Dinner - small tray of veggie sushi $3.99

Total for one person $7.41


I decided for such a challenge I had to use one of my recently acquired books, Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking Volume 3 Bur-Buy. Quite frankly, most of the recipes in this book scare the pants off me. But one did catch my eye - Genoese Rice Balls.

I've had rice balls, also sometimes known as arancini, only a couple of times before. They are delicious, but not something I would have thought of as a budget meal. Turns out I was wrong. These are good and cheap too!

Genoese Rice Balls
adapted from Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking Volume 3 Bur-Buy

1/2 cup uncooked rice
3 oz salami, chopped
1 egg, separated
8 oz can tomato sauce
2 tb parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
oil for frying
1/2 tsp basil
salt and pepper

Cook the rice according to the package directions. Stir in the chopped salami, egg yolk, parmesan cheese and 1 tb of the tomato sauce. Shape into 6 balls.
Place the egg white on a place and beat until frothy. Carefully and gently roll each ball in the egg white, then in the bread crumbs. Chill the rice balls several hours or overnight.

Heat 2 or 3 inches of oil in a small pot over medium heat. Fry the balls, 2 at a time, until brown and crisp, turning once. Drain on paper towel and keep warm until all the balls have been cooked.

While the balls are cooking heat the remaining tomato sauce with the basil and salt and pepper. Serve the sauce on the side.

Here's the breakdown of cost for the recipe.

rice - $0.35
salami - $2.02
egg - $0.25
tomato sauce - $0.73
parmesan cheese - $0.47
bread crumbs - $0.12
oil - $0.50 - I just guessed this as if you were inclined, you could re-use the oil
basil salt and pepper- not included as it was such a small amount

Total for 2 people $4.44

Not bad at all for a fancy schmancy dinner!

WCC 22 is running until November 18 - so get your frugal eats to Cady at gambini at gmail dot com.


Peabody said...

You are a better person than me...I don't think I could do $40 a week. I do agree however that moving is very expensive!

Peter M said...

Your aranacini look great and your
"chalenge" is a good way to rethink how you buy groceries.

breadchick said...

I've been absent from the past few WCC and was meaning to get in on this one but of course, I'm too late for this month :-(

It was especially useful because I wanted to try and see if I could do it...

I may still do it but not just as part of WCC

The rice balls do sound yummy!

Deborah said...

I could probably do dinner on $40 a week, but not all meals! I should see if we could do it for a week, though!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Those rice ball sound really great. I love to try them.
$40 a week/person/week . . . amazing. Maybe when you move you save money because there's no kitchen so you skip meals.

Lis said...

Oh crap.. the $40 is suppose to cover breakfast and lunch as well?

Uhh.. I failed. :P

I've ALWAYS wanted to try those rice balls, I'm so happy you've shared the recipe!


oakling said...

Heh. I don't know if previous commenters will see this, but it's okay to "fail"! Progress, not perfection :)

Thanks for creating this foodblog event and posting such great stuff! I am working on the roundup right this second and should have it up today.

I'll also throw out there that if people are interested in spending this amount on food but feel overwhelmed by budgeting or meal planning, I just started a business where I do all of that for you! For $40 a week (just like the blog name) I create weekly meal plans and send you a box of healthy, usually organic ingredients, recipes, suggested meal plans - no more planning or math or grocery shopping, all you have to do is cook! I'm pretty excited about it. :)

oakling said...

heh I should add that although this account says "oakling," this is Cady!

Deborah said...

I'm so glad I got behind on my Google Reader, because this has inpsired a dinner tonight that I didn't think I had time for. I can't wait to see how this turns out, even though I'm going to have to change it a bit.
And I'm making a solemn pledge that next month, I WILL do the challenge!