Delicious ways to stretch your dollar
By Andy Mueller
I won’t be the first person to break the news that food prices are rising.
The only way you’re not aware of this, is if you have been in outer space for the last year, or you don’t grocery shop, go out to dinner or basically eat… anything.
We don’t have much control over the surge in pricing, but we can combat the effect it has on our bottom line.
The best way to start is to plan ahead.
Weekly menu planning is a smart way to buy in bulk to save a bit and stretch each meal as far as we can.
For example, if you buy a large chuck roast, pork shoulder or whole chicken, you can have that the first night, but make sure you also assign that roast for meals throughout the week.
Pork roast night one, stir fry night two and maybe Carnitas Quesadillas night three.
Three completely different styles and flavor profiles to keep it interesting, and you’re maximizing usage of whatever you buy to help stretch that dollar.
That’s how it was when I grew up.
Mom would make a ham on Sunday, turn it into scalloped potatoes and ham Monday, hot ham and cheese Tuesday and Navy bean and ham soup with all that’s left on the bone.
Money was tight, but mom knew how to stretch a food budget.
In fact, I think copper wire was invented when my mom and dad were fighting over a penny.
Plan ahead, cross-utilize ingredients to create different dishes and try this recipe for pork Carnitas Quesadillas.
It works with leftover pork or beef roast or leftover chicken.
This recipe works for leftover pork or beef roast, or leftover baked or rotisserie chicken.
For every 1 1/2 lbs of leftover pulled pork, beef or shredded chicken, add in a mixing bowl:
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• 2 tablespoons water
Stir to combine – warm on top of stove in a pan over low heat until warm.
In a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, add a bit of canola oil and place a 6-inch flour or corn tortilla into the pan, then cover with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Add shredded meat on top then more cheese – you can use cheddar, provolone, more mozzarella or whatever cheese that melts well.
Place another tortilla on top to cover.
When the bottom tortilla browns nicely, flip the quesadilla over and brown the other side. Remove from the pan and place onto a cutting board, slice into four sections, top with guacamole, sour cream and your favorite salsa.
Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime.
Chef Andy Mueller is owner/chef of Galley 57 Supper Club in Bellevue – galley57.com.