Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Food on a budget

All those who feel so inclined on Violets have been challenged to cook meals on a budget for the month of January. It has taken me a while to get my head around this as most of my summer meals are focused around meat for the BBQ which is not always cheap. My budget was $12.89 for 2 people which was not too hard to achieve. I had a look through my pantry and freezer and came up with this meal which was not only cheap but very very tasty and filling!

This is one of my favourite kinds of meals, I would describe it as ribsticking comfort food! We are not exactly having the weather to induce this kind of cooking however yesterday was a rainy grey kind of day so it was as close as it gets!

I made pork and pesto meatballs with bacon and beans in a tomato sauce dish - it was hearty and so yummy.

I was pondering what to serve with this, no carbohydrate seemed to jump out at me as a likely accompaniment, in the winter I would probably do mashed potatoes or pasta but that just didn't feel right in the warm weather. So I settled for a quick loaf of bread whipped up in my trusty bread maker, took just over an hour from start to out of the oven and tasted great with the meatballs, it was great for mopping up the leftover tomato sauce!

This made 6 servings, so I packed two portions up for the freezer for another rainy day!I have listed the ingredients as exactly what I used and costings next to them. I probably used a bit much pork but it was two packs so it was convenient!
1kg pork mince ($10)
1 egg (.30c)
1 tbsp basil pesto ($1.50)
flour to roll meatballs in
1 onion, chopped (.50c)
1 lge clove garlic, chopped (.10c)
2 slices bacon chopped ($2.00)
400g cooked cannelini beans ($2.00)
2 x tins Italian tomatoes (@ $1.59 ea)
1 x tin chopped tomaoes (0.66c)
125 ml wine ($2.00)
Salt and pepper
Basil, chopped, to serve
Whiz together pork, egg, salt, pepper and pesto in food processor. Roll into balls and then roll in flour before browning in hot oil in frypan.Don't cook all the way through. Remove from pan once done. Add a little more oil and fry onion, garlic, bacon until soft, then add wine. Add in beans and tomatoes and simmer for about 10 mins. Add meatballs back in and cook for another 15-20 mins. Serve with chopped basil and hot crusty bread


4 c high grade flour ($2)
3 tsp surebake yeast ($1)
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
400 mls water
cheese ($1.00)

Put in breadmaker and set to dough (I used pizza dough cycle as it only takes45 mins!). Shape into large freeform loaf and cover with 1 tbsp pesto and handful of grated cheese. Make slashes in top with sharp knife and bake at 220C for 15-20 mins or until sounds hollow when tapped!
Total cost to eat like kings........ $28.24 (divided by 6 =$4.71, 2 servings = $9.42)


Kerry said...

This looks so good, well done.

pistachio said...

Lovely photos and write up!

Just goes to show you don't need to spend a lot of money to eat well.

pi xxx

Anonymous said...

Hello,discover your blog via violets pantry,all your pictures and food look GOOD!!. Will try to visit often

Anonymous said...

That looks amazing. Great post.