Progress – more recipes & budget info

So the challenge seems to be going well. Ellen and I used the same approach, plan a weeks worth of menu and grocery shop within the budget for it. Erica and her husband, as well as Christina are looking at the cost of each meal daily. Considering that SNAP or EBT in Virginia, benefits are available at the beginning of each month, either method would work, as long as you are staying within your allotted budget.

I have realized in the course of this that menu planning was key for my household. Steve and I have very different diets, he eats low carb, I don’t eat meat, with the exception of fish, so making sure we both had a protein at dinner and breakfast options involved planning.  Also, I didn’t take into account that Steve is a snacker, so he has been eating black beans on a low carb tortilla when he wants a snack. Veggies were not a problem, salad, frozen veggies are a staple in our house. I will write a more indepth wrap up over the weekend when this is over.

Now onto recipes! Ellen M’s Baked Ziti 

Baked Ziti

1 lb Ziti
28 oz  can whole peeled tomatoes (1/4 c liquid removed, squished)
2 red peppers, sliced
1 tsp salt
2 8 oz bags shredded monterey jack and cheddar
1 pint heavy cream
Fine dry breadcrumbs

Mix cheeses, peppers, tomatoes and salt in a VERY large bowl. Boil ziti
and drain according to package directions. Mix in with cheeses, peppers
and tomatoes.  Spray 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray. Pour pasta
combination into prepared dish.  Pour cream over top. Cover with foil,
bake at 350 for half hour. Remove foil. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs bake
additional half hour.


I am not quite as exciting; baked a chicken for Steve ( rub with olive oil, season of your choice inside and out, place chicken on roasting rack, stuff cavity with carrots and celery, put more carrots and celery in the bottom of the pan, bake at 375 for about an hour and 1/2 or until the internal temp is 165) I had Cajun baked tofu ( 1lb extra firm tofu, sliced lengthwise into 4 pieces, press to remove extra liquid, mix 1/4 cup olive or grapeseed oil with Cajun seasoning, spread over both side of tofu, bake on a cookie sheet with a rack at 375 for 45 minutes, flip 1 time). I had steamed brown rice and we both had steamed broccoli.

I was home not feeling well yesterday and skipped lunch, I did make a cheese and black been “quesadilla” around 2p. Today, it’s oatmeal with almond milk for breakfast and leftover chili and cornbread for lunch.

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