Picking a safer topic-Time for Tea by Celia Klassen

Picking a safer topic
My last few articles were bordering on controversial, so this week I’d better stick with a topic that’s a lot safer.
With the rising costs of groceries, how about some ideas on how to cheapen a meal? One of the most common suggestions is to add beans to your dinners. But does anyone else have a husband who strongly objects to this?! I’ve been experimenting how to make beans more acceptable to my meat-and-potatoes kind of guy.
One thing is he’s definitely less likely to notice the beans if there is also meat in the recipe. So try 40 percent beans and 60 percent meat for recipes where the beans need to be hidden. While we’re on the subject of beans, canned beans are pretty cheap, but cooking dry beans is even cheaper. There are also the recipes that have obvious beans in them. One of my favorites is a chicken taco bowl with rice and beans, a bit of chicken and some veggies.
Speaking of rice, it’s another great thing to bulk out the dinner, especially if you’ve got a sauce to cover it up. Experiment with different cuisines that contain a lot of cheap ingredients like Indian and Moroccan meals. Another cheap ingredient if you really don’t like beans is oats. Oats can bulk out meat in the same way beans do.
Barley swells when cooked and a little bit goes a long way. If I make a beef stew, I’ll save the extra gravy and any extra beef/veggie bits and cook up some barley to make a hearty soup the next day.
If you have a pressure cooker, speed cooker, Instant Pot whatever you want to call it, try cheap cuts of meat! We’ve recently bought some very cheap cuts and done them in the instant pot which made them perfectly edible. A marinade also helps with this. While I’m on the subject of cheaper meat (and I’m not being paid to say this) has everyone tried Falls Town Beef? It’s sold at the dairy on your way to Pocatello, but it is NOT dairy cows. I didn’t try it for a long time because I thought it would be tough old dairy cows but it’s not. I feel like the price is very reasonable, especially if you get a lot at once, you’re supporting a local business and it’s been great quality for us. You order online and then you can pick it up at the dairy and leave your payment.
Don’t be afraid of frozen vegetables. If you mostly buy your groceries in Pocatello, and try not to go there every week, you’ll struggle to keep your fresh vegetables fresh! Frozen vegetables can actually be better for you because more of the nutrients are saved and fewer preservatives are added. Buy things that are in season nearby, I realize nothing is in season at the moment! But it’s something to think about if and when spring comes.
Are there any topics you wish I’d write about? I don’t enjoy politics but send in your requests for anything else to press2@press-times.com .

Thanks for reading!

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