I whipped up panko-crusted pork chops, smashed yams with butter and honey, and a roasted broccoli "casserole." It broke down thusly:
package of 6(!) thin-cut boneless pork chops $5.94
1# yams $1.69
1/2 onion .25
1# broccoli .99
sprinkling of grated mozzarella cheese .25
sprinkling of parmesan cheese .25
flour for dusting pork chops .10
drizzle of honey .25
butter pat .25
olive oil for frying the chops .25
salt and pepper free!
panko breadcrumbs (technically these were free, Progresso sent them to me) but let's say .25/ounce, I used 4 ounces so $1.00
Grand total without breadcrumbs: $10.42 Grand total with breadcrumbs: $11.42
I was surprised to learn that I went over my budget. Had I just steamed the broccoli I would have been well under $10 but I wanted to roast it with garlic and onion and top it with cheese because I wanted to see if I could jazz up a veggie and still stay under $10.
This yumminess blew my budget.
I could have also omitted the panko, but I wanted to try it and man was it delicious. Although the idea for the challenge was inspired by Prego pasta sauce, I purposely chose not to use pasta the base of my meal. I chose pork chops which cost as much as 5-6 packages of dried pasta. I'm going to try again and will post my results. Oh, and I was flipping through Rachael Ray's magazine at the hair salon yesterday and noticed she has a regular section called $10 Meals or something like that. Rock on!
For those of you that participated: thanks for playing along! Let's see how you all did! (I'll keep updating as the links come in.)
Okay, $10 Dinner Challenge peeps: are you ready to cook/post? Remember, post your meal by Wednesday then leave your link here so I can do a round up. I had fun shopping for my meal just now and we're having it tonight.
Monday ($10 Dinner Challenge)—Panko-crusted pork chops, mashed sweet potatoes, broccoli casserole (note, I think I am doing the panko crust if the numbers work out. I still need to see how many centavos I have to play with...)
Tuesday (debate night)—either leftover pasta e fagioli or we're ordering take-out
Wednesday—Pasta with bay shrimp, lemon, and fresh dill; salad
Thursday—something with mushrooms and brown rice, haven't quite thought this one through
Friday—We may be headed out of town for a long weekend (school holiday)
Off to brine my pork chops! What do you have going on this week?
This week I was contacted by the PR folks representing Prego spaghetti sauce who are promoting their "$10 meal" campaign. They sent along a bag of penne pasta, a jar of Prego spaghetti sauce, a can of cut green beans, a bottle of garlic powder, and a small container of shelf-stable parmesan cheese (all grocery store house brands, with the exception of the beans which were Del Monte brand and the Prego, of course.).
It would be so easy for someone who always makes her tomato sauce to criticize the canned and processed choices that were sent, but with so many people trying to stretch their budget these days, I bet this combination of food items appears more often than not on dinner tables all across America. You have to make the choices that are best for your family depending on your budget. No one can fault that.
But this planted a seed in my head, and you know we're all in trouble when that happens.
Since my first thought upon receiving my food pack was, "Oh, I can do better than this for $10," I'm going to put my money (literally) where my mouth is and cook a dinner for my family of four for $10. And I want you to join me! Together we can show that it's possible to cook a satisfying, healthful meal for $10. If you have a larger family, increase accordingly—family of 6 you get $15.00. Family of 8: $20 and so on. I'm just asking you try, just for one meal, then you can go back to eating the bone-in rib-eyes and sipping Dom Perignon.
If you are in, simply:
1. Write about what you plan on cooking on your blog and link back to this post.
2. Cook your meal, share your budget and post your results by, say, Wednesday October 8th.
3. Come back and leave a comment on this post with a link to your post and I will compile the links and post them to my blog along with everyone else's results.
The meal must cost $10 or less. The only exceptions (freebies) are salt and pepper. And for consistency let's price fats (butter, margarine, oil) at 10 cents a tablespoon.