I heard barley was the grain of the month in February, and I had to prepare a meal with it.
I admit, that I don't use barley as a starch very often with my meals. When I'm trying to avoid the excess of starch, it is not the first one this pasta lover would even think of.
But it was delicious. I cooked it in vegetable stock, instead of salted water, and it took some lovely flavours from it, not just the typical nutty flavour that it is known for.
I have received several questions about how would I handle cooking for a small family, for just for two, or for a single person, and do it in economic way, and still serve relatively healthy meals.
Now, since that is what I do every day, it's not that big of a challenge for me, and I would love to share with you all, how I manage it.
Of course, the price of food is different in different countries and areas of the world, what is easily available and affordable for me, might not be the case for you. But I try to keep it on the main principles, and broader ideas, just to give you an idea how to go about it.
I enjoy leftovers. Some dishes are even better reheated, than the first time around. But it is good to remember, in general, the once prepared food is good for three days if stored properly.
Most of the recipes I share here are for two adults and two children, making it about three adult meals, perfect for those who like to eat leftovers.
But sometimes eating the same food day after day can get tiresome. You make a big pan of lasagna, or some other casserole, and then it just comes a task to try to eat it before it goes bad, or before you don't want to eat lasagna ever again.
I also buy family size packaging of different meats, and then at home freeze them individually, so I can use them as needed, one, two, or many at the time.
There are many ways to make your money count for more at the grocery store, planning the weeks worth of meals ahead, so you can utilise the ingredients the best possible way, is one of the keys for me. And trying to limit my shopping to one or two trips to the store per week, to avoid the impulse shopping of items not on the list.
These ideas help me to keep my weekly grocery budget, and avoid waste with food. I hope you find some of them useful in your household.
At the end I will share the cabbage casserole recipe, for me, it is a definite wintertime comfort food. And it holds well in the freezer, a perfect meal to make several dishes at once.
I enjoy Thai food, and all the near variations of it, and I love peanut butter, so this was a no brainer to me, more like 'must. have. now.'
I have published a similar recipe for this one before, but I think this is good enough for a repeat reminder of its existence.
And I also love that it is easy, simple, and not very time consuming, to prepare, set in the oven, or a slow cooker, and the meal will be ready when you are, pretty much.
At the end, when the peanut butter is mixed into it, its creamy consistency thickening the sauce to a lovely mixture of tastes and textures.
I chose to cook it with pork chop still on the bone, to get all the flavor that the bones can contribute to the dish, and then before adding the peanut butter, I carefully took the one away. The meat pretty much falls off the bone. But if you have little ones eating the meal, and you are not 100 % sure you will be able to get all the bones off, use a boneless pork chop. Also, if you so choose, there's no need to shred the meat at the end, I just liked it that way myself.
I eat fish couple times a week, I like it, it is affordable here, so versatile, and rather easy to make tasty meals from it with a little effort.
Even though my favorite is salmon, I try to keep the variety on the menu. And cod is such a perfect fish for what I had in mind for these couple recipes I prepared.
So I made a light breading, dipped the fish fillet pieces first in the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture, that had pepper and salt in it.
Just make sure they are fully coated. And then into the oven, like it was in my case, or if you rather fry them in the pan, that is your choice, of course.
Try as well as you can, to get the bones out of the fish. With cod the bones are big, but sit fast. If you have the opportunity, you can always ask at the market, if they will de-bone it for you.
Secondly, if using bacon on a meal preparation, try using bacon you are familiar with. Some brands are highly salted, and that might throw your seasoning off.
I had some seasoned veggies in the oven with the bacon wrapped cod. Just bell peppers in different colors, and thin slices of carrots. Cut into a size, that I knew will be all done at the same time as the fish.
I have to say, that was as tasty, as it was colorful. So here you have a couple of ideas, how to dress up your fish next time it is on the menu. I hope you enjoy them!