Friday, March 30, 2007

Frugal Gourmet

We did a great round of grocery shopping on Tuesday evening--$86, and totally a full week-and-a-half's worth of groceries. One particularly good move was the purchase of three pounds of chicken breasts, which I pounded thin; marinated in yogurt, mustard, and herbs; and pan-grilled in bulk. These have provided the core of three very delicious sandwiches so far (with more to come), and have cut my work-lunch food costs almost to zero over the past few days. I'm hoping I can get through the entirety of next week's work lunches on this chicken--I'll do a couple more sandwiches (I did a chicken pesto on baguette with baby spinach, and a chicken with cheddar cheese, onion, and baby spinach--I'm thinking I'll try something with thin slices of Fuji apple for next week, and maybe something with some Parmesan ends we've got sitting around), and I think I'll make a big batch of couscous salad with chicken (I add feta cheese, red onion, tomato, cucumber, Kalamata olives, and some oil and vinegar to couscous just like it's a Greek salad) and take that a couple of times. Maybe a pasta with chicken and pesto?

I'm really enjoying making and eating these lunches, actually. I find, perhaps counterintuitively, that putting more effort into them makes me more likely to want to spend the time making the lunch. I like thinking up new and creative ideas, and I don't feel like I'm eating the same thing every day even if the core ingredient is the same. It feels like I'm doing something nice for myself, and with spring starting to peek over the horizon, I can look forward to being able to take my lunch out to Bryant Park and have a little escape from the workday.

I may be too sick of chicken to repeat this next time I go shopping--then again, I might not. Either way, I'm hoping to continue developing the habit of packing tasty, healthy lunches for myself. It makes me happy, and it saves me money.


SF Money Musings said...

That sound delicious! Can you post some of the recipes you use to make lunch? I'm getting a bit tired of peanut butter or salad with chicken the last few days.

How do you pound thin chicken? I'm wondering if you also own a food processor since you mentioned pesto. I'd love to know which kind you own if yo have one. Thanks!

ali c said...

Bless you and your proper use of semicolons! (Oh, and I'm enjoying your blog. I got here through The Simple Dollar.)

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