In the hopes of not completely succumbing to my lull in medical school news, I have decided to share some of my budget-conscious cooking. You'll notice I haven't posted in a while. Though partially due to laziness, I also just haven't been eating out. With the exception being my once-a-week trips to either Gold Medal or Pho Ao Sen, neither of which really count. But, I've decided that just because we are saving money doesn't mean we can't eat delicious food. Stepping away from some of my stand-bys, I'll share new recipes that I find to work well and are easy to do in a reasonable amount of time.
One of my new favorite recipes is taken from www.yorkshireatheart.com. It's a Thai-style curry that I've found works really well over Chinese rice, and can be done on a tiny budget. It also freezes well. I'm including the recipe itself along with any changes I made.
1 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed (I preferred grating it)
2.5 cm (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, finely grated
1⁄2tsp fenugreek seeds
1 stick lemongrass, finely chopped (Mince this, otherwise it will be too crunchy, or leave it in big pieces that you can pull out in the end)
4 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1⁄2 tsp turmeric
350g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut in large cubes (about 1 1/4 C, 1in. by 1in. increases cooking time!)
300g sweet potato, peeled and cut in large cubes (about 1 C, 1in. by 1in. increases cooking time!)
300ml vegetable stock (chicken stock also is okay)
300ml coconut milk
2 bananas, peeled and sliced thinly
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion, garlic, ginger and fenugreek over a low heat for about 5 minutes until the onion is softened. Stir in the lemongrass, curry paste and turmeric. Add the pumpkin and sweet potato and stir to coat them in the spices. Leave to cook over a low heat for 2-3 minutes to allow the vegetables to absorb the flavors of the spices. Pour in the vegetable stock and coconut milk. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Season, remove from the heat and add the diced bananas.
The first mistake I made was doubling the recipe. I tend to double recipes when cooking for David and me because we pack leftovers, but good lord do we still have a lot of curry. Both of us had it for lunch and dinner today, and freezer-packed at least 8 more meals worth. Also, I'd recommend not picking your squash/pumpkin based on what the name sounds like. Whatever you do, pick the one that looks easiest to peel. I ended up going with a Gold Nugget Squash and Carnival Squash, both of which took me a good hour to finish peeling (one was roasted in a different recipe). Instead of using sweet potatoes, I went for the cheaper Garnet Yams. Though not as moist in texture as my favorite Beauregard Yams, they actually contrasted much more nicely with the banana and squash.
I also ended up using chicken broth (thanks to buying an entire flat at Costco), which didn't seem to compromise the recipe at all, and cooking the curry for about 45 minutes, not 20. I'm not sure what she means by large chunks, but for me, my 1x1 inch cubes took forEVER to cook.
And now for the numbers (costs don't include staples and are for the doubled recipe)...
2 onions, $1.00
2 sticks lemongrass, $0.15
8 tbsp Thai red curry paste $2.13
1 small Gold Nugget Squash, $1.22
3 small Garnet Yams, $0.69
2 cans coconut milk, $2.10
3 bananas, $0.35
Total: $7.64, plus $4 for staples = $11.64 for 12 servings
4 years ago