I buy pre-made lasagna. I can generally get Basillis (sp) best at 5.00 for two pounds. President's Choice also makes a decent seafood lasanga, same size for 6.00.Both have plenty of meat and cheese, and probably are Canadian only products. I did try Stouffers, and it was gross.
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Baked Ziti is pretty good, and fairly inexpensive. I use 1/2 lb of chicken breast instead of hamburger, 1 jar of pasta sauce, an onion, a package of ziti, rigatoni or macaroni in a pinch, couple of cups of milk and a cup of parmesan for the white sauce, a sprinkle of mozzaralla on top. It makes a HUGE dish of baked ziti. I split it and freeze 1/2 uncooked. It's good substituting roasted eggplant for the chicken too.
I'm going stealth vegetarian...trying to see how long it takes for husband to figure out.
"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant
I have made this vegetarian lasagne before and it is delicious. It is from my favourite cook book, "Crazy Plates"
You could make it cheaper by using all cottage cheese instead of ricotta, using crimini (brown) mushrooms instead of portabella, green peppers instead of the coloured ones (although they are soooo tasty) and jazz up some tomato sauce with herbs and spices instead of buying spaghetti sauce.
Heatlhy, delicious and inexpensive. What more could you want?
Edited: Just read that you don't care for vegetarian lasagne. Fair enough. But some day, just give this one a try. You might be surprised!
I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.
I was going to recommend baked ziti, as well. Use canned tomatoes instead of brand name pasta sauce and you'll save a ton. You can make a lot and freeze or just survive on it for awhile!! You can even use all the same ingredients as lasagna, if you'd like and call it "deconstructed lasagna!" Yum!
Too bad you're not close. I have a LOT of tortellini and tomato soup we are tired of. Added tiny frozen tortellini and damn those things kept expanding, I had to keep adding other stuff and had a VAT for the 2 of us. Super easy and cheap. Tomatoes, a few meatballs, some veggies, tortellini, etc.
3 cans of tomatoes$3., 454 grams of lean beef,$6, seasoning, .50cents, 600 grams of mozz, $4.99,1 pkg of ricotta, $3.59, lasagna noodles .99cents..... that will make two pans of lasagna, and you will know what is in it!
454 grams is a pound.
"My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.”
― Anna Sewell
I follow Smitten Kitchen's recipe for mushroom lasagna and can make it for under $10. Pound and a half of mushrooms ($6) with 3/4 pound lasagna ($1 on sale) and a few cups whole milk ($2.) It uses Parmesan, garlic, flour, and butter, all of which I invariably have on hand.
But for carnivores you just can't beat a Stouffer's lasagna. Cheaper, faster, and I think tastier than home made.
"I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
- Harry Dresden
I'm trying to eat on the skinny right now because between semesters I have no income so what I have is what's in my bank account.
So I'm making my shopping list and decide to buy the fixings for a lasagna: ground beef, sausage, ricotta, parmesan, some kind of sauce, and lasagna noodles. I'm tallying this in my head and I'm thinking it might actually be cheaper to buy a frozen lasagna.
Am I wrong here?
Whilte store bought is not nearly as yummy, it is cheaper. It costs us about 25-30 per 9x13 pan to make, and 10 to buy,
And it's a $$ issue. I imagine the quality of the ingredients is probably better when I make it at home, but times is hard. I'm also going to pick up a cheap piece of bone in meat to crock some black beans under.
Thanks for the Stouffer's endorsement.
If you go to the store early in the mornings, you can get meat that they have marked down. Put it in the freezer or use immediately and it is fine. Also, if you have a cheap piece of pork steak or "country style ribs" (right now 1.68#) it flavors beans wonderfully!
I will "bulk up" my meats by adding in lots of mushrooms or shredded broccoli slaw.
If you do stouffers, be sure to get the "Italian style" lasagna... I'm pretty sure the non-Italian style uses cottage cheese, and since it sounds like you're appreciate REAL lasagna, you wouldn't like the cottage cheese kind. (I refuse to eat anything with cottage instead of ricotta. I can tell. Everytime.)
work your fridge like a well planned wardrobe. Have as many "multitasking" ingredients on hand so that they all get used.
I slow a pork shoulder about every other month. I eat 1/3 of it as just bbq pork, and then I add the other 2/3 to leftover veggies, plus a few cans of diced tomatoes and some bbq sauce and that makes a few gallons of brunswick stew.
I slow cook whatever chicken is cheap at the grocery store with a few cans of rotel tomatoes. Eat it with refried beans and rice til bored, then add a can of diced tomatoes (or leftover salsa, or leftover pasta sauce), okra, leftover sausage or hot dogs, a bell pepper, an onion, and rice (or quinoa, or pasta) and slow cook that into a jambalaya.
I generally don't buy ingredients I can't multipurpose. we waste nothing.
It helps to have a knowledge and good instincts of flavor profiles.
Homemade sauce is really easy and cheap-you dont need expensive San Marzano tomatoes-I buy whatever is on sale and double the garlic. And dont cook too long-keep the red vibrant. Giada DeLaurentis' recipe is good http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/g...ipe/index.html
When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE THEM.
Hey paula... Have you seen the $5 dinner cookbook? I can't recall the exact name, and I can't find it right about now, but I'm sure google would bring it up. Lots of great ideas for budget meals that you could easily cut in half.
I love lasagna, but I never make it because it's so darn expensive!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
lies with in us. - Emerson
Well I'm back. I went to the store for my essentials LOL dog food, whole in-shell pecans for the macaws, and then what's left for me. I did find a Marie Callender (sp?) lasagna that served 6 for $7.97. There was a Stouffers that was bigger for about $11.00, but even though it was a better price per serving more than likely, I didn't need the bigger size so I bought the MC. It wasn't bad except that the plastic it comes in out gassed like a mother when it was in the oven. The next time I'd take it out of the magical tray and put it in stoneware or something.
The flavor was quite good for a frozen lasagna -you could taste the sausage.
Other than that I did pick up some dates and bacon for a nice but cheap treat. If you've never wrapped pitted dates in bacon you've been missing something pretty amazing.
I also picked up some lime juice to soak my black beans when I'm ready to crock that ham end.
Hey Heinz 57, thanks for the suggestion. I'll Google it. The one challenge I have with these types of books is that they are rarely to my West Indian tastes. Things like jambalaya, goulash, etc. aren't as familiar to me as....well..currying the crap out of everything, pelau, roti, and things like that. ManyDogs is right; just about everything tastes great curried! I do use this website http://caribbeanpot.com/
I think the healthiest cheap method of cooking may be some kind of Chinese cuisine. I say some kind because China is a huge place with many regional styles. But like right now I have bok choy in my crisper. Soy sauce, sesame oil, bonito flakes, miso, etc are great staples for stir fry or soups. I actually have wakame in the pantry, but no miso or tofu (wait, I think I'm in Japan now).
He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).