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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How to eat for under $0.50 a serving

I love to cook, I love to prepare food, I love to experiment with different food combinations and spices.  I will follow a recipe, but not to the letter, it is my practice to look at 2 or 3 recipes for the same dish and take from each and come up with my own. This scares some people.  It is unbelievable to me how many people don't use the kitchen in their home.  I am dumbfounded at the amount of prepared foods and convenience foods that are consumed by some families.

It amazes me how many people these days do not eat home cooked meals. Has society given up on passing down the knowledge of how to cook, how to prepare a meal, how to spice and get creative with food? When I grew up I watched my parents cook every night. Every meal was prepared. I could count on one hand the number of times a year that we would eat out. Now, I can't say that about myself, I can count on one hand the number of times I eat out in a week; including my trips to Tim Hortons or when I'm 'on the go' and out shopping and I just grab a wrap.

Today I made Chicken Noodle soup.  When I say I 'made' soup, I mean I made 14.5 Litres of soup!  I do it in the stock pot.  I bottle it in mason jars for a quick home made meal, or when I am working late for my husband to serve to the kids. My husband who considers himself to be 'unable' to cook ... he can, it just takes him longer and it frustrates him, the time management and planning of it.

So, here is my breakdown of my soup - I don't really have a recipe, but I keep to the same basic ingredients.

Chicken Noodle Soup
6 Chicken Thigh
8 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 head of celery, chopped
1 onion chopped
2 bags of fine egg noddles
10 Litres of water
poultry seasoning
black pepper
bay leaves (1 per litre of soup)
Epicure dry chicken stock

I keep the drippings and stock when I roast chickens - fat and all and any left over chicken.  I put it into a Ziploc and into the freezer until I make my soup.  Cook chicken thighs in oven - remove skin, bones and fat and discard.  Tear chicken into manageable bite sized pieces.  Saute the carrots, celery and onion in olive oil.  Combine all ingredients in stock pot except egg noodles in stock pot, simmer on med-low heat for 30-40 minutes.  Boil egg noodles for 3 minutes (do not overcook), drain and add to stock pot.  Bring to a rolling boil and divide into mason jars.  Total preparation and cooking time 2 hours.

Here is the amazing part - the cost of this project:

Chicken                                                  $7
Celery                                                    $2
Carrots                                                   $1
Onion                                                     $0.50
Chicken drippings and leftover chicken      $5
Egg noodles                                            $2
Spices/electricity/water                            $2.50
Total                                                       $20.00

The ingredients produced 14.5 Litres of soup which is 43.5 servings
This gives a cost of $0.46 per serving!

I challenge you to go anywhere and get a serving of chicken noodle soup for under 50 cents!

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