Budget Challenge Update #4

zucchini gratinDuring the weekend I succumbed to boxed macaroni and cheese. I was feeling incredibly lazy and I need to pack something for lunch on Monday. I also finally threw out the dreaded slime meatballs but I kept the tomato sauce. It actually has a really nice meat-y flavor. I had it with pasta for dinner on Monday and lunch on Tuesday with a bit left over for today.

Yesterday, I did a bunch of cooking hoping it would last me to the end of the week. I made Smitten Kitchen’s Zucchini Rice and Cheese Gratin and my favorite Thai Noodle Soup, but I think I will have to cook once more to make use of the rest of my eggplant and zucchini. I’ve been resistant to making the miso eggplant, because it needs to be served with rice, and rice is a huge bother to make. The rice cooker is temperamental and the current pot I’m using is not conducive to making a single cup of rice. I’m tempted to pay a dollar and buy it from a Chinese restaurant.

The zucchini or courgette rice gratin was delicious, but the halved recipe made surprisingly little food. I used a mix of zucchini and yellow squash. Deb says the full version makes six servings, but the halved recipe was barely two. I want to play with the recipe some more before I post it, perhaps add more rice to make it heartier but that involves also playing with the liquid ratios.

Breakfast this week was fruit smoothies until I ran out of almond milk on Monday, and then instant oatmeal. My sister is a huge fan of savory oatmeal. She swears by a cheese oatmeal and a miso oatmeal (woah!).

This whole budget challenge has really fit into my personal finance journey, and it’s surprising how it made me realize how much I already had…like literally in my pantry and freezer.  On Monday, I found frozen mango!


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