Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Weekday Meal Project

     I've been doing a lot more cooking than normal lately, and really enjoying it. We've been eating well and not working too hard to make it happen. During that time, I've heard some naysayers claim it's too expensive to eat healthy. I suppose that depends on your definition of healthy. Organic? Yes, that's expensive. We count calories for the most part in my house. We try to keep sodium and fat down, but if you watch calories, everything else falls into place, more or less.
     For a week I made it a point to cook at least four of the five workdays. I wanted to see if I could make quick meals that were not more than 300 calories. I also wanted to do this without breaking the bank. I'm going to tell you what I cooked each night and give an approximate cost assuming you only had the spices on hand. I am basing costs on shopping at ALDI, Wal-Mart and County Market.

Photo: So this week I'm trying to cook four out of five days this week. 
Day 1: Shrimp scampi. This is about 300 calories. 
The wife thinks I need to use less pepper. I can't win every time.
Monday: Shrimp Scampi (two servings). 340 calories with rice.
About $3.50-$4.00 per serving.
Tuesday: I had to work late. Bought two 6-inch subs with a coupon. The subs were around 350-400 calories a piece. $5.50

Photo: Back to the kitchen for the 4 out of 5 challenge. Tonight?
Orange-Teriyaki Beef and Noodles. About 300 calories.
Yes, that's Ramen for the noodles. Save those seasoning packets for something else!
Wednesday: Orange-Teriyaki Beef and Noodles (two servings). 300 calories.
About $3.50-$4.50 per serving
Photo: Thai curry chicken soup. About 210 calories. This was really good. Next time I think I'm adding some tofu and scallions.
Thursday: Thai Curry Chicken Soup (3 servings). 210 calories.
About $1.00-$1.50 per serving
Photo: From yesterday. I succeeded in cooking four out of five nights this work week. Each meal was surprisingly easy and 300 calories or less per serving.

Crab and Spinach Enchiladas. 265 calories per enchilada.
Friday: Crab and Spinach Enchiladas (4 servings) 265 calories.
About $2.00-$2.50 per serving
     So there you have it. A work week of meals. Good, healthy foods. Total cost? Somewhere in the range of $14.50-$18.00. That's feeding two people, with two nights having leftovers. Only one meal I cooked went over 300 calories, and that was only 40 over. It's not easy to eat right for not a lot of money. You only need to remember one thing.

Shop Smart.
Good times!

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