Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Eating clean on a budget (AKA three more days 'til the payday)

This could also be titled "The three reincarnations of pork ribs". My work cafeteria would be proud.

This week we somehow found ourselves in a tight financial spot. The weekend's grocery shopping was limited to bare essentials (a gallon of milk, a dozen of eggs and a tin of coffee) and set us back $15. This situation prompted an inspection of the freezer in order to figure out what to eat for the week. The inspection produces a pan of frozen cooked barbecue ribs from the last 4th of July cookout. They were reheated, and some of them were consumed with a side of carrot salad for Sunday dinner.

Monday night I decided to throw together something that would be tasty and not barbecue ribs. A quick search rendered a quarter of a jar of sauerkraut left over from New Year's Eve. Yes, it was still good. Pork and kraut is a combination made in heaven. I stir fried the kraut for about five minutes with half an onion, loaded it with pulled pork (pulled from the above mentioned ribs), added some hot water and simmered it for about 15 minutes. Da bomb!

As a side I quickly threw together some potato pancakes. Two potatoes, peeled, shredded and squeezed - check! The remaining half of the onion, diced - check! One egg - check! Salt, white pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, fennel seeds from the spice drawer - you got it! Divide it in two, pan fry with a little butter and finish off in the oven at 350. A dollop of sour cream. Pork and kraut on the side. Delish.

Now my favorite part - the dessert. If I were asked to name my absolute favorite dessert it would have to be New York style cheesecake. Now there's an idea. I surely don't have enough ingredients to make a full cheesecake, but I believe we might have an 8 oz pack of cream cheese in the fridge. Bingo! Crush some graham crackers and press them to the bottom of two individual size ramekin dishes. Beat the cream cheese with 1/4 cup brown sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add one egg and a tablespoon of sour cream. Mix well. Spoon into the two ramekin dishes. Place in a hot water bath and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Let cool. Enjoy. Life is good.

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