As you know, it is once again time for our Great Blogger’s Bake-Off. This year is going to be a bit different than it has been in years past. One of the themes this year will be about baking on a budget. Mel from “crushedcaramel” firstname.lastname@example.org had asked me to offer some advice about budget baking and cooking. Here is my response:
We all know the price of food is rising beyond belief. I just heard that in the United States, where I live, the price of food has risen over 13.5% in the past year. WOW!!! That is a HUGE increase! But we all have to eat. There is no getting around that basic fact, so what do we do. There are all kinds of things we can do to help get around the rising food costs.
- Make a list and buy only what you need.
- Buy the store brands rather than name brands if you can. More so than not they are exactly the same items as the name brands, and the same quality, just at a lower price.
- Buy in bulk if you can, portion off what you need and freeze or store the rest.
- Use up those leftovers. Waste not want not. If you are like me, I am not a big fan of eating leftovers in the same recipe or way as the “firstovers” so I recreate and repurpose them all the time.
- Instead of going out to eat, especially for lunch, bring in your leftovers for lunch.
So this is a perfect tie-in for yet another creative way to use up my leftovers. This time I used my leftover bison I served at our big birthday bash The Birthday Party. The original way I cooked the roast was mouth watering, and we could have very easily eaten it just the way it was and been very happy with it. But where’s the fun or creativity in that? Of course I wanted to transform it into something different. So I made it into a stew and served it over wide noodles. We also finished up the rest of the jalapeno cheese bread I made for the party as well.
I also finished off most of my tomatoes from Janet and Bob’s 2nd gift of a big box of tomatoes. Gift From The Garden This time I used all of the Sunny Boy golden tomatoes and the rest of the Sweet 100’s. You can use any kind of tomatoes you like, but I wanted to use these up. They were so good! Included in my leftovers was also 1/2 a zucchini and a delicata squash, and a little red onion that I threw into the stew mixture as well.
Bison-Vegetable Stew Over Noodles
1-1 1/2 lbs of bison, cubed
1/4 onion, diced
1-1 1/4 lbs of tomatoes, diced
1-1 1/2 cups mushrooms, quartered
1 TBSP garlic
salt & pepper to taste
2 TBSP tomato paste
1/2-3/4 cup beef broth
olive oil for cooking
1-2 TBSP either lemon juice or lemon balsamic vinegar
Get a skillet very hot and add the olive oil. Then add the vegetables, except for the tomatoes, and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until they are tender, stirring often.
If you are using raw meat, cook it first, then add to the vegetables. But my meat was already cooked, so I did not need to cook it again. Then add the seasonings, tomatoes and beef broth. Instead of pepper this time, I used some Montreal Steak seasoning. I actually ran out of ground black pepper and didn’t feel like crushing my peppercorns. The Montreal steak seasoning was a great substitute and gave the stew a big bold flavor, which is what you are looking for with game meat.
Mix everything together well, then add the tomato paste and stir in with the mix. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about about 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add a dash of either lemon juice or lemon balsamic vinegar at the end of the cooking process, just before serving. It really brings out the flavor of the tomatoes.
This is a big and bold dish and needs something hearty to go with it. This time, I served it over wide noodles, like the kind you would use for a stroganoff, but you can also serve it over mashed potatoes too and that would be very tasty as well.
As I always say, play with your food and be creative. Who knows what you’ll get, but at least you will fun in the process. 🙂
We are leaving once again early tomorrow morning, and will be gone for a week. We will be domestic this time. Our niece is getting married in Virginia, and we will be there for the wedding of course, as well as taking in a lot of the local sights and attractions. We both love history, so we are going to explore a lot of the historical sights of the area. I will not be posting anything while I am gone, but you know you will hear all about it when we get back. So in my absence, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.