Last night, Morgan from Life After Bagels moderated a fabulous #FitBlog chat called Health: Is It All About the Benjamins? There were loads of participants offering great suggestions on ways we can eat healthy and exercise on a budget. Cooking at home was one money-saving tip mentioned time and time again during the chat.
This concept plays a huge part in our household food budget. We usually only dine out about once a week, some weeks not at all. The vast majority of our dinners are prepared at home. For lunches, my husband takes a packed fare every day rather than buying fast food. I usually eat leftovers or prepare a large batch of something at the beginning of the week to eat for lunches the rest of the week. Budget is a the main reason for our dine-in lifestyle, but I also think it’s a healthier option. I like being able to control the ingredients and how they’re prepared.
I had a helper in the kitchen last night.
She stood there and helped (read: ate pieces of bell pepper) for a really long time. We were all fine and good until she discovered the butcher block of Cutco knives you see back there. She was fascinated with pulling them out so she was immediately relegated back to ground level.
Italian Sausage Sandwiches
I wish I’d snapped a photo of my ingredients before I started and more throughout the process, but this dish is really simple so I think you can handle it without those.
~1 package Italian turkey sausage links (hot or mild), sliced into rounds
~1 tablespoon teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
~3 garlic cloves, minced
~2 small onions, sliced into strips
~2 bell peppers, any color, sliced into strips
~2 teaspoons dried oregano
~ground black pepper to taste
~your favorite kind of sandwich bread (I like wraps. My husband likes wheat hoagie buns.)
~sliced or shredded cheese, variety of your choice (optional)
1. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, just until fragrant.
2. Add the onions, peppers, oregano and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until the veggies are tender. Place the mixture in a bowl and cover to keep warm.
3. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil in the same wok or skillet. Add in the sausage rounds. Cook, stirring occasionally until they are done all the way through.
4. Add the peppers & onions back to the wok or skillet and toss the mixture together.
6. Top with cheese if you wish. If you’re using a wrap, this is where you want to roll it up.
All wrapped up with a salad of mixed greens, fat free feta cheese & tomato vinagrette:
The total cost for this main dish comes in at just under $10. It makes quite a bit and reheats very well. In addition to one dinner, we’ll get at least 4 lunches out of the leftovers. My meat-and-potatoes husband LOVES this one as much as I do.
What’s your favorite low-cost meal to make at home?