getting stuffed – the healthy way.
Food-blogging isn’t really conducive to saving money on your weekly food bill. I suppose in some cases if you had a bunch of sponsorship and got freebies all the time it would make life easier, but then you would have less control over your content, right? I like to ‘blog to the beat of my own drum,’ if that makes sense? I don’t blog to make money or chase popularity/success in any way. I appreciate each and every person that takes the time to read fridge scrapings, and if I inspire someone in any tiny way to try something new, then that is all the success I need. I also try and be realistic – I know not everyone (including myself) cannot afford to eat 100% organic, and be purchasing every trendy super food under the sun on a weekly basis – it’s all about finding a comfortable middle ground, right?
In regards to my first statement – I have really cut down on buying any speciality ingredients of late, (read: I’ve cut done on buying MORE stock for my kitchen altogether) mainly for the sake of our weekly food budget. This doesn’t mean that our meals have to be bland/boring/unhealthy in any way though – I have just concentrated on using what I have on hand, and taking advantage of my supplies of dry bulk goods (grains/legumes/beans etc). This would be one of my top tips for being healthy on a budget – buy bulk amounts of (quality) dry goods – way cheaper in the long run. Basically, what I’m saying is, that although I might not have the budget to be posting recipes for amazing super food/fancy ingredient filled dishes, I can still make sure my family and I are eating a balanced, nutritious diet.
I made this Spiced Apricot Relish a few days ago, and mentioned that stuffing it into roast chicken would be a delicious idea – I thought I should come good on that notion and provide a recipe for you (meat eaters). Stuffing is a great way to stretch out a roast chicken. It’s also a good way to sneak in a nutritious option – quinoa in this instance, as opposed to a plain bread stuffing – great for those who suffer from food allergies/intolerances. Fellow vegans/vegetarians I apologise, but this relish also makes a lovely marinade for tofu, so I encourage you to give that a go – served on a bed of seasoned quinoa with herbs, walnuts and coconut oil was my version of the following dish I cooked for Viper & Misty. The good thing is, we can ALL share the roast veggies on the side!
I have listed a few substitute-ingredients that could be used instead of the ones I had on hand. I like recipes that you can adapt to use up leftovers, and make the most of the food you have in your fridge – this is a great recipe for using up smaller quantities of bits & pieces you might have hanging around in the fridge.
Spiced Apricot & Walnut Quinoa Stuffing
Vegan: Gluten/wheat/soy/corn/refined sugar free
- 1C cooked quinoa (rice/cous cous/buckwheat or any leftover grain would work well here)
- 4T Spiced Apricot Relish (or any chutney/relish you have on hand – plum/cranberry/apple would all be delcious) thinned out with a few tablespoons of warm water.
- 1/2C walnut halves (or almonds/pine nuts) roughly crushed
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic
- 3T chopped fresh herbs (dry is also fine) I used thyme, basil and parsley (what I had in the garden)
- 1t lemon zest
- 2t lemon juice
- 1/4t sea salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Simply thin down your relish with a few tablespoons of warm water (so it folds through the quinoa a little easier) – then mix in all other ingredients.
- Stuff into the cavity of a whole chicken and roast according to your bird’s size as you would normally.
A whole, organic chicken will set you back around the $10-12 mark, depending on the size. Even with Viper’s fiesty appetite, a chook stuffed in this fashion will provide 2 large manly meals, plus 3 toddler meals. Not to mention the stock I make from boiling down the bones, or the dog food I make for Boosty out of gristle/skin and the likes. It’s a pretty cost effective meal when you break it all down in that fashion. Not to mention the protein factor – chicken AND quinoa? Oh yes, that’s a whack of protein for sure.
Favourite penny-pinching meal suggestions?