It’s been a week of leftovers, using up what we have and I’m back to those 1970s desserts. Namely jello and whipped creme. Perfect on a hot summer day! I had forgotten how tasty and inexpensive jello is. I do have a few 70s jello recipes (adding fruit to the mix) and I plan on preparing them very soon. In the meantime, for only .85 cents a family-sized box (4 cups vs 2 cups) and with either a can of whipped creme @$2.95 (all Aldi prices) as a topping or for .79 cents a cool-whip generic whipped topping, I can have myself a nice cool dinnertime dessert!

Another great dessert I made this week was low cost strawberry shortcake. A yellow cake mix from Aldi is only .85 cents. The recipe calls for 3 eggs but I only add in 2. Works just as well. The recipe also calls for a cup of water and 1/3 cup of oil. I always put in a smidge more vegetable oil. It seems to make the cake taste better and much more firmer. Strawberries were priced at $1.76 per pint this week which makes them an excellent deal. And then there is that special splurge of mine: a super big can of Aldi whipped creme @$2.95. It’s the bomb!!

I used up some ingredients that had no where to go but in a special concoction. First up was a bowl of leftover sautéed chopped beef. I cooked up a bit of chopped onion in olive oil, tossed in some frozen peas, combined everything and served it over a bowl of brown rice. Delish again!

Frozen peas always work out best in recipes.

Next up in the leftover department, hubby likes to buy himself a gallon of 2% milk but sometimes he can’t finish it all before the expiration date. No problem. It’s an opportunity for me to make my most favorite dish, mac ‘n cheese. I used up most of the near-expired milk, some slices of leftover yellow cheese, dabs of margarine and dijon mustard, grated bread ends for a breadcrumb topping and voila’, my fave:

This is about a weeks worth of lunches for me!

No week is complete for us without my husband’s premier chicken or turkey soup. Winter or summer, this soup doesn’t dissapoint. Hubby has this special way of just boiling the bones for over an hour and then adding in the veggies for another simmering hour. His soups are always loaded with veggetables (celery, onions, carrots and either kale or spinach) always a cup or so of brown rice tossed in, a touch a seasonings, fresh parsley and I swear, you think you died and gone to heaven his soups are so good (and healthy!):

I always toss in a teaspoon or two of grated parmesan cheese!

Lastly, in the leftover department (which make fantastic lunches!) I had the remains of turkey chili. Lots of red kidney beans (.59 a can) and low-fat chopped turkey ($2.79 in the roll). I topped mine with the last of the medium salsa (.99 for a large bottle), a handful of shredded cheddar cheese ($5.19 for a two pound bag that I store in the freezer) and a dollop of low fat sour creme (.79 cents). Lunch can’t get any healthier than this:

The new dishes we had this past week were tomatoes, tomatoes and tomatoes. At only .99 cents a pound, fresh off a local farm, I made a big bowl of tomato salad (cut up tomatoes, minced red onion, fresh basil from my garden, a touch of salt and a lot of virgin olive oil. Hubby stopped at our local bakery and splurged on a fresh French baguette ($3.50). The bread is also from heaven! I toast up the bread and toss the slices into my bowl of tomato salad. OMFG! My Italian mother-in-law taught me this recipe. And I’ve been making it every summer since 1974!!!! On one occasion this past week, I turned the tomato salad into an impromptu charcuterie bowl. Literally. I added in some sliced salami (Aldi @$6 a pound, which is a fantastic price!) and some slices from a mozzarella log (also from Aldi for only $3.99).

Can lunch or dinner get any better than this?

Food prices may be going up but we Italians know how to keep costs down and still eat good! Whatever you are doing out there, I beg you, please, please, please do NOT eat cheap food. Don’t let ‘them’ take your good health away. Every nationality has what we call ‘peasant’ food. These are foods that cost little but when prepared correctly can provide you will health, wealth and stomach happiness! I utilize recipes not only from the Italians but also the Mexicans, Latinos and the Greeks. All hard working people who needed their health in order to survive. Learn from them. Learn from me but whatever you do, never ever give up your good health! If the peasants can do it, so can you!

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