Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Waste Not Want Not

Yesterday was Halloween and as a mother of 2 youngsters prepared to walk the neighbourhood streets to collect candy from strangers. Quite an odd tradition if you ask me. Nonetheless, we survived the October prairie evening which was unseasonably warm. A far cry from the snow and sleet we usually get on Halloween.

For dinner, I planned something I could make earlier in the day (or could be night before, for those working folks). I made something I call "Taco Pie". Which is a baked crescent roll crust with seasoned ground chicken and cheese, baked and topped with lettuce, tomatoes and hot sauce. A favourite in our house.

Now, if you're like me, you hate to waste things. So what to do with that Jack-o-lantern? If it hasn't been carved for too long, it is perfectly edible! Don't waste it. Use it for your pies, cakes and breads. Ther is lots of fibre and antioxidants in pumpkin.

Pumpkin Puree

1. Cut the pumkpin into big chunks. Trim any part that was exposed to air for a long period of time. (like where the scary face was)

2. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place pumkpin on the baking sheet and place another sheet of foil on top.

3. Bake at 325 for 45 - 60 minutes, until fresh of the pumpkin in soft.

4. Remove the fresh from the skin of the pumpkin and mash with a fork, or place in a food processor.

5. Drain excess liquid. Keep in the fridge (in a resealable container) or in the freezer.

I've tried a few different ways in the past, but this was the easiest and least messy.

Of course, you can roast the pumpkin seeds as well. Rinse them first and let them dry for at least 24 hours. Drizzle with a little oil and whatever seasoning you like. (We like chipotle) Bake at 350F until done (maybe 20 minutes or so)

The lesson in this week's mealplan is about cost. This is the next consideration when making a mealplan, at least for me. Look at the store flyers to check out any sales and match with any coupons I may have. I go to the freezer to see what I already have.

So this week, we have Halloween, football practice, football games and swimming lessons. I have the turkey meatballs in the freezer I made last week, and I have a fresh batch of pumpkin puree.

So, what's for dinner tonight?

Slow Cooker turkey meatballs

This is like Thanksgiving dinner with out the fuss, and the good china. I made the meatballs last week when the ground turkey was on sale and place them in the slow cooker with carrots, onion, and potatoes. Add a packet of turkey gravy and some chicken broth and let it go. Half an hour before serving add some green peas. That's it.

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