BANGOR – In our latest edition of “Look Who’s Cooking”, we’ll be exploring ways to make great tasting meals with items you may already have in the pantry. You can also save money be simply planning ahead before heading to the grocery store.
As always, support for this segment was provided by EMHS Total Health, the Partnership to Improve Community Health by the CDC and the good folks with EMMC Medical Fitness.
We’re glad to be joined once again by Nicole King, continuing our series on eating healthy without spending a lot of money. Nicole, one of the misconceptions about eating healthy is that it costs a lot of money, but that’s not really the case.
King said “It’s really not the case. There are actually a lot of prepackaged goods that are more expensive if you compare them ounce by ounce. But when you go to the grocery store, it’s daunting. I guess you have to know what you’re buying and what you’re looking for. And one of the key things about grocery shopping is making a list and sticking to it. It’s buying whole fruits and vegetables instead of prepackaged, pre-sliced, pre-cut, because they’re more expensive then the fresh ones. You have to do a little work yourself, but it’s a still better product.”
“Today we are making a chicken curry salad and we’ll be serving it in a lettuce wrap.” added King.
We’ll begin by browning a chicken breast. This is another example of how you might take something leftover from last nights meal to create something to eat today. Just one of the ways you can stretch your dollar at supper time.
King said “One of the things I like to do is make a big pot of soup and then you can eat that throughout the week. And soup is very inexpensive. It’s a good way to use up vegetables. There are a lot of people that say everything but the kitchen sink soup because you take anything you have in your fridge and put it in a pot and make it into a soup. And it’s a good way so you’re not wasting your foods.”
Another way to stop wasting food is to only buy what you need. King stated “Another thing is buy the package size you’re ready to use. Sometimes those mixed greens come in really big plastic containers. If you’re only going to use 2 salads, it’s probably not worth buying.”
King said freezing leftovers for another day is another way to get more out of our meals. She added “And also, reuse products. Say you had a chicken breast left over from dinner. You could always cut it up and make chicken salad the next day for lunch.”
That’s what we’re doing today. Now that the chicken is browned and allowed to cool to room temperature (with a little help), it’s time to add the seasonings.
“The chicken is cool so the next thing we’ll do is add the curry powder. Add it to our Greek yogurt. It’s nonfat, plain Greek yogurt and it’s very healthy. It’s got calcium. It’s going to make a nice tangy flavor and i think it goes well with the curry.” said King.
We’ll also add diced celery and chopped cilantro
King said “Love cilantro. And grapes . And again, we’re going to mix it up until it’s all nice and incorporated. But you can also add the other ingredients. Carrots, red onions, dried cranberries and toasted nuts.”
King said she didn’t season the chicken while cooking because this meal will already be full of flavors. She stated “I’m going to go ahead and put it into our lettuce wrap. So here we have lettuce. These are really big leaves. I just split them down the center.”
You could also use bread or wraps, but that would be full of fat, sodium and carbs. This is also much less expensive.
King continued “And that does it. So you just go ahead and roll up the ends. Just like that.”
How much would something like this cost?
“Maybe two dollars. Again you can use things you already have in your pantry. If you bought a bunch of grapes and they’re almost going to go bad you can throw it in the salad like this to save on waste. Buy a full head of lettuce, cut the bottoms and use it for a salad and the tops for the wraps.” Concluded King.