Day 3 – Dinner


Rosemary Pork Chops with Spinach Potato Gratin and Carmelized Bananas with Pecans

Rosemary Pork Chops

adapted from Cooking Light November 2007

Servings – 1 4 oz pork chop with sauce

1/2 tablespoon olive oil $0.15
2 4-ounce portions of pork chops, trimmed (1 to be repurposed for lunch tomorrow) $0.96**
1/4 teaspoon salt $.01
1/4 teaspoon black pepper $.04
1 ounce dry white wine $0.21
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary $0.05
1/2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch*** $0.01

Total for recipe – $1.43 per serving
Calories: 237 Fat: 8.8 Protein: 32  

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.
Add pork to pan; saute for 5 minutes, turning once.
Remove pork and rest on the side.
Add wine and rosemary to pan; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 6 minutes.
While it’s simmering, take the spare piece of pork, and place it in a tupperware bowl or ziploc bag with 1/4 cup Barbecue Sauce and refrigerate.
Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl.
Add cornstarch mixture, and any juices from the rested pork to pan; bring to a boil.
Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly.

** I can always find some type of pork chop on sale for around $3.00 a lb. If you can’t, tack on another $0.50 a serving. Or you can buy something less expensive like chicken thighs.
*** Can be thickened with flour if you don’t have corn starch. I buy cornstarch when it’s convenient/on sale.

Potato and Spinach Gratin

Servings – 2 Ramekins or slices

Total for recipe – $0.96 per serving
Calories: 110 Fat: 4.1 Protein: 5  

Preheat oven to 350F
Put a pan on low heat.
Spray with cooking spray and add onions and garlic.
Sweat for 1-2 minutes.
Add spinach.
Salt liberally.
When it just begins to wilt, take off heat and set aside. This is important because if you let it wilt all the way, when it bakes, it’s going to go past buttery and savory into the rank sulfur-laden spinach we all avoided when we were wee things. This is a crime against spinach. Popeye would be ashamed.
Slice potatoes thinly with a mandoline, or by hand, as thin as possible.
Put milk in pan used for spinach.
Taste and add salt as needed (should be salty otherwise the potatoes will lack flavor, but remember more salt is coming from the cheese.)
Add potatoes to the pan.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
Cook until the potatoes are beginning to soften, but still have shape.
Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon.
Layer in ramekins or small pan. Potatoes, then spinach.** Pour in enough milk to just cover the potatoes. Sprinkle cheese lightly on top.
If using ramekins, make 2 full layers, add some flour to the milk and cook a little to thicken, and don’t put milk all the way to the top or it will be soupy.
Bake at 350F until cheese is bubbly, about 45 – 60 minutes.
Let slice/ramekin come to room temp, then refrigerate.

**the meal I’m repurposing these for has green beans, so I made one ramekin with spinach and one without. Could easily be done in a pan by doing half with spinach and half without, like a pizza. If you like a lot of greens with your meal, you could go ahead and portion it through the whole thing.

Carmelized Bananas with Pecans

Servings – 1 banana and toppings

cooking spray – $0.02
1 tbsp onions, minced – $0.04
1 cloves Garlic, minced $0.05
1.5 oz spinach – $0.41**
Salt – $0.01
1 small russet potato $0.55
6 oz milk 2% $0.42
.75 ounce fontina, grated $0.42

1/2 tsp butter – $0.02
1 banana, cut into inch slices $0.21
2 teaspoons brown sugar – $0.03
1 tablespoon cream – $0.14
1/2 tsp nuts for sprinkling (optional) $0.09*

Total for recipe – $ 0.49 per serving
Calories: 239.6 Fat: 8.8 Protein: 0  

Whip tablespoon of cream in a small bowl until fluffy.
Heat small pan on medium low.
Cut banana.
Melt butter in pan.
Add bananas.
Let cook for 20-30 seconds.
Add sugar and cook until browned on one side, about another 30 seconds.
Swirl in pan to collect carmelizing sugar.
Cook until brown on other side but still firm, about 1 minute.
Sprinkle with nuts and top with whipped cream.*I always keep walnuts, pecans, and almonds around. They’re full of protein and good fats. I buy them when I see them on sale, because they’ll keep for a good six months in the freezer. They’re not necessary to this recipe, but they do add a buttery crunch.

Totals for dinner

Total for dinner – $2.88
Calories: 586.6
Fat: 21.7 (33%)
Protein: 37 (25%)


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