Friday, January 25, 2013

Frugal Kitchen: Chicken Soup to the Rescue

A quiet week on Frugal Upside usually translates into a chaotic week in my home and work life.  And that has been the case of late.  Maybe chaotic isn't the right word, but rather sickly.  It started with a sick husband, spread to the older child, brought down the nanny, and then our younger one fell ill.  As I type the children are resting on sofas, and my husband has recovered enough to go to work.  Thankfully  I am still standing, with a mere froggy voice and a cough.

Going on two weeks of extended illness in the house, our grocery plans have gone astray.  And thanks to the art of chicken soup, my frugal kitchen turned with the times. Earlier in the week I was called home early, scratched plans for a dinner meeting, and ended up bringing home rotisserie and egg fried rice from the local grocer.  It provided a quick and simple meal for the adults that evening, and the next day morphed into a simple salad for me as well as chicken soup for the entire family.

A favorite salad from leftovers is so simple: grapes, walnuts, hunks of chicken and a dab of mayo.  This was perfect because we were reaching the end of the grapes shelf-life, no waste! Combined with crackers and a few slices of cheese for a tasty, simple lunch before heading off to the office.

And the same concept was use for the soup.  First I sauteed the few veggies that were in danger of going to compost: peppers, tomatoes, carrots, onions, and added some garlic.  In went what remained of the chicken along with a carton of chicken broth, 2 cups water, and some barley.  Tasty, simple, and a great use of veggies with a short shelf life.  And I was able to freeze two small portions for lunches as well.

Not an ideal way to use the produce I purchased, but you know how the saying goes - make a plan, and make the universe (insert other deity if you choose) laugh.  Flexibility in planning, menus, and recipes is key to a frugal kitchen operation.

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