Saturday, December 1, 2012

Challenge 4

For this challenge we had to prepare a meal for two people under a $15 budget. The ingredients had to be purchased from a co-op or whole foods store. I had never been to a co-op before, so I didn't really know what that meant, and I didn't know what to expect. A co-worker of mine told me that there was a whole foods store on the corner of Dale and Selby, so I decided to check it out. This store was called Mississippi Market. Upon entering, I realized that most of the food was organic and local.

I walked around the store with no idea on what I wanted to make. I saw some lasagna pasta and decided I would make lasagna. Whenever I eat lasagna its the frozen kind, and I always wanted to make it from scratch. This was the perfect opportunity.

I purchased ingredients based on what I knew of lasagna. I purchased one box of organic %100 Durum semolina lasgana pasta for $3.49, one tub of part skim ricotta cheese for $3.53, two cans of organic diced tomatoes with garlic and onion for $1.99 each, and one block of mild cheddar cheese for $3.62. I wanted to put in ground beef but that cost $6.05, which was over my budget. Everything together came to $14.62!

When I was walking around the store, I found that everything was pretty expensive. I think it definitely would have been cheaper to purchase these ingredients from a Rainbow grocery store. It was nice though that most everything was local and organic.

After shopping I went to a friends house and we made the lasagna together. First we boiled some water for the lasagna pasta. When the boiled water was ready we put in the lasagna pasta, while this was cooking we made the tomato sauce. In a skillet we added some olive oil, salt (both of which are staple ingredients), and the two cans of diced tomatoes with garlic and onion. I let this cook for a bit until the diced tomatoes started to break down and make a sauce. We also grated the block cheddar cheese.

We layered the baking pan like this:
  1. tomato sauce
  2. lasagna pasta
  3. tomato sauce
  4. ricotta cheese
  5. cheddar cheese
  6. repeat twice, in the second repeat skip step 4
We then set the oven to 375 and baked it for half an hour. When it was done we broiled it for about five minutes, so the top would be crispy.

It was later that I realized that lasagna is usually made with mozzarella and Parmesan, but it tasted delicious with cheddar cheese! We definitely ate seconds. The amount of lasagna we made probably could feed not just two people but four to six people. I hope to make lasagna from scratch every time I make it, instead of buying the frozen kind.

With this recipe I was able to get grains from the pasta, vegetables from the diced tomato, dairy and protein from the ricotta and cheddar cheese. Unfortunately, it seems we didn't get in any fruit (unless you consider tomato a fruit, which also contained onion and garlic (vegetables)). If I purchased from a chain grocery store, I probably wouldn't have bought organic ingredients, which would have lowered the cost and allowed me to buy fruit.

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