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04 Apr

Days 14 – 17

Posted in pasta, Shop Smart, side dish, Win at Dinner on 04.04.11 by Smart Ingredients

A continuation of our “30 Days of Dinner” posts.


Are you winning at dinner? Do you find yourself going to the store more often than you’d like? Grab one or two extra meats on your next “nightly” trip, and our blog and online recipes can help you figure out something to make with them with ingredients you have at home. Won’t it be nice to know you won’t have to head back to the store tomorrow… or the next day?


Day 14

Menu: Spaghetti with tomato cream sauce, meatballs, and grilled asparagus

Game Plays applied:

Gifts to self — when I make spaghetti sauce, I make a lot. Enough that I have many, many servings frozen. I took the spaghetti sauce from the freezer, thawed and mixed it with the new Philadelphia Cooking Creme with Italian Herbs* for the sauce. I combined that with precooked meatballs from the freezer for a quick and easy pasta dinner.

PRODUCT REVIEW – Philadelphia Cooking Cream

This is not something I would normally buy. I think Kraft saturates the market with highly-processed pre-packaged dinners (or in this case multi-ingredient mixes) that make people feel like they are making a healthy homemade meal. These products do save people from doing much of the cooking themselves. But at what cost? I bought it because I have been asked by many customers… with excitement in their voices “have you tried it?”. As if they were thinking this would be the solution to all their cooking challenges. So I tried it. It is simply cream cheese of a creamier consistency with herbs mixed in, and probably a whole lot of unneeded preservatives. Trust me, this is nothing you couldn’t put together yourself at home. Thin out some cream cheese with milk or greek yogurt, and add some fresh herbs, salt, pepper, garlic and Parmesan cheese. You will save yourself a lot of process chemicals, and probably quite a bit of cost on fancy packaging. I know we’re all looking for cooking shortcuts, but shopping smart and cooking with a game plan get you there with more success.

Day 15

Turkey Breast with Green Beans and Cornbread Stuffing

Game Plays applied:

2/3 Rule — I had to try out a new stuffing recipe for a local newspaper article, so that I had to make from scratch. I made it early in the day. ¬†The great thing with stuffing is you can prep it up to 24 hours in advance of your cooking time. So, it’s an easy thing to squeeze in if you have extra time during breakfast or the night before. I bought a pre-seasoned turkey breast. All I had to do was pop that into the oven, so the turkey¬†counts as a “quick and easy”. And the green beans, while cooked from scratch only got a quick steam with some garlic salt.

Day 16

Menu: Pork Chops, Potatoes and carrots

One-pan meal – I made a white sauce, layered the potatoes and carrots in it on the bottom of a baking dish with a sliced onion, and topped that with seasoned, floured and seared pork chops. This baked for about 40 minutes, covered.

*This meal did take about 35-40 minutes of prep time, but I think pork chops need a little extra love to turn out tender and flavorful.


One comment »

2 comments on this topic

  1. Dianna says:

    I don’t know about the prices in your area, but by using the 1.50 coupon, even at Albertson’s, the cooking creme is then discounted to a price that is actually cheaper than the price of the cream cheese. It it very economical for me to use the new cooking creme if I have a coupon. I did pick up a package of both flavors to try out this week.