Eating is expensive. It just is whether you are grocery shopping, stopping for fast food, or out on the town. Food has become a luxury item,...

Eat on the Cheap

Eating is expensive. It just is whether you are grocery shopping, stopping for fast food, or out on the town. Food has become a luxury item, an entertainment item, a service industry rather than a basic human necessity. Since people enjoy it so much and use meals as a way to fellowship with others and for a break from the kitchen, our beautiful capitalist country has taken the opportunity to jack up the prices.

I am challenged with the issue of trying to feed the family very cheaply (under $70 a week for everything including diapers, household items, dog & cat food, etc.) and incorporate low carb meals for myself and Jason. He is doing sooo well losing weight. He's lost probably over 30lbs now and I don't want my pregnancy and change in eating habits to sabotage his progress. I am also eating lower carb and following the same diet I did during the last months of my pregnancy when I tested positive for gestational diabetes. This also requires low carb, high protein, high fiber, and low fat. AAAhh! So, I'm going to try and share some recipes and ideas to help folks who may be in a similar predicament.

Tonight's Meal- Red Beans & Rice (Rice Optional)

1lb red beans (or light kidney beans...different stores call them varying things)
1/2 lb smoked turkey sausage cut into 1/4" slices (I only have to use half the package so I can get two meals out of a $2 package of meat!)
1 tsp onion powder
3 tsp Tony Cachere's Cajun Seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1 cup brown rice
Louisiana Sauce as needed

Wash your beans and check for rocks. I know this seems silly, but I find at least one tiny rock half the time. It would not be fun to bite into that and the kiddos could totally choke or break a tooth, so I'm super paranoid about it now.

Place beans in a crockpot and top with all seasonings
Put in 10 pieces or so of your smoked turkey sausage
Top with 5 cups of water and stir well

Cook on low for 6-7 hours then add the rest of the sausage about an hour before serving. (This is to keep your sausage from getting cooked down and having very little flavor)
Add salt and Louisiana Hot Sauce to taste. * I take out a few servings for the kids then kick the pot up with some more red pepper and a few shots of Louisiana! If you LOVE Popeye's style Red Beans and Rice I have another tip. Take a potato masher and mush up your beans to your desire consistency. This thickens your beans and creates a smoother creamy texture much like my beloved Popeye's!

Cook rice according to directions.

Nutritional Information

1 cup of Red Beans
Net Carbs (Carbs minus Fiber *note* you can safely subtract Fiber as long as there are over 3 grams in a serving) - 34 grams
Fiber - 10 grams
Calories - 190
Fat - 5.5 grams
Protein- 16 grams

1/4 cup of brown rice
Carbs - 11 grams
Fiber - 1 gram
Calories - 54
Fat - 0 grams
Protein - 1 gram

I separated these because Jason won't eat the rice and I can have 1/4 cup and stay under my 45 carb allotment for dinner. The kids can have more rice if they want. This is a meal that can be altered for everyone's dietary needs.

Best Part - Total cost (not including spices) Estimated $2.69
Beans - 1.19
Turkey Sausage (only used half) - 2.00/2 = 1.00
Rice (only used 1/4 of the box)- 2.00/4 = .50

Hope you enjoy! It's tasty, a great fall meal, cheap, and meets everyone's nutritional needs, AND it's a crockpot meal so it takes no time to prep!


Anonymous said...

whoa lady, I'm way impressed!

ainmemphis said...

yummy! I am going to try this as soon as I get to the grocery store.