The average person spends around $2600 a year at the grocery store or more. Make every dollar count buy using what you buy. Today I am going to change it up a bit and talk about kitchen hacks that will make your food last longer. That sounds great, right? There are many ways to stretch that food dollar and you probably already have the tools to do so.
Let start with your basic ice cube tray. Here are ways to go beyond ice:
HERBS AND OIL
Herbs can be expensive and can wilt quickly. If you grow your own, you could also have an overabundance. Keep that freshness alive by placing your herbs in olive or avocado oil. Place both in an ice cube tray and freeze. Break out a brick the next time you sauté or make soup or stew.
Here is another way to preserve greens. Pop out a cube anytime you prepare veggie noodles, or meat dishes, or need an enhancement for soup.
Basic Pesto 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (can sub half the basil leaves with baby spinach) 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces) 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/3 cup pine nuts (can sub chopped walnuts) 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Place the basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a several times. Add the garlic and Parmesan or Romano cheese and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Adding the olive oil slowly, while the processor is running, will help it emulsify and help keep the olive oil from separating. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor. Stir in some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Variations: Walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts. Pecorino Romano, aged manchego, aged gouda, aged cheddar, cotija, Grana Padano, aged Asiago. Any greens, basil, spinach, kale, collard greens, herbs, mustard, dandelion, parsley, cilantro, etc. https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/how-to/article/pesto-out-of-anything https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/fresh_basil_pesto/
FATS AND BROTHS
Save that meat fat (bacon, chicken, beef) to add flavor to your next dish. Let it cool, but before it hardens, pour into an ice cube tray and freeze. Bone broth can be saved in the same way. If you'd like larger portions, use a silicon muffin pan.
GINGER AND GARLIC
Puree ginger and garlic and place the paste into the ice cube tray. This a great time saver. Use in your stir fry (see last week's edition), sauces, soups, and marinades.