Cheap-Ass Food #1

For my friend, her boyfriend, and myself, I do batch cooking. I love cooking, I love eating, and I love saving money.

I was looking for a recipe that used up leftovers from a previous cooking project, would be high in protein, had some vegetables, and tasted ok.

This is the recipe I started with: Easy Spinach Ricotta Pasta.

But, I read a lot of the comments there, and a lot of people called it bland. So I was like “that sucks” and decided to pep it up a bit. Also: you can add as much sriracha on top of this as you want and it’s like…

 

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THE RECIPE:

Ricotta Pasta:

  • 1 tbsp (15 ml), Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Garlic (like as much as you want)
  • 1.25 C. (62g), Ricotta – Whole Milk Cheese
  • 1 cup, Whole Milk
  • 1.00 cup (28g), Finely Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1.50 cup, Kale Frozen Chopped
  • 2 cup, Chopped Frozen Spinach
  • 2 lb(s), Dry Pasta (I used wagon wheels)
  • 1 tsp. – Pepper, black
  • Salt to taste
  • 24 oz, Baked Skinless Thighs

THE METHOD:

Warm up the olive oil with the garlic until it’s aromatic. That’s a word people use in cookbooks. After a bit, add the ricotta and the milk and get it warm gradually so’s not to curdle anything. Then add the frozen spinach and kale (you can thaw it out early if you want but I’m lazy). Once they’ve melted, hopefully the pasta is cooked, and dump half of the drained pasta from the pasta pot into the cheese and veg pot. Stir to coat evenly. Add in the shredded parm, and stir some more. Then taste. Then salt.

If I had a bigger pot, I’d dump all the cooked pasta in the cheese and veg pot to stir evenly, but I don’t. I need a stock pot. But I don’t want to buy anything.

Meanwhile, several frozen chicken thighs got baked in the oven, then cut up and portioned by weight.

To portion, I made 12 Ziploc bags and put in plain pasta, 2 oz. of chicken in each (except for four, I’ll explain in a moment), and then divvied up the pasta with the sauce on it into each. The food had been cooled before adding to the bags, and then air removed and sealed before going into the freezer.

NOTE: Four of the bags had double-portions because my friend’s boyfriend doesn’t eat frequently so we’re going to make him eat more food. So it really makes 16 portions.

And her portions also got broccoli added that had been sautéed with garlic – I eat my portions with veggies for dinner so I don’t pack those up in my own.

NUTRITION:

Ricotta Pasta

COST:

It’s about $1.50 per meal! Even with chicken! What the hell that’s so cheap! That’s way cheaper than eating out!

WAS IT EASY:

Yeah kind of. I tried measuring out pasta into each bag but then I was like “this is stupid” and then used a serving spoon and made approximate scoops into each bag. The biggest pain was chopping up the chicken to weigh it and see how much I actually had, and then mathing how much should go into each bag.

DOES IT TASTE OKAY:

Yeah I think so!

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