Budget Fare--Wednesday Menu

I ran errands today. I decided to prepare my luncheon ahead of time and take it with me as well as my "Pickup." (I opted not to do the hot cocoa and just brought milk.) It worked wonderfully well since the items were cold. I'm very proud of myself after yesterday's "McFlurry Debacle."

Breakfast: Stewed Prunes. The name alone put me off. I made them by covering in water and heating to a simmer until the "plumped." They didn't plump into a sphere like I was expecting, but they did plump up a little out of their grooves. Husband and Son thought they were divine. They're like that. Makes it easier for me to try new things with them. But, surprise, I didn't like them. Too stringy and the flavor was nothing like a plum. Son happily ate the rest of mine. I'm really getting the hang of the poached egg, though. I look like I know what I'm doing when I cook them now!

Luncheon: As I've mentioned before, I don't do seafood. I had chicken salad instead of Tuna. Since I was traveling, I didn't broil the grapefruit. I just sectioned it and brought it with us. The hot tea was OK. I'm used to loading it with sugar, so I just "took one for the team" and this project.

Tuna Fish Salad (2 servings)

1/2 cup drained tuna fish in water (I used chicken)
1 med. hard-cooked egg
1/4 cup diced celery
10 grapes
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons Cooked Salad Dressing (scroll down)

Drain and flake tuna fish. Cook and chop egg. Dice celery and halve the grapes. Combine ingredients; add salt to taste and blend in the Cooked Salad Dressing. Serve mounded in the lettuce cups. (Suggested variation: cherries!)

Dinner: The macaroni and cheese wasn't bad at all. It was fairly good. I'm used to the amazing macaroni and cheese recipe that I always use, however. But this was good. I used real cheese instead of the processed. The rest of the meal was very colorful and light.

Macaroni and Cheese (6 servings)

1 cup dry elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 tsp. plus of salt
Few grains of pepper
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1 cup cubed process American cheese
Paprika to sprinkle on top

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. In a saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour, salt to taste, and a few grains of pepper; blend. Add skim milk gradually and cook until mixture is smooth and heated through. Stir in the cubed cheese. Mix sauce with the drained macaroni. Place in a lightly greased casserole; sprinkle with paprika. Bake in a 350 degree oven until thoroughly heated through and lightly browned on top, about 45 minutes.

(I used whole milk. I just reduced it to one cup and added 1/2 cup of water to lower the calories.)

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