Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Potato with Broccoli and Cheddar Sauce


Today I made the mistake of trying to get up an hour early. I guess I didn't try — I succeeded. Problem is, it's 8:30 p.m. and I'm wiped. I didn't even get a workout in. I'll have to take my gym bag with me tomorrow and not procrastinate.

I've avoided the gym this month, in part, to avoid the New Year's crowd. It's hard enough to find an open machine on a normal week, but throw in a bunch of extra people, and it's just wall to wall people. Going to the gym takes up enough of my time as it is. I don't need to add time to my workout by waiting around for someone to finish up their workout. Especially now that there's no sign-up sheet or time limit for the machines. I get what I pay for, I suppose. I go with the budget-choice, and I have to deal with fighting people for machines.

Budgets are no fun. Having money in the bank is fun, but doing the hard work to get there is awful. Pork tenderloin was on sale this week and I really wanted to make one, but I needed some new CFL bulbs to replace the burnt out conventional light bulbs. The one bulb I needed was $10. And unfortunately, household items are rolled into my food budget. When about 15% of your weekly budget is a light bulb, you have to weigh your options for your meals that week. Plus, I was nearly out of coffee. And that's another $4 and I was out of filters which ran me about $2. Nearly a third of my money was already spent before I even planned my meals. So it's another meatless week at my house for the most part.

But that's OK, because I was actually craving those frozen meals with the potatoes, broccoli and cheddar cheese sauce. I normally hate frozen meals, but sometimes one of those really hit the spot. And as I was looking through the Moosewood Cookbook for some meatless ideas I came across the Zippy Cheese Sauce. Plus, russet potatoes were on sale. Why not skip the frozen dinner and make it from scratch? It's probably cheaper, not to mention healthier.

I made the sauce as written, but used 1 percent milk. I think next time I'll use a fattier milk (like 2 percent). It was a little runny and not that cheesy tasting. If I go with 1 percent again I'll probably use a super sharp cheddar. Another strategy would be to double the cheese and use a low fat version. But please, for the love of God, don't try using the fat free kind. It doesn't melt and you wouldn't want to shortchange the start ingredient. It's a CHEESE sauce, afterall.

Also, next time, I'll take the time to bake the potato rather than boiling it. I should have planned ahead, but I didn't, and I was starving. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Overall, pretty tasty. Just as good as the frozen dinner at least.


Fit Mama said...

looks delicious! Are all the pictures of the foods in your posts the actual final product you made? They always look so delicious!

Jen said...

Yes, it's always the food I eat. I end up eating a lot of lukewarm food :)