I made some good progress today – I found my first recipe, bought the ingredients, and cooked it!
I chose the following recipe for Spaghetti & Ground Beef Sauce on allrecipes:
- 1 pound (450 grams) ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 can diced tomatoes (28 ounces / 800 grams)
- 1 can tomato sauce (16 ounces / 450 grams)
- 1 can tomato paste(6 ounces / 170 grams)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Combine ground beef, onion, garlic, and green pepper in a large saucepan.
- Cook and stir until meat is brown and vegetables are tender. Drain grease.
- Stir diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste into the pan.
- Season with oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.
- Simmer spaghetti sauce for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
The dish turned out pretty good – I was happy with the results, and it took me 51 minutes to make everything. I’m pretty sure I can cut that time down on my next try (see #2 below). Here are my 3 main takeaways from this first attempt:
- Set up a garbage bowl on the counter so I don’t have to make as many trips to the trash can.
- Start boiling the water earlier (now I know, this takes 10 minutes).
- Reduce the amount of tomato sauce/paste next time. The tomato flavor was a bit on the strong side for me.
I created a spreadsheet that calculates the cost of the entire recipe, plus (and more importantly for me) the cost per serving.
- Total cooking time: 51 minutes
- Total cost: $16.72
- Cost per serving (8 servings): $2.09.
Eventually I want to start tracking how much I’m saving by cooking. In the meantime, I’ll be doing more grocery shopping and making more pasta.
Til next time!
OTHER POSTS IN THE 100-DAY CHALLENGE SERIES
Day 1: Intro to Me & My Goal
Day 4: “Why Learn?” and My Cooking Background
Day 7: What Should I Learn to Cook FIRST?
Day 10: Pasta + Meat Sauce (Tomato Bolognese)
Day 21: Pasta + Meat Sauce (less Tomato)
Day 28: Pasta + Meat Sauce (Beef Stroganoff)
Day 35: Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs
Day 42: Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs
Day 49: Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs (coated with flour)
Day 56: Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts
Day 63: Miso Glazed Baked Salmon
Day 70: Miso Glazed Baked Salmon II
Day 77: Miso Glazed Baked Salmon III
Day 84: Final Exam
Day 95: What’s Next?
Day 100: Final Thoughts