Dinner for Less than $15.00, in Less than 30 Minutes

Today, I had an interesting conversation with my neighbor Charlie about a documentary series that he had recently watched on HBO called ‘The Weight of the Nation’ which is about our country’s obesity epidemic.

He commented on the fact that my two boys are thin. Without hesitation, I chalked up their lithe, little physiques to the fact that we eat meals at home. And, I truly believe this is the reason why weight isn’t a problem in our household. Rex and Judd eat well, but they’re not eating Big Macs, nor drinking Big Gulps.

My chat with Charlie got me thinking about overweight kids. There are literally loads of them at Rex’s elementary school. I see them everyday while walking him to his classroom. How it’s changed in the last 30 years! When I was a little girl, we had one chubby boy in my class. Just one! Everyone else was of normal weight – or, in my case, somewhat underweight. What has happened??

Unfortunately, many parents use the excuse that it’s too expensive and time consuming to make dinner at home. As someone who loves to cook, I know this is utterly untrue. And, to prove my point, I’m dedicating this blog post to tonight’s dinner.

Yep, on Friday, June, 1, 2011. This is what we ate, how much it cost, and how long it took to cook.

This meal isn’t particularly gourmet, but it’s flavorful and easy to make. Most importantly, the boys like it. No Happy Meal toys, no high fructose corn syrup, no preservatives, and no food coloring. And it can be made in about the time it takes to get through a fast food drive-thru.

Orzo with Shrimp and Peas

1 box of orzo (Barilla or other brand)

1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained

2 shallots minced

2 cloves garlic minced

½ cup whipping cream

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup frozen peas

1 lb medium, peeled, deveined, uncooked shrimp

Boil orzo according to box directions. While orzo is cooking, sauté shallots and garlic on medium heat in large pan. Cook until soft. Add shrimp, peas and tomatoes. Cook until shrimp is pink. Add cream, and cook until lightly boiling. Drain orzo. Add cooked orzo to the pan and toss with the cheese. Serve with a garnish of basil and fresh pepper.

That’s it!

I bought all the ingredients today at the store, and my bill was $13.78. Isn’t this less than most fast food meals for four? And, it can be made in under 30 minutes. It sure tastes better, too. For those who like leftovers, this can make a great lunch the next day.

Oh, and Rex and Judd dig it, too!

Song of the Day: Hurry Up This Way Again from The Stylistics

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One Response to Dinner for Less than $15.00, in Less than 30 Minutes

  1. val sutherland says:

    sounds wonderful. Made something like that a few weeks ago. Today it was fresh corn and some tomatoes from Sinhg Farm….corn right off the stock…tomatoes right off the vine. I love that place and it is 10 min from my house. Friday is only vegies and eggs and such but Sat. includes some breads and fun lunch food. Had veggie burger last week that rocked and took half of it home. Thomas rd just past the pima freeway on the north side….and Mr. Singh is a trip to talk to.

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