Mike has given me a challenge. The challenge came from 2 necessities: one: we were on a tight budget, two, I needed a motive to give me a good start on the blog and create/make recipes.
The challenge came from our daily needs adapting to the month’s limitations. We’re both on vacation, we both have to depend on ourselves, I have a new food blog that I have create material for, aaaand we’ve spent (some) money in the past days that we had to consider giving this month’s limit a good place and use.
The challenge was, as the title hints, to create meals for 2 persons over 5 days for 40$.
The first thing I did, as I do with any creative challenge, was research. I looked for recipes with ingredients that are affordable and in season. I looked through cookbooks, food blogs and my own mental archive and repertoire of recipes and came up with a list. Mike and I discussed the list and decided upon the menu for the upcoming 5 days.
While searching for recipes, I kept in mind, easy yet new, new yet affordable, and affordable yet healthy. I tried using everyday ingredients and those that can be found in any pantry. On other days, I allowed ourselves have a little more fancy thing. Just a little. But within the budget.
Along with the challenge, I was experimenting with bread. So the bread in the following 5 recipes (when used) is fresh home-baked bread.
Classical Potato Salad with Tuna Salad Boats
For the Salad:
- 2 boiled potatoes (cut into big chunks)
- 2 large red tomatoes (cut into wedges or bug chunks)
- 3 cucumbers (cut into circles)
- 2 tbsp olives (preferably green and cut into rounds)
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped cilantro
For the dressing:
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (optional)
For the Tuna salad boats:
- 4 pieces Baguette bread (cut lengthwise)
- 1 can of tuna in water (drained)
- 2 cups chopped lettuce
- 1/4 cup chopped gherkin
- 2 full tbsp mustard
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 whole lemon for topping (washed well)
- In a large bowl, mix chunks of boiled potatoes with chunks of tomatoes and cucumbers. Add olives and chopped cilantro
- In a separate bowl whisk balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and salt. Slowly add olive oil til it thickens. Drizzle over the salad and toss to coat
- Keep in the cooler or serve when the potatoes are still warm
Tuna Salad Boats:
- Warm the open baguette on a baking sheet in the oven (few minutes)
- In a bowl, flake the tune and toss with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well
- Arrange the salad on the bread boats
- Cut the lemon in half and slice into medium slices
- Top the boats with 2 lemon slices each
- Serve immediately with the potato salad