I think I've been doing pretty well making sure our meals are balanced, nutritious, and frugal, and even a healthy mom deserves a really easy supper night sometimes!
So, it's Pasta Night!
Spaghetti with Rose Sauce
Spiral Pasta with Cheese (for those picky children)
Cut vegetables with "Ranch" dressing
Citrus Fruits for Dessert
Some notes about these foods:
If you have day-old pitot to use up, split them open, cut into wedges, brush with olive oil or melted butter, sprinkle with garlic, salt, and oregano (optional: parmesan cheese, but at approx 100 NIS/kilo, I decided not to buy the parmesan right now), and bake at 375 F (190 C) till crisp.
I use whole grain pastas. This makes me feel better about serving pasta, and my kids don't know about any other kind. Occasionally my husband says he misses white pasta, but I have convinced him that the health benefits of eating whole grains outweigh all of his complaints. Nitzat Haduvdevan has organic whole grain pastas on sale this month, the Teverya Mazon Organi store has them for just over 6 NIS, or I found (conventional) whole grain pasta at Yesh last week on sale for 3.99 NIS/bag.
Rose Sauce: I use shortcuts! I just simply combine crushed tomatoes with basil, garlic, salt, and pepper, and mix it with Gevinah Levanah (Israeli white cheese), and heat, but not to boiling. It makes a passable stand-in for Rose sauce.
Ranch Dressing - we really do miss Newman's Own Ranch Dressing. We haven't found anything like it. So I just mix up some yogurt and spices and pretend it's ranch dressing, and the kids eat it, but they do say there's something missing. Any ideas to improve it are appreciated! Just leave me a note in the comments!
A note about organics: I prefer organic over conventional in most cases, but having recently made Aliyah and still trying to figure out how to make our new budget work, I find that I have been forgoing some of my organic purchases for now. I have found that some things (bulk grains, legumes, sugar, etc) are about the same price at the health food store as the conventional version in most supermarkets - sometimes even less, so I'm sticking with affordable organic items for now, using lots of "Sterily" fruit and vegetable cleaner on my produce, looking for lab-path "pachot hadbara" certification, etc, and trying to buy items that are as natural as I can find. (Oils have been a challenge - you can find lots of cold pressed olive oil here, but it's very hard to find oils of any other kind that have not been chemically extracted. I've been splurging on organic sunflower oil and using it sparingly...)