Sunday, March 22, 2009

Budget Meal 2: Breakfast for Dinner

This may seem like a bit of a cop out, but really it is not! Kids and adults all seem to like this unusually timed meal. Often, when I am feeling less than inspired, this is my go-to meal. It is the perfect time to serve up a variety of allergen free options, customized to suit everyone in the family's needs. The best part is that is all very budget friendly.

Strawberries are starting to hit the market in droves and the prices are very affordable. Surprisingly, Costco often offers locally grown produce at crazy cheap prices. Earlier this week I scored a 4 pound crate of enormous and delicious strawberries. So when I decided on this particular meal I wanted to incorporate them somehow.

The meal that I served was wheat-free waffles with strawberries, vanilla yogurt, bacon and bananas. It is up to you to decide what type of waffle to use. I happened to make mine from scratch and cooked them with my waffle iron. But you could also get yours frozen or you can make pancakes, in which case, they sky is the limit. Bacon is a must with any breakfast meal at our house, so that was a no brainer. I also had a huge tub of vanilla yogurt that paired well with the textures of the strawberries and waffles. (Each person had a different way of eating this meal. Milo dipped his waffle in the yogurt, while Ella had hers on the side, and I ate mine with the yogurt and strawberries drizzled over the top of the waffles.) And since Milo is busy learning how to say "Na Na!" I also sliced up some of those for him.
Since many of you who read this blog are not necessarily on a wheat/gluten-free diet, and because I always feel weird about posting a published author's recipe, I will leave it up to you to come up with your own means of obtaining waffles. Or pancakes. Or crepes. Or whatever. I will give you my method for macerating strawberries, a technique that I learned while working at an ice cream parlor in college.

Macerated Strawberries
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2-4 tablespoons sugar (to desired level of sweetness)

Place the berries in a bowl. Sprinkle sugar on top. Let sit, at room temperature 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After about 15 minutes, a sugary syrup will start to appear. The more it sits, the more syrup you will see. Serve over waffles, crepes, scones, pancakes, shortcake or ice cream. My personal opinion is that this concoction is best eaten within 24 hours, otherwise it starts to taste a bit alcoholic (not a good thing). But it is easy enough to do, that if you are like me, you will make this frequently throughout the late spring and summer. Enjoy!
Budget Meal 2
Waffles with macerated strawberries
Vanilla Yogurt
Really, the sky is the limit and completely up to you!

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