But never mind that. We're here to talk about how to get a lot of bang for your buck.
The bang, in the case of the Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge, means great flavor, good nutrition, and compelling presentation. Wouldn't want to eat a tiresome plate of rice all week long just to prove something. You'd prove to be boring (and starving) yourself, and you'd fall off the wagon.
The chicken we roasted for the week's meals went pretty far. Cranky wanted to use some of the meat in a chicken salad, but I had plans for using it in a chicken hash later in the week and didn't want to spare any.
Then we came up with a superb idea. I would spare a small amount of meat (about a fifth of the overall available bird), and we would extend the salad with cooked rice. Rice lightened the mixture so that it wasn't mouthful after mouthful of chicken shreds, which, come to think of it, is probably why I don't like chicken salad.
I loved this chicken salad. We cooked the rice in chicken stock! Little lovely bits of chicken and chicken-flavored rice suspended throughout a silky blend of homemade bay yogurt and homemade mayonnaise, studded here and there with snipped pickleweed and chopped walnuts. It was served with baby Romaine leaves, so we could scoop up dabs of this poufy salad and transport them to our mouths.
I thought the wheatberry salad was fantastic.
This was better.
Total cost for two (and jeez, the entire blurp of yogurt I used only cost 11 cents): $4.80.
If there's a lesson here, it's along the lines of thinking beyond your paralyzed conceptions of recipes. You might say, "Chicken salad doesn't have rice in it."
I might say, "Aw, c'mon. Think outside the chicken."
One more lesson: Any reason why you shouldn't use chicken stock to cook the rice? Especially if the rice is going in a chicken dish? I learned something.