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Sunday, April 1, 2012

[Tuna melt] Quick & nutricious & cheap meal - $2000 saving project

I decide to save $2000 by scrimping, until August.
I have to share my needs to skimp, to a certain degree, on food.
I filed Mr.D's and my tax return at the end of February. I file my tax return as soon as possible, only to get refund :) We had been students for long time and we've been sharing our paycheques with daycare :(, so we still have lots of credits and deductions.
Well, we had a grand plan since a couple of years ago, to use our 2011 tax refund to fund our 2012 summer vacation.
By the time I completed the return, I got to know that we were short, by a lot, from what we had expected. Well, we didn't earn enough (probably), or we didn't pay enough tax (unlikely).
Sigh... to be honest, tax refund never meets your expectation, does it?
The reality is that you think you pay a lot of tax, but get too little refund.

But, what can you do. We can't really give up summer vacation what we had planned for over a year.
It means a lot to us, just to give up. Yes, it is a lot of money. But, I have to find some way out. How can we disappoint our kids who have been dreaming about this summer vacation for quite a while?
I don't think I will be able to squeeze $2,000 out of grocery portion until August.
I should put $200 aside from each paystub, which would be a miracle. :D
But, I'll do my best. Do I sound too frugal?
I'm trying hard (I spent $131.58 less in March, according to the household ledger, than February :) I'm getting there you see. :)

 So, I'm flipping through, or scrolling through the recipes that can feed my family with a budget.

Here goes the first one, Tuna melt. :)

I love tuna, from canned tuna to sashimi grade. Of course(?) my favorite is sashimi, but it is almost impossible to find sashimi grade tuna here in Ottawa. There are a couple of Japanese restaurants in Toronto area, where they offer tuna sashimi delivered by UPS from Japan. And the price is accordinly astronomical.
Well, I am fine with canned tuna for now. :)

Tuna melt is defintely comfort food with a little gourmet twist. :)
It makes a mouth watering meal within 20 minutes from start to finish.


2 cans white tuna in water, drained
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise + more to spread
2 Tablespoons onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon caper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1-2 tomato, sliced
6 slices of white bread, such as sour dough or Italian
6-8 slices of provolone cheese

How to make
1. Preheat the oven broiler.

2. In a bowl, mix the tuna, mayonnaise, onion, caper, lemon juice, and oregano. Then, season with salt and pepper.

3. Spread mayonnaise thinly on the slices of bread.

4.  Spread tuna mixture evenly on top.

5. Layer a slice of tomato on each bread.

6. Top with provolone cheese to cover almost entire surface. Some overlapping is fine.

7. Broil on baking sheet in the preheated oven, for 3 -5 minutes or until heated through and golden brown.

This is a very quick fix and delicious. :)

I enjoyed tuna melt with a glass of Chile pinot noir.

Forget Napa valley wines or French champagnes.
I will embrace the new world, one bottle every other week, until August.
Cheesy delight.
And it's lighter than pizza.

Do you have a special reason to be on budget meal?

Tuna Melt


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