cheap eats http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/206/all en-US Simple Recipes for a Frugal Vegetarian Thanksgiving http://www.wisebread.com/simple-recipes-for-a-frugal-vegetarian-thanksgiving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/simple-recipes-for-a-frugal-vegetarian-thanksgiving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-pumpkin-pie-80403716-small.jpg" alt="woman pumpkin pie" title="woman pumpkin pie" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No turkey? No problem. I've been hosting meat-free Thanksgiving celebrations for the last decade. By the end of the evening, my friends and family are stuffed with amazingly nutritious and delicious foods from soup to nuts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-simple-ways-to-save-on-thanksgiving?ref=seealso">5 Simple Ways to Save on Thanksgiving</a>)</p> <p>This year we're hoping to do it all on a tighter budget. So, here are some recipes that will help you rock a vegetarian/vegan Turkey Day without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>Appetizers</h2> <p>Don't skimp on appetizers. You'll want to offer up something tasty and hearty to your guests while you finish all the last-minute dinner preparations. I keep our appetizers simple. Some dips, veggies, and carbs.</p> <h3>Fondue</h3> <p>Fondue is a big favorite in my household, no matter the time of year. This <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/cheddar-and-hard-cider-fondue-recipe.html">Hard Cider and Cheddar Fondue</a> adds a nice twist for the holiday. Though the recipe calls for chicken broth, you can easily substitute in vegetable broth to suit your dietary needs. No hard cider in the house? Just use beer. And to add to the frugality, serve with your bakery's discount day-old bread &mdash; it soaks up the fondue better than fresh and costs less.</p> <h3>Hummus</h3> <p>Most dips you'll find on the table are vegetarian, but this smoky <a href="http://www.connoisseurusveg.com/2014/09/sweet-savory-smokey-butternut-hummus.html">Butternut Squash Hummus</a> is particularly festive. If you don't have butternut squash on hand, you can use acorn, delicata, or even canned pumpkin. Save some pennies (and salt content) by cooking your own chickpeas &mdash; you'll just need to soak them the night before.</p> <h3>Veggie Tray</h3> <p>For some visual pizazz, gather a medley of fresh produce, olives, and other foods to make this <a href="http://www.livinglocurto.com/2012/10/turkey-vegetable-tray">Turkey Vegetable Tray</a>. It's much less expensive to buy, cut, and arrange the veggies yourself than it is to buy a pre-made tray at the store. Plus, you're giving vegetarians the symbolic turkey on Thanksgiving!</p> <h2>Side Dishes</h2> <p>My favorite part of dinner is making a variety of side dishes that span the spectrum of flavors. You can't go wrong with using fresh ingredients that you buy at your local farmers market. Usually these seasonal ingredients are cheaper than what you'd buy at the store since they don't travel as far from the farm to your table.</p> <h3>Dinner Rolls</h3> <p>We had a Thanksgiving brunch last year in place of dinner. I made these incredible <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2013/11/brie-stuffed-pumpkin-garlic-rolls.html">Pumpkin Garlic Rolls</a> stuffed with brie and served with jam. I buy brie at Aldi, where it's incredibly inexpensive, and it does the trick in a dish like this one. If anything, do a more refined jam &mdash; I like red pepper for a sweet and savory mix.</p> <h3>Roasted Veggies</h3> <p>Next, serve a simple side of roasted veggies. Any kind will do. We've had great success roasting asparagus, squash, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and all other vegetables with nothing more than olive oil, salt, and pepper. For a fun twist, try making these <a href="http://www.purevege.com/2012/02/poor-mans-feast.html">Brussels Sprout Kebabs</a>. Just roast the veggie, season, and then arrange on skewers.</p> <h3>Stuffing</h3> <p>Mushrooms are the key to any amazing vegetarian stuffing recipe. They give the dish an earthy flavor and marry well with sage, thyme, and other herbs. This <a href="http://bakeaholicmama.ziplist.com/recipes/vegan-stuffing/4cad6480-14b3-0130-9b0a-12313812a22c">Portabella Vegan Stuffing</a> is simple yet flavorful. If you'd rather not buy stuffing cubes, just cut cubes of any loaf, bake until dry &mdash; but not brown &mdash; and then use in your recipe.</p> <h3>Gravy</h3> <p>You can easily make most mashed potato recipes vegetarian or vegan by replacing chicken broth with vegetable and milk or cream with non-dairy substitutes. The gravy, however, can be more problematic. This <a href="http://ohmyveggies.com/recipe-wild-mushroom-gravy/">Wild Mushroom Gravy</a> recipe takes on the same sort of flavors as your stuffing recipe, just in a new way. To make it vegan, use Earth Balance instead of butter.</p> <h2>Main Course</h2> <p>Admittedly, we tend to graze on all sorts of dishes without a hugely defined main course. But for more traditional vegetarians, I have some suggestions that are packed with protein and definitely worthy to place in the center of your table.</p> <h3>&quot;Meat&quot; Loaf</h3> <p>This vegetarian <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/winter-recipe-classic-vegetarian-nut-loaf-102222">Nut Loaf</a> has become a favorite comfort food in our house. Its components are humble and &mdash; for the most part &mdash; inexpensive. If the ingredients list is a bit too long for you, there's a simplified <a href="http://theveganstoner.blogspot.com/2011/11/blog-post.html">Lentil Loaf</a> that we make on weeknights that makes something amazing from frozen vegetables, cooked lentils, crackers, walnuts, and a few other things. It's also cheaper and faster to put together.</p> <h3>Quiche</h3> <p>Eggs make a solid protein for the Thanksgiving table. The key is transforming them from your breakfast favorite to something more refined. A few years ago, we made this <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2009/11/mushroom-asparagus-quiche.html">Asparagus Quiche</a>. If you'd rather go crustless, try this <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/11/mushroom-baby-kale-frittata.html">Mushroom and Kale Frittata</a> recipe that takes just 30 minutes from start to finish. With either of these recipes, you can double so your finished dish will serve more than 2-4 people.</p> <h3>Pasta</h3> <p>I love stuffed shells for special occasions. You can get particularly creative with them, too. For example, this <a href="http://lecremedelacrumb.com/2014/10/broccoli-alfredo-stuffed-shells.html">Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells</a> recipe goes beyond the usual red sauce and takes just 30 minutes to make. Don't forget to cook your pasta al dente before baking, so it isn't mushy when served. You can add tofu ricotta to this recipe (about 1 heaping tablespoon per shell) for extra protein by pressing a tofu cube until it drains, crumbling with your hands, and seasoning with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and lemon juice.</p> <h2>Dessert</h2> <p>Most desserts are inherently vegetarian, so this category isn't so specific. It also happens to be my favorite, so I couldn't resist sharing a few Thanksgiving sweet dishes with you &mdash; and they're all vegan!</p> <h3>Pumpkin Pie(s)</h3> <p>I make these individual <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/11/chocolate-pumpkin-pie.html">Chocolate Pumpkin Pies</a> every year for the holiday. Peanut butter and chocolate take the dessert to another level &mdash; and if you have a peanut allergy, almond butter works just as well. Don't trust yourself to microwave the chocolate? Melt it using a double-boiler on the stove.</p> <h3>Butternut Crisp</h3> <p>This <a href="http://www.edibleperspective.com/home/2014/9/22/butternut-squash-apple-pear-crisp.html">twist on apple crisp</a> will get your guests talking. Prepare butternut squash, apple, and pears for baking by tossing them in a mixture of brown sugar, lemon juice, oat flour, and spices. Then top with an oatmeal crumble. If you don't have oat flour, it's easy to make at home by pulsing uncooked rolled oats in a food processor. Bonus savings if you have squash leftover from any of the other recipes you've made for your meal.</p> <h3>Pecan Pie</h3> <p>Talk about wonderful flavors here, this <a href="http://dessertswithbenefits.com/vegan-maple-pecan-pie/">Maple Pecan Pie</a> recipe will please your vegan and carnivore guests all at the same time &mdash; and it contains silken tofu (they'll never know, I promise!). If you're looking to cut costs, use all-purpose flour versus brown rice and vanilla extract versus vanilla paste, but don't skimp on the real maple syrup.</p> <p><em>What are you making for Thanksgiving this year? Please share a bite in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/simple-recipes-for-a-frugal-vegetarian-thanksgiving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-mouth-watering-lentil-recipes">35 Mouth Watering Lentil Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sayonara-ramen-san">Sayonara, Ramen-san</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-healthy-homemade-yogurt-recipes">6 Healthy Homemade Yogurt Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list">25 Frugal Items for Your Organic Vegan Grocery List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-meals-that-make-terrific-leftovers">11 Meals That Make Terrific Leftovers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment cheap eats frugal food recipes Thanksgiving vegan vegetarian Mon, 17 Nov 2014 10:00:16 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1255030 at http://www.wisebread.com 21 Foods That Cost Under a Buck a Pound — With Recipes! http://www.wisebread.com/21-foods-that-cost-under-a-buck-a-pound-with-recipes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/21-foods-that-cost-under-a-buck-a-pound-with-recipes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-grocery-shopping-159289223-small.jpg" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you ever look at your inflated grocery bill and think, &quot;Maybe I should have just gone to the drive-through?&quot; Cooking can feel a little pricey, especially if you're not a seasoned deal finder. It might be time to change the way you approach a visit to the supermarket. Luckily, many of the healthiest foods are also the cheapest, so you can save money and be healthy at the same time. Start with the following foods, which can all be found for under $1 a pound! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck?ref=seealso">10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck</a>)</p> <p>While exact prices depend on where you live, where you shop, and even what time of year it is, no matter where you are or the season, all of these food items are worth their weight.</p> <h2>1. Pumpkin</h2> <p>A fall favorite, pumpkin also happens to be reasonably priced and versatile. You can make desserts, soup, bread, side dishes, and more, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-fun-ways-to-use-pumpkin">including non-food items</a>.</p> <h2>2. Beans</h2> <p>Beans are healthy, easy to prepare, and a great source of protein. Good thing they're so cheap! Two of the cheapest beans, pinto beans and chickpeas, can be used in a variety of ways, including a <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mediterranean-bean-salad/">fresh and tasty bean salad</a>.</p> <h2>3. Bananas</h2> <p>This potassium-rich yellow fruit is the ultimate snack on-the-go. Even organic bananas cost well under $1 a pound, and you can use over-ripe fruit for baked goods like <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/banana-nut-muffins-recipe.html">muffins</a>.</p> <h2>4. Potatoes</h2> <p>A cornerstone of the American diet, potatoes are also a good source of fiber and potassium. They can be used in all sort of ways, but as a <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/parmesan-roasted-potatoes">simple roasted side dish</a> is a good place to start.</p> <h2>5. Canned Tuna</h2> <p>A protein that is shelf-stable for years, canned tuna is ultimately convenient. You can't go wrong with a classic <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/essential-recipe-tuna-salad-recipes-from-the-kitchn-194944">tuna salad.</a></p> <h2>6. Apples</h2> <p>Many common varieties of apples are under $1 a pound when bought in three or five pound bags. Lucky for us, since apples are delicious and great for you. An easy and satisfying way to eat apples is to simply <a href="http://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/baked-apples-with-cinnamon/">bake them.</a></p> <h2>7. Cantaloupe and Honeydew</h2> <p>These melons play a starring role in any successful fruit salad, and happen to be easy on the wallet. Cantaloupe and honeydew also successfully straddle the sweet and savory line, often featured with cured meat or <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/315726/cucumber-cantaloupe-and-squash-salad#Cantaloupe%20and%20Honeydew%20Recipes%7C/275379/cantaloupe-and-honeydew-recipes/@center/276955/seasonal-produce-recipe-guide%7C315726">in salads.</a></p> <h2>8. Grapefruit</h2> <p>A healthy citrus fruit that makes a great breakfast, grapefruit is also very affordable. Sprinkle a little sugar on your grapefruit halves and <a href="http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/broiled-grapefruit.html">broil them</a> for a real treat.</p> <h2>9. Limes</h2> <p>Another biggie in the citrus world, limes are a zesty accent to many dishes and drinks, and are cheaper than their yellow counterparts. They can also be big players in desserts <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/07/10-minute-lime-cracker-pie-recipe.html">such as pie.</a></p> <h2>10. Plain Yogurt</h2> <p>Yogurt contains beneficial probiotics and much-needed calcium, and is often priced under $1 a pound for the plain variety (not Greek-style). Yogurt pairs well with sweet fruit, granola, or in smoothies and drinks like a <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/10689-mango-lassi">mango lassi.</a></p> <h2>11. Oranges</h2> <p>Not just for juice, eat a Valencia orange and get a juicy boost of Vitamin C. Oranges add a nice flavor to many dishes sweet and savory, like in salads and <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/citrus_salsa.html">salsa.</a></p> <h2>12. Cabbage</h2> <p>A crunchy cruciferous vegetable that is full of fiber and vitamin K, cabbage is a real bargain. It can be eaten raw or cooked, and serves as the base for the popular side dish <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/classic-coleslaw">coleslaw.</a></p> <h2>13. Onions</h2> <p>Many great savory recipes start with cooked or raw onion, and for good reason. Onions add layers of flavor to dishes, and can even be used as a <a href="http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/02/french-onion-soup/">main ingredient.</a></p> <h2>14. Pineapple</h2> <p>This funny looking tropical fruit is juicy budget-friendly. Simply eaten as is or made into a <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Grilled-Pineapple-102083">grilled dessert</a>, pineapple is a crowd-pleaser.</p> <h2>15. White Rice</h2> <p>White rice might not be as healthy as its cousin brown rice (which costs a little more), but it's easy, versatile, and affordable. Combine it with beans or <a href="http://shewearsmanyhats.com/chicken-and-rice-is-oh-so-nice/">chicken</a> for a low-cost meal.</p> <h2>16. Sweet Potatoes</h2> <p>These brightly-colored tubers are vitamin-filled and taste great simply baked in the oven or <a href="http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000000522028,00.html">roasted with herbs</a>.</p> <h2>17. Carrots</h2> <p>Another orange powerhouse, carrots can be eaten raw, baked, steamed, sauteed, or juiced. They make a nice crunchy snack and a <a href="http://www.onceuponachef.com/2013/03/curried-roasted-carrots.html">flavorful side dish</a>.</p> <h2>18. Corn</h2> <p>You can buy corn fresh, frozen or canned, and use it in a number of ways. Fresh corn on the cob is perfect grilled, briefly boiled, or steamed with a little seasoning. Using canned or frozen corn, you can make a hearty <a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/recipes/CORN_CHOWDER">corn chowder</a>.</p> <h2>19. Eggs</h2> <p>Believe it or not, there are still eggs to be found for less than $1 a pound. Eggs are a great source of protein and play many roles in cooking and baking. They also make a satisfying main dish, like a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/dining/151mrex.html?_r=0">simple frittata.</a></p> <h2>20. Mustard and Collard Greens</h2> <p>Dark leafy greens are a superfood, and are loaded with valuable nutrients. Shred them up into salads or saute them as a healthy <a href="http://www.pauladeen.com/quick-spicy-collards">side dish.</a></p> <h2>21. Butternut Squash</h2> <p>This rich-tasting squash can be roasted, put in pasta, made into soup, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-squash-recipes-for-fall">and more.</a> Plus it's a real bang for your buck!</p> <p><em>What's your favorite buck a pound food? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-foods-that-cost-under-a-buck-a-pound-with-recipes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ghetto-mac-yours-for-1">The GHETTO MAC - yours for $1.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-prairie-farmer-s-meal-plan-eat-for-a-buck-or-two-a-day">A Prairie Farmer’s Meal Plan: Eat for a Buck or Two a Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-restaurant-menus-are-designed-to-make-you-spend-more">9 Ways Restaurant Menus Are Designed to Make You Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year">How to Save an Extra $1,094.86 a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink cheap eats Cheap Food Staples Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:00:11 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1252175 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Packed Lunch Ideas You'll Want to Steal From Your Kids http://www.wisebread.com/10-packed-lunch-ideas-youll-want-to-steal-from-your-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-packed-lunch-ideas-youll-want-to-steal-from-your-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/packed-lunch-465017965-small.jpg" alt="packed lunch" title="packed lunch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Now that school is back in session, you might find that evening lunch-prep has become quite laborious. Maybe that means you're packing the wrong lunches. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas?ref=seealso">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a>)</p> <p>By focusing on meals adults can enjoy too, you'll rediscover old favorites of your own, and maybe even be surprised by your child's adventurous palate. Whatever the case, using the same ingredients for similar meals will save you money and eliminate food waste.</p> <p>Here are 10 ideas (two whole work or school weeks!) to get you started.</p> <h2>1. PB&amp;J Wrap</h2> <p>I've been eating this simple lunch since I was a kid. Just spread a thin layer of peanut butter on a whole wheat wrap and top it with a thin layer of your favorite jam or jelly or honey. Adults might want to jazz this meal up by using red pepper jelly and sprinkling a bit of granola. Children might enjoy some thinly sliced apple tossed in.</p> <h2>2. Cheese Plate</h2> <p>My mom used to pack me Lunchables, and I'd always toss the meat. Make what I used to eat healthier by packing multigrain crackers, grapes or other fruit, sliced or string cheese, and some hummus or peanut butter for added protein. Add sliced carrots or your other favorite fresh veggie to complete the nutrition for adults and kids alike.</p> <h2>3. Quiche</h2> <p>Skip the sandwich and pack a couple mini quiches made in a cupcake tin. What you fill your quiche with is up to you, but this <a href="http://bakedbree.com/mini-broccoli-quiche">Broccoli and Cheese</a> one looks like a solid choice. The best part? You can customize them however you want to suit your tastes as well as your child's (and pantry's ingredients). Eat hot or cold.</p> <h2>4. DIY Parfait</h2> <p>Fill one of the larger slots in your lunch box with nonfat or Greek yogurt. I even like to mix a couple teaspoons of peanut butter in there. Round out the rest of your box with mixed berries, a helping of granola, some nuts and seeds, even mini chocolate chips. Pack a homemade muffin or half sandwich on the side. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches?ref=seealso">25 Great Non-Sandwich Work Lunches</a>)</p> <h2>5. Bagel-Wich</h2> <p>When I came across this idea to pack a whole grain bagel stuffed with goodness instead of a sandwich, I got excited for the many possibilities. This <a href="http://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2014/05/stuffed-bagel-sandwiches.html#_a5y_p=1731989">salami and dill stuffing</a> seems better suited for adults. To make this concept work for the whole family, consider simple egg or tuna salad. My personal favorite? <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2012/06/family-and-food.html">Avocado egg salad</a> or its vegan counterpart, <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2013/03/tofu-avocado-salad-gf.html">avocado tofu salad</a>.</p> <h2>6. Nachos Grande</h2> <p>Pack some multigrain tortilla chips in one section of your lunch box. Use leftover taco meat (or veggie substitute) from your dinner the night before and top with shredded cheese and mild salsa. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt to act as a healthy sour cream substitute and some avocado slices on the side. This is a lunch that you'll certainly want to make (and eat) again and again.</p> <h2>7. Overnight Oats</h2> <p>Though this staple is often eaten at breakfast, I love the idea of packing a jar of <a href="http://www.supergluemom.com/bananas-foster-overnight-oats-recipe/">Overnight Oats</a> as the bulk of a lunch for school or work. As the name describes, this meal is prepared the night before by tossing &mdash; in this case &mdash; steel cut oats with milk, maple syrup, flax meal, cinnamon, and bananas in a jar. The mix thickens overnight to make a hearty, cold meal.</p> <h2>8. Pizza</h2> <p>Who doesn't love a good pizza? You can make healthy pies on pita bread to cut and slice for lunchtime eating. Just spread pizza sauce on the pitas and sprinkle with cheese and top with whatever other ingredients you like. Then bake at 350 degrees F for around 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Let cool, slice, and pack.</p> <h2>9. Slow Cooker Soup, Two Ways</h2> <p>If you're a fan of slow cooking, toss your favorite veggies, broth, and whatever protein in the pot and let simmer. You <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/01/10-steps-for-slow-cooker-perfection.html#_a5y_p=1187104">don't need a recipe</a> for success and can use up any possible food waste before it spoils. In my experience, kids don't always like a thick soup. So, pack the whole monty for yourself and strain out the softened and seasoned vegetables for your child. Serve both meals with crackers or even a whole wheat biscuit.</p> <h2>10. Pasta Salad</h2> <p>Make a big batch of this <a href="https://www.hiddenvalley.com/recipe/81/ranch-tortellini-salad/">Ranch Pasta Salad</a> and let all those colors and shapes dazzle your family. If your kid isn't into Tortellini, consider trying a plainer pasta. Mix and match the rest of the ingredients (in equal ratio) to customize and utilize the ingredients you already have on hand.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite workday and school day lunch? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-packed-lunch-ideas-youll-want-to-steal-from-your-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-rice-cake-topping-ideas">40 Rice Cake Topping Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock">25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sayonara-ramen-san">Sayonara, Ramen-san</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ghetto-mac-yours-for-1">The GHETTO MAC - yours for $1.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink bulk meals cheap eats easy lunch lunch Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1216062 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Exciting New Potato Recipes You Must Try http://www.wisebread.com/25-exciting-new-potato-recipes-you-must-try <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-exciting-new-potato-recipes-you-must-try" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food-491329701.jpg" alt="potatoes" title="potatoes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Money is the root of all evil, and yet it is such a useful root that we cannot get on without it any more than we can without potatoes.&quot; &mdash; Louisa May Alcott</p> <p>Tired of the same old baked or mashed potatoes? I sure was, so it was exciting to see what new things food bloggers have been doing to spuds. Here are 25 new recipe ideas.</p> <h2>1. Hassle-Free Hasselbacks</h2> <p>I was more than a little concerned about these fancy <a href="http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2011/10/scalloped-hasselback-potatoes/">Hasselback potatoes</a>. Sometimes things just look great in Pinterest photos, but when I try them, well, ahem, not so much. What I wondered was whether I could slice them thinly enough to make them look sporty while not cutting all the way through.</p> <p>Enter the wooden spoon trick!</p> <p>Put the potato on a wooden spoon and, using a very sharp knife, gently cut the potato. It prevents the knife from going all the way through, although it's a little rough on the spoon.</p> <p>The next challenge was the butter. I live in a tropical climate, and, despite freezing the butter as suggested, the moment I took it out, it would melt in my hands. I learned to work fast and just jam that butter into its designated slice. I took a little liberty with this recipe and used Asiago cheese. I also added some paprika and chives for color. All in all, they were fun to make (who doesn't love a challenge?), and I think mine looked fairly good. They tasted great. How could they not, with alternating slices of cheese and butter?</p> <h2>2. Tarragon Potato Salad</h2> <p>This <a href="http://food52.com/recipes/18455-tarragon-potato-salad-with-cured-salmon-and-lemon-vinaigrette">Tarragon Potato Salad</a> was so enticing! As it turned out, this was a week for recipe tinkering. First off, I used smoked salmon, rather than the cured, as in their picture. (That was fine, according to the recipe.)</p> <p>My next adjustment was to use sauteed leeks, rather than spring onions, since I had just picked leeks from my garden. Whoa, that sounded pretentious. My garden is currently a sucking mud-hole. I was devoured by mosquitoes and, because I am so out of shape, my hamstrings are still screaming. I'd have been better off letting the leeks rot and buying spring onions. I did use the fresh lemon, but only because a neighbor's had fallen off of their tree. And rolled to the street. Almost. It may have had a little assistance. Alas, there was no fresh tarragon to be had at the grocery store, so I used dried. My last addition was a sprinkling of grated Asiago cheese.</p> <p>This was delicious.</p> <h2>3. Sweet Potato Dessert Squares</h2> <p>I debated so hard about testing and including this <a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/sweet-potato-dessert-squares">Sweet Potato Dessert Square</a> recipe. To me, this is more of a fall dessert. In the end, I decided what the heck &mdash; &nbsp;just wanted to try it. A friend had made a version with pumpkin, and that was wonderful. My husband was quite skeptical (&quot;Sweet Potato Dessert? <em>Really?</em> Huh.&quot;) Once l I handed him a slice, all was forgiven. I made mine in a quiche dish, simply because I am lazy, and that's what was on top of my stack of clean dishes.</p> <h2>4. Roasted Potato and Asparagus and...</h2> <p>This <a href="http://ohsheglows.com/2014/04/25/roasted-potato-and-asparagus-lentil-salad-with-tangy-mustard-lemon-dressing/">Roasted Potato-Asparagus-Lentil Salad</a> is another potato WINNER. First, I must point out that I used Israeli couscous, rather than lentils. My grocery store was, inexplicably, out of lentils. However, I firmly believe that time is money, and have no interest in driving from store to store in search of perfect ingredients. So, couscous it was, and Israeli couscous has a fun little round texture and look that I like. I also discovered that I was out of whole-grain mustard, truly a mystery, because I usually have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-by-making-your-own-mustard">five different kinds</a> in my refrigerator. I made do with Dijon and nobody suffered. There are some recipes that turn out so well, I just cannot wait to make them again. This was one of them.</p> <h2>5. Crazy Name, but Crash Hot Potatoes Are YUM</h2> <p>I tried ignoring <a href="http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/06/crash-hot-potatoes/">Crash Hot Potatoes</a> on Pinterest for a while, thinking oh, what's the big deal &mdash; isn't it just a smashed potato? Well, as it turns out, yes. But it's better than that, especially if you understand the concept (as the author so charmingly put it) of having more &quot;flavorful, crispy surface area.&quot; I dusted mine with some parmesan during the baking, because cheese and I are friends.</p> <h2>6. The Earl of Potato-Wich</h2> <p>Bear with me on this next &quot;<a href="http://www.rippedrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-potato-grilled-cheese-1519.html">sandwich</a>.&quot; It looks sort of sandwich-y, but it's almost more like a dessert (keep in mind a Monte Cristo sandwich). There is sweetness in the sweet potato, of course, but also in the raisins. Using coconut oil also gave it an interesting &quot;tropical&quot; taste. It certainly is packed with nutrition, between the sweet potatoes, raisins, walnuts, kale, and ricotta.</p> <h2>7. Potatoes for Potluck</h2> <p>I am always on the lookout for potluck recipes that go together quickly, and this <a href="http://www.stayingclosetohome.com/easy-hashbrown-egg-casserole-recipe.html">Easy Hash Brown and Egg Casserole</a> fit the bill. Of course I put grated cheddar cheese on top when I baked it. If you are a fan (like me) of breakfast for dinner, here you go. Pass the Tabasco!</p> <h2>8. Purple Potatoes I</h2> <p><a href="http://archives.starbulletin.com/1999/11/10/features/request.html">Purple Potato Salad</a>? Yes, it's delicious (served at one of my favorite cafes) and so pretty. Using Okinawan sweet potatoes gives it the beautiful purple color. Also, it's a good excuse to get out the mayonnaise.</p> <h2>9. Purple Potatoes II</h2> <p>If you liked those purple potatoes, try them <a href="http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.com/2008/12/mashed-okinawan-purple-sweet-potatoes.html">mashed!</a> Kids love these.</p> <h2>10. Purple Potatoes III</h2> <p>Or, as <a href="http://www.jollytomato.com/2012/09/27/purple-potato-chips/">chips!</a> And here's another tip: If you have little bits of chips left over, throw them into a sugar cookie dough. You'll get a crispy cookie with a little extra pizzazz.</p> <h2>11. Potato Patties</h2> <p>You can eat your &quot;french fries&quot; at the same time as your burger with these <a href="http://www.eatwell101.com/potato-recipe-for-kids-healthy-potatoes-patties-burgers-healthy-potato-kids-recipe">Potato Patties Burgers</a>. Although meant to be kid-friendly, I sure would never turn one down. It does make things easier if you use the muffin tins.</p> <h2>12. Bourbon and Sweet Potato Cupcakes</h2> <p>True confessions: The words &quot;bourbon&quot; and &quot;cupcake&quot; convinced me to try this recipe out, not the &quot;sweet potato.&quot; The original recipe calls for using Maker's Mark bourbon, but if I did that, my husband would have a cow. There are, uh, cheaper bourbons to use, and I thought this was delicious using one of those. These are definitely <a href="http://www.bakerella.com/not-your-kids-cupcakes/">cupcakes</a> for grown-ups. I love being a grown-up.</p> <h2>13. Potatoes, Meet Kale</h2> <p>And speaking of being a grown-up, and eating responsibly, ahhhh, thank goodness for things like these <a href="http://bsugarmama.com/potato-kale-enchiladas/">Potato and Kale Enchiladas</a>, because they are delicious. I had some tomatillo sauce kicking around so used that in place of enchilada sauce. That wasn't as spicy, so next time I will go with the enchilada sauce.</p> <h2>14. Samosa Pie</h2> <p>As this recipe author puts it, &quot;I luuuuuve samosas.&quot; Me, too. In fact, for my daughter's 18th birthday, that's what we served, because she also loves them. That's why when I saw this <a href="http://foodess.com/2013/06/samosa-pie/">Samosa Pie</a>, I got so excited. I used a Pillsbury's pie crust and that worked well. I had to make my own <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-garam-masala/">garam masala</a> mix (which was not hard to do) because my market did not carry it. Now that I mention it, I don't know why checkers at my grocery store keep asking me, &quot;Did you find everything?&quot; because I always tell them them &quot;no,&quot; and then they've never heard of what it is I'm looking for, and everyone is sad.</p> <h2>15. Great Grilling</h2> <p>It is getting to be that time of year when I just want to grill everything. Correction: I want my <em>husband</em> to grill everything. I don't even know how to run that barbeque, and we are both fine with that. Check out these <a href="http://realmomkitchen.com/7833/grilled-potatoes-with-bbq-dipping-sauce/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=Feed:+realmomkitchen/JNcN+(Real+Mom+Kitchen)">Grilled Potatoes</a>. Yum! I went with plain old ketchup as a dipping sauce, because the husband loves ketchup and, well, he was doing all the work.</p> <h2>16. Healthier Tacos</h2> <p>Roasting your sweet potatoes, I think, makes all the difference in a vegetarian <a href="http://ohmyveggies.com/recipe-roasted-sweet-potato-black-bean-tacos/">Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taco</a>. I had tried other methods, but found I really prefer the crispness of the potatoes, plus the &quot;charred&quot; look. That's kind of weird, when you think about it. I mean, it's a potato, not a joint of beef. This is a delightfully simple yet flavorful recipe. If you cannot get queso fresco, a Mexican cheese, try a Monterey Jack. I prefer these in a crispy shell, but the husband likes soft whole-wheat wraps, which also worked fine. Marriage is full of compromises.</p> <h2>17. Not-Boring Potato Soup</h2> <p><a href="http://food52.com/recipes/4125-creamy-potato-soup-with-bacon-vinaigrette">Potato soup</a>. Yawn. Good, but hardly exciting or new,&nbsp;<em>unless you top it with a bacon vinaigrette</em>. Ah, I see I have your attention, now. My little tweaks were to use greek yogurt in place of the sour cream and to use leeks in place of the green onions (sauteed with the bacon). And, yes, I realize that sort of makes it a potato-leek soup. Whatever, it was delicious, and a nice change.</p> <h2>18. Pretty Potato Rolls</h2> <p>Carb lovers, unite! Not only are these <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/easy-baking-recipe-noknead-swe-132580">sweet potato rolls</a> a pretty color, but they require no kneading (bonus)! Using potatoes in rolls gives them a wonderful texture. I used low-fat buttermilk in place of the whole milk, just because I had it around, and I think it helps keep the rolls extra-fluffy. Warm from the oven, with butter, these will transport you to a happy place.</p> <h2>19. Roasted Sweet Potato Sandwich</h2> <p>Wait: A roasted sweet potato, goat cheese, red onion, arugula, and pesto sandwich? Toasted? When I saw these <a href="http://dishingupthedirt.com/uncategorized/sweet-potato-grilled-cheese-sandwich-with-kale-pesto/">sandwiches</a>, I think swooned a little. What a combination!</p> <h2>20. Fanciest Hash Browns, Ever</h2> <p>There was a problem with this recipe for <a href="http://thecafesucrefarine.com/2012/01/goat-cheese-fontina-arugula-quiche-w/">Fontina and Goat Cheese Tart With Crispy Hash Brown Crust</a>. The problem was that I could eat it entirely by myself. Have you ever before seen a crust made of hash browns? My grandmother's springform pan was on the highest shelf of my kitchen, but you can believe I got the stepladder out for this baby. As the recipe suggested, feta could be substituted for goat cheese (I love goat cheese but my husband doesn't). Also, as promised, it reheats nicely (if there is any to reheat).</p> <h2>21. Get Ready for Football Season Snacks</h2> <p>I am totally addicted to hot sauce, so when I saw this recipe for <a href="http://3boysandadog.com/2013/08/franks-redhot-kickin-bbq-stuffed-potatoes/">stuffed potato skins,</a> I was in, hook, line, and sinker. The list of ingredients is long but oh, so worth it. I wasn't sure about the pineapple bits, but they offset the spiciness of the hot sauce nicely, so don't leave them out. Serve with beer.</p> <h2>22. Meatloaf and Mashed Potato &quot;Cupcakes&quot;</h2> <p>I had dismissed these <a href="http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/meat-loaf-cupcakes-with-mashed-potato-icing/d46c2428-4885-4936-864d-072ceea54724">Meatloaf Cupcakes With Mashed Potato Icing</a> as purely &quot;kid food.&quot; Well, one of my girlfriends thought they were the cutest things, and so made them, and has not quit raving ever since. I used turkey burger instead of hamburger, but turkey burger is also leaner, so it's harder to make them keep their shape. Lesson learned! They will hold their shape better if you do use cupcake liners, but they taste great, regardless. Big kids and little kids alike think they are awesome.</p> <h2>23. Best Use of Leftover Mashed Potatoes</h2> <p>Usually I just turn leftover mashed potatoes into potato pancakes, which are good, but next time I have leftovers, I must try these <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/thanksgiving-leftovers-recipe-133358">Mashed Potato Puffs</a>. It will also give me an excuse to consider buying that nifty pan with the rectangles shown in the photo.</p> <h2>24. Spanish Frittata</h2> <p>I love a good <a href="http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/eggsdairy/r/spinbacchedfrit.htm">frittata</a>. They are good, I think, for any meal of the day. This one uses bacon and cheddar, but they are really versatile &mdash; I have used thinly-sliced Black Forest ham and all sorts of different cheeses. When I learned to make them, I was taught to flip them onto a plate and then flip them back into a pan. These instructions are much easier and would have saved a lot of messes.</p> <h2>25. Fold It Up!</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/potato-leek-feta-tart-recipe-00000000019589/index.html">Potato Tart</a> is a delicious, satisfying meal. Just add a green salad and you are all set. I have never been able to fold my pie crusts neatly, but they still taste great. I also like to saute' some mushrooms (drain them before adding to mixture) to this tart. This recipe features leeks, and after all the fuss referenced above, I wanted to use up some more leeks.</p> <p><em>Have you discovered any new and exciting ways to prepare potatoes? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-exciting-new-potato-recipes-you-must-try">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-serve-potatoes-on-st-patricks-day">17 Ways to Serve Potatoes on St. Patrick&#039;s Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock">25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/end-potato-prejudice-10-reasons-why-you-should-eat-potatoes">End Potato Prejudice: 10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Potatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-budget-friendly-meals-everyone-should-know-how-to-make">10 Budget-Friendly Meals Everyone Should Know How to Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap eats potato recipes potatoes Wed, 21 May 2014 08:36:24 +0000 Marla Walters 1139951 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Budget-Friendly Meals Everyone Should Know How to Make http://www.wisebread.com/10-budget-friendly-meals-everyone-should-know-how-to-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-budget-friendly-meals-everyone-should-know-how-to-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cooking-178281634.jpg" alt="cooking" title="cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm always looking for ways to feed my family for less. It seems like no matter how much meal planning I do, I'm still running up a grocery bill that's higher than I'd like to admit. Thankfully, the Internet is full of great ideas for those of us looking to lower our food costs. Even better? We don't have to sacrifice flavor or portion sizes to see the savings! (See also:<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-every-day-a-month-of-frugal-meals?ref=seealso"> What to Eat Every Day: A Month of Frugal Meals</a>)</p> <p>Here are 10 budget-friendly meals you should be making.</p> <h2>1. Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers</h2> <p>A staple in our home, these<a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2012/05/5-dinner-stuffed-peppers.html"> Veggie Stuffed Peppers</a> are a complete meal on their own for just $5 total. If served with rice, this meal could even satisfy four people, though we usually divide it between two adults and one hungry toddler.</p> <h2>2. Slow Cooker Taco Bowls</h2> <p>The slow cooker is a great option for those of you looking to creative low-cost meals. These easy<a href="http://www.budgetbytes.com/2011/07/taco-chicken-bowls/"> Chicken Taco Bowls</a> are no exception. The recipe serves eight, but costs only $10 to make. Whoever thinks budget foods can't be bursting with flavor will want to check out this recipe and its impressive ingredient list. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes?ref=seealso">25 Cheap and Easy Crock Pot Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>3. Pita Pizzas</h2> <p>This next meal is so simple, it doesn't require a recipe. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Then top store-bought pita or naan bread with some canned tomato sauce, shredded cheese, whatever veggies you have or like, and meat. Bake for eight minutes until the cheese is bubbly. This is a kid-pleaser, too &mdash; I mean, who doesn't like pizza?</p> <h2>4. Slow Cooker Curry</h2> <p>When thinking about the inexpensive, many gloss over more exotic flavors. This<a href="http://dinneronthecheap.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/cauliflower-potato-and-mushroom-curry/"> Cauliflower, Potato, and Mushroom Curry</a> recipe boasts a lot of spice, but relies on cheap ingredients (canned chickpeas, potatoes, garlic, onions, etc.) to make up the bulk of the meal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians?ref=seealso">35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy Vegetarians</a>)</p> <h2>5. Veggie Lasagna</h2> <p>Another hearty dish, this<a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2011/05/10-meals-for-10-veggie-lasagna.html"> vegetarian lasagna</a> costs just $10 to make and totals 10 servings in all. I like to eat it for a couple nights, and then freeze the rest of the batch (cutting into individual slices first, then wrapping in plastic wrap and storing in some gallon zip bags) to keep the savings going longer.</p> <h2>6. Soup in a Jar</h2> <p>I love this novel ideal for weeknight<a href="http://www.noodlesandnuggets.com/2013/05/weeknight-soup-in-jar.html"> Soup in a Jar</a>. This meal is totally customizable and relies on dried beans (very reasonably priced and naturally shelf-stable) and whatever else you might have on hand. By clearing out your refrigerator and pantry shelves, you can use up certain foods before they go bad, lessening waste and saving money in the process.</p> <h2>7. White Bean Tuna Salad</h2> <p>At just $1.36 per serving, this<a href="http://www.bhg.com/recipes/healthy/dinner/cheap-heart-healthy-dinner-ideas/#page=5"> White Bean Tuna Salad</a> packs a good amount of healthy protein. The recipe calls for arugula or spinach, but I suggest seeing what greens are on sale at your local grocer. Plus, you can eat the salad on its own or serve with crusty bread for a more sophisticated tuna salad sandwich.</p> <h2>8. Black Bean Burgers</h2> <p>Sometimes it's not just about saving money, but &mdash; better &mdash; maximizing the ingredients you already have in the pantry. These<a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/black-bean-burgers-recipe.html"> Black Bean Burgers</a> are made of canned black beans, chopped onions and garlic, egg, and a few spices. They're a perfect meal to whip up while clearing out your cupboards before the next grocery run. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-delicious-and-healthy-black-bean-recipes?ref=seealso">Cheap and Healthy Black Bean Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>9. Stuffed Baked Potatoes</h2> <p>This<a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/potato-bar-chili"> Potato Bar-Chili</a> recipe costs an impressively low 51 cents per serving and just 159 calories per half cup. Please note that this recipe is for the filling only, but making perfectly<a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/the-baked-potato-recipe.html"> baked russet potatoes</a> is easy! Vegetarian? TVP would be a great substitute for the ground beef.</p> <h2>10. Macaroni and Cheese</h2> <p>Noodles and cheese are both inexpensive ingredients, but when combined they make an incredibly satisfying comfort dish. The author of this simple, from-scratch<a href="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/from-scratch-mac-and-cheese/"> Mac and Cheese</a> recipe suggests buying block cheese and shredding it yourself for the lowest cost. And don't omit the ground mustard &mdash; it's the best part!</p> <p><em>What are your go-to budget meals? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-budget-friendly-meals-everyone-should-know-how-to-make">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-soup-recipes">20 Cheap and Easy Soup Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-every-day-a-month-of-frugal-meals">What to Eat Every Day: A Month of Frugal Meals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock">25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sayonara-ramen-san">Sayonara, Ramen-san</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink budget meals cheap eats cheap meals Fri, 28 Feb 2014 11:36:18 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1127976 at http://www.wisebread.com 16 Cheap, Low-Cal Condiments to Brighten Up Boring Food http://www.wisebread.com/16-cheap-low-cal-condiments-to-brighten-up-boring-food <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/16-cheap-low-cal-condiments-to-brighten-up-boring-food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4144514761_89ab6240a3_z.jpg" alt="soy sauce" title="soy sauce" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As much as I try to be a good gourmet and buy produce that is fresh, bursting with flavor, and grown close to my home, I can't always afford it. Like everyone else, I have to buy supermarket groceries that aren't exactly grown with care or overflowing with sun-kissed flavor.</p> <p>We can't all be locavores all the time, and sometimes, we have to make do with largely flavorless produce and boring staples. If you're like me, facing down a jar of dried garbanzo beans, white rice, and some frozen chicken breast can make it seem mighty tempting to run out for burgers or call in some pizza. But if you are trying to cut down on dining out, whether for financial or health reasons, you've got to tackle that chicken and learn how to make lame food taste good.</p> <p>I've learned to cheat my way to tasty food through a rather liberal use of spices, sauces, and sneaky cooking methods. I rarely use prime ingredients in my cooking, but that's OK &mdash;&nbsp;subprime ingredients can be <em>massaged </em>into behaving like they come from a high-priced grocer.</p> <p>Here are some tasty condiments that have helped me save time and money when I was facing a bland dish or meal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-add-big-flavor-to-your-food">Cheap Ways to Add Big Flavor to Your Food</a>)</p> <h2>Indian Store</h2> <p>Your average Indo-Pak store packs more flavor per square foot that any American-style grocery chain. If you're new to Indian spices, there are plenty of <a href="http://indianfood.about.com/od/thebasics/a/nevercooked.htm" target="_blank">online resources</a> to teach about Indian food. Indian stores actually carry most spices you need &mdash; you can buy cinnamon, cardammom, bay leaves, salt and pepper, cloves, and everything in between at most Indian stores, and you'll find it for MUCH cheaper than you will at Safeway or Whole Foods.</p> <p><strong>1. Masala Spice Mixes</strong></p> <p><img width="365" height="327" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/masala.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/vorty/2750299600/" target="_blank"><em>Stian Martensen</em></a></p> <p>Masala is just a word that means &quot;spice&quot; in Hindi. If you've ever had Indian food, you know that there's no shortage of spice in that cuisine. Indian food snobs will point out that the best Indian food is made with fresh, hand-ground spices that are mixed by each chef to their liking, and that a good conisseur will learn to create their own masalas. These are people with far too much time on their hands.</p> <p>When I make Indian food or just need to make some chicken breast taste better, I use these little boxes of pre-mixed ground spices from my local Indo-Pak store. I usually buy the MDH and Shan brands, mostly because I am familiar with them. If you don't have an Indian store in your vicinity, you can easily find these online. A single box shouldn't be more than $5, and a little bit goes a long way.</p> <p>While these masala mixes are usually made for a specific dish or type of dish, I long ago abandoned any pretense abiding by the rules. So the box says &quot;Chicken Tikka Masala&quot; on it; who cares? The spices are equally delicious used as a rub on a couple of fish fillets just before baking. Masalas can improve roasted veggies, casseroles, soups, and popcorn.</p> <p>The trick to using Indian masalas is making sure that they cook long enough. Sometimes cooking the spices on a frying pan with a little oil on low heat can help get rid of any bitterness and tame the pungency.</p> <p><strong>2. Mint-Cilantro Chutney</strong></p> <p>Also a favorite at my local Indo-Pak grocery is a &quot;chutney&quot; (sauce) made from mint, cilantro, lime juice, and green chilies. It's spicy, salty, and is amazing cooked into almost any meat dish. It can also be mixed with sour cream or yogurt for a savory dip with international flair.</p> <p><strong>3. Indian Pickle (Achar)</strong></p> <p><img width="500" height="333" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/pickle_0.jpg" alt="" /><em><br /> </em></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lenore-m/4560176798/" target="_blank"><em>L. Marie</em></a></p> <p>I don't mean to go overboard on Indian food, but you can't get much more flavorful than <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_pickle" target="_blank">Indian pickle</a>. &quot;Pickle&quot; is a loose term in India and Pakistan &mdash; as far as I can tell, it means &quot;fruit or vegetable in a jar with oil and spices.&quot; It can range from lemons to green mangoes to spicy chilies to Indian gooseberries to carrots to ginger and beyond.</p> <p>As with anything else from an Indian store, you don't need much to pack a powerful punch of flavor. A spoonful of green mango pickles can lend a mouthwatering spiciness to three-day old rice (just add a couple of eggs and stir fry on high heat for a couple of minutes). A spoonfull of mashed Indian pickle makes regular old ground beef sing with succulence, adding panache to lasagna, meatloaf, or burger patties.</p> <p><strong>4. Tamarind Paste/Sauce/Chutney</strong></p> <p><img width="500" height="375" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/tamarind.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmmavocado/4254551148/" target="_blank"><em>Malcolm Manners</em></a></p> <p>Tamarind is a fruit that grows all over South and Southeast Asia, and is a popular ingredient in India, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisines. You can find tamarind sauce in most East or South Asian grocery stores. It looks a bit like A1 sauce, but is more tangy and less savory.</p> <h2>Chinese/Vietnamese Store</h2> <p>Chinese and Vietnamese grocery stores are often a good place to buy cheap, fresh fruits, and vegetables. My favorite chain in Washington, Ranch99, offers giant bundles of greens for less than two dollars. Of course, the sauce aisles offer amazing selection, as well.</p> <p><strong>5. Sriracha</strong></p> <p><img width="500" height="335" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/sriracha.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cookbookman/5372351695/" target="_blank"><em>cookbookman17</em></a></p> <p>By now, you've probably familiarized yourself with <a href="http://theoatmeal.com/comics/sriracha" target="_blank">Sriracha sauce</a>, the red chili sauce with the rooster on the bottle. It's a popular staple on many an Asian restaurant's condiments counter. Sriracha is spicy pepper sauce that was made popular by pho restaurants (you can read about the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/20/dining/20united.html?pagewanted=all" target="_blank">confusing history of Sriracha here</a>). It is spicy and salty, a perfect topping for $1 frozen pizzas, tacos with under-seasoned meat, and too-sweet teriyaki. It's also a brilliant addition to spaghetti sauce, stews, homemade chicken pot pie, and cold noodle salads. Whether cooked in or squirted on top, Sriracha will add a kick to any dish that needs spice.</p> <p><strong>6. MSG</strong></p> <p><img width="500" height="343" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/msg.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrea_nguyen/5987762407/" target="_blank"><em>Andrea Nguyen</em></a><em> (MSG and mushroom salt)</em></p> <p>I love MSG, and I don't care who knows it. Sure, lots of <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/monosodium-glutamate/AN01251" target="_blank">people have reactions to MSG</a>, but I don't, and so I'm going to eat it until it gives me cancer. This much maligned and misunderstood chemical compound can be purchased in small packets of crystals. Just add a small sprinkle to bland dishes, and MSG magically enhances the flavor of all ingredients, from meat to garlic to salt.</p> <p><strong>7. Chinese Vinegar</strong></p> <p><img width="500" height="375" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/vinegar.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/joyosity/3226329675/" target="_blank"><em>joyosity</em></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-weird-and-wonderful-ways-to-use-vinegar">Vinegar is just all-around awesome</a>, but many people have never tried <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_vinegar" target="_blank">Chinese black rice vinegar</a>, which is dark, tart, and smoky (sometimes made from black rice, but often from millet or other grains). If you have ever had traditional Chinese dumplings in an authentic restaurant, you were probably served a small dish full of black vinegar and shreds of fresh ginger alonside. This is Chinkiang vinegar &mdash; it looks like balsamic, but lacks the sweetness, and has greater depth and a higher salt concentration. I've never found Chinese vinegar outside of Asian stores, and even inside Asian stores, I often have to hunt for it.</p> <p>Chinese vinegar has a deep flavor that can be used to add tartness to dishes that are too sweet. It's great for making hot and sour soup or any East Asian-themed stew.</p> <p><strong>8. Fish Sauce</strong></p> <p><img width="375" height="500" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/fish.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/anniemole/6039447208/" target="_blank"><em>Annie Mole</em></a></p> <p>You've probably seen <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_sauce" target="_blank">Fish Sauce</a> in fine pho establishments. It packs a salty, fishy wallop with a healthy dose of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umami" target="_blank">umami</a>, and can add flavor to soups, casseroles, pasta sauces, meat loaf, and chicken dishes. Like most condiments mentioned here, you don't need much fish sauce to get excellent flavor, so don't go overboard with it.</p> <p><strong>9. Ponzu Sauce/Maggi/Soy Sauce</strong></p> <p><img width="500" height="334" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/soy.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/62904109@N00/1859248746/" target="_blank"><em>palindrome6996</em></a></p> <p>People tend to reserve soy sauce for stir-fry, but it's a great way to add a pop of savory richness to nearly any dish. I use it extensively in soups and marinades for steak and fish, as well as in sauces and reductions.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzu" target="_blank">Ponzu sauce</a> is lighter than soy sauce and has a citrus flavor (usually yuzu, but sometimes from other citrus fruits). Like soy sauce, it provides a savory flavor enhancement to stews, casseroles, meatloaf, and grilled veggies, but with a lighter, slightly less salty, springier taste.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.nestle-family.com/maggi/english/" target="_blank">Maggi seasoning</a> is often thought of as an Asian ingredient because of its popularity in Asian countries, but it's actually from Austria. Created as a meat-substitute flavoring, it is often compared to soy sauce in flavor, although it contains no actual soy.</li> </ul> <h2>Any Ol' Grocery</h2> <p>The following items can be found at pretty much any grocery store, anywhere, and can save you from another meal of boiled potatoes and chicken.</p> <p><strong>10. Kosher or Sea Salt</strong></p> <p><img width="500" height="341" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/kosher.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/62589366@N02/6239246934/" target="_blank"><em>Heather Johnson</em></a></p> <p>Those of you who have yet to try <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-salt-is-best">kosher salt</a> need to get on the bandwagon. It brings out the flavor in food in a much different way than regular table salt. Sure, you'll pay a bit more, but you get more zing for each penny.</p> <p><strong>11. Marinara Sauce</strong></p> <p><img width="324" height="500" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/marinara.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/78560516@N07/7198448280/in/photostream/" target="_blank"><em>Dave's Gourmet</em></a></p> <p>I have found that marinara possesses some rather unique meat-tenderizing qualities. I will often marinate a tough cut of beef in marinara or fresh salsa for a day or so before throwing it in the slow-cooker. The results have always been spectacular. When cooked, tomatoes have an umami quality that is very satisfying, and you don't have to splurge on pricey organic tomato sauce if you're just going to throw it on top of fish and bake it. In a pinch, a can of Spicy V-8 can be substituted.</p> <h3>12. Ketchup</h3> <p><img width="500" height="334" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/ketchup.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/5356384910/" target="_blank"><em>Steven Depolo</em></a></p> <p>Growing up, I hated ketchup, but I've come to appreciate the fact that it manages to incorporate all of the tastes that the human tongue can detect &mdash; sweet, sour, bitter, salty, spicy, and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umami" target="_blank">umami</a>. I've also found that ketchup does an amazing job of adding a hint of savory tomato taste to boring soups, wan tomato sauces, and pretty much any meal containing ground beef.</p> <p><strong>13. Mustard</strong></p> <p><img width="500" height="375" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/mustard.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ognam/156326876/" target="_blank"><em>Nick Azwaa Azmi</em></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-by-making-your-own-mustard">Mustard</a>, be it basic French's yellow mustard or a fancy ground dijon, provides a fantastic pop of flavor to dull-tasting marinades, soups, and stews. You can substitute dry mustard powder for a stronger flavor. I like to add mustard to beef stew &mdash; it changes the flavor profile without diluting the meaty goodness. Mustard is also a great way to add dimension to stir-fried veggies and curries.</p> <p><strong>14. Worcestershire Sauce/A1 Sauce</strong></p> <p><img width="500" height="375" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/wor.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wordridden/2669139338/" target="_blank"><em>Jessica Spengler</em></a></p> <p>Worcestershire sauce is my go-to for marination &mdash; no matter what I'm throwing on the grill. In my family, we tend to marinate steaks for a long time before grilling (up to five hours), but Worcestershire sauce is also delicious over tofu or seitan and added to salad dressings.</p> <p><strong>15. Pesto</strong></p> <p><img width="500" height="375" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/pesto.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/63540087@N07/6021994380/" target="_blank"><em>Michał Bażak</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>OK, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/better-with-basil-21-uses-for-jarred-pesto">pesto</a> isn't technically &quot;low-calorie&quot;, but it's a life saver when staring down a dish of lasagna that didn't come out quite right. I buy my pesto pre-made from Costco, and it has been the salvation of many a sad-looking roasted chicken breast, flavorless fish fillet, and bowl of plain pasta.</p> <p><strong>16. Marmite</strong></p> <p><img width="500" height="375" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/marmite.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrbill/393315879/" target="_blank"><em>Bill Bradford</em></a></p> <p>Marmite is a British food thing (you might find it in Indian stores as opposed to your local grocery). There are many colorful descriptions of it (a friend refers to it as &quot;the taste of licking the floor of a local brewery&quot;), but to me, Marmite tastes like concentrated soy sauce mixed with yeast. It's an acquired taste, to say the least. While I don't slather it on toast like my British-schooled husband, I find it adds depth (and saltiness) to stews that haven't had enough time to &quot;cure.&quot; It's also good for you &mdash; packed with B vitamins.</p> <p><em>What condiments, sauces, or spices do you find to be lifesavers in the case of a bland meal?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-cheap-low-cal-condiments-to-brighten-up-boring-food">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-checkout-line-tricks-to-finish-shopping-faster">5 Checkout Line Tricks to Finish Shopping Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-an-awesome-frugal-movie-night">How to Host an Awesome Frugal Movie Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-buying-groceries-online-is-great">3 Reasons Why Buying Groceries Online Is Great</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Lifestyle cheap eats ethnic food food hacks grocery shopping Mon, 31 Dec 2012 11:24:30 +0000 Andrea Karim 48022 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Healthy Brown Bag Lunch Foods for the Fridgeless Workplace http://www.wisebread.com/12-healthy-brown-bag-lunch-foods-for-the-fridgeless-workplace <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-healthy-brown-bag-lunch-foods-for-the-fridgeless-workplace" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4113418330_d53e713de2_z.jpg" alt="PB&amp;J sandwich" title="PB&amp;J sandwich" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You&rsquo;ve likely found that bringing a lunch far exceeds dining out (in the savings arena, anyway.) While the practice is a noble one, it can also be tempting to abandon from time to time &mdash; especially when the brown bag lunch can get monotonous. Add in the fact that many work environments have no place to practically store a cold lunch, and it may not be long before you give up entirely. Before you ditch your commitment to saving cash by packing your own, check out this generous list of lunch components that can stay fresh at room temp! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a>)</p> <h3>1. Nut Butters</h3> <p>Peanut butter doesn&rsquo;t need to be cold, and with the wide assortment of nut butters available, you can now choose from a sun or almond butter to stash away for lunch. Buy pre-portioned, individual containers, or scoop a little in a tiny Tupperware for easy dipping and spreading.</p> <h3>2. Jerky</h3> <p>Not all jerkies are alike. Opt for a low-sodium, low fat, and all-natural turkey jerky for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-beef-tasty-frugal-protein">protein pick-me-up</a> that can stay fresh for (literally) years and won&rsquo;t add unnecessary MSG to your diet.</p> <h3>3. Coconut</h3> <p>By tossing small bag of unsweetened, shredded coconut into your lunch sack, you&rsquo;re prepped for a filling snack that won&rsquo;t spike your blood sugar.</p> <h3>4. Dried Fruit</h3> <p>Packed with antioxidants and a satisfying substitution for candy, dried fruits can help round out any sack lunch. Look for unsweetened cranberries, raisins, or blueberries for a variety of flavors without the added calories. (And be sure to follow the serving size recommendations. Too many can really mess up your calorie counting!)</p> <h3>5. Chicken and Tuna</h3> <p>You can mess with the hassle of draining juice from a can, or just pack a &ldquo;pouch&rdquo; for easy operation. Bring your own bread and a single-serve mayo packet for instant tuna or chicken-salad sandwiches!</p> <h3>6. Hard Cheeses</h3> <p>Many cultures eat all of their cheeses at room temperature, but it is recommended that&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/food/food_safety/handling/hgic3506.html">only harder cheeses</a>&nbsp;be eaten when left out for over four hours. This includes Cheddar, Colby, Gouda, and Swiss. Don&rsquo;t save cheese that isn&rsquo;t eaten during your work day (eight or more hours.)</p> <h3>7. Whole Fruits and Veggies</h3> <p>Once you cut into that apple, browning will begin immediately. (While it won&rsquo;t hurt you, no one really wants to eat brown apples.) Store whole produce (like bananas, apples, oranges, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and melon) uncut and away from direct heat until you are ready to eat. Most will last much more than a day, depending on their ripeness.</p> <h3>8. Granola</h3> <p>Packaged granola bars aren&rsquo;t usually the healthiest; they can be overloaded with sugar.&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.betterbudgeting.com/articles/frugal/breakfast.htm">Make your own granola</a> for even more savings.</p> <h3>9. Yogurt</h3> <p>When eaten within four to six hours, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yogurt-should-you-try-making-your-own">yogurt</a> is safe to be left at room temperature. (The active cultures help make it a good candidate for fridge-less storage.)</p> <h3>10. Oatmeal</h3> <p>Instant oatmeal isn&rsquo;t just for breakfast! Keep a box of packets in your drawer, and use the hot water spout from your office coffee-maker to whip up a super-quick lunch! Add some of those dried blueberries you brought for a fresh flavor.</p> <h3>11. PB&amp;J</h3> <p>This old standby has inspired almost a&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-update-peanut-butter-and-jelly">dozen variations</a>, many of which can be kept at the desk through lunch.</p> <h3>13. Canned Goods</h3> <p>While not always the tastiest, I still recommend leaving a few of your favorite low fat and low-sodium canned soups, fruits, or veggies in your desk drawer at work. They can be your &ldquo;back up&rdquo; plan if you forget to pack a lunch.</p> <h3>Not in the Mood to Fend for Yourself?</h3> <p>Skip packing your own, and go with a commercial shelf-stable kit<b>.</b>&nbsp;While not always the most frugal, there are several brands of yummy, prepackaged lunches that can stay in your desk drawer until you&rsquo;re ready to eat.&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.gopicnic.com/">GoPicnic</a>, for example, offers a selection of lunches with salami, cheeses, crackers, nut butters, and dried fruits. If you buy them on sale, they easily rival the cost to eat out.</p> <p>And remember, you can still go old school with a thermos of hot food, or an ice pack kept inside your insulated lunch box for items that need to be chilled!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-healthy-brown-bag-lunch-foods-for-the-fridgeless-workplace">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock">25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches">25 Great Non-Sandwich Work Lunches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-budget-friendly-meals-everyone-should-know-how-to-make">10 Budget-Friendly Meals Everyone Should Know How to Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink brown bag lunch cheap eats easy lunch ideas Fri, 30 Nov 2012 11:24:31 +0000 Linsey Knerl 955732 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6231890399_5dffc6cb81_z.jpg" alt="woman stirring pot" title="woman stirring pot" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Chicken stock is one of those ubiquitous bases for soups, sauces, stews, and more. I&rsquo;ll bet, however, that I can impress you with at least one new use for this versatile ingredient. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken">25 Things to Do With Rotisserie Chicken</a>)</p> <p>Before we get started, though, let me clear something up &mdash; chicken stock is different from chicken broth. Both are made from chicken, but stock is made from the bones, which gives it a richer mouthfeel (that&rsquo;s a legitimate word, I promise). Broth, on the other hand, is made more out of meat. If you have time to make homemade stock, try this great <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/chicken-stock-recipe/index.html">chicken stock recipe</a>. If you&rsquo;re more pressed for time, you can even make <a href="http://goodenessgracious.com/2011/12/homemade-chicken-stock-in-the-crock-pot.html">chicken stock in your crock pot</a>. If you&rsquo;re like most of us and have trouble finding time to prepare food at home, let alone extras like your own chicken stock, just go for canned chicken broth (low-sodium, of course, is healthiest). You can imitate stock by simmering canned broth with carrots, onion, celery, and spices such as dried parsley, a bay leaf, and pepper.</p> <p>And for all you vegetarians out there, you can substitute vegetable stock for chicken stock in all of these uses. Try this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/howto/making-vegetable-stock/">recipe for homemade vegetable stock</a>.</p> <h2>Rice &amp; Grains</h2> <p>Grains are an important part of any diet because they provide the carbohydrates that serve as the body&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/527358-nutrition-guide-to-pasta-rice-grains/?utm_source=popslideshow&amp;utm_medium=a1">main source of energy</a>. Increase the flavor of these tried-and-true carbs by including chicken stock as you cook.</p> <p><strong>1. White Rice</strong></p> <p>Add flavor and dimension to plain white rice by substituting chicken stock for water. The general rule for cooking long-grain white rice is two parts liquid (water or stock) to one part rice. Bring the stock to a boil, add &frac14; teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon butter (optional), and 1 cup rice; simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.</p> <p><strong>2. Risotto</strong></p> <p>Risotto is rice with <em>a lot</em> of liquid. More specifically, it is usually Arborio rice (although there are a few more-expensive varieties you can use), into which you stir large quantities of stock to coax out the rice's starch. The resulting mixture is creamy, delicious, and ready to receive any number of ingredients ranging from <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/06/spinach-risotto-with-goat-cheese-recipe.html">goat cheese</a> to <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mushroom-risotto/">mushrooms</a> to <a href="http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/shmpsoto.htm">shrimp</a>. The possibilities are endless!</p> <p><strong>3. Couscous</strong></p> <p>Couscous is actually a form of wheat pasta (known as semolina) traditionally served as a bed under stews. It originated in North Africa. All couscous I&rsquo;ve seen sold in the U.S. has been pre-steamed and dried, meaning it takes literally only minutes to prepare. Make this wonderfully textured dish even tastier by substituting stock for water. Boil 1&frac12; cups stock, add 1 cup couscous, cover, and remove from the heat. Wait five minutes, and voila! Substitute stock for water in any one of these <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/simple-couscous-recipes-00000000033967/index.html">12 recipes for couscous</a> from Real Simple.</p> <p><strong>4. Polenta</strong></p> <p>Polenta, which is essentially the same as the grits found primarily in the southern states of the U.S., is simply ground cornmeal boiled in water. Substituting chicken stock for water gives this versatile side dish just the nudge it needs to make it irresistible to all. Try this <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/basic-polenta-recipe/index.html">super-easy polenta recipe</a> from Foodnetwork.com, substituting stock for water. Or try this recipe for <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/savory-polenta-recipe/index.html">fried polenta</a>, which calls for stock in the original recipe.</p> <h2>Sauces</h2> <p>A good sauce is like a striking accessory &mdash; it has the potential to make a plain-Jane dish into a to-die-for entrée. Dress up your dishes with one of these basic sauces. The potential variations are endless!</p> <p><strong>5. Velouté </strong></p> <p>I have actually been making versions of this as a sauce and a soup base for years and have just recently learned the name. I can&rsquo;t honestly say that I know how to pronounce it, but I can say it is one of the most versatile things in the grand world of food. <a href="http://www.helpwithcooking.com/sauces/veloute-sauce.html">Making velouté</a> begins with a basic <a href="http://allrecipes.com/howto/all-about-roux/">roux</a> (flour and butter), which you then thicken with stock. That&rsquo;s it. Once done, you can try any number of variations, including adding white wine, pureed tomatoes, or vinegar to suit your taste.</p> <p><strong>6. Bercy Sauce</strong></p> <p>A Bercy sauce is one of those variations on velouté I mentioned above, but this one is perfectly suited for fish and other seafood dishes. It&rsquo;s also lighter tasting than a basic velouté sauce. There are a lot of variations on the Bercy sauce recipe floating around on the interwebs, but my favorite consists of &frac14; cup flour, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 minced shallots, 1 cup of chicken stock, and 1 cup of white wine. Add stock and wine to a saucepan, and reduce by over half (this will take about 40 minutes). In another saucepan, make a roux by mixing your flour and butter on low heat. Stir frequently; add shallots after 20 minutes, and continue stirring. Once your stock and wine is reduced, add the roux. Season to taste, and enjoy!</p> <p><strong>7. Low-Fat Alfredo</strong></p> <p>This <a href="http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=163122">light version of a classic Alfredo sauce</a> also looks a lot like the velouté described above (See? I told it was versatile!), but includes milk and Parmesan cheese, so it&rsquo;s creamier than velouté. The light Alfredo is also incredibly easy &mdash; simply combine milk, stock, flour, salt, and pepper, and heat over low heat. Add in the cheese, and you&rsquo;re ready for anything. Anything that entails eating Alfredo sauce, that is.</p> <p><strong>8. Marinara </strong></p> <p>Marinara, like velouté, can be varied in numerous ways to match your preferences or to make use of what you have on hand. This <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-marinara-sauce-yet/">tomato-based sauce</a> is traditionally made with white wine, but for an alluringly different flavor, substitute chicken stock instead. Simmer up a big batch and pair with spaghetti, gnocchi, eggplant Parmesan, or lasagna.</p> <p><strong>9. Curry</strong></p> <p>For those who are not intimately familiar with curry, the term refers to a variety of dishes of Southeast Asian origin that all include some variation of a spice-and-herb mixture. Curries may be either &ldquo;wet&rdquo; (consisting of spice incorporated into a sauce) or &ldquo;dry.&rdquo; Although I can&rsquo;t claim to be an expert in curry dishes, I can attest to the fact that I have loved absolutely every sauce-based curry dish I&rsquo;ve tried. One of my favorites is chicken curry. Rachel Ray, of Food Network fame, has a particularly accessible <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/chicken-curry-in-a-hurry-recipe/index.html">chicken curry recipe</a>. By now, you know the routine &mdash; substitute stock for broth for that kicked-up flavor.</p> <h2>Soups</h2> <p>The beauty of stock-based soups is that they taste good without weighing you down or filling out your waistline as much as cream-based soups. Make a batch and freeze half for later!</p> <p><strong>10. Hot and Sour Soup</strong></p> <p>Hot and sour soup is a trusted companion to all Chinese main dishes. It&rsquo;s light, airy, and just the perfect prologue to a filling meal to come. Use chicken stock as the base for yours to up the flavor. This <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/hot-and-sour-chicken-soup/">hot and sour soup recipe</a> calls for bamboo shoots, which are generally sold canned in the ethnic food aisle at your local grocer&rsquo;s, but you could try substituting with asparagus or coconut shoots.</p> <p><strong>11. Chicken Noodle Soup</strong></p> <p>One of the only reasons I don&rsquo;t run off to live in the Caribbean each year when the weather in the Northeast dips inevitably to the cold, damp, and snowy is the knowledge that I will be comforted by such things as roaring fires and <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/chicken-noodle-soup-recipe/index.html">chicken noodle soup</a>. Make your own at any time of year and benefit from the warm feeling, low calories, and <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/402053-is-chicken-noodle-soup-healthy-for-you/">possible health benefits</a> it brings.</p> <p><strong>12. Escarole and White Bean Soup</strong></p> <p>Escarole, a variety of endive that is less bitter than its cousins, serves as a hearty pairing to white beans in this antioxidant- and protein-rich soup. To make this <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/escarole-and-bean-soup-recipe/index.html">quick and easy soup</a>, sauté two garlic cloves in two tablespoons of olive oil for 15 seconds, add one pound of escarole, and continue cooking for two minutes. Add four cups chicken stock, one can of cannellini beans, and a pinch of Parmesan cheese. Cover and simmer for about five minutes, and enjoy!</p> <p><strong>13. Butternut Squash Soup</strong></p> <p>Butternut squash is known as a winter squash, and it is typically available in grocery stores from late fall through the winter. However, it can also be found in many grocery stores already peeled and cut into chunks in the freezer section. Pick up a package yourself this summer and whip up some delicious and filling <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/butternut-squash-soup-10000001918519/">butternut squash soup</a> using only five simple ingredients (not counting butter and salt).</p> <p><strong>14. Gazpacho</strong></p> <p>Now that summer is upon us, most people are reluctant to spend their evenings stooped over a hot stove. Thus, the wonderful invention that is gazpacho &mdash; the cold tomato soup that can be made and consumed without the aid of heat altogether! This <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/gazpacho-iv/">gazpacho recipe</a> calls for beef broth, but sub in chicken stock for (what I consider to be) better flavor. You can keep it for up to five days in the refrigerator. For a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-throw-a-fabulous-and-frugal-dinner-party">charming party idea</a>, serve up tiny portions of gazpacho in plastic shot glasses, topped with a shrimp on a toothpick.</p> <p><strong>15. Minestrone</strong></p> <p>Minestrone is a tomato-based soup characterized by its inclusion of red kidney beans (and its ubiquitous presence at Olive Gardens the world round, I might add). Make your own at home with <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/minestrone-soup-recipe/index.html">Ellie Krieger&rsquo;s recipe</a> (via FoodNetwork.com), which calls for six cups of chicken broth (substituting with stock, of course).</p> <p><strong>16. Clam Chowder</strong></p> <p>I grew up believing there to be only two types of clam chowders: New England style (cream-based chowder) and Manhattan style (tomato-based chowder). However, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clam_chowder">Wikipedia</a> tells me that I&rsquo;m wrong, and that there are actually five types of this mollusk-laden dish. Try your hand at making each of the five main varieties, or do like I do, and stick with your favorite &mdash; mine happens to be New England clam chowder, although I don&rsquo;t love the extra calories that come with the cream base. This <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dave-lieberman/new-england-clam-chowder-recipe/index.html">New England clam chowder recipe</a>, however, manages to maintain the classic flavor while substituting some of the cream for chicken stock, thereby effectively delivering the best of both worlds.</p> <h2>Comfort Foods</h2> <p>Because they are typically savory, comfort foods often include chicken stock. Even if the traditional recipe doesn&rsquo;t call for stock, however, you can almost always switch stock in for another ingredient. This has the dual benefit of making a recipe uniquely your own and enhancing the flavor.</p> <p><strong>17. Chicken Dumplings</strong></p> <p>Dumplings are one of those good old-fashioned, warm-you-to-the-bone comfort foods. After all, who doesn&rsquo;t love warm balls of dough? Cook yours in chicken stock for more flavorful dumplings. A favorite of mine is this <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/chicken-and-dumplings-recipe/index.html">recipe by Rachel&nbsp;Ray</a>. Pressed for time? Try <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooker-chicken-and-dumplings/">chicken and dumplings recipe</a> in the slow cooker, substituting half of the water for stock.</p> <p><strong>18. Bread Pudding</strong></p> <p>Bread pudding, like casseroles, is a simple and tasty solution to leftovers that you don&rsquo;t quite know what to do with, but don&rsquo;t want to throw away. At the end of the week or after a dinner party, throw leftover bread (about four cups, to be exact) and cheese (about a cup) into a bowl with two tablespoons of olive oil, toss in some add-ins of your own choosing (bacon and sautéed onion are always winners in my book), and put in a greased 9x9-inch pan. Pour a mixture of six eggs, one cup milk, and one cup cooled chicken stock over the bread mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bake for one hour at 375 degrees, and dig in!</p> <p><strong>19. Mashed Potatoes</strong></p> <p>According to this <a href="http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_mashed_potatoes/">mashed potatoes recipe</a>, the secret to heavenly mashed potatoes is to use Yukon gold potatoes rather than russets. Although the recipe calls for mashing the potatoes with a mixture of butter and cream, substitute one cup of chicken stock (more or less to achieve desired consistency) to save fat and calories while still achieving <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-serve-potatoes-on-st-patricks-day">perfect potatoes</a>.</p> <p><strong>20. Gravy</strong></p> <p>Gravy made with drippings effortlessly dresses up any roast and conjures up memories of holiday dinners anytime. Pan-dripping gravy may be made with cornstarch or flour as the thickening agent. To end up with about two cups of gravy, you&rsquo;ll need about two tablespoons of drippings. Add two tablespoons of cornstarch or flour to the drippings in a pan over medium-high heat, and slowly whisk in about two cups of stock. Once thickened (about five minutes), add salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat, and serve. See <a href="http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_gravy/">Simply&nbsp;Recipes</a> for more detailed directions to both cornstarch- and flour-based gravy.</p> <p><strong>21. Stuffing</strong></p> <p>Stuffing, like bread pudding, is a perfect way to put leftover bread bits to use. This <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/bread-and-celery-stuffing/">stuffing recipe</a> calls for one loaf of stale French bread, one onion, four celery stalks, and one cup of chicken stock. Sauté the onion and chopped celery in &frac34; cup butter over medium-high heat until soft, then season with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Stir in bread cubes and chicken stock, pour into a casserole dish, and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.</p> <p><strong>22. Casserole</strong></p> <p>Chicken and rice casserole is the quintessential American <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-recipe-lots-of-food-10-great-main-dish-casseroles">meal for a large family</a>. Try your hand at it with another American icon, Betty Crocker. This <a href="http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/chicken-rice-casserole/335de253-2b3e-4266-8f10-7aee755db12b">casserole recipe</a> calls for pimientos and slivered almonds, but could easily be altered to include the ingredients of your choice, such as bacon, corn, or broccoli. Substitute the one cup of chicken broth for chicken stock for a creamier consistency.</p> <p><strong>23. Chicken Pot Pie</strong></p> <p>One of my all-time favorite dishes is chicken pot pie &mdash; not only is it convenient if made or purchased ahead of time, but it also includes plenty of protein and veggies. A very easy homemade recipe can be found via <a href="http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/classic-chicken-pot-pie/1401d418-ac0b-4b50-ad09-c6f1243fb992">Pillsbury</a>. Again, substitute stock for broth, and feel free to sub in fresh veggies for the frozen called for in the recipe. Notice how the sauce is a variation on the classic velouté described earlier.</p> <h2>Other</h2> <p>These uses for chicken stock were simply too wonderful to leave out, but they don't fit into any well-defined category. In other words, they&rsquo;re in a league of their own!</p> <p><strong>24. Steamed Vegetables</strong></p> <p>Everyone knows that doctors and health experts recommend we <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vegetables-full-story/">eat more vegetables</a> every day. Make the change more appetizing by steaming vegetables in &mdash; what else &mdash; chicken stock! Steam vegetables by placing them in a steaming basket in a larger pot containing about 2 inches of boiling stock. According to <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/556477-boiled-vegetables-vs-steamed/">Livestrong.com</a>, steaming some vegetables helps them to retain more antioxidants than any other cooking method.</p> <p><strong>25. Vegetable Stir-Fry</strong></p> <p>Stir-frying vegetables is just like sauteing, only over very high heat. This <a href="http://origin.www.campbellskitchen.com/recipedetail.aspx?recipeid=51129">Campbell&rsquo;s Kitchen recipe</a> calls for topping stir-fried vegetables with a thickened sauce composed of one cup chicken broth (though stock will do as well) and one tablespoon each of cornstarch and soy sauce.</p> <p><em>Do you have any other ideas for novel and tasty ways to use chicken stock? Share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F25%20Tasty%20Ways%20to%20Use%20Chicken%20Stock.jpg&amp;description=25%20Tasty%20Ways%20to%20Use%20Chicken%20Stock" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/25%20Tasty%20Ways%20to%20Use%20Chicken%20Stock.jpg" alt="25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken">25 Things to Do With Rotisserie Chicken</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches">25 Great Non-Sandwich Work Lunches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-food-in-your-yard-edible-weeds">Free Food in Your Yard: Edible Weeds!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-how-to-prepare-and-enjoy-our-modern-monstrously-large-chickens">Wise Bread Reloaded: How to Prepare and Enjoy Our Modern, Monstrously Large Chickens</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink affordable recipes cheap eats chicken chicken recipes easy recipes how to add flavor for less Tue, 29 May 2012 10:24:13 +0000 Janey Osterlind 930820 at http://www.wisebread.com Wise Bread's Frugal Food Gone Wrong http://www.wisebread.com/wise-breads-frugal-food-gone-wrong <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wise-breads-frugal-food-gone-wrong" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4656891738_0fe762f8c5.jpg" alt="Eating bad food" title="Eating bad food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I do not like wasting food. Not only is throwing out food wasteful, but it's also financially irresponsible. One of my ever-present goals is to prepare just the right amount of food so that I'm full but not stuffed, and so that I have leftovers, but not so many that they'll make a lovely home for mold in the back of my fridge. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-want-not-stop-throwing-away-your-food">Waste Not, Want Not: Stop Throwing Away Your Food!</a>)</p> <p>But sometimes, sometimes our desire to eat frugally goes terribly wrong. I started thinking about this the other day while listening to an episode of comedian <a href="http://marcmaron.com/">Marc Maron</a>'s podcast (a heads-up if you follow that link &mdash;&nbsp;his material can be profanity laced). He had fellow comedian David Cross on the show, and they told a story about how David tried cooking beans, but failed miserably &mdash; ending up with an unpleasant-sounding &quot;bean concentrate&quot; that he ate anyway...for multiple meals.</p> <p>Inspired by that story, today I present tales from some Wise Bread writers that are not for the weak of stomach. From inexpensive outings turned pricey to the inevitable Thanksgiving cooking blunders, I hope that you can learn from our mistakes.</p> <h3>Feeling Chicken</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a>: It's 1 a.m.</p> <p>I'm woken from my slumber by a pain I know all too well. It's that churning, cramping sensation you get when something you have eaten severely disagrees with you. And I know exactly what the cause of it is, and how much more pain I'm about to be in for. As I fall out of bed and crawl to the bathroom, my mind flashes back to several hours earlier.</p> <p>We had done grocery shopping a few days before, and my wife had bought a big pack of fresh chicken wings. I'm a lover of buffalo chicken wings, and this time I had plans to make my own from scratch. Unfortunately, the design of my wife's car makes it very easy to miss a grocery bag or two, as there is an under-floor compartment in the trunk. And on this occasion, my wings were in there. The next day, as I was hunting around in the fridge for my chicken, I wondered if we had left them in the store. I checked the old fridge in the garage, usually reserved for drinks. It was not there.</p> <p>Then I realized where the chicken was.</p> <p>I opened up the compartment and found my shopping bag filled with my chicken wings. It had been a cold night. Cold enough to keep the wings fine? Yeahhh! I wasn't about to throw away good chicken; that's like throwing away $10.</p> <p>I prodded and smelled them, they seemed fine. Ish. Maybe a tad off, but as I was about to deep fry these suckers, it would kill anything lingering, right?</p> <p>I wolfed down 12 of the delicious wings covered in my homemade buffalo sauce. Ahhh, good times. Flash back to me crawling across the bedroom floor. I wanted to bang my head of the dresser for being an idiot. Thank goodness everyone else in the family refused to try them, including my two young girls. After 12 hours of vomiting, dry retching, and general misery, I made a vow to never again take risks with food. And to this day, I cannot smell buffalo sauce without wanting to gag.</p> <p>(Paul, unfortunately, has multiple stories about terrible eats &mdash; check out his curry debacle in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-being-frugal-went-wrong-tales-from-the-cheap-nasty">When Being Frugal Went Wrong</a>.)</p> <h3>Gravy, Sweet Gravy</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a>: When we were first married, my husband made an unusual gravy for our first Thanksgiving dinner together.</p> <p>At the time, my husband worked for a paternalistic company that supplied free turkeys to all of its employees for Thanksgiving. I doubt we would have tackled roasting a turkey, preparing gravy, etc. if we had not received this gift, and simply would have enjoyed our parents' home-cooked meals instead.</p> <p>Since he brought the turkey home, it was decided that my husband would prepare it. He did fairly well, periodically getting instructions from his mother via telephone. Making the gravy was difficult, however. He kept adding flour from a Tupperware bin but could not get the right consistency. Exasperated, he asked his hungry bride (me) for help. I inspected the pan and noted that the gravy tasted like cotton candy. Then I asked where the flour came from, and he pointed to a small bin that contained confectioner's sugar.</p> <p>As newlyweds, our kitchen was not expertly stocked, so we had sugar but no flour. At the time, we were both disappointed that the gravy was ruined but now laugh at the easy-to-make newbie mistake.</p> <h3>Imperfect Produce</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a>: My favorite farmers market buys are the bags of slightly damaged fruits and vegetables. I'm more than happy to cut out a few brown spots if it means I get to enjoy a huge bag of juicy peaches for a dollar. Dinged-up apples? Totally ready for pie. Those just-starting-to-shrivel mushrooms? Fine as long as I cook them later that day.</p> <p>I do get produce paranoid, though, and I always take a thorough look around the outside of the bag to try and ensure that I'm not accidentally buying something really off. One time last summer when I bought a bag of sweet corn, though, I didn't look hard enough. The ears looked gorgeous and felt nicely firm. Once home, I started pulling them out and shucking them one by one. The first two were fine &mdash; a couple of slightly shriveled kernels at the end, but otherwise, deliciously edible. Then I shucked the third ear, and saw what looked like stock footage from a dinner-themed horror movie. The ear of corn had a gaping hole in it that was absolutely crawling with tiny worms, all wriggling and spilling out onto my counter.</p> <p>I yelped, dropped the corn, then immediately picked it up again and put it in the trash with the rest of the ears. I can only hope that the farmers market didn't know about the infestation of crawlies when they bagged the corn up for sale. Gross.</p> <h3>Too Much for Tacos</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a>: I'll forever be haunted/amused by a night on the town a few years ago where I observed the differences in how a group of fellow travelers approached an outing to a restaurant in Hawaii for &quot;Taco Tuesday.&quot; Poor Phil was the victim in this story &mdash;&nbsp;he had the least amount of money, but thanks to poor planning, ended up <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taco-tuesday-the-inner-mechanics-of-budgeting-on-vacation">spending more than everybody else</a>. I'm pretty sure we all know somebody like him. His blunders remind me to be conscious of how I spend money on food &mdash; and to make sure it's worth it &mdash; for me. There is no right or wrong answer; just choices to be made.</p> <p><em>What frugal food blunders have you made? Share your thoughts in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-breads-frugal-food-gone-wrong">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock">25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-budget-friendly-meals-everyone-should-know-how-to-make">10 Budget-Friendly Meals Everyone Should Know How to Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ghetto-mac-yours-for-1">The GHETTO MAC - yours for $1.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-food-in-your-yard-edible-weeds">Free Food in Your Yard: Edible Weeds!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap eats fixing problems Mistakes Fri, 25 Mar 2011 11:00:12 +0000 Meg Favreau 508897 at http://www.wisebread.com Healthy, frugal eating http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-frugal-eating <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/healthy-frugal-eating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/farmers-market-narrow_0.jpg" alt="Healthy food at the farmer&#039;s market" title="Healthy Food at the Farmer&#039;s Market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="397" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every so often, I get hit in the face with two facts.  First, Americans (even poor Americans) are unbelievably rich.  Second, Americans (as a group) utterly lack a cultural tradition that teaches us how to eat a healthy, frugal diet.</p> <p>The first time this really struck me was about twenty years ago.  I was listening to a radio story about people who&#39;d risen from humble beginnings to become successful entrepreneurs.  One guy, taking about a time his family had gone through a rough patch where money was tight, said, &quot;I can tell you, there were a lot of days we at bologna for lunch, and then bologna again for dinner.&quot;</p> <p>My first thought was, &quot;Only in America do the truly poor eat meat twice a day.&quot;  My second was, &quot;Why doesn&#39;t anyone teach people how to create a healthy, frugal diet?&quot;  My third was, &quot;Oh, yeah--they do.  It&#39;s called &#39;the four food groups&#39;--of course they thought they had to serve meat at every meal.&quot;</p> <p>Since then, we&#39;ve moved beyond the four food groups.  Today we teach the <a href="http://www.mypyramid.gov/">food pyramid</a> and have the <a href="http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/">USDA National Nutrient Database</a> and the <a href="http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/">Heath and Human Services Dietary Guidelines for Americans</a> and the <a href="http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/nal_display/index.php?info_center=4&amp;tax_level=2&amp;tax_subject=256&amp;topic_id=1342">Food and Nutrition Information Center</a>.  I wrote a while back about <a href="/healthy-recipes-with-cost-data">healthy recipes with cost data</a>, free for everyone thanks to the US government.</p> <p>Thinking about all that information very nearly splits me in two.  </p> <p>On the one hand, look what we can do!  One guy (with a bit too much time on his hands and access to the internet, even if only at the library) can not just design a healthy diet--he can design dozens.  He can tweak them to allow for pretty much any personal preferences or restrictions.  Even constrained by cost, he has almost infinite choice.</p> <p>On the other hand, look at what using that information would actually require someone to do!  There are mathematical techniques for doing the sort of optimization involved.  Take a database of nutritional information, a universe of (constantly changing) costs, and a set of personal preferences--and turn that into a diet that provides all the necessary nutrients without providing excess calories, fat, and sodium, at the lowest possible cost.  But we&#39;re no longer talking about one guy using an internet connection at the library.  Now we&#39;re talking about PhD-level math and some serious number crunching on fast computers.</p> <p>So, I&#39;m not too surprised that I continue to run into stories like the one about the entrepreneur whose family ate lots of bologna.  The most recent was in a story about US educational benefits for veterans.  A former soldier was working on a degree, trying to make ends meet on the meager funds provided.  After paying rent and buying gasoline for his truck, things had been tight.  Explaining that he ate a lot at fast-food restaurants, he said, &quot;I sure appreciated the dollar menu.&quot;</p> <p>Only in America do poor students not only have their own apartment and truck--they eat out every day!</p> <p>Happily, there&#39;s an easier solution than solving a non-linear programming optimization of multiple variables under multiple constraints.  Michael Pollan talks about it in his book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594201455?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1594201455"><em>In Defense of Food</em></a> that I <a href="/book-review-in-defense-of-food">reviewed</a> a while back.</p> <p>Forget about the database of nutritional information.  If you know something about how your great-grandparents ate, you can start there.  If not, you can start with the food pyramid.  It has flaws, but if you don&#39;t have any cultural tradition to draw from at all, it&#39;s better than nothing.</p> <p>Eat food:</p> <p>Start with vegetables.  Get what&#39;s cheap.  If what&#39;s cheap is locally grown and in season, so much the better.  Eat more than one thing.  Eat a lot. </p> <p>Get some grains.  Prefer whole grains, but generally buy whatever&#39;s cheap.  Get a few different things--rice, flour, cornmeal, oats.  Here, too, get a lot, but as much as you can, get raw stuff and cook it yourself.  Still, some amount of things prepared for you (like bread, pasta, and cereal) is okay.</p> <p>Add some fruit.  Fruit can expensive, but you don&#39;t need a lot for a healthy diet--one glass of orange juice and a small apple is enough for one day.  If you can afford more--berries, raisins, melons, exotic tropical fruits--that&#39;s even better.</p> <p>Add some legumes.  Beans, lentils, split peas--whatever you like is fine.  You don&#39;t need a lot, but these are reasonably cheap, so if you like them, get a lot.</p> <p>That&#39;s really all you need.  If you&#39;re rich, you can get some meat, fish, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, nuts, oil, sugar, etc.--but you don&#39;t need any of those things.  A diet with a variety of vegetables and grains plus a modest amount of fruit and legumes will give you everything you need.  (Billions of people only wish they ate so well.)</p> <p>As long as you eat a variety of things, it&#39;s going to be hard to screw up too badly on a diet like that.  If your only vegetable is potatoes and your only grain is white rice--well, you won&#39;t be getting all the nutrition you should.  Expand your vegetables to include a leafy one and another non-white one.  Make sure at least half your grains are whole grains.</p> <p>It&#39;s not hard.  It&#39;s not expensive.  It&#39;s just that we don&#39;t teach people how to do it.  We don&#39;t have the cultural traditions--and without a culture to fall back on, people are left vulnerable to the influence of advertising and to the concoctions of &quot;food scientists&quot; who cleverly use fat, sugar, and salt to make &quot;food products&quot; that taste better than food.  On top of all that, the people in the most dire straits--the poor, the uneducated, the homeless--have additional obstacles:  inferior grocery stores, no kitchens, cash-flow issues that make it hard to buy even a week&#39;s groceries at a time.</p> <p>Food prices are spiking up to record highs all over the world, making it really tough on people in poor countries.  In rich countries, though, things aren&#39;t nearly so bad--we just need to recreate a tradition of healthy, frugal eating.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-frugal-eating">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-recipes-with-cost-data">Healthy recipes--with cost data</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on">12 Foods Nutritionists Say You Should Splurge On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-green-workout">The Ultimate &quot;Green&quot; Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-in-defense-of-food">Book review: In Defense of Food</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty Shopping cheap eats Food Health healthy foods healthy living Wed, 30 Apr 2008 14:46:50 +0000 Philip Brewer 2055 at http://www.wisebread.com For the Love of Ramen: An Interview with Ed from RamenRamenRamen.net http://www.wisebread.com/for-the-love-of-ramen-an-interview-with-ed-from-ramenramenramen-net <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-the-love-of-ramen-an-interview-with-ed-from-ramenramenramen-net" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/ramen.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I brainstorm for cheap eats I often think of packets of ramen. Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Ed from <a href="http://www.ramenramenramen.net/" target="_blank">ramenramenramen.net</a>. Ed reviews hundreds of types of ramen on <a href="http://ramenramenramen.net">his website</a> and I consider him to be a folk hero to ramen lovers everywhere. Ramen is usually more than just a flavor packet and dried noodles and Ed has a <a href="http://www.ramenramenramen.net/ramen-glossary/" target="_blank">great ramen glossary</a> to explain the complexities in real ramen. Read on for some interesting ramen facts! </p> <p><strong>Are you a ramen lover because you like to save money? How much do you think you have saved by eating lots of ramen?</strong></p> <p>Actually, the instant ramen I usually eat isn&#39;t cheap. I love &quot;real&quot; ramen, and I tend to prefer some of the more expensive &quot;Japanese imported&quot; instant ramen. The cheap stuff is great too, but once you&#39;ve had the better instant ramen, it just doesn&#39;t compare.</p> <p><strong>What is the most expensive ramen you ever bought? Was it worth it?</strong></p> <p>I think the most expensive instant ramen I&#39;ve bought was around $4-5. It was one of the &quot;bowl ramen&quot; from Japan and it even had a piece of pork! Seriously! I don&#39;t remember which one it was exactly, but I can dig up my post on it. Was it worth it? Even the best bowl ramen I&#39;ve had doesn&#39;t compare to a good bowl of real ramen, but yes, it was darn good.</p> <p><strong>What stores are your best sources for acquiring ramen?</strong></p> <p>There are a few Japanese supermarkets in my area that I check out on a regular basis. There&#39;s a Mitsuwa and Marukai, big supermarket chains. Those tend to be the best sources.<br /><strong><br />How much ramen do you eat each week?</strong></p> <p>I try to eat ramen about once a week or every other week. This week, my wife is on vacation so I&#39;ve been eating ramen more often. Shh...don&#39;t tell...hahaha</p> <p><strong>What is the most disgusting or scary ramen ingredients you have ever seen? What is your favorite?</strong></p> <p>I&#39;ve never seen it in person, but there&#39;s a picture of ice cream ramen on my blog: <a href="http://www.ramenramenramen.net/2007/10/28/ice-cream-ramen/" target="_blank">http://www.ramenramenramen.net/2007/10/28/ice-cream-ramen/</a> . But that doesn&#39;t sound nearly so bad as natto ramen. Natto, if you don&#39;t know, is really an acquired taste. It&#39;s a sticky bean dish that tastes like...I don&#39;t know...<em><strong>spider webs and dirt?</strong></em> My favorite ramen is boring old shoyu or chashu ramen (which is just shoyu ramen with extra pork). I still think it&#39;s the best.</p> <p><strong>Do you think ramen is a healthy food? What could you add to ramen to make it extra yummy and healthy?</strong></p> <p>Real ramen is definitely healthy. It&#39;s a Japanese fast food and much healthier than the fast foods we Americans eat. Instant ramen is not too bad, though it usually has a lot of sodium. I like throwing in mushrooms when I&#39;m cooking instant ramen, especially enoki mushrooms because it&#39;s healthy and so easy. I also make hard boil eggs to go with my ramen. You could just as easily add some bamboo, green onions, corn, assorted veggies, or if you&#39;re really ambitious, roast pork!</p> <p><strong>When you dated your wife did you share your love for ramen with her?</strong></p> <p>Yes! My wife also enjoys ramen, but she doesn&#39;t quite like to eat it all the time like I do. We went to Japan for our honeymoon and I actually took her to the Ramen Museum in Yokohama. Haha.</p> <p><strong>What did she think?</strong></p> <p>She&#39;s a great sport about it. She&#39;s actually the one that encouraged me to start a web site about ramen.</p> <p><strong>Did you design that <a href="http://www.ramenramenramen.net/ramen-lapel-pin/" target="_blank">yummy looking lapel pin</a> on your site? Have you seen anyone wear it?</strong></p> <p>Yes I did. Thanks for the compliment. Some of my friends wear it but I haven&#39;t been lucky enough to see anybody else wear one :(</p> <p><strong>Well, that&#39;s all now. Next time you come to San Mateo you should definitely go to Santa Ramen. They have a larger location now so it fits 65 people. The wait isn&#39;t so bad anymore! I just had the always sold out stewed pork topping for the first time last weekend and it was super yummy!</strong></p> <p>Thanks for the interview! I will definitely check out Santa Ramen the next time I&#39;m in the area! Thanks for the heads up!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-the-love-of-ramen-an-interview-with-ed-from-ramenramenramen-net">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-frugal-eating">Healthy, frugal eating</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sayonara-ramen-san">Sayonara, Ramen-san</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ghetto-mac-yours-for-1">The GHETTO MAC - yours for $1.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-restaurant-secret-menu-items-thatll-actually-save-you-money">9 Restaurant Secret Menu Items That&#039;ll Actually Save you Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap eats culture Fast Food Food interview japan noodles ramen Fri, 14 Mar 2008 23:18:27 +0000 Xin Lu 1919 at http://www.wisebread.com A $25 meal for just $3. Updated. http://www.wisebread.com/a-25-meal-for-just-3-updated <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-25-meal-for-just-3-updated" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/272318647_ca757c2ddc.jpg" alt="big meal" title="big meal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How many of you are familiar with <a href="http://restaurant.com/">Restaurant.com</a> ? It's a terrfic site that slashes the price of meals by using a coupon system. You usually get great deals on hundreds of local restaurant by paying $10 for a $25 certificate. But with the following coupon I'm about to give you, you can take a further 70% off that price. That makes two $25 certificates to a great restaurant cost just $6 total!</p> <p>As with many sites like this, there are stipulations for each certificate and they vary from restaurant to restaurant. Some insist that you buy two entrees (not a problem when it's a meal for two). Some say you must order wine with dinner, or you can only use the coupon at a certain time. Be sure to check all of these out to ensure you get the dining experience right for you.</p> <p><em>ALSO, as several people have pointed out, you can <strong>only use one coupon per visit, per month</strong>. I have managed to get around this as I know some restaurant owners pretty well, but if we're going by the rules you should expect to use these on a monthly basis. Still, even if you buy a whole bunch, that's one great meal every month for super cheap. And that's groovy.</em></p> <p>To order, just click the link above and make your selections. Then type in the code <strong>PRESENT</strong> to take a whopping 70% off the already reduced price. Voila, one $25 = $3. Now that's what I call living large on a small budget. The coupon code expires July 31st, so get moving.</p> <p>You must also make a minimum purchase of $35, so plan your nights out accordingly. But at these prices, you'll be eating well on bare bones budget over several evenings. Have fun, and remember to save room for dessert.</p> <p>Oh, and due to the popularity of this offer, the site can sometimes run a little slow. Stick with it, you will get your amazing deal.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-25-meal-for-just-3-updated">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ugliest-shoes-in-the-world-now-less-than-10">Ugliest shoes in the world - now less than $10.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/friday-deal-sweet-dreams-for-a-real-bargain-deal-over">Friday deal - Sweet dreams for a real bargain -DEAL OVER</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-shop-for-food-cheaply-without-a-tedious-grocery-list">Grocery Shopping for the Cheap and Lazy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-frugal-eating">Healthy, frugal eating</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Deals bargain cheap eats dining out discount eating Food meals restaurant.com Tue, 24 Jul 2007 15:32:30 +0000 Paul Michael 895 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 frugal things to try before you die (updated) http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-things-to-try-before-you-die-updated <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/20634706_49a5052ce4.jpg" alt="Dumpster dive" title="Dumpster Dive" width="380" height="285" /></p> <p>Well, I say frugal but some of these cross that line from frugality into something less honorable. But hey, live a little. We all have to try new things sometimes. And they’ll all save you a little money, a little time or a little frustration.</p> <p><strong>1 – Go grocery shopping in the wee small hours.</strong><br />This happened by accident. I needed milk, it was late, and the grocery store near my home was open 24/7. I just could not believe what I saw when I got in there. Bargains, bargains, bargains. Mainly in the bakery and meat areas, but many other aisles felt the wrath of the discounting gun. A variety box of 12 donuts for 99 cents (and still very fresh) was first into the cart. Meats, cheeses, vegetables and breads were slashed by 70% or more. And there was no waiting in line, no hustle and bustle that makes the weekly shop such a pain. I had the run of the store, it was quiet, the bargains were everywhere…midnight shopping is truly a shopper’s paradise. </p> <p><strong>2 - Eat and drink for (almost) free in Vegas</strong><br />Las Vegas is an extraordinary place. They like to keep the folks using the casinos happy, and that usually means lashings of free food and drink as long as you&#39;re playing the games. But you don&#39;t need to be a high-roller to get a free meal. Several of my friends did Vegas on almost no money. They would pop in, play a slot machine or two and when the waitress came around, order a drink and get a meal token. I have never done it myself yet, I have only heard the many stories. But just ask my wife, she&#39;ll tell you it&#39;s on the top of my list of places to try. </p> <p><strong>3 - Drink the drip-tray pint.</strong><br />College students with strong stomachs may already know this one. In my former life as a poor, penniless undergrad, all of my money went on rent, cheap food and school supplies. But I was at college. I wanted to party, every night in a good week. So, how does one stretch the partying dollar? One answer for me was the drip-tray. Beneath each pump is a tray designed to catch “spillage.” Usually it will catch spills from three to four pumps. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a drip tray that catches beers and lagers of very similar persuasions. (If it’s a smaller bar, you may get a heady mix of stout, pale ale, lager and bitter). Now all you have to do is schmooze the server, and if your charms work, he or she may take pity on you and pour the drip tray into your empty pint glass. How does it taste? Well, it tastes like a crappy pint of lager. But it’s a free crappy pint of lager. If your aim is to get tipsy, it works just as well as lager that costs $4. And you just have to do it once to say you’ve done the drip-tray pint. Be brave. I was.</p> <p><strong>4 – Haggle someone down to a low, low price.</strong><br />In some countries, haggling is a part of everyday life. You’ll haggle over the price of everything, from a pound of bananas to a new rug for the hallway. But for some reason the art has become almost lost in America (and even more so in my home country of Britain). Bottom line is this…it never hurts to ask if the person selling the item can go any lower, throw something in for free or give you a discount on another product. Start small and work your way up. Next thing you know, you’ll be haggling with a homebuilder for an extra $25k off the price of your new house. And you know what…you may just get it. </p> <p><strong>5 – Trade, swap or exchange something.</strong><br />I guarantee you have several items in your home right now that are basically useless to you, but are very valuable to someone else. A classic example of this is baby gear. Once your little bundle of joy grows out of toys and clothes, they are no use to you. But they’re plenty useful to new parents. Chances are, there are people out there right now who have something you want, too. All you need to do is go to a place like craigslist and advertise your trade. Some people even trade cars and houses. </p> <p><strong>6 – Visit a charity store like Goodwill.</strong><br />Shake off the stigma. It’s really not a sign that you’ve hit rock bottom and need to buy a pair of old jeans for 75 cents. Places like Goodwill are a treasure-trove of cool things. Remember, there are other words for old. Vintage, classic, antique and period come to mind. A few years ago I found a pair of “old” sunglasses in a local Goodwill for 99 cents. I just liked the look of them. Then I saw the maker, and the imprint. They were an original pair of Christian Dior sunglasses from the 70s. I already know I can get over $100 for them right now on eBay. So, go digging. You’ll find something cool for pennies if you keep your eyes peeled. </p> <p><strong>7 – Go dumpster diving.</strong><br />Ewww, how nasty! Well, dumpster diving is a broad term that covers more than just the nasty, grease-filled metal boxes around the back of restaurants. For instance, when a neighbor rents a roll-off dumpster to have a huge clear out, they will often fill it with more than just rubble and old sheet rock. There are gems to be found. Furniture. Bikes. Lighting. There are folks out there that make an incredible living going dumpster-diving. In fact, there was a show in Britain dedicated to these folks who made lemonade from lemons, metaphorically speaking. I once remarked on a beautiful table in the living room of a friend’s home. It was right out of the 60s, very kitsch, looked brand new. Someone had thrown it away because it was stained and missing a leg. My friend salvaged it, sanded it, replaced the leg and repainted it. She was offered over $2000 for it by an architect who wanted it for a loft conversion he was doing (my friend didn’t sell it…good girl). And you can also find <a href="/a-3-course-meal-from-garbage">fresh food in grocery dumpsters</a> , if you&#39;re feeling really brave. </p> <p><strong>8 – Grow your own vegetables.</strong><br />Seriously, why have we become so dependent on supermarkets anyway? I mean, is it so hard to grow cabbages, lettuce or zucchini? My neighbor doesn’t think so. She grows many great vegetables in her back garden and always gives us free samples. They taste delicious, they are completely pesticide-free and they cost almost nothing to grow. Many of them come back each year with no effort required. My grandpa’s garden was full of potatoes, leeks, herbs, gooseberries, rhubarb, cauliflower, beetroot and tomatoes. A highlight of any visit to my nana and grandpa’s home was the terrific food. Freshly pickled beetroot, rhubarb crumble, cauliflower cheese and gooseberry jam. I am getting hungry just writing this. You can all do it, even if you only have a window box. And the satisfaction you’ll feel…it’s a natural high. </p> <p><strong>9 – Slum it with your food choices.</strong><br />Not McDonalds or Burger King (which really is slumming it). I have been inspired recently by a great show on the Travel Channel called Bizarre Foods, hosted by Andrew Zimmern. He travels the world looking for unusual foods and most of the time, those foods are made up from ingredients most of us would throw away. They’re the cheapest cuts of meat, old (sometimes rotting) vegetables, odd fruits and even worms and slugs. I recently watched a show about Haggis, which is basically a bunch of ground up animal innards stuffed inside a sheep’s stomach (sorry vegetarians). When you choose unsavory foods, you pay less for them because there’s little to no demand. <a href="/free-food-in-your-yard-edible-weeds">Andrea’s article on Edible Weeds</a> is a perfect example of this. Nutritious food growing in your own yard. Why throw it away, when you can eat it? Whatever you try, be it weed soup or eyeball stew, you are at least guaranteed some cheap and memorable life experiences. Dig in. </p> <p><strong>10 – Learn to sew and knit (yes, that includes us guys).</strong><br />My mum taught me how to knit. I’m not great but I can do you a nice scarf or a woolly hat. Using a sewing machine, well, I’m not so good. But I hope to get better. Aside from saving yourself a bunch of money on alterations and repairs, you could also get to that point where you can make your own groovy clothes and pay for just the raw materials. At college, I would marvel at some of the creations my friends in fashion design were wearing. “How much did that set you back” I would ask, at which the reply was something like “Oh, I made it. The fabric was $5, and I got the pattern off a friend for nothing. Nice huh?” Of course, when I asked for one to be made, well then I was paying for that person’s time and it was a lot more expensive. Learn these skills and save some dough. Or, if you just can’t do it, learn another craft. Woodworking. Painting. Rug making. Any one of these hobbies will help you contribute to your household and it’s a much better way to use your spare time than watching TV.</p> <p>That’s my list. If you have any additional suggestions for frugal things people should try, I’d love to hear them. Now, go out and be frugal my friends. Oh, and big thanks to the wonderful <a href="http://www.mytwodollars.com/2007/06/05/presenting-the-money-saving-festival-of-frugality-77/">Festival Of Frugality #77 </a> for giving this story top honors in the editor&#39;s choice. Many great articles here, check them out. </p> <p>Note: Thank you to funkright and <a href="http://www.atsbs.com/" target="_blank" onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)">E.T.Cook</a> for pointing out that my earlier post offered one piece of irresponsible advice. I appreciate the feedback and have replaced it with something more helpful. </p> <p><em>Great photo by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/incandenzafied/">Incandenzafied</a> . Thanks. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-things-to-try-before-you-die-updated">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-youre-not-frugal-youre-cheap">6 Signs You&#039;re Not Frugal — You&#039;re Cheap!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-good-money-habits-that-will-keep-you-out-of-debt">11 Good Money Habits That Will Keep You Out of Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-give-back-on-givingtuesday-without-breaking-the-bank">10 Ways to Give Back on #GivingTuesday Without Breaking the Bank</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living charity cheap cheap eats dumpster explore free groceries haggle household prices sneaky try Wed, 30 May 2007 21:55:47 +0000 Paul Michael 688 at http://www.wisebread.com Free Food in Your Yard: Edible Weeds! http://www.wisebread.com/free-food-in-your-yard-edible-weeds <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/free-food-in-your-yard-edible-weeds" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dandelion.jpg" alt="dandelion" title="dandelion" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="316" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Next time you're about to yank an offending plant from your immaculate garden of perennials, think twice: you just might be looking at dinner.</p> <p><strong><em>Free dinner.</em></strong></p> <p>Oh, I know what you're thinking: <em>damn hippies! Always eating anything and everything that grows under the sun. What's next? A guide to the best 'shrooms?</em></p> <p>Well, my friend, I may be a bit of a hippie, but that doesn't mean that you too can't partake in the pleasures of foraged food. It's one of the most frugal food choices you can make, and nowadays, it's even kind of hip (yes, that's me, putting the &quot;hip&quot; in &quot;hippie&quot;). All the foodies/ecosexuals are going wild for wild weeds!</p> <p>I love the idea of <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mostof_wildfood.shtml">going out in the wild to find food</a>. Wild blueberries and blackberries grow in my area, as do <a href="http://thegreatmorel.com/index.shtml">morels</a>, funny-looking mushrooms that cost upwards of $50 a pound at the supermarket. But if mountain trekking with a truffle pig sounds a bit too involved for you, consider sampling from your own yard. I've known that some of the most <a href="http://www.seedsofknowledge.com/weeds.html">hated weeds are edible</a> for a long time, but I didn't realize just how many of them grew in my boyfriend's yard. Here are a few that I've found to be quite delicious. And while I don't entirely object to chemicals as a method of weed control, I find that simply eating the invasive bastards is much more satisfying.</p> <h2>Japanese Knotweed</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/knotweedfresh.jpg" /></p> <p>This stuff grows like a forest in the lot next to my house, and occasionally pops up in my yard. A neighbor finally clued us in as to <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_knotweed">what it was</a>. The plant creeps my neighbor out, because it grows fast. The <a href="http://www.econetwork.net/~wildmansteve/Plants.Folder/Knotweed.html">shoots are up one day</a>, and a week later, it's higher than your head.</p> <p>Knotweed is <a href="http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/pocu1.htm">a crazy plant</a>. And you really <a href="http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/weeds/aqua015.html">can't do much to kill it off</a>. The root systems are huge, and can travel under foundations and across entire city blocks, all underground.</p> <p>The neighbor who told me the name of the weed also told us that <a href="http://landscaping.about.com/od/ediblelandscaping1/a/edible_plants.htm">it was edible</a>, but that only the shoots were really worth eating.</p> <p>It turns out that this isn't true &mdash; I mean, I'm sure it's invasiveness is awful, but you can eat it when it gets big. I only found out because I was determined to eat those things rather than to let them live. So I just started popping the tops off of the full-grown plant. The young leaves are still curled, so I just threw away any leaves that had unfurled. Anything that was sort of waxy and light green was game as far as I was concerned &mdash; pretty much the top four inches of any of those 6 foot shoots, as well as any young leaves that were sprouting up and down the stalk.</p> <p>I did manage to get a few shoots that were young, growing around my rhododendron. Gathering and washing did take a bit of time, but I tell you, it was worth it.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/knotweedsauteed.jpg" /></p> <p>Most of the recipes that I've found for knotweed compare it to rhubarb, and thus, <a href="http://www.econetwork.net/~wildmansteve/Web%20Recipes/Apple%20and%20Knotweed%20Pie.html">use it like rhubarb</a> (<a href="http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_189525.html">pies and such</a>). Now, I love pie, but I don't bake. So I just sauteed these tips in a little olive oil with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. And it was tasty! It'd difficult to compare the texture to anything else &mdash; sort of bamboo, sort of asparagus, sort of kale, both slightly crunchy and very tender &mdash; but the <strong><em>taste</em></strong> was lemony and delicious.</p> <p>And it's good for you! Japanese knotweed has lots of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resveratrol">resveratol</a>, and is even used as a source for reservatol capsules that are sold as health supplements. From Wikipedia:</p> <blockquote><p>A number of beneficial health effects, such as anti-<a title="Cancer" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer">cancer</a>, <a title="Antiviral drug" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiviral_drug">antiviral</a>, neuroprotective, anti-aging, <a title="Anti-inflammatory" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-inflammatory">anti-inflammatory</a> and life-prolonging effects have been reported in non-human species (e.g. rats). Resveratrol is found in the skin of red <a title="Grape" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grape">grapes</a> and as a constituent of <a title="Red wine" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_wine">red wine</a> but, based on extrapolation from animal trials, apparently not in sufficient amounts to explain the &ldquo;<a title="French paradox" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_paradox">French paradox</a>&rdquo; that the incidence of <a title="Coronary heart disease" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronary_heart_disease">coronary heart disease</a> is relatively low in southern <a title="France" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France">France</a> despite high dietary intake of <a title="Saturated fat" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturated_fat">saturated fats</a>.</p></blockquote> <p>It's also very high in vitamin C!</p> <h2>Purlsane</h2> <p><a href="http://www.econetwork.net/~wildmansteve/Plants.Folder/Purslane.html">Purslane</a> grew like crazy in my parents' yard, but oddly enough, it never occurred to me to actually eat it. My mother yanked it out of the ground with the efficiency and cold-heartedness of a seasoned gardener, and I remember thinking that is was so different from the other plants that grew in the area.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/purslane.jpg" /></p> <p>That's because purslane is a succulent. A &quot;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succulent">succulent</a>&quot;, in addition to being really fun to say, is a plant that retains water in the leaves and stems - cacti are succulents. Aloe, jade plants, hens-n-chicks - and, as it turns out, purslane. Purslane looks sort of like bloated thyme, with a reddish stem and small, thick leaves.</p> <p>I actually saw a bundle of purslane at Ranch 99, my local Chinese supermarket, as well as at Whole Foods, but I didn't recognize it as that plant that my mother used to heartlessly toss in the compost bin until recently.</p> <p>Not only is it tasty, as it's technically a succulent herb, but it's good for you, too! From <a href="http://landscaping.about.com/cs/weedsdiseases/a/purslane.htm">About.com</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>Purslane just happens to contain alpha-linolenic acid, one of the highly sought-after Omega-3 fatty acids. Why pay money for fish oil when you can grow your own Omega-3 fatty acids as part of your edible landscaping? Especially when it takes little effort to grow purslane, since it does grow like a weed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>No, purslane (<em>Portulaca olearacea</em>) isn't yet another of those leafy &quot;rabbit-foods&quot; that only a Ewell Gibbons could love. Purslane is more than merely edible landscaping &mdash; it is a culinary delight! In fact, it is a <strong>succulent</strong> herb. Keep that word in mind. For &quot;succulent&quot; provides a hint both to the weed's identification and the potential of this edible landscaping component for cooking recipes.</p> <p>Not only does purslane have leaves in Omega-3 fatty acid, but it also has stems high in vitamin C. Omega-3 fatty acids are instrumental in regulating our metabolism. Purslane contains one of the highest known concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids &mdash; five times the concentration in spinach.</p> </blockquote> <p>Purslane is supposed to add a wonderful crunch to salads and even sandwiches. Click around for recipes for <a href="http://www.starchefs.com/SJohnson/recipe05.html">purslane-yogurt-cucumber salad</a>, <a href="http://www.paula-wolfert.com/recipes/lamb_stew.html">Turkish purslane and lamb stew</a>, <a href="http://veggieway.blogspot.com/2006/08/purslane-again.html">purslane pilaf</a>, <a href="http://kitchenography.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/07/chick_pea_salad.html">chickpea and purslane salad</a>, and a variety of other selections from <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/find/results?search=purslane&amp;x=0&amp;y=0">Epicurious.com</a>.</p> <h2>Dandelions</h2> <p>Dandelions are the most maligned and probably the most common weed across the US. You might not find Japanese knotweed or purslane in your yard, but chances are that you've got dandelions. You can spray them with chemicals, yank them out, and scream like a maniac, but it's a never-ending battle to get rid of those things.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/dandeliongreens.jpg" /></p> <p>And I figure &mdash; if you're pulling them out of the garden, why not eat 'em?</p> <p>Dandelions are widely eaten throughout much of Europe, where its bitter taste is balanced out by cooking it with eggs, bacon, cream, or all three. Their status as an edible green is really only starting to take root (har!) in the US now. You can find bundles of dandelion greens at Whole Foods, if you're too afraid to start with what is in your yard.</p> <p>Dandelion is a diuretic (it makes you pee, like asparagus), and the French have a special name for it: &quot;pissenlits&quot;, which in addition to being fun to say, means, &quot;wet your bed&quot;, although unless you have a weak bladder, you don't have much to worry about from dandelions in that regard. <a href="http://www.vitamincottage.com/common/adam/DisplayMonograph.asp?storeID=47821D90B2AA4A7C91E85DD915331B09&amp;name=ConsHerbs_Dandelionch">Dandelions have been used</a> as a <a href="http://www.healthrecipes.com/dandelion.htm">therapeutic herb</a> in Europe and Asia for centuries. The root is used to stimulate the liver and cleanse the bloodstream. It's also apparently quite high in vitamin A.</p> <p>Dandelion greens can be tossed into a salad of mixed greens, or<a href="http://www.stephencooks.com/2007/03/dandelion_green.html"> sauteed and served</a> like any other bitter green, such as escarole. Kitchen Parade has some lovely recipes for <a href="http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2007/04/quick-supper-or-side-dandelion-greens.html">sides</a> and <a href="http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2007/04/cooking-from-nature-cream-of-dandelion.html">soup</a>. Edward and Eugenia Giobbi offer a recipe for<a href="http://www.foodreference.com/html/dandelion-wchest-725.html"> dandelion greens sauteed with chestnuts</a>. My personal favorite recipe is for <a href="http://frenchfood.about.com/od/quickweekdaymeals/r/dandeggs.htm">dandelion greens with eggs</a>. There are <a href="http://www.prodigalgardens.info/dandelion%20recipes.htm">so many ways</a> to enjoy this pervasive and invasive weed.</p> <p>Don't forget &mdash; it's <a href="http://landscaping.about.com/od/weedsdiseases/a/kill_dandelions_2.htm">not just the greens that are edible</a>! <a href="http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/dandelio.asp">Dandelion flowers</a> can be <a href="http://pjf.id.au/brew/brews/09_dandelion_wine.html">used to make wine</a>. And you probably know how Wise Bread feels about wine! Well, if you don't, we encourage it. Dandelion roots can also be sauteed and eaten, or made into a coffee substitute, but that sounds like too much work.</p> <h2>Things to Remember</h2> <p>There are lots and lots of <a href="http://www.landscape-america.com/problems/weeds/edible.html">edible weeds</a>, as evidenced by some of the links above. Johnny Jump-ups, a fragrant wild violet that grows all over my parents' yard, are delicious in fresh salads. Norwegian blackberries are an invasive species in much of the Pacific Northwest, but damn, do I ever love picking those berries in the summer.</p> <p>As always, when foraging, don't eat anything that you can't positively identify. Don't pick anything near industrial waste sites, and be sure to wash everything very thoroughly. If you use herbicides and pesticides in your yard, you might not want to eat anything that grows there (then again, if you already do eat things from your garden, so be it).</p> <p><em>(Greens picture by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonettodiego/"><em>bo di bo</em></a><em>, dandelion macro photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/28481088@N00/"><em>tanakawho</em></a><em>)</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-food-in-your-yard-edible-weeds">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock">25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes">25 Great, Cheap, and Easy Crock Pot Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, By the Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-uses-for-stale-bread">17 Uses for Stale Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap eats easy recipes gardening herbicide weeds Thu, 24 May 2007 07:05:37 +0000 Andrea Karim 647 at http://www.wisebread.com Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on. http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/10810341_45f4dd4d55_0.jpg" alt="saus 2" title="saus 2" width="261" height="196" /></p> <p>Ladies, gentlemen, start your engines. But only after you&#39;ve loaded them up with sausages, chicken, crabs, Cajun shrimp and plenty of vegetables. </p> <p>Car engine cooking will change the way you take road trips, forever. As I&#39;ve stated in the past, I love to get extra use out of the products I buy. Around 15 years ago, I saw a documentary on British television about a guy who had wrapped some sausages in foil, placed them on a strategic part of his engine, and then took a 40 minute drive to his friend&#39;s house. When he got there, the sausages were perfectly cooked and a great end to a small journey.</p> <p>How cool, I remember thinking. But as I couldn&#39;t drive at the time, I forgot all about it. Until last week. For some reason, sitting in my car at a red light smelling the grilling chicken of a nearby Chipotle reminded me of that story. And now I&#39;m pleased and proud to present you with Car Engine Cooking, brought to you by the one and only source I could find on the subject...a wonderful book called Manifold Destiny.</p> <p><strong>MANIFOLD DESTINY - The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine!</strong></p> <p>Chris Maynard and Bill Scheller have a serious affinity with cars. Both experienced rally drivers, they must have worked up an appetite on the courses they drove. And as they are also both accomplished cooks, it seems only natural that a book on car engine cooking would be born. </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/mandest.jpeg" alt="manifold destiny" title="manifold destiny" width="195" height="195" /></p> <p>The book is witty, concise and well-written. Well worth a read on any day. It also goes into more detail than I can recount here, covering everything from types of cars, food placement on engines, international VS domestic models and so on. What I can give you is enough to whet your appetite, followed by the most important part of the story - my FIVE favorite car engine cooking recipes from the many delicacies listed in the book. You can purchase the book direct from Amazon by clicking the link below.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0375751408?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0375751408">Manifold Destiny: The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine!</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wisebread07-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=0375751408" width="1" height="1" /><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0375751408?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0375751408"></a> <p><strong>The basics - remember, it&#39;s not an exact science.</strong><br />Chris and Bill advise that although car engines are all different, the principles are the same. So, how do you find the best places on your car engine to place your chicken, your veggies or your succulent piece of rainbow trout? Well, it all comes down to...your finger.</p> <p>Get your car up to operating speed, or better yet take it for a drive around the block for five minutes, and then bring it back to the garage and lift the hood. Now, finger at the ready, you start quickly touching various parts of the engine (nothing plastic...that will never get hot enough to cook anything). And by quickly touching, it&#39;s the kind of swift stab that means your finger feels the heat but you don&#39;t give yourself a third degree burn. (If you&#39;re feeling really wussy, try an infrared thermometer). Usually, the hottest part of the engine will be the exhaust manifold. On older cars, the top of the engine block will be a good, sizzling place.</p> <p>You&#39;re not just looking for the hottest parts of the engine. Like any kind of cooking, different foods require different temperatures. A very hot part of the engine will be great for thick meat, a cooler part good for veggies or fish. Or, if you&#39;re traveling many hundreds of miles, you may want to use the cooler part to slow-cook your meat. Mmmm. As always, this is trial and error. </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/car-cooking.jpg" alt="car cook" title="car cook" width="352" height="211" /></p> <p><strong>NEVER let the food interfere with the engine&#39;s moving parts</strong><br />We want a great meal here, not a wrecked engine. And who would want to explain to the local mechanic why there&#39;s a piece of rump roast stuck in the timing belt? Always choose places that are static, and ensure they are not going to move. The boys have put together this handy list of things to avoid.</p> <p><strong>Car engine cooking no-nos...</strong></p> <p><strong>1 - Give the accelerator linkage a WIDE berth.</strong> It connects the gas pedal to carburetor or fuel-injection system and regulates the flow of fuel to the cylinders. Jam this and either your car won&#39;t start, or worse, it won&#39;t stop!</p> <p><strong>2 - Don&#39;t block the airflow.</strong> You&#39;ll suffocate the engine. </p> <p><strong>3 - Avoid yanking wires.</strong> Or pulling wires. Or forcing a food-package to fit. Basic rule of thumb...if you have to force it, you shouldn&#39;t put it in. </p> <p><strong>4 - Place food with the engine OFF.</strong> Seems like an obvious rule, but if you don&#39;t want a nasty injury, follow this advice. </p> <p><strong>5 - Avoid foods with lots of liquid.</strong> Foil-wrapping a meal with lots of liquid could results in unwanted goop all over your engine. And that&#39;s not good for it. </p> <p><strong>The FOIL CONE test</strong><br />This is done to give you a good idea of how much room you have in your new &#39;oven&#39;, and cannot be skipped. Simply make a cone of aluminum foil about 5 inches high, place it on the injector housing, then shut the hood. Now, when you open it, how much of that cone has been crushed? If it&#39;s a lot, your car engine will only be good for cooking slimmer meals, like fish and strip steak. If it hasn&#39;t been touched, you&#39;ll need extra foil to stop your packages from moving around. </p> <p><strong>Preparing your meal</strong><br />Foil is about to become your new best friend. Grab a sheet of foil large enough to comfortably cover the food/ingredients. You don&#39;t want to be cheap on foil here, more is better. Wrap the foil around, creating a package, and crimp the foil tightly. You want a seal all around the food. And then do it again. And then again. Triple-wrapping in foil is the only way to ensure a tight, sealed, safe package.</p> <p><strong>Finally...my FIVE favorite recipes from Manifold Destiny</strong></p> <p><strong>Cruise-Control Pork Tenderloin - Cooking distance: 250 miles<br /></strong>I like this one because it&#39;s soft and tender, and is a great treat for the end of a long journey (hey, I&#39;m a Brit...250 miles is along way to me).<strong></p> <p></strong></p> <blockquote><p><strong>Ingredients: </strong><br />1 large pork tenderloin, butterflied<br />3 tbsp Dijon mustard<br />2 tbsp dry white wine<br />1/2 cup red onion, minced<br />2 tsp rosemary (fresh), crushed<br />Salt &amp; pepper</p> <p>Blend together all of the ingredients (except the pork) and spread across the inside of the pork tenderloin. Close up the pork, triple-wrap in foil and place on a medium-hot part of the engine. Turn once (125 miles) during cooking. </p></blockquote> <p> <strong><br />Any-city Chicken Wings (sweet) - Cooking distance: 140-200 miles<br /></strong>Is there a better snack food than buffalo chicken wings? I can&#39;t think of one, personally. So imagine my delight when I discovered a car-engine recipe. Feel free to swap out ingredients according to how hot/spicy/tangy you like your wings. This is my take on the recipe (the optional ingredients).<br /><strong><br /></strong></p> <blockquote><p><strong>Ingredients: </strong><br />18 chicken wings<br />1/2 cup ketchup<br />1 tbsp molasses (optional)<br />1 cup red wine vinegar<br />1-2 tsp red pepper flakes<br />4-6 minced jalapenos<br />3 cloves garlic<br />1 tbsp honey (optional)<br />1 tbsp oregano<br />1 tsp brown sugar (optional)<br />Pinch of salt<br />Fresh black pepper (optional)<br />Splash of Tabasco Chipotle sauce (optional)<br />Splash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)</p> <p>Blend together all of the ingredients (except wings) and pour over chicken wings. Cover tightly in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Drain wings (save the marinade) and divide into three foil packages. Brush with marinade, then triple-wrap each package tightly and place on medium-hot part of the engine. I like my chicken well done so I do the 200 miles, or around 3 1/2 hours. </p></blockquote> <p><strong> <br />Good &amp; simple Cajun Shrimp/Crayfish - Cooking distance: 35 miles<br /></strong>I love shrimp, and this is a quick journey. For most, it&#39;s an average morning&#39;s commute. What a way to start the day...Cajun Shrimp for breakfast.<strong></p> <p></strong></p> <blockquote><p><strong>Ingredients: </strong><br />1 pound large shrimp or crayfish tails, in shells.<br />6 small green hot peppers<br />2 cloves garlic<br />1 medium onion, finely chopped<br />Butter or spread<br />Salt &amp; pepper</p> <p>Remove seeds from peppers (ouch, they are hot) and mince with the onion and garlic. Butter your foil, add the shrimp and cover with your spicy mixture. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper, then triple-wrap and place in a medium part of the engine. Delicious, seasoned, spicy shrimp or crayfish await.</p></blockquote> <p><strong> <br />Eggs On Cheese Pie - Cooking distance: 55 miles<br /></strong>Another good breakfast food, or anytime food. Legend has it that the recipe (minus the cooking method) originated in medieval monasteries. A holy treat.<strong></p> <p></strong></p> <blockquote><p><strong>Ingredients: </strong><br />Breadcrumbs (Italian or fresh homemade)<br />1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, cubed<br />6 eggs (free range folks....be good)<br />Diced Canadian bacon (optional)<br />6 empty tuna-fish cans for cooking<br />Pinch of cayenne and paprika (optional)<br />Butter or spread.<br />Salt &amp; pepper.</p> <p>Wash 6 empty tuna cans and butter the insides. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs into each can and shake to cover the base evenly. Dump out excess. Now cover with mozzarella (and bacon if desired) then crack an egg on top of each, add seasonings and spices on top, then cover with mozzarella. Wrap cans tightly in foil, place on a hot part of the engine with good contact for the base of each can, and after 55 miles they should be good. If not, keep driving till the cheese has melted. <strong> </strong></p></blockquote> <p><strong> <br />Pat&#39;s Provolone Porsche Potatoes - Cooking distance: 55 miles<br /></strong>Good for vegetarians and a great side dish, this is simple, tasty car engine cooking.<strong></p> <p></strong></p> <blockquote><p><strong>Ingredients: </strong><br />1/2 pound new potatoes<br />1 cup milk<br />1 cup water<br />2 ounces grated aged provolone (or my favorite, aged cheddar)<br />Butter<br />Salt &amp; pepper</p> <p>Peel and slice potatoes to 1.4 inch thick. Place in a saucepan with the milk and water and simmer 10 mins. Drain, then spread onto heavily buttered foil. Sprinkle with your cheese (or cheeses, experiment with flavors) and seasonings. Sprinkle with butter, triple-wrap and place around medium-hot parts of the engine. Delicious.</p></blockquote> <p><strong>And finally, practice makes perfect.<br /></strong>You aren&#39;t going to get all of this right first time. Experiment with different ingredients, different parts of the engine and different cooking time. As I say, the book is an essential resource for all budding car-engine chefs, so please pick up a copy or at the very least see if you can find one in your local library. Soon, you&#39;ll be driving and cooking in perfect harmony. Happy times. <strong><br /></strong></p> <p><em>Main photo by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/blatch/">Blatch</a> . Thanks Blatch! </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-the-love-of-ramen-an-interview-with-ed-from-ramenramenramen-net">For the Love of Ramen: An Interview with Ed from RamenRamenRamen.net</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-frugal-eating">Healthy, frugal eating</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-restaurant-secret-menu-items-thatll-actually-save-you-money">9 Restaurant Secret Menu Items That&#039;ll Actually Save you Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ugggh-hic-i-justss-gotta-eat-somehicthing-my-top-10-homemade-drunk-snacks">Ugggh, (hic) I justss gotta eat some(hic)thing; my top 10 homemade drunk snacks.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ghetto-mac-yours-for-1">The GHETTO MAC - yours for $1.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink automotive car car engine cooking cheap eats driving Fast Food Food manifold destiny Thu, 17 May 2007 21:05:56 +0000 Paul Michael 655 at http://www.wisebread.com