Food and Drink http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/209/all en-US 12 Delicious Soups You Can Make From Leftovers http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-soups-you-can-make-from-leftovers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-delicious-soups-you-can-make-from-leftovers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food-178500303.jpg" alt="soup" title="soup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="173" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Stuck with lots of leftovers? Not a problem! Though I'm notoriously bad at using prepared food from one night to the next, I've found that a little planning can turn that curse into a blessing. And with food waste being one of the top money-suckers from grocery budgets far and wide, it's only prudent to wise up and make the most of what you've got.</p> <p>Here are 12 satisfying soup recipes &mdash; using last night's eats &mdash; that help you do just that. Just be sure to keep track of how long your foods have been the fridge. The Mayo Clinic guidelines suggest that most leftovers keep <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/food-safety/faq-20058500">around 3-4 days</a> before they enter risky territory. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-night-soup-delicious-soup-from-leftovers?ref=seealso">Thursday Night Soup</a>)</p> <h2>1. Easy Chicken Noodle Soup</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/30332-easy-chicken-noodle-soup-from-a-leftover-roasted-chicken">Easy Chicken Noodle Soup</a> recipe gets its &quot;complex flavor&quot; from a homemade stock made by browning the bones of your leftover roasted chicken carcass. Toss in the meat, too, along with some herbs and veggies for a hearty lunch or dinner option.</p> <h2>2. Basic Turkey Stock</h2> <p>If you'd rather make just a base, here's a basic recipe for <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/336482/easy-turkey-stock?czone=home%2Fsmart-savings-cnt%2Fsave-money&amp;gallery=275537&amp;slide=336482&amp;center=277003">Turkey Stock</a>. All you need are leftover turkey (or chicken, etc.) bones with some meat still attached. The rest comes together with other veggies you might need to use up before shopping for next week.</p> <h2>3. Roasted Veggie Soup</h2> <p>Vegetarians will love this <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-vegetable-soup-recipe2.html">Roasted Vegetable Soup</a> for its robust flavor and adaptability. The recipe calls for chicken stock, but vegetable stock is an easy substitute. Simply collect a quart of leftover roasted veggies, heat the broth, combine, and pulse in a food processor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians?ref=seealso">Slow Cooker Recipes for Lazy Vegetarians</a>)</p> <h2>4. Black Bean and Rice Soup</h2> <p>I first featured this recipe in my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-new-ways-to-spice-up-rice">25 Ways to Spice Up Rice</a> roundup, and it's certainly a keeper. If you're left with extra rice, try this <a href="http://www.cooksmarts.com/cs-blog/2013/10/black-bean-leftover-rice-soup-recipe/#.U0M3qtwVQlI">Black Bean and Leftover Rice Soup</a>. It works well with inexpensive veggies like cabbage and is a great use for some of your favorite dried bulk foods.</p> <h2>5. Mashed Potato Soup</h2> <p>Holiday or not, you may have some mashed potatoes on hand from last night's side item. Rachael Ray has you covered with her tasty <a href="http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/recipe/15503_Mashed_Potato_Soup/index.html">Mashed Potato Soup</a>. I think this recipe would taste great sans bacon and with sweet potatoes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/45-special-sweet-potato-dishes?ref=seealso">45 Sweet Potato Dishes</a>)</p> <h2>6. Boxing Day Soup</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1142/boxing-day-soup">Boxing Day Soup</a> is another post-holiday favorite, but you can use whatever leftover, seasonal veggies you might have in your fridge. The curry paste is sure to give this dish some unique, sophisticated flair.</p> <h2>7. Quick Minestore (With Noodles, Too!)</h2> <p>Cooked spaghetti is in high supply at our house, but I don't love eating standard noodles with sauce. The author of this <a href="http://goodcheapeats.com/2013/01/minute-minestrone/">Minute Minestrone</a> promises it'll make the &quot;most of what you have&quot; &mdash; and I love that sentiment.</p> <h2>8. Leftover Soup All-In</h2> <p>This mix-and-match <a href="http://3boysandadog.com/2009/08/recipe-leftover-soup/">Leftover Soup</a> &quot;recipe&quot; goes beyond last night's offerings to a full month's worth of remaining ingredients. The author puts foods like spaghetti, chili, and gravy in a gallon container in the freezer. From there, she combines with other staples depending on her tastes.</p> <h2>9. Beef and Veggie Soup</h2> <p>Try <a href="http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/my-sisters-whats-on-hand-leftover-beef-vegetable-soup/">Leftover Beef and Veggie Soup</a> for a particularly filling bowl. You can use any kind of steak you have on hand &mdash; cubed. The author writes that this recipe is a wonderful way to &quot;clean out your refrigerator.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-make-cheap-cuts-of-meat-taste-expensive?ref=seealso">Easy Ways to Make Cheap Cuts of Meat Taste Expensive</a>)</p> <h2>10. Fish Chowder</h2> <p>The author of this next recipe divulges that he doesn't like reheating leftover fish for lunch the next day. However, he doesn't mind using it in this <a href="http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=165216">Leftover Fish Chowder</a> recipe. Tilapia is a good fit for this meal, though any white fish will do.</p> <h2>11. Vegan Leftover Soup</h2> <p>This vibrant <a href="http://luminousvegans.com/2013/11/07/vegan-soup-using-leftovers/">Vegan Leftovers Soup</a> is full of black beans, jasmine rice, and some Beyond Meat Not-Chicken cubes. However, you can use whatever happens to be on your own pantry and fridge shelves.</p> <h2>12. Cheese Soup</h2> <p>This last recipe is one I'm definitely trying &mdash; soon. Use the last of your milk, as well as random bits of cheese in this awesomely simple <a href="http://www.cooks.com/rec/story/112/#S">Leftover Cheese Soup</a>. It's got a dose of hidden veggies in there, too!</p> <p><em>What's your favorite soup to make with leftovers? We'd love your suggestions!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-soups-you-can-make-from-leftovers" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Delicious Soups You Can Make From Leftovers " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink cheap recipes cheap soup easy soup leftovers soup Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:24:15 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1136718 at http://www.wisebread.com You Won't Believe How Good These Low-Calorie Desserts Taste http://www.wisebread.com/you-wont-believe-how-good-these-low-calorie-desserts-taste <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-wont-believe-how-good-these-low-calorie-desserts-taste" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eating-4998826-small.jpg" alt="dessert" title="dessert" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Craving a gooey, delicious dessert? Yeah. Me too. Though I try my best to keep my inner sugar-fiend under control, I certainly like to indulge, I'll admit, daily. So, over the years I've learned to save the calorie-loaded confections for special occasions. Otherwise, I favor healthier swaps for my favorite desserts, and most of them are made with inexpensive ingredients many of us already have on hand. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fast-single-serving-fake-desserts?ref=seealso">Single-Serving &quot;Fake&quot; Desserts</a>)</p> <p>Here are 15 recipes to try if you're looking for a <em>better-sweet</em> ending.</p> <h2>1. Frozen Banana Bites</h2> <p>These chocolate dipped <a href="http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000002002262,00.html">Frozen Banana Bites</a> are simple, but will satisfy your sweet tooth. I've seen many recipes throughout the years, including this truly <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chocolate-Dipped-Frozen-Banana-Bites-352009">decadent bunch</a>, so you can get as complicated as you wish.</p> <h2>2. Chocolate &quot;Pudding&quot;</h2> <p>If I'm stuck on chocolate, I like to make my own pudding using only a couple healthy ingredients. I whisk together one cup of Greek yogurt with a tablespoon or two of unsweetened cocoa powder until smooth. Then I mix in natural sweetener (maple syrup, honey, agave, etc.) to taste. Usually only a couple teaspoons.</p> <h2>3. Apple Pie</h2> <p>This next recipe is apple pie in the most literal sense. Try baking your treat <a href="http://www.heathersfrenchpress.com/2013/09/skinny-wednesday-apple-pie-baked-in-an-apple.html">inside an apple</a> to cut calories. And if sugar is your concern, I see no reason you need to use an entire &frac12; cup. Cut the measurement in half or even omit entirely, and I'm sure it will be pleasantly sweet.</p> <h2>4. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies</h2> <p>The author of this next recipe admits these <a href="http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2013/03/guilt-free-oatmeal-raisin-cookies.html">&quot;Guilt-Free&quot; Oatmeal Raisin Cookies</a> are lacking &quot;everything that people love about a cookie&quot; (sugar, butter, oil, and eggs). However, they turn out great by using the natural sweetness from bananas plus the power of Greek yogurt to transform the traditional into a healthier snack. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-healthy-breakfast-cookies-with-chocolate-covered-espresso-beans?ref=seealso">Healthy Breakfast Cookies With Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans</a>)</p> <h2>5. Flavored Popcorn</h2> <p>I think most of us know that popcorn is high in fiber and low in calories. So, it's a great dessert alternative. Combine a couple cups of air-popped popcorn (to avoid the added salt and artificial ingredients in microwaved varieties) with dried fruit and chocolate chips or even with a little coconut oil plus cinnamon and sugar. Whatever floats your boat.</p> <h2>6. Micro-Muffins</h2> <p>If you'd like a quick &quot;baked&quot; good that's highly customizable, try these <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2011/06/hearty-pecan-chip-micro-muffins.html">Pecan Chocolate Chip Micro-Muffins</a>. Simply mix together the ingredients, cook for around three minutes, and let cool before serving.</p> <h2>7. Smoothie Pops</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.countryliving.com/recipefinder/orange-banana-smoothie-pops-recipe">Orange-Banana Smoothie Pops</a> sound bright and delicious. I'd consider swapping the orange juice concentrate with 100% orange juice or even freshly squeezed for better health and less sugar. However, the other ingredients are common to most pantries and light.</p> <h2>8. Apple Sandwiches</h2> <p>The photos alone of these gorgeous <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/apple-sandwiches-granola-and-peanut-butter">Apple and Nut Butter Sandwiches</a> have sold me. Simply core and slice apples, spread peanut butter (or other nut butter) in between and top with granola and chocolate chips.</p> <h2>9. Fresh Fruit Pops</h2> <p>I like that this next recipe was inspired by &quot;The Jungle Book!&quot; These <a href="http://thenerdswife.com/2014/02/bare-necessities-fresh-fruit-pops.html">Fresh Fruit Pops</a> get their flavor from a variety of vibrant fruits, but I see no reason to follow the recipe exactly. Use whatever is fresh, in-season, and &mdash; therefore &mdash; less expensive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month?ref=seealso">Fruits and Veggies By the Month</a>)</p> <h2>10. Cookie Dough Dip</h2> <p>Angela at Oh She Glows is one of my favorite recipe developers. And you won't believe the base ingredient in this tasty <a href="http://ohsheglows.com/2012/05/23/healthy-chocolate-chip-cookie-potadough-dip-vegan-gluten-free-bean-free-soy-free-and-optionally-nut-free/">Cookie Dough Dip</a> &mdash; potatoes! Don't be afraid, though, dessert alternatives may sound strange at first, but I've tried this vegan, gluten-free dish personally and love it.</p> <h2>11. Fudge</h2> <p>Now that I've got your palate thinking more adventurously, I'd like to entice you with this <a href="http://peachypalate.com/2013/12/04/fudge/">Black Bean Fudge</a> recipe. It's refined sugar-free and gets its sweetness from Medjool dates, and the other healthful ingredients are likely already in your pantry.</p> <h2>12. Brownie</h2> <p>Dessert swaps are also about portion sizes, so you'll enjoy this <a href="http://www.oatmealwithafork.com/2013/03/04/single-serve-no-pudge-fudge-brownie/">Single-Serve Brownie</a> made in a ramekin. The ingredients list is short, but not on flavor. The author suggests oat flour, spelt flour, or almond flour. I make my own oat and almond flours by simply pulsing the core ingredients in my food processor until adequately pulverized. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy?ref=seealso">Grocery Items You Should Make at Home</a>)</p> <h2>13. Cupcakes</h2> <p>These amazing <a href="http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/02/19/skinny-chocolate-peanut-butter-swirl-cupcakes/">Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes</a> sure look complicated with their long ingredients list. If you look closer, however, you'll realize you already have everything you need in your cabinets and drawers. Best of all? Each cupcake boasts six grams of protein!</p> <h2>14. Doughnuts</h2> <p>I have discovered recently that doughnuts are my favorite way to indulge. To make them healthier, I whisk up these <a href="http://www.edibleperspective.com/home/2011/10/21/triple-chocolate-donuts.html">Triple Chocolate Baked Doughnuts</a> and save myself all the fat and fuss from frying.</p> <h2>15. Strawberry Shortcake</h2> <p>This <a href="http://cookeatpaleo.com/paleo-strawberry-shortcake/">Paleo Strawberry Shortcake</a> is a twist on a classic dish and made much more nutrient dense with the use of almond flour. A simple &quot;whipped cream&quot; comes together in only minutes with refrigerated coconut milk. And if you've never tried it before, you're in for a treat!</p> <p><em>What's your favorite lightened-up dessert?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-wont-believe-how-good-these-low-calorie-desserts-taste" class="sharethis-link" title="You Won&#039;t Believe How Good These Low-Calorie Desserts Taste" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink cheap recipes dessert healthy dessert Mon, 21 Apr 2014 09:36:26 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1136131 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Fifteen Ways to Make Money to Fill Your Fridge http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-fifteen-ways-to-make-money-to-fill-your-fridge <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-fifteen-ways-to-make-money-to-fill-your-fridge" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/groceries-466554273.jpg" alt="groceries" title="groceries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on ways to make money to fill your fridge, bills you can cut from your budget, and things to bring to a job interview.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk/make-money-to-fill-your-fridge-make-300500-per-month/">Fifteen ways to make money to fill your fridge: make &pound;300/$500 per month</a> &mdash; Mending computers or dog sitting can help you make enough money to fill your fridge. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="http://www.smartasset.com/blog/money-saving-tip/5-bills-you-can-cut-from-your-budget-right-now/">5 Bills You Can Cut From Your Budget Right Now</a> &mdash; Chances are you can cut your cable bill from your budget right now. [SmartAsset Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Things-Bring-Job-Interview-2428108">5 Things to Bring to a Job Interview </a>&mdash; It is a good idea to bring a notebook prepared with questions to your job interview. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2014/04/16/giving-makes-us-happier-but-what-if-you-dont-have-much-to-give/">Giving makes us happier, but what if you don't have much to give?</a> &mdash; If you don't have much to give to charity, you can get crafty or volunteer. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.20sfinances.com/dangers-of-earning-more-money/">The Dangers of Earning More Money</a> &mdash; Earning more money may make you feel the need to spend more money. [20's Finances]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.threethriftyguys.com/2014/04/how-to-negotiate-for-more-vacation-time/">How to Negotiate for More Vacation Time</a> &mdash; When negotiating for more vacation time, prove you deserve it. [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <p><a href="http://staplerconfessions.com/index.php/conquering-the-cravings-how-to-stay-on-budget-while-pregnant/">Conquering the Cravings: How to Stay on Budget While Pregnant</a> &mdash; If you crave Chinese food while you are pregnant, have freezer potstickers on hand to save money. [Stapler Confessions]</p> <p><a href="http://howsmarriedlife.net/non-profits-will-help-finances/">Non-Profits That Will Help You You with Your Finances</a> &mdash; Debt Advice Foundation is a non-profit that will help you with your finances. [How's Married Life?]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2014/04/14/parents-attitudes-toward-money-and-kids/">Parents' attitudes towards money and kids</a> &mdash; Did you know one in four parents carries a credit card balance? [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/teaching-kids-the-true-meaning-of-easter">Teaching Kids the True Meaning of Easter</a> &mdash; Using props like flowers can help you teach your kids the true meaning of Easter. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-fifteen-ways-to-make-money-to-fill-your-fridge" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Fifteen Ways to Make Money to Fill Your Fridge" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Extra Income Food and Drink best money tips fridge making money money Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:00:20 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1135855 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Wines That Taste Pricier Than They Are http://www.wisebread.com/10-wines-that-taste-pricier-than-they-are <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-wines-that-taste-pricier-than-they-are" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/drink-485408247.jpg" alt="wine" title="wine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Value, when it comes to wine, is in the palate of the beholder. But it also depends on the wallet of the beholder, as well. Frankly, what is considered to be a great deal on a wine for dinner is worlds apart depending on whether you have that conversation with Bill Gates or Warren Buffett or with little ol' me. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-tasty-wines-to-get-you-through-tax-season?ref=seealso">10 Cheap and Tasty Wines</a>)</p> <p>You can start with a $5 gallon jug and work up from there until you hit the pinnacle of bad wine purchases, which was the bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafite that sold for $156,000 plus or about $26,000 per glass in 1985. Given that Bordeaux lasts about 50 years, what is known as the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold was really the most expensive bottle of vinegar ever sold.</p> <p>Luckily for everyone else, there's a lot of ground in the middle. The Wine Enthusiast, for example, reviewed 16,000 bottles of wine in 2013, coming up with a list of <a href="http://www.winemag.com/Web-2013/The-Enthusiast-100-2013/">100 Must Have Wines</a> for the year. And &quot;must have&quot; essentially means that all 100 on the list were considered worth the price.</p> <p>Their list includes a $98 bottle of Cavallotto 2007 Vignolo Riserva Barolo, a good deal for some, if you have that kind of coin. Unfortunately, I don't.</p> <p>Here are some bottles with pedestrian price tags you might enjoy. They certainly taste better than their price tag would indicate, so you can impress your guests without spending too much.</p> <p>I've leaned on reviewers I trust and my own excursions into the field (or into a bottle) to come up with these.</p> <h2>5 Red Wines</h2> <p>Red wines are for romance, beef or lamb dinners, and windy porches. Picnics, too. And outings on the boat. And for impressing your boss. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-reasons-to-drink-wine?ref=seealso">10 Reasons to Drink Wine</a>)</p> <h3>Zestos Old Vine Garnacha 2011</h3> <p>This is a quaffable <a href="http://www.reversewinesnob.com/2013/04/zestos-old-vine-garnacha.html">$8 steal</a> from Spain that gets high marks from reviewers, who declare it is delightful for informal outings &mdash; a good backyard wine, rather than a dinner table wine. It will wash down a hamburger quite well, one reviewer said. With this price, I had to put it on the list.</p> <h3>Dr. Konstantin Frank Cabernet Franc 2011</h3> <p>Speaking from experience now, this is a surprising New York wine that sells for $16 and is both mature and lively. It has a gutsy punch that is sometimes defined as bright, peppery, and elegant. For a dark red, it also has a soft underbelly. You might say it has exotic overtones. What I like is the tang that accompanies New York reds, which some find a distraction, but I have grown fond of over the years. It makes the wine more versatile when choosing something for dinner, because this wine will go with anything and it will please your snooty wine friends and please your less-experienced drinkers, as well.</p> <h3>Borsao Berola 2008</h3> <p>Another bottle from Spain, this is a blend with a bright bouquet that retails for under $20 and has dark red color and a complex taste. This wine tastes older than it is; it has matured well and has a bold, fruity flavor blended into a soft presentation. It's full-bodied, in other words, but with a tickle, rather than a punch. Whereas I would have said &quot;seductive,&quot; it is also described as &quot;silky.&quot; (I figured that was a polite way of saying seductive, anyway.) The blend in this bottle is 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, which reads to me like an excellent potion. It is matured in French and American oak barrels and consistently gets rated with 90 points from reviewers &mdash; a great rating for an inexpensive wine.</p> <h3>Ex Libris Cabernet Sauvignon 2009</h3> <p>This is a fashionable wine from Washington State about which Chelsea Wine Vault owner David Hunter said &quot;over-delivers&quot; for the price. He is not alone in that assessment. The Reverse Wine Snob says this bottle &quot;<a href="http://www.reversewinesnob.com/2013/02/ex-libris-cabernet-sauvignon.html">drinks like a $45 Cabernet</a>,&quot; and yet it retails for $14. I haven't tasted this one myself, but those are two reviewers I consider very reliable.</p> <h3>Mt. Beautiful North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2011</h3> <p>This is a spicy, complex wine from New Zealand that averages a rating of 89.4, which brings up expectations of a $30 price tag. Not so. This wine has a hint of cranberry, black cherry, and a hint of oak, says reviewer Jon Thorsen at The Reverse Wine Snob. Further, it's a &quot;<a href="http://www.reversewinesnob.com/2014/01/mt-beautiful-north-canterbury-pinot-noir.html">medium bodied&hellip; [with] absolutely fabulous balance</a>&quot; wine that retails for $18.</p> <h2>5 Whites</h2> <p>White wines are good for pasta dishes, fish, the salad course, wine beginners, and family gatherings (or other gatherings where some might shun the punchier red wines).</p> <h3>Herman Wiemer's Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2012</h3> <p>Now that we're here on the whites, let's start with my favorite. This is a warm wine with more than a hint of apricot and an aftertaste that hints of lemon-tinged butterscotch. It is often used as a dessert wine, but who likes to wait for dessert, anyway? This makes a great starter wine or something you can serve with soup, salad, and poultry, and it will have your guests talking and expecting surprises all night. Of course, that would only work if you are following up with white wines, because you don't follow this with reds. That would be like following a ballet with a boxing match. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/dining/reviews/in-the-finger-lakes-devotion-to-riesling-shows.html?pagewanted=2&amp;_r=0">For $16</a>, it&rsquo;s a serious crowd pleaser.</p> <h3>Laurenz V. Singing Gruner Veltliner 2011</h3> <p>This is a feel-good wine from Austria that is fruity and crisp and sophisticated &mdash; only wine can present all those contradictions in one glass. This is a wine you want around if you have lots of guests, because it is <a href="http://www.wine.com/v6/Laurenz-V-Singing-Gruner-Veltliner-2011/wine/117134/detail.aspx">under $20</a>, so you can pour liberally. If anyone complains (and that is not likely) tell them the money you saved went into the meal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-dinner-party-for-6-feed-em-for-under-20?ref=seealso">Feed a Dinner Party of 6 for Under $20</a>)</p> <h3>Donnafugata Lighea Zibibbo Sicilia 2011</h3> <p>How is it that an imported Italian Moscato wine <a href="http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/donna+fugata+lighea+zibibbo+sicilia+italy">selling for $12</a> tastes so exceptional? I almost believe that the cheaper the wine the more ethnicity it can claim. This is a dry, regional, perfumy wine that has bursts of fruity and flowery flavors. There are subtle hints of pear and peach that are quite exhilarating. Anyway, if it's good enough for the man on the street in Rome, it's good enough for me &mdash; and my budget.</p> <h3>Indaba Chenin Blanc 2011</h3> <p>My budget friendly pick from South Africa costs $7 per bottle and tastes like&hellip; well, if I had a $50 bottle to compare it to, I would. But this is certainly a surprise for most wine buyers. After all, it's not from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, California, New York, or any of the standard wine regions. Nevertheless, a $7 bottle of wine (how can they even ship it for that cost?) is not going to break many budgets out there. But this is a bright wine that has a citrus-like, tangy, but full flavored. Hard to pass that up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-wines-under-10-dollars?ref=seealso">Great Wines Under $10</a>)</p> <h3>Kris Pinot Grigio 2011</h3> <p>This $12 bottle of Italian wine provokes a question: Are you ever in the mood for a white wine that is totally unpretentious, but has startling fullness? Sometimes, rather than &quot;a subtle bouquet&quot; or &quot;an elegant, but shy aftertaste that is reminiscent of blackberries,&quot; you just want a wine that is belly-slapping yummy? This wine might be that. Reviewers say the Pinot Grigio grape has managed to settle comfortably in Northeast Italy, and that sounds reasonable to me. But when a white wine is robust and affordable, I'm going to be pouring some of that to go along with chicken or fish and maybe pork, as well. And this import will fit the bill nicely for that.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite great tasting, low cost bottle of wine? Pour us a taste in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-wines-that-taste-pricier-than-they-are" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Wines That Taste Pricier Than They Are" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anthony-hall">Anthony Hall</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink affordable wine wine Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:24:24 +0000 Anthony Hall 1135879 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Snacks That Will Keep You Energized Through the Day http://www.wisebread.com/20-snacks-that-will-keep-you-energized-through-the-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-snacks-that-will-keep-you-energized-through-the-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food-481914457.jpg" alt="woman holding fruit" title="woman holding fruit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="184" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking to bust through the afternoon lull? A snack can be a fantastic energy boost, but try your best to avoid those vending machines. Sure that tasty candy bar might give you a temporary high, but you'll come crashing down hard and have less energy than you started with. Plus, over time those quarters add up. If you spend $1.50 a day, that's $7.50 back in your pocket at the end of each week (and $30 a month and $360 a year!).</p> <p>The following foods are great on their own, but even better in combination. Try pairing carbohydrates with protein or healthy fats for the most punch and hunger satisfaction. And be sure to substitute homemade treats in place of their packaged counterparts &mdash; it just takes a little planning ahead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fat-filled-foods-you-should-stop-avoiding?ref=seealso">Fat-Filled Foods You Should Stop Avoiding</a>)</p> <h2>1. Nuts</h2> <p>A super portable, energy-packed snack I often overlook? Nuts! I love grabbing a handful (about an ounce) of almonds or walnuts to eat with fruit, sprinkle crushed atop yogurt, or toss in oatmeal. The healthy fats and omega-3s are a smart choice and keep you fuller longer than sugars alone. Plus, it might <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/11/21/246549388/nuts-for-longevity-daily-handful-is-linked-to-longer-life">help you live longer</a>!</p> <h2>2. Dried Fruit</h2> <p>If you're like me, you tend to forget about fruit until it is beyond ripe. Dried might be more expensive, but it will keep longer and also satisfy your desire for a chewy snack better than, say, a Snickers bar. Plus, dried fruit is versatile. If you'd like to experiment with making your own, check out this <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-dried-up-how-to-dry-fruits-and-vegetables">awesome tutorial</a>.</p> <h2>3. Fresh Fruits</h2> <p>Basically, you can't go wrong with fruit. However, since fruits do contain natural sugars, it's wise to keep your intake in check and avoid the highest rankers on the <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods.htm">glycemic index</a>. Good options include grapefruit, watermelon, prunes, pears, peaches, and apples. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-and-store-fruit-for-maximum-freshness-and-flavor?ref=seealso">The Best Ways to Choose and Store Fruit</a>)</p> <h2>4. Fresh Veggies</h2> <p>The same goes for vegetables. Did you know that cooked carrots <a href="http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=newtip&amp;dbid=38">contain more sugar</a> than their raw brothers? It's true! Cooking some vegetables converts their starches to sugars, which bumps cooked carrots a bit higher up the glycemic index than uncooked carrots. So, be sure to stick with raw vegetables for the healthiest snacking (and dip in some hummus for bonus energy points). If you're not so great at grab-and-go, peel and chop veggies on the weekend and pack in containers or baggies to toss in your lunch box.</p> <h2>5. Hard-Boiled Eggs</h2> <p>Every Sunday I make a dozen hard-boiled eggs for the week. I follow Martha Stewart's <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/354061/perfect-hard-boiled-eggs">easy method</a>, and they turn out perfect every time. Eggs are a seriously fantastic and portable source of protein, and I love eating them cold. Prepping just takes 20 minutes, and they keep fresh for several days. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-perfectly-cooked-eggs?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Cook Eggs Perfectly</a>)</p> <h2>6. Greek Yogurt</h2> <p>An excellent, low-fat and low-sugar protein source, Greek yogurt pairs well with both sweet and savory items. Eat a cup of it with sliced fruit or &mdash; my favorite &mdash; whisk together with a little cocoa powder and dribble of maple syrup for a nutritious, pudding-like dish.</p> <h2>7. Hummus</h2> <p>Garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) are a beautiful and cheap protein source. Since tahini, which is found in most traditional hummus recipes, is somewhat pricey, I just throw together my own mix in the blender:</p> <ul> <li> <p>1 can garbanzo beans</p> </li> <li> <p>Splash of lemon juice</p> </li> <li> <p>Salt and pepper to taste</p> </li> <li> <p>Cumin (or whatever else I have on hand)</p> </li> </ul> <p>Then I mix however much water it takes to achieve my favorite texture. Serve with sliced carrots, whole grain crackers, or pita bread.</p> <h2>8. Beans</h2> <p>Along those same lines, beans of <em>all</em> varieties are full of healthy protein and fiber. They can be tossed onto greens, sandwiched in a wrap, or even used in baked goods (as you'll see later). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-delicious-healthy-and-cheap-bean-recipes?ref=seealso">Delicious and Healthy Bean Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>9. Nut Butters</h2> <p>Natural mixes or homemade blends are best to avoid added sugar, but nut butters of all varieties are a good choice and pair well with fruit (think a tablespoon peanut butter with a banana), whole grain breads and crackers, and even oatmeal. My <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-peanut-butter-recipe">favorite peanut butter recipe</a> can be processed together in a few minutes using just peanuts, salt, and a little oil.</p> <h2>10. Cheese</h2> <p>Though I love string cheese for its portability, unit prices tell me that cubing my own is best. The protein and healthy fats make for staying power. Plus, cheese goes great with sliced fresh fruits and veggies and many grains. I even like to zap some in the microwave over whole wheat saltines for a melty snack.</p> <h2>11. Cottage Cheese</h2> <p>I have a serious love affair with low-fat cottage cheese. Just one cup contains an impressive 28 grams of protein. I like to top mine with sliced peaches or even just a sprinkle of paprika. I keep it simple, but cottage cheese is by far my favorite pick on this list.</p> <h2>12. Tuna</h2> <p>My husband swears by canned tuna (packed in water) for his afternoon boost. He likes to eat it plain mixed with spicy mustard atop crackers. Sometimes he tosses it with sliced avocado and eats it like a salad. A 3-ounce serving contains 16 grams of protein, as well as <a href="http://www.starkist.com/product/chunk-light-tuna-water">140 mg EPA and DHA</a> combined.</p> <h2>13. Turkey</h2> <p>Hungry? Slap a couple slices of lean turkey between two half slices of bread and squirt with mustard for a mini-sandwich. Or skip the bread entirely and instead combine with some apples and cheese for a meat roll-up.</p> <h2>14. Cereal and Milk</h2> <p>Maybe a little crunch might help invigorate you! Instead of grabbing greasy potato chips, try some healthy cereals (no sugars added, whole grain, etc.) with a serving of low-fat milk. It's one of the most classic carb and protein mixes, and its power should be harnessed beyond the breakfast table.</p> <h2>15. Trail Mix</h2> <p>Instead of opting for the packaged variety, take control over your trail mix by making it at home. You can combine your favorite ingredients and even save a little money in the process (check your favorite discount grocers and bulk sections for discounts on ingredients). I do about a quarter to a third cup of dried fruit mix with an equal ratio of nuts. Toss in some dark chocolate chips for a little sweetness.</p> <h2>16. Dark Chocolate</h2> <p>Yes, that's right. You can eat some chocolate if you're feeling sluggish &mdash; just keep it in moderation. I've written much already about the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-reasons-you-should-eat-more-chocolate">many benefits of eating chocolate</a>, and experts agree that darker is better. Combine with fresh or dried fruit or nuts for added staying power. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-the-best-reason-to-eat-more-chocolate?ref=seealso">Flavonoid Content in Different Cocoa Products</a>)</p> <h2>17. Oatmeal</h2> <p>When I worked a desk job, one of my secret afternoon energy weapons was my <a href="http://thelemonbowl.com/2013/01/make-your-own-instant-oatmeal.html">homemade oatmeal mix</a>. I stashed a container of it in my bottom drawer and would pull it out when I needed a hearty snack. With all the carbohydrates and fiber, you'll enjoy lots of sustained energy until dinner.</p> <h2>18. Energy Bars</h2> <p>Again, homemade is best when it comes to treats like energy bars. I love the secret ingredient in these delicious <a href="http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/10/08/fudge-brownie-chocolate-protein-bars/">Chocolate Brownie Protein Bars</a> &mdash; black beans, which give each around 7 grams of protein per serving. If you do choose packaged varieties, be sure to keep the sugar content in check. Some contain as much as your vending machine foes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-20-tasty-energy-bars-you-can-make-at-home?ref=seealso">20 Homemade Energy Bars</a>)</p> <h2>19. Smoothies</h2> <p>Combine low-fat milk, non-fat yogurt, fruits, and even greens in healthy smoothies. This snack can be hard to mix on the go, but don't fret! If you have a fridge at work, consider making a smoothie the night or morning before and <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/can-i-make-smoothies-the-night-before-good-questions-199508">saving for later</a> slurping.</p> <h2>20. Water</h2> <p>If you know your stomach is full, but you still find yourself dragging, think back to how much water you've had to drink. Often dehydration creeps in when you least expect it and can sabotage your day, week, or even month if not addressed. Adding lemon and lime to a nice, cold glass of water gives you a much-needed jolt without caffeine or sugar. Definitely worth a try on its own or in combination with these other snacks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful?ref=seealso">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a>)</p> <p><em>What are your favorite high-energy snacks?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-snacks-that-will-keep-you-energized-through-the-day" class="sharethis-link" title="20 Snacks That Will Keep You Energized Through the Day" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink General Tips energy bars energy food Homemade snacks Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:48:19 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1135772 at http://www.wisebread.com Save Money With These 10 Homemade, Healthy Energy and Sports Drinks http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-with-these-10-homemade-healthy-energy-and-sports-drinks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-money-with-these-10-homemade-healthy-energy-and-sports-drinks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/drink-57306591.jpg" alt="energy drink" title="energy drink" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a runner, a lot of my spare time is spent logging miles and cooking healthy foods to fuel my activity. Beyond food, though,&nbsp; there's this whole world of beverages &mdash; and they can be quite expensive. But while basic water is important for hydration, the benefits of sports drinks shouldn't be overlooked with regard to energy, electrolyte balance, and vitamin content. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/2-juices-that-are-surprisingly-bad-for-you-and-5-to-drink-instead?ref=seealso">Surprisingly Good and Bad Juices</a>)</p> <p>The good news: Energy drinks of many varieties can be mixed together in your kitchen using all natural ingredients. And, better yet, it's just as easy and money-saving as making <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-20-tasty-energy-bars-you-can-make-at-home">homemade energy bars</a>.</p> <p>Here are some ideas to get you started.</p> <h2>1. Gatorade</h2> <p>There are many homemade Gatorade recipes on the web, but I like <a href="http://deliciouslyorganic.net/homemade-gatorade-concentrate-and-healthy-foods-at-summer-kamp/">this mix</a> for its simplicity. It enhances performance and energy with a mix of natural sugars (from 100% juice and honey) and also works on electrolyte balance with the addition of unrefined sea salt.</p> <h2>2. Vitamin Water</h2> <p>Why buy processed &quot;vitamin water&quot; when you can make your own at home? This <a href="http://everydayroots.com/b-vitamin-water">vitamin B-boosting water</a> uses rosemary (B1), lemon (B2), peach (B3), watermelon or pineapple (B6), and raspberries (B5) for its healthy flavor. Slice ingredients and place in a glass to infuse &mdash; and you only need to change the fruit every five days or so! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-add-big-flavor-to-your-food?ref=seealso">Cheap Ways to Flavor Your Food</a>)</p> <h2>3. Red Bull</h2> <p>Standard bottled Red Bull may give you energy, but it contains tons of sugar. So, if you need an intense energy burst, try <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq_LW77xRak">this DIY alternative</a>. Of course, that process is far too labor intensive and requires many exotic ingredients not found in the standard pantry. My suggestion? If you're finding you require an intense jolt every day, you might better look at the source of your exhaustion. Try drinking some cold water with lemon and then these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-quick-ways-to-boost-energy-without-caffeine">8 Energy-Boosting Techniques</a> that don't include caffeine. Your wallet and waistline will thank you.</p> <h2>4. Chia Fresca</h2> <p>I first read of the benefits of chia seeds in the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307279189/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0307279189&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">&quot;Born to Run</a>&quot; by Christopher McDougall. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-pirello/change-your-life-with-chi_b_446413.html">Chia Fresca</a> is a great drink to have pre-workout, as the seeds will help hold hydration in the body and, therefore, aid with endurance. Just be forewarned that its gelatinous texture takes some getting used to.</p> <h2>5. Apple Cider Vinegar Drink</h2> <p>I've been drinking apple cider vinegar (ACV) for years &mdash; and with all its touted <a href="http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/12/06/the-surprising-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar">health benefits</a>, I'll likely continue. My own energy drink recipe requires just 1 tablespoon ACV, 16-24 ounces cold water (depending how how diluted I want it), and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Pour in a bottle, mix, and drink. Note: Be sure to buy raw apple cider vinegar for all the tasty vitamins and minerals.</p> <h2>6. Coconut Water</h2> <p>Although coconut water on its own is likely not any less expensive than that bottle of more processed energy drink, at least it's natural. I like to make mine last longer by first diluting it by half and then by adding a couple teaspoons of maple syrup or honey and a sprinkle of unrefined sea salt, just like in many of the recipes above. Note that coconut water is best used for hydration, not necessarily energy. It is also a <a href="http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/truth-about-coconut-water?page=2">good source of potassium</a>, which might help with muscle cramping.</p> <h2>7. Coffee</h2> <p>Surprisingly enough, a simple, small cup of coffee might actually improve performance better than brightly colored energy drinks. However, the magic is in the timing and <a href="http://www.runnersworld.com/drinks-hydration/8-things-runners-should-know-about-coffee?page=single">delivery of the caffeine</a> &mdash; about an hour before your run. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-coffeemakers?ref=seealso">5 Best Coffeemakers</a>)</p> <h2>8. Herbal Tea Cooler</h2> <p>If you're not into coffee, you might consider this <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/eatingwell_energy_drink.html?socsrc=ewfb0710132">vibrant beverage</a>, which boasts 135 mg caffeine plus good-for-you antioxidants. The &quot;secret&quot; is in the double bags of green tea and exotic Yerba mate, which can be found in most grocery stores in the natural foods section &mdash; and it's low in calories and sugar. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/go-tea-go-the-10-best-online-tea-merchants?ref=seealso">Great Online Tea Merchants</a>)</p> <h2>9. Eating Alternative</h2> <p>You can also get an effect <a href="http://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/health/the-best-all-natural-healthful-sports-drinks-bananas-raisins-and-water-20130905">similar to drinking Gatorade</a> by consuming water, banana, and raisins during activity. Combined, this mix has just the right balance of water, natural sugars, and potassium to keep your body going long distances. (And it's cheap, too!)</p> <h2>10. Muscle Milk</h2> <p>Though not an energy drink, recovery aids are just as important to nourishing the body after activity. One of the best after-workout drinks is simple <a href="http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-for-runners/is-chocolate-milk-really-best-for-recovery">low-fat chocolate milk</a> (and other foods with a similar ratio of carbs to protein). If you'd like to get fancier, try this <a href="http://dessertswithbenefits.com/chocolate-muscle-milk/">homemade version</a> of the popular favorite, Muscle Milk. It's sugar free, low carb, high fiber, high protein, and vegan.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite homemade sports or energy drink? Please share a sip in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-with-these-10-homemade-healthy-energy-and-sports-drinks" class="sharethis-link" title="Save Money With These 10 Homemade, Healthy Energy and Sports Drinks" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink DIY energy drinks Homemade sports drinks Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:00:27 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1135732 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Delicious and Easy One-Pot Meals http://www.wisebread.com/25-delicious-and-easy-one-pot-meals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-delicious-and-easy-one-pot-meals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pot-176873933.jpg" alt="pot" title="pot" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ah, the one-pot dinner. In all honesty, based on a past filled with disappointments (too-chewy pasta, hard rice, tough tortillas) I had been avoiding them. However, due to a schedule change at work, I realized that for the weeks ahead I would need to be able to put dinner on the table more quickly. Also, since our dinner hour would be later, I would need to spend less time cleaning up afterward. It was a perfect combination to find and test the best of the one-pot recipes. Check out my results, below. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians?ref=seealso">Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy Vegetarians</a>)</p> <h2>1. Craving Italian</h2> <p>Would it really work to cook pasta in the pot, rather than to boil it separately? I was skeptical, but this <a href="http://www.ratetheplateutah.com/2014/03/recipe-sun-dried-tomato-penne-sausage-skillet.html">Sun-Dried Tomato Penne Pasta Sausage Skillet</a> really piqued my curiosity. I used an Italian turkey sausage, heavy on the fennel. The result? Delicious! I checked the pasta at the ten-minute mark; it seemed a little chewy, so I let it simmer another two minutes and served five minutes later.</p> <h2>2. Down on the Bayou</h2> <p>I had some leftover rotisserie chicken, red peppers, cooked rice, and celery in the refrigerator. What could I make? <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/340565/half-hour-chicken-gumbo?czone=food%2Fcomfort-foods-center%2Fcomfort-foods-dishes&amp;gallery=275672&amp;slide=340565&amp;center=854190">Gumbo</a>, if I could find some okra (sure, in the grocer's freezer). I also had a full bottle of Tabasco sauce. I was ready! I could not meet the half-hour time estimate, only because I found some shrimp in the freezer and decided to toss those in, too. I also baked some Jiffy (mix) cornbread. Even though it took me closer to 45 minutes to pull this dinner together, it was worth it, as it was very good. This also made enough for two leftovers lunches. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken?ref=seealso">25 Ways to Use a Rotisserie Chicken</a>)</p> <h2>3. Instead of Thai Take-Out...</h2> <p>I briefly considered Thai take-out one tired evening, but vowed to stick to the one-pot theme. This <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/275672/one-dish-dinners/@center/854190/comfort-food-recipes#337001">Spicy Coconut-Chicken Casserole</a> made me glad we stayed in. I didn't have any fresh green beans so I used frozen, which worked fine but weren't as nice-looking as fresh would have been. However, this made enough for two meals, and so was much less expensive than take-out would have been.</p> <h2>4. Some Tapas?</h2> <p>I had Yukon Gold potatoes around, so I used those instead in this <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spanish-Frittata-2338">Spanish Frittata</a>. I thought they added a little extra flavor. This is a much easier recipe than my old one, where you flip the frittata to cook the second side. That part was always a little nerve-wracking. Delicious with a Spanish wine and olives.</p> <h2>5. Weeknight Cassoulet</h2> <p>This speedy version of the classic made me very excited. After all, after working eight hours, who goes home and whips up a <a href="http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/kelsey-nixon/cassoulet.html">cassoulet</a>? Now you can, too. If you can get duck, more power to you, but chicken was a dandy substitute.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/1pot-474024095-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>6. Comforting Mac and Cheese</h2> <p>Sometimes, after a crummy day, I just want to eat a very large bowl of macaroni and cheese. My traditional recipe requires one pot to cook pasta and another to make the cheese sauce. Then I bake it and put bread crumbs on top. Are you counting? Yes, I am up to three pans and this is a ONE-POT post. Fortunately, I found this delicious recipe for <a href="http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/cheese/stove-top-one-pot-macaroni-cheese-recipe/">Creamy Mac-and-Cheese</a>, and it works. Really well. I felt comforted.</p> <h2>7. Enchilada Ole'!</h2> <p>Feeling like having something a little spicy, I found this <a href="http://www.number-2-pencil.com/2013/12/09/one-pan-enchilada-pasta/">One-Pan Enchilada Pasta</a>. My tweaks were that I did not use a pre-packaged taco seasoning mix, substituting instead a teaspoon each of cumin, chili powder, paprika, and one-half teaspoon of garlic powder and onion powder. I also used my own frozen <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/easy-enchilada-sauce-recipe.html">enchilada sauce</a>, because so many canned sauces contain MSG.</p> <h2>8. Russian Stroganoff</h2> <p>I was almost at the &quot;too tired to cook&quot; stage, but I found turkey burger meat, mushrooms, and low-fat sour cream in my refrigerator. That made me wonder if there was a one-pot creation for an easy <a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/turkey_stroganoff/">turkey stroganoff</a>. Victory! I even rummaged around in my freezer and came up with the peas. This recipe cooks the noodles separately, but no need. I doubled the milk to ⅔ cup and simmered until the pasta was tender.</p> <h2>9. Good Use of Cabbage</h2> <p>I wouldn't omit or adjust a single flavoring in this <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/spicy-asian-ground-turkey-with-cabbage-359326">Spicy Asian Ground Turkey With Cabbage</a> entree. I thought it was great on cabbage leaves, as suggested. My husband also liked it over rice. I thought it was flavorful, but not overly spicy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-prepare-a-humble-head-of-cabbage?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Prepare Cabbage</a>)</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/1pot-177641511-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>10. Sushi</h2> <p>One-pan sushi? No way! Wait until you show up at the office potluck with a pan of <a href="http://tastyislandhawaii.com/2011/01/14/recipe-crab-shiitake-mushroom-sushi-casserole-2/">Crab Sushi</a>. Yes, you do have to cook your rice first, but that's not a lot of effort. I added sliced avocado on top of the rice for more color and flavor. Most sushi ingredients are fairly commonplace in grocery stores now, but if you have trouble finding ingredients, try an Asian grocery.</p> <h2>11. Old Faithful Layered Dinner</h2> <p>This was one of my mom's standbys. It's not fancy, but it's very kid-friendly and easy. It also lends itself well to substitutions, like using zucchini instead of green beans, jack instead of cheddar, etc. Leftovers reheat well.</p> <p><strong>Marilyn's &quot;Layered Dinner&quot;</strong></p> <p><em>Ingredients</em></p> <ul> <li> <p>1 pound ground beef or turkey</p> </li> <li> <p>2 T olive oil</p> </li> <li> <p>2 cups sliced potatoes</p> </li> <li> <p>1 cup sliced carrots</p> </li> <li> <p>1 can (15.5-oz) corn, drained</p> </li> <li> <p>1 can green beans, drained</p> </li> <li> <p>1 can tomato sauce</p> </li> <li> <p>1 can of water</p> </li> <li> <p>1 cup shredded cheddar cheese</p> </li> <li> <p>Salt and pepper to taste</p> </li> </ul> <p><em>Method</em></p> <p>You will need a large saucepan that has a lid and sides.</p> <p>Heat oil in large pan; add ground beef or turkey and brown. Drain oil off. Spread meat mixture evenly in saucepan. Add the potatoes, then the carrots, corn, and green beans.</p> <p>In a bowl, combine the tomato sauce and water. Pour this mixture over the meat and vegetables in pan. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove lid, check potatoes and carrots for tenderness. If need be, add more water and continue simmering until fork-tender.</p> <p>When tender, sprinkle with cheese and put lid back on to allow cheese to melt (about five minutes). Spoon onto plates.</p> <h2>12. Super-Showy Dutch Baby</h2> <p>I have always enjoyed the sweet &quot;dutch baby&quot; pancake at breakfast, but it's high time we also enjoyed them at dinner! Check out this <a href="http://www.annarbor.com/entertainment/food-drink/savory-dutch-baby-is-delicious-for-any-meal/">Savory Dutch Baby</a> (what's not to love: Carbs, cheeses, herbs). This is great for a brunch, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-breakfast-for-dinner-meals?ref=seealso">Breakfast-for-Dinner Meals</a>)</p> <h2>13. Filling Soup</h2> <p>Sometimes my husband complains that soup for dinner doesn't fill him up. That's not the case with this <a href="http://family.go.com/food/recipe-630322-chicken-ravioli-soup&mdash;t/">Chicken Ravioli Soup</a>! I threw in some baby spinach for a little extra nutrition and color, and I also grated some parmesan over the top of the soup. Breadsticks went well with this meal.</p> <h2>14. Fake Tagine</h2> <p>Travis, who cuts my hair, owns a tagine and is always telling me about these wonderful things he cooks. I have absolutely no storage space for a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tajine">tagine</a>, unfortunately. Guess what! This one-pot recipe called for &quot;a tagine or a medium enameled cast-iron casserole&quot; and, happily, I own an enameled cast-iron casserole. After making this, I may experiment with just using a lidded casserole dish. Anyhow, back to the recipe, which is a <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/lamb-tagine-with-green-olives-and-lemon">Lamb Tagine With Green Olives and Lemon</a>. Wow, is this good. It does require that you marinate the meat four to six hours, so get your butt out of bed and put that marinade together before work. Eight + hours didn't hurt, at all. The flavors were amazing.</p> <h2>15. Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free...</h2> <p>...but still delicious, is this <a href="http://www.sondibruner.com/2011/11/06/vegetable-chickpea-curry/">Vegetable Chickpea Curry</a>. I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. I don't have grain issues, so I did serve it over couscous, but you don't have to. The prep time took me longer than 10 minutes, as I am a slow chopper. This reheats well and I felt like a healthier person for having eaten it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tasty-and-frugal-chickpea-recipes?ref=seealso">Tasty, Frugal Chickpea Recipes</a>)</p> <p><img width="605" height="302" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/1pot-476399217-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>16. Huevos Rancheros</h2> <p>Ah, Huevos Rancheros, our Newlywed Dinner #2 (macaroni and cheese being #1). My friend Pam taught me a one-pot method.</p> <p><strong>Pam's Huevos Rancheros</strong></p> <p><em>Ingredients</em></p> <ul> <li> <p>4 eggs</p> </li> <li> <p>2 cans (15.5-oz) refried beans (I like the vegetarian kind)</p> </li> <li> <p>8 oz. taco sauce or salsa</p> </li> <li> <p>1 cup water</p> </li> <li> <p>⅔ cup shredded cheddar cheese</p> </li> <li> <p>2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce</p> </li> <li> <p>2 T. chopped cilantro (optional)</p> </li> <li> <p>Taco chips (to go with meal)</p> </li> </ul> <p><em>Method</em></p> <p>You will need a large skillet with a lid. Combine the refried beans, the taco sauce or salsa, and the water. Bring to a boil over low heat. Break eggs, one at a time, into a small dish; slip into bean mixture. Reduce heat, cover, and cook just until eggs are set, about four minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle with cheese and cilantro (if desired). To assemble, put lettuce on plate, top with egg, and serve with taco chips. Makes four servings.</p> <h2>17. Chicken Chardonnay...or, Lemon Chicken Piccata</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.cooks.com/recipe/5j3ns2at/chardonnay-chicken.html">Chicken Chardonnay</a> is a twist, I'm fairly sure, on chicken piccata. I first found this recipe on some cheap white wine as a recipe promotion. Over the years I managed to lose it, but hurray for the Internet. A piccata has chicken broth; this substitutes white wine and I think it's so much better. It is one of my husband's &quot;most requested&quot; and he adds, &quot;Serve with French bread to sop up that sauce.&quot;</p> <h2>18. Curried Shrimp With Peanuts</h2> <p>This makes four to six servings, but this <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/curried-shrimp-peanuts-50400000132602/">Curried Shrimp With Peanuts</a> is so tasty and visually appealing, you might want to double it and make it for a dinner party, not just a weeknight speedy dinner. You will need to cook rice separately, but that's an easy side. Make sure you also serve the toppings, which really ice the cake. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-dinner-party-dishes-you-can-make-in-advance?ref=seealso">Easy Make-Ahead Dinner Party Dishes</a>)</p> <h2>19. Layer It</h2> <p>I posted some strata pictures on Pinterest, and they did get some re-pinning action. I think pretty much anything with cheese is going to be popular on Pinterest. At any rate, this <a href="http://www.cruelironing.com/1/post/2012/04/thrifty-housewife-using-up-french-bread.html">Strata</a> ticks all the boxes: One pan, economical, easy. Oh, and I forgot, &quot;cheesy.&quot;</p> <h2>20. Trout, and No Clean-Up!</h2> <p>I saw frozen trout on sale the other day and thought hmm...what could I do with it? Then I found this <a href="http://www.carmeneatjoy.com/2013/01/20/mediterranean-baked-rainbow-trout/">Mediterranean trout recipe</a>. Bonus: NO pan. This is one of those wonderful bake-in-foil meals. I think it would work well with salmon, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elevate-your-kitchen-skills-with-these-5-easy-cooking-techniques?ref=seealso">5 Cooking Skills You Should Know</a>)</p> <h2>21. Super Sausages</h2> <p>Sometimes I have a total lack of imagination for making cool dinners out of sausages, so I was really happy to find this <a href="http://www.blissfromscratch.com/2012/06/roasted-sweet-italian-sausage-and.html#.Uy9_lqhdX84">Roasted Sweet Italian Sausage and Vegetables</a> recipe. I'm also a total sucker for roasted vegetables, so this really fit the bill. I added a little crushed fennel to mine. A nice sourdough bread alongside is perfect!</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/1pot-187840728-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>22. A Great Use of Eggplant</h2> <p>This year, my garden will include eggplant, so I have been bookmarking eggplant recipes. This <a href="http://lexiscleankitchen.com/2014/03/02/easy-one-pan-eggplant-chicken-dinner/">Easy One-Pan Eggplant-Chicken Dinner</a> is just up my alley.</p> <h2>23. Somethin' Fishy</h2> <p>At our house, we eat a lot of mahi-mahi, which, due to our location, is very inexpensive. I keep on the lookout for new recipes and love this <a href="http://www.averiecooks.com/2012/02/caribbean-citrus-mahi-mahi-with-brown-rice-noodles.html">Caribbean Citrus Mahi-Mahi With Brown Rice Noodles</a>. It is so easy. I added broccoli spears and some slices of red pepper while cooking the fish. This is a very nutritious and easy weekend night dinner. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-prepare-fresh-fish?ref=seealso">How to Buy and Prep Fresh Fish</a>)</p> <h2>24. Easy Chicken Parmesan</h2> <p>To heck with all that breading and frying of a traditional version! This <a href="http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=897627">Chicken Parmesan</a> is easier and much lower in fat, too. Serve over spaghetti <em>or</em> try it on top of a slice of garlic bread.</p> <h2>25. Un-Stuffed Peppers</h2> <p>I'm the first to admit it: I am a little lazy. For instance, I love stuffed peppers, but when I think about parboiling them, draining them, and then stuffing them I usually change my mind. Why didn't I think of this <a href="http://www.number-2-pencil.com/2013/07/24/one-pan-skillet-stuffed-bell-peppers/">One-Pan Skillet Stuffed Peppers</a>? Genius! All the flavors, none of the hassle. I buy those bags of the tri-colored baby peppers, which look very sporty in this dish.</p> <p>The next time you have a busy week ahead, consider one of these recipes!</p> <p><em>What are your favorite one-pot meals? Please share a serving in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-delicious-and-easy-one-pot-meals" class="sharethis-link" title="25 Delicious and Easy One-Pot Meals" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink cheap recipes easy meals one pot meals Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:24:35 +0000 Marla Walters 1135081 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Easy Exotic Meals You Should Be Making http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-exotic-meals-you-should-be-making <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-easy-exotic-meals-you-should-be-making" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food-186085296.jpg" alt="Chana Masala" title="Chana Masala" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking for some big taste without the big budget? These simple meals might be just the thing you need in your life. From my experience, cooking more exotic dishes in the kitchen isn't necessarily more difficult. Instead, it's all about knowing how to work with new flavors. Once you master certain techniques and familiarize yourself with uncommon ingredients (and their substitutions), you're set. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies?ref=seealso">10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a>)</p> <p>Here are 10 budget-friendly exotic meals you should be making.</p> <h2>1. Chicken Teriyaki</h2> <p>From pan to table in 15 minutes, this <a href="http://fullthymestudent.com/how-to-make-teriyaki-chicken-in-15-minutes/">Chicken Teriyaki</a> dish has a much shorter ingredients list than other, similar recipes I found in my search. And if you're really in a pinch, you can use garlic and ginger powder for the flavor without the fuss. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-chicken-leg-and-thigh-recipes-from-around-the-world?ref=seealso">Chicken Leg and Thigh Recipes From Around the World</a>)</p> <h2>2. Miso Soup</h2> <p>Another fast Japanese recipe, this vegetarian <a href="http://www.steamykitchen.com/106-simple-10-minute-miso-soup.html">Miso Soup</a> is warm and ready in just 10 minutes. Worried your tub of miso will go bad if you don't use it up right away? Think again: Some have kept miso for &quot;<a href="http://www.southrivermiso.com/store/pg/62-About-Miso-FAQ-s.html">as long as 20 years</a> without spoilage.&quot; I had no idea it lasted that long!</p> <h2>3. Chana Masala</h2> <p>I recently reviewed a friend's newly released cookbook &mdash; and her basic method for <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/03/oh-she-glows-cookbook-chana-masala.html">Chana Masala</a> is now a new favorite of mine. Exotic foods are all about spices, which can be bought on the cheap in bulk at many grocery stores. Once you accumulate your own collection, they last quite a while and give meals a much-desired kick. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-store-herbs-to-make-them-last-longer-and-taste-better?ref=seealso">The Best Ways to Store Herbs</a>)</p> <h2>4. Thai Red Curry</h2> <p>File this one under fix-and-forget! You can make a delicious <a href="http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/slow-cooker-thai-coconut-chicken-soup/7cc193b0-0b00-4ff5-9527-ae68db64039b">Red Curry Soup</a> using your slow cooker &mdash; and this mix makes nine (!) frugal servings. Vegetarians can omit the fish sauce and leave out the chicken in this recipe to replace with more veggies or even tofu as a protein source. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-slow-cookers?ref=seealso">5 Great Slow Cookers</a>)</p> <h2>5. Doro Wat</h2> <p>This popular <a href="http://www.daringgourmet.com/2013/08/27/doro-wat-spicy-ethiopian-chicken-stew/">Ethiopian Chicken Stew</a> can be made on your stovetop! I love how the author offers alternatives to more unique ingredients, like substituting white wine and honey for Tej, an Ethiopian honey-wine. And if you'd prefer to make your own blend of berbere, <a href="http://www.daringgourmet.com/2013/08/26/berbere-ethiopian-spice-blend/">this recipe</a> has you covered and uses many spices you might already have hiding in your kitchen cabinets.</p> <h2>6. Varenyky</h2> <p>The author of this family <a href="http://lovetaza.com/2014/02/pierogi-or-varenyky-or-pedaheh-or-whatever-you-wanna-call-them/">Varenyky (Pierogi) recipe</a> explains this traditional treat can go sweet or savory. Fill with some potato mash or with fresh fruit, depending on your tastes. And if you make a larger batch (the basic recipe makes around 24), they stay fresh for a long while &mdash; just follow the instructions in the link.</p> <h2>7. Pad Thai</h2> <p>One of my favorite meals to make at home, I use the hacks in this <a href="http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/super-easy-pad-thai/6bf8de2c-c928-48d5-9a03-e704bd00322d">Pad Thai</a> recipe to make it easy and lighter on my wallet. Sub in Sriracha sauce for <em>sambal oelek</em> and omit the fish sauce. I also substitute fried tofu for eggs or vice versa, depending on what's in my fridge on any given night. (see also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-use-sriracha-aka-awesome-sauce?ref=seealso">20+ Ways to Use Sriracha</a>)</p> <h2>8. Summer Rolls</h2> <p>Rice wrappers are inexpensive, and so are the fillings &mdash; carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, etc. &mdash; you stuff into these fresh <a href="http://keepyourdietreal.com/food/appetizerssnacks/how-to-make-fresh-spring-rolls/">Summer Rolls</a>. By now, you might notice that fish sauce is a common ingredient &mdash; so if you'd rather invest than skip it yet again in this recipe, now you have several uses to justify the initial cost.</p> <h2>9. Toovar Dal</h2> <p>Another amazingly simple slow cooker recipe, this <a href="http://www.novicehousewife.com/2011/01/19/a-bachelors-answer-to-home-made-meal-vs-crockpot-lentil-recipe/">Toovar Dal</a> (Indian spiced lentil) recipe uses very few ingredients and is way tasty. Cook the lentils in your crockpot and temper the spices on the stove, combine, and enjoy. The recipe calls specifically for split pigeon peas, but I see no reason you couldn't substitute whatever you have on hand. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-mouth-watering-lentil-recipes?ref=seealso">35 Delicious Lentil Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>10. Batinjaan Zalud</h2> <p>What I love about this <a href="http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Cookbook/Morocco.html#BATINJAAN%20ZALUD">Moroccan Eggplant Salad</a> recipe is that it sounds complicated, but uses common foods to make up its bulk. Pair this flavorful mash with some couscous, tomato, and black olives. The author even gives traditional plating instructions, as well as recipes for several other components of a full Moroccan dinner.</p> <p><em>Do you have any exotic, budget friendly, go-to recipes? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-exotic-meals-you-should-be-making" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Easy Exotic Meals You Should Be Making " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink easy meals exotic meals world cuisine Thu, 10 Apr 2014 09:24:32 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1135032 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Store Herbs to Make Them Last Longer and Taste Better http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-store-herbs-to-make-them-last-longer-and-taste-better <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-store-herbs-to-make-them-last-longer-and-taste-better" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/herbs-465291169.jpg" alt="herbs" title="herbs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="164" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Proper storage of herbs (fresh or dried) is necessary to keep them fresh and flavorful for as long as possible. Whether you are trying to reap the rewards of an outdoor garden, a trip to the farmers market, or an ample dried herb supply, you can make them last much longer with a few careful steps. Here is a quick infographic guide to storing your herbs. And read below it for more details! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-great-container-garden-started-with-this-guide?ref=seealso">Container Gardening Basics</a>)</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/wise_bread_how_to_store_herbs_600.jpg" /></p> <p>Embed this infographic:<br /> <textarea style="width:590px;height:65px;">&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-store-herbs-to-make-them-last-longer&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/wise_bread_how_to_store_herbs_600.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;</textarea></p> <h2>Storing Fresh Herbs</h2> <p>Dried herbs are more convenient, but fresh herbs are more delicious. You'll need to do a few things to keep them fresh once you've gotten them home. Your fresh herbs will keep for about two weeks with this method.</p> <h3>Get Rid of Plastic Packaging</h3> <p>The first thing you will want to do is remove them from any plastic they may be in. The moisture that collects on the leaves while herbs are inside a plastic bag will speed up the decomposition process and cause them to turn slimy very quickly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-i-eat-this-a-quick-guide-to-expiration-dates-and-food-safety?ref=seealso">Can I Eat This? A Quick Guide to Food Safety</a>)</p> <h3>Spin and Pat Dry</h3> <p>If you have leafy green herbs such as parsley, cilantro, or mint, you will want to dry the leaves as much as possible. A salad spinner works great at removing any water on the leaves. After a run through the spinner, pat them dry with a paper towel.</p> <h3>Store in Water, Like Fresh Cut Flowers</h3> <p>Leafy herbs keep best in a glass of water, much like flowers do. And as with flowers, no leaves should touch the water, so trim off any from the stems that could come into contact with the water. (Use those first in your cooking or lay on a paper towel and roll up to store them for a couple of days.) Keep the glass in the front of the refrigerator. Every couple of days, empty the water and replace with fresh water. If you find excess water appearing on the leaves, wrap them in paper towels (making sure the towels do not touch the water). The paper towels will absorb the excess water.</p> <p>Fresh herbs stored this way should last two weeks or more. However before they go bad, you have further options to preserve the flavor of the herbs.</p> <h3>Remove Leaves, Dry, Mince, and Freeze</h3> <p>Remove leaves from the stems and pat dry with a paper towel. Then mince the herbs to release the oils in them and place into ice cube trays. You can freeze the herbs with either olive oil (to be used in sauces or sauteing) or freeze in water. Herbs stored this way can last six months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-freeze-foods-that-dont-freeze-well?ref=seealso">Surprising Foods You Can Freeze</a>)</p> <h3>Roll Up and Store Stemmy Herbs</h3> <p>Herbs that are attached to stems, such as oregano, thyme and rosemary, should be sandwiched between two dry paper towels in a single layer. Roll up the paper towel loosely and store in a zip top bag that is not closed completely. Keep this bag in the vegetable crisper in your refrigerator.</p> <h2>Storing Dried Herbs</h2> <p>Everyone has those dried herbs in their cupboard with a purchase date so long ago that we can't remember when we bought them. Sometimes, you need just a small amount for a recipe and then don't use it again for a year or more. Dried herbs will begin to lose their potency in as soon as six months, so next year when you try to use that flavoring, it may have lost most of its flavor. Storing dried herbs properly to keep them fresh for as long as possible is important. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flavorful-foods-worth-splurging-on?ref=seealso">Flavorful Foods Worth Splurging On</a>)</p> <h3>Keep Away From Heat and Light</h3> <p>The first rule for storing dried herbs is one most of us break. Heat damages the herbs, and storing them above or next to the stove is not advisable. A good place to store dried herbs is far from the stove, where the heat and moisture will not affect it.</p> <p>Keep your herbs away from light, too. A dark area of a pantry (or in a spice cabinet that doesn't let in light) is a good place to keep them.</p> <h3>Freeze for Long-Term Storage</h3> <p>An even better place to store dried herbs is in an airtight container in the freezer. If you only use a small amount of a spice once a year, then store the remaining amount in the freezer and only remove as you need it. Keeping it in the freezer will hold the integrity of the spice for up to two years.</p> <p>Whether you enjoy the convenience of dried herbs or have cultivated a fabulous herb garden, storing these flavorful plants takes a bit of diligence. Tossing out herbs before they can be used is no longer necessary. Enjoy the benefits and flavors of your herbs for months to come!</p> <p><em>How do you keep your herbs fresh and flavorful?</em></p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-store-herbs-to-make-them-last-longer-and-taste-better" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Store Herbs to Make Them Last Longer and Taste Better" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink food storage fresh herbs herb storage herbs Tue, 08 Apr 2014 08:36:20 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1132832 at http://www.wisebread.com 35 Grocery Items You Should Make at Home (and 5 to Buy) http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food-134597595.jpg" alt="dough" title="dough" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I pride myself on my somewhat extensive homemade pantry. Not just because making foods and other products at home is usually a healthier option (which it certainly is), but also because it saves us some money in the process. Unfortunately, not all items are cheaper or easier to make at home. So, after the initial list of 35 recipes below that you should try making at home versus buying, there are a few of my own picks for foods that I'd rather purchase (or skip) than mix together myself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-organize-your-pantry-and-save-cash?ref=seealso">Money-Saving Ways to Organize Your Pantry</a>)</p> <h2>35 Items to Make Yourself</h2> <h3>1. Peanut Butter</h3> <p>When I made my first batch of peanut butter at home, it rocked my world. All it takes is 2 cups of dry-roasted peanuts, a pinch of salt, a little oil, and some sweetener if you like. Combine and pulse in your food processor, and you've got <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/homemade-peanut-butter-recipe.html">tasty peanut butter</a>.</p> <h3>2. Tomato Sauce</h3> <p>Whether for use on pasta or pizzas, making tomato sauce is smart when tomatoes are bountifully in season. I like this <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2013/08/10-minute-heirloom-tomato-sauce.html">10-Minute Heirloom Sauce</a> recipe, but there are so many others to try. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-pizza-night-fun-again-with-these-30-pizza-sauce-alternatives?ref=seealso">30 Pizza Sauce Alternatives</a>)</p> <h3>3. Pesto</h3> <p>I've learned over the years that you can make pesto with most any green. I've used basil, kale, garlic scales, spinach, swiss chard, and others. My handy recipe doesn't even require cooking. Put two heaping handfuls of washed greens in your food processor and blend with 2 large cloves of garlic, &frac14; cup Parmesan cheese, &frac14; cup olive oil, a couple tablespoons lemon juice or water, and salt and pepper.</p> <h3>4. Applesauce</h3> <p>You can buy apples in bulk or on sale (sometimes the bruised ones can be picked up at quite a bargain &mdash; they're ugly, but perfect for sauces) and then make applesauce on your <a href="http://www.nyapplecountry.com/as_stovetopsauce.htm">stovetop</a> or in your <a href="http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/crock-pot-applesauce/">slow cooker</a>. From there, I like to eat applesauce on its own or use it in my baking. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-slow-cookers?ref=seealso">5 Great Slow Cookers</a>)</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/makehome-475706555-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h3>5. Bagels</h3> <p>The first couple times I made bagels, I thought the work involved didn't make the savings worth it. But then I got the hang of it, and now I prefer my homemade bagels over store-bought and even bakery varieties. I follow <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/03/how-to-make-homemade-bagels-a-la-jo-goldenberg-recipe.html">this particular method</a>, and my favorite topping is Kosher salt followed closely by poppy seeds.</p> <h3>6. Other Breads</h3> <p>At our local store, a sourdough round comes in at around $5. Many of the other bakery breads are much the same price. We used to buy one every weekend to make sandwiches until we <a href="http://www.kingarthurflour.com/sourdough/">made our own starter</a> and starting baking these breads at home.</p> <h3>7. Granola</h3> <p>Though I wouldn't recommend making your own cereal, granola is quite another story. <a href="http://markbittman.com/recipe/granola/">Mark Bittman's recipe</a> is to the point, but it's got all the right stuff to make a delicious homemade granola. And as with most recipes, there are suggested substitutions to customize to your specific tastes and preferences &mdash; as well as your budget.</p> <h3>8. Pizza</h3> <p>If you've been underwhelmed with making your own pizza at home, please try again. It's easier than you think to save your pennies and make even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-make-restaurant-quality-pizza-at-home">restaurant-quality pizza</a> right in your own oven. And be sure to use your homemade tomato sauce and/or pesto to finish things off.</p> <h3>9. BBQ Sauce</h3> <p>You'll find things can get rather elaborate with <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/homemade-bbq-sauce-recipe.html">homemade BBQ sauce</a> recipes. So, if you're in a rush, you can also try this <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/quick-barbecue-sauce-10000001192629/">hacked version</a> made with ketchup. Whatever you do, if you're a sauce lover like me, please try making it at home &mdash; it's absolutely incredible!</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/makehome-459124191-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h3>10. Kombucha</h3> <p>If you haven't heard of kombucha yet, consider yourself informed. It's a delicious, fermented beverage that comes in a variety of flavors. The best part? It promises big doses of probiotics along with many other health claims. Too bad it's expensive. I will certainly be trying this <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-kombucha-tea-at-home-173858">homemade kombucha recipe</a>, though I read it will take some patience, much like with any home brewing process.</p> <h3>11. Oat Flour</h3> <p>This one is so easy, I make it all the time for use in baking cookies and breads. Simply take rolled oats and pulse them in your food processor until they are smooth (or chunky, if you'd rather have them that way). If you're using oat flour in gluten-free baking, just be sure to buy gluten-free rolled oats. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-eat-oats-when-you-hate-oatmeal?ref=seealso">11 Ways to Enjoy Oats When You Hate Oatmeal</a>)</p> <h3>12. Almond Meal</h3> <p>It's the same story with almonds (and other nuts, for that matter). I just get a couple cups of raw almonds and place them in my food processor. Then I pulse until they form a flour/meal consistency. It only takes a couple minutes. A note:&nbsp;It's important with nuts to <em>pulse</em> and not let heat build. You don't want to end up with a poor quality nut butter or just a big sticky mess.</p> <h3>13. Cheese</h3> <p>I've been wanting to make my own cheese for years, and this <a href="http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2012/07/making-fresh-mozzarella/">detailed tutorial</a> for mozzarella with lots of photos has me more interested than ever. I've also seen quite a few cheese-making classes pop up on calendars at various culinary establishments, and I don't even live in a terribly big area. Ask around for similar events in your area and try to get your milk on sale for extra savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/milking-it-5-easy-homemade-cheeses?ref=seealso">Easy Homemade Cheeses</a>)</p> <h3>14. Kale Chips</h3> <p>I'm always puzzled when I see packaged kale chips at the store because they are so <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/19/dining/crisp-kale-chips-with-chile-and-lime-recipe.html">simple to make at home</a> using fresh ingredients. If you've tried making them with mediocre results in the past, check out these <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/01/make-better-kale-chips.html">five simple tips</a> for better success.</p> <h3>15. Pancake Mix</h3> <p>All that's inside that box of pancake mix is flour, baking powder, some salt and sweetener, and &mdash; well &mdash; probably some other stuff you can't quite pronounce. Simplify your Sunday morning routine by making your own <a href="http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/homemade-whole-grain-pancake-mix-recipe">pancake mix</a> and storing in an airtight container for those special breakfasts.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/makehome-164006656-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h3>16. Yogurt</h3> <p>Greek yogurt is a staple at my house &mdash; but the price tag can be quite shocking. I've been meaning to try this <a href="http://www.granny-miller.com/how-to-make-foolproof-crock-pot-yogurt/">slow cooker method</a> for a while, as several of my friends swear by it. I've heard the key is with the straining, so for thicker yogurt (my favorite) be sure to strain the longest.</p> <h3>17. Freezer Waffles</h3> <p>If you'd rather have a grab-n-go experience, consider making a batch of homemade waffles and then freezing them to pop in the toaster. My daughter eats a waffle every morning, and those little boxes of store bought sure add up. Plus, homemade tastes better and you can even incorporate more healthful ingredients for nutrition. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/milking-it-5-easy-homemade-cheeses?ref=seealso">10 Great Make-Ahead Foods</a>)</p> <h3>18. Energy Bars</h3> <p>As an athlete, I eat my fair share of energy bars for fuel, but also for convenient snacking. Here are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-20-tasty-energy-bars-you-can-make-at-home">20 recipes</a> to get you started. Once you get down the basics, you can customize them with your favorite dried fruits (dates, raisins, craisins, etc.), nut butters (peanut, almond, etc.), and other ingredients.</p> <h3>19. Protein Powder</h3> <p>Making protein powder at home is something I never even considered. Then I stumbled across this <a href="http://backtoherroots.com/2013/03/25/homemade-protein-powder-its-cheap-its-easy/">simple recipe</a> with several different flavor options. While this recipe won't necessarily pack as much protein as store-bought varieties, the price and few ingredients make it worth a try.</p> <h3>20. Hummus</h3> <p>Packaged hummus contains lots of sodium and other added ingredients. All you need for a homemade batch is canned chickpeas, a couple tablespoons of tahini, and lemon juice. From there, season to your own tastes &mdash; my favorite spice is smoked paprika.</p> <h3>21. Guacamole</h3> <p>I don't know about you, but I've never liked the taste of packaged guacamole. Plus, avocados can be pricey enough without the added convenience charge for blending and packaging. This simple <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/05/05/best-basic-guacamole-recipe">guacamole recipe</a> features few ingredients, and if you're looking to cut a few corners, leave the peppers and tomatoes out.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/makehome-479353277-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h3>22. Croutons</h3> <p>I consider croutons to be one of those &quot;extras&quot; that I would never consider buying. Making them at home? I use <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/homemade-croutons-recipe0.html">this basic recipe</a>, but substitute whatever bread I have in the house for the day-old French bread.</p> <h3>23. Salsa</h3> <p>We eat salsa a few times a week, so I'm glad to have found this <a href="http://goodcheapeats.com/2009/06/fresh-salsa/">easy salsa recipe</a> using ingredients we usually have around the house already. The recipe calls for serrano or jalapeño chilis, but I usually dice whatever I have, even if they're boring green peppers.</p> <h3>24. Almond Milk</h3> <p>If you stock almonds, turning them into a <a href="http://www.jsonline.com/features/food/almond-milk-is-a-homemade-winner-b9994513z1-225827891.html">nutritious, homemade milk</a> is easy. Depending on sales at your local grocery store, making milk at home might not seem cost effective, so be sure to buy nuts in bulk to make it worth your effort!</p> <h3>25. Soup Stocks</h3> <p>One of the best ways to save on groceries is to eliminate waste. So, at the end of a week, I like to check and see what veggies I have lingering on the shelves of my refrigerator and using them in <a href="http://thestonesoup.com/blog/2010/05/7-tips-for-full-flavoured-vegetable-stock/">stock recipes</a>. I don't follow the specific ingredients, but I try to use like-foods in like-amounts.</p> <h3>26. Soup</h3> <p>It can be tempting to stock up on those canned soups, but homemade is best for your wallet and your health. To make it easy, use <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/01/10-steps-for-slow-cooker-perfection.html">this handy formula</a> to create simple, inexpensive slow cooker soups on a Sunday afternoon. Or even try replicating some of your <a href="http://www.allfreecopycatrecipes.com/Soup">store-bought and restaurant favorites</a>.</p> <h3>27. Jams and Jellies</h3> <p>I'm still learning how to can, but I love the idea of making my own jams and jellies at home for less than their packaged counterparts. I found this <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/06/how-to-make-no-cook-freezer-jam.html">great recipe</a>, which comes together without all the &quot;fuss, heat, equipment, and time that canned jams require.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preserving-in-season-foods-for-off-season-feasts?ref=seealso">Preserving Foods for Off-Season Feasts</a>)</p> <h3>28. Seaweed Snacks</h3> <p>Addicted to those seaweed snacks from Trader Joe's? Yeah. We are, too. Thing is, you can make an even better version easily at home. This <a href="http://chowdivine.com/roasted-or-toasted-seaweed-snacks-gim/">Toasted Seaweed Snack</a> recipe requires just four simple ingredients!</p> <h3>29. Cake Mix</h3> <p>Have a birthday party coming up? It can surely seem convenient to grab that box of cake mix off the shelf, but if you have sugar, flour, baking powder, and oil at home, there's no need for the extra packaging. I love this <a href="http://www.alighterjourney.com/2012/02/20/cake-mix-diy/">Homemade Cake Mix</a> idea &mdash; just mix dry ingredients together ahead of time, pour into a plastic zip bag, and then mark bags with the wet ingredients needed.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/makehome-468981541-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h3>30. Frosting</h3> <p>Same goes with frosting. If you have a bag of confectioners sugar and some butter, vanilla extract, and milk, you can make <a href="http://www.simplyscratch.com/2010/12/simple-vanilla-frosting.html">Vanilla Frosting</a> in no time at all. Add in some cocoa powder, and it turns into a chocolatey spread in seconds.</p> <h3>31. Cookies</h3> <p>It can be tempting to buy a brightly colored box of cookies in the packaged aisles, but making your own treats at home is both healthier and cheaper. Once you master the basic recipe for <a href="http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/18476/Original-NESTLE-TOLL-HOUSE-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies/detail.aspx">classic chocolate chippers</a>, making them is easy!</p> <h3>32. Pita Bread</h3> <p>I simply don't like how store-bought pita bread tastes. Thankfully, making <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-pita-bread-90844">pita bread at home</a> isn't much more complicated than baking other breads. And it keeps in an airtight container for several days.</p> <h3>33. Sports Drinks</h3> <p>As a runner, I know the value of a good sports drink for hydration and electrolyte balance, among other things. But over time, those beverages can add up &mdash; and they aren't always made with the most natural ingredients. I love this adaptable <a href="http://wellnessmama.com/2575/natural-sports-drink-alternatives-recipe/">homemade energy drink recipe</a> because you can customize it to whatever you have in your kitchen.</p> <h3>34. Baby Food</h3> <p>It can be more than tempting to pick up expensive pouches of baby food at the store; companies are making some incredible flavors these days. Thing is, making your own versions is beyond simple, and you don't even need a special machine or any fancy tools. The <a href="http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/#url">Wholesome Baby Foods</a> website is an awesome resource for parents looking for some healthy, DIY options. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke?ref=seealso">24 Tips for Having a Baby on a Budget</a>)</p> <h3>35. Various Cleaning Supplies</h3> <p>Between <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes">DIY Laundry Detergent</a> and various other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">homemade cleaning supplies</a>, saving money while keeping tidy is a no-brainer. I love making my own supplies at home because they are chemical-free and I rarely run out, as they're made from ingredients &mdash; like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice &mdash; that I usually have on hand already.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/makehome-177304577-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>5 Items You Should Buy</h2> <h3>1. Cereal</h3> <p>I've gone through the labor-intensive method of making my own cereal and &mdash; though it tasted great and was healthy &mdash; it just wasn't worth it. Boxed cereal is expensive, but I'd rather just find an inexpensive alternative like oatmeal than make my own.</p> <h3>2. Tortilla Chips</h3> <p>I have absolutely no doubt that these <a href="http://food52.com/recipes/21865-homemade-corn-tortilla-chips">homemade tortilla chips</a> are absolutely delicious, but they look like they take some major commitment. Since we mostly eat chips when we're hosting parties, I'd much rather grab a few bags at Aldi and make my own salsa instead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-dinner-party-dishes-you-can-make-in-advance?ref=seealso">Easy Make-Ahead Dinner Party Dishes)</a></p> <h3>3. Crackers</h3> <p>Similar to cereal and tortilla chips, I haven't had luck finding a simple and frugal enough cracker recipe to wow my tastebuds. I tried making my own Goldfish crackers, but the texture and taste was all wrong. Perhaps I need to dig deeper, but I'd much rather buy crackers or just keep them off my grocery list entirely.</p> <h3>4. Beer and Wine</h3> <p>My husband has tried his hand at homebrewing &mdash; and the results have certainly become fine-tuned over the years. Check out this awesome <a href="http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/home-brewing-beer-wine-cider-soda-zl0z0901zalt.aspx">Guide to Homebrewing</a> for tips on how to ferment your own beer, wine, and ciders at home. Without packaging and distribution fees, homemade brews are certainly a cheaper option eventually, though the initial startup costs (and time involved) might not make it seem that way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine?ref=seealso">How to Make Moonshine</a>)</p> <h3>5. Candy Bars</h3> <p>From a health perspective, I love the idea of making my own peanut butter cups and Twix bars. I've tried it several times with yummy results. From a time and money standpoint, I think it's better to buy occasionally and &mdash; ultimately &mdash; save more for special occasions.</p> <p><em>What items do you make versus buying? Have you seen significant savings?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy" class="sharethis-link" title="35 Grocery Items You Should Make at Home (and 5 to Buy)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Home Homemade staples diy Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:36:53 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1133961 at http://www.wisebread.com You're Wasting 1/3 of the Food You Buy — Here's How to Stop http://www.wisebread.com/youre-wasting-13-of-the-food-you-buy-heres-how-to-stop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/youre-wasting-13-of-the-food-you-buy-heres-how-to-stop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food-478783767.jpg" alt="food waste" title="food waste" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ugh, food waste. I think we probably all feel pretty crummy when we waste our food, and those of us who have depression-era parents remember admonitions of &quot;Clean your plate!&quot; The unfortunate truth, according to the USDA, is that Americans are <a href="http://washingtonexaminer.com/report-americans-waste-nearly-one-third-of-their-food-worth-161-billion/article/2544486">wasting nearly one-third of the food</a> produced in America. How can this be reduced? Here are some suggestions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-food-changes-you-can-make-today?ref=seealso">Frugal Food Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h2>1. Be Realistic and Honest</h2> <p>Sure, I should buy the healthier whole-wheat spaghetti, but after 32 years of marriage, I know that my husband doesn't like it, and so the pasta will sit on the pantry shelf. Similarly, 19 cents a pound for cabbage is a good deal, but an entire head of cabbage is too much for us. Be true to yourself when grocery shopping. Just because it's good for you, or a great bargain, doesn't mean you're going to use it.</p> <h2>2. Get Organized</h2> <p>Before you can efficiently plan meals (see #3 below), you'll need a starting place, so get ready to take inventory. My suggestion is that you clean out your refrigerator, freezer, pantry, and/or cupboards. This is a big job, but it has big payoffs, too: cleanliness, order, and inventory. Being that it is a big task, try breaking it down over a few days. When you are through, you will have a very good idea of what you need to use up soon, replace, and stop buying (hello, whole-wheat spaghetti). You'll also be prepared to tackle a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-organize-your-pantry-and-save-cash">pantry organization project</a>.</p> <h2>3. Start Menu Planning</h2> <p>Now that you have a good feel for what you really like to eat and what you actually have, you can better begin to plan your meals. There are various &quot;apps&quot; and services to which you may subscribe to plan meals. Pen and paper work fine, too. Plan your menus with your calendar at your side. For instance, I see that I have a hair appointment at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday. That means I will want something easy to make on that night, rather than starting, say, a baked spaghetti. You also might try making larger meals on Sundays or Mondays, so that you can use the leftovers during the week. Lastly, if you use a grocery ad to plan your shopping, you may want to keep that by your side when planning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-cooking-apps-to-make-mealtimes-manageable?ref=seealso">Best Cooking Apps to Manage Meals</a>)</p> <h2>4. Use Some Self-Discipline</h2> <p>You knew this lecture was coming, didn't you? In order to reduce food waste, you are going to need to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fancy-ways-to-use-leftover-food">eat your leftovers</a>. This shouldn't be painful, if you have been honest and cooked things you liked in the first place. Also, you don't have to eat them the next day. If you don't want to take leftovers for lunch, then have them again for dinner a few days later, or freeze them and have at a later date (make sure to label and inventory). It's also easy and fun to change up your leftovers. Last night's roast chicken will make a great chicken wrap; a few slices of leftover steak make a delicious steak salad. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fancy-ways-to-use-leftover-food?ref=seealso">Fancy Ways to Use Leftover Food</a>)</p> <h2>5. Buy Less</h2> <p>I love fresh coleslaw, but an entire head of cabbage is too much. Solution? Ask your store's produce department employees to cut a head in half. In the meat department, ask for similar service. If you are a regular shopper, you will find that this service is cheerfully provided. Also, when shopping at warehouse-type stores, be wary. As much as I enjoy certain types of cereal, for instance, when it's time to start on the second box of it, my enthusiasm tends to wane. That brings us to tip #6.</p> <h2>6. Band Together</h2> <p>Because warehouse-type stores can offer some pretty amazing deals, you may be able to reduce waste if you find a family member, friend, or neighbor who wants to split the cost of a warehouse item. Similarly, when we had more freezer space, it made sense to split a lamb, hog, or even a quarter of a steer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco?ref=seealso">How to Stay Frugal at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>7. Let the Internet Figure It Out</h2> <p>Did you over-buy on asparagus? Too many pounds of potatoes? There are some great sites to help. Simply enter your ingredient(s), and let the 'net come up with dinner suggestions. Check out gems like <a href="http://www.recipematcher.com/">Recipe Matcher</a> and <a href="http://www.supercook.com/">Super Cook</a>. You might also wish to try out a <a href="https://www.mediabistro.com/appnewser/5-apps-to-help-you-cook-dinner_b23095">cooking app</a> for those times when you are stuck.</p> <h2>8. Try Gardening</h2> <p>I have raised some of the ugliest, most misshapen carrots ever seen, but you better believe we ate them. With the work and time you need to expend to raise fruits or vegetables, you are more likely to eat them than let them go to waste. Even the peels from vegetables can go back into your backyard compost. And can you ever beat a sun-ripened tomato?</p> <h2>9. Don't Throw It Out, Yet!</h2> <p>Just because you see a &quot;Sell By,&quot; Use By,&quot; or &quot;Best By&quot; date, you may not need to toss that food. Many foods are perfectly safe to eat <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-i-eat-this-a-quick-guide-to-expiration-dates-and-food-safety">past those dates</a>. You may also be able to perk some stale foods up. When I recently tried oven-toasting stale Triscuits, I found that I <em>preferred</em> toasted Triscuits to ones that are fresh! If cereal is past its date, try making it into an oven-toasted mix with nuts. Bruised apples make good applesauce, heels of bread are great as garlic croutons, and of course mushy bananas are fine for banana bread.</p> <p><em>What are you doing to reduce food waste? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-wasting-13-of-the-food-you-buy-heres-how-to-stop" class="sharethis-link" title="You&#039;re Wasting 1/3 of the Food You Buy — Here&#039;s How to Stop" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink food costs food storage food waste grocery cost Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:24:23 +0000 Marla Walters 1134181 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Cook Food From a Hotel Room http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cook-food-from-a-hotel-room <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-cook-food-from-a-hotel-room" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hotel-160048120.jpg" alt="hotel" title="hotel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on cooking food from a hotel room, psychological life hacks, and building a resume when you have nothing to put on it.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://www.mint.com/blog/how-to/6-ways-to-cook-food-from-a-hotel-room-0413/">6 Ways to Cook Food From a Hotel Room</a> &mdash; Packing wisely and asking for a fridge can help you cook from your hotel room. [MintLife Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Psychological-Life-Hacks-34485486">Come Out a Winner with These 27 Psychological Life Hacks</a> &mdash; Framing requests as offers and chewing gum when you are nervous can help you come out a winner. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://lifehacker.com/how-can-i-build-a-resume-when-i-have-nothing-to-put-on-1555349531">How Can I Build a Resume When I have Nothing to Put On It?</a> &mdash; To build your resume when you have nothing to put on it, get great references. [Lifehacker]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-simple-habits-you-didnt-know-can-help-you-live-without-anxiety.html">10 Simple Habits You Didn't Know Can Help You Live Without Anxiety</a> &mdash; Writing down your thoughts and taking time to relax can help you live without anxiety. [Lifehack]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/smart-spending/autos/how-slash-your-car-insurance-bill">How to Slash Your Car Insurance Bill</a> &mdash; Slash your car insurance bill by bundling policies. [Mainstreet]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://canadianfinanceblog.com/developing-interpersonal-skills-earn-more-money/">How Developing Your Interpersonal Skills Can Earn You More Money</a> &mdash; Your interpersonal skills can help you network better, which can allow you to earn more money. [Canadian Finance Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/04/01/how-to-reduce-your-energy-costs-this-summer">How to Reduce Your Energy Costs This Summer</a> &mdash; Taking cold showers and unplugging things can reduce your energy expenses this summer. [US News &amp; World Report]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2014/03/30/12-things-you-should-start-making-time-for-again/">12 Things You Should Start Making Time For Again</a> &mdash; Make time to read books and spread joy. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://timemanagementninja.com/2014/03/5-critical-steps-to-take-before-you-can-delegate-effectively/">5 Critical Steps To Take Before You Can Delegate Effectively</a> &mdash; Having a clear idea of what tasks you can delegate can help you delegate effectively. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/8-tips-to-get-out-of-the-house-on-time-in-the-morning">8 Tips to Get Out of the House on Time in the Morning</a> &mdash; To get out of the house on time in the morning, check your commute and reward good behavior. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cook-food-from-a-hotel-room" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Cook Food From a Hotel Room" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Travel best money tips Cooking Food hotel Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:00:31 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1134137 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Healthy Recipes for Lazy People http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cooking-177432103.jpg" alt="cooking" title="cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is lazy the correct word? We're all so rushed these days; it's probably more apt to say &quot;25 Healthy Recipes for Normal People!&quot; But whether you're short on time or just want a few more hours to spend with the kids, the pets, a good book, or your favorite TV show, these recipes can be made quickly and easily. And they're just as good for your health as they are your schedule. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians?ref=seealso">Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy (or Lazy) Vegetarians</a>)</p> <p>Let's start with the most rushed meal of the day.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lazyrec-140094090-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>Breakfast</h2> <p>They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But, it doesn't have to be the most time-consuming. In fact, these little wonders can be prepared in minutes, and they're way better for you than a bowl of cereal or a pre-packaged granola bar. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-make-ahead-freezable-hot-breakfast-recipes?ref=seealso">Make-Ahead, Freezable Hot Breakfasts</a>)</p> <h3>1. Southwestern Egg and Bean Wrap</h3> <p>The beans are optional in this quick <a href="http://www.readyseteat.com/recipes-Southwestern-Egg-and-Bean-Wraps-5199.html">breakfast wrap</a>, and if you're counting calories you can always remove them (or another ingredient of your choice). At only 245 calories though, it's filling and delicious.</p> <h3>2. Kale Egg Bake</h3> <p>The buzzword of the moment seems to be kale. It's everywhere, and with good reason. It's versatile (try making kale chips; even the kids love them), and it's full of flavor. This <a href="http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Baked-egg-and-kale-cups-364788">baked egg and kale dish</a> is very easy to prepare, and if you make several you can reheat them for days after. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-with-kale-easy-recipes-for-real-people?ref=seealso">Easy Kale Recipes</a>)</p> <h3>3. Quinoa Breakfast Bake</h3> <p>Quinoa for breakfast? Sure, why not? And this <a href="http://greatist.com/health/quinoa-breakfast-bake-healthy-recipe">breakfast quinoa recipe</a> is actually more like oatmeal, flavored with cinnamon, allspice, maple syrup, and berries. Very simple to make, it bakes for an hour (it'll be ready right after you finish the Sunday crossword), and it is delicious. Leftovers taste even better.</p> <h3>4. Quick Breakfast Burrito</h3> <p>Mmmm, burritos. They are up there with sandwiches as a very versatile and easy-to-make meal. Fill them with fruits, meats, vegetables&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">&mdash;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">&nbsp;you name it. This </span><a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/quick-breakfast-burritos-10000001911261/" style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">breakfast burrito recipe</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;"> calls for the traditional blend of eggs, tomatoes, and chilis. And it's delicious.</span></p> <h3>5. Egg in a Frame</h3> <p><a href="http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=718467">Egg in a Frame</a> was introduced to me by my wife when I first moved to America, and I had a hard time believing it had taken me 26 years to try it. It's also one of the simplest breakfasts to cook, and you can vary the recipe by adding a little bacon, spinach, or different types of bread. You can even use raisin bread for a sweet and salty treat.</p> <h3>6. Bacon and Apple Fast Wrap</h3> <p>This <a href="http://ca.askmen.com/sports/galleries/10-minute-meals-10.html">very quick and easy breakfast wrap</a> uses bacon, cheese, and a whole wheat tortilla. You can also vary the ingredients, substituting or adding avocado, lettuce, tomato, and banana peppers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-easy-breakfasts-for-people-on-the-go?ref=seealso">Easy Breakfasts for People on the Go</a>)</p> <p>&nbsp;<img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lazyrec-476416107-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>Lunch</h2> <p>Forget the fast-food trap&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">&mdash;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">&nbsp;it's loaded with calories and costs can really add up if you go daily. Most of these can be prepared at home quickly and easily.</span></p> <h3>7. Apple Curry Turkey Pita</h3> <p>Anything with curry in it gets my vote. In fact, did you know that curry has the same addictive qualities as chocolate, and releases the same endorphins? Try this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/apple-curry-turkey-pita/">curried turkey with apple</a> for a sweet and tangy lunch. Add a little mango chutney for extra sweetness.</p> <h3>8. Shrimp-Filled Sweet Potato</h3> <p>This recipe for a <a href="http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000001046787,00.html">baked sweet potato</a> contains as much protein as four slices of turkey breast. But the flavor far exceeds anything turkey could ever bring to the table, thanks to the kielbasa and tangy shrimp. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/45-special-sweet-potato-dishes?ref=seealso">45 Sweet Potato Dishes</a>)</p> <h3>9. Chicken Satay</h3> <p>What's better than meat on sticks? Well, some would say meat in a cone, but I think sticks have it beat. <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/chicken-satay-recipe.html">Chicken Satay</a> is delicious, very easy to make, and low in calories.</p> <h3>10. Spicy Couscous Soup</h3> <p>More Indian flavors come to the party, this time in a vegetarian dish that takes little preparation and cooking time. As with most Indian food, the flavors are bold and complex, but the recipe isn't. Enjoy this <a href="http://vegetarian.about.com/od/soupssalads/r/spicedcouscous.htm">very filling soup</a> that's low in calories</p> <h3>11. Chili-Spiced Salmon Salad</h3> <p>Make use of your blender or food processor to whiz up a <a href="http://recipes.menshealth.com/Recipe/chili-spiced-salmon-salad.aspx">tasty sauce for this salad</a>, which can be assembled in minutes. And the flavors are well worth it.</p> <h3>12. Whole-Wheat Chicken Panini</h3> <p>At 570 calories per serving, this <a href="http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Chicken-salad-panini-297180">chicken panini</a> proves that tasty food doesn't have to be fattening. If you don't have a panini press, you can get the same results from a hot pan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-panini-presses?ref=seealso">Best Panini Presses</a>)</p> <h3>13. Prosciutto and Fig Panini</h3> <p>The wonderfully complex but complementary flavors in this <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/prosciutto-fontina-fig-panini-10000001895945/">lunch panini</a> are well worth the shopping trip. You will need to pick up Fontina cheese and the best prosciutto you can find, but your taste buds (and your waistline) will thank you. And all it takes is 10 minutes.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lazyrec-476009523-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>Dinner</h2> <p>It's probably the trickiest meal of the day to prepare. Everyone's home, and everyone's got different tastes (especially the kiddos). These ideas should keep even the fussiest family members happy and healthy. Some of these recipes are for one person, so increase according to servings required. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-dinner-party-dishes-you-can-make-in-advance?ref=seealso">Easy Make-Ahead Dinner Party Dishes</a>)</p> <h3>14. Chicken Florentine</h3> <p>This delicious and <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-and-healthy-chicken-florentine/">healthy version of the classic chicken Florentine</a> dish takes a little time, but it's not complicated at all. And when you're done, you will hardly believe this can be good for you.</p> <h3>15. No-Bake Macaroni and Cheese</h3> <p>Who needs the hassle of baking a mac 'n' cheese dish? This <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/no_bake_macaroni_cheese.html">simple crowd-pleaser</a> takes just 25 minutes to create, and it's both healthy and delicious. The addition of broccoli gives it a more well-rounded flavor than traditional mac 'n' cheese, but the kids should be fine with it. After all, everything's covered in a tasty cheese sauce.</p> <h3>16. Turkey Chili</h3> <p>Chili is all about good spices and long simmering. Although this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/quick-and-healthy-turkey-chili/">turkey chili</a> is ready in just thirty minutes, if you want the best flavors, let it simmer on low for a few hours.</p> <h3>17. Healthy Chicken Nuggets and Blackberry-Mustard Sauce</h3> <p>You don't have to feel guilty about serving up chicken nuggets. These <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chicken_nuggets_blackberry_mustard.html">chicken nuggets</a> are not deep-fried, but simply flipped in a pan with a little hot oil. And the cornmeal gives them a great crunch!</p> <h3>18. Creamy Avocado Pasta</h3> <p>You'll be amazed at how quickly and easily you can throw together a <a href="http://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/31/15-minute-creamy-avocado-pasta/">tasty pasta dish</a> &mdash; just 15 minutes, a little over the time it makes to boil the pasta! And the results are worth sharing.</p> <h3>19. Zesty Stir-Fried Shrimp</h3> <p>The reduced fat and reduced salt ingredients in this <a href="http://www.sunkist.com/recipes/zesty-stir-fry-shrimp-and-vegetables_1093.aspx">zesty stir-fried shrimp recipe</a> keep it healthy, but the tangy lemons and shrimp keep it a treat for the tastebuds. It's easy and impressive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/70-scrumptious-shrimp-recipes?ref=seealso">70 Shrimp Recipes</a>)</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/lazyrec-178714431-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>Dessert</h2> <p>Finally, dessert. Many of these recipes are also low calorie, so you can splurge a little. And thankfully, these ideas are also just as good for your body as well as your hectic schedule. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fast-single-serving-fake-desserts?ref=seealso">Single-Serving &quot;Fake&quot; Desserts</a>)</p> <h3>20. Cantaloupe Granita</h3> <p>If you're looking for a healthier alternative to ice cream, this <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cantaloupe-Granita-232509">cantaloupe granita</a> is perfect. It takes about an hour to set, but only requires about 10 minutes of actual work.</p> <h3>21. Light Peach Parfait</h3> <p>Take just 10 minutes out of your busy day to prepare a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/brookes-light-and-lovely-peach-parfaits-recipe.html">dessert parfait</a> everyone will love. Make sure you use fresh peaches (grilled really makes a difference, too) and fat free topping.</p> <h3>22. Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries</h3> <p>A favorite around Valentine's Day, there is no reason not to enjoy this <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/strawberries_dipped_in_chocolate.html">decadent little treat</a> after any meal. As the main ingredient is fresh strawberries, you're being good to yourself, too.</p> <h3>23. Instant Apple Crisp</h3> <p>Rolled oats are the secret to this family favorite. But unlike traditional apple crisp, this <a href="http://www.eatlifewhole.com/2012/11/healthy-apple-crisp-under-10-minutes/">quick apple crisp</a> will take just 10 minutes and won't be a guilty pleasure.</p> <h3>24. Baby Tiramisu</h3> <p>It's not often you see the word <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/baby_tiramis.html">tiramisu</a> on a list of quick and/or healthy desserts, but this one is the exception to the rule. It takes just 15 minutes to make, and it's delicious.</p> <h3>25. Instant Rice Pudding</h3> <p>Well, instant may be a strong word, but it's very quick. The addition of fresh fruit and the smart use of cooked rice (use brown for an even healthier version) makes this <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robin-miller/instant-rice-pudding-with-cinnamon-cardamom-and-blueberries-recipe.html">rice pudding</a> a winner.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite easy, healthy dishes? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-recipes-for-lazy-people" class="sharethis-link" title="25 Healthy Recipes for Lazy People" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Health and Beauty cheap recipes easy meals healthy meals quick meals Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:36:46 +0000 Paul Michael 1133368 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is How to Pick the Best Cookware for Your Needs http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-to-pick-the-best-cookware-for-your-needs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-how-to-pick-the-best-cookware-for-your-needs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cooking-122397976.jpg" alt="cookware" title="cookware" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As an enthusiastic home cook, my pots and pans get heavy use daily. Over the years I've experimented with a variety of materials for different methods, recipes, and cooking styles. I've certainly learned a lot about what material works best for what purpose, but it's taken a lot of trial and error. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-kitchen-luxuries-that-are-worth-it-and-5-that-arent?ref=seealso">5 Kitchen Luxuries That Are Worth It</a>)</p> <p>Today I'm sharing the basics on some of the world's most popular cookware materials and why they're absolutely great or, sometimes, not. In a follow-up, I'll be providing a list of my specific favorite pans, pots, and baking dishes for those of you who'd rather skip the pre-boxed cooking sets and get right down to business.</p> <h2>Aluminum</h2> <p>If you're looking for a low-cost way to cook your foods, aluminum might work for you. These pots and pans are lightweight and excellent at conducting heat. They can last a long time, too, if cared for properly, but you'll need to baby them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/another-36-uses-for-tin-foil?ref=seealso">36 Ways to Use Tin Foil</a>)</p> <p>Unfortunately, aluminum can warp, dent, and scratch relatively easily. And without any special coating (which I'll get to in the Nonstick section below), your more acidic ingredients can react with the raw metal and compromise your investment. Some have even expressed health concerns with regard to using aluminum, although others believe there's <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-brain-food/201105/keep-the-aluminum-cookware-your-brain-won-t-mind">nothing to worry about</a>.</p> <p>But if you're still worried about the risk, the Cook's Illustrated lab cooked tomato sauce for two hours inside aluminum pots. They then stored it in the same pot overnight. When tested, the sauce contained just .0024 milligrams of aluminum per cup versus the <a href="http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/05/15/aluminum-pans-wont-give-you-alzheimers">200 milligrams found</a> in a single antacid tablet.</p> <h2>Cast Iron</h2> <p>Over the years, I have grown very fond of cast iron &mdash; both enamel coated and not &mdash; for cooking and especially for baking breads. These pots and dishes can last a lifetime if cared for properly. They even entail a few health benefits from use. For example, vegetarians and vegans might like to know that cooking with cast iron <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101_basics_and_techniques/3_health_reasons_to_cook_with_cast_iron?page=4">fortifies food with iron</a>. As well, cast iron can be an affordable option if you look beyond the popular brands and stick with the basics.</p> <p>On the flip side, cast iron is awfully heavy. The handles get very hot and, from experience, it's easy to forget and burn your hands while cooking (Ouch!). And if you're using cast iron without enamel, you'll need to avoid acidic foods because it will react negatively and damage your pans. If you're new to this material, you'll also need to <a href="http://www.lodgemfg.com/useandcare/seasoned-cast-iron">season your cookware</a> from time to time and take care with cleaning to avoid rust.</p> <p>I like cooking tofu on cast iron pans because it gives me that extra dose of iron I need in my diet. Otherwise, I use my cast iron pans for hearty cooking and <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2013/01/beautiful-sourdough-bread.html">bread baking</a>. I tend to shy away when cooking eggs because I have yet to master the technique. However, I've heard you can really cook most anything provided your pans are seasoned properly.</p> <h2>Copper</h2> <p>I don't own any copper cookware, but I surely have lusted over some pretty pieces I've spied in the &quot;Downton Abbey&quot; kitchen. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that copper, by nature, is antimicrobial because it contains <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/naturally-antimicrobial-copper-135996">many brasses</a>. A friend of mine who uses copper tells me she's smitten because it's a great conductor of heat. Her foods cook uniformly, and her pans are responsive to heat changes as she changes levels on her cooktop. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/learn-to-love-cooking-and-save-with-these-11-kitchen-tricks?ref=seealso">11 Tricks to Help You Love Cooking</a>)</p> <p>Unfortunately, copper isn't the most cost-friendly cookware you can stock up on. In fact, it's often wildly expensive. So, if you're interested, I would suggest checking out discount stores like TJ Max, Home Goods, Marshall's, etc. to snag a couple test pieces. Copper can also be difficult to maintain, and older pots often need professional <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/268808/retinning-copper-pans">re-tinning</a>.</p> <p>As far as use is concerned, tin or stainless lined copper saucepans are great for <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/tools-products/cookware-bakeware/only-pots-pans-youll-need-10000001168378/">making delicate sauces and candies or melting sugar</a>. Just be sure to save acidic ingredients (tomatoes, lemons, etc.) for another pan, as they will react and likely end up tasting metallic, depending on cook time. And unlined copper bowls are famously great for <a href="http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v308/n5960/abs/308667a0.html">whipping egg whites</a>.</p> <h2>Nonstick</h2> <p>I grew up on nonstick cookware &mdash; which is actually often <a href="http://www.chemprocessing.com/finishes/hardcoat-teflon-aluminum-anodizing.html">anodized aluminum</a> with a nonstick coating. My mom still uses it exclusively to this day. The advantages here are as easy as the name lets on. You need not use much oil or other fat in your cooking <em>and</em> cleaning is a breeze. Yeah &mdash; ingredients don't as easily stick to the pan thanks to controversial Teflon (though there are newer guys on the market made of a <a href="https://www.orgreenic.com/faq.jsp">ceramic base</a>).</p> <p>Plenty of people are <a href="http://www.delish.com/kitchen/cookware-reviews/nonstick-cookware-safety-2">nervous about nonstick</a> because its coating can occasionally cause flu-like symptoms when exposed to high temperatures. Like with most anything else, opinions are split on these claims. A negative I have experienced? Several pieces of our own nonstick cookware have had flaking because the coating degrades easily with heavy use over time. Carcinogen or not, I don't like seeing or tasting it.</p> <p>As a vegetarian, I would be inclined to declare that nonstick cookware is good for cooking most everything. However, I uncovered that using nonstick for all cooking is actually a mistake. Since this material tends to <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/basic-cooking-00100000072735/page14.html">transfer heat slowly</a>, it's not great for browning meat, for example. It's best to use these pots and pans for traditionally &quot;sticky&quot; items and cook the rest on cast iron or stainless steel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-the-most-of-a-tiny-kitchen?ref=seealso">How to Make the Most of a Tiny Kitchen</a>)</p> <h2>Stainless Steel</h2> <p>Stainless steel is readily available in most discount stores, making it an inexpensive cookware option. It's also good looking and classic, and many pots and pans come with lifetime guarantees. Some more good news is that stainless cookware is nonreactive, which is just a quick way of explaining it will <a href="http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2013/04/what-is-nonreactive-reactive-cookware/">not discolor or pit</a> with acidic ingredients. For this reason, you can cook any type of food without worry.</p> <p>However, unless your stainless has an aluminum or copper core, you may have trouble heating foods evenly. And from personal experience, I tend to use more oil and butter than I would with other alternatives to ensure that ingredients won't stick fast to the bottom on the pan.</p> <p>That being said, <a href="http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/694371">experienced stainless lovers</a> have some tips and tricks for cooking on this material, including to heat the pan dry, add the oil next, and &mdash; when hot &mdash; place your protein in. Meat will usually stick at first, but then release once it is seared.</p> <p><em>For me, most of my cookware fleet is cast iron, but it took me a while to get used to cooking with it after so many years as a nonstick devotee. What material makes up the bulk of your cookware? </em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-to-pick-the-best-cookware-for-your-needs" class="sharethis-link" title="This Is How to Pick the Best Cookware for Your Needs" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping cookware kitchen tools pots and pans Fri, 28 Mar 2014 10:24:20 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1133229 at http://www.wisebread.com Cheaper and Healthier: 20 Tasty Energy Bars You Can Make at Home http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-20-tasty-energy-bars-you-can-make-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheaper-and-healthier-20-tasty-energy-bars-you-can-make-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food-178468089.jpg" alt="energy bars" title="energy bars" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're a health conscious person, an athlete, or just prefer eating whole foods, energy bars can be a convenient snacking option. Thing is, I used to spend so much money buying packaged energy bars to fuel my running (and fill my stomach). Then one day I decided to make my own, and I never turned back.</p> <p>Here are 20 fantastic energy bar recipes you can make in your own kitchen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-healthy-and-inexpensive-snack-options?ref=seealso">Delicious, Healthy, Frugal Snacks</a>)</p> <h2>1. Nutty Flavor</h2> <p>These <a href="http://lemonsandbasil.com/almond-date-and-hemp-energy-bars/">Almond, Date, and Hemp Bars</a> get great flavor from using dry roasted almonds. Honey is a great natural sweetener, but if you follow a vegan diet, I'm sure maple syrup would work well as a substitute. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list?ref=seealso">Frugal Items for Your Organic Vegan Grocery List</a>)</p> <h2>2. Plant Protein</h2> <p>Another great option: <a href="http://sweetgreen.tumblr.com/post/74725738180/vegan-hemp-bars">Cranberry-Apricot Hemp Bars</a>. If you're already seeing a common theme with ingredients, it might be interesting to point out that hemp is a great source of plant protein. All the nutrition without strange or hard-to-digest ingredients.</p> <h2>3. Crispy Crunch</h2> <p>For a bit of indulgence, these <a href="http://skinnyluscious.blogspot.com/2014/02/peanut-butter-chocolate-energy-bars.html">Peanut Butter and Chocolate Energy Bars</a> sure fit the bill. I love the inclusion of crispy rice cereal to give them some added crunch. This recipe is also gluten-free.</p> <h2>4. Kid-Pleaser</h2> <p>For a healthy treat your kids will love, try these <a href="http://boulderlocavore.com/2014/01/supersonic-peanut-butter-energy-bars-that-kids-and-adults-will-love.html">Supersonic Peanut Butter Energy Bars</a>. Again, crispy rice cereal is high on the ingredients list, but this recipe is rounded out by a wide variety of nuts and seeds.</p> <h2>5. Fancy Energy</h2> <p>This bar seems quite refined, if you ask me. Yeah, <a href="http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/fig-walnut-energy-bars/">Fig and Walnut Energy Bars</a> sound like a culinary masterpiece &mdash; not just something to get you through a tough workout or 3 p.m. lull. The recipe calls for ⅓ cup brown sugar, but I'd experiment with lower glycemic alternatives like coconut sugar. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-clever-ways-to-dress-up-cheap-food?ref=seealso">Clever Ways to Dress Up Cheap Food</a>)</p> <h2>6. Sweet Indulgence</h2> <p>If you'd like to fool yourself into thinking you're eating dessert, these <a href="http://atastylovestory.com/energy-bars-for-everyone-paleo-lchf-raw-vegan-all-natural/">Banana-Almond Butter Layer Bars</a> should do the trick. Yet, they're Paleo, raw, vegan, low-carb, and &mdash; as the author writes &mdash; &quot;all-natural and amazing!&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fast-single-serving-fake-desserts?ref=seealso">Fast &quot;Fake&quot; Desserts</a>)</p> <h2>7. Unique Protein</h2> <p>These <a href="http://mayihavethatrecipe.com/2013/02/22/gluten-free-vegan-quinoa-protein-bars/">Quinoa Protein Balls</a> contain four different Super Foods: quinoa, dates, almonds, and dark chocolate. I absolutely love the inclusion of quinoa, as it's an ingredient I've never thought to add to an energy bar.</p> <h2>8. Sweet and Spicy</h2> <p>For something a little different, these <a href="http://shescookin.com/2013/03/05/sweet-spicy-energy-bars/">Sweet and Spicy Energy Bars</a> should strike your fancy. I love how they're coated in unsweetened coconut flakes, which gives them nice flavor and texture.</p> <h2>9. Just 3 Ingredients</h2> <p>Looking for a simple recipe that comes together in a flash? These <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-easy-3-ingredient-energy-bars-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-184306">3-Ingredient Energy Bars</a> contain just 1 cup dried fruit, 1 cup nuts, and 1 cup pitted dates. So, they're super customizable to whatever you have on hand.</p> <h2>10. Sesame Goodness</h2> <p>I absolutely love the taste of sesame seeds, so when I came across this <a href="http://ifoodreal.com/roasted-sesame-peanut-butter-protein-bars/">Roasted Sesame and Peanut Butter Bar</a> recipe, I ran to my pantry to see if I had all the ingredients required. Of course, you can buy sesame seeds already roasted, but the author says to &quot;roast flax seeds in a stove top pan and grind in a food processor.&quot;</p> <h2>11. The Mouthful</h2> <p>Try saying this 10 times fast: <a href="http://dessertswithbenefits.com/cinnamon-raisin-peanut-butter-fudge-protein-bars/">Cinnamon-Raisin Peanut Butter Fudge Protein Bars</a>. Despite being a mouthful, they certainly look tasty. And their texture is very unique for homemade recipes I've encountered.</p> <h2>12. Chunky Monkey</h2> <p>If you'd rather snack on a smaller bite, these <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2013/12/automatic-healthy-eating-tip-4-recipe.html">Chocolate Almond Butter Energy Chunks</a> are for you! They contain just six ingredients and pulse together in minutes. Just scoop with a tablespoon and let set in the fridge &mdash; no baking required.</p> <h2>13. Double Chocolate</h2> <p>Beyond an energy boost, these <a href="http://www.eatgood4life.com/?blogger=http://eatgood4life.blogspot.com/2011/12/no-bake-double-chocolate-and-prune.html">Double Chocolate Prune Bars</a> claim to lower your cholesterol. The whole idea is that prunes are rich in soluble fiber, which is a key nutritional trick to lowering your numbers.</p> <h2>14. 6 Minutes to Make</h2> <p>Talk about fast! These <a href="http://www.inspirededibles.ca/2012/09/raw-vegan-energy-bars-with-walnut-chia.html">Walnut, Chia, Cherry and Pepita Energy Bars</a> apparently take just six minutes to make. They are also raw and vegan, and though it isn't explicitly mentioned, also gluten-free.</p> <h2>15. Packs Greens</h2> <p>Mighty greens enrich these&nbsp;<a href="http://ohalmonds.blogspot.fr/2013/01/green-energy.html">Spirulina-Vanilla Bars</a>. The author writes that this recipe is a copycat of a bar she used to stock up on at the store, but making them at home became a much less expensive option. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-restaurant-dishes-you-can-make-at-home?ref=seealso">Restaurant Dishes You Can Make at Home</a>)</p> <h2>16. Hidden Raisins</h2> <p>Here's another <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2013/03/chocolate-peanut-butter-energy-bars.html">Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bar</a> recipe. However, if you're not a fan of dates &mdash; this one's for you. It's made with raisins to help bind everything together with natural sweetness.</p> <h2>17. Protein-Packed</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.ediblesoundbites.com/home/2014/2/5/no-bake-peanut-butter-energy-bars.html">Peanut Butter Energy Bars</a> boast an impressive 15 grams of protein per serving. The author writes that they are both soft and chewy, but also have some of that delicious crumbliness we all love.</p> <h2>18. Candy Imposter</h2> <p>Want to pretend you're eating candy? I was fooled by these <a href="http://dessertswithbenefits.com/chocolate-peanut-caramel-protein-bars/">Chocolate Peanut With Caramel Protein Bars</a>. They look like a popular brand of candy, but their ingredients list is healthy and a great option if you're weaning yourself off refined sugar fuel.</p> <h2>19. Brownie Imposter</h2> <p>The fun doesn't stop there, these <a href="http://askgeorgie.com/homemade-protein-bars/">Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Protein Bars</a> look just like my favorite batch of brownies. They contain a hefty 1/3 cup of whey protein powder, but I'm sure you could substitute whatever powder is already in your kitchen cabinet.</p> <h2>20. Cake Imposter</h2> <p>Yup &mdash; I'm still running with the theme. Then there's these <a href="http://askgeorgie.com/lemon-poppy-protein-bars-plus-gluten-free-version/">Lemon Poppy Protein Bars</a> that look &mdash; and taste &mdash; just like cake. However, the author writes that 30% of this bar's calories come from protein. That's a great ratio. There's also a gluten-free option if you're looking for substitutions.</p> <p><em>Have you made protein or energy bars at home? What's your go-to recipe?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-20-tasty-energy-bars-you-can-make-at-home" class="sharethis-link" title="Cheaper and Healthier: 20 Tasty Energy Bars You Can Make at Home" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink energy bars healthy snacks snacks Tue, 25 Mar 2014 09:48:16 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1132807 at http://www.wisebread.com