Food and Drink en-US 10 Amazing Veggie Burgers to Make Tonight <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-amazing-veggie-burgers-to-make-tonight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="veggie burger" title="veggie burger" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of my favorite weeknight meals includes the homemade veggie burger. Sure, you can buy burgers in the freezer section of your local grocery store &mdash; but have you seen their ingredients lists? Plus, homemade just tastes better. In fact, my husband and I enjoy our homemade burgers so much, we go out to eat far less often these days, saving us tons of money. (See also: <a href="">Cheaper and Healthier Than Store Bought: 10 Great Freeze Ahead Burrito Recipes</a>)</p> <p>Try this trick: Freeze veggie burgers for quick weeknight meals. Most recipes should respond well to this technique: Shape into patties, lay out on a cookie sheet, and freeze. Then transfer into airtight plastic bags and eat within six months (or longer, depending on your freezer and storage). To serve, let defrost for an hour or so, then cook on your stovetop over medium-high heat until golden on both sides and warm in the center.</p> <p>Now, on to the recipes!</p> <h2>1. Zucchini Black Bean Burgers</h2> <p>These <a href="">Zucchini and Black Bean Burgers</a> are a wonderful source of phytonutrients and antioxidants. They also come together in a snap. Just combine shredded zucchini with a can of drained black beans and some flax meal. Season however you like, then form patties, and cook on your stovetop.</p> <h2>2. Quinoa White Bean Burgers</h2> <p>I love finding new ways to eat quinoa, so these <a href="">Quinoa and White Bean Burgers</a> are certainly on my to-try list. The author of this recipe shares that you can fry or bake them, and if you don't have all the ingredients on the list &mdash; just substitute in like things. For example, frozen corn could be swapped with frozen peas.</p> <h2>3. Chickpea Burgers</h2> <p>I created these <a href="">Chickpea Burgers</a> when I discovered I was out of all other types of beans one night. Use two cans of beans with some chopped onion and chili pepper and bulk up using oats and flax meal. You can season however you like, but I recommend cumin and a dash of cayenne pepper.</p> <h2>4. Eggplant Burgers</h2> <p>These vegan <a href="">Baked Eggplant Burgers</a> contain some unexpected ingredients. Hummus makes the list along with pine nuts. In other words: Uniquely delicious! To continue on this theme, top burgers with tahini versus standard ketchup and mustard.</p> <h2>5. Beet Burgers</h2> <p>Shock your vegetarian and vegan friends by serving blood-red <a href="">Beet Burgers</a> at your next dinner party. Along with the amazingly vibrant color and delicious earthy-sweet flavor, they contain a good dose of potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, and C.</p> <h2>6. Cauliflower Burgers</h2> <p>These Paleo-friendly <a href="">Cauliflower and Carrot Burgers</a> bind together using protein-rich eggs. They are also gluten-free, grain-free, and and legume-free if you have special dietary restrictions. Oh, and if you have a nut allergy, you can also swap in sunflower kernels for the walnuts.</p> <h2>7. Tofu Burgers</h2> <p>I used to live two blocks from the famed Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY. So, when I found their <a href="">Classic Tofu Burger</a> recipe online, I knew it had to make this list. The mix creates eight good-sized burgers, but you can also choose to shape into faux &quot;meatballs&quot; and serve with spaghetti.</p> <h2>8. Cheese-Stuffed Burgers</h2> <p>I once saw an episode of <em>Man V. Food</em> where host Adam Richman explored the incredible Juicy Lucy, a stuffed cheeseburger native to Minneapolis, MN. It looked crazy good, so I just had to replicate it at home. And the <a href="">Vegetarian Juicy Lucy</a> was born. I recommend serving this burger on sourdough buns atop a bed of sweet potato fries.</p> <h2>9. Copycat Sunshine Burgers</h2> <p>Do you like Sunshine Burgers? So do I! Here's a wonderful <a href="">copycat recipe</a> that is just as tasty, yet less expensive. All you need are sunflower kernels, brown rice, carrots, and garlic cloves. Like the original, these veggie burgers are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.</p> <h2>10. Sweet Potato Burgers</h2> <p>Think sweet potato fries go on the side? Think again! These <a href="">Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers</a> have so many flavors and textures going on. Use your microwave to quickly cook potatoes in their skins before mashing coarsely. Then mix with the other ingredients and let cool before cooking on your stovetop.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite veggie burger recipe? Please share a bite in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Amazing Veggie Burgers to Make Tonight" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink burgers vegan vegetarian veggie burgers Wed, 01 Oct 2014 09:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1224392 at How to Enjoy the 12 Foods People Love to Hate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-enjoy-the-12-foods-people-love-to-hate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="seafood shock" title="seafood shock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Ewww, oysters!&quot; &quot;Gross, anchovies!&quot; We all have foods we <a href="">hate</a>, don't we?</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" width="605" height="340" allowfullscreen="" src="//"></iframe></p> <p>But what if those foods are really good for you, and what if it turned out you actually might like them, if fixed another way? Here are some foods you may hate, and suggestions about how to suck it up and give them another try.</p> <h2>1. Raisins</h2> <p>&quot;I thought it was a chocolate chip in my cookie but it was a <em>raisin</em>. YEEEEECH!&quot;</p> <p>Well, we have all experienced that disappointment, haven't we? Poor, maligned raisins. I have seen people pick them out of cookies and trail mix and children ignore them in lunch boxes. Don't discount the little shriveled grapes, though. They are an excellent source of iron and fiber and are perfect for snacking, because they'll give you a burst of energy.</p> <p>When giving raisins another go, consider that maybe you might like a different type of raisin. My father favors currants, which come from the Black Corinth or Zante grape. You might also find better grades of raisins than what you have previously tasted. Health-food stores tend to have better raisins than grocery stores, I think, in their bulk bins.</p> <p>How to use them? I like this <a href="">granola;</a> this <a href="">Curried Citrus Quinoa Salad</a> is also healthy and satisfying.</p> <h2>2. Fish</h2> <p>&quot;Fish smells&hellip; fishy.&quot;</p> <p>If your fish smells strong, it isn't fresh. Fresh fish has hardly any smell. If anything, it should smell vaguely like the ocean (unless it's a freshwater fish). When shopping, go ahead and pick up the package. Give it a big sniff. Or, go to a fish counter, and chat up the folks who work there.</p> <p>Don't be prejudiced against <a href="">flash-frozen fish</a>, because it hits the ice really quickly after being caught. Thinking about trying fish, or trying it <em>again</em>? Good idea, because fish contains <a href="">unsaturated fatty acids</a> &mdash; very beneficial to your heart. Fish is also a great source of protein.</p> <p>What to try? I would advise <a href="">salmon</a>, <a href="">halibut</a>, or <a href="">ahi.</a> These are not your cheapest fish, by any means, but for someone who is &quot;getting acquainted&quot; with fish, or giving fish the ol' college try again, you will find these to be mild and meaty. The bones are also easier to see and pick out. I think that you will be surprised and pleased, and on the next attempt you will be brave enough to branch out and try something else.</p> <h2>3. Peas</h2> <p>&quot;They are chalky and squishy.&quot;</p> <p>Okay, that was me. Were you forced to eat peas as a child? I fed mine to the poodle, spit them into my napkin, or tried to hide them under a lettuce leaf. For years, I refused to have anything to do with them. Being a mature adult, I could still refuse to eat them. However, I do attempt to be reasonable, and when a food contains vitamins A, B1, B6, C, and K, plus fiber and protein, it's hard to argue and time to find a way to eat the little suckers.</p> <p>My friend Debbie made a bowl of <a href="">Crunchy Pea Salad</a> for a party, and I was hooked. I have actually made this salad so many times, my husband has requested that I just make it for myself (he's sick of it). So I do. I also had to modify the recipe to make it healthier, if I kept eating massive quantities. I use non-fat, plain yogurt in place of mayonnaise, low-fat cheddar, and use soy or turkey bacon, uncured bacon, or just a whole lot <em>less</em> bacon. Even with the modifications, it's great.</p> <p>My other pea trick is to eat petite peas. They are sweeter, crunchier, and brighter in color, which is more appealing. Another favorite pea dish of mine is this <a href="">Summer Pea Soup</a>, which is great hot or cold.</p> <h2>4. Anchovies</h2> <p>Never has a pizza topping been more roundly feared and despised.</p> <p>But have you ever eaten them on Caesar salads?</p> <p>I just pulled out my <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0743246268&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=KE3UDBWKAVTMG27T">Joy of Cooking</a> and <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0553568817&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=7EABCXVYIR6XNAXI">The Fannie Farmer</a> cookbooks; between them, I find 14 anchovy recipes.</p> <p>What's the point of trying anchovies? Are they good for you? Yes. Remember, they are a fish, so hello Omega-3's, B12 and B6, iron, and calcium. Their nutritional downfall is their packaging &mdash; usually a salty brine &mdash; which can be diminished somewhat if you rinse them.</p> <p>What in the heck would you do with an anchovy? Well, if you want to dip your toes, try a <a href="">Caesar Salad</a>. If that goes well, you might want to be a little more adventurous and try a throwback recipe &mdash; <a href="">Deviled Eggs With Anchovies</a>.</p> <h2>5. Tomatoes</h2> <p>&quot;I don't like the taste or the texture.&quot;</p> <p>That is my daughter's complaint &mdash; but here is great news for you tomato-haters: Hate away! Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. <em>Cooking</em> the <a href="">tomatoes</a> increases the antioxidants! Sounds like you lose some vitamin C in that process, so that's something to keep in mind.</p> <p>Most people I know who hate fresh tomatoes don't mind them at all if they are cooked, like in <a href="">marinara sauce</a>, or this <a href="">roasted tomato soup</a>.</p> <h2>6. Beets</h2> <p>&quot;Why do they even put those out in the salad bar?&quot;</p> <p>Because they're really good for you, and very tasty. Besides fiber, they contain potassium and folate. They made &quot;superfood&quot; status, too, because they contain betacyanin, which may protect against development of cancer cells and also prevent heart disease.</p> <p>The easiest way to make fresh beets? Wrap individual beets in a layer of heavy-duty foil. (I like to make four to six at a time, because they are also good cold.) Put a layer of foil on a cookie sheet, put the beets on top of that, and roast at 400F for an hour. Carefully unwrap, peel away the outside beet layer (it will come off very easily) and slice or chop. Sprinkle those with feta or goat cheese, a little balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. If you now say, &quot;Hey, I guess I like beets!&quot; then try making a classic <a href="">Borscht</a>.</p> <h2>7. Tofu</h2> <p>&quot;The texture is weird.&quot;</p> <p>Have to agree, but there are ways to prepare it to help you get past that. Why eat tofu? Tofu is made from soybeans, which is a complete plant protein. Besides the protein, it contains fiber, omega-3's, iron, magnesium, B1 and folic acid.</p> <p>How to try it? Here is what I call the &quot;State Fair&quot; approach. Fry it. I like to cut firm tofu into small pieces. Dip it into an egg wash, then into a mixture of Panko crumbs and sesame seeds, and fry it. Serve with rice or noodles and some broccoli. Another delicious preparation? Put it in a cabbage salad with <a href="">peanut sauce</a>. I'll eat anything in a peanut sauce.</p> <h2>8. Brussels Sprouts</h2> <p>&quot;They are bitter, and they smell weird.&quot;</p> <p>Eating cruciferous vegetables (Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower) may help you lower your risk of getting cancer. If that isn't enough reason, the little green mini-cabbages are packed with vitamins A, C, K, B6, plus folate, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, iron and magnesium. Whew! They certainly earned their &quot;Superfood&quot; status.</p> <p>When buying, look for the smaller ones that are bright-green and have tight leaves. If you found them to be bitter previously, that might be because you ate too-large or old ones. What is my favorite way to eat brussels sprouts? Add <a href="">bacon</a>! And grapes, and walnuts&hellip; this recipe makes me swoon. Another &quot;beginner&quot; way to try brussels sprouts? Get some of the frozen ones in cheese sauce. Not kidding &mdash; they are really yummy, and easy.</p> <h2>9. Eggplant</h2> <p>&quot;It's spongy. It doesn't really taste like anything.&quot;</p> <p>That's actually sort of a plus, when you think about it. It makes eggplant a blank palette for whatever you want to put on it or with it. Eggplant provides a healthy background for many flavors, without competing. Eggplants contain iron, magnesium, vitamins B6 and C. Don't cut off the skin, which is the most nutritious part.</p> <p>Probably the most famous use of eggplant is in Eggplant Parmigiana, which can be really great&hellip; or oily and heavy. I like this <a href="">lighter</a> recipe. If you have trepidation about eating eggplant, that will be eased by knowing there are layers of tomato sauce and cheese. Another great &quot;intro to eggplant&quot; recipe is <a href="">Baba Ganoush</a>, which is a dip. Even people who think they don't like eggplant will like baba ganoush.</p> <h2>10. Liver</h2> <p>&quot;It's just gross. I would never eat liver.&quot;</p> <p>There certainly is not the pressure to eat liver like there was when I was a kid. Although high in iron, it's also high in cholesterol, so you wouldn't want to make it a habit. Back in the 60s and 70s, if you showed signs of anemia, mothers (on advice of pediatricians) started cooking up liver and fed that to you, along with dried apricots and eggs. It was a strange little diet. I personally have never been a big fan of liver after that experience. So, why on earth would you try eating liver, again? It's packed with B12, vitamin A, and the aforementioned iron (for anemia).</p> <p>My husband, who lived in Germany for a while, has a favorable view of liver. This is because his mother cooked it in fragrant onions and&hellip; lots of butter. German butter is also higher in milk fats, which makes it tastier. This <a href="">liver and onions</a> recipe has great step-by-step instructions. If you can find European-style butter, try using that, too. I have learned to love chicken livers, especially in <a href="">Rumaki</a>, and that's saying something because I hate water chestnuts. It's all about the bacon.</p> <h2>11. Turnips</h2> <p>&quot;I have never eaten one and I don't think I want to.&quot;</p> <p>Oh, you probably have, and just didn't know it. When cooked, they look a lot like a potato. The turnip is one of those vegetables that trip up grocery-store checkers every time, like parsnips and shallots. Why bother with turnips? They contain vitamin C, antioxidants, minerals, and dietary fiber. They are also inexpensive.</p> <p>Best way to try turnips? How about <a href="">turnip fries</a>? Not many people will turn up their nose (pun intended) at those. My favorite turnip recipe, though, is a soup called <a href="">Scotch Broth</a>, which also contains barley, lamb, carrots, and other delicious ingredients.</p> <h2>12. Oysters</h2> <p>&quot;That's so gross, seeing someone slurp up those slimy things!&quot;</p> <p>I guess oysters can go into that &quot;acquired taste&quot; category. I love them, but not in their raw state. Why are oysters good for you? They contain more zinc, per serving, than any other food. Zinc supports your immune system. It's also important for your skin, hair, and nails.</p> <p>How to eat oysters? If you are squeamish, the &quot;raw bar&quot; is not for you. I would, again, go with my &quot;State Fair&quot; approach and <a href="">fry</a> them. Once you see how delicious their flavor is, try an <a href="">oyster stew</a>, which is easy and filling.</p> <p><em>Did I cover it, haters? What foods do YOU hate? Bet I can come up with a way to make you love them!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Enjoy the 12 Foods People Love to Hate" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Marla Walters</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink gross food hated food strange food unpopular food Mon, 29 Sep 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Marla Walters 1221085 at Wise Bread Reloaded: Is Eating More Produce the Secret to Happiness and Wellbeing? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wise-bread-reloaded-is-eating-more-produce-the-secret-to-happiness-and-wellbeing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman eating fruit salad" title="woman eating fruit salad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>An apple a day keeps the psychiatrist away?</p> <p>That's what medical researchers in the UK have learned.</p> <p>In a recent survey of 14,000 individuals, <a href="">33.5% of participants with &quot;good mental wellbeing&quot;</a> consumed five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day. In contrast, only 6.8% of participants with good mental wellbeing consumed less than one serving of fruits or vegetables per day. Other health-related behaviors such as alcohol intake and obesity were looked at, but only smoking and fruit and vegetable consumption were the &quot;behaviors most consistently associated with both low and high mental wellbeing.&quot;</p> <p>Getting your daily five (or more!) servings has obvious benefits for your physical health. And now it may be a boost to mental health, too.</p> <p>Need some ideas to help you get more fruits and vege into your body and your brain? Let's see what Wise Bread's writers have suggested over the years.</p> <p><a href="">25 Delicious Recipes for 25 Delicious Veggies</a> &mdash; From Artichokes to Zucchini, Ashley Marcin shares one favorite recipe for each of her 25 favorite vegetables.</p> <p><a href="">25 Ways to Use Frozen Mixed Vegetables</a> &mdash; Frozen vegetables are a great frugal choice &mdash; almost as nutritious as fresh, often way cheaper, and always convenient. Rebecca Lieb shares a long list of easy, delicious recipes.</p> <p><a href="">The Produce Worker's Guide to Choosing Fruits and Vegetables</a> &mdash; You're sold on the idea of getting more fruits and vegetables, but you're unsure about how to choose the freshest, most flavorful ones from the bin. No problem. Ashley Watson used to be a produce stocker at her local grocery, and she learned a lot about ripe produce.</p> <p><a href="">7 Ways to Use Subpar Produce</a> &mdash; Linsey Knerl shows you what to do with a mushy banana or some wilted celery or a flat of overripe strawberries.</p> <p><a href="">Fridge or Counter: Where to Store Fresh Fruit for Best Flavor </a>&mdash; Now that you have it home, where do you store it? Ashley Marcin tells you.</p> <p><a href="">10 Incredible But True Facts About Eating Fruits and Vegetables</a> &mdash; Finally, Beth Buczynski uncovers 10 more astounding facts about fruits and veggies, giving you even more reason to fill your cart in the produce section.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Wise Bread Reloaded: Is Eating More Produce the Secret to Happiness and Wellbeing?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Lars Peterson</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink brain food fruit happiness mental health produce vegetables Sat, 27 Sep 2014 11:00:06 +0000 Lars Peterson 1222771 at Best Money Tips: Save Money on Beer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-save-money-on-beer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="friends beer toast" title="friends beer toast" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on saving money on beer, inexpensive date ideas, and saving more on dental care.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">13 Ways to Save Money on Beer</a> &mdash; To save money on beer, go to happy hours and buy store brand beer. [Bargain Babe]</p> <p><a href="">16 Inexpensive Date Ideas</a> &mdash; Taking a class or going on a walking tour are just a couple inexpensive date ideas you can try on your next date! [Listen Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="">5 Ways to Save More on Dental Care</a> &mdash; If you want to save more on dental care, ask for discounts and look into savings plans. [SmartAsset Blog]</p> <p><a href="">6 Times When Being Frugal Doesn't Pay</a> &mdash; Being frugal might not end up paying when dealing with car maintenance. [Daily Finance]</p> <p><a href="">6 Small Moves That Could Boost Your Retirement Savings</a> &mdash; Rolling over your old retirement accounts can boost your retirement savings/ [LearnVest]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">Master These 15 Interview Questions</a> &mdash; Make sure you know how to answer the &quot;why do you want to work for us?&quot; question before you go in for an interview. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">5 Costly Options You Don&rsquo;t Need in a New Car</a> &mdash; Chances are you don't need in car WiFi in your car. [MintLife]</p> <p><a href="">Inexpensive Ways to Make Your Home Interiors Look Larger</a> &mdash; To make your home interiors look larger, bring in natural light and color. [FatWallet]</p> <p><a href="">Watch A Dude Bend His iPhone 6 With His Hands</a> &mdash; Bad news for recent iPhone 6 Plus buyers: your phone is bendable. [Consumerist]</p> <p><a href="">7 Tips to End Your Child's Whining</a> &mdash; To end your child's whining, tell them to stop and don't give in to them. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Save Money on Beer" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink beer best money tips money saving Fri, 26 Sep 2014 19:00:08 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1221082 at The Easiest, Cheapest Way to Make Delicious Dumplings <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-easiest-cheapest-way-to-make-delicious-dumplings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="dumplings" title="dumplings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you compare restaurant or store bought dumpling prices to making your own, there's just no contest. Dumplings are one of the cheapest entrees you can make at home (50-60 wrappers cost about two dollars), and the flavor possibilities are endless. Plus, they freeze great and don't require defrosting, so you can have a quick homemade meal at a moment's notice. (See also: <a href="">How to Make Scrumptious, Quick Homemade Rolls</a>)</p> <p>Don't let the folding part of dumpling making scare you off. It's simple and once you get the hang of it, you'll be a dumpling making machine. Just follow these steps to dumpling heaven, and get creative with the fillings.</p> <h2>Dumpling-Making Demystified</h2> <p>You'll find recipes below, but let's start with an overview of the process.</p> <h3>1. Prep Your Filling</h3> <p>There are tons of options for filling your dumplings. Below are two recipes to get you started. Mix up the ingredients and set aside.</p> <h3>2. Set Up Your Assembly Line</h3> <p>Making your dumplings will go much faster if you have everything at arm's length. You'll need:</p> <ul> <li>dumpling or wonton wrappers</li> <li>two wet and wrung out tea towels or paper towels</li> <li>a small bowl with water</li> <li>a pastry brush (optional)</li> <li>a teaspoon measuring spoon</li> <li>a parchment-lined baking sheet</li> </ul> <h3>3. Fill Your Dumplings</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Take out two dumpling wrappers and cover the remaining wrappers with a damp towel. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of each wrapper and brush the edges all around with water using a pastry brush or your finger. Use just enough water to make the edges damp. Do not overfill your dumpling!</p> <h3>4. Fold Your Dumplings</h3> <p><iframe frameborder="0" width="605" height="340" src="//" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>You can fold your dumplings by simply folding them in half and pressing around all of the edges to make a seal. Press firmly so that the filling will not leak out during cooking. If you'd like to get more creative, there are a <a href="">number of methods</a>.</p> <h3>5. Repeat</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>As you fold your dumplings, place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a damp cloth so they don't dry out. Repeat until the filling runs out. If you are going to freeze your dumplings, you can place them in the freezer now.</p> <h3>6. Freeze Your Dumplings</h3> <p>If you aren't taking these straight to the stovetop, freeze them for later. Here's how.</p> <p>Lay finished dumplings out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer, uncovered, for 30 minutes to an hour, or until frozen. Freezing them individually this way means they won't freeze together into a big clump of dumpling.</p> <p>Transfer dumplings into a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Use veggie dumplings within a month, use meat dumplings within about two weeks.</p> <p>Cook straight from the freezer according to the directions below, but add 2-4 minutes to cooking time.</p> <h3>7. Cook Your Dumplings</h3> <p>You can steam or pan fry your dumplings.</p> <p>To steam: Lightly grease your steamer and bring a couple of inches of water in the bottom to a boil. Steam for about ten minutes.</p> <p>To pan fry (the most delicious way to cook dumplings): Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook dumplings, 8-10 at a time (don't overcrowd the pan) until browned on the bottom, 3-5 minutes. Add about &frac14; cup of water and cover with lid, leaving a crack for some steam to escape, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until all water has evaporated, or 3-5 minutes.</p> <h3>8. Eat Your Dumplings</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Serve with dipping sauce, recipe below.</p> <h2>Dumpling and Sauce Recipes</h2> <p>Now that you've got a handle on the process, here are some delicious dumpling recipes to get you started. Note: These recipes are easily halved or &mdash; even better &mdash; doubled.</p> <h3>Chicken and Corn Dumplings</h3> <p>Makes 30-35 dumplings</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>35 dumpling or wonton wrappers, defrosted if frozen</li> <li>⅔ lb ground chicken (or ground turkey or lean pork)</li> <li>&frac34; cup frozen or fresh corn</li> <li>2 garlic cloves, minced</li> <li>3 T chopped spring onions</li> <li>1 T chopped Thai basil (or Italian basil)</li> <li>1 T hoisin sauce</li> <li>2 t rice vinegar</li> <li>salt and pepper</li> <li>water</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method</strong></p> <p>Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Follow the process for forming the dumplings outlined above.</p> <h2>Edamame and Butternut Squash Dumplings</h2> <p>Makes 30-35 dumplings</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>35 dumpling or wonton wrappers, defrosted if frozen</li> <li>1 &frac12; cups shelled edamame, cooked according to package directions</li> <li>1 cup frozen or fresh butternut squash, diced small and cooked</li> <li>2 T chopped spring onions</li> <li>1 T grated fresh ginger</li> <li>2 garlic cloves, minced</li> <li>2 t chopped fresh mint</li> <li>1 t soy sauce</li> <li>1 t sesame oil</li> <li>juice of 1 lime</li> <li>salt and pepper</li> <li>water</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method</strong></p> <p>Combine squash and edamame in a food processor and process until edamame is in medium-to-small sized chunks (or mash together in a bowl by hand). Add other ingredients and mix well. Follow the process for forming the dumplings outlined above.</p> <h3>Dipping Sauce</h3> <p>Makes enough for one batch of dumplings.</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>&frac34; cup soy sauce</li> <li>2-3 T Sriracha (optional, add soy sauce to compensate)</li> <li>1 T sesame oil</li> <li>2 spring onions, chopped</li> <li>juice of one lemon or lime</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method</strong></p> <p>Combine ingredients in a bowl. Serve with dumplings.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite dumpling recipe? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The Easiest, Cheapest Way to Make Delicious Dumplings" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Laurel Randolph</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink dumplings freeze ahead Homemade Fri, 26 Sep 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1220889 at 10 Delicious Freeze-Ahead Dinners for Busy Fall Weeknights <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-delicious-freeze-ahead-dinners-for-busy-fall-weeknights" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="quesadilla" title="quesadilla" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Fall is the busy season in my house. School is back in session, work is in full swing, and dinners are difficult to craft quickly each evening. The solution? Freezing! I am a huge fan of freezing delicious, nutritious dinners ahead of time for quick reheating and minimal cleanup.</p> <p>If you're feeling ambitious, try a <a href="">bulk cooking weekend</a> to make a month's worth of meals (or more!) at once. You'll not only save yourself some time in the long run, but you'll likely save some major money by using up all your ingredients with little waste. Our comprehensive guide linked above has you covered from start to finish. (See also: <a href="">The Five-Day Freeze: Batch Cooking for the Rest of Us</a>)</p> <p>If you'd rather dip your toe in the waters, here are some fantastic, frugal recipes to try in your kitchen this week.</p> <h2>1. Stuffed Acorn Squash</h2> <p>This <a href="">Stuffed Acorn Squash</a> is both freezable and <a href="">Whole 30</a> approved. To make, slice squash in half and bake while you cook the carrot and beef mixture on your stovetop. Then combine the two components, place in foil baking dishes, label, and freeze.</p> <h2>2. Veggie Burgers</h2> <p>Stop buying burgers at the store and try this bulk <a href="">Veggie Burger</a> recipe at home. Just cut all ingredients into small bits and combine using your hands in a large bowl. Shape into patties and freeze on a baking sheet. Then transfer to freezer bags.</p> <h2>3. Chicken Taquitos</h2> <p>These <a href="">Chicken Taquitos</a> are bursting with flavor. Mix all the filling ingredients together and roll into your flour tortilla. Like the veggie burger recipe above, freeze flat on a baking sheet. Store in labeled freezer bags.</p> <h2>4. Lasagna Roll-Ups</h2> <p>If you love the Pioneer Woman, you'll love her <a href="">Lasagna Roll-Ups</a>. The best part? They're totally freeze-friendly. Mix together the pasta filling, simmer the sauce, and cook the pasta. Then assemble and freeze before the final baking step.</p> <h2>5. Pumpkin Chili</h2> <p>This hearty <a href="">Pumpkin Chili</a> is perfect for fall. I make a double batch and freeze each month to serve with homemade cornbread. Just make the soup following the directions &mdash; don't forget the pumpkin puree &mdash; and then pour into freezer bags or jars (leaving room for expansion).</p> <h2>6. Pizza Dough</h2> <p>Make pizza nights easy (and skip last-minute takeout) with this freezer <a href="">Pizza Dough</a>. You'll need to thaw at room temperature for at least four hours. Then bake as normal and top with whatever cheese and vegetables and proteins you need to use up.</p> <h2>7. Manicotti</h2> <p>Pasta freezes famously well, so this <a href="">Best Ever Manicotti</a> recipe is sure to please your crowd whether you eat it immediately or five months down the line. If you're really strapped for time, consider skipping the from-scratch sauce and subbing in your favorite store bought version.</p> <h2>8. Calzones</h2> <p>This step-by-step <a href="">Freezer Calzones</a> recipe looks simple enough. If you can resist eating them right away, let cool completely before wrapping each in plastic wrap and storing in a labeled freezer bag.</p> <h2>9. Meatballs</h2> <p>Heating up pasta and topping with sauce is simple enough, so why not create the meatballs ahead of time? This <a href="">Easy Meatball Recipe</a> can be doubled or tripled to make a quick protein to accompany your weeknight meals for months to come.</p> <h2>10. Quesadillas</h2> <p>Make a bunch of <a href="">Freezer Quesadillas</a> in different varieties to add a lively punch to your evenings. Try chicken, pizza, or black bean quesadillas and then freeze in wax paper to keep them from sticking. Transfer to freezer bags.</p> <p><em>How do you manage dinner on busy fall weeknights? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Delicious Freeze-Ahead Dinners for Busy Fall Weeknights" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink easy dinner freeze ahead dinner freeze ahead meals quick meals Tue, 23 Sep 2014 17:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1218887 at 10 Packed Lunch Ideas You'll Want to Steal From Your Kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-packed-lunch-ideas-youll-want-to-steal-from-your-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="packed lunch" title="packed lunch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Now that school is back in session, you might find that evening lunch-prep has become quite laborious. Maybe that means you're packing the wrong lunches. (See also: <a href="">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a>)</p> <p>By focusing on meals adults can enjoy too, you'll rediscover old favorites of your own, and maybe even be surprised by your child's adventurous palate. Whatever the case, using the same ingredients for similar meals will save you money and eliminate food waste.</p> <p>Here are 10 ideas (two whole work or school weeks!) to get you started.</p> <h2>1. PB&amp;J Wrap</h2> <p>I've been eating this simple lunch since I was a kid. Just spread a thin layer of peanut butter on a whole wheat wrap and top it with a thin layer of your favorite jam or jelly or honey. Adults might want to jazz this meal up by using red pepper jelly and sprinkling a bit of granola. Children might enjoy some thinly sliced apple tossed in.</p> <h2>2. Cheese Plate</h2> <p>My mom used to pack me Lunchables, and I'd always toss the meat. Make what I used to eat healthier by packing multigrain crackers, grapes or other fruit, sliced or string cheese, and some hummus or peanut butter for added protein. Add sliced carrots or your other favorite fresh veggie to complete the nutrition for adults and kids alike.</p> <h2>3. Quiche</h2> <p>Skip the sandwich and pack a couple mini quiches made in a cupcake tin. What you fill your quiche with is up to you, but this <a href="">Broccoli and Cheese</a> one looks like a solid choice. The best part? You can customize them however you want to suit your tastes as well as your child's (and pantry's ingredients). Eat hot or cold.</p> <h2>4. DIY Parfait</h2> <p>Fill one of the larger slots in your lunch box with nonfat or Greek yogurt. I even like to mix a couple teaspoons of peanut butter in there. Round out the rest of your box with mixed berries, a helping of granola, some nuts and seeds, even mini chocolate chips. Pack a homemade muffin or half sandwich on the side. (See also: <a href="">25 Great Non-Sandwich Work Lunches</a>)</p> <h2>5. Bagel-Wich</h2> <p>When I came across this idea to pack a whole grain bagel stuffed with goodness instead of a sandwich, I got excited for the many possibilities. This <a href="">salami and dill stuffing</a> seems better suited for adults. To make this concept work for the whole family, consider simple egg or tuna salad. My personal favorite? <a href="">Avocado egg salad</a> or its vegan counterpart, <a href="">avocado tofu salad</a>.</p> <h2>6. Nachos Grande</h2> <p>Pack some multigrain tortilla chips in one section of your lunch box. Use leftover taco meat (or veggie substitute) from your dinner the night before and top with shredded cheese and mild salsa. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt to act as a healthy sour cream substitute and some avocado slices on the side. This is a lunch that you'll certainly want to make (and eat) again and again.</p> <h2>7. Overnight Oats</h2> <p>Though this staple is often eaten at breakfast, I love the idea of packing a jar of <a href="">Overnight Oats</a> as the bulk of a lunch for school or work. As the name describes, this meal is prepared the night before by tossing &mdash; in this case &mdash; steel cut oats with milk, maple syrup, flax meal, cinnamon, and bananas in a jar. The mix thickens overnight to make a hearty, cold meal.</p> <h2>8. Pizza</h2> <p>Who doesn't love a good pizza? You can make healthy pies on pita bread to cut and slice for lunchtime eating. Just spread pizza sauce on the pitas and sprinkle with cheese and top with whatever other ingredients you like. Then bake at 350 degrees F for around 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Let cool, slice, and pack.</p> <h2>9. Slow Cooker Soup, Two Ways</h2> <p>If you're a fan of slow cooking, toss your favorite veggies, broth, and whatever protein in the pot and let simmer. You <a href="">don't need a recipe</a> for success and can use up any possible food waste before it spoils. In my experience, kids don't always like a thick soup. So, pack the whole monty for yourself and strain out the softened and seasoned vegetables for your child. Serve both meals with crackers or even a whole wheat biscuit.</p> <h2>10. Pasta Salad</h2> <p>Make a big batch of this <a href="">Ranch Pasta Salad</a> and let all those colors and shapes dazzle your family. If your kid isn't into Tortellini, consider trying a plainer pasta. Mix and match the rest of the ingredients (in equal ratio) to customize and utilize the ingredients you already have on hand.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite workday and school day lunch? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Packed Lunch Ideas You&#039;ll Want to Steal From Your Kids" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink bulk meals cheap eats easy lunch lunch Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1216062 at The Best and Worst Things to Buy at Farmers' Markets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-at-farmers-markets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="farmers market" title="farmers market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Farmers' market extremists will tell you to never set foot in a produce aisle again, while grocery loyalists will dismiss markets as overpriced and inconvenient indulgences. So who's right? (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">25 Things You Shouldn't Buy at the Grocery Store</a>)</p> <p>It turns out: both. It just depends on what it is you're buying.</p> <h2>Best Things to Buy at the Farmers' Market</h2> <p>These are the fruits and veggies (and other things), you definitely should pick up fresh from your local Farmers' Market.</p> <h3>Berries</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries tend to be expensive at the typical grocery store, in part due to the thousands of miles they've traveled to get to the store. Fresh berries at your local farmers' market will be in better condition (perishable berries don't tend to do well in transport), will be cheaper, and will most likely have fewer pesticides and fungicides than imported or commercial varieties. Ask your grower whether the berries are pesticide-free &mdash; I tend to trust a farmer who can look me in the eye and vouch for his or her berries.</p> <p>Most importantly, local berries, picked at the height of ripeness, are just sweeter and more delicious. Often you can find local varieties of berries that are tastier, but more perishable, so you'll never find them in a grocery store. Or you might discover the rare flavor of wild berries, foraged from the surrounding countryside.</p> <h3>Stone Fruit</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Like tomatoes, most stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums) will ripen but not sweeten on your counter. That means that getting them when they are picked ripe is essential to getting the full seasonal flavor. In addition, stone fruit tends to get sprayed with a lot of pesticides. Ask your grower what their pesticide policy is and whether your fruit has been sprayed.</p> <h3>Avocados</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Don't you just hate buying a bunch of rock-hard avocados at the supermarket, only to find out that they've gone bad by the time they've softened? Much of this is due to commercially-grown avocados being picked far too early (before the level of oils in the fruit have increased to the point where they are able to ripen) and then being transported in trucks where they are easily bruised. Worse, store refrigerators sometimes freeze fresh produce, causing it to go bad faster.</p> <p>By contrast, buying avocados from a local farmer ensures that they have been picked recently. In my experience, avocados from my farmers' market last far longer, don't turn brown inside, and are far more buttery and rich than supermarket avocados. I also have my go-to &quot;avocado guy,&quot; who helps me choose the perfect ripeness of avocados depending on when I want to eat them. And have you ever tried a Reed avocado? These huge, super-creamy avocados are rarely available in supermarkets, but they are my absolute favorite.</p> <h3>Rare or Unusual Vegetables</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>The farmers' market is the best place to try out a new fruit or vegetable that isn't typically found in supermarkets. Have you ever tried the delicate fractal buds of a romanesco broccoli? How about those unfamiliar Asian greens sold by the local Japanese family farm? Or have you ever wondered what a Buddha's hand citron tastes like? The grower is a great resource for asking how to cook and eat these intriguing new vegetables.</p> <h3>Flowers</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>This may seem like an odd thing to buy at a primarily food-oriented market, but pesticide-free cut flowers are a great thing to pick up on your shopping trip. Conventional flowers are usually grown with a heavy load of pesticides, which takes a toll on the workers involved. In addition, transporting fresh flowers isn't great for the environment. Buying seasonal, local, pesticide-free flowers is a great way to get some natural beauty into your home without harming the planet or other people.</p> <h3>Eggs</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>So-called &quot;cage free&quot; eggs at supermarkets are typically not well-regulated. Cage-free might simply mean that the chickens have a door open for a few hours a day. By contrast, at a farmers' market, you can ask the farmer directly about how the chickens are raised and what they are fed. Many local chicken farmers are proud of their &quot;happy chickens&quot; that live a humane life from birth to death, and that eat a more natural diet including foraging for grass and bugs.</p> <h2>Worst Things to Buy at a Farmer's Market</h2> <p>Now that you've stuffed your grocery totes with the good stuff above, turn up your nose at this stuff, which isn't so great.</p> <h3>Wilted Greens</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The later in the day you come, the less fresh the vegetables will be. This is especially true of farmers' markets that attract growers from outside the immediately local area. Be discerning &mdash; just because it's at the farmers' market doesn't mean it's perfect. In addition, certain vegetables tend to do worse in the heat and sun &mdash; lettuce for example.</p> <h3>Unripe Fruit</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>It's best if you can taste the fruit before you buy, so you can make sure you get produce at the peak of ripeness. Most growers will have samples or will willingly cut you a slice. Make the most of your money and buy only the best, in-season fruit.</p> <h3>Fast Food</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Unfortunately, the crowds at farmers' markets tend to attract food vendors, many of which don't exactly serve health food. Skip the overpriced hot dogs, funnel cakes, and burgers. If you're really hungry and need something immediately, I like to head for the mom-and-pop tamale stands, which offer (usually) homemade steamed tamales and fresh salsas, instead of the deep-fried junk.</p> <h3>Non-Food Items</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Some larger farmers' markets also tend to attract non-food booths that sell gifts and knick-knacks. Be careful not to be suckered into an impulse buy of something that you don't need (I'm thinking potholders, jewelry, clothing, etc). Of course, a local craft item can be a fun souvenir if you're traveling, or a thoughtful gift for out-of-town friends, but in general steer clear of anything you didn't specifically come to buy.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite purchase at your local farmers' market? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The Best and Worst Things to Buy at Farmers&#039; Markets" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Camilla Cheung</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping farmers markets fresh produce fruits and vegetables groceries Fri, 12 Sep 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1209037 at 15 Easy Fall Pizzas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-easy-fall-pizzas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="homemade pizza" title="homemade pizza" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you eat a lot of pizza? I know we do. So does the rest of America (roughly 93% of Americans eat pizza at least <a href="">once per month</a>).</p> <p>But I confess: I prefer more interesting, healthy pizza, rather than the greasy, fast-food-type. Also, being naturally frugal, my preference is to make my own. This is where using fall produce comes into play &mdash; it is always to your budget's benefit to use fruits and vegetables that are in season. (See also: <a href="">This Is How You Make Restaurant Quality Pizza at Home</a>)</p> <p>However, dinner recipes have to be <em>easy</em>. These are.</p> <h2>Crusts and Sauces</h2> <p>First, though, let's talk easy crusts. I like Pillsbury's Artisan Whole Grain, Flatout Bread, or the whole-wheat Boboli brands of crusts. No mixing, kneading, or mess! Also easy, and kid-friendly, are whole-wheat English muffin halves. If you <em>must</em> make your own pizza crust, try this fairly <a href="">uncomplicated recipe</a>. Many of the recipes I have featured below give instructions for crusts. Feel free to ignore them, and use a premade crust, to save time.</p> <p>Secondly, sauce. Since we are going with an &quot;easy&quot; theme here, let's not make sauce from scratch. Pasta sauces make great pizza sauces. Try Alfredo, Vodka, or Marinara. A tub of pesto also works wonders. You will notice that some of the pizzas I have tried out below do not even <em>have</em> sauce.</p> <p>Ready to make some easy, inexpensive, fall-themed pizzas?</p> <h2>1. Carb Heaven</h2> <p>If you are avoiding carbs, apologies, because this <a href="">Potato Pizza</a> has them.</p> <p>I thought the whole idea was nuts until I saw one being made on TV, and then I had to try it. As mentioned above, I made an easy version, with a flatbread crust. This is a vegetarian pizza, but there is nothing to stop you from adding bacon. Nobody in my household has ever complained about the addition of bacon. I also threw on some gorgonzola. Because I don't own a mandolin for slicing, I used my ninja super-sharp knife and cut the potatoes very carefully and thinly. Yukon gold potatoes are very flavorful, and I recommend using those. This pizza is very good with (also easy) packaged kale salad.</p> <h2>2. Turnabout Is Fair Play</h2> <p>Since I was mean to the &quot;no carbs&quot; folks above, let's go carb-free with another fall vegetable, cauliflower. If you are new to the <a href="">cauliflower crust</a> thing, well, it looks like a pizza crust, but tastes like cauliflower. That's not a problem to those of us who love cauliflower. This funny <a href="">video</a> has excellent instructions, including the part about how to get the moisture out of the &quot;dough.&quot; Throw on some of that sauce from a jar, some salami and cheese, and bake. It's awesome and guilt-free pizza, in about an hour.</p> <h2>3. Traditional Fall Salad</h2> <p>Do you like that salad with arugula, bleu cheese, pears, and walnuts? Me, too. Turns out, I like it equally well when it is made into a <a href="">pizza</a>. I substituted pecans because they were handy. The Pillsbury Artisan crust worked very well with this recipe, adding a nutty dimension. I think this is really nice with a bowl of butternut squash soup (the kind from a box, since we are keeping this easy).</p> <h2>4. Squash</h2> <p>If I were a contestant on &quot;Family Feud,&quot; and the category were &quot;Fall Vegetables,&quot; squash would be my first choice. So, if we want to make an easy fall pizza, why not <a href="">Butternut Squash, Spinach and Goat Cheese</a>? The whole-wheat Boboli crust was good and sturdy, supporting these delicious toppings.</p> <h2>5. Pot Roast</h2> <p>Well, not exactly, but <a href="">roasted pork </a>on a pizza is pretty amazing. Pair it with other fall-type stuff like maple syrup and garlic, and you'll see what I mean. Garlic is another fall harvest item and although it takes a little while to prepare it, it's worth the time. Your neighbors will probably show up once you start roasting garlic. I used purchased kalua pork as I did not have leftover pork kicking around. The nuttiness of the Pillsbury crust was good, here. I served it with some fresh, sliced pears.</p> <h2>6. Fennel? Really?</h2> <p>Yes. <a href="">Fennel pizza</a> is delicious, especially when paired with caramelized onions. This makes a great appetizer, too, if you want to cut it into small squares. Fennel has a bit of a licorice-y taste, so this is one for the adventurous eaters. With use of a purchased crust, you can cut down the prep time on this to about a half hour. The flatbread crust was a good bet, here. If you want some meat on it, try slicing some Italian sausage and adding that (that's what I did).</p> <h2>7. Almost Like Dessert</h2> <p><a href="">Cranberries</a>, a fall fruit, are paired with brie and pecans in this pizza recipe. There are variations online that add chicken; some have mozzarella. I like this on a crispy flatbread. Cream cheese is a cheaper substitution, if brie does not fit into the grocery budget. A good variation on this is to add thin slices of apples in addition to (or in place of) the cranberries.</p> <h2>8. Pass the Dip</h2> <p>You know that person who stands at the buffet table and eats all of the hot artichoke dip? Yeah, me, too, and <em>I'm sorry</em>. I get close to that dip and I sort of just lose all inhibitions.</p> <p>Putting the &quot;dip&quot; on a <a href="">pizza crust</a> is just a wonderful idea, don't you think? Any of the recommended pre-prepared crusts &quot;work&quot; with this pizza, because this one is really about the topping. In fact, cardboard would be fine. That was a joke, okay? The recipe's author uses canned artichoke hearts, but I found a good deal on fresh. Because they tend to be expensive, try cooking and using the leaves one night, and saving the hearts for this pizza, the next.</p> <h2>9. Roast 'Em</h2> <p>Talk about a seasonable, healthy <a href="">pizza</a>! Eggplant is great on pizza, especially when roasted like this. I used artichokes out of a jar (in an olive oil-seasoned brine), and they added extra flavor. The Pillsbury whole-wheat crust works well with this, as did marinara sauce from a jar. If you thought you needed to salt and drain your eggplant before using it, no, don't bother. Just roast it; it comes out beautifully.</p> <h2>10. Love Your Sprouts</h2> <p>Being an acquired taste, this <a href="">brussels sprouts</a> pizza may not be one for the kids &mdash; but it is definitely a winner! Look for sprouts that are bright green and have tightly-closed heads. Also, the smaller, the better. The Pillsbury crust held up well. I served it with a spinach-egg salad dressed with balsamic vinegar.</p> <h2>11. Mexican Flavors</h2> <p>Tomatillos are technically a fruit, but they are a fall fruit, so they fit into this fall pizza category. Have you tried tomatillos? They look like green tomatoes with husks, and have a very bright, lemony flavor. They pair very well with cilantro in this <a href="">tomatillo pizza</a>. I opted for queso fresco, a white Mexican cheese, over the cheddar. The Boboli crust was good with this.</p> <h2>12. Use Up That Zucchini</h2> <p>I know, I know&hellip; you are sick of zucchini, and why did you plant so much of it? So you could eat this <a href="">Zucchini-Goat Cheese Pizza,</a> that's why. This is perfect on a Boboli crust, along with another fall vegetable, the red pepper. The zucchini looks better and bakes faster in the strips, but you can just cut it into thin slices, too.</p> <h2>13. Ever-Popular Kale</h2> <p>Kale is sweeter in the fall, because it likes cooler weather. That makes it extra-delicious on <a href="">pizza,</a> especially when paired with&hellip; bacon. (I use Applegate Naturals, which is uncured.) Onions are also being harvested in the fall, so you may start to see some bargains. I liked this on the Pillsbury crust, along with some corn chowder.</p> <h2>14. Fresh Herb</h2> <p>Having overplanted basil and parsley in my garden, I went hunting for a pizza recipe to use some up. Whew! The Pioneer Woman came to the rescue with this <a href="">Fresh Herb</a> pizza. I used a Boboli crust, which was sturdy enough for all that fresh mozzarella. This was very fast and easy to put together. I added some cooked chicken breast to the toppings, too.</p> <h2>15. Rapini, Raab, Rabe, Whatever</h2> <p>Often called Broccoli Rabe, too&hellip; the leaves of this fall vegetable are nutty and bitter, and great when paired with caramelized onions. Who knew it would be so yummy on <a href="">pizza?</a> The flatbread is great for this pizza, and a cup of tomato soup makes a perfect accompaniment.</p> <p><em>Convinced? You can serve your family easy, healthy pizza in about an hour using these ideas. Let us know how it comes out!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Easy Fall Pizzas" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Marla Walters</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink easy pizza fall vegetables harvest vegetables pizza Thu, 04 Sep 2014 21:00:03 +0000 Marla Walters 1202833 at 10 Grocery Store Secrets Only the Pros Know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-grocery-store-secrets-only-the-pros-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man grocery shopping" title="man grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've strolled down aisle after aisle, checked shelf after shelf. But some of these little-known grocery facts may surprise even the most grizzled grocery vet.</p> <h2>1. The Supermarket Is Not Your Best Bet for Fresh Food</h2> <p>Christina Major, creator of the Grocery Store Shopping Trip &mdash; which aims to help sufferers of Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure &mdash; advocates for skipping the supermarket altogether when buying meats, fish, cheese, fruits, and vegetables. If you prefer freshness over frugality, that is. &quot;The grocery store can't be fresh &mdash; it's impossible, &quot;she says. &quot;The foods need to travel from farm to warehouse to truck, to store&hellip; and then wait for a stockperson to put it out. By the time you see a 'fresh' vegetable, it's already days, if not weeks, old.&quot; As an alternative, Major suggests picking up these perishables at your local farmer's market and butcher.</p> <h2>2. There May Be a 'Day-Old' Bread Store in Your Town</h2> <p>Bread is fairly expensive, but you can cut the cost by checking for markdowns in the bakery section of your grocery store on goods reaching their expiration date &mdash; or, better yet, by locating a &quot;day-old&quot; bread store in your area. Diane Lockard, a fellow <a href="">personal finance writer at</a>, says that many towns have these kinds of stores (my hometown did), and she recently purchased a large amount of hot dog and hamburger buns at a big discount for a family reunion by using this tactic.</p> <h2>3. Your Grocery Store Has a Clearance Section</h2> <p>Jessica Fisher, author of the cookbook <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1558328432&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HF7FK37MPHISSG5T">Good Cheap Eats: Everyday Dinners and Fantastic Feasts for $10 or Less</a>, scoops up deals at her supermarket's clearance section. She says, &quot;There are fabulous markdowns on all kinds of things that are perfectly good &mdash; sometimes years from their sell-by date &mdash; that the store is discontinuing. I've saved tons of money buying gourmet and organic items &mdash; as well as organic produce &mdash; this way.&quot;&nbsp;</p> <h2>4. Nutritional Labels Are More Deceptive Than You Think</h2> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0071432396&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=3ZJOZPNAC5QG4X2Z">Cooking Aboard Your RV</a> author Janet Groene warns, &quot;Even avid label readers often miss the key point, which is portion size. To understand how many carbs, how much sodium and so on, look at how many servings the package provides. Most of us take pride in counting calories, not realizing that we're eating more than one portion.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Don't Shop Before 10 a.m. on the Day a Sale Starts</h2> <p>Home organizing blogger Ginny Underwood, advises waiting until mid-morning to do your shopping the day an advertised sale starts &mdash; especially on fresh protein items. &quot;Don't shop too early [that morning], as the butcher and fishmonger many not have the specials out in the display case until 10 a.m.,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>6. You're Probably Not Buying the Right Whole-Grain Foods</h2> <p>Immediately opt for packages with words like &quot;multi-grain,&quot; &quot;stone-ground,&quot; and &quot;whole wheat&quot;? Chris Weiler, author of <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0989179605&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HLQ6LU3PV7EO2WIZ">The 3/4 Rule: How to Eat as a Young Athlete</a>, explains that you may need to look closer. &quot;The higher the fiber content the more nutrient dense the food, he says. &quot;The 'Fiber Rule' is your secret weapon that enables you to know without a doubt whether or not the ingredients are really whole grains. Since the fiber content is the defining measure of a whole grain, don't even bother reading the marketing claims on the package; simply look at the fiber content.&quot; (See also: <a href="">Getting Whole-Grain Nutrition</a>)</p> <p>Weiler notes that there is a connection between the ingredients list and the amount of fiber listed on the Nutrition Facts table. &quot;If the dietary fiber serving is 3 grams or above, you can be confident that you have a quality, whole-grain food source. The more grams of fiber per serving means that a higher percentage of the food you are eating comes from whole grains. If you are eating a piece of bread that has 2 grams of fiber per serving versus one that has 6 grams per serving, you know that the 2 gram slice of bread contains a low amount of whole grain ingredients and is therefore not as nutrient dense.&quot;</p> <h2>7. This &quot;Natural Ingredient&quot; in Your Food May Make You Gag</h2> <p>I know that gelatin isn't a PETA-friendly food since it consists of animal parts, like bones, but you might be surprised to learn that there may be a little bit of beaver in your diet as well. Melissa Garcia, owner of, recently enlightened me that the &quot;natural ingredients&quot; listed on labels may be more natural than we care to know. &quot;Castoreum, which is a secretion made by beavers from the anal glands, is used as a food additive in some of the products you buy,&quot; Garcia says. &quot;You might find it in some vanilla and strawberry flavored ice-cream and yogurt. Next time you pick one of these products up, check the label.&quot; (See also: <a href="">I'm Eating What? 12 Gross Things in Your Food</a>)</p> <h2>8. You Can Return Things to the Grocery Store</h2> <p>If you're not satisfied with a product you bought &mdash; maybe your milk is already spoiled when you opened it or your apple had a worm in it &mdash; you can take it back to the supermarket. Just like at the mall.</p> <h2>9. Yep, There's an App for That</h2> <p>You can save even more dough at the grocery store &mdash; on top of the sale savings, coupons, and other tactics you're already using &mdash; by downloading savings apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51, both of which are relatively new to the scene. Instead of coupon-like savings that are deducted from your bill, these apps reward you in cash when you buy items that the apps are promoting. I personally use these apps, and I've saved well over $25 since downloading that I can trade in for gift cards or have sent to my PayPal account in real money. You also can search your app store for supermarket-specific apps that also can help stack up the savings.</p> <h2>10. Compare Prices for Similar Items in Different Departments</h2> <p>This tip is kind of a wow-moment for me because I've honestly never thought about this. The amazing tip comes from Stephanie Nelson, founder of <a href=""></a>. &quot;Check different departments,&quot; Nelson says. &quot;A type of cheese sold in the deli department might cost more than a different brand of the same type of cheese sold in the dairy department. One brand of a type of nuts in the produce department might cost less than a different brand of the same type of nuts in the baking aisle.&quot; Seriously &mdash; Mind. Blown. (See also: <a href="">Market Clones: How to Pay Drastically Less for Pricey Products</a>)</p> <p><em>Do you have other supermarket secrets that you're willing to declassify? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Grocery Store Secrets Only the Pros Know" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping Food groceries grocery shopping grocery store Thu, 04 Sep 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1202832 at 7 Fresh Veggies You Can Grow From Kitchen Scraps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-fresh-veggies-you-can-grow-from-kitchen-scraps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="gardener vegetables" title="gardener vegetables" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A funny thing happened at our house this spring.</p> <p>We bid on our house in October, closed in December, and moved in January. In Colorado. So, while we knew that the house seemed to be well-landscaped and we could see the general outlines of how things would grow, we had no idea if some of the beds had anything at all planted in them, let alone what might be there. (See also: <a href="">Urban Composting: It Can Be Done</a>)</p> <p>So super early this spring, about the time that the tulips and daffodils started blooming, something shot up out of one bed, and then another something, and then another. I waited for them to bloom, but, when they didn't, I went ahead and pulled one up, just to see what it was. As I pulled, I got a whiff of something.</p> <p>Onion?</p> <p>Sure enough, someone had planted green onion ends in the garden bed, and they were coming up as the weather warmed.</p> <p>When I researched it, I found that there are actually a good number of vegetables that you can plant from kitchen scraps, so you can regrow them over and over and over again. Here are some of my favorites.</p> <h2>Lettuce and Celery</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>I grouped these together because <a href="">their re-growth process is similar</a>. Cut off all the stalks but leave the whitish part at the bottom intact. Place this in a bowl of water and wait a few days, being sure to spray or flick water onto the top so it stays moist, too. Within a week, you should start seeing baby leaves and roots growing out of the old white part. Plant it with just the new leaves above the soil line, and water. Pretty soon you'll have a whole new vegetable!</p> <p>I have found that some heads, especially of lettuce, just don't seem to sprout. I'm not sure why this is, but I usually just buy another vegetable and try again. I've read that this whole process works with cabbage and bok choy, too, but I haven't tried either of those.</p> <h2>Avocado</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The process here is <a href="">more involved</a> than for almost everything else.</p> <p>To re-grow an avocado, wash the seed and poke toothpicks into its sides until you can use them to suspend it, wide part down, over a glass of water. Fill the glass until the water comes to &frac34;&quot;-1&quot; above the bottom of the seed. Keep it warm and remember to add water if the levels drop. After about six weeks, you should see a stem. When that gets to 6&quot;, trim it back to approximately 3&quot;. Once you see leaves (usually about the same time as the trim), plant the whole thing in your garden, with the top half of the seed peeking out of the ground.</p> <p>We love that these are re-growable, because we used to live in California, where they're much cheaper than they are here. The process feels very slow, but having fresh avocados is so worth it!</p> <h2>Ginger</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The full name for &quot;ginger&quot; is &quot;ginger root,&quot; and the part you buy in a store is exactly that. <a href="">You can simply plant it</a>, either in a pot or directly into your garden. Everything I've read says to plant it with the most recent buds facing up, but I can never tell which those are, and mine has regrown fine. Simply plant it and water it like any other plant.</p> <p>The only problem with ginger is that it is awkward to harvest. You have to get down to the roots, either by digging or pulling the whole thing up, and then replant it again. Still, if you use ginger a lot, it's probably worth the time and energy that takes.</p> <h2>Pineapple</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>To get started <a href="">re-growing a pineapple</a>, you need to separate the top from the fruit. Consensus seems to say that the best way to do this is to cut it about &frac14;&quot; down and dig out the fruit. Then let the top dry for a few days, before you plant it directly into moist soil, potting or otherwise. Be sure to keep it warm and damp, since the pineapple grows best in tropical areas. It can take up to two years for the plant to produce fruit but, hey, we have all the time in the world.</p> <p>I honestly haven't tried this one, because no one here likes pineapple, but I included it because it sounds like so much fun. Let me know how it goes if you try it!</p> <h2>Potatoes (and Sweet Potatoes, Too!)</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Chop a regular potato into sections that each have at least two eyes. Plant these in a pot and water them well until you see shoots and leaves appearing. Sweet potatoes are similar, except that most of the eyes tend to cluster around one end. You can plant the whole thing, or just cut off this &quot;top&quot; of the potato and plant that. Once you see the shoots and leaves, you can take cuttings, and start new plants and/or transplant them into your garden.</p> <p>Later this summer, after we found green onions growing all over the place, we discovered that some of our larger &quot;weeds&quot; were actually potato plants! We haven't harvested them yet (except for the few that we accidentally dug up when we thought they were pests), but they look promising.</p> <h2>Mushrooms</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>These tend to be <a href="">a particular challenge to re-grow</a>, but it's fun to try. Separate the top part from the bottom part. Then plant the bottom part in soil that's as nutrient-dense as you can get it, with just the very tip showing. If you keep it cool at night and in filtered light (think light that a mushroom might get while under a tree) during the day, you just might top your pizza with your own mushrooms next time!</p> <p>I haven't had much success with this, but it hasn't stopped me from trying. It seems hard to get these just the right amount of water at the right time. Mine keep looking like they are doing well, and then dying all-of-a-sudden.</p> <h2>Onions</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>In addition to the green onions I found growing in my yard, <a href="">you can re-grow full-size onions</a>, too. Usually, an onion has an end that seems to have small roots attached. Cut this off, with just &frac14;&quot; or so of the flesh of the onion still attached. Plant this, roots down, in a pot or directly in your garden.</p> <p>My onions have been ready in two-three months, when the stalk starts to get yellow, though it can take up to four months, depending on where you live and where you plant them. Remember to note where you plant which types of onions, so you can be sure to harvest the type you need!</p> <p><em>Have you re-grown any vegetables from kitchen scraps? Did it work for you?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Fresh Veggies You Can Grow From Kitchen Scraps" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink compost gardens leftovers scraps vegetables Wed, 03 Sep 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1202639 at Best Money Tips: Eat Better Food For Less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-eat-better-food-for-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on eating better food for less, making big life decisions, and cheap baby essentials under $30.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">Shop Like the French. You'll Eat Better Food For Less</a> &mdash; Shopping often and buying whole foods can help you eat better food for less. [Free to Pursue]</p> <p><a href="">Making Big Life Decisions: The Regret Test</a> &mdash; When you are making a decision about what to do, think about which you would regret more: doing what you are thinking about doing or not doing what you are considering doing. [Color Me Frugal]</p> <p><a href="">Money Musings From Mommyhood, Week 8: Cheap Baby Essentials Under $30</a> &mdash; A wipe warmer and multi-use pads are just a couple cheap baby essentials any new parent should consider investing in. [Farnoosh]</p> <p><a href="">Warning: Two Factors Stopping Your Financial Success</a> &mdash; Are you having trouble being financially successful? Your mindset may be the cause of your difficulties. [Take a Smart Step]</p> <p><a href="">10 Ways We Pay Attention to Money</a> &mdash; Take the time to balance your bank accounts monthly and reassess your emergency fund balances annually. [MoneyPlan SOS]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">Want a Used Washer? Budget Some Time</a> &mdash; If you are thinking about buying a used washer, start looking long before you will actually need it. [Mighty Bargain Hunter]</p> <p><a href="">Tips for Financing Your First Car</a> &mdash; When financing a car, stay away from dealer financing and read the fine print. [Joe Taxpayer]</p> <p><a href="">Four Tips for Glamping on a Budget</a> &mdash; To glamp on a budget, cook from scratch instead of eating out or buying ready made food. [Miss Thrifty Blog]</p> <p><a href="">The 5 Best Toddler Carseats</a> &mdash; Are you in the market for a carseat for your toddler? Check out the Clek Oobr Booster Car Seat. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">56 Ways to Be a Risk Taker Today</a> &mdash; Signing up for a class and doing a DIY are just a couple ways you can take a risk today. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Eat Better Food For Less" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink best money tips better eat Food less Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1195553 at Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man reading menu" title="man reading menu" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Americans love to dine out. We spend an average of <a href="">$1,000 annually</a> just on going to lunch. In total, we each spend about $2700 annually in restaurants and on take-out.</p> <p>And where I live (New York City), it's that much worse. So I decided to do a price comparison to discover the restaurant menu items that serve up the biggest cost difference from homemade versions. As a reference, I used the menus of my local, reasonably priced diners and mom-and-pop restaurants. If you eat out at more expensive restaurants, the price difference will be even more extreme. Here's what I found.</p> <h2>1. Pasta</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Nothing could be simpler to prepare at home than pasta. Whether you buy dry or fresh pasta or make your own (as I recently started doing), pasta is generally a ripoff at most restaurants. My local Italian place serves its simplest and least expensive pasta dish for $10. I can make the exact same simple dish at home for less than $1.</p> <h2>2. Salad</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Whether you buy your produce at the grocery store, farmer's market, your local CSA, corner produce vendor, or grow your own, a simple veggie salad is a dish you should avoid at restaurants, especially during the summer months when local fresh vegetables are plentiful. I tallied up what it costs to make a simple salad at home with ingredients from my grocery store, and it costs less than $2 for all of the ingredients. My local diner charges $9 for the same salad.</p> <h2>3. Wine</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Wine is my drink of choice. A reasonably priced local wine bar in my neighborhood has wines at $8 by the glass and $34 by the bottle (a bargain compared to a lot of New York City restaurants). My local wine store, however, has these same bottles for $14 each. A bottle easily serves four good-sized glasses of vino.</p> <h2>4. Coffee and Tea</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>We are a country of coffee lovers. As many as <a href="">83% of Americans drink coffee</a> and in total we consume 587 million cups of joe per year. Excluding Starbucks, local coffee shops, and the artisanal coffee retailers that tend to charge high per cup prices, I toddled over to my local diner to browse their coffee and tea selection. They cost a minimum of $1.55 per cup. Not bad, especially with free refills. Then I broke down what it costs to brew my favorite gourmet coffee and tea at home and found it only costs $0.25 for the coffee and $0.15 for the tea. Grab your travel mug and home brew your morning fix.</p> <h2>5. Juice and Sodas</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>These are items best bought at the grocery store. Juice is $3.50 per glass at my diner. Soda is $2.50 per glass. I recently bought 64 ounce bottles of each through Freshdirect for $2.50. Doing the math, a glass of either at home costs me $0.31. At the restaurant, stick with good ol' free tap water.</p> <h2>6. Dessert</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Given my sweet tooth, I'm always tempted by the dessert case. My frugal ways help me to steer clear of ordering, however. A slice of pie, conservatively, runs about $5 per at my local diner. I can buy an entire 8-slice organic, fresh-baked pie at my Whole Foods for $10. If I bake that same pie myself, the cost for the whole pie is about the cost of a single slice at the diner.</p> <h2>7. Simple Sandwiches</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>When it's lunch time and I'm out and about in the city, I often crave the simplest sandwich. Grilled cheese, ham and swiss, and a classic BLT are some of my go-to options. Then I look at the menu of some of my regular cafe stops and at their least expensive, these sandwiches ring up at $6 each. That same sandwich costs less than $1 to make at home. Grabbing a simple lunch on-the-go for the sake of convenience and time certainly comes at a cost!</p> <h2>8. Egg Dishes</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Eggs are a staple in my fridge and for $2.50 a dozen at the grocery store, they're one of the most nutritious bargains, too, at about $0.20 per egg. At my diner, an egg with a few potatoes and a couple pieces of toast will cost you $5. You don't even need your calculator to realize eggs are best consumed at home.</p> <h2>9. Baked Goods</h2> <p><img width="605" height="339" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>I used to tell myself I was no good at baking. Turns out I just needed to realize that baking and cooking require a different focus. While in cooking you can fudge measurements of ingredients, in baking you can't. Precision counts. Once I realized that, I started baking regularly. No need to spend $2 to $3 per muffin at my local bakery anymore. I can quickly whip up a batch of 12 for that price. I just put them in a ziploc bag and pop them in the freezer to warm up throughout the week.</p> <h2>10. Pizza</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>For a long time I believed pizza was worth buying because pizzerias deliver that chewy crust I crave. Then a friend told me that a $10 pizza stone would transform my homemade pizzas into works of art. Now I whip up homemade pizzas, with all the toppings I love, for a dime a slice. Even my local $2 slice joint can't compete with the cost-savings of my pizza stone.</p> <p><em>What's over-priced at your local eatery? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Christa Avampato</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink dining out expensive food restaurants Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Christa Avampato 1197727 at 9 Satisfying Stir-Fries in 20 Minutes or Less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-satisfying-stir-fries-in-20-minutes-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="stir-fry cooking" title="stir-fry cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the fastest, cheapest meals I make on a regular basis is the stir-fry. As a vegetarian, it's a great way to get a big dose of vegetables and protein in one convenient pan. Meat eaters, too, can get their fill of healthy foods in just about 20 minutes. And the best part? There's little clean-up when you're done cooking. (See also: <a href="">10 Tricks To Keep Your Kitchen Clean While You Cook</a>)</p> <p>So check out these 10 fantastic stir-fries that will have you eating more and scrubbing less.</p> <h2>1. Chicken and Broccoli</h2> <p>The most delectable part of this <a href="">Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry</a> is the marinade, which features ginger, sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, and lemon zest. If you're not into meat, you can always substitute your favorite protein, like fried tofu. (The same trick applies to any non-vegetarian recipes that follow &mdash; and vice versa.)</p> <h2>2. Blackened Shrimp</h2> <p>Onions and peppers make up the veggies in this tasty <a href="">Blackened Shrimp Stir-Fry</a>. The seasoning is a hefty dose of Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Seafood Magic. If you cannot find it in your local grocery store, try this <a href="">copycat recipe</a> that contains several common herbs and spices with a spicy kick of paprika.</p> <h2>3. Thai Peanut</h2> <p>One of my favorite meals is this delicious <a href="">Thai Peanut Stir-Fry</a> with fresh veggies atop brown rice noodles. The sauce is made extra thick and creamy with full fat coconut milk. Don't skimp on the sprouts &mdash; they give the dish a nice crunch.</p> <h2>4. Chicken Fajita</h2> <p>Part stir-fry, part salad, this <a href="">Chicken Fajita Salad</a> is ready in just 20 minutes. It's a healthy twist on this Tex-Mex favorite, complete with liquid smoke for extra flair. I'd use black beans in this recipe for some solid vegetarian protein.</p> <h2>5. Almond Veggie</h2> <p>This <a href="">Almond Vegetable Stir-Fry</a> recipe is simple yet complexly flavorful. You'll notice that cornstarch is a key ingredient in the sauce, which is meant to give the dish thicker texture and also a more vibrant color. You can also substitute in arrowroot powder at an equal ratio.</p> <h2>6. Indian Style</h2> <p>I adore Indian food, and this <a href="">Vegetable Jalfrezi</a> recipe looks authentic without the fuss. The author claims this recipe takes 25 minutes to make from start to finish, but I imagine if you're in a pinch, you can cut off 5 minutes or more if you chop veggies in bulk at the beginning of the week. (See also: <a href="">Save Time and Money with a Monthly Assembly Cooking Weekend</a>)</p> <h2>7. Easy Veggie</h2> <p>This <a href="">Vegetable Stir-Fry</a> is so fresh, it might just make your regular meal rotation. If you have a garden or CSA farm share for the growing season, you can always substitute in whatever you have in your fridge for the other vegetables in this recipe.</p> <h2>8. Fig, Apple, and Pear</h2> <p>Fruit for dinner? Yes! This <a href="">Fig, Apple, and Chicken Stir-Fry</a> can be cooked in 20 minutes flat if you're smart with your preparation. The fruit only takes three minutes to cook, so the rest is in getting that chicken done. Cutting it into small chunks from the start should help.</p> <h2>9. Sumptuous Steak</h2> <p>I love the mix of vegetables that accompany this <a href="">Steak Stir-Fry</a>. Bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, snow peas, and even edamame. Don't have all these on hand? No problem &mdash; use what you've got! And one of my favorite tricks for quick meals like these is using frozen mixes of veggies. They always stay good and require zero prepping before being tossed into the pan. Many also contain those more traditional blends of stir-fry vegetable favorites.</p> <h2>A Frozen Veggie Secret</h2> <p>And if you'd like to skip the marked-up frozen veggie packages at the store and make your own, <a href="">this method</a> is the way to go. Chop up vegetables and then blanch them before cooling to freeze in plastic zip bags. Take advantage of in-season vegetables or whatever is on sale to make your custom mix. Then enjoy dinners in a flash whenever the days get busy. With back-to-school just around the corner, I think we all need a trick like this in our back pockets.</p> <p><em>Do you have any favorite go to stir-fry recipes? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Satisfying Stir-Fries in 20 Minutes or Less" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink easy meals quick meals recipes stir-fry vegetarian Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1193087 at 10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman buying milk" title="woman buying milk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What does it mean to get the most for your money when it comes to food? If you want to get the most calories for your dollar, you needn't look much further than the nearest fast food chain, which will gladly serve up a high-calorie burger, french fries, or a milkshake for less than $1.</p> <p>And that cheap food sure feels like a bargain. You're full, only $1 dollar poorer, and you can be back at your desk within 20 minutes' time.</p> <p>But whether that food is <em>really</em> the most cost-effective thing to eat depends on how you look at value. Sure, you'll probably get the most <em>calories</em> for your money from fast foods or junk food. The problem is that in the United States, what most people need isn't more calories, it's more <em>nutrients</em>.</p> <p>The latest statistics show that more than two-thirds of <a href="">Americans are overweight or obese</a>. And while corpulence used to be considered a sign of wealth, rates of obesity are just as high or <a href="">higher in the most disadvantaged populations</a>. But despite all those calories, most Americans <a href="">fall short of the recommended dietary guidelines</a> for many key nutrients. In other words, the concept of getting the most for your money when it comes to buying food has changed. And, at a time when more people than ever are overfed but still undernourished, experts suggest we should be stretching our food budgets by seeking out the foods that cost the least and provide the highest possible level of nutrition. (See also: <a href="">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)</a>)</p> <p>A publication created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2012 looked at different ways of <a href="">measuring the value of food and food costs</a> beyond cost-per-calories. It compared cost per 100 calories, cost per 100 edible grams, and cost per portion. What it found is that you can fill your plate &mdash; and your stomach &mdash; with some very healthy foods for less than the cost of a fast-food burger.</p> <p>So what are the cheapest healthy foods you can buy? Here are the 10 top contenders.</p> <h2>Corn Tortillas</h2> <p>Corn tortillas are cheap food no matter how you look at them; they're cheap per calorie, they're cheap per portion, and they require little or no preparation (although if you're ambitious, <a href="">you can make your own</a>.) These aren't nutritional powerhouses on their own, but they're <a href="">relatively low in calories</a> and if you stuff them with some of the other foods on this list, you'll have a great, low-cost, nutritious meal.</p> <h2>Beans</h2> <p>Pinto beans and other dried beans are among the least expensive foods per portion size. And that's good news. Beans are powerful disease fighters that are <a href="">high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants</a>. They're filling, flavorful, and they come at a price of about 27 cents per cup. And they aren't that hard to cook up. <a href="">Really</a>.</p> <h2>Onions</h2> <p>Onions have been a staple food in many cultures for centuries; the Egyptians even worshipped these pungent layers of peel. What's not to love? They're easy to grow, can be stored for long periods, and they add loads of flavor to any dish. Plus, <a href="">they're high in vitamin C and disease fighting compounds</a>. And, at 55 cents per pound, onions are one of the least expensive vegetables out there.</p> <h2>Carrots</h2> <p>Carrots can be cooked into <a href="">soups</a>, baked into <a href="">pies</a>, or are great with a little dip as an afternoon snack. They also come with <a href="">plenty of fiber and tons of vitamin A</a>. The cost? About 63 cents per cup.</p> <h2>Potatoes</h2> <p>Potatoes have gotten a bad rap in recent years, mostly as a result of diets like Atkins or South Beach, which aim to limit carbohydrates. However, it's important to remember that potatoes have been a staple food for people around the world for centuries. Plus, many of the studies that have vilified potatoes have lumped steamed or baked potatoes together with French fries and potato chips. (See also: <a href="">End Potato Prejudice: 10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Potatoes</a>)</p> <p>In reality, a plain potato is <a href="">relatively low in calories, and very high in fiber and vitamins</a>. Plus, potatoes have also been <a href="">found to be the most satisfying food on the Satiety Index</a>, which means a helping will keep you feeling fuller longer. All that for about 53 cents per cup.</p> <h2>Bread</h2> <p>Bread is another food that many health-conscious people have banished from the table, and in some cases for good reason. Research has shown that eating too much starchy food &mdash; especially at the expense of fruits and vegetables &mdash; contributes to obesity. That said, whole grains are associated with <a href="">lower levels of unhealthy belly fat</a>. The bottom line? If you stick to whole grain breads and avoid overdoing it, you'll be just fine. Look for day-old bread at your local bakery, or buy in bulk on sale and freeze it for later.</p> <h2>Oatmeal</h2> <p>Whole grains are good for you, but oats might just be the best of the bunch. Beyond providing a healthy dose of fiber, <a href="">oatmeal's soluble fiber has been shown to reduce LDL (or &quot;bad&quot;) cholesterol</a>. Eating oatmeal regularly may also reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and prevent hardening of the artery walls. For the biggest benefit, use rolled or steel cut oats. And be sure to buy them unprocessed; instant oatmeal packets tend to cost more and be loaded with sugar and salt.</p> <h2>Milk</h2> <p>A gallon of milk might look pretty expensive; <a href="">according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>, a gallon of milk cost an average of $3.62 as of June 2014. Even so, <a href="">the FDA ranks 1% milk as less expensive than regular soda</a> for an average serving. Full-fat milk is also cheaper on a cost-per-calorie basis, as it has more calories than the same volume of soda. And no matter what kind of milk you choose, it has far more nutrients than soda or even fruit juice, including calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Debates about milk's value as a health food aside, there's no question that it's a better, more nutritious choice than soda. It's good to know it's healthier for your budget, too.</p> <h2>Eggs</h2> <p>Eggs are the ultimate low-cost food. Not only are they inexpensive, but they are easy to prepare. They are a great source of complete protein, and include vitamins and minerals that are hard to get from other food sources, <a href="">such as vitamin D, vitamin K and choline</a>. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a carton of eggs punches in at about $1.95. Breakfast (or lunch or dinner) for a few cents!</p> <h2>Peanut Butter</h2> <p>Peanut butter is nutritious, filling, practical &mdash; and cheap! One serving will give you a dose of vitamin E, magnesium and potassium, and B vitamins. Research has shown that regular consumption of peanuts and other nuts <a href="">can protect against heart disease</a>, and can significantly<a href=""> lower your risk of diabetes</a>. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can bring home a one-pound jar for about $2.50.</p> <p><em>What healthy foods help you stretch your food budget? Let me know in the comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Tara Struyk</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping Health healthy eating healthy food nutrition Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Tara Struyk 1193085 at