A gallery of cheap eats

June 19, 2009

I am seriously exhausted, but I also have anxiety issues, and these pictures piling up, plus all that math that isn’t going to do itself, well. It’s getting to me.

pesto vegetable soup, or, a rare moment of foresight

pesto vegetable soup, or, a rare moment of foresight

This seems a little pricey at $10.06 for the whole recipe, but it actually made 10-12 servings, which makes it around $1.01 per serving. And also very handy to have around when you’re too tired to cook.

matt's request: spring rolls

matt's request: spring rolls

Because the stupid organic shrimp that is so delicious we can’t quit it costs $8.75 for a half pound, these were on the pricey side. The total was about $11.39 for 14 spring rolls, which I’d call at least 4 servings, but, in the interest of full disclosure, I ate 3 and Matt ate 11. So I don’t know if I can call it 4 servings in good conscience. Although later, he did say something about them expanding in his stomach, so maybe that was a little much, even for him.

couscous/lentils/chickpeas/delicious things

couscous/lentils/chickpeas/delicious things

This one wins the cheap contest. I used this recipe and it came out to a total of $4.09 for 4 servings, for a total of $1.02 per serving. Also, I loved it, but Matt found it bland. I think maybe those spring rolls were still expanding in his stomach.

looks can be deceiving

looks can be deceiving

I know this looks like someone already ate it, but seriously. It was really good. I’ve never cooked with garam masala and it made everything smell good and taste even better. Plus, there are apples in there. I used a version of this recipe, which is an adaptation of another one. Also, they did the math for me. Which is great, because I lost some receipts and I also bought those red lentils about 6 months ago.

Tomorrow marks a year since we legitimized our union in the eyes of the state of Kansas, which is a great reason to go out for dinner and split a bottle of prosecco if there ever was one. After that, and some cake that I’m crossing my fingers isn’t too freezer-burned, it’s back to the frugal gourmet.


Black and white and red all over

February 19, 2009

Did you miss me?

I know you did, because I got so many comments about my absence.

OH WAIT. No I didn’t.

But that’s okay, I had a busy week, too.

This morning was cold, the coldest it’s been in a few weeks, and I felt like my feet were actually frozen by the time I made it from my car to work, so I started thinking about chili at about 8:25am. Which is early even for me.

Also, according to my very careful records (this blog), we haven’t had chili since December 21, and that’s kind of remarkable in this household.

triple bean and toasted barley chili

triple bean and toasted barley chili

Say that three times fast.

I put this together on the fly, but I think it went something like this:

  1. Heat ~1t olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add 1/2 cup quick cooking barley and toast, stirring frequently, for two minutes.
  3. Add 1 diced green pepper and 1 diced onion, along with cumin, chili powder, and cayenne to taste. I actually had a cumin accident at this point and I’m sure there’s at least 1/4 cup in this dish. Cook, stirring often, until peppers and onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and bring to a fairly serious boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 20 minutes. The barley should be tender and the whole thing should look really thick. Or “dank,” as Matt would say.
  5. Add 2 more cups of broth, 1 cup of water, more spices, and 1 can of each of the following beans: dark red kidney, black, and garbanzo. Or any firm beans. Whatever.
  6. Stir and bring back to a quick boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 more minutes.
  7. Uncover and continue to simmer until it thickens up a bit.

This makes at least 5 or 6 meals, and it tasted great. I didn’t use any tomatoes, so it had more of a white chili feel.

Many days ago, we also had this pizza, which is notable because of Matt’s inspired addition:

how do you like them apples?

how do you like them apples?

That’s right, he chopped up some gala apples to put on it, along with the mushrooms, red peppers, and broccoli that I selected (most of the broccoli fell off, sadly). I was skeptical at first, but I have to admit that he was right: the apples were awesome.

I’m cooking at least our next three dinners, so I should be back soon. I’m committing in this public forum, so I kind of have to, right?

Well, at least it’s Friday.

September 5, 2008

Hi. My hip really hurts and it’s hard to even sit, but I care so much about my readership that I’m posting anyway. You can thank me later.

At least dinner was good –

That’s quinoa/apple/walnut salad with turkey sausage. Things suddenly cooled off a lot here this week, and I have a feeling we’ll be transitioning from salad season to soup season before I know it, so I’m taking advantage of these final salad days.

I didn’t really modify the recipe, so posting it would be dodgy in terms of copyright, but let’s just say the title speaks volumes. And might speak more volumes if it also included the words “spinach” and “balsamic vinaigrette.” If you get my drift.

I think the pain is making me loopy.

Now, I’m going to go put heat on my hip and probably fall asleep in about fifteen minutes. Hopefully, I’ll wake up mobile enough to go to yoga.

Easter brack

March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday is a great opportunity to make food. We overslept this morning and didn’t have time to go to the laundromat, so I took advantage and made a more complicated breakfast than usual. It’s not brunch, because I don’t see myself skipping lunch today, but it was late enough that it could replace my morning snack. So it’s brack. My plan was to make apple-cinnamon pancakes. This is something we get at Edesia’s, but I wasn’t in the mood to take a shower, go outside, wait 2 hours for breakfast, and spend a lot of money, so I decided to try it at home. I made oatmeal pancakes (sans banana) and then put baked apples on top. Since it was a special occasion, I actually went a little overboard on mine. I decided to recreate my Almond Joy Oatmeal (oatmeal with some coconut, sliced almonds and a few chocolate chips) in pancake form. It was a little much and didn’t go with the baked apples so well, but I didn’t want to waste food, so I ate it anyway.

Here it is with coffee (it looks teeny but the coconut seemed to make it thicker than usual, so it was pretty hearty):


Note the Easter-appropriate colors.

I feel completely at a loss for what I should do today. The gym is closed. Target is closed. Obviously there’s basketball. And I suppose I could catch up on all the things I’ve been putting off – more cleaning, working on taxes, laundry, writing project for work. Or maybe I’ll take a walk.