July 27, 2011
CHEAP AND EASY RECIPES
Everyday food preparation is a rushed, harried, nerve-wracking chore that consumes time I’d rather spend at something more profitable, like listing my garage sale finds in eBay. I would gladly pay extra for a house without a kitchen. You know that show, Thirty Minute Meals? Who’s got thirty minutes? (For someone who resents cooking, I do spend a lot of time watching The Food Network. Go figure.)
But we can’t eat out every night – or so Benni claims – so I try to create meals that are quick, cheap, and healthy. The good news is that the most beneficial foods are also the least expensive. A curried tofu-veggie stir-fry costs a lot less than a steak, and doesn’t clog your arteries like the meat-and-potato diet I grew up with. The same goes for the linguine with pesto sauce that I make from my home-grown basil. Here are some lazy-ass recipes from my I’D RATHER NOT BE COOKING files.
• FOOLPROOF GUACAMOLE: Mash an avocado with a container of fresh salsa.
Whatever I prepare, I make sure there’s enough for a few days. That’s why cole slaw is my salad of choice: it’s got staying power
Asian markets are the best places to buy fish. The product is fresher than fresh, and the prices are rock-bottom. Some of these places also sell live fowl, but that’s a little too fresh for me.
I did score a two-pound jar of mango chutney for $6.89, at Smart and Final. Unfortunately, it had the thick, glutinous consistency of cheap jam.
I am, however, a big fan of the Ninety-Nine Cent Stores. I have found organic cauliflower and Silver Palate Pasta Sauces for – you guessed it – 99 cents. Plus Italian pasta at two-for-a-dollar. When you come across a great deal here, better buy as much as you can squirrel away: it may not be there next week. I learned this the hard way, when they stopped carrying those round cardboard boxes of triangular cheese snacks that cost four bucks in the supermarket.
Here’s a cheapo healthy easy yummy dinner I made recently.
ROTINI WITH CAULIFLOWER AND BREADCRUMBS
In a separate skillet, heat some olive oil and sauté
Drain the pasta and cauliflower, add to the skillet, and mix in with the other ingredients.
Grate some Parmigiana cheese over the whole beautiful mess.
I threw together a green salad, and had a fab dinner for four. Total cost was about seven bucks since I had gotten most of the ingredients at the Ninety-Nine Cent Store.