Friday, May 28, 2010


This falls into the category of "use up bits and pieces" dinner. I served this with bread and tapenade (both storebought) and veggie sandwiches (leftover from a work lunch that I wasn't invited to, but I got the leftovers).

Couscous with veggies
1 T canola oil: 0.04
1 onion, diced: 0.33
1.5 cup couscous: 1.03
1.5 cup water
3 small kohlrabi, peeled and diced: 1.00
1 small head broccoli, chopped: 1.00
3 pieces green garlic, chopped: 0.30
juice and zest of 1 lemon: free
salt and pepper
Total: $3.70 for about 8 servings. $0.46 per serving

topped with parmesan and avocado. Yum!

Boil water, pour over couscous, cover and let sit. I left it covered in the fridge all day.

Saute onion until soft. Add kohlrabi and cook until onions and kohlrabi are brown. Add green garlic and broccoli and 1/4 cup water, cover and steam 4 min.

Add cooked couscous, salt, pepper, and lemon juice and zest. Stir to warm through.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tempeh and Red Bean Tacos

With fresh tortillas.

No recipe today. The tortillas - I followed the recipe on the masa bag. And managed to not melt any plastic to my pan.

The tempeh and red beans...I cooked up an onion, added the crumbled tempeh and cooked red beans and some of the cooking liquid. Add garlic, cumin, salt, chili powder, and pepper. Voila!

Toppings as always...guacamole, salsa, sour cream, shredded cheddar.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Skillet Pasta

One-dish meal. Love it. I've made variations here before. This day included:

1 small bunch leeks
1/2 onion
1/2 of a 28-can of diced tomatoes
the remains of a jar of marinara
1/2 lb pasta
one bunch chard
and some olives and sun-dried tomatoes

For breakfast this morning, I made pancakes. Before going to work. I've now officially done at least some work every day for 7 days. Kinda tired of it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chicken Tikka Masala and Root Vegetable Chips

I can't believe I attempted two new recipes on a weekday. Really, my son's been sick all week, and I've been home a couple of afternoons, or I wouldn't have attempted it. My poor hubby had a lot of dishes to do.

(Yes, he picked up a stomach bug on the camping trip. Which is why we've been too busy to give any update other than photos. Like, how cheap and fun it can be to go camping.)

I discovered this recipe on Joanne's blog. If you've not visited her blog, you should. That girl can cook. I was really excited to try it, knowing that I even had almond milk! No cream in the house, but I was going to leave that out.

Then I discovered that my almond milk is vanilla flavored. Oops. So I used soy milk. I also cut back on the heat for the family (even though my son hasn't been eating lately).

Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4, adapted from Joanne's adaptation from Meeta over at What's For Lunch, Honey?

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (Organic, free range): $7.34
2/3 cup plain yogurt: 0.47
juice of 1/2 lemon: 0.38
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated: 0.05
2 tsp ground cumin: 0.05
1 tsp ground cinnamon: 0.05
1 tsp chili powder: 0.05
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Tomato Gravy
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes: 1.15
1 cup soy milk: 0.50
1 Tbsp corn starch: 0.05
2 cloves garlic: 0.10
pinch red chili flake: 0.05
2 tsp cumin: 0.05
2 tsp paprika: 0.05
1 Tbsp butter: 0.06
salt and pepper

Total: $10.40 for about 5 servings. I know the recipe says 4, but it's closer to 5 for us. $2.08 per serving. Higher than my normal, I know, but it's not vegetarian and I'm kinda past buying cheap chicken. I've seen too many movies and read too many books.

Mix the marinade in a bowl and toss the chicken with it. Cover and marinate a few hours, or longer if you like. When ready, grill it or broil it. I used the George Foreman.

To make the tomato gravy: melt the butter in a pan. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the cumin and paprika and red chili flake, saute a couple of minutes more. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are nice and soft. I mushed mine up even more with a spatula.

Mix soy milk and corn starch.

As you are cooking the chicken (I did mine in batches), take of the grill and let rest. Then cut into pieces and put into the gravy. Add the soy milk/corn starch mixture. Simmer the chicken pieces in the gravy for about 10 more min. Add salt to taste.

We served over brown rice and quinoa cooked in the rice cooker. (50 cents for about 3 cups, or about 4 servings)

I also tried Bittman's baked root veggie chips with potatoes and beets. They were tasty! But the beets were still a little bit chewy. They don't cook at the same rate as the potatoes.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Here are some pics. More details later when I'm not exhausted.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Baked potato

You know, these things are good and cheap. It's been so long since a made a baked potato (I mean, more than a decade), that I actually had to google to find a recipe. I used this one.

My potatoes are about 5 oz each. The 5-lb bag of organic russets was $2.69, for a price of less than 16 cents each.

I used salsa, cheese, and sour cream for topping. And served with a huge salad with CSA lettuce, mixed greens from the garden, an orange from our tree, an avocado purchased from the lady down the street, and carrots.

Baked potato:
one potato: 0.16
1/3 oz shredded cheddar: 0.04
1 Tbsp light sour cream: 0.05
2 Tbsp salsa: 0.19
Total: $0.44 each

1/2 head red butter lettuce: 0.75
greens from garden: 0
2 carrots: 0.30
6 olives: 0.30
1 avocado: 0.33
1 orange: 0
1/2 Tbsp olive oil: 0.06
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar: 0.08
Total: $1.82 for two, $0.91 each.

I have a new camera! No pics tonight though. Need to get back in the habit.

Spanish-style Rice and Beans

I love rice and beans. I have this great spanish rice recipe...but if you use brown rice, it takes an hour. So I've changed it up and now I make my Spanish rice like fried rice. I toss the rice in the rice cooker the night before and put it in the fridge.

Then the next day I heat it all up.

This week I decided to mix it up and use up some of my other grains. So I added bulgur and quinoa, and it was very delicious - nutty, chewy, better then plain old brown rice.

I also decided to make black beans at the last minute. Which you can do in a pressure cooker. The beans pretty much fall apart if you don't presoak, but they taste great.

Spanish style rice
1 c. uncooked brown rice: 0.38
1/4 c. quinoa: 0.28
1/4 c. bulgur: 0.14
2.75 c. water
1/2 14-oz can fire roasted tomatoes and green chiles: 0.65
3/4 cup leftover diced chicken: 0.75
1 tsp cumin: 0.05
1/2 diced onion: 0.16
3 small carrots, diced: 0.30
1 bunch green garlic, diced: 1.00 (or two cloves garlic)
1 T canola oil: 0.03
1/2 c. frozen peas: 0.15
salt and pepper to taste
Total: $3.89 for about 6 cups or $0.65 per cup.

Cook the brown rice, quinoa, and bulgur in a rice cooker with the water. Refrigerate when done.

Saute the onion, carrots, and garlic in the oil until soft and browning. Wait to add the garlic if you are using regular, not green, garlic (so it doesn't burn).

Add the tomatoes, rice, cumin, salt and pepper and cook until warmed through. Add peas and cook until no longer frozen.

I served with cooked black beans, salsa, cheese, sour cream. All in all a delicious cheap dinner.

Our camera is officially dead. No photos, sorry!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

4 seconds

That's how much I missed my goal by. You see, I really wanted to beat a 10:00 mile on this race. And my finishing time was 2:11:04. If only I hadn't stopped to take off my shoe at mile 2. I thought my sock was bunched up. Turns out that my feet were frozen at the start and I was starting to get feeling back. It felt weird.

But still, a 10:00 mile isn't too shabby with an injured hip and a couple of gnarly hills. This was a gorgeous race. I can't even tell you how wonderful it was. Very enjoyable. I allowed myself to walk through the water stations. And I walked when I needed to. Like up parts of those hills.

I also learned that I do run faster without the I-pod. My splits were faster for the most part when I wasn't listening to it.

Time for bed. I'm beat. And I gotta go to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Still Here

And still mostly cooking. Things have been really crazy lately. I'm working this weird Sun-Thurs schedule temporarily, which is throwing me off my game.

I'm training for a half marathon on Saturday. Except I injured my hips on the 10 miler. And they ache. Constantly. My friends say it's probably an IT band injury. So I am stretching and walking and doing foam roller this week. My shoes, that I've been wearing for three months, decided to give me a blister (they are pressing into my big toe now).

So on race day, I will need some moleskin. And Ibuprofen. And a goal of enjoying the day, and not so much the goal of hitting a 10 min mile. At least I managed to do that at the 10-miler, so I made my goal for the year. One of my old Navy buddies turned me on to the Galloway method of running distance (run 5 min, walk 1). This appeals to me for sure, even though I've already proven I can run the whole thing. See, it's supposed to prevent injury (oh, if I'd known about it before....) I might be doing that on the race too.

Sometimes, you gotta accept your own body. Not a runner's body. Not a runner's hips. Doesn't mean I can't run, it just means that maybe trying to increase my speed might be asking for trouble, and a run/walk combo might be more appropriate. We shall see.

The whole point of registering for this particular 1/2 marathon is because the scenery is gorgeous. So I'm going to enjoy the scenery.

And on food...I've been cooking. Really. Just quick and easy things.
Friday - date night (that I forgot about until my friend facebooked me to remind me)
Saturday - Costco chicken, root vegetable hash, guacamole and chips, salad
Sunday - Shithi's chickpeas (which we were going to have Friday until I realized it was date night)
Monday - fava bean sandwiches

Of course I will be carbo-loading with pasta on Friday night.