Monday, August 1, 2011

Food chronicles

Confession: since moving into Mildred cooking at home has not been a priority. 

When Fran & I sat down to do the math and saw just how much we were spending on food at the grocery store then factored in the restaurant bills, I was shocked. This year is going to call for a tightening on our financial belt: Christmas is going to be taking place up north, both Fran's brothers are graduating on opposite ends of the country and we would really like to save up to make an overseas trip next summer to Germany. In order to do that we need to plan. Something we are not so hot at. 

This past month gave me the gift of time. It led to a cycle of different meals...

Prosciutto & mozarella calzone with homemade tomato sauce. This recipe came via those Pillsbury bread cans and the long ago recommendation of a friend.

The best part of the calzone is that the left over sauce is enough to carry you over for another meal. 

I am a huge "breakfast for dinner" fan. Although here it was really breakfast.

Italian loaf of bread. Tomatoes. Mozarella chunks. Olive oil & a sprinkle of red peper flakes, basil and salt: the best grilled cheese ever.

My love for tuna has been reawakened by adding chunks of jalapeno.

Homemade burgers & fries: delicious!

Just a brief sampling of my attempts but do you notice a theme? It's called carbs. I am addicted. So, friends, I ask you to once again help in my cooking endeavor: friendly meals for a lazy cook.

Low maintenance, easy, pocketbook (and closet) would truly appreciate it!


Kari D Warden said...

the food looks great. Thanks for posting. I love reading! I wish I read as many books as you. Have fun in 2nd grade this year.

paradoxickal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
justINCREDIBLE said...

Looks super yummy! Nice pics, nice presentation. Love b-fast for din-din.

AnnArrogance said...

This is one of my favorites. I use the sauce from Alton Brown's Eggplant Pasta recipe, but instead of making the eggplant pasta (which we tried once--did not like), I just make penne or store-bought gnocchi to go with the sauce. I like to use the whole wheat gnocchi and toast them a little bit after I boil them to give them a bit more texture, then toss them in the sauce and serve. It's SO GOOD and it seriously takes like 30 minutes.

Here's the link to Alton Brown's recipe:

I also really love this recipe from Nigella Lawson:

Really, anything from Nigella's books/shows (especially Nigella Express) is good, quick, and cheap with very few ingredients. LOVE HER.

Anonymous said...

Mmm, that calzone looks wonderful, Dahnya :)

For breakfast, I usually have 1/2 cup old-fashioned Quaker Oats microwaved with either 1/4 cup water or rice milk with fresh fruit (small banana and 1/2 cup blueberries; applesauce and cinnamon or diced, even oven-roasted apples; peach; strawberries, etc.) I find that, even more than Rice Chex or plain Cheerios + fruit, oatmeal fills me up until mid-morning, at which point I have fresh fruit (usually an apple or banana) or baby carrots. I'm hoping to purchase a reliable blender soon, so I can avail of Green Monster smoothies ( for breakfast or lunch.

For sandwiches, I've been using the Alvarado Street Essential Flaxseed Bread from Whole Foods (about $3.50 or so a loaf). Since it has seeds and grains (which also give it a delicious nutty taste), I find that it keeps me feeling fuller than usual whole wheat bread.

I haven't had much chance to cook much since I've been home all summer, but I have been stockpiling recipes for when I return to my Houston apartment. Some blogs that I've found helpful for healthy, budget-friendly meals are (a singer/Rice PhD friend of mine) (she does a Meatless Monday recipe weekly) (scaled-down recipes for one or two) (I look forward especially to trying their 5-minute naan and chili, albeit not paired together!)

You could try steamed or sauteed veggies as sides or bowls (e.g., a grain like brown rice, bulgur, quinoa topped with veggies) or lettuce wraps instead of bread for sandwiches.

CleanEating Magazine has a section each issue featuring "5 simple and fresh dinners for only $50" including chicken and fish-based dishes -- I can e-mail you the section from the June 2011 issue, if you like.

Hope this helps -- sorry for it being kind of piecemeal!

Becca said...

Lovelovelove the pics! They are beautiful!

I realize it's summer, and therefore very hot, but I still love chili. To keep it very simple: beef/turkey ($4), yellow onion (approx. $1), tomato paste ($.88), tomato sauce ($1), and spices to taste. I add chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic salt and powder (or use minced garlic). Voila! It lasts for daaaaays. Fritos for frito pie, :-)

HEB Frozen grilled chicken is a great investment. $8 for a big bag of breasts (how do you like that alliteration??) and you can nuke them very quickly in the microwave and add to whatever dish you're preparing!

More to follow once I get my life back from the CPA exam. :-)

Oscar el Mexicano said...

So you cooked all that? I am proud you Pandi wow! The mozarella calzoni looks like a torta ha ha.

Bon apetite and good luck saving for Germany. Why Germany?

Love, blessings, hugs

Emily said...

Your food looks so good!

This book saved my life with super easy recipes. Will starts them at lunch and when we come home for work, dinner is ready! There's so many different things in this book, it's easy to reinterpret the recipes and make them your own. Enjoy!

Darla said...

your meals look delicious and pretty! carb substitutes are hard! spaghetti squash is good for a pasta craving: bake the squash and take a fork to the inside, pulling lengthwise to make your noodles.

they also sell tofu noodles at whole foods, about 30 calories a serving.

if you like bfast for dinner, turkey bacon is great with eggs in corn tortillas.

oh, and what i want to make soon: broccoli smashed into a marinara sauce with small buffalo mozzarella balls, and lean meatballs. you won't miss the carbs bc the broc is so filling.