Browse Category by Budget Friendly
Budget Friendly, Dinner, Healthy, Soups and Stews

Moving, Camping, and Gochujang Chili

The past 2 months have been all about planning, recycling, box hoarding, organizing, purging nonessential possessions, and packing. So much packing. And then it was driving, unpacking, assembling Ikea furniture, and trying to settle into a new apartment/job/city. Moving isn’t easy. A blog hiatus was necessary, but it’s been on my mind throughout the moving process. In February, long before job offers and moving plans, we decided to go camping at Sleeping Bear Dunes in mid-May. Since we had looked forward to the trip for a few months, we decided to still go after I accepted the job offer. Now we were planning for camping AND moving! I decided to use the camping menu to help clean out the fridge and pantry, since we couldn’t move a bunch of food to Seattle. Gochujang Chili was the tasty result of my efforts.

Gochujang Chili

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Budget Friendly, Dinner, Healthy

Pantry Staple: Linguine puttanesca

Linguine puttanescaI will admit this recipe sounds a little weird. Just have an open mind and you might (will!) be pleasantly surprised. I honestly cannot remember how I first learned about Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, but I discovered it near the end of undergrad. I suspect the initial recipe may have been in an issue of Bon Appetit. However, it’s one of those recipes that doesn’t really need a recipe, so I never returned to the source. Anyway! I think the history and translation of Spaghetti alla Puttanesca are more interesting than how I came up with my recipe for Linguine Puttanesca.

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Budget Friendly, Healthy

The Lunch Dilemma: Black bean and cheese freezer burritos

In my pre-cohabiting life, lunches were pretty easy. Whatever I had for dinner, I would eat for lunch the next day.  Unless my dinner was salmon, I don’t want to be THAT person microwaving fish at work.  However, this approach had to change when I started cooking for two. A meal that was once two dinners and two lunches, was no longer going quite as far. As much as I enjoy cooking, I don’t want to make a new dinner every night. So, no more leftovers for lunch. Deli sandwiches were out ( pricey, too much meat), tuna salad was out (pricey, too much tuna), and PB&J was out (cheap but not healthy enough). As I’m struggling through how to feed myself at work, I’m buying Ben frozen burritos every week at $2 a piece. Then it finally occurred to me. I can make black bean and cheese freezer burritos!

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Breakfast, Budget Friendly, Healthy

In Defense of Grains: Apple ginger baked oatmeal

It seems like since the Atkins Diet reached peak fad status in the early 2000s, grains have been getting a lot of hate. Atkins has fallen out of favor, but new diet trends like Whole30 preach very similar rules. I agree that most people could and should limit their intake of sugar and simple starches like potatoes, white bread, and pasta. However, I wholeheartedly disagree with the belief that whole grains like barley, oats, farro, and quinoa belong on a “Do NOT Eat” list. These grains offer many great health benefits and are very affordable. Healthy and budget-friendly foods definitely deserve more respect! If you are unconvinced, continue reading to learn more about why oats in particular are good to eat. If you are already a believer, skip to the end to find a whole grain loving recipe for Apple Ginger Baked Oatmeal.

apple ginger baked oatmeal

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Budget Friendly, Healthy, Soups and Stews

Sour and Spicy Chicken Tomatillo Soup

Chicken Tomatillo Soup

My first try at cooking with tomatillos was on a whim when experimenting with a salsa verde type of chili recipe. I really didn’t even know what a tomatillo was or what it tasted like. I only knew they were a key ingredient in green salsa. That chili recipe is still under construction, because I got completely distracted by my idea for a chicken tomatillo soup. It’s similar to what a lot of people call chicken tortilla soup, but I really wanted to highlight the tomatillos as a key ingredient.

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