Thursday, February 11, 2010

Think Different

Every once in a while, my son will open the refrigerator, open the freezers, open the pantry and announce, 'We have no food.'

Is he kidding? Most of the time I can't fit one more box of anything into my walk-in pantry without a shoehorn. Often we eat what I bought that day because there's no way I'll wedge it into the freezer. Leftovers become a race against time, a game to see if we can eat them before they become science projects.

My son doesn't actually mean we have no food. He means nothing obvious comes to mind to do with what's there. It's the same old cereal and bread and potatoes and fruit and crackers - edible, but not new.

So do something different. Anything. Scoop yesterday's homemade rice pudding (preferably brown rice) into a bowl. Slice a banana over it, add some milk. Poof! Breakfast.

Slice an avocado between two slices of homemade whole-wheat bread. Top with some leftover salsa. Voila! Lunch.

Mash up those chickpeas you pressure cooked over the weekend. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Top with a sliced up hardboiled egg. Serve over a bed of spinach, sprinkle with garlic guessed it! Dinner!

Couple of things to note with this menu - There's no meat, yet it's high in protein (the milk in the rice pudding, the egg, the chickpeas, and even the whole-wheat bread). Plenty of whole grains. Good fats (avocado, egg, olive oil), vegetables and fruit. Total fat and calorie count is low and it's cheap. Dirt cheap. Yet tasty.

Very tasty.

So tasty I don't care that there aren't any super-screaming sale deals this week. Fry's has a Daytona promo, buy 10 get $3 off. The Purex laundry detergent and softener is a good price ($2.19 WYB10). If you have coupons, it's even sweeter and I've heard rumors that it also spits out catalinas for money off your next order. (I never count on the catalinas. I never seem to get any). Also, Basha's has toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo for $1 or less this week and milk is $1.88/gallon at Fry's and Albertson's. Food City has avocados 3/$1.

It's a good week to check out El Rancho Market, or stop by Pro's Ranch and see what's doing in the produce department. It's a good week to shake out the pantry, burrow through the freezer, or get creative with all the plastic containers clogging your fridge with a cup of broccoli, two slices of roast, those 3 uneaten biscuits. Clean out the vegetable drawer. Do something with the fruit and produce. Feed it to your family before you feed it to the garbage disposal.

It's easy to eat cheap. You just have to buy it at rock bottom, then eat what you have.

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