Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cooking on a Budget: Lesson 3- Make stuff with what you have

Ok, so now I've posted on getting stocked up on spices and other basic ingredients. But, what can you make? I'm going to list a bunch of stuff that I've posted on here before that use these basic things. For most of them, you would need to buy a couple extra ingredients, which I'll list below them. You can see that when you only have to buy a few things, it all seems a lot more do-able. So... here you go! They are in order of the least to most extra ingredients:

You need nothing else...
-nothin'. you've got it all!

Sauteed spinach, tomatoes, and chickpeas
-nothin'. you are good to go.
(this is pictured with the Samosa stuffed potatoes, which take more ingredients. good, easy ingredients, but not ones on the list).

Peanut butter cookies
-optional chocolate chips (the rest could be kept in freezer and used in muffins).

You need one more thing...
Pitas (still seriously probably the most fun thing I have ever cooked)
-1 little package yeast from the baking aisle at the store.

Flatbread (optional to go with Mujadarrah)
-sesame seeds (go to either the Kosher or Asian section)

Morning Muffins
-baking powder (not bad to have around anyways)
-optional anything you want to put in them. could just do cinnamon though.

You need two more things...
Balsamic Lentils
-chicken sausage (optional)
-fresh basil (get big container at TJs for like 2 bucks)

Squash soup
-a butternut squash (or, little pre-cut packages from Trader Joes)
-a granny smith apple

You need three more things...
Red Lentil Cauliflower Curry
-a head of cauliflower
-a lime
-1 hot chili pepper

You need four more things...
Rosemary Chick Pea Couscous Salad
(use whatever grain you have)
-jar of sundried tomatoes (these are fun to have on hand- they are AWESOME in scrambled eggs)
-a lemon
-a cucumber

Spinach, Sweet potato, Adzuki bean stew
-2 sweet potatoes
-1 carrot
-azuki beans (from Whole foods, probably)
-1 can coconut milk

African Peanut Stew
-a couple sweet potatoes
-a red pepper
-a jalapeno
-a can of pinto beans

I mean... look at these lists. What this means is, if you had a few basic items on hand, you could have any of these things for dinner tomorrow night and the most you'd have to do is buy 4 things (4! you don't even need a basket!), and you could probably get most of those extra things for a max of about five bucks.

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