Monday, February 21, 2011

The Thrifty Tomato: Eating Well on a Budget

I've been doing some delicious homework this week! Last week I decided to try out some of the budget cookbooks I found at my library. Budget Cookbook Series. I'm really concerned about news reports I've been hearing lately about food prices skyrocketing in the near future. I already keep a really close eye on our food budget and try to feed my family healthy, tasty food so these cookbooks could potentially make a big difference in the Tomato household. Plus, I just love trying new recipes.

EatingWell on a Budget (EatingWell)

The cookbook that jumped out at me first was EatingWell on a Budget (EatingWell). This book made my stomach growl at the library just looking at it! It is a slim, slick looking book that won't take up much room on your cookbook bookshelf, but is bursting with useful information! It has large, beautiful pictures that made me consider a lot of recipes that I may have flipped right past otherwise. 

The Introduction has a section on ways to cut your grocery budget. Most of the suggestions are things I already do ( keep a well stocked pantry, use coupons, meal plan, eat vegetarian a few nights a week) but I did get some ideas on using cuts of meat I had not thought of before and inspired me to try some spices I'm not very familiar with. 

I chose 4 recipes from this book to try. I tried to choose recipes that I already had most or all of the ingredients for, but chose a couple just because the picture made me drool!

I made...
Spaghetti Fritata ( Used leftover spaghetti from the night before.)
Crab Quesadillas ( Used imitation crab meat I had stockpiled in my freezer.)
Chicken Tostadas
Szechuan Tofu & Green Bean Stir-Fry

We already eat plenty of quesadillas and tostadas in this house, but I liked the healthy recipe variations in this book and will probably make them this way again.

The Spaghetti Fritata was really yummy and a great way to use leftovers in a new way so that they don't get boring.

The Tofu was the most surprising. I have had tofu before, but have never cooked it myself. I wasn't sure I was really going to try this recipe until I found organic tofu on sale for under $1.50 so I gave it a try. The recipe was tasty and easy to follow and was a hit with my family! I'm glad to have a new frugal, vegetarian meal option to put into rotation.

The Frugal Foodie Cookbook: Waste-Not Recipes for the Wise Cook

Next up in the series will be The Frugal Foodie Cookbook: Waste-Not Recipes for the Wise Cook.

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