Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ten different ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables

It's possible to fit vegetables and fruits into any budget. 

 Making nutritious choices does not have to 
hurt your wallet. Getting enough of these foods promotes health and can reduce your risk of certain diseases. There are many low-cost ways to meet your fruit and vegetable needs.
Here is ten ways:

Get produce from a local co-op or farmers market.Use fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season. They are easy to get, have more flavor, and are usually less expensive. Your local farmer’s market is a great source of seasonal produce.

Coupon shop.Check the local newspaper, online, and at the store  for sales, coupons, and specials that will cut food costs. Often, you can get more for less by visiting larger grocery stores (discount grocers if available).

Stick to your budget.Plan out your meals ahead of time and make a  grocery list. You will save money by buying only what you need. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Shopping after eating will make it easier to pass on the tempting snack foods. You’ll have more of your food budget for vegetables and fruits.

Canned food.Plan out your meals ahead of time and make a grocery list. You will save money by buying only what you need. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Shopping after eating will make it easier to pass on the tempting snack foods. You’ll have more of your food budget for vegetables and fruits.

Buy what you need. Some fresh vegetables and fruits don’t last long. Buy small amounts more often to ensure you can eat the foods without throwing any away.

Buy in bulk when items are on sale. For fresh vegetables or fruits you use often, a large  size bag is the better buy. Canned or frozen fruits or vegetables can be bought in large quantities when they are
on sale, since they last much longer.

Store brands = savings. Opt for store brands when possible. You will get the same or similar product for a cheaper price. If your grocery store has a membership card, sign up for even more savings.

Keep it simple.Buy vegetables and fruits in  their simplest form. Pre-cut, pre-washed, ready-to-eat, and processed foods are convenient, but often cost much more than when purchased in their
basic forms.

Plant your own. Start a garden—in the yard or a pot on the deck—for fresh, inexpensive, flavorful additions to meals. Herbs, cucumbers, peppers, or tomatoes are good options for beginners. Browse through a local library or online for more information on starting a garden.

Plan and cook smart. Prepare and freeze vegetable soups, stews, or  other dishes in advance. This saves time and money. Add leftover vegetables to casseroles or blend them to make soup. Overripe fruit is great for smoothies or baking

On the road and need to strech your food dollars?

Fast food

 How much food can you get from a fast food restaurant with just $5? 

I chose what to order based on what 1) had a high caloric content, because it's important to be, like, all full of energy after eating cheeseburgers, 2) tasted not-bad, and 3) would mesh well with other menu items in the interest of making a full meal for $5. 

To be honest, I have a hard time eating all this fast food in a short period of time so I went to the restaurants website and dug around to find a meal for $5

What you can eat for $5

I'm hungry, I'm lazy, I just want to throw some kind of flavorful sauce or garnish to whatever I am going to buy with the five dollars I have in my pocket. Keep in mind I have not even left the couch yet.

Upon Google searching " What food can you buy with $5" I came across a lovely video that made. Why not share?

Walk away with this:
In China you can buy a delicious dozen of Tsingtao beer for five bucks.

Streching food dollars

 How can you save yourself money on food dollars

If you are like me, the biggest thing you can do is stop going out to restaurants as much and learn to satisfy late night cravings at home.

 Its a good idea to start a budget:
For a week, track your spending on food.  Multiply this amount by four. This is about the amount you spend on food a week.

Staples are foods that help you avoid having a bare cupboard, and are not going to go bad. These might include peanut butter, flour, corn meal, sugar, dry milk, dry or canned beans, tuna, rice, macaroni, spices, and salt.
Estimate how much you need to spend on staples, and subtract that amount from your monthly food budget
This amount will be your leftovers for perishables and semi perishables
Divide your remaining budget by four and the figure remaining is your weekly budget excess. 
This should first be used on semi- perishables ,Semi-perishable would be fresh items that do not require refrigerating, but do eventually spoil or get stale like bread, cake, pies, pastries, and some root vegetables

Monday, November 4, 2013

Frozen Pizza.

As a professional I shudder at the making of the amazing-ness of frozen pizza. Pre heat oven to whatever, pop it in the oven , forget about for fifteen minutes. Pull it out, let it cool. Feed your self. Boom, done.

As a college student and a budget lover, frozen pizza can be a five dollar dinner that feeds four.

Wal-Mart has over 480 different varieties available.

Egg, Huevo, Oeuf, Uovo, Ei

Chef toques have 100 pleats. 


There are 100 ways to cook an egg

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I love math.

Since I have been enrolled in culinary school, I have spent way too much time learning these formulas to recite off the top of my head or quickly convert something without writing. This has made me look smart and kept the work flow going at a steady pace. Take a few minutes to read over the page and hopefully you will quick-wit someone in the near future!

Temperature Conversions
275°F = 140°C = gas mark 1
300°F = 150°C = gas mark 2
325°F = 165°C = gas mark 3
350°F = 180°C = gas mark 4
375°F = 190°C = gas mark 5
400°F = 200°C = gas mark 6
425°F = 220°C = gas mark 7
450°F = 230°C = gas mark 9
475°F = 240°C = gas mark 10
Volume Equivalents
60 drops = 1 teaspoon
1 dash = 1/16 teaspoon
1 pinch = 1/8 teaspoon
1 teaspoon = 1/3 tablespoon = 1/6 ounce
2 teaspoons = 2/3 tablespoon = 1/3 ounce
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon = 1/2 ounce
2 tablespoons = 1/8 cup = 1 ounce = 1 standard coffee scoop
4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup = 2 ounces
5 1/3 tablespoons = 1/3 cup = 2 2/3 ounces
8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup = 4 ounces = 1 gill
16 tablespoons = 1 cup = 8 ounces
2 cups =1 pint = 1/2 quart = 16 ounces
4 cups = 2 pints = 1 quart = 32 ounces
16 cups = 8 pints = 4 quarts = 1 gallon
Common Ingredient Equivalents
1 stick = 4 ounces = 8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup
4 sticks = 16 ounces = 32 tablespoons = 2 cups
1 ounce = 1/4 cup grated
6 ounces chips = 1 cup chips
1 pound cocoa = 4 cups cocoa
Half and half = 1/2 milk + 1/2 cream = 10.5 to 18 percent butterfat
Light cream = 18 percent butterfat
Light whipping cream = 30 to 26 percent butterfat
Heavy cream = whipping cream = 36 percent or more butterfat
Double cream = extra-thick double cream = clotted or Devonshire cream = 42 percent butterfat
1 large egg (approximately) = 1 tablespoon yolk + 2 tablespoons white
1 cup = 4 jumbo = 4 to 5 extra-large = 5 large = 5 to 6 medium = 7 small
1 pound = 4 cups all-purpose or bread flours = 4 3/4 cups cake flour
1 cup sifted cake flour = 7/8 cup sifted all-purpose
1+ cup self-rising flour = 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lemon = 1 to 3 tablespoons juice, 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons grated zest
4 large lemons = 1 cup juice = 1/4 cup grated zest
1 pound = 2 1/2 cups sliced or chopped
1 pound white = 2 cups white = 454 grams
1 pound packed brown = 2 1/4 cups packed brown
1 cup packed brown = 1 cup white
1 pound superfine sugar = 1 cup white sugar = 190 grams
1 pound powdered sugar = 3 1/2 to 4 cups
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar = 1 cup white sugar
1 cup powdered sugar = 80 grams
100 grams white sugar = 1/2 cup
1 cake = 3/5 ounce = 1 packet dry = 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 teaspoons dry
Resources Elsewhere
I routinely use Google to translate grams into ounces, inches into centimeters or whatever exchange I need. Simply type "4 cups in ounces" to learn that 4 cups holds 32 liquid ounces and that 32 liquid ounces is equivalent to 946 ml. Is a recipe in grams when you want it in ounces? Google will quickly translate this, weight by weight, as well.

If you have some serious equations to work out while trying to convert, try 

Monday, October 28, 2013

The importance of flour.

If you are following the new fad of gluten-free dieting or if you have Celiac's Disease, this post is not for you.

 Hard Red Winter Wheat grains dried and ground makes up 70-80% of all flour production in the United States. Most of it is turned to the All Purpose flour you might find in your grocery store. There are six general classification of wheats that are made into most of the flour consumed:
Hard red winter
High protein, strong gluten
Pan breads, yeast breads, buns, rolls
Hard red spring
Highest in protein, med-strong gluten, blending wheat
Pan breads, yeast breads, buns, hard rolls
Soft red winter
Med-low protein, weak gluten
Flat breads, cakes, pastries, crackers
Soft white
Spring and winter types are not differentiated
Low protein, very weak gluten
Flat breads, cakes, pastries, crackers, noodles, batters and thickener
Hard white 
Medium to high protein, med-strong gluten
Yeast breads, Asian noodles, steam bread
High protein, medium to strong gluten
Pasta, macaroni, spaghetti

Lets be honest

You are most likely to just buy/stock regular AP flour, but if you wanted that extra special texture of the true form of a certain type of dough, then treating yourself to a few ounces of a different flour is in order.
Even Safeway carries these flours so there is no " I didn't want to go to a Whole Food or Co-op/Hippie store for some weird flour" Seriously, give it a try.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cheap Breakfast ( If you can afford ten minutes)


Today is all about OATMEAL!

 You know what's crazy? There are actually more forms of oatmeal than the Quaker Instant Oats. Believe it! My personal favorite is steel cut oats with tons of bananas because my dad made it for me almost morning. Steel-cut oats take longer to cook than instant or rolled oats due to their minimal processing, typically five to ten minutes if you pre-soak. The flavor of the cooked oats is described as being nuttier than other types of oats, and they are also chewier.

Here is a few things you need to know right now about oatmeal:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Because instant ramen gets old...

Instant Ramen

We have all been there. Nothing else to eat in your house, you might be feeling particularly lazy at that time, or because you cannot afford anything else. Whatever it is ramen is most likely food you are going to grab.

Please for the sake of my sanity do not just cook with the MSG loaded chicken flavor unless you have a serious salt malnutrition.

First thing first. Throw away packet of seasonings.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bulk up your dry storage

When was the last time you went through your bulk food section at the grocery store?
 It's been a while hasn't it? But buying in bulk doesn't mean you have to buy large quantities. The “bulk” aspect refers only to the store’s presentation, not the quantity you purchase. (In fact, bulk is often the best option for buying smaller quantities of some products than the packaged versions.) As more of us are watching our budgets — buying in bulk has become a popular option in natural food stores. And there are growing online options for bulk buying as well.

You can buy just a pinch of the exotic spice or grain you might have seen on Top Chef or experiment with small quantities of new spices. If you think you might like to try brown rice flour or flax, buy a small quantity for a test run—no worries about wasting money or product.

Pre- arrange the pantry and use containers with airtight lids.

My kitchen has a vintage feel so I have been using various sized mason jars that I picked up in a vintage wholesale store. ( Seriously, 48 jars with 3 different sizes for $10!) I know people that even bring their jars in to the store to save plastic! I ride my bike so the weight and bulk of the glass gets to be a little much.