Friday, October 24, 2008

Cheap and Easy

Well, I feel like most everywhere you turn, you see news of the economic doom and gloom gripping this country. I’m no economist and, despite working in the philanthropy business, I don’t really understand what’s going on. I have, however, noticed the rising food prices. I’ve even noticed this at the local farmer’s market, which has very reasonable prices. I also got notice in the mail yesterday that my monthly payments for my student loans are being raised because the interest rate went up. Sigh…I can’t wait for the deferment that graduate school (hopefully) will bring.

Anyway, I thought I’d blog about my two most recent meals: meals that I have termed in my head as “cheap and easy.” Which, now that I think about it, sounds a little more risqué than I meant it to.

Cheap and Easy #1:
Quinoa salad! I know I’ve posted about quinoa before, but it’s making another appearance. This little gem is simply made up of quinoa (simmered in chicken broth, but vegetable broth or just plain water would do) and any vegetables on hand. This past week, I added organic carrot, tomato, and red pepper, but one could use almost anything. Chop them in a medium or small dice. Mix with the quinoa. Give it some dollops of olive oil and your favorite vinegar. Finish with salt and pepper. The result? A cheap, simple, transportable meal. One that is healthy too!

Cheap and Easy #2:
For some reason, I was moved to purchase frozen broccoli the other week. I’m not really sure why. I’m usually at a loss with frozen veggies and I find broccoli particularly uninspiring. But last night I wanted something carb-a-licious (damn SAD) but also something that involved vegetables. But I didn’t have much on hand. And I didn’t want a salad. (Apparently, I was very picky). So, as the linguine I put on was boiling I added about half a bag of frozen broccoli to it and sautéed some garlic. I mixed it all together with parmesan cheese and it was delicious. I wish I had remembered that I had dried chili pepper flakes because that would have given a delightful spicy kick to it. So, again, a cheap, simple meal that’s not too unhealthy. (I must admit, I completed the meal with some protein in the form of a guilty pleasure, chicken nuggets. Honestly compels to add that they are not very healthy either.)

I have a feeling that, with the economy the way it is and my student loans, both of these inexpensive dishes will be a long time in my repertoire.

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