Recipe: Food Stamp Naan Pizza

Sometimes I’m really, really broke but I still crave pizza. I’ve created a couple different versions of the recipe, but my personal favorite is to use naan bread. It’s soft but solid, malleable as needed. And it’s easy to get at most local grocery stores.

Once again, all my ingredients are Aldi-based. I bought 2 pounds of frozen salmon filets for only 7.98. I like being creative and this was the outcome of another pizza possibility. The vegetables were all reasonably priced and I use the bulk in other meals. The idea is to make food stretch, use the ingredients wisely and a little more healthy. If you’re looking make two pizzas, double the amount.

The meal could work without meat if desired. Change the meat sources and instructions to preferred meat substitute. However, as a non-vegetarian, I’m not sure how helpful I would be giving options on the switch.

Continue reading Recipe: Food Stamp Naan Pizza

Recipe: Ramen On The Run

So, I really enjoy ramen. It’s a cheap, easy way to make a meal and when money’s thin…saving coin is a blessing. A couple days prior, I made some country style pork ribs in the slow cooker and wanted to try a new way to incorporate them into my meals. And thus the idea was met with great delight by my stomach.

I’ve been known to use leftover salmon, chicken, strip steak, and shrimp as well. Typically I make this with leftovers so I don’t get tired of the same recipes over and over. And I use a mix of frozen and fresh vegetables. Broccoli is good frozen, as is the mirepoix. And frozen vegetables are good for stocking up when needed.

Amounts of vegetables used are entirely dependent on what I want to eat at the time. Some days I like more spinach than mushrooms, sometimes I add tomatoes. Don’t think the vegetables listed are required. These are just common ones I use to provide a more complex bite of food. In the pork example, I used some frozen mirepoix because I ran out of tomatoes. Was amazingly tasty.

I also tend eat spicy foods. Bear that in mind. I never worry about presentation, to be honest. I just look to create good, healthy food.

Continue reading Recipe: Ramen On The Run

Recipe: Savory Salsa Con Queso Sauce

As with all my recipes, these are just homespun, on the fly foods I enjoy eating. And note some of the measurements are not entirely correct because I was just throwing stuff in the pan.

So, my tip: if something looks missing…add more.

I made the Savory Salsa Con Queso Sauce recipe up on March 8th when I was hungry yet very lazy. After my nephew’s birthday party, I still needed to eat to take my insulin. I didn’t want to cook because it’s not smart to do anything complex on five hours sleep between work and nephew time. Plus, he turned two with a party full of kids…and none of them actually mine. Sleep was calling my name.

I poured the salsa con queso sauce on some leftover Irish soda bread (from a box because baking ain’t my area). This time I specifically didn’t use any spices because the dip already had enough. If you’re looking to add more spicy heat, try some fresh pepper or crushed red pepper. I prefer serranos but not always available or affordable. And pouring over some crumbly bread added that extra texture needed to balance the salt from the cheese dip.

I’m sensitive to corn so no more of cornbread and milk for this southern girl. The soda bread is a nice counter and really soaks up the sauce. Excellent alternative for those facing the challenge of a corn-born culinary world. Smothering fries with the sauce would really work, too.

 

Continue reading Recipe: Savory Salsa Con Queso Sauce

Cooking 101: The Staples

Before I write down the recipe lists for followers (and me), I thought I should do a little 101 intro. You’ll find a lot of mentions about salmon, vegetables, etc in almost all my recipe because they’re staples in almost everything I cook.

Also, I don’t buy any particular brand because I’m on a food stamp budget. I get the best price for the amount of food. Nothing more or less, so if I mention a particular brand, it means I’m very happy with the product as a cook. I’m going to break the areas down and describe if needed.

Oh, and all seasonings other than white pepper are $1 ones. When in doubt, buy in bulk. Aldi’s has really good prices for size/cost ratio. Especially for powders.


COOKWARE

Okay, so this isn’t a list so much as tips of what I’ve found. Generally speaking, I’m pretty good with buying inexpensive items, but I’m somewhat particular about my cookware. I don’t like the cheap T-Fal/Tefal with the coating that comes off quickly. For one thing, it tastes terrible. So! I prefer to spend the extra money and get pots/pans that last.

Currently, I’m using the T-Fal ceramic 10″ pan from Target. With the even heat distribution, my cooking temps have reduced while my food’s gotten significantly better. This is important because it’s why my food looks like it does. There’s no longer any rust on my pans (visual proof for 3 months of cooking).

My pots are mad dash collection from various family members. I have some Rocco DiSpirito ones from QVC as well as some T-Fal heat distribution ones from the Family Dollar. Not to mention the giant cooking pots that come from who knows where. Whatever works, works. No snobbery here.

As for my slow cooker, I tend to use a Slow Cooker Mate from QVC. It’s 6 quarts with divider inserts. I love the thing. I don’t know if you can buy them anymore, but brilliant pieces of machinery. It’s survived multiple long term storage stays.


 THE LISTS OF DOOM


 BAKING

Basics

  • All purpose flour
  • Oil (Olive, Vegetable)
  • Cupcake wrappers
  • Muffin mix (usually Martha White, 10/$10 deals)
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Extract (vanilla, orange)

Seasonings

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Crushed red pepper
  • White Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Cinnamon
  • Chili power (lots)
  • Cajun spice mix
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Taco sauce mix

 FRIDGE

Dairy

  • 2% milk
  • Heavy whipping cream (if affordable)
  • Eggs
  • Butter (Imperial or Aldi store)
  • Cheese (cream, string, shredded cheddar)
  • Sour cream (Kroger brand with chives if possible)

Fruits/Vegetables

  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach (lots)
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers (jalapeno or serrano, depending on price)
  • Sweet onions
  • Green onion
  • Garlic
  • Broccoli and/or Cauliflower
  • …whatever is on sale.

Meats (fresh/frozen)

  • Salmon
  • Ground turkey
  • Chicken
  • Ham (sausage, bacon, country)
  • Beef (ground, usually)
  • Shrimp (if cheap enough)

 PANTRY

  • Tortillas
  • Ramen noodle packs
  • Fettuccine/Angel Hair pasta
  • Instant mashed potatoes
  • Red Lobster biscuit mix
  • Tomato soup
  • Tomatoes (diced or chili)
  • Beans (kidney, great northern, butter, lima)