Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cooking Up A Storm

I love cooking so much! It's funny that when I first moved out on my own I swore I would never be a good cook like my mom...I just didn't have it in me. But I love my kitchen and I love cooking in it. I love making healthy, delicious, interesting recipes for my family and friends. Some recent meals we've enjoyed....
Homemade springs rolls and citrus brown rice salad with edamame.

From here

In this cookbook

Green chili and chicken posole. Hominy is my new favorite canned vegetable! (Is it a vegetable? I think it has something to do with corn, right?) Recipe from the Food Network Magazine, which I thoroughly enjoy. Found here.

And the most exciting recipe recently is this...homemade pho! It really did taste like pho! The secret to the anise pods! Who knew??? Also from the FN Magazine, found here.

While this is all fine and good, I'll admit that in order to make all these fun, delicious meals, my grocery bill isn't as low as I'd like it to be. So my new goal in the kitchen is to continue making great meals, but to learn how to be a bit more frugal about it. I clip coupons and try to look for what's on sale. I don't buy a lot of packaged food. What other suggestions do you have for me? Buying in bulk? Buying local? Buying fruits/veggies in larger quantities and freezing? How can I still eat interesting meals (not just rice, pasta, etc...) and lower my grocery bill?
I'm hoping to start a small garden this summer and be able to grow my own peppers/squash/lettuce/tomatoes/and herbs. Herbs are expensive at the grocery store! But especially in the winter months, the ingredients I like are not cheap. (I know when it comes to produce that's because they're being sent all the way from South America or wherever.) Not only are there the personal finances to consider when buying grapes in January, but the carbon impact of a purchase like that.
So, we'll see...I'm on a mission to stay within my weekly grocery budget and still have fun in the kitchen. Wish me luck...


nikki's spot said...

HOMEMADE PHO! I am impressed! When can I come over! :)

Haley said...

I think the single-biggest thing you can do to save money and also reduce your carbon footprint is buy less meat. Centering your meals around produce and interesting proteins (seitan, tempeh, lentils, beans) is a huge cost-cutter, and allows you to spend more on fresh or organic fruits and veggies.

This isn't too helpful now, but it's also fun to buy huge quantitites at farmers markets or even in grocery stores when stuff like corn or green beans are in season and on sale. Then blanch and freeze these, and voila! Fresh (even local) veggies all year.

I'll admit its easier for me to do this for one person than to have to feed a hungry family, but I admire your effort and I'm sure even little changes will help your grocery bill and make an impact.