|Vicky's Cookbook Collection|
There's even more to love about this cookbook .... mouth-watering photos of the recipes (a plus!), proof that eating healthy doesn't have to cost a fortune, and most importantly, simple and delicious meal ideas that are family-friendly. You'll love the supermarket strategies, tips for eating well, and the seasonal produce chart (I've always needed one of those) too.
|Stuff on Hotdogs|
My favorite feature of all ... Leanne provides several ideas for turning basic kitchen staples into something new and interesting. For example, things to do with toast (avocado lime to apple cheddar to salty broccoli), stuff on hot dogs (Teriyaki carrots to Mexican street corn to sweet or savory pineapple salad) and ideas for popcorn (minced scallion and cilantro to brown sugar and orange zest to parmesan and black pepper).
Since we have permission to reprint a recipe, I'll share ideas for oatmeal. I'm always tempted by the pre-packaged oatmeal since it's easy and very flavorful, and I rarely use my canister of instant oats or my fancy steel-cut oats outside of using them for oatmeal raisin cookies (my hubby's fave) or these best granola bars ever. Plain oatmeal never hits the spot in my house because, obviously, it needs a revamp! Leanne has a few unique ideas for that:
|Ideas for Oatmeal|
1 cup rolled oats
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Add the oats, water, and salt to a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Immediately turn the heat to low and place a lid on the pot. 2. Cook for 5 minutes, until the oats are soft and tender and most of the water has evaporated. You can add more water if you like your oatmeal smooth and thin, or use slightly less to make it thick and creamy.
Pumpkin ($0.75 serving / $1.50 total)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup milk (or almond milk or soy milk)
2 tablespoons brown sugar, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
additions: 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, drizzling of maple syrup
Whisk the pumpkin, milk and 1 1/4 cups water (not the full 2 cups in the basic recipe) in a pot. Add the oats, salt, brown sugar, and spices. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture just comes to a boil, 2 to 5 minutes. Turn to low for 5 more minutes. Add maple syrup or more sugar to taste.
Savory ($0.75 serving / $1.50 total)
2 or 3 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
1/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon butter
Cook the oatmeal as directed in Basic Oatmeal (above), adding scallions in Step 1. Just before it's done, stir in cheese. While the oatmeal cooks, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Crack in the eggs, then cover the pan and fry until the yolks are runny but the whites are cooked, 2-3 minutes. Top each bowl of oats with one fried egg.
Baklava ($0.75 serving / $1.50 total)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons chopped almonds or pistachios
Add the cinnamon, orange zest, and 2 tablespoons of the honey before cooking the oatmeal as directed in Basic Oatmeal (above). Once it's done, top each bowl with another tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of nuts.
In the book, there's more ... a recipe for Chocolate Oatmeal, Fruity (any favorite fruit like berries), Apple Cinnamon, and Coconut Lime.
You have to agree that almost always - homemade is better! Those oatmeal recipes are so much healthier and tastier than the store-bought packets my family was accustomed to. Not to mention, cheaper. The ultimate example of "homemade is better" lies with homemade ricotta! We have made our own homemade ricotta for YEARS. It's actually pretty easy, it can cost 1/2 the amount of store-bought and of course there's nothing that taste like homemade (night and day difference). There's a recipe for homemade ricotta in the book!
See ... cheap certainly doesn't mean blah! These "good and cheap" recipes can get you out of a rut (if you find yourself in one frequently like I do), help you use up those ingredients in your pantry or fridge that you don't know what to do with (like plain rice, chili sauce, or dried beans). Best yet, they will open up your meal planning to fresh recipes that are healthy, affordable and kid-friendly.
Jen and I will have to figure out how to share this book since there are so many recipes we both want to try! It's a good thing Leanne provides free recipes on her site. Check it out and let us know what your favorite "Good and Cheap" recipe is! And thanks Leanne Brown for creating a cookbook our families can enjoy!