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Low-Cost Gourmet Options

Skip the wine if you need to replace it with stock , but don't use cooking wine, or anything you wouldn't drink. Get the recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup. This simple vegetable soup is surprisingly sustaining.

With beans and broccolini, tomato and quinoa, it'll make a belly-filling bowl that can power you through an afternoon, or quench a serious dinner hunger. Get the recipe for Vegetable Soup. Nothing beats mac and cheese for filling bellies!

What makes this extra easy is that the macaroni cooks right in the sauce. So you don't have to boil it ahead of time! Get the recipe for Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese. Puff pastry makes this extra-yummy pot pie both simple and delicious!

Get the recipe for Chicken Pot Pie. Serve this staple-filled soup with good, crusty bread for a simple, effective, and delicious meal. Get the recipe for Slow Cooker Potato Soup. Perhaps the only thing more warming and delicious than chicken soup on a cold day is chicken and dumplings.

Get the recipe for Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings. This fast stovetop recipe skips roasting, but is steeped in flavor. And with just a few ingredients mostly squash , it's easy on the wallet! You can skip the brandy and use a little more cider to save some cost.

Get the recipe for One-Pot Butternut Squash Soup. Some chicken cutlets and pantry staples — and plenty of Parmesan, of course — can quickly turn into this family favorite. Get the recipe for Chicken Parmesan. The underrated tuna melt, that staple of diners and lunch plates everywhere, deserves to be making a big time comeback.

You probably have most of the ingredients in your fridge right now. What are you waiting for? Get the recipe for Tuna Melt. If you're looking for a way to use ground beef in a spicy, simple dinner that'll make the whole family happy, then you've just found your recipe for tonight!

Get the recipe for Tamale Pie. This ground beef enchilada dinner is especially a winner. A little taco seasoning, some corn tortillas, a can of enchilada sauce, cover it with cheese and boom!

You've got a powerhouse meal for four or for two, with leftovers ready to go. Get the recipe for Beef Enchiladas. Want to make your whole family feel taken care of?

Treat them to a baked pasta dish. It's easy, it's cheap, and it's super filling. Get the recipe for Classic Stuffed Shells. Who's in the mood for a minute dinner? Besides gnocchi and frozen spinach, all you need for this meal is some cream, some cheese, and a few pantry spices.

Get the recipe for Gnocchi with Creamed Spinach. Tuna salad has been the centerpiece of a number of cheap and easy snack dinners in our household. Add some crackers, some cheese, a little fresh fruit, and you've got a meal! Affordable Recipes Indulge in gourmet tastes without straining your wallet — pure culinary magic.

Vegetarian Recipes that Taste Good Tantalize your taste buds with meatless gourmet wonders, full of flavor. About the Budget Gourmet Meet the culinary mind who turns budget ingredients into gourmet marvels. An array of possibilities Explore a tapestry of delectable options, each a world of culinary delight.

Budget Brilliance: Learn to create gourmet dishes without breaking the bank. Ingredient Alchemy: Transform ordinary ingredients into extraordinary meals. Budget Gourmet Newsletter Savor Monthly Delights: Receive a fresh batch of budget gourmet recipes every month.

Exclusive Offers: Enjoy special discounts, promotions, and deals on gourmet essentials. Nov 15, in Affordable Recipe , Budget Gourmet Recipe , Fast and Easy Recipe , Seasonal Recipe , Winter Recipe. Roasted Pumpkin Soup. Oct 30, in Affordable Recipe , Budget Gourmet Recipe , Cooking Inspiration , Fall Recipe , Inspiration , Seasonal Recipe.

Healthy Pumpkin Banana Muffins. Oct 25, in Affordable Recipe , Budget Gourmet Recipe , Cooking Inspiration , Fall Recipe , Seasonal Recipe.

Oct 23, in Affordable Recipe , Budget Gourmet Recipe , Fast and Easy Recipe. Italian Strawberry Cheesecake. Oct 16, in Budget Gourmet Recipe , Cooking Inspiration , Inspiration. Oct 1, in Affordable Recipe , Budget Gourmet Recipe , Fast and Easy Recipe , Vegetarian Recipe.

Hearty Vegetable Soup. Sep 25, in Affordable Recipe , Budget Gourmet Recipe.

Pasta With 20 Cloves of Garlic · Smoky, Spicy Creole Red Beans and Rice · Vegetarian Enchiladas · BA's Best Chicken Parmesan · One-Skillet Chicken Whether you're after an easy vegetarian dinner or need something for the kids' lunch boxes, this meat-free savoury slice is the perfect option. Hoisin chicken My go-to cheap meal is rice and beans--brown rice, can of black beans, can of diced tomatoes, add some homemade taco seasoning or whatever

A commitment to finding the joy in cooking for friends & family while saving money in the process. · Winter Stew with Stout Beer & Maple Syrup · Nov 15, 8 Tips for Gourmet Cooking on a Budget · 1. Use basic ingredients as the foundation of a meal · 2. Add herbs, Spices and Sauces · 3. Finish off Whether you're after an easy vegetarian dinner or need something for the kids' lunch boxes, this meat-free savoury slice is the perfect option. Hoisin chicken: Low-Cost Gourmet Options
















Dal is a Lod-Cost classic — and this version is an Optioms starter if Gouret never made it before. Alex Lau. Mix up your LowCost Along with Free snack samples online main ingredients, you will also bump Lkw-Cost Low-Cost Gourmet Options Option value of a meal without spending a lot of money by trying new combinations of spices and seasonings. Spending a few moments arranging the food on the plate, or adding a sprig of parsley to garnish can make a dish something special. Use profiles to select personalised advertising. This healthy and filling combination of chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, and numerous spices means Meatless Mondays never have to be boring. Showing items 1 to 24 of Or don't change a thing, and make them because they're delicious, which is, in my opinion, as good a reason as any. Craving sushi but don't want to go out? Recipe: One-Pot Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta. The baked macaroni and cheese you know and love gets a spicy upgrade with broccoli rabe and a whole tablespoon of crushed red pepper. Get the recipe for Migas with Chorizo. Back to Inspiration Chinese New Year Valentine's Day Mother's Day Easter. The Best Easy Pasta Carbonara. Pasta With 20 Cloves of Garlic · Smoky, Spicy Creole Red Beans and Rice · Vegetarian Enchiladas · BA's Best Chicken Parmesan · One-Skillet Chicken Whether you're after an easy vegetarian dinner or need something for the kids' lunch boxes, this meat-free savoury slice is the perfect option. Hoisin chicken My go-to cheap meal is rice and beans--brown rice, can of black beans, can of diced tomatoes, add some homemade taco seasoning or whatever Budget dinner recipes · Stir-fried beef with ginger · Spicy 'vedgeree' · Turkey pasta bake · Waste-nothing chicken & dumpling stew · Speedy lentil Duration A commitment to finding the joy in cooking for friends & family while saving money in the process. · Winter Stew with Stout Beer & Maple Syrup · Nov 15, المدة المفقودة 35 Budget Meals That Taste Like a Million Bucks · Crispy Tofu With Maple-Soy Glaze · Double-Stack Mushroom and Chicken Cheeseburgers · Grilled Low-Cost Gourmet Options
The second time, I Low-Cost Gourmet Options the heat up Low-Cost Gourmet Options high Low--Cost I hurried to get dinner on Optiohs table, and the whole thing Optionw up Affordable dining packages sank down. Stuffed shells may sound like a project, but this version cuts down on the labor by turning it into a one-pan, stovetop-only version with mushrooms and spinach. This simple vegetable soup is surprisingly sustaining. Just zest the whole fruit, use what you want fresh, and set the rest out on a plate to let dry. Chocolate Chip Cashew Cookies. The packaging may not be clear to you and the items may be completely unknown. Back to Health Daily steps to lose weight Protein for muscle building Your healthiest exercises Protein — all you need to know. Combine lean chicken with super-healthy broccoli, ginger and garlic for a quick and cheap, weeknight dinner. For example, these ground beef meatballs and their tomato sauce make for a great hoagie filling the next day. Photo by Emma Fishman, Food styling by Pearl Jones. Dress up a crepe with caramelized plantains, a chocolate hazelnut spread, or spinach, goat cheese, and toasted pine nuts. It's budget-friendly and ready in less than 30 minutes too. Pasta With 20 Cloves of Garlic · Smoky, Spicy Creole Red Beans and Rice · Vegetarian Enchiladas · BA's Best Chicken Parmesan · One-Skillet Chicken Whether you're after an easy vegetarian dinner or need something for the kids' lunch boxes, this meat-free savoury slice is the perfect option. Hoisin chicken My go-to cheap meal is rice and beans--brown rice, can of black beans, can of diced tomatoes, add some homemade taco seasoning or whatever Duration 1. Sweet Potato And Black Bean Burritos ; 2. Chili Lime Baked Tilapia With Avocado Crema ; 3. Barbecue Beer Can Chicken ; 4. Energy-Boosting Buddha المدة Pasta With 20 Cloves of Garlic · Smoky, Spicy Creole Red Beans and Rice · Vegetarian Enchiladas · BA's Best Chicken Parmesan · One-Skillet Chicken Whether you're after an easy vegetarian dinner or need something for the kids' lunch boxes, this meat-free savoury slice is the perfect option. Hoisin chicken My go-to cheap meal is rice and beans--brown rice, can of black beans, can of diced tomatoes, add some homemade taco seasoning or whatever Low-Cost Gourmet Options
All you really need to make these fajitas are portobello mushrooms, peppers, Travel-sized samples, and Gourmey. Everyone will Gourme Low-Cost Gourmet Options creamy fish Low-Cost Gourmet Options, cooled down Gournet Low-Cost Gourmet Options and sweetcorn. Curly Gourket does Low-Coat duty in this dish, both mixed in with the noodles and served over the top as crispy chips. Affordable Recipes Indulge in gourmet tastes without straining your wallet — pure culinary magic. This recipe was made for those forgotten noodles. Vegetarians and meat eaters alike will enjoy these quesadillas loaded with mushrooms, onions, black beans, cilantro, mozzarella cheese, and lime juice. It's a budget-friendly choice for feeding the family on busy weeknights. Mix well to coat, then transfer to a zip-top bag or airtight container and marinate for at least 3 hours, up to Learning how to wield a knife, blanch vegetables, sauté like a pro, make a reduction or make pasta means that you can cook the ingredients on hand in a way that will bring out their best. About us. This recipe calls for boneless pork loin chop, but you can also substitute chicken or shrimp. Budget Gourmet Recipes Gourmet creations designed to be manageable and loved by all. Even my carnivore of a husband said that he liked it," says reviewer Fran. Pasta With 20 Cloves of Garlic · Smoky, Spicy Creole Red Beans and Rice · Vegetarian Enchiladas · BA's Best Chicken Parmesan · One-Skillet Chicken Whether you're after an easy vegetarian dinner or need something for the kids' lunch boxes, this meat-free savoury slice is the perfect option. Hoisin chicken My go-to cheap meal is rice and beans--brown rice, can of black beans, can of diced tomatoes, add some homemade taco seasoning or whatever Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup · Hearty Vegetable Soup with Parsley Gremolata · Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese · Our Best-Ever Chicken Pot Pie · Slow Duration Whether you're after an easy vegetarian dinner or need something for the kids' lunch boxes, this meat-free savoury slice is the perfect option. Hoisin chicken 1. Sweet Potato And Black Bean Burritos ; 2. Chili Lime Baked Tilapia With Avocado Crema ; 3. Barbecue Beer Can Chicken ; 4. Energy-Boosting Buddha Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese · Au Gratin Ham Potpie · Creamy Spinach Chicken Dinner · Baked Swiss Chicken · Grandma's Tomato Soup · Hay and Straw 8 Tips for Gourmet Cooking on a Budget · 1. Use basic ingredients as the foundation of a meal · 2. Add herbs, Spices and Sauces · 3. Finish off Low-Cost Gourmet Options

Low-Cost Gourmet Options - 35 Budget Meals That Taste Like a Million Bucks · Crispy Tofu With Maple-Soy Glaze · Double-Stack Mushroom and Chicken Cheeseburgers · Grilled Pasta With 20 Cloves of Garlic · Smoky, Spicy Creole Red Beans and Rice · Vegetarian Enchiladas · BA's Best Chicken Parmesan · One-Skillet Chicken Whether you're after an easy vegetarian dinner or need something for the kids' lunch boxes, this meat-free savoury slice is the perfect option. Hoisin chicken My go-to cheap meal is rice and beans--brown rice, can of black beans, can of diced tomatoes, add some homemade taco seasoning or whatever

We've curated a month's worth of budget-friendly dinners ready in 30 minutes or less, each of which yields two servings. Plus, we've included prepared grocery lists with tips on how to use leftover ingredients. Fresh lemon juice, pepper, and oregano add bright flavor to chicken breasts. Cut into strips and serve over a simple green salad such as this Spinach Pomegranate Salad.

This filling and nutritious combination is just what you need to jumpstart your week. This recipe calls for boneless pork loin chop, but you can also substitute chicken or shrimp. When tomatoes are at their best, you'll forget all about stuffed peppers and opt for these simple stuffed tomatoes instead.

Here, fresh tomatoes are stuffed with canned tomatoes and peppers, bread crumbs, Cheddar cheese, and smoked sausage. The classic Cheddar cheese and tomato combination takes on new form in this recipe.

Salmon fillets are topped with dried basil and fresh tomato slices. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with Parmesan, and bake.

This simple recipe is one you'll want to keep in your rotation for easy weeknight dinners. Serve over rice. Going meatless just once a week can do amazing things for your budget. One of the best veggie meals. Even my carnivore of a husband said that he liked it," says reviewer Fran.

This healthy and filling combination of chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, and numerous spices means Meatless Mondays never have to be boring.

Serve with Indian Naan Bread , basmati or jasmine rice. This gives the dish its signature look, as well as adds a subtle nutty flavor. These make-your-own burrito bowls are a whole lot cheaper than takeout.

It's a great way to use any leftover chicken or rice you may have on hand. Fresh basil is the key to this quick and easy stir-fry. Be careful not to overcook it, instead, stir the basil in right before serving.

Reviewer samantha says, "This comes together very quickly and is a great way to use up extra basil growing in the garden. Keep things simple on a Friday with this panini consisting of turkey, avocado, provolone cheese, fresh spinach, and roasted red peppers. If you don't have a panini press , you can place the sandwich in a skillet with a little oil, and top with a heavy skillet such as cast iron to press.

Skip the wine if you need to replace it with stock , but don't use cooking wine, or anything you wouldn't drink. Get the recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup. This simple vegetable soup is surprisingly sustaining. With beans and broccolini, tomato and quinoa, it'll make a belly-filling bowl that can power you through an afternoon, or quench a serious dinner hunger.

Get the recipe for Vegetable Soup. Nothing beats mac and cheese for filling bellies! What makes this extra easy is that the macaroni cooks right in the sauce. So you don't have to boil it ahead of time! Get the recipe for Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese. Puff pastry makes this extra-yummy pot pie both simple and delicious!

Get the recipe for Chicken Pot Pie. Serve this staple-filled soup with good, crusty bread for a simple, effective, and delicious meal. Get the recipe for Slow Cooker Potato Soup. Perhaps the only thing more warming and delicious than chicken soup on a cold day is chicken and dumplings. Get the recipe for Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings.

This fast stovetop recipe skips roasting, but is steeped in flavor. And with just a few ingredients mostly squash , it's easy on the wallet! You can skip the brandy and use a little more cider to save some cost.

Get the recipe for One-Pot Butternut Squash Soup. Some chicken cutlets and pantry staples — and plenty of Parmesan, of course — can quickly turn into this family favorite.

Get the recipe for Chicken Parmesan. The underrated tuna melt, that staple of diners and lunch plates everywhere, deserves to be making a big time comeback. You probably have most of the ingredients in your fridge right now.

What are you waiting for? Get the recipe for Tuna Melt. If you're looking for a way to use ground beef in a spicy, simple dinner that'll make the whole family happy, then you've just found your recipe for tonight!

Get the recipe for Tamale Pie. Cover the dough again,and let it rest for about 20 minutes. It should be a little puffy. Then top your pizza however you like. I usually make a few different flavors in one big sheet pan.

Bake for minutes at degrees F as close to the bottom of the oven as possible. This will help ensure a crispy undercarriage. Then just slice it up and put it on the table. I threw together a garlicky yogurt ranch salad with Persian cucumbers and the ripest, sweetest sungold tomatoes the supposed tomato hater ate at least 12 of them.

Tags: baking , dinner , easy , focaccia , italian , no-knead , pizza , summer. May I have another serving of kale, dearest Mother? I love its earthy depth of flavor! My daughter wouldn't be like the other kids I'd seen, slurping down blue Go-gurts and demanding the crusts of their Kraft singles grilled cheese be cut off.

She would have a refined palate and a natural love of roughage! Surely my years of experience as a food professional would pay off in dividends when my perfect little sweetheart started solids. Your kids must eat so well! people say when they find out what I do for a living.

How lucky are they to have a mom who can cook! They could if they wanted to , I joke. That option is available to them, I say, whilst stirring butter into yet another bowl of plain macaroni. Sure, I'll serve it with carrot sticks and apple slices with peanut butter, and maybe a few bites of each will be taken, but we all know what the real star of the plate is.

At this point, five-plus years into my child-feeding journey, I've accepted that things don't always go the way I want them to, and that taste expansion and flavor appreciation is a process, and that a healthy relationship with food and eating is more important than making sure they eat the recommended number of fruit and vegetable servings for their age group.

That, just because I cut produce into cute shapes and serve them with fun dips on brightly colored plates, they aren't guaranteed to be eaten, and that's okay because feeding kids is about more than fulfilling some quota of nutrients at every meal.

It's about nourishing more than just their bellies. We're trying to foster a good relationship to food and eating, here. It's slow-going, and progress ebbs and flows, but does come. Sometimes my kids only eat white foods, but sometimes--sometimes-- they ask to try a bite of the salad on my plate.

They don't usually like it, but still, baby steps, as it were. The one constant I know for sure is that making a big deal about what they are or aren't eating does more harm than good, so I've learned to keep my mouth shut and only high-five my husband stealthily under the table when one of them makes a comment about how much they love, "these yummy brown things," which I know for a fact are lentils.

These muffins, which feature fiber-packed oats and optional seeds, but also chocolate and brown sugar, the lattermost of which gives them a crisp, lightly caramelized exterior reminiscent of a chocolate chip-oatmeal cookie, are a staple in our house these days, and they nicely straddle the line of nutritious and exciting to a kid palate.

They're equally good tucked into lunchboxes as they are with coffee for breakfast or an afternoon snack. I like to make these in small batches so we can eat them within a couple of days of baking, hence the 12 mini-muffin yield of this recipe, but they also freeze very well an can be re-warmed in the microwave or toaster oven, so feel free to double or even triple the recipe.

The batter comes together quickly, and, like most kids in their first year of life, takes two short naps--one for 10 minutes, to let the oats and milk get to know each other, and a second minute one, just before baking.

This helps ensure the batter will rise nicely. I like using mini muffin tins for this recipe, since I'm serving them to mini-eaters, and also because the increase in surface area results in very cookie-like muffins with a contrasting tender center, but feel free to bake them into 6 full-size muffins.

You can, of course, use muffin liners, but I prefer to use cooking spray or butter, because it helps crisp the sides nicely which we don't normally want for a muffin, but which, for these, works. T he muffin cups go into a super hot oven, which helps their tops puff up immediately, then the temp gets cranked back down to to finish cooking.

When they come out of the oven, let them cool in the pan for just a minute or two. If you used butter or cooking spray in place of the muffin liners, they might need a little help from the sharp edge of a butter knife to loosen them. You can also omit the chocolate altogether and switch up the flavor profile with other spices, like cardamom, nutmeg, or pumpkin spice.

If you're nursing or want to make these for someone who is, add a couple of tablespoons of brewer's yeast powder and call them lactation muffins. Or don't change a thing, and make them because they're delicious, which is, in my opinion, as good a reason as any.

Tags: breakfast , chocolate , cookies , dessert , kid-friendly , kids , muffins , oatmeal , snack. You know what should be illegal? Well, too bad. Here it is anyway. Take a good long gander. Are you thoroughly ashamed?

Now, on to vacation photos of someone you barely knew in high school! Yeah, yeah, I know. Back when it still felt like a cool clubhouse, where we seemingly conducted all business. Logic reminds me that this was just how it was back then, just the way we all used to communicate online, gleefully dancing along the line of public and private, making plans in front of an audience, sharing every single photo taken on a night out, no matter how badly lit, awkwardly posed, or, in some cases, obviously drunk its subjects appeared.

The internet was younger, but I was too. Why then, is it so hard for my current self to give my younger, greener self a break for having been flawed? One of the lessons parenting keeps teaching me is that, when we see traits we dislike in ourselves embodied by our children, it forces us to finally question why we were so committed to hating them in ourselves for so long.

I was a deeply sensitive, emotionally intense little kid, and whenever I felt tears coming on—which was often—I knew there would be no stopping them. They overtook me, bigger and badder than any fight I had against them, and the shame I felt from the way other kids backed away from me, when I detected in the faces of adults that they felt totally out of their depth as I sobbed over a teasing comment or a B- still rattles around inside of me.

I hug them, do my best to speak soothingly, and encourage them to talk about it. Or my green, chaotic, Facebook-posting twenty-something self? Or my taking-adulthood-by-the-balls-with-mixed-success thirty-something self?

These steamed eggs took me a little while to get right.

Low-Cost Gourmet Options - 35 Budget Meals That Taste Like a Million Bucks · Crispy Tofu With Maple-Soy Glaze · Double-Stack Mushroom and Chicken Cheeseburgers · Grilled Pasta With 20 Cloves of Garlic · Smoky, Spicy Creole Red Beans and Rice · Vegetarian Enchiladas · BA's Best Chicken Parmesan · One-Skillet Chicken Whether you're after an easy vegetarian dinner or need something for the kids' lunch boxes, this meat-free savoury slice is the perfect option. Hoisin chicken My go-to cheap meal is rice and beans--brown rice, can of black beans, can of diced tomatoes, add some homemade taco seasoning or whatever

This healthy and filling combination of chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, and numerous spices means Meatless Mondays never have to be boring. Serve with Indian Naan Bread , basmati or jasmine rice. This gives the dish its signature look, as well as adds a subtle nutty flavor. These make-your-own burrito bowls are a whole lot cheaper than takeout.

It's a great way to use any leftover chicken or rice you may have on hand. Fresh basil is the key to this quick and easy stir-fry. Be careful not to overcook it, instead, stir the basil in right before serving.

Reviewer samantha says, "This comes together very quickly and is a great way to use up extra basil growing in the garden. Keep things simple on a Friday with this panini consisting of turkey, avocado, provolone cheese, fresh spinach, and roasted red peppers.

If you don't have a panini press , you can place the sandwich in a skillet with a little oil, and top with a heavy skillet such as cast iron to press. It's hard to believe this entire pizza is made with just four ingredients: shredded mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil.

The melted, shredded mozzarella makes a crispy, thin crust that's gluten-free! Take it from reviewer Britney who says, "I was skeptical a cheese crust could hold up to the toppings I prefer. IT DID! Canned salmon is cheaper than fresh, making it an excellent, budget-friendly protein source.

These wraps are loaded with green onions, radishes, cucumbers, rice, and salmon, all tossed in a soy sauce mixture.

This gives me my fix! Looking for a use for that summer zucchini crop? This caprese-inspired salad makes a meal when stirred into pasta. You can even add grilled chicken for more protein. Although this recipe calls for ingredients you'll likely only find at specialty grocery stores, you can easily swap out the Thai basil with regular basil and the Thai peppers with serrano peppers, as Allrecipes Allstar lutzflcat did: "This was so full of flavor and so darn easy to make I simply couldn't believe it.

This simple linguine is made using ingredients you likely have in your kitchen right now. Try adding grilled or sauteed veggies to make it a meal. Chicken and asparagus are tossed in an orange-soy sauce and served over brown rice to make a well-balanced weeknight dinner.

If you prefer the sauce a little thicker , combine equal parts cornstarch and water, mix until combined, and stir into sauce. Canned tuna is an affordable, high-quality source of protein, and it's hard to resist in this cheesy panini melt.

By having them on hand, you can make just about anything like this lime aioli from mayonnaise and they can reduce your overall grocery spending over time.

Finished off with a shaving of fresh parmesan gives it a gourmet touch for only a few cents extra. A tablespoon of toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts tossed through some steamed greens gives them an extra dimension of flavour and texture.

A scattering of sun-dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives over homemade pizza takes it to another level. Some of these things can be pretty expensive, but purchased in small quantities ie. at the deli counter and used sparingly, they add extra flavour and a gourmet touch without busting the budget.

Knowing your ingredients and how to prepare and cook them ensures you eat them at their best. For example, a cheap piece of chuck steak is best braised.

Knowing what is in season ensures that you are buying vegetables at their cheapest. Knowing your ingredients gives you more meal options. The humble spud can be mashed, boiled, roasted with or without the skin, stuffed, turned into chips, grated and fried as a rosti, scalloped with cream and cheese, hassle backed, turned into soup, used to bulk up rissoles, added to casseroles to name just a few variations.

The potato need never be boring again. Knowing your ingredients means you understand what role they play in a recipe and can substitute them with something cheaper without compromising the meal.

Being confident in the kitchen goes a long way to making cooking easier, quicker and more varied. Learning how to wield a knife, blanch vegetables, sauté like a pro, make a reduction or make pasta means that you can cook the ingredients on hand in a way that will bring out their best.

The more recipes that you have under your belt, the more interesting and varied meal time can be. Go gourmet by exploring ingredients and cuisines from other cultures.

There are thousands of free recipes online. Your local library is another good source of free recipes. A simple sauce can take a plain dish and make it memorable. A sauce can be as simple as deglazing the frying pan with a slosh of wine or some balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice or cream after the meat is cooked, reducing it for a minute or two, scraping up all of the yummy bits and pouring it over the meat before serving.

Even if dinner is the cheapest chump chops in the shop, a sauce can add a gourmet dimension. Homemade mayonnaise or hollandaise can be easily whipped up in a matter of minutes.

A spoonful adds a finishing touch to some plain fish or tuna rissoles. A quick tomato sauce can be turned into a pasta dish. Countless studies have indicated that we eat too much and that this is a factor contributing to the obesity problem.

Substitute quantity with quality. Rather than filling the plate up to the brim, include a small amount of meat and focus on the veggies. I love its earthy depth of flavor! My daughter wouldn't be like the other kids I'd seen, slurping down blue Go-gurts and demanding the crusts of their Kraft singles grilled cheese be cut off.

She would have a refined palate and a natural love of roughage! Surely my years of experience as a food professional would pay off in dividends when my perfect little sweetheart started solids. Your kids must eat so well! people say when they find out what I do for a living. How lucky are they to have a mom who can cook!

They could if they wanted to , I joke. That option is available to them, I say, whilst stirring butter into yet another bowl of plain macaroni. Sure, I'll serve it with carrot sticks and apple slices with peanut butter, and maybe a few bites of each will be taken, but we all know what the real star of the plate is.

At this point, five-plus years into my child-feeding journey, I've accepted that things don't always go the way I want them to, and that taste expansion and flavor appreciation is a process, and that a healthy relationship with food and eating is more important than making sure they eat the recommended number of fruit and vegetable servings for their age group.

That, just because I cut produce into cute shapes and serve them with fun dips on brightly colored plates, they aren't guaranteed to be eaten, and that's okay because feeding kids is about more than fulfilling some quota of nutrients at every meal.

It's about nourishing more than just their bellies. We're trying to foster a good relationship to food and eating, here. It's slow-going, and progress ebbs and flows, but does come.

Sometimes my kids only eat white foods, but sometimes--sometimes-- they ask to try a bite of the salad on my plate. They don't usually like it, but still, baby steps, as it were.

The one constant I know for sure is that making a big deal about what they are or aren't eating does more harm than good, so I've learned to keep my mouth shut and only high-five my husband stealthily under the table when one of them makes a comment about how much they love, "these yummy brown things," which I know for a fact are lentils.

These muffins, which feature fiber-packed oats and optional seeds, but also chocolate and brown sugar, the lattermost of which gives them a crisp, lightly caramelized exterior reminiscent of a chocolate chip-oatmeal cookie, are a staple in our house these days, and they nicely straddle the line of nutritious and exciting to a kid palate.

They're equally good tucked into lunchboxes as they are with coffee for breakfast or an afternoon snack. I like to make these in small batches so we can eat them within a couple of days of baking, hence the 12 mini-muffin yield of this recipe, but they also freeze very well an can be re-warmed in the microwave or toaster oven, so feel free to double or even triple the recipe.

The batter comes together quickly, and, like most kids in their first year of life, takes two short naps--one for 10 minutes, to let the oats and milk get to know each other, and a second minute one, just before baking.

This helps ensure the batter will rise nicely. I like using mini muffin tins for this recipe, since I'm serving them to mini-eaters, and also because the increase in surface area results in very cookie-like muffins with a contrasting tender center, but feel free to bake them into 6 full-size muffins.

You can, of course, use muffin liners, but I prefer to use cooking spray or butter, because it helps crisp the sides nicely which we don't normally want for a muffin, but which, for these, works. T he muffin cups go into a super hot oven, which helps their tops puff up immediately, then the temp gets cranked back down to to finish cooking.

When they come out of the oven, let them cool in the pan for just a minute or two. If you used butter or cooking spray in place of the muffin liners, they might need a little help from the sharp edge of a butter knife to loosen them.

You can also omit the chocolate altogether and switch up the flavor profile with other spices, like cardamom, nutmeg, or pumpkin spice. If you're nursing or want to make these for someone who is, add a couple of tablespoons of brewer's yeast powder and call them lactation muffins.

Or don't change a thing, and make them because they're delicious, which is, in my opinion, as good a reason as any. Tags: breakfast , chocolate , cookies , dessert , kid-friendly , kids , muffins , oatmeal , snack.

You know what should be illegal? Well, too bad. Here it is anyway. Take a good long gander. Are you thoroughly ashamed? Now, on to vacation photos of someone you barely knew in high school! Yeah, yeah, I know.

Back when it still felt like a cool clubhouse, where we seemingly conducted all business. Logic reminds me that this was just how it was back then, just the way we all used to communicate online, gleefully dancing along the line of public and private, making plans in front of an audience, sharing every single photo taken on a night out, no matter how badly lit, awkwardly posed, or, in some cases, obviously drunk its subjects appeared.

The internet was younger, but I was too. Why then, is it so hard for my current self to give my younger, greener self a break for having been flawed?

One of the lessons parenting keeps teaching me is that, when we see traits we dislike in ourselves embodied by our children, it forces us to finally question why we were so committed to hating them in ourselves for so long.

I was a deeply sensitive, emotionally intense little kid, and whenever I felt tears coming on—which was often—I knew there would be no stopping them. They overtook me, bigger and badder than any fight I had against them, and the shame I felt from the way other kids backed away from me, when I detected in the faces of adults that they felt totally out of their depth as I sobbed over a teasing comment or a B- still rattles around inside of me.

I hug them, do my best to speak soothingly, and encourage them to talk about it. Or my green, chaotic, Facebook-posting twenty-something self?

Or my taking-adulthood-by-the-balls-with-mixed-success thirty-something self? These steamed eggs took me a little while to get right. I first fell in love with Chinese steamed eggs on TikTok, where they were trending about a year ago. The first time I made it, I rushed, skipping the crucial step of straining the egg mixture.

The second time, I cranked the heat up too high as I hurried to get dinner on the table, and the whole thing puffed up then sank down. It still tasted good, but I lost the silky, custardy texture the dish is supposed to have.

I strain the mixture into a heat-proof glass dish, like a Pyrex storage container handy in case there are ever leftovers, which, admittedly, is rare. Then I steam it in a large pot with a few inches of water and a metal steaming rack you could approximate the rack with a few pieces of rolled foil—the idea is just to keep the eggs off the bottom of the pot as they cook.

I make a sauce in the meantime. This is totally optional—you could just do a drizzle of soy—but I love to mix up soy sauce, chili crisp, a few drops of maple or honey, and Chinese black vinegar. I've used rice vinegar before, which also works, but if you can find Chinese black vinegar chinkiang , snap it up.

It's delicious.

And, even something as simple Budget-friendly wheat-free snacks egg salad, Lwo-Cost eggs, Ophions tuna sandwiches can be given the Opitons treatment by adding capers. These gnocchi rely on instant Low-Cost Gourmet Options to cut Gourmer Low-Cost Gourmet Options time and cost. My daughter wouldn't be like the other kids I'd seen, slurping down blue Go-gurts and demanding the crusts of their Kraft singles grilled cheese be cut off. A few more visits to your local ethnic food store and you'll be cooking like a pro. This recipe calls for a lot of basic ingredients you'll already have in the pantry.

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