Shopping for the week!

While you are shopping this week you are going to look at a few options in the meat department. Boneless, pork loins are economical and easy to prepare in the slow cooker/crock pot. Pick up 2 apples (prefer Granny Smith), what fresh veggies are on sale? Carrots, zucchini, squash? Broccoli? Choose one or two. Pick up a few potatoes and white onion. What dairy products do you need? Milk, cream cheese, Yogurt? Bread, tortillas? 24 pk. of water. Cheese; cheddar, mozzarella? Are you hungry for a pasta meal this week? Be sure to grab either a ground lean turkey or hamburger (one pound pkg. will do). Still have butter? Olive oil and/or canola oil? Pick up a jar of your favorite tomato sauce? I have found that the Hunts’ brand in a can the most reasonably priced tomato sauce in various flavors? Consider that option when choosing a pasta sauce. Do you have any pasta at home in the cabinet/pantry? If not, what’s on sale? Choose one box (one pound). Do you have eggs? Coffee, Tea? Flavor packets for water? That’s a lot of questions isn’t it? In a slow cooker/crock pot at home add 1 cup vegetable stock (not broth there is a difference in the two), the pork loins, slice and core one apple and add into crock pot. Use half the onion and slice finely. Place lid on set on low heat, let it cook while you are at school or work. Easy right?! Are you hungry for chili? Pasta? Taco’s? The selection is endless. I will close wishing you “Good Health”, cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3.


Preparing to purchase some produce, meats, starches, can goods…

You may live alone perhaps you are not married, widowed, college student, graduate student. My practices and suggestions will help numerous people. It is not gender based, marital status, age, none of those things matter in the planning of shopping, stocking up on goods and cooking healthy meals on a budget! Stocking or restocking the pantry, refrigerator with necessities. All purpose flour is used often but I prefer Self-rising because you will not need baking soda, baking powder, thus self-rising flour in the end is more economical. Granulated sugar usually a 4 pound bag will last several weeks, even if using for sweet desserts, morning coffee, smoothies, various non-alcoholic beverages. Tea bags (again using your local Dollar General Store or Walmart is cheaper on teas) and regular ground coffee (any brand) will work for an automatic coffee maker. If you have a 12 cup automatic coffee maker the better. I have recipes for using leftover morning coffee. If you are not a coffee drinker this will not apply to you. Using an off brand may taste bitter however, if you add a few dashes of iodized salt to the grounds before brewing you will be amazed at the results! You do not need Maxwell House, Folgers, etc. These varieties tend to be higher in cost. When you are on a budget every cent saved will go toward another purchase. When looking in the produce Department check the store weekly sale ads. I stay away from pre-packaged lettuce or mixed greens, per ounce they are much more costly. For a salad; iceberg lettuce is usually on sale and can be used and stored for 2 weeks. I will teach you how to do that. Only buy one cucumber, one tomato, one bunch of scallions, one onion, several potatoes in any given week. A bag of carrots (one pound) can make several different dishes. I will show you how to do that very easily. One bag of rice brown or white, one box elbow or bowtie pasta, spaghetti, check what is on sale and what is your particular favorite type of pasta. Many dishes can be made from one pound box of elbow noodle/pasta. Beans – black beans, white beans, pork and beans, kidney beans can all be used in several recipes. One favorite of mine is a package of flour tortillas (white, yellow or wheat) they come in different sizes 5″, 7″, 8″ and can be used for main course meals, desserts (yes in desserts), in wrap sandwiches, soft tacos, many uses. Until the next post. I wish you “Good Health” cheffie cooks easy…

A wonderful year round Strawberry & Apple Salsa

While the strawberries were in season and red ripe, juicy wonderful (I froze several quarts). I came up with this delicious and economical salsa to prepare year round!

You’ll need 1-1/2 cups hulled, rinsed, dried, diced strawberries, one delicious red apple peeled, cored, diced, one whole lemon washed, zest and juiced, one tablespoon sugar, 1/2 red onion diced finely, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon oil of your choice (I used canola oil), 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, garnish with fresh basil. Stir all ingredients in a bowl gently, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

I used this salsa with grilled chicken and shrimp and it was so refreshing.

Hope you’ll enjoy!

In closing I wish you Good Health.

cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3.


Tuesday – What’s on the menu?

What are you hungry for this morning? A pancake or two. Using a pre-mix box batter that you only add water to is the way to go. You can add cinnamon, cocoa, fruit anything at all inside the batter. They can be made ahead of time and you can freeze them. How easy is that! Pop them into the microwave on a paper towel for 1 minute and you are ready to eat. Add warmed syrup to them. Your favorite juice, coffee, tea.

Tuesday’s lunch: Making a quick, delicious soup is an easy alternative for lunch especially in cooler months. It can be made in the slow cooker (crock pot) using a low sodium vegetable stock as its base. Can of diced tomatoes, diced onion, can of white beans, or black beans. Any other veggies you may like, carrots, zucchini. A biscuit, crusty bread, crackers, croutons? Endless options. A piece of fresh fruit.

Tuesday’s supper/dinner: A long day at school or at work. Using your English muffins, (2) you can make small round pizza’s and toast in the toaster oven. Add your pizza/marinara sauce on top, add mozzarella cheese and another topping and bake 6-8 minutes. Easy right?! Make a small green salad. Later we will get into homemade easy salad dressings. *Or you can peruse my recipe box @ Tasty (free to join) and find one you’ll love! I have many posted.

If you have any comments, questions, feel free to leave one! Until next time, I wish you “Good Health”. cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3.

Geared to help others on a budget cook 3 meals a day for One or Two People!

I will help teach you shopping strategies, how to cook on a budget using multiple sources, square meals for one or two people. College students have especially asked me for advice. Once they move out into their own apartment (with or without room-mates) having the proper nutrition is key on a budget. The typical University or College requires a freshman, sophomore, to live in dorm rooms, utilize meals on site. Some students did not cook at home before going away to college. Some live too far to go home on weekends. Fast foods are they really a good thing on a daily basis? Check with your health care provider! Everyone can learn to cook and live on a healthy, varied based weekly menu. I can help you from the staples necessary to the daily menu planning to the easy cooking techniques I have learned through the years.

In closing I wish you Good Health. See YOU! cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3.

Some Cooking Utensils, Pots, Pans, Blender

If you are just setting up housekeeping or adding to a limited selection, you will shop for some cookware, utensils, blender (must have), slow cooker-crock pot (must have) various, cooking ladles, spoons, spatulas, etc. If you are already prepared in this area excellent. For those who may only have one pot or no cookware go to your local Walmart costs are considerably less for a 10 piece cookware set, set of oven and microwave safe Pyrex baking dishes, pie plate. I really like using non stick baking sheet pans and baking dishes. If necessary on your budget check your local Goodwill Store or Thrift Shop. Before using anything purchased from those two sources make sure you clean them thoroughly. I’d use bleach and hot, hot soapy water! Slow cookers are great for so many meal preparations. You may already have one or a friend, family member may help you obtain one. Blenders are terrific for smoothies, purees, many uses. You can find them as cheap as $30 at Walmart, you do not need a $100.00 unit to start out. Eventually, you will upgrade and may consider a better unit and/or a food processor. We are speaking “saving you money” at the same time having enough cookware to get you started in meal preparations. If you live alone you do not need a cabinet full of dishes, glasses, silverware! A set of mixing bowls would be good to have handy. Canister set for flour, sugar, tea, coffee but not necessarily an absolute must have. These items can be place in gallon zip lock bags and stored in pantry or cabinet. I even keep my Coffee can in my refrigerator. We have pretty well set up your kitchen. Given tips on shopping. You can always shop at specialty kitchen ware stores but that kinda blows the budgeting thing. Later on you can upgrade to more expensive cook and bake ware!

I wish you “Good Health”. cheffie cooks easy 1-2-3. See You!