Open Faced Spinach Breakfast Sandwich

I almost feel silly posting this as a recipe, because it requires no technique or measurements, just a bit of creativeness and a skillet.

This is a great substitution for the egg-themed breakfast that seems to occur a little too often when there isn't much else in the house. I used chopped frozen spinach and it was pretty good, but of course I'm sure that fresh spinach would be much better. I just sauteed the spinach with some oil and garlic, then fried an egg over easy and placed it on top of a piece of toast. Just sprinkle with ground pepper and your meal is complete. This isn't too filling, but it makes a good mini breakfast or post-workout snack.

Deals and Steals

No, I am not going to give you a lesson on couponing. (Though if you want to learn, I suggest Deals and Steals is actually the name of a grocery store. I just returned from my first visit there, and I had to blog about it as soon as I got home. If you are anywhere near the Northampton, MA area, you need to take a trip to this place.

My internship boss recommended this place to me, but I didn't realize how incredibly cheap this plethora of organic food could be. I am interested in eating healthy and organically, but thought that stuff was for people with money. I live off of frozen meals and endless amounts of pasta dishes. Rice cakes and organic stuff are for the rich. I now realize my misconstrued assumptions.

Here is a link to their website for location information. I guess they have a clothing store as well, but I didn't end up checking that out today.

Literally, this grocery trip was cheaper than Stop and Shop and I got much better food; I was able to get things I wanted rather than the basics that I needed.

My total? $11.92.

I couldn't believe it when I got to the register. If you aren't convinced yet, just take a look at what I made off with.
  • Annie's Cheeseburger Macaroni - $0.99
  • 20 mini tortillas - $0.99
  • Power Bar Harvest Energy - $0.50
  • Caramel rice cakes - $0.99
  • 365 brand Peach Snack Bowls (pk of 4) - $1.99
  • "Darn Good" Chili Mix - $1.99
  • Mr. & Mrs. T brand strawberry daiqueri mix - $0.99
  • Alfredo risotto - $0.99
  • 2 cans chicken broth - $1.99
This place has a large selection of teas, you can even mix and match your own. They have a hair care/cosmetics section as well as a lot of gluten-free products. If you like bizarre foods there is plenty of that as well. And they carry Jones soda and other popular organic drinks at a reduced price.

It is definitely worth the trip even if you don't live too close to Northampton. I suggested that my mom stop by  the next time she is out this direction. She used to shop at Whole Foods a lot but I think it just became too expensive. 

I'm so excited to be eating better and for a lower price! I still can't get over the fact that shopping for organic food has become cheaper than eating crap. Like even cheaper than the JBC I bought on the way there.  

Alfredo Like You've Never Seen It Before

Nothing beats a good alfredo sauce. When you are cooking at home, however; it can often be difficult to get it to the perfect creamy-ness. And if you are being spontaneous and don't just have heavy cream on hand, a real alfredo sauce can seem a little out of reach.

Fortunately, there is a little known solution to all these problems.

An egg. Who would have thought of so simple an ingredient to make a perfectly creamy dish? You won't believe it until you try it for yourself.

I am giving my boyfriend total credit for this recipe. I went over his house one day after he had been watching the Food Network and he came up this dish. He said he had seen a segment on a restaurant that finished making your plate in front of you--in this case it was this alfredo dinner and they cracked the egg at your table. There was no recipe he followed, I just helped him do a makeshift alfredo and he added the egg. It was better than any other alfredo sauces I had tried before.

1/2 lb angel hair pasta
1/4 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup shredded cheese (Tom prefers mozzarella, while I prefer Parmesan for a more classic flavor)
1 tbsp garlic
1 egg
salt pepper

makes 2 servings

Boil the pasta until cooked. Meanwhile, in a pan over med-low heat, melt the butter (or oil if you wish) and add the garlic. Once the garlic has begun to cook, add the milk, flour, salt and pepper and stir. When your pasta is just about ready, add the cheese and stir constantly. Drain the pasta and then add it to the pan, still stirring. Finally, once the pasta and sauce are mixed well, crack an egg over the dish. Stir until the egg is completely combined and then your dish is ready to serve.

Sweet and Sour Stir Fry

The other day I just decided that I wanted to make stir fry. I wanted to really tough it out and make my own sauce too (aka save money). One of my favorite dishes when I order Chinese food is the sweet and sour chicken. I found a list of different stir fry sauces at AllRecipes and adapted the sweet and sour sauce. My favorite part of this dish was that it tastes a whole lot like good Chinese takeout without the stomachache afterwards and guess what? It's actually good for you!

16 oz package frozen vegetables (oriental style)
2 chicken breasts
2 cups white rice
1 tsp garlic

1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp soy sauce (I actually just used two of those little packets they give with takeout)
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp corn starch

Cut the chicken into 1 inch squares and cook with dashes of ground pepper (I cooked mine on the stove top), along with the garlic. Meanwhile, cook the white rice according to directions on the package. When the chicken is mostly cooked, add the frozen vegetables and cook covered for 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together all ingredients of the sauce. Stir the rice and the sauce into the pan with the cooked chicken and vegetables and cook for a few more minutes.

This is such a cheap meal! Rice and frozen veggies are ridiculously cheap. And plus, it tastes great.