Monday, August 11, 2008

Salad for Lunch Today

I made this yummy salad for lunch today! It consists of romaine lettuce, purple cabbage, green onions, bell peppers, celery, tomato and 3 oz of drained and flaked Albacore tuna. I dressed it with a little bit of olive oil, rice wine vinegar, garlic powder, salt and pepper. It really hit the spot considering it was a pretty hot day today! This was a cheap chic and refreshing meal!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Albondigas for Days and Days!

When I make a big pot of Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Soup) it lasts for days and days! It also freezes well in an air tight container for future eating. This is a family favorite! Enjoy!


1 Tbls Olive Oil

1 Lrg Onion, chopped

1 Lrg Bell Pepper, chopped

4 Cloves Garlic, minced

2 tsp dried Oregano

1 Tbls Mexican Chili Powder

½ tsp Cumin

1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

3-4 Spears Celery, chopped (approx. 1½ cups)

3-4 Carrots, peeled & sliced (approx. 1½ cups)

3 lrg Russet Potatoes, peeled & cubed (approx. 2 cups)

1 zucchini, cubed

2 32oz cartons/cans Beef Stock

6 cups water (1½ Qrts)

2 tsp Beef Bouillon powder (or 1 lrg cube, mashed)

1 6oz can Tomato Paste

1 14½ oz can Diced Tomatoes

Juice of 2 large Lemons (Approx. ¼ cup)

1 tsp Sugar

1 tsp Salt

¼ tsp Black Pepper

Meatball Mixture:

lbs of Lean Ground Beef

½ bunch (1/2 cup) fresh Cilantro, minced

2 lrg. Eggs, beaten

½ tsp Garlic Powder (may substitute 2 cloves minced garlic)

½ tsp Onion Powder (may substitute ¼ cup grated onion)

1 tsp Salt

¼ tsp Pepper


In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, sauté onion, bell peppers, garlic and spices in olive oil until slightly tender. Add chopped vegetables except potatoes and zucchini. Add beef stock, water, bouillon, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil. Place the meat mixture into a large bowl and mix together with hands. Form into approx. 1 ½ inch meatballs. Drop them a few at a time into the boiling soup. Add the cubed potatoes and zucchini. Adjust the soup temperature to a steady simmer and cover loosely with a lid. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Adjust seasoning to your taste by adding salt if needed of Tabasco/ hot sauce if desired. Makes approximately 8-10 servings.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Broccoli "Comfort" Casserole!

This is definitely a comfort food. It keeps well in the fridge and warms up great in the microwave!

* Chop up a couple of bunches (2lbs) of broccoli and steam it till tender. Drain and spread out evenly in a 9x13 cake pan.

* In a seperate bowl mix together 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup, 4oz jar of pimentos (if you don't have pimentos you may use a 1/2 cup of chopped red peppers, or a 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes), 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup of mayonnaise (yes, I said Mayo!). Then I splash a little white wine or a squirt of lemon juice. You may add a tsp of yellow curry if you like it (I love it).

*Spread the mixture evenly on top of the broccoli.

*Bake uncovered for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

I serve this yummy cassarole over rice with a nice green salad on the side.

Note: You may add chopped, cooked chicken. Just sprinkle it in with the broccoli before spreading the sauce on top.

Summer Time Pasta Salad!

I cooked and drained a 1lb bag of shell pasta, chopped up a bunch of veggies (whatever I had on hand), mixed it all up with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar (any vinegar will do), 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and there you have it! This is so good to keep in the fridge during the summer for a meal or a snack! I added a couple of slices of salami to my bowl for a hardy lunch time meal!

Beans, Beans the Musical Fruit.....

I've been rather manic today as I've been cooking most of the day! I've decided to make Monday a cooking day (this week anyway, lol). I think by doing this I can have things in the fridge ready to just warm up or pull out during the week. This will hopefully allow me to focus on other things during the week such as my ART! YAY!
(Collage Cafe Art Studio)

I started off the day by cooking a big pot of pinto beans that I had soaked over night. Dried pintos are only $1.25 for a 1 lb bag, wow! They turned out
soooo yummy! My son loves making bean burritos whenever he gets hungry (which is about every hour it seems) and I can also use these in soups or whatever.

Here's how I cooked them.

*1lb bag of dried pinto beans (rinsed, picked and drained) soaked over night in 6 cups cold water, or a couple of inches of water above the beans.

*The next morning drain off the soaking water and add 2 cups chicken
bouillon and enough water to cover the beans by 1-2 inches (or just use water if you don't have bouillon).

*Add a small chopped onion, a couple of cloves of minced garlic, 1 tsp of dried oregano, 1/4 tsp of cumin, 1/4 tsp of
Cayenne pepper and 1/4 tsp if black pepper (note: don't add salt until the end of cooking cuz it interferes with the cooking of the beans, or so I read).

* Bring beans to a slow simmer and
partially cover with a lid.

* Let them simmer for about 2 hours until tender, stirring

I didn't even have to add salt at the end, I think because of the boullion. Anyway now they're ready to use for whatever and they're so much better than the canned mushy ones and way CHEAPER

Note: You may use this same recipe in the crockpot for 6-8 hours on high.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

New Challenges for the Cheap Chic Lifestyle!

Wow, with gas prices and food prices going up almost daily there are always new and demanding challenges to living a cheap but chic lifestyle. It can be quite depressing sometimes! I think this is part of the reason I've neglected this blog for so long. That and the fact that my hard drive died a few months ago and I'm so busy trying to buy food and gas that I wasn't able to replace it until now. With all these new challenges I've decided to commit myself even more to blogging about the cheap chic lifestyle. I'm renewing my belief that it can be done! IT MUST BE DONE!