Saturday, November 22, 2014


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Right about now farmers' market devotees start coming home with more than they know what to do with, simply because it's all so beautiful.

But an unusually good crop of produce-centered cookbooks offers inventive ways to use the bounty to its best advantage.

Susie Middleton's "Fast, Fresh and Green" injects your cooking with a little "Huah!!" and offers a strategy for decoding and deploying a greater variety of vegetables.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

We recently returned from a trip to Pittsburgh for a close friend's wedding. It takes about four hours to drive there, which meant that we were bound to get hungry on the road. This was a great chance to flex our frugal muscles!

Most of the meals out there were paid for but we still had to feed ourselves on the drive out and back, and we like to have snacks and drinks on hand. How can you save money on the road this travel season? By planning ahead, of course.

Meals on the go

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Warm weather inspires us to cook on the grill. The grill's flames can develop rich, complex flavors in standard fare like burgers and chicken and in untraditional dishes, such as pizza and desserts.

Rubs and marinades are a simple, healthy way to ensure flavorful, juicy results without adding a lot of fat or calories.

Oiling the grill rack helps prevent foods from sticking to the grill.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

When it comes to ground meat (or most any meats for that matter), it's a simple equation: fat equals flavor and moisture.

It would follow then that a low-fat burger should be dry and tasteless, right? Not necessarily.

While it may be tempting to go for 90 or 95 percent lean ground beef or turkey when crafting a leaner burger, the results will be disappointing. A better choice is to use a juicier 85 percent lean meat and find other ways to cut the fat.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

One principal that I've tried to follow is the concept of frugal, healthy foods. I strive to feed my family the healthiest, yet least expensive, meals possible. I also want to prove to you, our readers, that it's possible to eat fairly healthy without spending a lot of money.

On my latest grocery trip, I went to pick up our usual 79-cent pack of stick margarine really "vegetable oil spread," because we don't like real margarine or butter.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Flank steak may not be the most tender cut of meat you'll ever eat, but it could be the tastiest. And it's often a good bargain.

The flank is a long, flat and fibrous muscle, so it needs to be either seared and served moderately rare or braised until tender.

Either way, carving this steak into thin slices across the grain at a 45 degree angle makes for a more pleasant bite.

The flank is thin and boneless (with almost no waste), so it's a perfect candidate for marinades, which will penetrate well.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Snacks aren't bad. In fact, they are "mini-meals" that are meant to curb hunger and help supplement nutrients you may not be getting enough of from meals (like fiber from fruits and veggies).

Studies show that waiting too long to eat between meals can cause you to overeat later in the day not exactly the best way to lose weight or stay healthy.

Stick to snacks that are between 100 and 200 calories each. You especially need them when you have three to five hours between meals.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The idea behind this pork version of the sloppy joe sandwich wasn't just to come up with an alternative to ground beef.

I wanted something with a totally different – dare I say, meaty – texture.

Because face it, sloppy joes may be tasty, but the flavor and texture of whatever meat goes into them usually gets lost beneath a heavy sauce.

So rather than use ground meat, I opted for chopped. About 10 seconds in the food processor was all it took to get meaty chunks perfect for piling onto a bun.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Whole grains

Whole grains are nutritionally superior to refined grains.

They are rich in protein, dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins. In most grains, the starchy endosperm contains protein, carbohydrates, iron, B-vitamins and fiber.

The germ, a tiny speck located at one end of each kernel, contains oil rich in health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids.

The bran is one of the best sources of fiber available in the plant kingdom.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Now that warm weather is here to stay, we're busy planting our "summer" garden. Bring on the tomatoes and corn!

Growing your own food can be a great way to save money. But if you're not careful, gardening can also be a big waste of time and money. Plan ahead to make this summer your most frugal season yet.

Don't buy the hype

Have you walked through a garden center lately? The aisles are filled with gimmicky tools and overpriced specialty plants. Don't buy into the hype.