And that’s how I found out I don’t know how to spell Turmeric

December 21st, 2009 | by TJ |

Internet, I don’t know if I ever told you this, but I like saving money on things. I think paying full price is for suckers.

Now, read that last sentence carefully.

I think paying full price is for suckers.

There’s not nearly as much fun in buying the least expensive products possible as there is in doing something like this.

So, anyway, when it comes to food, I won’t deny that our cabinets are full of plenty of the low cost stuff like, say, this:

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Phil mostly takes these to work – I don’t usually want to eat them until they’re in his hands, because everyone knows the most delicious-looking foods are whatever foods are currently being eaten by Phil, especially if he’s eating it kind of absentmindedly while he watches TV or reads something on the computer and gets it halfway to his mouth before I snatch it out of his hand, that is when it is most delicious.

Or this:

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Also mostly eaten by Phil because, ok, NOT AS EASY AS IT SOUNDS, GUYS.

And this,

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Definitely not only eaten by Phil (because food shouldn’t be orange unless it is, you know, an orange) but also purchased by Phil, because I would never let him have name brand macaronis. He obviously thinks we’re fancier than we are.

We do definitely have our share of the 10/$10 foods in our cabinets that help our grocery money go a bit farther and at first, upon moving in with Phil and realizing that he expected to eat at regular intervals every single day (what the hell?), I was pretty damn impressed with me, stocking our cabinets with such a bounty of inexpensive foods.

Eventually, though, I realized that we were both going to inflate and never un-swell and have to paint ourselves blue and both be Violet Beauregarde for Halloween every single year forever and ever if our prepackaged food puffiness sodium intake stayed so high and resigned myself to start cooking things. The Internet being, you know, the Internet, I was able to find a buttload of inexpensive recipes which all basically went like this:

1. Cut up some hot dogs and put it in your macaronis or,

2. Buy some 73% lean ground meat in a tube and put it in your macaronis or,

3. Buy some chicken and boil it until it is pretty dead and then lay it on some rice that you also boiled until mostly dead.

4. Eat beans til you DIE FROM IT. Have you thought about eating beans? Hey, you know, you should eat some beans. I don’t know if it occurred to you yet, but if you want to eat inexpensively, beans. You need to eat beans. You have no options other than beans. Are you trying to cut your food bill? One idea that no one at all has suggested to you yet and you’re too dumb to come up with on your own is beans.

Basically, everything fell into one of four categories – Put Shit in Macaroni Category, Flavorless Chicken Category, Bean Category, Cheese Category – the Cheese Category being the who cares what it is because it’s covered in cheese. Phil really liked that category.

Internet, Phil and I aren’t hard to please, food-wise. We’ve both smoked for years, and even aside from that, we’re not really fancy eaters. Even aside from the whole saving money thing. I mean, I once ate chicken nuggets, happily, for 30+ days in a row. Phil just asks that it be edible and is overjoyed if it’s edible with cheese and bacon.

Something else you should know? I don’t know how to cook. Like, at all. But I know that we certainly can’t save money by eating out all of the time, and we certainly can’t eat very well by relying on convenience foods, no matter how many NOMens (I STILL think that was funny, jerks) we can get for a dollar. Also, no matter how appealing Phil may find the Cheese Category above, deeper internet searches did reveal that it is possible to find recipes that are both healthy and inexpensive (and also appealing). You’d think with all the crap available on the Internet that it would be easier than it was. But it totally wasn’t.

So, Internet, for Day 2 of Phil’s Christmas Vacation, I made him some soup, and here is the story.

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This is lentils and they cost $1.79, and lentils are like beans. And I think beans are gross. I have texture issues with food, and beans make me want to gag and scrape them off my tongue and then scrape my tongue with my fingers for the rest of the day and maybe kind of cry a little. I’m actually getting a little upset right now just thinking about it. I bought them from the Mexican part of the supermarket. They were in the regular part of the supermarket, too, but they were less expensive in the Mexican part of the supermarket. I don’t understand why, Internet, but I can tell you this – racists are NOT getting the best deals.

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I’m showing you this picture not because it is interesting or because it’s good, because it is totally neither, but for foreshadowing. For this recipe, you need to use two pots. That’s kind of annoying, but whatever. This is the lentils in four cups of water, which is a lot of water, but it doesn’t even take up half of the pot. That means it took a hundred years to boil. I wasn’t even watching it, I swear. Not with both eyes, anyway.

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This picture definitely isn’t here because it’s good. While I was waiting for the lentil water to boil (which, can someone explain this to me? I was supposed to wait for the lentil water to boil, then turn the heat off and cover it and just let it sit there. Was I supposed to let it boil for a minute first? Or turn it off the second it boiled? Is there some kind of boiling rule?) I was cutting up this other stuff, like that onion, which was $.79/lb, (I totally learned how to cut up onions from The Pioneer Woman) and I got to that point with the celery ($.79 for the whole bunch and that is just 3 sticks) and I realized I totally didn’t know how to cut up celery, so I took a picture to ask Twitter, and then I realized that I was using my camera, not a cell phone, and asking Twitter would be a total pain in the ass.

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This doesn’t have a price because it was already in my house. I’m a total garlic cheater. Phil and I both like garlic a lot, so I would buy it a lot, and the problem was, I kept having to REbuy it. Garlic isn’t especially expensive, but we would buy it and I’d often forget to use it for one reason or another (relying on convenience foods or drive throughs entirely too much) and the garlic would go to waste. Sure, it was a small amount of money, but it was wasted none the less, so I became a garlic cheater. Our shameless food non-fussiness serves us pretty well when it comes to saving money.

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This totally counts as vegetables. Totally. Therefore, it’s already a healthy meal. I could end this post now. Victory is ours. There is also olive oil in there, which was already in the house. Here it is time for another confession, where I tell you it is generic, store brand olive oil, because I actually don’t even know what the difference between olive oil and vegetable oil is, except to know that the time that we made rice krispie treats and sprayed the pan with olive oil cooking spray was a HUGE MISTAKE, let alone have a refined enough palate to have a preference for varying qualities of olive oil. Again, my low-browness saves us some cash.

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This was the most expensive thing purchased for this recipe at $2.99 on sale, and there are two confessions that go alone with it. First of all, up until the very second I placed the picture in this post just now – not even when I read the recipe, wrote the grocery list from the recipe, found the item on the shelf, purchased it, used it, or took the picture – not until this very second, did I realized that it was called TURMERIC. I thought it was tumeric. Like you’d say it tumor-ick. Like TUMOR. Like “It’s not a tu-mah.” Also? Confession two? I don’t know what the fuck this is. I don’t know what it tastes like. What the fuck is this shit?

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Now cumin? Cumin I know. But come on. We’re salt and pepper people on the whole. I know cumin, I like cumin, but not enough to buy it in the normal supermarket spice aisle. I bought it for $.84 cents in the Mexican aisle, and I didn’t even buy it on this shopping trip so it doesn’t count. I was annoyed that I had to buy turmeric in the normal spice aisle, it’s uneconomical. I don’t even know what the hell that stuff is.

Hot sauce and chili powder also went in around this point, too, which I also already owned, so they don’t count. Only, actually? I only THOUGHT I owned chili powder. What I ACTUALLY own is chili oil, paprika, and cayenne pepper. I used cayenne pepper. It’s not like I know the difference. I assume they’re both red. Same thing, right?

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Something I’ve learned since I’ve started grown up cooking things is that whenever canned tomatoes go on sale, you’ve got to buy, like, a million of them. Because even if you have a million of them, you never actually have enough. Or? You only have diced when you need crushed. Or crushed when you need whole. Whatever the case. You need them. All the time. I actually bought these even though I had some in the cabinet because of course I didn’t have any fire roasted ones, and they were on sale for $1.17 a can. But anyway, if you’re like me and not fully grown up yet and no one has passed this tip to you? You need to buy canned tomatoes whenever they’re on sale. Trust me.

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Oh, man, now I am totally just showing off with the vegetables and the healthiness.

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Hey. Uh. Hey. Is the… uh… Is the food almost ready? Because, uh, I’ve been like, uh, contemplating the universe and, uh, my place in it, you know? As a dog? Uh, and like, you know how like, you guys think like, you’re the bosses of ME? Well, like, uh, YOU pick up MY poo. And I was thinking about that and like, uh, my mind was like, totally blown, man. And, uh, wait, what?

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You also need to buy broth and stock and stuff whenever it’s on sale, if no one has told you that, yet, too. I guess most of you smart people who have been cooking stuff for years are all laughing at me behind your hands but PEOPLE AREN’T BORN KNOWING THIS STUFF, YOU KNOW. You people, cover your eyes for a second.

Okay, you should also always buy low sodium when available, because you can always add salt but you can’t really unsalt, and salt makes you puffy, anyway.

Ok, you know it alls can UNCOVER NOW.

Also? Do you remember that foreshadowing from before? All those tomatoes and all that broth are more of it.

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This is cilantro and it really annoys me and I also want to rub my face in it because it smells delicious. I bought it in a bunch that cost $.69 and it was the last thing I bought for this recipe. That is only about 1/4 of the bunch of cilantro. MAYBE 1/3. Cilantro’s a pretty strong flavor and both Phil and I really like it, but it’s highly unlikely we’ll use it again before the rest of it wilts, especially with the recipes I have planned for the rest of this week, with it being Christmas and all. Now, I’m not complaining about the price and all – it’s $.69 and I’m not cheap – I just like saving money. I just hate seeing food go to waste, and the rest of the cilantro is going to go to waste. I guess I can rub my face in the leftovers.

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Zero percent of the food I cook looks delicious. Some percentage greater than zero but less than 100 of the food I cook tastes delicious. Ok, less than 50. But I’m working on it.

This picture is after I added the lentils, but you can’t exactly tell, because like I told you, it kind of took forever to boil? And then they didn’t get soft after I let them sit there like the recipe said. So I microwaved them and tried to squish some of them with my spoon, because the recipe said to squish some of them, but none of them would really squish too much, so I bit one to see what was going on, and it was ALMOST JUST LIKE A BEAN, and I was HORRIFIED, so I put them in the blender. But you probably wouldn’t have to do that, either because you would know how to cook lentils or because you wouldn’t be horrified by lentils.

Here was what I didn’t figure out even though there was plenty of foreshadowing in the form of two cups of lentils, four cups of water, two cans of tomatoes and four cups of vegetable broth – this is not a recipe for two people. The lentils make it ridiculously filling, so neither of us ate more than one bowl.

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And one more confession? I thought the soup would fit in that first container and it didn’t and I thought the rest would fit in that second container and it didn’t.

I’m a container misjudger.

A container misjudger with one million soup.

A container misjudger with one million soup who doesn’t know what turmeric is.

A container misjudger with one million soup who doesn’t know what turmeric is and is probably going to keep calling it tumor-ick.

64 Responses to “And that’s how I found out I don’t know how to spell Turmeric”

  1. By Chris Anthony on Dec 21, 2009

    Turmeric’s entire value in cooking is to turn things yellow.

    I swear to God I am not making that up. It makes things yellow, and that is all it does.

    That soup looks pretty amazing, by the way. We made lentil salad a couple weeks ago (by the way, the boiling is just to make sure the water’s at the right temperature, as long as it doesn’t boil off to the point where it’s no longer covering the whatever-you’re-cooking you can let it boil as long as you want) and it rekindled my interest in lentils, so I would love to try some of that soup, and may make some at some point since it looks tasty and is apparently really cheap.

    TJ Reply:

    I spent money on something to make the soup yellow? And it didn’t actually turn yellow?

    That totally gives me hives.

    You can definitely have some of the soup, since as you can see, we have one million soup.

  2. By Kelly on Dec 21, 2009

    Yep, that soup sure does look good! Would you pretty please share the actual recipe with us, because I would SO make that soup!

    And I’ve been cooking lentils for decades, and sometimes they just act stupid like yours did. Blame it on the lentils. I always do.

    TJ Reply:

    Sure, here you go – the “official” recipe. You’ll note that I don’t follow recipes very well: http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2009/12/mexican-lentil-stew-923-recipe-077.html

    Kelly Reply:

    Thanks!!

    I don’t follow recipes very well either. I use them as a general guideline. I’d make this with yellow lentils rather than red, because that’s what I have at home. And probably use more onion and cilantro, because they are some of the most awesome things ever grown.

  3. By Iain on Dec 21, 2009

    It looks good! Will you use lentils again, or will you switch to rice?
    The Boyfriend is teaching me how to cook so that he doesn’t have to do all the dinners. I know how to make curries from scratch now. I didn’t even know garam masala existed before he showed it to me. But yeah, all my meals use rice (that, or angelhair spaghetti)

    TJ Reply:

    I didn’t know switching to rice was an option! I suppose I might try it with rice, or I might try mashing the lentils in the blender even more than I did. Like I said, they were very filling and gave the soup a thickness leaning more towards a stew that was nice.

    And I have no idea what garam masala is.

    Iain Reply:

    Thinking about it more I’m not sure if you could trade the lentils for rice with that exact recipe. I mean, surely the rice would go mushy and blegh. But rice goes with pretty much everything else. And it’s something I can cook well in a microwave so I’m happy with it.
    That it felt like a stew is a good point… I always think of vegetarian dishes as kinda thin. (TBF is vegetarian, I am so not)

    I dunno what it’s made from, but garam masala is a brown aromatic spice. You add it with butter to a dish and it enhances the flavours of other things and gives an earthy flavour as well. It’s very nice, and cheap.

    Kat Reply:

    Best use ever of garam masala – homemade saag!

    Spinach, can of diced tomatoes, curry powder & garam masala, onion, garlic & ginger (both from jars because I too am a garlic cheater).

    Check out Vegan Fire & Spice for the recipe we tend to use. It is fantastic.

    TJ Reply:

    I don’t even know what saag is!

    Kat Reply:

    Saag is pretty much just spinach. The nelf rogue over here makes his own cheese as well – so we have saag paneer (paneer being basically milk curds that you’ve pressed down until they’re firm)

    It’s good without dairy too :)

    Adlib Reply:

    So sag paneer = almost cheese?

  4. By Coranada on Dec 21, 2009

    Leftover cilantro can be dried and used later. It isn’t as good as fresh at all but it is good in a pinch and makes you feel better about not wasting.

    And by “good in a pinch” I suppose I mean good for and sudden cilantro emergencies you should encounter.

    TJ Reply:

    I’m really happy to know that, but I’m also kind of disappointed, because now I kind of feel like that’s what I should do, rather than rub my face in the leftovers. Because while rubbing my face in the cilantro would be really satisfying right NOW, I’d be cursing myself if a cilantro emergency popped up.

  5. By Tchann on Dec 21, 2009

    For all the recipes I have that take five gazillion years to cook, I have about twice as many recipes that take half an hour or less. This does not look like a half an hour or less recipe. >.>

    Want easy and cheap? Throw one egg (minus shell) and frozen shrimp into the ramen pot while the noodles are cooking. OMNOMNOM.

    TJ Reply:

    See, anything that people claim is as easy as “throwing” something in something else is something I am bound to screw up.

    This was SUPPOSED to be a 30 minute recipe. I just don’t know how to cook lentils.

  6. By Shin Ae on Dec 21, 2009

    Yay!

    Leftover cilantro can also be chopped and put into ice cube trays. Pour a little water over and freeze so you have cilantro ice cubes. Throw them into soup next time you need to use it. The same can be done with basil and parsley, or many fresh herbs.

    I have heard turmeric is really good for you as an anti-cancer sort of thing and also good for colds.

    I think your soup is exciting! It looks really good. And the only thing better than some soup is one million soup which means you don’t have to cook it again, well, ever maybe.

  7. By Shin Ae on Dec 21, 2009

    PS Does turmeric powder maybe come from a root? Wait, just googled. Not a root. A rhizome.

    TJ Reply:

    A WHAT-OME?

  8. By Anna on Dec 21, 2009

    Teej – your soup looks fantastic. And that’s kinda how soup works. I’ve never yet made soup from scratch that didn’t result in one million soup. I just freeze half of it, and magically don’t have to cook sometime next month.

    Also, I have a number of basic, not-cooking-skill-intensive recipes. If you would like some of them, let me know (and if this is offering you advice in a non-advice-asking post, feel free to throw cilantro at me, as I hate the stuff and am somewhat allergic to it. I know. I know. Heretic, yadda yadda).

    TJ Reply:

    It is definitely getting portioned off into the freezer for those days when Phil pops off with “It feels like a soup day!” and I’m all “Are you shitting me?,” because I have yet to figure out what an Arizona soup day feels like.

  9. By Steve on Dec 21, 2009

    Turmeric is a big deal in Indian (the ones actually from India) food. As Anthony said it mostly makes stuff yellow, especially clothes if you spill it, or stuff containing it, on them… So much so in fact that it is actually used as a Dye as well as in cooking.

    However it does do a bit more than turn stuff yellow, it’s fairly mild but does have a bitter taste to it with a sort of underlying earthy warmth, a little like cloves but much much milder.

    It also has a place in Chinese medicine and is apparently good for digestion, the liver and preventing cancer. Here’s a bit of a linky for some of it alternative medicine applications. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/turmeric/

    There, aren’t you glad you asked? :) Oh you need to go to an Indian (or at least Asian) store to get it at a sensible price, the smallest size our local indian store sells the stuff in is half pound bags for like $1.50

    TJ Reply:

    See, turmeric sounds very useful and all, but I get all chaffed at having to buy more than like, a tablespoon of it. The only thing I can ever see consuming a half pound of, in my entire lifespan, is like… salt. I’m just not the Indian food type.

  10. By Awlbiste on Dec 21, 2009

    Once I found out tumeric was actually turmeric, I kept calling it tumeric. So, yeah, That first R can just go straight to hell.

    TJ Reply:

    Agreed. I am old, crotchety, and set in my spice pronunciation ways by this time, at 28.

  11. By lak on Dec 21, 2009

    You never said how good the soup actually was! Looks fantastic, but how did it taste?

    TJ Reply:

    It was quite good! It was spicy and filling, and it could definitely be spicier if that was your taste.

  12. By Adlib on Dec 21, 2009

    I guess you didn’t use a lot of cayenne pepper in your soup because one time my mom used cayenne pepper instead of chili powder in her chili, and it was so hot it was inedible so I’m glad you didn’t encounter that here. It made me laugh when I read it though, because I totally thought that’s where this story was going!

    TJ Reply:

    Oh no, definitely not a lot. I don’t care for hot or spicy food and Phil does, so I generally err on the lower end of anything hot and/or spicy and he adds more as he needs. I still couldn’t tell you the difference between the two in a taste test though.

  13. By Zoei on Dec 21, 2009

    Alright, you’ve inspired me. Going to make a batch this afternoon. But… I have no broth. Never did learn that lesson. Water, it shall be!

    TJ Reply:

    Well, now you know. You need to stock up when it’s on sale, because this is what will always happen. Always. Once you’ve stocked up, they will just sit there and gather dust forever. That’s how it goes.

  14. By Swistle on Dec 21, 2009

    I am still not over this breaking news that tumeric has another R in it.

    TJ Reply:

    I kind of feel like I’m being punked, or I got a misprint canister.

  15. By Dzargul on Dec 21, 2009

    I’d just like to give a shout out to a CutCo Knife user. WHooo! Greatest knives on earth!

    That’s all.

    TJ Reply:

    Actually, it’s just a generic Sears knife, Chicago Cutlery or something like that, but I’ve always been interested to try CutCo.

    Adlib Reply:

    Hooray! I used to sell CutCo so I own like a whole set, and they are wonderful, but I’m always afraid I’ll accidentally kill myself with one. My former customers are always telling me “I love those knives! I cut myself with them all the time!” I’m thinking maybe they should stay away from knives if that happens a lot. Heh.

  16. By Coranada on Dec 21, 2009

    Thought of you just now, TJ. Saw the following on an eonline article: “It’s a right of teen-queen passage.”

    TJ Reply:

    I can almost, ALMOST see how that mistake could be made. Still, boooooo.

  17. By Katy on Dec 21, 2009

    I recognize your first soup container from Ikea. I love those things except when the one last corner I’m trying to push on simply refuses to snap down. And then I spend a minute stubbornly trying different angles to get the lid to snap on… only to give up and have sore thumbs.

    TJ Reply:

    Yes! And I’ve learned not to ever pick them up from the top just in case I only THINK I’ve gotten the last corner and the whole thing comes apart in my hand. I do like the sizes though – very convenient.

    Katy Reply:

    After a I shook a container of rice to get it to break up and instead got a rice explosion I have learned to not trust the integrity of the lids… No matter how well sealed it looks. Also, turning the container upside down to push the lid on using the counter doesn’t work. Just saying.

  18. By lux on Dec 21, 2009

    another good way to get more mileage out of your cilantro is to plop it into a cup or mug filled with water in the frigde, then cover the leafy part loosely with an (unzipped) ziploc bag. it lasts for WEEKS that way! this applies to all of those pre-picked little herby bundles.

    TJ Reply:

    That is an excellent idea as well. So far, I’ve made some salsa out of the leftovers and STILL have more left.

    lux Reply:

    ooh ooh, and ANOTHER way is to chop it up and freeze it with some water in ice cube trays, once it does start getting wilty in the fridge. it doesn’t work as well for fresh stuff later (like salsa), but something like the soup, you just pop a couple of the cubes in and voila!

  19. By Capn John on Dec 21, 2009

    What you have is Ramen. What the Korean woman in the Hole-In-The-Wall across from my office makes is NOMen. NOM-NOM-NOMen! (Ignore the haters. They’re just jealous, because that is an awesome name :)

    She takes a few pieces of grilled chicken and chops them up into even littler pieces which she adds to the water as it’s coming to a boil. She also adds a few pieces of onion. Not really chopped, more like a bisected (or quartered) slice of onion. And the flavor packet, of course, which seems to be a chili flavor because it’s very spicy.

    When the water comes to a boil she adds the Ramen along with a slice of cheese (yes, a slice of cheese), and a raw egg (sans shell of course), which she boils for the requisite three minutes.

    And that’s how you make NOMen.

    Your lentil soup also looks delicious. I’m thinking it would probably give my Korean woman’s Nomen a run for its money.

    TJ Reply:

    Everyone thinks that their “secret” hole in the wall place makes the best food based solely on the fact that it is, in fact, a “hole in the wall.”

    That doesn’t take away from the fact that the stuff in the packets is actually fucking delicious and is, in fact, NOMen.

  20. By Bernie on Dec 21, 2009

    I just sold all my Martha Stewart stock. She’s doomed.

    TJ Reply:

    To be fair, she and I would be dead even if she was allowed to say “What the fuck is this shit?” as often as she wanted to.

  21. By Osethme on Dec 21, 2009

    Tumeric has an extra R in it?! What the hell!?

    When you mentioned you needed cheap and good for you recipes I right away thought of mentioning Pioneer Woman Cooks. Then I saw your pictures and I realized you must have just been there. And Lo! It would seem you are already aware!

    There is also Hillbilly Housewife (hillbillyhousewife.com), though a portion of her stuff does tend to the “put weenies in it” variety of cheap cooking.

    TJ Reply:

    I don’t know if y’all are just being nice to me because it’s Christmas, but I feel so much less stupid about the whole turmeric thing.

    And I will definitely check out the Hillbilly Housewife. It’s surprisingly hard to find recipes that are inexpensive AND healthy (not just weenies in it. (HEE!)). I was talking to my mom about it and she said something about the obesity epidemic among the less affluent being very easy to understand.

  22. By Syxx on Dec 21, 2009

    looks good TJ may make it for my lunch if i can get the stuff for it and try the BBC food website for good fairly cheap recipes if you can.

    TJ Reply:

    If you make it for your lunch, you’re going to want to cut the recipe down by a lot, or plan on freezing a LOT. Because it makes a million soup.

  23. By Diane on Dec 21, 2009

    NOMen? HILARIOUS.

    I am also a container misjudger, but in the opposite direction. I pull out the hugest container for a cup of rice, but then I don’t want to transfer it to a smaller container, because that would make MORE DISHES — and if there is one thing I hate more than wasting food, it is doing UNNECESSARY DISHES — so then when I have large portions of food to put away, I can’t ever find a container big enough.

    (Side note: Did you mean Violet Beauregarde when you said Veruca Salt?)

    TJ Reply:

    I feel the same way about extra dishes, that is one reason why I found this recipes especially aggravating!

    Also, yes I did mean Violet Beauregarde! Thank you for catching that, I am changing that now so it doesn’t nag at me for eternity!

  24. By Mel on Dec 21, 2009

    “If you’re like me and not fully grown up yet…” Yup, that’s totally me!

  25. By Melissa on Dec 21, 2009

    You know I write sales copy, right? Here’s a bullet – a very successful bullet by our standards – that I wrote about beans:

    Men who added this 50-cent meal to their diets not only lost weight, they lowered their cholesterol, too!

    Beans are good all the way around.

    Another use for your collection of foodstuffs: Fry up some onions (bell pepper, too, if you have one – any color) in a pot in oil. Add a couple of cans of black beans (drained and rinsed), garlic, can of diced tomatoes (not drained), cumin, cilantro, oregano and salt to taste. Cook 1 cup of white rice according to directions. Result: Killer black beans and rice. Add sausage or ham if you want to.

    I wouldn’t recommend adding the turmeric unless you want it to turn a sick yellow color, but add it to any leftover rice (and what the heck – add frozen peas too!) for a nice side dish to chicken!

  26. By Chaninn on Dec 22, 2009

    Rather than letting the stock gather dust, why not use it instead of water for mashed potatos or pasta? It’ll flavor the food without changing consistancy. I reccomend 1/2 stock & 1/2 water for pasta tho, it just seems to work better.
    Also, 2 cups stock reduced to 1cup over medium heat can make a super gravy in a pinch!

  27. By Delicia on Dec 22, 2009

    I went shopping last night for my Christmas ham I will be cooking. Earlier in the day I had heard on the radio that it was on sale at a specific store.. so I went there and actually saved more than I paid for the ham. *sniff* I thought of you TJ — look out you’re becoming a good influence!

    -Del

  28. By Faith on Dec 23, 2009

    On the chicken stock … I have totally cheated on that one. I bought a huge box of chicken boullion cubes and use that instead of actual “chicken stock in a box or can”. I mean, for $6 I can get 75 cubes that make a total of 150 cups of “chicken broth”. That’s $0.04 PER CUP.

    Unless, of course, I have chicken stock in the freezer from when I made chicken in my crock pot – in which case my chicken stock is $0.00 PER CUP since I already paid for the damn chicken!

    TJ Reply:

    Anyone who figures out cents per cup is destined to be one of my new best pals. YOU TOTALLY GET WHERE I’M COMING FROM.

    I bet you’ve never looked at two things, one that cost $1 and one that cost $2 and shrugged and went “Pft, it’s a DOLLAR.”

    Because… it’s a DOLLAR. Which ADDS UP.

    TO MULTIPLE DOLLARS.

    This all made sense in my head. AND PROBABLY ALSO IN YOUR HEAD.

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