Friday, March 9, 2012

When It's Good to Be Cheap and Easy

I like cheap and easy.  I mean, just because it's cheap and easy doesn't mean it can't be elegant and delicious.

Take, for example, this Saturday night meal we made.  I only had a few things left in the fridge to work with, but luckily, I believe in the goods, so even when I'm lacking, I've still got some delicious things to work with.

Some people believe "staples" to be bread, milk, cereal, margarine.  No, no, not I.  Here's a few things my fridge is never without:
  • Fresh basil
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Green Onions
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Wine
  • Parmesan
And from these "staples" (and not much else), I can create a last-minute, budget-friendly dinner like this:

First, the wine.  I think this is a great wine, and it's only $2.99/bottle, so I picked up a few cases.  Good thing I did, because they don't make it anymore. :(

We ran out of bread (happens a lot because we are huge fans of carbs), but I had some whole wheat pita in the cupboard, so I broiled it in the oven and then topped it with a saute.

My Flatbread Bruchetta consisted of garlic, olive oil, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and Parmesan.

I found some frozen shrimp in the freezer.  A little shrimp, lemon, Parmesan, homemade croutons, lettuce, garlic, and olive oil, and you've got a Shrimp Cesar!  Find my secret to a good salad here.

Also in my freezer? Frozen butternut squash raviolis from Costco.  Add a little lemon, basil, olive oil, tomato, salt, and Parmesan.  Three raviolis fill you up for around 6 Weight Watcher points.

I figured out this entire meal cost less than $20 (including the wine) and served four. That's cheap and easy done good!

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