Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What We Make, Part II

A month ago I did a post called What We Make (check it out--you know you want to), about some of the dishes we make in an effort to eat more produce, make healthier and cheaper substitutions, and waste nothing. Today, I'm back with part II and four more yummy ideas in an attempt to eat better, feel better, and save money!

I'm sure you're wondering why the heck I'm starting with plain old waffles--especially from a box mix (gasp! says my mother in law). The thing about these waffles is, they're made with coconut oil instead of vegetable oil (per the instructions on the box). I'm sure many of you have heard about the magical powers of coconut oil and have jumped on that bandwagon. Have you tried cooking with it yet? Here's my experience: Its awesome! I've mostly used it in baking, but its great. These waffles turned out fluffier and lighter and had a brighter flavor. Seriously delish. Swap out vegetable oil (or canola or peanut...) for the healthier (and in my opinion, tastier) coconut oil.

Grilled Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables
Two things to take away from this meal. First, Joey and I have realized through our effort to eat more produce, that there's really no reason why you can't add vegetables to any meal. Having pasta? add some grilled mushrooms and zucchini. Making fish (or chicken, or pork, or anything..)? Steam some broccoli or asparagus. Shoot, make a quick spinach salad (just salt, pepper, spinach, raspberry vinaigrette, and a little asiago) and add it to your sandwich at lunch. You're automatically getting more nutrients, and the color makes the plate look so much better (remember, you eat with your eyes first!). One reason we like to add veggies to everything is that it allows us to use up extra produce from meals we had earlier in the week, and then we don't throw anything away.
Second, herbs and spices make a big difference. Its true--you can get so much flavor by ditching the fatty stuff and sticking with seasonings. Some of our favorites are rosemary, garlic (we put it on almost everything!), crushed red pepper, and paprika. Though not an herb or spice, lemon juice is another healthy favorite. 

Linguine with Asparagus and Mushrooms in a Tomato Cream Sauce
This meal kind of came out of all three goals (more produce, healthier, and cheaper). Mushrooms were left over from stir fry, and asparagus left over from grilling it with some chicken. I love tomato cream sauces, but I decided to try a healthier and cheaper substitute for cream: plain greek yogurt. The verdict: taste wise, we really liked it. When you mix the yogurt into the tomato sauce, it takes on an appearance similar to ricotta cheese, so it doesn't look like a tomato cream sauce, but its just as tasty. I say, go for it!

Cherry Tart with Crumb Topping
We had gone to the farmers market several weeks ago and bought the last carton of sour cherries. And what do you do with sour cherries? Make dessert.
Part of our goal to eat more produce has included patronizing the farmers markets and local growers. Eating from the farmers market pretty much forces you to eat in season (which is cheaper!), and in our experience, the quality of produce has always been greater than what we would've gotten at the super market. Sometimes the sticker price at the farmers market seems a little higher, but we've noticed that merchants usually give you a discount or are willing to barter. For us, the fifty-or-so cents more is worth it for great quality produce.

Like last time, if you'd like a specific recipe, just leave a comment below or email me--I'm happy to share! If you click on Food + Recipes on the sidebar, you can find more of our favorite recipes--and keep an eye out for a few more that I'll be posting in the next few days!

1 comment:

  1. yum! I love coconut oil. We initially made the switch because my boys can't have butter. It's an amazing butter substitute. It is SO tasty! I use it for everything now!


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