Cheap and yummy salad

A bed of chopped baby spinach tossed with a little ranch then topped with potato “croutons”, boiled egg, and cherry tomatoes from my garden. 

For the potato croutons, I chopped a boiled potato and fried it in a tablespoon of hot bacon grease. I bought a bag of potatoes during my grocery run this week, so I boiled the small ones and stuffed them in the refrigerator for quick potato salad and mashed potatoes later. I also boiled a pot of eggs, peeled and salt and peppered them, then stashed them for salads and snacks. Salt and pepper each layer of any dish, even salads. 

I like to chop my salad greens because it makes the salad easier to eat. I also season the greens at least with salt and pepper and stir the dressing into the greens before adding toppings. This way I use less dressing, and the salad is more colorful and pretty. 

A little preparation and a few on hand cheap ingredients can make a yummy and nutritious meal – easy. 

I am hanging in. I gained some of my lost weight back, but I am still here and still fighting. And Belle is getting more beautiful each day. 

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Black Bean and Ham Soup, Sauteed Corn, Tomato Salad

I buy bone in hams whenever I find them marked down. The meat is great in sandwiches and much more economical than lunch meat, which also seems more processed and less meaty than ham to me. Ham is great in omelettes, Mac and Cheese, fried rice, and baked egg rolls also. But my favorite use of ham is in a pot of beans. 
I remove the meat from the bone and portion it into several freezer bags, then place the bone and some extra meat in a crock pot with a pound of beans, a few cloves of garlic, and a lot of water. This cooks until the beans are almost tender, at which point I add salt, sriracha, and chopped onion, cilantro, and green pepper (modify these to suit your tastes). Then I  let it cook in the crock pot until the beans are tender. 

I remove some of the beans to freeze for later use and turn what’s left in the crock pot into a soup. Since I had hopes Belle would eat this, I did not add peppers or onions to the beans earlier, and I made a small dish of chopped bell pepper, green onion, and cilantro seasoned with lemon juice and salt for Elvis and me to add to our soup. I also swirled a little more sriracha on top. We love that stuff. 

This soup would be great with cornbread but I had some ears from Lidl (15 cents each!) and tried Ina Garten’s Suteed Fresh Corn Recipe. It was awesome -simple and delicious. I used a small bowl inverted in a larger bowl to cut the corn. 

I also made a quick salad of tomatoes and basil from my garden, with the last of a cucumber from a farm stand, by just chopping all and adding salt and pepper, then letting it sit at room temperature at least fifteen minutes. 

Fast egg topped fried rice

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Half-eaten view (sorry) 

Use leftover rice or ready rice to make fast fake out as good as, but healthier than, real take out. You can easily substitute other vegetables or meats.

Ingredients for 3 or 4 servings

  • 1.5 to 2 cups of cooked rice (I used Uncle Bens Brown Ready Rice)
  • 2 pats of butter, divided
  • 2 tsp of bacon grease, divided
  • 1 c of chopped cabbage
  • .5 c of chopped or shredded carrot
  • 3 chopped green onions
  • One slice of cooked bacon/ham, chopped, per serving
  • One egg per serving

Heat 1 pat of butter and 1 tsp of bacon grease. Fry carrots for about two minutes, then add cabbage, onions, and bacon/ham. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir every two minutes for about six minutes. The vegetables should be crispy but begin to brown. Remove vegetables to a bowl.

Melt another pat of butter and tsp of bacon grease in the pan. Salt and pepper the rice. Add the rice to the hot oil and stir to coat each grain. Stir every two minutes for about six minutes. Combine with the vegetables.

Fry one egg for each serving. Top each serving of fried rice with a fried egg. I served this with sauted zucchini.