My Frugal Frugal Ways

Once a Week Cooking
January 4, 2008, 11:39 am
Filed under: cooking, food

This weekend I made a huge pot of black bean soup. While I was at it, I soaked and softened two bags worth of beans so I have gobs left for other things such as black beans and rice and black bean stuffed potatoes. After my soup was done simmering in the crock pot, I portioned it out for eating and freezing. A quick wash of the crock pot and in went a whole chicken, some water, and some seasonings for chicken soup.

For my family, I made some bread which only cost pennies per loaf. It only takes a few minutes if you have one of those good kitchen aid mixers with a dough hook. After the four loaves of bread were done baking, I baked some smaller loaves of my gluten free bread. While the oven was still hot, a few cookies for guests went in.

Then I made a bunch of flour tortillas for family and some corn tortillas for myself. It’s time consuming, even with a tortilla press, but saves a lot of money and the flavor can’t be beat.

Boom, clean the kitchen real well and we have enough meals for the week. Of course, the first couple of weeks you do this, you have to cook some regular meals during the rest of the week or you’ll be eating the same thing day in and day out. But after three weeks of cooking large batches of soups and stews, you have enough of a variety of things from which to pull lunches and dinners without getting too bored. And the shopping list for each week is nice and short and the total cooking time is only a couple of hours rather than the whole day that it usually takes to cook for the month.


The Addition Diet
January 3, 2008, 11:55 am
Filed under: cooking, diet, food

Most people think of dieting as some sort of deprivation.  Don’t eat this, don’t eat so much of that.  I approach it in a slightly different manner.  I make additions to my daily consumption.

I add lots of water.  It has zero calories.  It fills me up.  My skin loves it.  It helps keep things moving and it does help prevent fiber from bulking up and causing problems.  So, add 8 ounces per day until you’re consuming that 80 ounces or so of water.  Drink a glass 1/2 hour before eating.  Drink a glass when you wake up.  Most definitely consume water before and during exercise.

Add a snack.  That’s right.  I have actually added a snack to my diet.  Around 4:00 p.m. I have an apple with a bit of peanut butter (the kind without any additives) and, you guessed it, a glass of water.  It will spoil my dinner you say.  That’s right.  That’s part of the idea.  Eating a smaller dinner is helpful if you’re attempting to lose weight.  It’s healthier as well since going to bed on a full stomach is not a good idea.

Add some legumes, slowly.  They’re cheap, especially if you buy them dried.  They contain lots of good proteins, vitamins and fiber.  They take a while to digest so you feel satisfied for a longer period of time.  So, today, start your dinner with a nice bowl of lentil soup.

Add vegetables.  If you normally squeeze in one vegetable for dinner, tonight cook two types.  If you’re making soup, throw in one or two more kinds of vegetables than the recipe calls for.

Add fish.  A nice dose of fish for lunch or dinner gives you your Omega-3’s, selenium, antioxidants, and protein.

Add dessert.  No, I don’t mean cheesecake.  I mean a nice healthy bite of fruit.  Slice a peach.  Yum.  The idea is to add so many healthy items into your diet that you no longer have room for high calorie unhealthy choices.