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Cheap and Tasty: Couscous Stew

January 22nd, 2007 at 12:55 am

this might not be a cheap recipe for you, but we ALWAYS have couscous and chickpeas on hand, so it was a no brainer.

I generally have a hard time finding recipes that I can cook for both myself and the brandus. He's vegetarian, but Im not, plus, he's a MUCH better cook than I am. When Im not sure what to make, I George Foreman a chicken breast and Im done.

But, this turned out very well, very tasty, and disgustingly easy, which is always a highlight of my day.

Couscous Stew

1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can artichokes
2 cups bell peppers (we keep frozen on hand)
2-3 cups couscous
dash of hot sauce

If you're using dried chickpeas, rehydrate.
Throw everything EXCEPT the couscous into a big pot or a slow cooker. Make sure to dump in the juices from the cans as well.
Spices to taste - we like alot of garlic
Cook until chickpeas are tender (about 2 hours on high in a crockpot).
Dump in couscous and cook for about 5-10 more minutes. Remember that couscous EXPANDS in liquid! You might have to add a little more if its too think.
Top with some parm.

Yummy! I love it when we have everything we need AND a new recipe turns out well!

Menu Frustration

December 3rd, 2006 at 05:11 pm

I know that cooking at home saves alot of money. And for the most part, we kind of HAVE to, seeing as we live in Nowhere, Alaska, which has no cars, no roads, and most importantly, no resturants.

But we find it so easy to run to the Native Store or the AC to just pick up a thing or two everyday. And, seeing as everything sold up here is VERY expensive, due to the shipping cost and handling added in, this adds up really fast.

Plus, we're currently eating junky freezer stuff. Frozen bean and cheese burritos (what, like those are HARD to make?), frozen fried chicken breasts, frozen french fries..

Not very healthy, especially as Im pregnant and need to be eating better.

We have some weird food things that go on in our lives anyway..husband Brandus is a vegetarian, but Im not.

I dont eat tofu, or most of the meat substitutes - although I like the fake sausage and veggie crumbles.

Neither of us eats seafood, mushrooms, or onions (although onions we bend on for flavoring)

Brandus is a GREAT cook, and can create things off the top of his head. Whereas, I HAVE to have a recipe to follow.

Finding things we will both eat is slightly complicated.

So, Im trying to get the kitchen cleaned up so that we can start doing more actual cooking, and less nuking or heating up.

I just need to sit down and plan some menus. Maybe I can make some stuff we can freeze and heat later.

Expensive Gifts

November 30th, 2006 at 12:12 pm

Brandus's parents recently came into aLOT of money when Mimi (his grandmother) died.

So, when Brandus told me they wanted to "spoil us" with the money, my ears perked up.

"They want to pay off your car? Or your student loans?" I asked eagerly.

Oh, how little I knew.

No, they wanted to buy us expensive gifts and come visit us for Thanksgiving in Anchorage and take us shopping.

I think, oh! They'll pay for a Sam's trip! We're out of food, and we can get some nice food luxeries that we usually can't!

They came. They bought gifts.

And then we went to Sam's.

"Sure! We'll pay for it!" They laughed, throwing boxes of suger cookie mix (?!) and hummus and avacados in the cart.

And then? As we pushed the buggy to the front of the store to check out?


And by the time we realized they weren't coming back in, and we're going to pay, everything had been scanned, and we couldnt pull EVERYTHING out that wasn't a necessity.

$500. Fortunatly, all of it is edible. Its just not all stuff we would have even agreed to if we had known it was going to be on OUR dime.

Sam's Challange

May 3rd, 2006 at 11:11 am

Tomorrow, the brandus and i head off for the Sam's Club to start an experiement.

See, when we move to Alaska, the best way to go shopping is to go into Anchoridge and go to Sam's or Costco, because the shop in Kotlik is TEENY and expensive. So, you go buy everything for the month, and then hope you havent forgotten anything.

Im thinking that waiting until we get there might be a bad time to experiment, because it will be very difficult to get to a store if we forget something we really need.

So, tomorrow, armed with menus and shopping list for a month, we head to Sam's.

Im pretty good about only going once a week or less, but brandus would go to the store everyday to get something if i didnt sit on him everytime he wants cheesy poof or the stuff to make nacho cheesy dip.

So, this will be new for both of us. We have a good amount of things we can use already at the house, so we hopefully wont go too overboard.

I know that limiting shopping trips can help your grocery budget by a good bit, but im worried we will end up A)running out or B)wasting alot of food.

Anyone have any experience or tips to share? They would be very helpful!