budgetsmartgirl

It’s Meatless Monday-Edamame Noodle Bowl

In Meatless Mondays on April 21, 2014 at 3:44 pm

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One of my favorite snacks is edamames. They use to be hard to find, but now most supermarkets sell packages of already prepared ones that you simply steam in your microwave. With their broader availability in mind, I thought why not make a simple meal out of them. I came up with this noodle bowl. You can add just about any vegetable you like, but I chose carrots for their sweetness…brought out more by the slow sautéing, to contrast with the salty tang of the soy sauce. Add some peanut butter for added flavor and you have the perfect lunch or light supper for this Meatless Monday.

8 ounces noodles…I actually used linquine, you could use spaghetti too as these types of pastas keep the cost of the recipe down
1 8 ounce package shelled edamame (steam them as per package instructions)
3 small carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
¼ cup soy sauce (I used low sodium variety)
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
Pinch of red pepper flakes, more or less depending on your tolerance for heat
Salt and pepper
Oil for sautéing

Break noodles in half and cook as per package instructions.

While the noodles cook, over medium high heat and in a skillet, heat about a tablespoon of oil and add the carrots, and a little salt and pepper, stir fry until they’re softened and slightly caramelized.

Add the edamame and cook for a few minutes. Set aside.

In a bowl, add the soy sauce, orange juice, red pepper flakes, and stir in the peanut butter.

Drain the noodles, return to the pan and add the carrots and edamame and then stir in the soy sauce/PB mixture.

Stir until everything is well coated.

Serve either hot or cold and you can also drizzle over some sesame oil or sesame seeds.
Serves 6

Friday Round-Up-Easter Treats

In Friday Round Up on April 18, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Amazon has some great free Kindle books on offer every day. Today I found this one about making your own condiments. Remember they’re not free every day so if you’re interested check out this title today, April 18th.

This weekend’s all about Easter. One of my favorite guilty indulgences has always been the Cadbury Crème Eggs. I found this recipe for the homemade kind on Yahoo UK. Looks like a fun project-

https://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/homemade-cadburys-creme-egg-recipe-sweet-easter-treat-151900845.html

And what holiday wouldn’t be complete without a whole bunch of sugary treats. I found this online today. Some of these treats do look like tempting, and according to the title, they’re a breeze to put together-

http://www.buzzfeed.com/robynwilder/unique-easter-recipes-that-are-actually-a-breeze-to-prepa

As with all holidays, after they’re done, things go on sale. So next week check for pastel colors in napkins, and paper plates…ideal to keep for next year or even showers and afternoon tea get-togethers.

Chocolate…perfect for baking any time of the year.

Also look for leftover cakes etc. that can be turned into bread puddings and trifles or even turned into crumbs and stored in the freezer for future use.
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And if you’re left with one too many eggs, egg whites are great for storing in the freezer and turning into meringues and macaroons. I did hear that egg prices are higher than they were a year ago so if you can get a good deal so much the better.

Happy Savings and Happy Easter.

It’s Meatless Monday-Potato, Leek and ‘Bacon’ Pizza

In Meatless Mondays on April 14, 2014 at 5:42 pm

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I’ve been experimenting with making my own pizza crusts for my cookbook and had one leftover so thought I’d rummage through the fridge to find some toppings. I had lots of potatoes, some cream cheese, and one of my favorite veggies, leeks. If you ever get tired of onions in a recipe, opt for leeks. They have a distinct but subtle flavor that pairs beautifully with potatoes and yes, anything with a smoky flavor. I thought about adding smoked paprika but then opted to use some of the bacon bits I had on hand…remember the container I purchased a while back? Combine all of them together and I think you have the perfect combination for a delicious pizza topping that’s a change from the usual tomato based sauce kind.

1 pizza crust
2 leeks, washed and sliced
2 medium size potatoes, washed, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons bacon bits
2 tablespoons cream cheese
Salt and pepper
Oil for sautéing
Shredded cheese for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 375.

Place the pizza crust on a cooking sheet.

Over medium high heat, heat the oil and add the bacon bits and cook for one minute.

Add the leeks and potatoes and a generous amount of both salt and pepper.

Cook for about 5 minutes or until the leeks are softened and slightly caramelized and the potatoes partially cooked.

Add the cream cheese and stir until it’s melted and the vegetables are well coated.

Place the mixture on top of the pizza crust and spread it out so it covers almost to the edge.

You can top this with some shredded cheese but it’s optional and just as good left as is.

Cook for about 10 minutes or until everything’s slightly browned and bubbling.

Serves 4-6

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