"...he asked about what I’ve been eating and mentioned that he would like to eat better. Of course I said, 'So do it!' And his response was, 'I wish I could but I just can’t afford it.' And then he got a long, unplanned lecture about how much I hate that everyone has this idea that eating healthy is just too expensive, and how incredibly wrong they all are.".
Emily, at thatswhatieat.com
"I've spent a significant part of my life...poor. The idea of NOT cooking at home being an option because you don't 'have enough money" is laughable.'
Drackar

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Fennel Tomato Soup

More of a stew, actually. I had mine with smoked Gouda grilled cheese.

More of a stew, actually. I had mine with smoked Gouda grilled cheese.

The other day I was reading this article about cooking with fennel. I like fennel, but somehow I don’t buy it very often. I think it’s because I don’t really know that many ways to use it.  So, I’m reading this article, and it mentions Tomato Fennel Soup. I thought that sounded like a great idea! So I bought some fennel.

Now, of course I didn’t follow the recipe in that article. I just threw some fennel, onions, and tomato together.  I sort of went back and forth with myself about whether to thicken it with a roux or just stir in some flour and water at the end. And then I saw I had cornstarch and I thought I might use that.  BUT in the end I didn’t use any of those things and it turned out plenty thick enough. In fact, what I made is really more of a fennel tomato stew.

I enjoyed mine with a grilled cheese sandwich, but it would be good with rice or croutons or something like that, too.

It’s really easy.

Some people don’t chop up all those fronds, or they just use part of the feathery stuff as a garnish. Yeah, well, whatever.

Tomato-Fennel Soup with Brie Toasts is a more sophisticated version from the New York Times.

Country Living has a recipe for Creamy Tomato-Fennel Soup. Hey, they like it with grilled Gouda, too!

Some people add fennel seeds, in addition to the fennel vegetable.  Mmmmm… Fennelly!  It would be good with some sausage in there, or even pretend-sausage, like this one at Vegetarian Times.

How about a Fish, Fennel, and Tomato Stew?

If you make it even thicker, and add bread crumbs and cheese, you’d have yourself a Fennel & Tomato Gratin.

Well, there you go, then. Fennel and tomato. Turns out it’s a thing.

Don’t be so picky. Stop throwing food away!

Sometimes you choose the food, and sometimes the food chooses you, meaning, eat the food that’s about to go bad, even if you were in the mood for something else. Don’t let the food go bad, eat it! Don’t be so picky. Got an apple with a bad spot on it? Just don’t eat that spot. Eat the rest of the apple rather than throwing it away.

Some more ways to use more of the food you buy and throw away less of it: Eat more leftovers. Keep the little bits of food not used at a meal and use them in new dishes over the next few days – stir-fry, for instance, or omelets or salads. Use the whole vegetable, or as much as you can: broccoli stems are good raw or shredded for slaw or peeled and cooked with the florets. Use potatoes with the skins on them. Kale stems are good when you cut them small and cook them, or save those stems along with other veggie stems and peels in a bag in the freezer and make vegetable stock out of them instead of throwing them away, buying cans of stock, and throwing away what you don’t use of that, too. Take leftovers to work instead of throwing them in the trash, buying more food for lunch and throwing part of that away, as well.

If you make it a value, make it something you care about, you’ll learn to stop throwing away food. It’s a change, and change is hard, but it’s a noble pursuit.

To End Food Waste, Change Needs to Begin at Home

29 Smart and Easy Tips to Reduce Food Waste

How to Make Vegetable Broth with Kitchen Scraps

How to Use Kale Stems

Martha Rose Shulman says, I never throw out broccoli stems. If I don’t use them for pickles or stir-fries, I’ll shred them and use them in a delicious slaw like this one:”  Broccoli Stem and Red Pepper Slaw

“Did you know that when things are looking a little too ripe, they are often at the peak of nutrition?” – Andrew Nisker

Collards Plain and Simple

Collard greens is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Collard greens is also one of the cheapest foods in the store.

There’s nothing to cooking collard greens.  Like anything else, you can do all sorts of things with them if you’ve got an inclination to mess around, but you don’t have to do anything more complicated than wash them and cook them in water.

Well, this time I did go to the trouble of cutting them up.  I don’t always do that.

FAT-FREE, SALT-FREE COLLARD GREENS in THREE STEPS:

You might like to splash a little vinegar on them. But I don’t want to get way out of control with too much of that hard-to-learn fancy cooking in this post.

You can cook a pot of greens for a dollar.

“Collard greens is one …”?   or  “Collard greens are one …”?

 

Don’t Give Up!

Bravo to  Katherine Martinko at TreeHugger.com!

 As a man who has cooked rice over a fire of sticks while living under a tarp, and a father who raised children while literally including 60 cents for the bus in my monthly budgeting plans, I know with absolute epistemological and empirical certainty that home cooking is the healthiest way to eat while also being the cheapest. Besides that, It’s easy and takes very little time.

I am delighted to see this information spreading!

READ: We can’t give up on home cooking!

And don’t neglect to read the comments, including this one:

“I grew up in a school bus, for the first twelve years of my life. We didn’t have power. We didn’t have a fridge. We had a propane stove and an ice chest (which usually didn’t actually have ice in it) and that was it. When I said “poor” I mean “legally homeless”.

Care to guess how many take out meals I ate as a kid? The ratio of home cooked meals to fast food?

… Does the kitchen have a means of getting water to a boil? Do you have a pot? Do you have a knife? Do you have a surface to chop things? Then you have EVERYTHING you need to cook food at home.

Everything else is a luxury.”

– Drackar

FFFFF! Fry Frozen Fish Fillets Fast

Here’s a simple, easy, and quick way to fry up some delicious frozen fish fillets for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Use any kind of thin fish fillets this way.  I happened to have some frozen flounder because it was on sale at Aldi.  You can do this with pollock, whitefish, tilapia, perch, etc. —  any kind of fish that is frozen in individual fillets (not a sold block) and is less than an inch thick.

If you have a choice of oils, choose one that stands up well to heat, like maybe safflower oil or canola oil.  If you don’t have a choice, use whatever you have.  It shouldn’t be super hot, but fairly hot… like uhm… maybe a 7 or 8 out out 10, if your burner dial is numbered to 10.  It really only takes a few minutes to do this whole deal.

Even though I like to thaw mine a little, my fillets were still a little icy in the middle. And yes, you can cook fish frozen.

Of course there are many, many, MANY ways to use thin frozen fish fillets, and they don’t have to have a lot of fancy techniques or exotic ingredients.   If you consider that these recipes at BusyCooks.about.com have 5 ingredients, not including flour, salt, pepper or oil, well, then I made mine with no ingredients at all.  Heck of a trick!

You really don’t even have to use flour or cornmeal or any kind of coating at all, actually.  Observe: