"Why are people spending more money to eat food that is bad for them when they could save money and be healthier? You can buy and eat healthy food while saving money at the same time."
"Just because I'm a cheap$kate, doesn't mean I have to eat unhealthy."
Billy Vasquez, the 99¢ Chef


Past Posts

Cooking Healthy Family Meals on a Budget

Learning to shop and cook will change your life.


Get my ebook for free!

Interactive ebook, free with coupon code

Interactive ebook, free with coupon code


FREE EBOOK: I have created a coupon code for 100% off the price of my interactive ebook, “Real Cheap Food and What to Do with It,” at Smashwords. 

The coupon is good for one week, so go ahead and use the code to get the book for free.

I‘m hoping you’ll like it enough to leave a nice review at Amazon (and maybe at Smashwords, too) 

Smashwords link for download:

Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: QT68C
Expires: September 16, 2014

Amazon link (for review if you like it):

Cooking Mung Beans

For years I’ve cooked dried beans and loved them.  For years I’ve sprouted mung beans and loved them.  Yet, somehow, in all these years I had never cooked the mung beans…



Well, whatdya’ know? They’re delicious!  And they’re also very nutritious, with plenty of protein and lots of important vitamins and minerals.

I soaked them overnight, then boiled them. All I added was salt and pepper, and by golly, they’re really good!

OK, now I’ll be cooking them lots of ways. I’m looking forward to:

Mung Bean Hummus

Mung Bean Stew

Mung Bean Curry

Mung beans in  soup, for breakfast, even for dessert! — Louisa Shafia writes:  “Mung! Why You Should Eat These Tiny Beans from India,”


Sprouted Rye Essene Cakes


Nothing but rye.


“What are these?”

“Rye cakes. Essene bread. Sprouted rye essene cakes.”

“What’s in ‘em?”

“Rye. Sprouted rye. Just rye grains sprouted. That’s all.”

“Hm. Sweet. Sugar?”

“No, just rye.”


“No. Nothin’ but sprouted rye berries.”

“Sesame seeds!”

“No. Just rye.”

So, I had all this sprouted rye berries, you know?  I cooked some of them. Put some in a salad. But I still had a pretty good container of sprouted rye.  So I dumped it all in the food processor and ground it up until it was kind of mealy or doughy or the consistency of hamburger. Then I used my hands to squish it and shape it into little cake shapes. I put the cakes on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven on low temperature.  I don’t know… 200? 250, maybe?  I sort of basically kind of dried them out, rather than actually baking them.  But whatever you call it,  I left them in there for what, an hour or so.  I don’t think the timing is all that critical when the temperature is that low.  They kind of dried out mostly on that side, then I turned them over and left them in the oven like that for a little longer, then I took them out.

One ingredient. Doesn’t matter much what temperature you “cook” them at. Some people just dry them in the sun, really.

And they’re good.  They’re sweet. They have good flavor.  They’re almost like a dessert.  Well, a dessert for people who don’t eat donuts and stuff.  I mean, they’re really good, but if you’re used to like Twinkies and stuff, no, they’re not like that.

Anyway… I love this stuff.   Really nice for breakfast.

And yeah, you could put other stuff in there if you want.   But I didn’t.

 How to make sprouted grain bread, from MotherEarthNews.com

Essene Bread… How to Make it in the Sun

This works with wheat, too.

Make it thick, or make it thin. Use an oven, or a dehydrator, or a rock in the sun. Add nothing, or add flour, or add whatever.

I made the most basic version, but this  sort of bread or whole grain food technique is extremely variable. You can experiment with lots of different grains, seeds, flours, herbs, nuts, fruits, ….

Hey, it’s your food, make it like you like it.



Sprouted Rye Berry Salad


Very nice, very easy.
(I just added sprouted rye berries to cucumber salad.)

I sprouted rye berries last week… kind of a lot of them, more than enough for one or two dishes. I saved some and let it sprout a little more, to make Essene bread with, and I cooked and the rest of it essentially the same way I normally cook and use rice.

I also added some of the cooked sprouted rye berries to an otherwise ordinary cucumber salad.  It was delicious —  Crunchy, refreshing, nutty-tasting.  It also made the salad more complete, nutritionally-speaking, and helped me stay fuller-feeling longer.  In fact, I also added sprouted mung beans, so it had some extra protein, to boot.

Sprouting rye berries is the same as sprouting mung beans or alfalfa sprouts.  Soak the seeds overnight, drain and rinse them each day for a couple of days. Boil them up if you want them cooked like rice. Let them sprout an extra day or so if you want to use them raw.

A salad like this is sort of kind of like tabbouleh…

Sprouted Rye Berry and Shallots Salad – FoodAndWine.com has a nice little rye berry salad recipe using cooked sprouted rye berries, sort of like what I did, only simpler.

Sarahfae, at AddictedToVeggies.com, says “Give yourself a present” by adding raw sprouted rye berries to an awesome green salad.

And you really can use sprouted rye berries like rice in lots of different dishes. Eliza Martin, from the Saveur Test Kitchen, even reports that this stuff makes a delightful and delicious risotto-style preparation.