Thursday, November 5, 2009

Eating to live or Living to eat?

This is the big question right now.

Jürgen and I are self-proclaimed "foodies." No one gave us this title, we gave it to ourselves (hence the self proclamation), but anyone who was at our wedding knows we love food.  While living in Chicago we were known to make some pretty elaborate meals which were heavy on the stomach lining as well as the pocketbook. Obviously this someone decadent way of eating will not be an option for us right now.

It's dissapointing only because we spent a great deal of time creating an NYC restaurant spreadsheet containing a laundry list of eateries we hoped to try during our time here.  One might also suggest that we also self proclaim ourself as "dorks."

We quickly realized that how we ate would be a key factor in our financial survival here. While it is so very tempting to eat out/order in when you live it a city of culinary pleasures like NYC, one must make certain sacrifices to stay afloat.  So we have devised a list of certain foods which we plan to keep on hand in attempt to cut down on the need/desire to venture outside of our kitchen walls.  They are:

Potato's--there are so many ways to prepare them! Twice baked, mashed, roasted with olive oil...the possibilties are endless

Chicken-One of teh more inexpensive meats and so very good for you.  We are thinking of buying a whole Chicken every Sunday and then using the bones to make a nice chicken stock.  I have never done this but it can't be that hard can it?

Ground beef-cheaper than other red meats but still flavorful.  We made tacos the other night, and we will never turn our nose up at a good burger.

Frozen veggies:  We will of course have fresh produce as well, but typically frozen veggies are picked and thrown in a freezer at the pique of their season, therefore retaining many of their nutrients.  Also, keeping them frozen assures that they won't go bad for quite sometime.  I must admit, allowing fresh veggies go to waste is an offense I have committed one too many times.

Eggs-Good anytime, anywhere and almost any way you serve them.

Oatmeal- A perfect way to start the day and will keep for ages.  I am partial to the old fashioned variety as it doesn't take long to make on the stove and is better for you than the instant stuff.

Pasta: Lots and lots of pasta. And rice.  The blank canvas of the kitchen and can be served with anything.  I will need to create a "Pasta Recipes" spreadsheet with all of the pasta I have right now.

Popcorn Kernels: Our favorite snack food hands down is ill popcorn.  Made on teh stove with plenty o' butter, dill, S&P and parm. cheese.  It's cheaper to buy a bag of popcorn kernels than the pre-bagged stuff and lasts much longer. 

That gives you a good idea.  We also always have peanut butter on hand, as I take great delight in a spoonful of the nutty spread.  You always have to have some fresh fruit on hand, and of course milk and OJ.  We have daydreamed about making our own bread, pizza and soups...but I imagine it's best to take things one step at at time.

Do you have any ideas of foods we should keep on hand? Any recipes to share? Don't be a stranger,  post a comment!


  1. Hi Blair!
    Saw this of FB -- love the Broke Foodie blog!

    Some things I suggest; Ground Chuck instead of Ground Round; cheaper and leaner. Buying a whole chicken is good, boil the left overs for a good stock (add celery, carrots, onion and garlic to the water to add more punch!)

    Beans!! Lots and Lots of Beans! And Lentils and dried split peas and bulger wheat. Great for hearty soups. Easy to make, savory, cheap and even better the second (and third day) And all those potatoes and pasta will make some great soups -- Tuscan White Bean with Pasta, anyone? anyone?

    Take care, eat well, and keep posting.

    Fellow L'ville gal,
    Kate (mooody)

  2. Congrats on your fabulous new blog, Blair! I now will have a first-hand account to read and not need to ask so many questions to your mom and best friend!Your foodie post today makes me hungry and I think you're off to a great start! Try some seasonal stuff, too: pumpkin bread (I have a recipe to share,if it appeals), sweet potatoes, baked spiced apples, and warm cider. I love your descriptions of stress as a "ghost" (vividly true!) and your NYC support group as your New York Posse:-) I hope you continue to use the kitchen at 628 Hudson St frequently, too!
    Love, Glen H.

  3. Seriously, do not be afraid of making bread. OR, scour craigslist for a breadmaker... it is so much cheaper to have bread flour and yeast on hand than buying a loaf of bread every week. Seriously.

    Also, I second the BEANS comment. Delish and so filling and good for you - read about the magic of black beans on the interwebs - they are so good for you.

    And... let's not forget ground chicken. I have some fantastic recipes that I use ground chicken in (and it's even cheaper than ground beef).

    One other thought - buy things when they are on special if they keep. For example, if you can get 10 cans of tuna for $3... and it's not gross or sick or weird tuna, do it. They will happily sit in your pantry and wait for that day when you feel like having tuna from a can (blech, but Rick likes it).

    Miss you both.

  4. I second the ground chicken (or turkey) and especially the sweet potoatos! Anything you do with a regular tater you can do with a sweet potato and they are sooooooo yummy and good for you.

    I'm also a big fan of buying a whole chicken - you get two (maybe three) meals from the main parts (leg& thigh each one night, a breast each the next) - trim the breast to 4-6 oz for each serving and you should have enough left over to add to a pasta dish for a third night. Then you've got your carcass with lots of good bits left over for stock.

    I'm also a big fan of soups and stews - you can make big batches (cheaper) then freeze in dinner-sized portions. Having a full meal in the fridge of freezer is a budget saver for those nights when you come home late, tired and grumpy - ordering out would be sooooooo easy. But if you can warm up left-over stew and whip up a batch of jiffy corn muffins (cheap!! yummy!) then you're set.

    Here's a link to one of my faves:

    Don't let the curry scare you - this is a savory and mild dish, not hot at all. I sub brown rice for the white and use 2% milk instead of cream. You can also cut the butter down to about 1/2 and you don't lose too much flavor - but its so good with it!!

    excellent with corn muffins or crescent rolls

  5. Thank you all so much for the AMAZING suggestions. We will certainly be using many of these ideas. I promise to keep you posted!