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cheap and good

More things to do with cabbage

Yesterday, I wrote about the cabbage family. Here are some more ideas for great ways to add cabbage and some of the members of the family to your family’s meals.

Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage – take any stuffed cabbage recipe you can find and put in the following to make it sweet and sour: 1/2 cup of vinegar (we use cider vinegar – I’ll bet white balsamic would be a fantastic though “tres expensivo” addition) and a cup of dried fruit. The traditional one in my father’s family is raisins, but I think whatever dried fruit you could get cheaply would do the trick.
Tips on making Stuffed Cabbage: Take off the outer leaves. Core the cabbage and put it cored side up in a big pot or big metal or ceramic bowl (it just has to be deep enough that you can cover the cabbage with water). Boil up a big pot of water and then pour that over the cabbage. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and let sit until cool The cabbage leaves will come off the head easily. Also, you know, if you look at a cabbage leaf, that there is this big, rib in the middle(these are, after all, leaves). To help you make the little cabbage rolls, take a knife and cut out most of that rib. Don’t throw it away – put it into the sauce in the pot – it will add flavor and lots of good vitamins, but it makes rolling the little packages very difficult.

Hot Salad: This started out as an ‘early marrieds mistake” but it’s good. Take off outer leaves of cabbage. Cut about a quarter of the head and separate, rinse. Cut up cabbage as if you are going to make steamed cabbage (the pieces are about 2″x2″), slice up carrots thinly. Saute in a pan until the cabbage starts to wilt just a little bit with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add 1/4 c. of cider or other vinegar, toss and serve warm.

Soup: Any soup will be made more nutritious and more fiber-rich with the addition of shredded cabbage (you can use regular head cabbage, chinese cabbage, bok choy, chinese celery cabbage, etc.). Wash cabbage leaves and shred. Don’t shred it too thinly – 1/8″ is fine – because you will be cooking this in the soup. About 10 min. before serving, bring the soup to a boil again, throw in the shredded cabbage, turn soup down to simmer. Simmer for 5-7 min (you want the cabbage to be definitely wilty but still a little bit crunchy) and serve.

Stir Fry – Thinly shred and put into your stir fry right at the very end before you add the liquid ingredients to make the sauce.

Buono appetito!!

Cheap and Good: Cabbage and its cousins

Aunt Toby loves her a mess of cabbage. All cabbages, actually, anything from the brasssica family will do, including the humble (in alphabetical order) arugula, bok choy, broccoli, broccoli sprouts (Raapi or sometimes called broccoli raab), Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbages, Swiss chard, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, rutabaga, turnips, turnip greens and watercress.

Despite what I’ve heard, there is absolutely nothing to dislike about any member of the family. If you find one (cough, kale, cough) a bit strongly flavored for you, you can always try it cooked a different way or move on to another, ahem, less pungent member of the family. It’s like being at one of those holiday celebrations where one of the uncles drinks too much and tells family secrets – just move into the kitchen and drink some punch and avoid the whole deal. (more…)

Cheap and Good: Mashed Potatoes Are Your Friend

patties Writing these articles, I realize that it does seem that when it comes to “cheap and good,” I’m concentrating on white foods. And, that is correct because today, Aunt Toby is going to talk about another white thing that if you’ve got it in the fridge, you are golden in terms of having A Useful Thing™.

Left over mashed potatoes are a great thing to have, especially if you have resisted the urge (because we are all about resisting urges here at Chez Siberia on the Susquehanna) to put garlic in them when you make them. If you want garlic mashed potatoes, make the mashed potatoes first, take out a couple of cups extra, seal them up in the container of your choice (yoghurt containers tend to be used for this at my house), and THEN do the addition of the cooked and mashed up garlic. Tastes the same and now you have mashed potatoes that you have the choice of what to do with. (more…)

Cheap and Good: Biscuits and Stuff To Put On ‘Em

biscuits When things get tough..the tough make comfort food. That’s it in a nutshell. And if things get tough in the winter – it’s comfort food on steroids.

Best comfort food comes with stuff in it and gravy or “sauce” (whatever that means at your house) and comes on top of something else. In some people’s homes, it’s noodles or spaghetti…in other people’s homes, it’s on top of biscuits. (more…)

Cheap and Good: Christmas Breakfast

xmasbreakfast Ah, Christmas morning…filled with the sounds of ripping paper, “Dad, where’re the batteries?” and “I’m hungry…”

We’re back in the kitchen (you guys think I really live here, right…kicking the sleeping bag back under the table) with the thought of Christmas Day, which is usually filled with eating things that you would frankly shudder to think about on any other day, capped with a dinner (either at your house or someone else’s) that will send you waddling for the bathroom (and the antacids) later on.

Any way to stop that? Well, I’m not sure, but I’m a big proponent of getting a good slug of protein in the morning and also of the “anything you can shovel into a tortilla” form of breakfast. (more…)

Cheap and Good: Bread – One Dough, Three Ways

bread So, we’re back in the kitchen and we’re going to make dough that we’ll turn into: bread for toast and sandwiches, cinnamon buns, and a sort of finger roll that can be baked in a toaster oven for those folks who are not in the mood to fire up the stove or it’s August and you don’t want to heat up the kitchen. (more…)

Cheap and Good: Bread

bread Probably the only people in the United States who have not noticed the change in prices of baked products are folks who “do Atkins.” Over the past year or so, grain/flour prices pretty much have gone through the roof, affecting everything from meat and eggs to pizza and that humble household commodity, bread. Perhaps now is a good time to learn how to make your own. (more…)

Cheap and Good: Chowder

shrimp-chowder So, you’ve gone to the grocery store with your $10 bill and you’ve bought some staples. You put them on the shelf and it looks good. You feel solid.

Let’s take a look at chowder, that theoretically quintessential American soup.

Actually…it’s not. Chowder comes from the French word chaudiere. This is the name of a big pot that is basically used for things like stews, because if you look at the word, it contains another French word, chaud, which means hot.

If you look at the map of New England, you will notice that it snuggles up against historically French areas of Canada: the Maritimes and Quebec. The Maritimes are great fishing areas still. And, if you look in any phone book, from Castile, Maine to parts of northern Vermont you will see hundreds and hundreds of people with names like Thibodaux, Dubois, Michault et al. — the border between the US and Canada in those areas is remarkably porous and people for hundreds of years passed back and forth, or were forced out of places like Nova Scotia and moved and brought their customs, dishes and big iron pots with them. And stews and soups made out of fish and shellfish have been around for a very long time. (more…)

Cheap and Good: Chili

chili1 Well, we’re back in the kitchen with Aunt Toby (which works out pretty well, since we’re talking about food) and your first assignment (because I’m all about the assignments and all about doing it right now) is this:

Take out your wallet and take out a $10 bill. Put that bill in an envelope with your coupons or shopping list for the week and hold onto it. We’ll talk about that $10 bill a little bit later, but trust me on this one: You will want to do this every single week for a while. It WILL save you money.

The whole point of this series (which will be on-going…at least until the economy gets itself together) is to share ideas on how to nourish ourselves and our families with stuff that is a) good, b) cheap and c) good for you. There are a lot of things that are cheap and good, but from a nutrition standpoint, are not particularly good for you. The point here is to hit the Nutritional Trifecta: Good, Good for you and Gives you ultimate bang for your nutritional buck.

For our last discussion of Nutritional Bang for the Dollar, see:
What’s It Worth To You?

Our first week’s topic is the old and new favorite: chili.

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