Kitchen Counter Economics Rotating Header Image


Cheap and Good: Broccoli-Potatoes-Sauce

There are times during the year when it is cold, miserable, dark, nasty and thoroughly gloomy and Aunt Toby is not in the mood to cook anything that does not have a heapin’ hunk of comfort in it. Tonight was one of those times. It was in the 30s, windy, raining, and just depressing all day. (more…)

Light and Good: Eggs

eggsLet’s put something to rest immediately (if not sooner): Stop dismissing eggs as ‘breakfast food’. In many other places on Earth, eggs are seen for what they are (concentrated protein) and are served at many different times of the day, with dishes to match. It seems that only in the United States is a dish of cold greasy fried eggs, with the ubiquitous accompaniment (now there’s a word) of fried potatoes, and some form of meat is deemed to be the very embodiment of breakfast. It is no wonder to me that there are people who will not touch an egg at all (much less before 11 a.m.). (more…)

The Name’s Bean — Black Bean

black beansWe’re talkin’ beans here, dried beans – navy, pea, kidney, garbanzo, etcetera, etcetera. But the queen of them all, the ones that tastes best and actually is the healthiest for us, is the little shiny black bean (aka black turtle beans). Beans are high in fiber and protein, phytochemicals and if nothing else, are filling. For more on health benefits of black beans, go here. black bean nutrition (more…)

Ya Gotta Ricotta

white pizza3First, let’s get the housekeeping out of the way.
1) Ricotta is not technically a cheese. It originated as a way (whey?) for Romano cheese makes in Italy to harvest more protein out of the whey.
2) Ricotta is made by making the whey more acidic (either by adding something such as vinegar to it or allowing it to naturally ferment for a day) and then heating it up. This causes more protein to precipitate out of the whey. The liquid is passed through some sort of filter such as a fine cloth and the resulting curds (ricotta) are left behind.
3) Ricotta is NOT cottage cheese which is made from milk itself and is not cooked. One of the advantages of ricotta vs. cottage cheese in terms of cooking is that if you try to make things with cottage cheese which are heated, the curds will start to separate, releasing whey. This is why baked products such as cheese cakes, etc. are best made with ricotta rather than cottage cheese. This is one place where Aunt Toby (who is big on substituting) will have to draw the line. Don’t try it. (more…)

Cheap and Good: Crepes Three Ways

crepes1For everyone who lined up to read some sort of Julia Child Meets Aunt Toby at The Jumping Frog, I’m afraid you are going to be disappointed — the three different ways do NOT include anything French.

Sort of the cooking version of “I didn’t have sex with that woman.” Sorry. My bad.

But, typical for me. I discovered using crepes when I wanted to make baked manicotti and didn’t have any manicotti. Remind me to tell you about the time I wanted to make Szechuan Duck and only had turkey legs. (more…)

Cheap and Good: Roasted Root Veggies

beet saladTrying to get more veggies into your family? Tired of potatoes? Every vegetable has a ‘best way’ of cooking and for root vegetables, it’s NOT boiling. Boiling leaches a lot of the nutritional value out of the vegetables in any case. Trust your Aunt Toby on this one: boiled beets, boiled potatoes, boiled turnips is just not the heating method to bring out their best.

Roasting is the deal. Whether wrapped in foil on the grill or in a pan (with or without a beast on top of it) in the oven, roasting is good for root veggies for primarily one reason: (more…)

Awwwwww — Nuts!

As long-time visitors to the Kitchen know, Aunt Toby takes a very focused view of food. Since protein is by far the most expensive nutrient out there, I’m always looking to get the most ‘bang for the buck’ when it comes to buying protein. I’m also looking for more goodies and fewer baddies coming along for the ride. That’s just the position I take – other people take other positions depending on their philosophy, religion, medical Rx and so on. (and by the way, this photograph is of cashews in their natural state before they have been hulled and roasted – interesting aren’t they?) (more…)

Cheap and Good: Oatmeal Three Ways

Oats have a lot going for them, in comparison to other grains.

From a growing standpoint, places which ordinarily have not been ‘friendly’ to grains such as wheat (find a latitude on any globe where in your own mind – versus anyone else’s – you say, “It’s cold there” and you will find oats growing well there: parts of the former Soviet Union, Norway, Scotland, Canada and the northern US and so on). Weather conditions that make for poor growing conditions for wheat and many other grains (wet conditions, cool conditions, humid conditions, etc.) don’t seem to bother oats.

From a nutritional position, oats can more than hold their own with other grains. (more…)

Cheap and Good: Hankering for Hummus?

Recently, consumers were faced with another product recall, this time for all sorts of products manufactured with peanuts coming out of the Peanut Corporation of America plant in Georgia due to Salmonella contamination. A bit later, a facility this company owned in Texas was also tagged for the same conditions and contamination. As of early February, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta had identified 600 people in the United States and possible connection with eight deaths due to consumers eating this contaminated food.

salmonella testimony

For those of us who have some concerns, what are our options? (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…)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Bad Behavior has blocked 403 access attempts in the last 7 days.