Live Well on a Budget!

Hi All, Happy Monday!

The topic of my discussion today focuses around words. What I mean by that is, depending on the words you use to describe something, someone will automatically get the impression whether it is good, bad, cheap, expensive, old or new just to name a few things.

First let's talk about food. Meal kits, meal starters, one skillet meals have a nice ring to them but when you look up the word leftovers there is nothing appealing about. If you look up synonyms for the word leftovers you can find words like scraps, remnants and crumbs so who would want to eat that? Maybe we need to change the way we think of leftovers. Personally I love it when I have food leftover because that automatically becomes my "meal kit" that I can use as the basis for a new dish.

Yes. you can just reheat your original meal but that can be boring. However if you add some ingredients and change the flavor profile by adding some spices, you have not only saved money but created a new dish that is economical (not cheap), easy and delicious.

Original dish
In last week's blog, I used a single eggplant to create an eggplant burger on a bun served with a sweet potato wedge as well as a dish with diced eggplant and sweet potatoes in a coconut curry sauce.
That was two meals just using one eggplant and two potatoes.
Here is the link in case you missed it.

Now I am going to show you how I am going to use the leftovers as a meal starter for a third dish with minimal expense and you can make it in one pot.

Here is what I used:

The leftover curry dish
1 can of coconut milk
3 carrots diced
1 green pepper diced
1 onion ( I used a red one but any onion is fine)
now spice it up! (I used 1 teaspoon of RAS EL HANOUT)
handful of chopped cilantro

with carrots, onion, coconut milk & cilantro
added diced green pepper and Ras El Hanout 
The finished product ready to enjoy!

We all know that nothing compliments vegetables more than some tasty spices but if you have been to the spice aisle in your supermarket lately you know they can be quite pricey. What I love about this spice is you get a bunch of spices for the price of buying one individual spice and don't have to worrying about measuring each of them to get the perfect flavor. This spice contains the following coriander, paprika, cumin, cardamon, black pepper, red pepper, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, clove and allspice in one little jar. This will not only save you money but help eliminate waste since you may not use all these spices all the time. I hate having to buy a special spice for one recipe and then find that I will probably not use it again. I recently cleaned out my spice cabinet but that is another story.

You can also add additional vegetables to this dish and another can of coconut milk, vegetable broth or tomato sauce and serve it over rice. Get creative!

I was going to slice up some avocado but realized it was too soft so I went to plan B. I grilled up some Italian bread in a bit of olive oil, smashed up the avocado, sliced a tomato added salt, pepper and a sprinkle of cilantro and made an appetizer! I had a similar dish when we out to eat a couple of weeks ago but this one didn't cost a fraction of what we paid.


Best part was there was ZERO waste!

Speaking of zero waste, as a consumer, the media professes new is better but why is that? Of course, more sales result in more profit but then that causes more waste since now you are getting rid of something to replace it with something new. My goal for this year is to reduce waste and do more repurposing, recycling and upcycling. Just going back to the word thing. It is chic to shop vintage but some people may have a different view if you are purchasing from a thrift store. Guess what it is the same. A garage sale, yard sale, tag sale and estate sale are all the same too! Just because you call it something different, people have a different view. I have seen people spend hundreds of dollars at an estate sale yet negotiate on a dollar item at a yard sale. Neighborhoods have a lot to do with it as well. I have gone into ritzy "vintage" and consignment shops and their inventory is not a lot better than some of the local thrift shops. Their displays and presentation may be better but truth be told I have gotten much better stuff and fantastic prices at some of the discount stores.  Do your research and know your labels for the best deals. Make a routine out of hitting your favorite places, you never know what you will find and always remember never judge a book by it's cover.

I would love to see some of the great things you find in your travels as well as the creative spins you put on my recipes.

Finally, the best place to find your new best friend is at
your local shelter and if you you are looking to recycle call them before you discard any old towels or blankets. Continue to share pictures of the pets that are either lost or need a home. They really need everyone's help. Kindness goes a long way so ADOPT before you shop.

Until next week...


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