Tag Archives: cheap

Sweet Potato Hash and Fried Eggs

It is time for a blog reboot. I have graduated with my Master’s Degree in Library Science (before you ask, yes, that’s a real thing), and I now have time, glorious time! I also have a new camera and quite a lot of new recipes to share with you.

So, I am breaking my blogging fast. In honor of that, my first post since 2009 (eegad!) shall be about breakfast. Specifically, my breakfast this morning, when I was tempted to go out to breakfast and spend quite a lot of money for someone else to cook for me, but instead I decided that it is probably better to cook with what I have here, in my pantry and in my fridge. Some of my favorite meals start this way.

I haven’t been to the grocery store in a while, but after scrounging around the kitchen I found some eggs, two sweet potatoes, and a vidalia onion. That, and a little oil, butter, salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning was all I needed to make a healthy, tasty, cheap breakfast for Boyfriend and me.

Fried Eggs and Sweet Potato Hash

Fried Eggs and Sweet Potato Hash (click for larger image)

Sweet Potato Hash Recipe (serves 2):

What you need:

  • two medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • one onion (I used vidalia, but any kind will do), sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt, pepper, and cajun season (such as Louisiana Cajun Seasoning), to taste
How to do it:
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until the onions are beginning to soften.
  2. Add the sweet potato cubes to the onions. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning. Stir to coat the sweet potatoes with oil.
  3. Sautee the hash until the sweet potatoes are cooked through and can be easily pierced with a fork – this took me around 15-20 minutes.
  4. Taste, adjust seasoning, and enjoy!
The sweet potato hash is a nice change from home fries or hash browns. It is slightly sweet from the natural sugars in the sweet potato and the onion, and pleasantly spicy from the cajun seasoning.  Plus, sweet potatoes can be bought on the cheap (I bought mine at 99 cents per pound) and they are packed with healthy stuff, like beta carotene and fiber. One medium cooked sweet potato contains 438% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A, 4 grams of fiber, and has only 105 calories, according to the Nutrition Data website. I am declaring this sweet potato hash healthy, tasty, and cheap (not to mention easy as anything to cook).

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

In the interest of finding new recipes to use with my new crock pot slow cooker, I checked out a couple of books about slow cookery from my local library. I picked up Cooking Light Slow Cooker and Fix-it and Forget-it Lightly. Cooking Light Slow Cooker is a hardcover with full-page, glossy pictures of each recipe, which I really like. I also like that I was able to get both of these for FREE at my library. (Since I’m currently working in a library and studying for my Master’s degree in Library Science, don’t be surprised to hear me toot the horn of the public library from time to time!) I just have to be careful not to spill any gravy on them.

Last night I made a recipe from Cooking Light Slow Cooker – Red Beans and Rice. You can view the recipe online here.

Red Beans and Rice with Turkey Sausage

Red Beans and Rice with Turkey Sausage

I made just a few minor changes to this recipe. I found that the beans were pretty much cooked after only 3 hours on high, so I turned it down to low for the remaining two hours. The beans had a great texture, very creamy and bean-y. I also used some Oscar Meyer turkey sausage. I couldn’t find the Healthy Choice brand the recipe mentions, and the turkey sausage seemed to have wayyy less fat and saturated fat than anything else in the sausage department. The nutrition facts are available from www.thedailyplate.com. It also tasted delicious, and I would definitely buy it again. I used Uncle Ben’s instant brown rice instead of white rice for a little extra fiber and nutritiousness, and I splashed on a little Tobasco chipotle pepper sauce when this dinner made its way to my bowl. Oh, and in my excitement to eat, I forgot the sprinkle of green onions. I don’t think the dish suffered as a result. Aaron loved this dish, he raved about it the entire time we were eating and had two gigantic bowls of the stuff. I thought it was good, too, though enthusiasm like that was hard to match. 😀

You can view the nutrtion informaton for this dish on the same page as the recipe. It’s got 413 calories, with only 5% of those coming from fat, and a whopping 10 grams of fiber. I looked up the Healthy Choice sausage that the recipe suggests, and found that it has a little less fat than the turkey sausage I used, but just by one gram of total fat and .5 grams more saturated fat. The dish is still very lean. I also added a gram or two of fiber by using brown rice instead of white.

This turned out to be a very cheap meal. I used $0.50 of dried red beans, $0.50 of green pepper, $0.25 of celery, $0.50 of red onion, $1.25 of turkey sausage, $1 of instant brown rice, and perhaps $0.50 for bay leaf, thyme, paprika, tobasco, garlic, and whatever else. The total cost of this dish, then, was about $4.50. Even though the recipe says it makes four servings, it looks more like five to me since we polished off three servings last night (due to Aaron’s great enjoyment of the dish and hunger from not bringing a lunch to work that day) and there looks to be plenty for lunch for both of us. Assuming there are only four servings, the cost per serving is about $1.13. If you get the five servings that I came up with, the cost is even better – just $0.90 per serving. Awesome. This is one of the cheapest meals on the blog so far, if not the cheapest.

What is the cheapest meal you make at home?

Dinner for One

This weekend I had planned to travel with the boyfriend to visit his parents in Lynchburg, Virginia. However, our cat had other plans. Poor little Pigeon got sick about an hour before we were scheduled to leave, and it did not seem wise to put her into her cat carrier and drive her around for three and a half hours, so I decided to stay here and tend to her. She is fine now, but I have got a serious case of the Lonelies. To cheer myself up a bit, I went to the Chinese takeout place down the street and picked up some chicken with broccoli.

Chinese Takeout: Chicken with Broccoli and Steamed White Rice

Chicken with Broccoli and Steamed Rice

This meal was definitely very tasty and comforting, and Chinese-American takeout is one of my favorite things to eat. The sauce had a savory, soy-saucy taste, the rice was soft and sticky, and the chicken was tender.  It was decidedly cheap – a pint with rice costs $5.35, and what you see on my plate was only half of the food I got. This was enough for two meals for me, which is great, because – call me strange if you want – I love having leftover takeout for breakfast the next day! Maybe you are wondering whether this meal really qualifies as “healthy.” Although chicken with broccoli might not be the healthiest thing in the world, you could do a whole lot worse at a Chinese restaurant. According to this website, one cup of chicken with broccoli has about 280 calories, and one cup of white rice has 150 calories, while a single eggroll has 300-350 calories. I suspect that if I ask for “half sauce” next time, it will be just as tasty and a little healthier.

Green Bean and Mushroom Stroganoff

I was a vegan for several years, and during that time I picked up a lot of recipes. Although I now happily eat meat (how did I survive so long without bacon?!), I still enjoy many delicious vegetarian meals.

A couple of nights ago I made an old vegetarian standby: Green Bean and Mushroom Stroganoff with Whole Wheat Egg Noodles. Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables, and I love how they taste with the rich flavor of the mushrooms and the tangy, creamy sour cream. I usually eat green bean stroganoff with whole wheat egg noodles, but it is also very good with hot cooked brown rice. This is a favorite meal of my boyfriend, Aaron.

This dish is bursting with color from the red onions and green beans, which are delicious and nutritious veggies that I enjoy often. Nutritiondata.com says of frozen, cooked green beans: “This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Folate and Manganese.” Sounds good to me! Using reduced-fat sour cream saves some saturated fat, but I would not use fat-free sour cream – I don’t think it tastes very sour-creamy at all. Using whole wheat egg noodles or brown rice in this recipes means that you are eating whole grains, which of course have lots of good-for-you fiber.

This meal is also very affordable – it ended up costing me about $2.50 per serving.

Green Bean and Mushroom Stroganoff with Whole Wheat Egg Noodles

Recipe (makes about four servings):

You will need:

  • one package frozen french-cut green beans
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine (nothing fancy is necessary, just something you enjoy drinking)
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste

How to make it:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and saute on medium heat until translucent and carmelized, 5-10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for another 3 minutes. Add the garlic and dried basil and saute for another 30 seconds.
  2. Add the white wine, soy sauce, and frozen green beans. Cover and simmer until the green beans are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the sour cream and fresh parsley. Serve the stroganoff over hot cooked whole wheat egg noodles or brown rice.


Welcome to Healthy Tasty Cheap!

While I work on figuring out this whole blogging thing, please allow me to give you a taste of what you can expect from future blog posts here – namely, lots and lots of tasty, healthy, and cheap food!

Tofurky with Roasted Vegetables and Collard Greens

Tofurky with roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, and sauteed collard greens.

Tomatoes Stuffed with Brown Rice, Pine Nuts, and Basil

Stuffed tomatoes with brown rice, pine nuts, and basil.

Homemade Sushi with Sauteed Tofu, Avocado, Carrots, and Green Onion

Homemade sushi with sauteed tofu, avocado, carrots, and green onions.

Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Tofu and vegetable stir-fry.

My Cat, Pigeon

And my cat, Pigeon. Just because.