Tag Archives: food pictures

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Dinner tonight was chicken and sausage gumbo with brown rice. This version has a ton of vegetables, including onions, celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, okra, and green onions and uses smoked turkey sausage and shredded rotisserie chicken. It is spicy, smoky, and extremely satisfying.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Simmering Away (click for larger image)

Boyfriend helped by picking the store-bought rotisserie chicken off the bone and shredding it and by making me a delicious gin and tonic.

We ate the gumbo with a big scoop of hot, cooked brown rice added right on top. The savory, spicy tomato broth soaked into the chewy brown rice and made the dish absolutely delicious. I loved all the different textures and tried to get a little bit of each ingredient in every spoonful. Aaron’s favorite part was (as always) the smoked sausage.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with Brown Rice

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with Brown Rice (click to enlarge)

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Recipe (Serves 4):

What you need:

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 green or red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 3-4 green onions, diced
  • 1 package smoked turkey sausage, sliced
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups (more or less) water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. creole seasoning (such as Tony’s), or to taste
  • Hot sauce (I recommend Tobasco’s chipotle pepper sauce), to taste (optional)
  • 1 package (12 oz.) frozen okra
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, picked and shredded
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
How to do it:
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture turns light brown. (Cooking fat and flour together in equal amounts results in a roux, which thickens the gumbo. You could make a darker roux if you have time and if you prefer, but a quick light brown roux worked for me just fine.)
  2. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery to the pot and stir until the vegetables are beginning to soften. Add the sliced sausage and garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, water, bay leaves, oregano, creole seasoning, hot sauce (if using), salt, and pepper. Be careful not to add too much salt, as creole seasoning often contains salt. Stir and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low, simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing the tomatoes and vegetables to break down and the flavors to marry. Add the okra and continue to simmer until the okra is cooked through, about another 10 minutes. If the gumbo seems too thick, you can add more water.
  5. Add the shredded chicken and green onions. Stir to combine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the chicken is heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  6. Serve the gumbo hot in bowls with scoops of brown rice and enjoy!

Tilapia with Chimichurri

Two fish posts in a row! Last night, I made broiled tilapia with a chimichurri sauce. For side dishes, I made roasted red potatoes with garlic and steamed broccoli with lemon. Aaron proclaimed this meal a “10 out of 10”!

Tilapia with Chimichurri Sauce

Tilapia with Chimichurri Sauce

Recipe for Tilapia with Chimichurri (makes 2 servings):

What you need:

  • 2 fresh tilapia fillets
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • salt and pepper

How to do it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a glass baking dish with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Brush both sides of the tilapia with a light coating of olive oil and season each side with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the smoked paprika on top of the fish. Put the fish in the oven to bake, about 20-30 minutes, until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, make the chimichurri. (This could be done in the food processor, but if you don’t mind a more rustic sauce, you can simply chop the ingredients together on the cutting board, as I did on this occassion.) Finely chop the parsley and garlic together. Add the lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, red pepper flakes, and a little salt and pepper and mix well.
  3. About 5 minutes before the fish is done, coat each tilapia fillet with 2 Tbsp. of the chimichurri.
  4. When the fish is done, remove from the oven, serve, and enjoy!

This was a really successful recipe! Since I live in a small apartment and don’t have a grill, I added the smoked paprika for a nice smoky, grill-y flavor. The bright flavors of lemon and parsley work great with the light tilapia, and the red pepper flakes add just a little bit of kick.

Over dinner, I asked Aaron how much he might expect to pay for this meal at a restaurant, and without hesitating he said, “$18.95.” Pretty good, considering that this meal cost about $4.50 per serving to make at home.

According to nutritiondata.com, 100g of tilapia contains about 128 calories, 3g of fat, and just 1g of saturated fat. The parsley in the chimichurri is more than just tasty and pretty-looking. Two tablespoons of parsley contains about 16% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C and 12% of the daily value of vitamin A, says nutritiondata. Steamed broccoli with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is one of my favorite side dishes – just 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli provides 84% the daily value of vitamin C, with only 27 calories.

Roasted red potatoes with garlic.

Roasted red potatoes with garlic.

The oven-roasted red potatoes were delicious, crispy, and very filling. I mixed a little bit of the extra chimichurri in with them near the end of their cooking. Here is the recipe for the potatoes:

Recipe (makes about 2 servings):

What you need:

  • 1 pound of small red potatoes, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled, whole
  • olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. chimichurri (see tilapia recipe above)
  • salt and pepper

How to do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. (This dish can be cooked at the same time as the tilapia, which is what I did.) Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the potatoes and garlic on the foil, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat the potatoes.
  2. Bake the potatoes in the oven until fork tender and crispy on the outside. Remove from the oven and toss with the chimichurri.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Broiled Catfish and Garden Vegetables

I got an e-mail from my dad yesterday titled “Catfish!” When I opened it, I was pleased to find a food photo and a recipe – looks like dad has been reading my blog. Thanks, dad. 😀 Here is the photo from today’s guest blogger:

Broiled Wild Catfish with Garden Vegetables

Broiled Wild Catfish Fillets with Green Beans and Corn

He says:

Here’s a pic of the catfish I caught Saturday. He was about 30″ long, so one filet was enough for two servings.”

Fortunately, there was also a recipe in the e-mail!

“Place catfish fillets in a baking pan with sliced onions.
Mix Italian seasoned olive oil, lemon juice, and orange juice and pour over fish.
Add lemon zest, diced garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika to top of fish.
Cover with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until opaque.
Remove foil and shred parmesan on top.
Broil until bubbly.

The green beans and corn you see on the plate came from my grandmother’s garden.

I don’t know much about catfish, so I checked nutritiondata.com to find the nutrition info. A wild catfish fillet has 150 calories, 4g of fat, and 1g of saturated fat. Farmed catfish is apparently not as lean as wild catfish, with 217 calories, 11g of fat, and 3g of saturated fat. Still, both are tasty, healthy choices in my book. Dad’s cooking method (broiling) is a much healthier cooking method than battering and frying, which is a common way to cook and eat catfish.

As for being cheap – the vegetables were grown by my grandmother, and well, you can’t beat free! I don’t know how much the fishing equipment cost, but the fish itself was free. Good job, dad. 😀 If I were to buy the ingredients at the grocery store, I would estimate the cost of this meal at around $3.50 per serving, less than that if catfish is on sale (as it frequently is).

Maybe dad and I can work something out where he sends me a food picture (and a recipe!) every week or so. What do you think?

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.