What you’re reading now is the first of many posts that will chronicle my endeavors to be healthy, frugal, and productive. This means spending less money, getting more out of what I do buy, and pursuing a healthful lifestyle. Eating and being healthy doesn’t have to be expensive, and while I am certainly no expert (just starting to try this out, actually), I’m hoping it will be helpful, encouraging, and interesting to my readers (few as they may be).
So here are my plans and tips for the week:
Use Gluten-Free (GF) biscuit mix to make 1) a casserole, and 2) a quiche.
1) The Casserole:
Make the biscuit mix according to directions. I made the whole bag at once, but only used half for the casserole. Roll the dough between two sheets of wax or parchment paper to flatten it. Press flattened dough into a casserole dish and bake according to package directions. While that’s baking, brown a pound of ground sausage of your choice. Chop up a variety of fresh, seasonal veggies (I used carrots, celery, kale, and leftover butternut squash that had already been roasted) and toss those into the pan once the meat is no longer pink. Cook together until “tougher” veggies are soft. Now, I had forgotten to put in the kale leaves (I only used the stem), but if you use any greens, wait until the last few minutes of cooking to put it in so they don’t get over-cooked.
Make a simple roux with 1/4 cup each of butter and coconut oil, 1 tbsp of GF all-purpose flour, and 1 tbsp cornstarch. Pour into the meat and veggie mixture in the last few minutes. You may add more or less, depending on your taste and how many veggies you put in. Once the shell is done baking and the meat/veggies are ready, put the meat/veggies into the shell. It was at this point I realized that I had forgotten the kale. I ripped the leaves into bite-size pieces and spread over the meat/veggie mixture to create a topping for the casserole. I drizzled grapeseed oil over the top so the kale would not get burnt too quickly. Bake the casserole at the same temperature as you baked the shell, for about 10-15 minutes, or until the kale becomes crisp (like kale chips).
Cut, serve, and enjoy! And of course you may add seasonings, salt, etc. to your taste. There was quite a bit of flavor in the sausage I used, so it was not necessary for us.
2) The Quiche
I have not yet made this, but I’ve made quiche before. The idea behind this is to provide myself with a quick, easy breakfast that has all the vital nutrients and food groups to start the day off right. Making it ahead of time will save me time in the morning, and using the other half of the biscuit mix is simply stretching my dollar and making good use of what I already have.
Roll about half the remaining dough between two sheets of wax or parchment paper, just as you did for the casserole. Press it into a pie tin or baking dish. Bake according to package directions.
Chop up a small amount of your favorite fresh seasonal veggies and saute just slightly. At the same time (in the same pan, if you like) brown some ground or chopped breakfast sausage, chopped bacon or prosciutto. I will use what I have on hand: kale, garlic, cabbage, and possibly squash. Haven’t decided on that one, yet. Other ideas for yummy combinations: tomato, red onion, and spinach; asparagus, capers, and red peppers; Ortega chile, cilantro, and green onion. When the veggies and meat are cooked, set them aside and let cool for a short time.
In another bowl, whisk about 4-6 eggs (depending on size of the egg and size of your pie tin) and a tablespoon or two of milk. When the meat and veggies are mostly cool, pour just a little egg into the meat/veggies and mix with a fork. If you mix in the eggs while the meat and veggies are still quite hot, they may partially cook the eggs–you don’t want that, as it will make the egg mixture uneven, will not mix well, and some parts will be overcooked.
You may also add in cheese (I like cheddar, but other good ones are pepper jack, feta, goat, bleu, or an artisan cheese like super-sharp Dubliner or creamy Brie). Add in the rest of the eggs little by little until the meat and veggies are well spread throughout the mixture. When the shell is baked, pour in the egg mixture gently. Bake at about 350* for 15 minutes, or until you can see that the eggs (take careful notice of the center) are fully cooked to your liking.
After it’s done baking, you may let it cool, then cover with foil or plastic wrap and keep in the fridge. Cut into slices and eat one slice each day. An average sized slice (about 1/8 of the pie) should take only about 30-45 seconds in the microwave to warm up. Doing this will shave about 15 minutes of my morning routine, and while I haven’t crunched the numbers, will also save money (as I’m using fewer eggs per day). If you find the one piece is not quite enough to get you through the morning, have a piece of fruit instead of another slice. It costs less, and is better for you! The quiche is healthy, but with all good things, should be eaten in reasonable portions.
Alright, now that I have the first post done, I’m looking forward to many more! I didn’t keep my receipt from the last grocery trip, but I hope to remember that next time. And hopefully I’ll have better food to share with you–this week was still some of my “old” foods that I haven’t yet been able to wean myself off of. But that WILL change. Because as I change my attitude and my beliefs about food, I will also change my actions, and thus my consumption of and habits related to food. And hopefully that will change my figure as well.
Now here’s the interactive part: Will you try one–or both–of these recipes? And will you let me know how it turned out for you? AND will you share with me your ideas, tips, and recipes? I’ll be sure to give you credit if I use it in a future post!
Oh, and one more thing. I have a bit of writers’ block on what to name this series I’m starting (with this post). If you have ideas, I’d love to hear them–and yes, of course I’ll credit you!