Posts Tagged ‘budget’

Last week I accidentally bought a huge bag of toast. I expected a weekend guest who didn’t show up in the end. So I’m doing my best to eat all that toast before it goes bad.

Why don’t I just freeze it? Well, our freezer is already filled to the brim with – wait for it – even more toast, that I bought the week before. Don’t ask. #firstworldproblems

Here’s what I ate last Saturday.


Sandwiches are by far my favorite breakfast option, so I happily attacked my toast mountain.


Lunch was pushed back to get some errands done. To avoid any hunger-induced grumpy-ness I had a little snack. Mashed avocado and cherry tomatoes are an amazing toast topping.


For our late lunch I brought back an old and forgotten favorite: lasagna! I made a quick tomato sauce with leftover vegetables, layered it into a large casserole dish together with lasagna noodles and crème fraîche, and topped it with grated cheese. Put it into the oven for 30 minutes and it was done.

I always thought that making lasagna takes a lot of time, but if you don’t bother making bechamel sauce from scratch, it’s actually not that bad.


A few weeks ago my Mom gave me a big tray of potato dumplings. I put them into the freezer and have been trying to use them in some creative ways. I actually prefer bread dumplings (Semmelknödel), but I did enjoy the potato version, too, combined with a creamy mushroom sauce, brussel sprouts, and red cabbage (Blaukraut).

The next batch of potato dumplings will probably be sliced, fried, and drowned in ketchup.

So, how am I doing on my Eating In challenge? Well, I cheated once last week. I had an after work movie date with a friend, and it just wouldn’t have made any sense for me to go home and cook dinner. So we both enjoyed a nice bowl of soup at our favorite café. No picture, it was just too dark.

(What movie did we watch? Only lovers left alive! It was fantastic, go watch it now!)


To avoid any more cheating on the challenge, I spent Sunday afternoon preparing some meals for the week. I made a Mexican stir-fry with quinoa, creamy chestnut soup, and an Asian vegetable stir-fry. I also have some frozen brown rice from a previous batch cooking session. I think I’ll be good this week.

And if I run out of meals and ideas, I still have plenty of toast to make more sandwiches.

Bread or potato dumplings – which would you choose?

See you!


Read Full Post »

I tend to fall into some kind of food rut quite often, which means I make the same meals again and again. Those dishes are my favorites, they are tasty and easy to make, but also a little boring after a while.

I’d really like to try some new recipes. Who knows, they might turn into new favorites.


Sunday’s breakfast was indeed a little different from my usual fare. I tried to ‘bake’ bread in a pan, using a ciabatta mix, and it worked! I let the dough rise in the fridge overnight, and fried/baked it over low heat with a lid on. That bread turned out quite fluffy and tasty.


Lunch was, once again, one of those boring favorites: bibimbap! I can’t help it, this dish is just so delicious and ridiculously simple to make, especially when you have leftover rice and a few banchan (Korean side dishes, e.g. kimchi).


Another ridiculously simple dish: spaghetti with tomato sauce. I really need to stop making this every weekend or my husband will go on a strike, I’m afraid.


I decided to make some healthy-ish snacks to help me through a busy week, so I brought back an old favorite that I hadn’t made in a very long time: Mama Pea’s Anytime Cookies! Those are also a great way to use up leftover nuts and dried fruit.


And then I really tried something new: vegan lentil shepard’s pie. I made a big batch to eat as dinners or lunches during the week, and it turned out delicious!

I totally forgot how much I love mashed potatoes, I haven’t had any in ages. Now I’m thinking about different ways of serving mashed potatoes, maybe with roasted onions, mushroom gravy, roasted brussel sprouts, red cabbage (Blaukraut)? New ideas and recommendations are always welcome!

Eating in is going very well so far, but it’s only been a few days yet.

Do you fall into food ruts, too?

See you!

Read Full Post »

I usually don’t eat out very often. Delicious, plant-based dishes are hard to find in restaurants around here, that’s why I generally prefer my own food. In the past few weeks, things were different, though. I’ve been out and about a lot and even when I was at home I often didn’t feel like cooking. So I ate out a lot, and spent a ton of money!

That’s why I decided to do the Eat In Month Challenge in February. I know that I’m very late to the game, as the actual challenge takes place in January, but the timing just didn’t work for me.

I plan to eat every single meal “in”, that means no restaurant visits and no take-out meals. I’ll make an exception for free food, as my co-workers often provide breakfast, lunch, or dessert when they celebrate their birthdays. Meals and snacks that I’m offered by others, like friends or family members, are also okay for me. And I may or may not enjoy a small bag of movie popcorn.

I’m doing this challenge mostly to save money. Eating out is expensive! And I’m also still working on clearing my pantry. That’s a never-ending process, I’m afraid.

So in the month of February, I’ll hopefully enjoy lots of great home-cooked meals and snacks, just like the examples below.


I call this one my triple squash (pumpkin?) soup – blended Hokkaido squash soup topped with pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds.


Sweet semolina pudding with cherry compote and cinnamon – best served warm!


My all-time favorite: bibimbap! Just a big bowl of rice, vegetables, tofu, and pickled radish. Never fails to satisfy my appetite.

Do you spend a lot of money eating out?

See you!

Read Full Post »