Stacyverb is not a cooking blog, but sometimes it is an eating blog! And cooking is how we get to the eating part, so....
The other day when I mentioned some of my current favorite blogs, I overlooked one that has been particularly rocking my world lately, and that would be Budget Bytes. Beth, the woman behind BB, had me with this line: "I am broke and I love to eat." ME TOO. She has tons of great recipes for meals that are easy and very inexpensive to prepare.
Since discovering Budget Bytes a few months ago, the menu here at Boogaloo Acres has vastly improved. And I think it's made us eat healthier, too. For example, let's say I'm in the grocery store and I'm thinking about treating myself to some ice cream. Because of the way Beth breaks down her recipes to show you exactly how much each serving costs, now when I think about spending $3.99 on a pint of Ben & Jerry's, my next thought is immediately, but for $3.99 I could buy ingredients for a whole dinner for two with a Budget Bytes recipe and still have leftovers for lunch. (Yes, really.) Sometimes the siren song of junk food is irresistible, but usually, the real meal wins out.
Here's one delicious example, which I made for dinner last night. It's called Summer Vegetable Tian. It's got one onion, one potato, one yellow squash, one zucchini, and one tomato (the first good-looking one of the season--hurray!), plus garlic, thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper.
The onion and garlic are sauted in olive oil and then spread over the bottom of the baking dish (Beth suggested rubbing the dish with a little butter first, so I did). Then you layer your sliced veggies like so, sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and thyme, cover it all with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, top the veggies with shredded cheese (I used mozzarella) and bake it for another 20 minutes or so. More detailed instructions and much better pictures here.)
This would make a great side dish or, as I had it last night, a tasty vegetarian dinner by itself (we're a meat-eating household, but we do enjoy meatless meals as well). It was a nice cozy dish for a rainy night when I was home alone, snuggled up on the couch with some silly sitcoms and a glass of white wine from the wine fairy.
When I make this again, I think I'll add another tomato (this was a little unbalanced in favor of the squashes) and more salt and pepper. Beth's instructions clearly said to be "GENEROUS" with those, and she was right. I salted and peppered it again on my plate, and that really helped the flavors of the veggies come together.
Thank you, Budget Bytes!