Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Little Something For The Vegan In You.

This week is a shout out to all those who choose to enjoy a meal at no expense to another animal. The vegan diet is a noble one, sometimes difficult to manage. If a vegan were asked however, they would tell you that the benefits far outweigh any encounters with struggle.

An obvious meal pops into anybody's head when the term vegan or vegetarian is heard. That meal is called a salad. Salads come in all shapes and sizes with no limit to ingredients. A chance for self expression perhaps. But today we're going to keep it simple and limit ourselves to three simple ingredients, none of which will be of the leafy lettuce variety.

Yet again, our safe haven for cheap eats, Trader Joe's, is offering up this weeks meal at well below the $10.00 mark that has yet to be broken on this infamous blog. We are only going to need a bag of two celery heads ($1.79), one single jumbo onion ($0.79), and one can of garbanzo beans ($0.99).

The garbanzo bean doesn't seem to get as much media attention as it perhaps should. In this country it might not be the case but worldwide the garbanzo bean is the most widely consumed legume. The health benefits of eating garbanzo beans, or chick peas as some might say, are phenomenal. This little tan colored nugget of fiber should be a staple for anybody who wants to maintain a healthy diet.

Lets get started. After opening the can of chick peas, strain out the liquid but do not rinse the beans off. Keep that beanie juicy goodness on there. Empty the whole can into a plastic bowl large enough to toss the beans with the two other ingredients. As for the onion and celery, they can be diced up as finely as you would like. After carefully chopping endlessly, empty the celery and onion into the bowl with the beans. Now this meal isn't meant to be enjoyed as plainly as you might be thinking. Many people would choose to put many different kinds of dressing on these three items. For simplicity, a recommendation of lemon juice and olive oil is in order. Since there are $6.00 left on the tab for this week, feel free to collect the ingredients for your favorite kind of light salad dressing.

The amount of food in this dish equates to three large servings. That's lunch for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday already taken care of. All you need is some Tupperware and a spoon or fork. Start feeling better by eating better everybody!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

An Integral, Gluten Free Ingredient to a Rochester Staple, and no, Trader Joes is not Closing!

Contrary to what you may have read, no, Trader Joe's will not be closing all of it's stores by 2017. Yahoo.com caused quite a stir when it gave it's readers an April fools prank claiming that the popular grocery chain would be shutting it's doors by next year. A statement from Trader Joe's corporate office put it's customer base at ease re-assuring them it would in fact stay open and continue to grow.

 In Rochester, New York, the entree of food known as the garbage plate is a household name in the Western New York city. Outsiders might give a confused look when asked if they've ever had one. It's all in the name.

 One of the integral components of the garbage plate is the macaroni salad, or simply mac salad if you're a local. Many people like to have their plates constructed in varying ways. However the mac salad seems to be one of the more consistent ingredients in this locally famous dish.

 Something that is becoming more famous on a much broader scale, is the gluten free movement. For some it's a trend, yet for others, it's a medical necessity. Nobody will be left out of this simple and affordable recipe.

 Starting at a meager $2.99, Trader Joe's quinoa and brown rice fusilli pasta is an incredible substitute for any dish that requires a noddle of some sort. Some people have a hard time with gluten free pastas because getting them cooked just right can be difficult. This pasta seems to be one of the more popular choices when it comes to a gluten free substitute.

 Since Trader Joe's stores do not tend to have a gluten free section, they try their best to have dietary lists ready on hand for any customer who should require the assistance.

 Some people may choose to have their own custom version of a mac salad but to keep it simple and cheap, simply meander to the produce section and grab a bag of carrots and a bag of celery heads, both ringing in at $1.99 each. All you need is a bit of mayonnaise, a bit of mustard, and a hard boiled egg. At only $7.00, what you have is a giant bowl of an easy mobile and hardy food you can have in between classes or anywhere on the go. Simple, tasty, and all natural.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Trader Joe's, A Students Best Friend

Okay so maybe we won't abandon the microwave completely because it can certainly come in handy, especially when you are limited to the confines of a dormitory kitchen. However, there is no need to fall victim to unhealthy eating habits just because you lack the funds to eat at a five star restaurant.

Contrary to popular belief, Trader Joe's is not a health food store. Health food stores carry a connotation of high prices and because of that, a lot of people in Western New York have been hesitant to rely on the grocery chain for their everyday nutritional necessities. With all of their products being free of any artificial ingredients and no GMO's  whatsoever, the affordability of this grocery chain surprises most people who walk in the door for the first time.

With there only being three locations in the whole of Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, it's no surprise that Trader Joe's has still not reached it's full potential in the region. Having been voted America's number one grocery store for the last three years, Trader Joe's continues to grow.

"We cater to singles, couples, and small families." Says Mickey Greenich, the general manager, or captain, of the Pittsford, NY location. 

It is because of that target audience, a college student should feel right at home when shopping at this store. Financially strapped students need not suffer a poor diet. 

An excellent example of this healthy affordability is demonstrated by my first recommendation. A bag a frozen, grilled bell peppers and onions, a package of three pre-cooked chicken patties, (great source of lean protein), and a box of frozen jasmine rice. Keep in mind that all three of the products mentioned each contain three servings. Combine each of these and the result is an excellent, hearty meal.  The best part is that altogether the cost is less than $10.00, $9.27 to be exact. This equates to just over a three dollar meal. Do the math and start saving your money, and your health!



 

Monday, February 1, 2016

This semester, were going to abandone that microwave and start eating a proper meal at an affordable price.

This semester, while your face is buried in your textbooks, I'm going to take you on an affordable culinary journey that will make you feel better about what you eat. Don't worry, you're never going to spend more than ten dollars on your meal. However, once you look at the food you have prepared, you will think you broke the bank. With the help of Trader Joes, I will show you that good food doesn't have to come at a price. Vegan? No problem. Gluten free? No Problem. No dietary restriction will be ignored. I'm here to help everybody! By the end of this semester, you will be a master at making your friends jealous of your acquired culinary mastery! Here are a few resources you can utilize to help you along the way. http://www.cookinglight.com, http://www.simplyrecipes.com, http://www.traderjoes.com. Now let's get to work!