The Healthy Hangover

So this past weekend was my roommate 21st birthday. To put it lightly she’s had better Sunday mornings.

In an effort to make her feel like a human once again, I asked her if I could get her anything.  Her answer? A large order of McDonalds French fries.

Now of course I wanted my friend to feel better, but I was buying.  And she said fries and then my other roommates wanted some. And so did our friends visiting, and admittedly then I did to. The bill started racking up, and being a bit of a health freak myself, so did the calories.

When most people think fast food, they would call me crazy for saying it could get expensive.  But when a crowd of hung-over people walks into a McDonalds, there’s always potential to leave with lighter wallets.

Here’s my solution: a bag of potatoes.

I got this whole bag from a local produce store when I went home last weekend for a mere $2.00. I’ve checked out the local scene at Food Lion and Wal-Mart and the both have similar options for no more then $2.99.

 

But how this plain old bag of potatoes really be transformed into mouth watering fries aka the cure for my roommates pounding headache?

  • As mentioned before, her extra pocket cash kind of ran away last night at the bar, so this is a very cost effective option. For $2.00 I can make some hangover food for all of us at the same price of a just 1 order of a large McDonalds Fry.
  • It’s healthy! My roommate is a bit of a workout-aholic and believe me she’s not moving from the couch anytime soon. Its better to ditch the fast food fat and snack on this treat which is full of dietary fiber (you can even leave the skin on!), makes you feel fuller longer, and saves on the calories.

So here’s my simple recipe that will be sure to win over your hearts, you just have to trust me.

  • Cut up all the potatoes into the size of your choice.

  • Gently wet them and stick ‘em in the microwave for about two minutes.  This may sound weird but this saves you from having to coat them in oil to get the crispy golden fry effect!
  • Lay down some tin foil on a baking pan, and throw the fries on top!
  • This is the fun part: season the fries to your liking. I personally love throwing on some oregano and basil leaves, maybe even some Cajun seasoning if I’m feeling daring. This is your chance to experiment!

  • Place them in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees. The time will vary depending on how crunchy you prefer your fries!

**  With about 5 minutes left, I melt a piece of Kraft’s Fat free American cheese because, well because I love cheese.

The whole recipe for one piece of cheese, one medium red potato, plus seasonings is only 170 calories and get this- NO FAT!  A large McDonalds fry comes in around 500 calories and 25% of your daily fat intake.  And out of just one potato I got this many to munch on!  Chop up a couple more potatoes if you have some extra guests to feed like I do, you have a whole bag!

With all these potatoes you can even pre-cut them and freeze them to have your hangover cure readily available.  So get creative (sweet potatoes anyone?), enjoy the great taste, and feel wonderful knowing you saved money and saved on calories!

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Making peace with pizza!

My name is Melissa, and I am a pizza addict.

My mom used to tell me when I was a kid that if I kept up my habit, I would turn into pizza. Thankfully I didn’t, but I think I could still eat it everyday if I tried. Unfortunately my broke self just can’t afford that.

So I had to find other ways to feed my addiction. What was my solution? Every Sunday night, my roomates and I have homemade vegetable pizza night. Not only is it cost effective and healthy, but its super easy to make.  Check it out!

First, you need to buy all the ingredients (don’t freak out just yet). I headed on over to my local Walmart and was more then pleased with the final price:

  •             PizzaBuddy whole wheat pizza dough:                 $0.88
  •             1 Green pepper:                                                  $.050
  •             1 Red pepper-                                                     $0.75
  •             1 Red onion                                                       $ 0.98
  •             1 large tomato                                                     $1.78
  •             Fat free shredded mozzarella cheese:                   $2.50

                                                                             Total:  $6.51

Don’t worry, I was shocked at first too. You will be even more shocked by how good such a simple recipe can taste.  Follow these easy steps: (See photos below for reference)

  • 1.)  Roll out the pizza dough onto a pizza pan or any shaped large baking pan of your choice

         Tip: throwing down some flour first helps it not stick!

  • 2.)  Roll over the edges for a crust, and bake it in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, or until you see the dough bubble a bit.

         Trick: my roommates and I prefer a crispy pizza, so I lightly cover it in Extra Virgin         Olive Oil, but this is optional

  • 3.)  While the dough cooks, cut up all the veggies into small cubes, and the tomato into slices
  • 4.)  Take out the dough, and begin to smother it! Throw on the vegetables to your liking, and place the tomato’s around the dough generously.  Then cover it all with cheese! (I used the whole bag…I couldn’t help it)
  • 5.)  Then place the pizza back in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese turns slightly golden

And there you have it!  But the fun doesn’t stop there. I took all the ingredients and added them up in a Calorie Counter, and it gave me the nutritional information for 1 slice of pizza (the whole recipe makes 8 slices). Here it is:

Calories: 229   |  Fat: 8.3 grams |  Sodium: 436 mg | Protein: 12.8 grams

I was more then pleased, seeing as it is almost half the fat and sodium content, half the price, and 89 calories less then the veggie pizza I have been ordering from dominos!  Not to mention I split it with my two roomates, so the overall meal only cost me a little over 2 dollars!

So for all you pizza lovers and addicts out there, there is hope. It’s homemade, its healthy, and it won’t cost you and arm and a leg.

P.S.– If vegetables don’t make your mouth water, swap out the toppings.  And don’t forget, take a tip from a previous post about Sharp Shopper if your looking to lessen the cost even more!

Enjoy!

Taquitos Time!

Tired of living off of Ramen Noodles and Easy Mac? Well then you need to try these homemade taquitos! This quick and easy-to-make recipe is delicious and budget friendly as well.

I found this recipe for Chicken, Bacon and Cream Cheese Taquitos on Pinterest. Now I’m not the most experienced when it comes to cooking, but these taquitos looked so good that I had to give them a try. And I’m so glad I did! I even tweaked the recipe a bit by not cutting the flour tortillas into mini sizes to make the cooking process a bit easier.

 

 

 

So the ingredients that you’ll need to make these taquitos are:

  • 1/3 of a 16-ounce package of bacon
  • 1/2 of an 8-ounce package of cream cheese
  • 2 12.5 oz cans of chicken, drained
  • A pack of flour tortillas
  • Vegetable Oil

Now I already had cream cheese and vegetable oil at my house so I didn’t have to purchase them for this recipe. But here’s the prices of each item in case you have to purchase them all:

  • Bacon:  $3.99 for 16 oz. Package
  • Cream cheese:  $1.49 for 8 oz box
  • Canned chicken:  $4 for 2 12.5 oz cans
  • Flour tortillas:  $1.79 for 10
  • Vegetable oil:  $2.00 for a quart

The total for all the ingredient is $13.27. But remember, this recipe makes 10 taquitos which is enough to share with others or to save them for leftovers another day. My roommates and I shared this meal together so if you were to split the price between 4 people, it would only end up being $3.32 for each person! Also, you don’t use all of the bacon and cream cheese that comes in the packages for the recipe so you can always use those leftovers for something else.

So here’s the steps to follow to make the taquitos:

  1. Cook the bacon in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon from the skillet and drain on paper towels.
  2. Stir the bacon, cream cheese and chicken in a medium bowl.
  3. Spoon the chicken mixture in the center of each flour tortilla. Roll the tortillas around the filling and secure with toothpicks.
  4. Pour the oil into a heavy 4-quart saucepan to a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil to 350°F.
  5. Add the taquitos to the saucepan in batches and cook until well browned on all sides. Remove the taquitos from the saucepan and let drain on paper towels. Let cool for 5 minutes. Remove the toothpicks before serving.

That’s it! Just 5 ingredients and 5 steps is all it takes to make these wonderful Chicken, Bacon and Cream Cheese Taquitos. Enjoy!