Frugal Friday/Veggie Love

Frugal Friday tip for the week: Go vegetarian…at least a few days a week.

I recently read the book Food Rules by Michael Pollan. His answer to  the eternal question of what you should and should not eat is very simple: “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.” It’s such a brilliant solution! 

In an effort to get a little healthier I am making a strong effort to eat a rainbow of veggies every week. This week I’ve tested out two very yummy vegetarian dishes. I’m finding that going “vegetarian” for a few days out of the week is really stretching out my grocery budget (and I’m no longer stretching out my jeans)!

Last week I just happened to have a beautiful little butternut squash hanging around in my veggie basket. I was planning on making baby food for Peanut but then my March issue of Woman’s Day magazine arrived and I found a recipe that I just had to try out.

Rustic Butternut Squash Tart

  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced into rings and separated
  • 1/4 small butternut squash (about 1/2 lb) seeded and very thinly sliced (my mandolin helped out on this one!)
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 4 oz extra sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
  • 1 refrigerated rolled pie crust
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the onion, squash, thyme, oil, 1/2 tp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; fold in the cheddar.

Working on a piece of parchment paper, roll the pie crust into a 14-in. circle. Slide the paper and the crust onto a baking sheet. Spoon squash mixture onto the pie crust, leaving a 2-in. border. Fold the border of the crust over the squash mixture.

Brush the crust with the egg.

I love this brush. Any kitchen tool I can throw into my dishwasher is OK in my book!

Bake until the crust is golden brown and the vegetables are tender, 20-25 minutes. (check after 15 minutes to make sure the crust isn’t getting too dark; if it is , cover with foil for the remaining bake time.) Serve with a salad, if desired.

Please note: this is not the final product. When I got the tart out of the oven the crust was golden brown and the squash and onion had carmelized in a such a lovely way that I felt it only appropriate to transfer it to a pretty plate for a proper photograph. Unfortunately, the tart slid off of my spatula and half of the tart wound up on the plate and the other half remained on the baking sheet. Don't worry- I ate my mistake and it was delicious.

I made this tart with a Vidalia onion, dried thyme and mozzarella cheese and it was wonderful!

The second of my vegetarian adventures was Curry Apple Fried Rice. I got this recipe from a random internet search. This was a very quick meal to whip up. Best of all, no one else in the house ate it so I had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s very healthy so I didn’t feel guilty in the slightest!

Curry Apple Fried Rice

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 ¼ cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1 cup frozen vegetables
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped with the skin on
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

    Cook rice according to package directions, using vegetable broth instead of water.

    Preheat a wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the wok.

    Add onions and frozen vegetables and cook for 1 minute.

    Add apples and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until garlic begins to color.

    Add rice, eggs, curry powder and cumin. Cook for 2 minutes more, serve and enjoy!

    Don't you love my fine China? This was my vain attempt to get Bean to try new food. He wasn't buying it. Oh well...more for me!


    4 thoughts on “Frugal Friday/Veggie Love

    1. That actually looks good!! Well, I figure anything with cheese in it is good!

      I made eggplant parm the other night and the boys had no clue that is was not meat! I rocked.

      I noticed at the grocery that tomato’s are sky rocketing. I am planning on again trying to grow my own and then canning them this year. Last year it got too hot nad everything burned.

    2. Hi Liz! I just read Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and I’m in the middle of “In Defense of Food.” They are both really interesting…did you like Food Rules?

      Both of these dishes look great btw.

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