Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fast and Cheap and Delicious—Oh My!

If you guessed, the title of this post is supposed to be in the tune of “Lions and Tigers and Bears—Oh my!” Yes I love Wizard of Oz and I am happy to say that Judy Garland’s hometown is only about 45 minutes from where I live! I guess the whole reason I am rambling on about the Wizard of Oz is because it’s windier than a tornado outside(they said 40 mph winds!), and tornadoes immediately get me thinking about Wizard of Oz! I think they should make a remake, do you?

Anyhoo, I won’t make you put up with my random thoughts for the day more than I already have! =) Today’s recipe is based on a challenge I am trying to do which involves only using the food items we already have in our overloaded cupboards and basement versus going out and buying things that I may already have. Of course this rule does not apply to things like fresh produce, cheeses, or milk.(check out my top money saving tricks for produce below!) Anything perishable that we use up fast. Other than that though I am really going to try hard to base recipes on the abundance of canned goods, boxed goods, and other things—because before I know it, they could go bad, and there goes some money down the drain. And who likes to waste money? Especially in this economy?! :-| I encourage you to try this challenge as well—if you do, let me in on your recipes PLEASE! =)

A Couple of CaSaundra’s Tips for Saving on Produce

* Bell peppers are something I always buy. But make sure you always weigh the peppers even if the two you are buying are identical in size. Why? Because one could have more seeds which can significantly increase the net weight ending up in you having to pay more for seeds in a pepper which you throw away!

*If the vegetable misters just sprayed the veggies, make sure you shake it off good because even a little water can add weight which again will end up in you paying more.

*If you want a fruit or vegetable for a recipe that is not in season, don’t fork out big bucks just to get it, try heading to the frozen department and see if you can get it there. Frozen fruits/veggies are frozen at their peak which means they retain tons more nutrients than fresh.

One of my standby products I love to use in recipes is Pillsbury Crescent rolls or Breadsticks because they always offer up great coupons either online or in your local newspaper’s flier. (I am happy to say I saved a whopping $14.00 last week with coupons—whoo hoo!) I don’t use these products just because they offer coupons, but because with some fresh and gooey dough ready at your fingertips, the possibilities are endless. I couldn’t wait to share my yesterday’s dinner creation with you =)

Peppery Sausage Pizza Bundles

Serves: 4 Prep Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 package of Pillsbury refrigerated breadsticks
  • 1/4 C chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 C chopped onion
  • 3 TBSP pizza sauce + extra for drizzling/dipping
  • 1/4 C shredded cheese(any flavor you like—I used mixed)
  • 3/4 C of finely chopped sausage(the choice of what you use is completely up to you—I used Harvest Apple Chicken Sausage from Whole Foods


  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Then unroll breadsticks and section into 4 squares each consisting of 3 breadsticks placing on a greased/tinfoiled cookie sheet. Pinch together the seams, so they no longer look like they can be ripped apart.(Picture below)


  • Sauté onions, peppers, and sausage until veggies are fork tender (3 minutes), then take off burner and stir in 3 TBSP of pizza sauce.
  • Take cheese and sprinkle evenly onto breadsticks, and then top each square with filling.(Try to get each one even.
  • Then wet fingers with water and bring all four sides around the filling and pinch together. Sprinkle with additional cheese if desired.
  • Pop in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until golden. Once out of the oven, you can slather with more sauce or put some in a dish for dipping!


And since this recipe couldn’t bear to be served alone, I continued my challenge of using only what we had to make--->

Easy Cheesy Tomato Gumbo

Serves:4 Prep Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 cans of Campbell’s Healthy Request Tomato Soup with Tomato Pieces
  • 1 bag of Boil-in-Bag Rice
  • 1 bag of California Blend frozen veggies
  • 2 TBSP Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 C of milk
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce


  • Boil rice in microwave. Meanwhile pour soup into a saucepan adding the vegetables, sauce and milk. Once rice is done add that.
  • Turn burner on to medium heat and let soup simmer. Stir in the cheese before serving. And of course add additional seasonings to jazz it up a bit!



Laura said...

omg i am a hugeeee coupon finatic... i go to the store with my 2 coupon organizers like an 80 year old woman but hey i save sooo much money.... as for the frozen out of season produce, its def the way to go... i actuallychecked it out yesterday for blueberries but they were just under $7 for a small bag since it was some fancy schmancy organic brand... i normally buy A LOT when they are in season and freeze them myself (if helps that we have 2 full sized refrigerators and 2 full sized freezers in my house haha) thanks for the tips though esp with the peppers!

Jenny said...

thanks for the tips girl! I am a huge coupon clipper :)

those sausage bundles look incredible! thanks for the recipe, love <3 xoxo