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Cooking CHEAP, HEALTHY, QUICK AND NATURAL THE EASY WAY!—((watch that salt and sugar too!)) January 6, 2008

duckies at play This is a serene picture, that a friend took many years ago.  I will always cherish this picture.  I always believe that a meal should be peaceful, and unrushed.  Tranquil…  so that the meal gets digested properly.  Relax and   enjoy… I have a treat for you.  Quick,  healthy meal ideas from Riveroflifelisajoy!

Often people ask me to cook for school functions.  I do not offer food for those  occasions. 

 Why you might ask?  Well my mother always cooked very, very simply because my father was a diabetic. 

I do not have a special meal that people rave about….you know what I mean….don’t you?

  So I go to my old stand by….Italian Pastry!  I go to Sapiensia’s Excuse the spelling.

My favorite Italian Pastry is Connolly’s!  (spell check )  I love those…especially  when placed in the cake.

  The cake is vanilla with connolly creme inside and white or chocolate frosting.  This cake I like to purchase for family birthdays! 

It is my terrible little treat….once in a while….pssst but don’t tell anybody!!! LOL!!!!  

I also like another pastry called lobster tail!  That is great too.    I also love a certain other little treat  during the summer  the REAL CHOCOLATE CHIP CONNOLLY ICES!  YUMMY!!!! 

 And  all other natural fresh and delicious icey treats.  I love this stuff!  I do not generally buy junk food for my house.  I do not buy chips too much.  My italian pastry treat is about once every 4 or 5 months or so.  I am not a bing  or secret eater type person….Ya know?

But I love juices.  I love GREEN TEA by TURKEY HILL.  I know,  I know….maybe to much sugar right?  Probably so.  So  I have to cut back on the Green Tea….but it is so REFRESHING!

  I also love Welches Grape Juice.  Grape juice is also good for cleaning your blood with the antioxidents as well. 

I was told to go to Flushing Queens to get the REAL GREEN TEA LEAVES in stead of buying the premade stuff.

  Problem…there is difficulty parking and I would like a suggestion of how to locate the place that sells the REAL Green Tea leaves.

LIPTON TEA MIX HAS  a good GREENTEA MIX… —now that is not very sweet at all.  I think you would have to put the whole dry mix into your pitcher to get that over sweet taste. 

Every culture has it’s “staple” foods. 

 For example some cultures use rice,  or pasta as the basic staple of every meal.  some cultures use flavorings that are totally recognizable to that ethnic group.  Well,  I am African American. 

 But I do not know how to cook those culturaly known meals at all!  Suprised?  Don’t be.

  My parents knew and lived cultural diversity before it became the”IN THING”! 

My mother’s best friend lived with my family from the time I was five years old   until I was fourteen.  Irene passed away when I was fourteen. 

  My father was a practical nurse, and my mother was a stay at home wife.

  My mothers’s friend Irene was Irish American.  She had personal issues that she could not resolve so her children stayed with their father and she lived with us. 

 Irene was a wealth of knowledge of the fine arts,  food,  and creativity!  She and my mother would set about to decorate my parents house every six months!

  Irene and my mother with my fathers financial backing opend up a store on Jamacia Avenue in South East Queens called for Antiques and What Nots!  

Irene also worked in the Post Office, so she would contribute to the household and assist my parents with the bills. 

My mother and Irene were like Lucy and Ethel from the “I love Lucy Show”—they always had creative ideas (((back in the 60’s—that’s right! 

 A black woman and a white woman were best friends!— I did learn so much from that diverse family experience that I will always cherish and never forget!)))

 My family was very middle  class because my father kept two practical nursing jobs from the time I was born, until he died from diabeties at the age of 59.

 So I was fortunate enough to have a happy early start in life.  But my mother did not cook…traditional African American food! 

   My mother was raised as a Seventh Day Adventist!  They do not eat P0rkor pork by products!  They are similar to the Jewish belief in that they keep the Sabbath Holy and do not injestany pork at all.

  If you know anything about the south, a lot of meals are cooked using pork.  Vegetables –especially greens.  I never ate greens or collard greens with pork flavoring until I was an adult and attended a party! 

 My mother did not even make macaroni and cheese.  Not even fried Chicken!   I grew up eating the Irish Ham,  steak, chicken,  steamed, or boiled vegetables, and white mashed potatoes!  Funny— huh!

So read my receipes for simple meals….Please do not expect Soul food from me!  But do understand….I am asking around and people are giving me the receipes to make good macaroni and cheese,  or brown sugar kernal corn.  I will tell you how it goes!

Tonights meal:

Fried fish and onions with egg noodles and vegetables!

How to of Riveroflifelisajoy Fried Fish:

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 cup of “America’s Choice Italian Style Bread Crumbs ( Waldbaums Brand)

4 “Captain Bob Whiting Fillets”   (frozen)  cut up two inches  a piece

1 third of the frying pan  filled with America’s Choice Vegetable Oil (Waldbaums  Brand)

1 large onion cut up in 1 inch slices

How to:

First, pour the  cracked open egg (yolk and all) over the cut up fillets.

Mix and cover all of the fish thoroughly.  Then pour the 1 cup of America’s Choice Italian Style Bread Crumbs over the fish and mix well with a fork. 

 All of the fish should be covered in bread crumbs.

After heating up your frying pan on low,  gently place the fish nuggets in the pan and cover with a lid.  Let brown on each side. 

After the fish nuggets have a golden tint place the chopped up onion in with the fish nuggets.  Keep the flame on low a bit longer. 

While this is cooking,  get a sauce pan and bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Take one cup of  America’s Choice egg   noodles and place in the pan/pot.  Let boil in the water for 5 minutes. 

 Take a bag of frozen mixed America’s Choice vegetables  and pour one cup of vegies in the pot! 

Whala!

In about 10 minutes you have noodles and veggies swirling around each other. 

 After they are completely cooked,  drain and then put in a bowl.

  Pour the America’s Choice Tomato Sauce over the veggies and noodles!

While veggies and noodles are complete—check your fried fish!

The onions should be browning lightly.  The fish can be cooked until crispy! 

Notice….the only salt added to this meal is the salt in the Bread Crumbs which is 430mg!

Also the other salt added to this meal is the Tomato Sauce which is 580mg!

Wow!  That is high for salt isn’t it!

So to decrease your salt intake….You might monitor your salt and look for LOW SALT bread crumbs,  and LOW SALT tomato sauce too. 

I do not add any salt on my own….and I feel that  salt in this meal is way over the limit even for me!

What do you think?

I will keep adding to this blog.

I will let you know of  the next dinner that I create!—Remember Low Budget…does not mean tastless meals!

I have to cook short quick meals…because after a long day at work….my energy is very low.  So I use pasta and vegetables.  I also use alot of brown rice.

  I love salad…which I did not discuss today.  I like fresh green kale or spinarch. 

 I do not buy canned vegetables.. I generally get the quick frozen veggies instead at Waldbaums.  Waldbaums always has a sale—like 10 packages for $10.00!   Great for the single parent on a limited income!  Excellent for life on a shoe string!

 I try to stay with foods that have salt naturally from nature….not additives.

Hope your cooking is cheap, healthy quick and easy!

Till next blog entry…

Riveroflifelisajoy!

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