2017-08-16 / Entertainment

Gourmet on a budget


You easily can prepare delicious meals for your family and friends without spending a lot of money.

Try these tips to save time, money and stress when making gourmet meals for your friends or family.

• Generic brands tend to be the best deal, and they often are just as good as the name-brand items.

• Buy spices at the dollar store. Spices are typically overpriced at supermarkets, yet you can pay $1 and actually get more of the exact same product because their packages are bigger. You often can use dried spices in place of fresh without sacrificing flavor.

• Get more servings out of your favorite recipes by adding nutritious ingredients! Add brown rice to soups or stews, frozen vegetables to favorite pasta dishes, or rinsed and mashed black beans to burgers.

• Cook once and eat twice. Buy enough ingredients to cook more than one meal and freeze mealsized portions so there’s no need to buy frozen dinners. This also will ensure you use leftovers and don’t waste food.

• Breakfast foods like eggs are less expensive and make a great protein for a main dish.

Try my delicious recipe for Crab, Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Frittata using ingredients you easily can find at discount stores. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and provides a gourmet touch to your table without breaking your budget.

8 medium to large eggs
1/3 cup fresh or canned evaporated milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or
Romano cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
or 1/2 tablespoon each dried basil
and oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion or 1
tablespoon dried onion or onion

3 cloves garlic, minced or 1/4
teaspoon garlic powder
1 (13.5 ounce) can spinach,
rinsed, drained and chopped, or
1 (10-ounce) package fresh or 1
(10-ounce) package frozen and
thawed, drained and chopped
6 ounces canned lump crab
meat, drained, flaked and cartilage
1/3 cup bottled roasted red
sweet bell peppers, drained and
1 tablespoon fresh or dried Italian parsley
Bottled hot sauce (optional)

1. Heat oven to 400 F. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cheese, Italian seasoning or dried basil and oregano, pepper, salt and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat; add the fresh onion and garlic, if using. Cook 2 minutes. If using powdered or dried onion or garlic powder, mix them into the spinach and proceed with the recipe. Add the spinach to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Evenly sprinkle the crab and roasted peppers over the spinach mixture. Pour egg mixture over vegetables and crab in skillet. Cook over medium heat.

3. As mixture sets, run a spatula around edge of skillet, lifting egg mixture and slightly tilting the pan so uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue cooking and lifting edges until egg mixture is almost set (surface will be moist).

4. Bake about 5 minutes or until top is set. Cut into wedges. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with hot sauce.


Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.”

©2017 King Features Synd.

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