cooking 156 good, cheap and yummy meals + learning to cook along the way

Stay Tuned…


I am still cooking but I just can’t blog cuz the free time I have has been gobbled up by homework/work/reality television.

If I figure out how to tumblr from my phone then I’ll post pics here and there.

Thanks for following me and supporting me!!!!!!!!!!!

weekend dos

dinner: veggie sandwich

side of food should taste good multigrain chips, of which we have endless supply cuz john works there

1 ciabbata roll
slice of gouda
1/2 cuke, sliced
few leaves of spinach
sliced red onion
half a roasted red pepper
trader joe’s bruschetta 

this was really good and yummy and cheap i think the whole thing cost me like 99 cents jk i dont remember

breakfast: power oatmeal + coffee + lemonade

flawlessly delicious, healthy, slaying your favs every morning, etc. 

I volunteered at a local elementary school’s spring clean-up on Saturday morning, so I needed a good breakfast to power me through it. Oatmeal is the queen of breakfast. Absolute royalty.

dinnerhealthy baked mac and cheese w/ secrets inside

what did you say? there’s no way mac and cheese can be healthy?

that’s why it’s so big… because it’s full of secrets


side of quickly sauteed spinach with garlic and oil UNF

FINE i’ll let you in on the secret ingredients to this heavenly mac: artichoke hearts and tofu! surprise - it’s good for you!


my apologies, dear readers, for being M.I.A. these past few days! don’t take my absence as me not having been cooking - cuz that would be totally untrue! I’ve just not been able to find time to sit down and blog it out. But here I am, right here right now, sending you some good cheap yummy meals!

I’ve been subsisting on a lot of leftovers this week. As to not bore you with repeats, here are some of the new meals:

this is called the “mess-terpiece”. i attempted to flip this veggie omelet and it just splopped into a mess, I was distraught, deemed it a mess. and then john, my roommate always ready with his quips, said “it’s a mess-terpiece!” that it is, john, that it is. oh and this was dinner the other night.

oatmeal, the breakfast of champions. it’s so maliable. you can put anything in or on it, basically, and it will taste good. It probably wouldn’t taste good with olives on it. but then again NOTHING DOES I mean WHO LIKES OLIVES?! People who like gross things, that’s who!

when I finally made it home after a long day of work, surviving the MBTA, and kicking my butt at swim practice, I was pooped! I was in no mood to cook a meal let alone even eat. I took a look in the fridge, quickly scanned and a lone half-of-a-veggie-burger was waving it’s little black bean arms at me saying “me! me! eat me!” so I picked him up, popped him in the mike, made a quick salad, burnt two pieces of toast and scraped off the burnt part, and made dinner. voila, messterpiece #2

So I think the lessons to be learned from this week are:

  1. blogging is tough. good blogging is even tougher. my posts are getting less and less well thought out and TBH IDGAF cuz this is my blog and i’ll do what I want and haters are judge judys and I don’t associate myself with those types
  2. cooking is tough. good cooking is even tougher. the excitement of the first week kept me inspired to cook new meals. this week I’m finding myself crunched for time and falling on crutch meals like pb&js, cereal, salads, etc. Not like those are bad things (actually some of my fav foods), but I want to try and push myself to cook different meals when I have the time!
  3. Three

Lastly, I wanted to see if any of you mystery people out in the blogosphere have a good recipe for oatmeal cookies. I have, like, a silo of oats in my pantry and I would like to make cookies with them. Preferably something out of the ordinary. Do you have a good oatmeal cookie recipe?

Use-a the tuppaware!

—Nonno Marino’s cooking advice

sharing is caring

This week’s weather is abysmal. Try to keep sun in your mind homies!!!

breakfast: smoothie

1 1/2 cup frozen fruit assortment
1/2 cup plain organik yogurt
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (cuz, let’s get serious, what else am I going to use it in)
A handful of spinach
Tspn clover honey

blend in blender at 7am, annoy roommates, get tweeted at by boloco 

lunch: soup from yesterday

took a real away-from-computer lunch break with sassy hayes and KT today, some of my fav squirrel friends at BtC which was glorious until I had to leave early cuz I forgot I had to be at a meeting…oops

dinner: pasta w/ veggies + arugula salad w/ peniz dressing

my good friend and fellow italian-american loey penizottttto came over for dinner tonight. she is one of my more erratic and unpredictable friends, so it was interesting putting her in charge of the salad. I insisted we eat the arugula I forgot I bought and after much protesting I convinced her to use it - she drowned it in the concoction of a dressing she made pictured below, I couldn’t tell you exactly what was in it but I think it’s something along the lines of sun dried tomatoes vinegar oil and too much dijon. the sauce itself was jarred tomato sauce I had freegan'd from moveouts back in the dorm (ultimate cheap), but I spruced it up with some fresh garlic + half a zuke + baby bellas. lauren brought the whole wheat pasta.

jarred tomato sauce is one of my mortal enemies. soon I will attempt to recreate my mother’s sauce, stay tuned.

no comment.

candle lit dinner on the moon. look at our tablescape, sandra lee would be so proud

"rancid arugula" according to lrn. it wasn’t. I had to teach her how to properly halve cherry toms cuz she was straight up attacking them massacre style

like the proper second generation italians we are, we ended our meal sharing some coffee, a truffle procured from lauren’s pocket, and a cannoli cookie - courtesy of my uncle peppe via my dad’s care package (HI DAD I would link to the company but he doesn’t have a website) No but seriously these cookies are the best thing in the world, you should be very jealous

GCY weekend edition

Sunday is my favorite day of the week. It’s a day for rest and reflection, on the week and weekend past, and preparation for the week ahead. I use it as a day for doing things that I want to do, for me and myself and no one else (sorry i’m not sorry). Maybe lay in bed and catch up on my favorite TV shows, read a book, play pokemon, or go out for a run in the sun or walk in the park. Today was definitely a lay-in-bed-with-the-real-housewives kind of day, since the weather in Boston is straight up depressing! This weekend was a lot of fun - but in between all the fun, I ended up cooking a lot of boring-quick meals (such as pb&js and yogurt w/ cereals) There were a few gems, though, which I’ll share below!

Here are some highlights of the better meals I made this weekend:

breakfast: omelet w/ spinach mushrooms green onions and goat cheese

pre-flip anxiety…

stetson east ain’t got nothin’ on this om

Saturday was make-your-own pizza party, to say the least!

1 jar of roasted garlic pasta sauce
pre-made pizza dough from whole foods
fresh mozz + parm 
various veggies of your choice 

onions, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms. YUM.

half of this had just onions and serrano chiles, the other half had red+yellow peppers and onions and mushrooms

and then tonight’s dinner was a direct reflection of my mood. I was feeling pretty sickly all day - stuffed nose, seasonal allergie syndrome etc., coupled with gloomy weather - I wanted something simple. When I was young my mom would make soup and a sandwich for these kinds of days. So that’s what I did!

dinner: lemony spring soup w/ peas + rice, grilled cheese (gouda + spinach on sprouted multi-grain)

did the trick, hit the spot, very goodcheapyummy, etc. etc. etc.

All’s that was missing was a glass of Ramona Pinot Grigio.


Happy inaugural Roommate Margarita Thursday!!!

This is a very special holiday, where roommates come together after a very busy week of co-op, to celebrate friendship and enjoy each others company over a homemade meal and some margaritas

I spent all day thinking about this momentous occasion, so the rest of the day’s meals were quite uncreative, so forgive me for repeats.

Breakfast: plain yogurt w/ multigrain o’s + granola + frozen blueberries

I forgot to take a picture of this until post-consumption. Oopsies.

Lunch: leftover pilaf from monday

OK, I’ll admit, this was super lame. I made up for it by going to frappucino happy hour, which was by far the best (and only!) $2 I spent all week. also, I can’t-not be happy when I work at BtC!


and now… the moment you’ve all been waiting for!

Dinner: Super-Veggie Burgers + Spicy-Sweet Potato Fries + MARGZ!

Step 1 - Go to whole foods, buy last-minute ingredients, visit check-out line of your favorite cute hipster cashier

Step 2 - Turn on Margarita Jueves pandora station (1 Part ‘Steal My Sunshine’ + 1 Part ‘Take The Money And Run’ + 1 Part ‘Centerfold’)

Step 3 - Make Margz

Step 4 - Make spicy-sweet P fries

Step 5 - Mash burger parts via mason jar due to blender inaccesability/non-existence of food processor

Step 6 - Nervously fry burgers in pan, praying to the gwyneth paltrow that they don’t crumble apart

Step 7 - Bedazzle your burger and enjoy!


never give up, trust your instincts!

this gloomy weather is getting me down, homies. not feeling the mid-50s-and-rainy at all. what happened to the may I know - the may that is full of, you know, spring? blech!

anyway, today (food-wise) was good! 

breakfast: multi-grain joe’s o’s w/ almond milk + frozen blackberries + this really good locally made granola (aka from me)

a quick whip after A.M. yoga

lunch: after enduring much peer pressure to cheat on goodcheapyummy not even a full-week in, I resisted temptation to get falafel with my co-workers during lunch today for another intern’s last day celebration. I instead ate leftovers from last night’s dinner - which bee tee dubs was scrumptious. I got a high-five from my super-boss Katie for sticking to my guns, which to be honest, was better than any falafel tastes (even though this particular falafel place is pretty darn good)

dinner: this came out of google recipe search! I was in the mood for stir fry, so I entered “stir fry”, checked off “orange” and wala (how do you spell that anyway? like… the fancy version of Ta-da) citrus veggie stir-fry appeared! I added in: zucchini, some yellow onion, and threw some honey (kudos to John for the genius idea) into the sauce. slapped this beautiful mix onto leftover basmati from monday and into my belly it went.

I’m really happy this came into my life.

sidenote: the red bell pepper pictured above, which came from that magical trader called joe, was the most juicy pepper I’ve tasted in my life. I ate half of it as I was chopping it. I must get another one A.Q.A.P.

semi-homemade every-other-day italian

breakfast: oatmeal w/ dried fruit

I was watched the today show while eating this, good morning

1 1/2 cup steel cut oats
2 cup almond milk or other milk substitute besides soy cuz soy is dangeruz
1 tsp cinnamon
handful of your choice dried fruit, in my case: bananas + craisins.
also, walnuts

lunch: zandwich


this is my desk at work, shout out to my homies at be the change!

2 slices hearty multigrain bread
some greens
yesterday’s white bean dip
red pepper
red onion
cave aged gouda (no really, trader joe said it’s put in a 58degree minnesotan cave for two weeks or something)
wholegrain dijon mustard

dinner: pasta w/ asparagus cream sauce - recipe right hurr

plate courtesy 1987

as much as i love giada, and her overpronunciation of words, she can get a little cray cray sometimes with her expectations of what constitutes ‘everyday’ italian. I had to tweak her recipe a bit to reflect what I had in my fridge seeing as I don’t keep mar-ska-po-nay on the reg. I used brown rice penne instead of farfale, made a simple cream sauce with sauteed red onion, garlic, portabellas, asparagus and a bit of half-and-half (christina, it expires soon so I had to use it!). I also put in a bit of red pepper flakes for a little heat. Aside from setting off my first smoke alarm due to burning the walnuts I attempted to toast in the toaster oven… meal #6 was a success!

easy’ing into it

today was the first full day of good cheap yummy. it was also the first day of my online classes, and the last day of my RA office hours. thus, today’s meals were all quick ones that I could whip up in under 15 minutes!

breakfast: scrambled eggs with goat cheese on toast

The knife stands alone.

twins, basil!

the crunch of the toast combined with the creaminess of the melted goat cheese infusing itself with the pillowy scrambled eggs… divine. breakfast of champions. I would eat this every morning if I could! 

also shout out to doka estate for providing this mornings coffee! still got a good reserve from when I visited costa rica last summer

lunch: yesterday’s pilaf! with some hot sauce.

dinner: salad w/ cherry toms, red onion, goat cheese, craisins, evoo+bals vin; white bean dip

simple yet sooooo good.

note to self: you shouldn’t have thrown out the food processor

ok so this bean dip came out surprisingly well and it was SOoOoO easy. cleaning the garlic and bean nonsense out of the apartment’s “margarita blender” was probably the hardest part (don’t worry roommates, It’s good to go now!). I think I’m going to use it on a sandwich for lunch tomorrow!