Giveaway: “Budget Bytes,” a wonderful cookbook.Posted by Donna Freedman on Apr 18, 2014 | 105 comments
That’s how Beth Moncel came to start a blog and later write a book. Her student loans were “eating her alive,” she said, so she had to cut spending. When a car repair knocked her budget sprawling, Moncel decided to spend no more than $6 per day for food in order to pay the freight.
Having earned a bachelor’s degree in nutritional science, she already knew how to make food healthy. Now she just had to make it affordable.
To keep herself on track she created a blog, BudgetBytes.com. Soon she developed quite the fan base, because plenty of us would love to eat well but also cheaply.
Now she’s also got a book, “Budget Bytes: Over 100 Easy, Delicious Recipes to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half.” Reading it makes me hungry, filled as it is with ideas like Huevos Rancheros Bowls (served over grits instead of wrapped in corn tortillas), Spinach & Artichoke Pasta, Curried Potato & Pea Soup, Chicken Tamale Pie, Teriyaki Salmon With Sriracha Mayo, Cumin-Lime Sweet Potato Sticks, Firecracker Cauliflower, White Beans With Spinach & Bacon, Savory Coconut Rice, and Southwest Veggie & Rice Casserole.
And oh, damn her, the desserts. Chocolate cake microwaved in a mug. Monkey Bread. Apple Pie Bites. Peach Bubble Cake. Chai Spiced Almonds. Did I really need to know how to make Strawberry-Cream Cheese Quesadillas, which are swell, super-fast stand-ins for expensive cheesecake? (Technically, no, but I’m sure glad I learned. They’re really good!)
If you want to cook interesting yet surprisingly simple foods, this is the book for you. Or maybe it’s the perfect gift for a new graduate who’s just getting his or her own place — as Moncel noted, student loans are a bear.
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