Floor 32: Make Cheap Food Delicious

One sure-fire way to save money is to cook at home with cheap ingredients.  We are not quite ready to adopt the Frugalwoods rice and beans based lunch, but there is a decent amount of eating the magical fruit in the DebtFreeJD household.  One particular favorite is lentils: good for you, inexpensive, no soaking required, and thus achievable as a weeknight dinner.

Lentils come in lots of tasty forms.  However, there is one magic ingredient that makes them irresistible.

Coconut milk.

I add a spoonful, and it turns something that’s cheap and healthy into something that feels like I’m eating a cheeseburger.  Feels, I said, not actually tastes like a cheeseburger.  I’m not actually certifiable over here.  YET.

Other great uses of coconut milk:

  • Put some in a smoothie.  Preferably one with a tropical theme.  (Are little umbrellas in your smoothie not-frugal approved? Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.)
  • Add some to your tea.  Those who know me will not be surprised to hear I’ve got some that is tropical-themed in the Giant Tea Shelf With What Would Be A Life Time Supply of Tea for a Normal Person.
  • Really any vegetable soup pureed with a teaspoon of coconut milk is good.  Mr. DebtFreeJD makes fun of me for this  (there are jokes about baby food) but as this is pretty far down the list of top 100-craziest things I do, I’m not worried.
  • Also good in oatmeal, farina, and rice pudding.

I wish I could clue you all in as to some super cheap source of coconut milk, but we just buy the stuff in cans at our local grocery store.

This is a totally gratuitous DogDebtFreeJD picture.  I guess she's kind of the color of coconut milk when she's clean?

This is a totally gratuitous DogDebtFreeJD picture. I guess she’s kind of the color of coconut milk when she’s clean?



12 thoughts on “Floor 32: Make Cheap Food Delicious

  1. WellHeeledBlog

    One of my favorite dessert is just a plain young coconut – I drink the juice then scrape off the flesh. Delicious, and you can get those cheap at Asian markets for less than $1.50/coconut.

    I’ll have to try the lentil + coconut milk combination!

  2. C@thesingledollar

    Interesting! I do this with bacon too (add a little and instantly improve many somewhat bland dishes for very little $$.) I like coconut milk but I’ve never tried just adding a little to things I’m making. I definitely will.

  3. ARBM

    Coconut milk is definitely something that makes regular food taste decadent. We typically keep a couple cans on hand in the cupboard, but I have never used it with lentils. I have only recently started cooking with lentils (not sure why I didn’t before… just didn’t think about it?), but I really enjoy the heartiness that they provide to things, and they are definitely easy on the wallet.

    1. Mrs. DebtFreeJD Post author

      The only one in this family who is not a lentils fan is DogDebtFreeJD. She thinks they are a stupid waste of a pot that could otherwise be used for cooking something interesting. Like bacon.

  4. Judi

    I agree with this post 100% coconut milk adds a richness to your food. And coconut is one of the only ice creams I like (magnolia coconut ice cream specifically). But I also feel the same about avocado, I add it to smoothies, Rice and beans, and sometimes just eat it with crackers (magnolia also makes an avocado ice cream that is awesome…I’m not a magnolia sales rep I’m just filipino 😉

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