Over time, we have become familiar with certain foods available in supermarkets that we consider as staples. These staples foods we tend to eat almost everyday, hence we usually purchase them because they are not costly, and they are dynamic enough to be paired with almost any other kind of food. You get the food you need and like for a very low price.
It is now significant to further familiarise yourself with them as we gain a further idea of how to prepare and consume them aside from those that we know already. They are inexpensive and readily available when needed, hence it is deserved that we elevate a notch in preparing more delectable, easy, and cost-friendly meals using these. This might be important when you just purchased a big serving of produce of uncooked rice, which sometimes may leave you clueless on exactly what to do with it.
This article discusses the six budget-friendly and convenient foods that we usually use at home, as well as tips on how to prepare a meal with these. From the following tip, your eyes will be opened to more ways to enjoy your daily meals without worrying about budget constraints.
Like rice and beans, pasta is also cost-friendly, easy to cook, and can complement most other available food possible. Supermarkets sell them at very low prices. As such, you can enjoy pasta at a low cost and at a healthier way once you cook it yourself, though it is a bit time-consuming compared to other staples.
It is relatively simple to cook pasta. Prepare a pot and fill it with water. On a warm hob, place some uncooked pasta in boiling water. Check regularly to see if the pasta noodles are soft and tender, or according to your preferred way. Once you’ve already gauged the exact tenderness of the pasta, drain all the excess water and its ready to serve.
Of course, pasta alone tastes bland. You have to complement it with oils and spices. You may add olive oil for a delicate and healthy taste. You may put some organic herbs on top. Or, you may garnish it with cooked meat, garlic, or any form of cheese, vegetable bits, mushrooms, or butter. Also, pasta tastes heavenly with sauces such as tomato-based ones. All these depend on your preferences and diet considerations.
Oatmeal is also a common staple that may either be cooked in a short time using a microwave, or at a very long time using a slow cooker.
To cook the perfect oatmeal, it is typically mixed with the right amount of water and then placed in a microwave. A recommended proportion is a cup of oatmeal for 4 cups of water. The bowl with oatmeal should be covered, and it should be microwaved for not less than 5 minutes. After that, stir the mixture, and repeat the heating process. It is now ready to eat after this step. This whole process applies whether oats are rolled or steel cut, although with rolled oats, less water and less microwave time is needed.
To enjoy your oatmeal more, you may combine it with a sugar or honey flavour to make it much sweeter and more suitable to your taste. Spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon are also great supplements. They may also be enjoyed by including nuts or fruits into it. Others even prefer adding hot sauce, eggs, vegetables, and the like for a more complete taste.
Across the world, rice is the most popular staple food and the most significant grain in terms of calories. It comprises 20% of overall calorie intake by all human beings. As a staple, rice has been part of an everyday diet for many. However, not so much within America as its culture and agriculture does not focus that much on rice.
Despite this, it is noteworthy that rice is very budget-friendly, as well as adaptable to almost any meal or meat. With such flexibility, it is should be included in everyone’s home.
Good thing, with the innovations made over the years, people have invented a rice cooker to cook rice. Rice cookers likewise don’t cost much. Using a rice cooker doesn’t take much effort too. You just have to put some uncooked rice, then add some water as recommended by a measuring cup or a distinct line along the rice pot, turn the machine on, select the cooking type for the rice, and let the cooker do its job. After just a short wait, your rice is fully cooked, ready to be served.
Cooked rice may be stored in a fridge for a few days thereafter for future consumption. Some people tend to cook rice a few times a week then put it in the fridge after, so whenever they are peckish, there is some rice available.
For some, rice may taste bland. To enjoy it more, a great suggestion is by cooking it with some broth instead of water. With broth, you add a bit of flavour to your rice, as it has absorbing qualities, that can take in any liquid possible. For broth, it is recommended that you prepare this on your own. You make your own broth from leftover vegetables, or extra chicken meat, or beef or pork bones. Whatever extra ingredient is available, you just place it in a broiler, immerse it with water, and let it stand for hours. Remove the pieces, and you now have your own broth.
With cooked rice, you now have several options or ways to cook and eat it.
You may consider eating it with some hot and delectable soup. Or, you may fry it on a pan with a little oil. Upon frying, you may put some egg or meat bits, or perhaps some sliced and steamed vegetables to go along with your rice.
Rice can be paired with almost anything: pork, beef, tofu, chicken, eggs, etc. Vegetables such as carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli go along with rice too. Truly, rice is a very dynamic staple.
In spite of its high nutritive value and flavour, eggs are budget-friendly and don’t take much space in the fridge. They can also be paired or complemented with any type of food.
Cooking eggs highly depends on how you like them.
There are so many ways for which you can enjoy your eggs. Most like them hard boiled, where eggs are deeply boiled in a pot full of water for around 10 minutes. Hard boiled eggs are great for breakfast or snacks. They can also be soft boiled; the same procedure applies but with less minutes to boil than a hard one. You can enjoy them as fried, where you directly place an opened egg in hot oil and let it cook for some time. Another recommendation is a scrambled one. Scrambled eggs are great when combined with a burrito or an omelette. Egg salad also tastes great; hard boiled eggs are sliced and enjoyed with vegetables and plant-based oil. Or, you may have an egg drop soup; raw egg is placed on top of a hot broth – perfect for rainy weather.
As much healthier option, fresh produce is recommended as part of your weekly shop. From those, you can pre-plan your meals for the week depending on what’s in store. Based on the harvests for a certain season, you can select from the available fruits and vegetables. You may go further as trying all of them in one go.
Preparing, cooking, and eating them depends on what you have bought. It is much more varied when there are vegetables abound. Many vegetables are perfect as a main component of a garden salad or as a side dish. They can also be mixed in dishes for a well-balanced meal. They may be cooked in a number of ways, whether fried, baked, mashed, or even boiled. Above all, it is recommended to have some research and directions in preparing easily these vegetables that you bought so that you have a clear idea on how to consume them before they may rot or go to waste.
With its inexpensiveness and ease of preparation, dry beans are much loved by most people. They are found as staple ingredients in various cuisines. With such variety, they usually come in different sizes, shapes, purposes, and flavours.
It is relatively convenient to prepare this food. A slow cooker or broiler usually does the trick. Place some amount of dry beans in the cooker, immerse them with water, and let it cook for hours. Typically, beans become softer or spongier after a few hours, since they will take in some of the water. Thereafter, replace the water and cook the beans depending on the recommended period of time.
As with rice, cooked beans can easily be stored in the refrigerator for a while in a closed container. Cook them now and use them later when you need them.
Cooked beans may be enjoyed in several ways. You may mash them and recook or refry them for easy eating. You may put some of the cooked beans on your favourite tacos and burritos. Scrambled eggs taste better with cooked beans. You may also crush or liquefy the beans to make a puree, and enjoy it with some healthy oil. Soups with a bean base also taste great, especially when served hot and spicy.