My food budget’s a little slim this month, what with all of these extra costs I’ve incurred in de-bugging my apartment, so the past few days have been an exercise in “creativity” in the kitchen. On Friday, Steph and I went to The Garden with a limited budget and the goal of revisiting some of our old favorites from our poorer days: homemade “subs” and potatoe hash.

At The Garden we got a half-a-dozen free range eggs (on sale!), 2 cans of Amy’s Chunky Tomato Bisque (my fave), and Yves veggie sandwich meat for Steph. I also snuck in a Nana’s Ginger Cookie to satisfy my growing dessert cravings under stress. And to top it all off, we grabbed a box of Van’s Wheat Free Flax Waffles to get us through breakfast for the next couple of days.

groceriesWe supplemented the rest from Key Foods: Applegate Farms Smoked Turkey (delish), pepper jack cheese, a carton of baby potatoes, a yellow pepper, an onion, and a pre-sliced watermelon.

Our Friday night meal was one of my favorite things my mom used to make: homemade subs. We used Brown Rice flour yeast free bread, and put them into the oven at 375 with turkey/veggie meat on one slice and pepper jack cheese on the other. After ten minutes or so, we pulled them out, spread olive oil mayo on the cheese, and slapped a couple slices of tomato and onion on them. For the sides, we made a romaine salad with yellow pepper and cucumber and homemade dressing including canola oil, salt, pepper, and thyme, and a cup of the Amy’s tomato soup.

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It definitely hit the spot.

Saturday was hash night. Honestly, I was looking forward to this all day. This was one of my favorite meals in college. I used to eat this at least twice a week… which is kind of disgusting to think about. But it worked when I was short on time and money ;). I boiled a carton’s worth of baby potatoes until they were nice and soft. Then I drained them, cut them into quarters, and added them to a skillet of canola oil. Then I stirred in the chopped veggies: half an onion, a whole yellow pepper, and a large tomato. After the veggies were nice and sauteed and everything was super hot, I cracked three eggs over the whole mix, stir-fry style, let the eggs cook, and then stirred it all up to mix it around. The result: a genuine budget-friendly potato hash.

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I was on a potassium kick (of which potatoes and tomatoes are great sources), so I served it with a spinach salad (another excellent source of potassium) topped with shredded cabbage, canola oil, and salt and pepper. Potatoes are by far my favorite food, so I had two servings of this. I can’t believe I haven’t had this in years!

My potassium kick continued on Sunday. I was running errands all afternoon after church, selling off my music collection before we moved, and I was super parched! I could not get enough water, but I was also kind of worried that all that running around and sweating (I’m not going to lie) would equal some major pounds lost for me – not acceptable. Enter Starbucks. I just happened to be walking by the giant I-used-to-be-a-movie-theater Starbucks in Greenpoint when I saw an ad for their Strawberry Banana Vivanno smoothie on the door. Banana was the magic word since I’ve been a sucker for that magic nutrient called potassium since Saturday. But they also caught me with the whey protein and fiber. Not bad additions at all. I’m not going to lie. This was not the BEST smoothie I’ve ever had. Maybe the person who made mine put too much whey or fiber in it. It definitely had an ever so slight powdery aftertaste. But for a healthy snack on the run, I was all about it. And I’d probably do it again. I don’t drink coffee, so Starbucks may have me on this one. Well played, guys.

vivanno bestAnd of course Sunday night we had yet another budget-friendly skillet meal: pineapple fried rice. This was kind of a carry-over from my I-must-have-Thai-food cravings of late last week. Seriously, something in my body will not be satisfied until I’ve had my share of Thai food. So I made my own cheap version. Once again – I’m seriously broke. So I substituted two chicken mango sausages for a more traditional stir-fry friendly source of protein. But it was still delicious. And fast. Basically I sliced the chicken mango sausage and threw it in the skillet with canola oil until it was lightly browned on both sides. After that, I added one cup of leftover brown rice, chopped onion and yellow pepper, and pineapple slices (I bought these canned in pineapple juice, no sugar, to fit my budget) and fried it all up. It totally hit the spot, even if it was a little unorthodox. Keeping things “eclectic,” I served it with a romaine salad with chopped cabbage.

stirfryHonestly, I couldn’t be more pleased with what I’ve been able to make while cleaning out our fridge for moving day. We’re now only two days away from the big day. I’m going to stay home on Thursday to prep for the actual move. Which means I’ll be boiling all the kitchen ware and double bagging it, packing up all the leftover food, and cleaning the bathroom and kitchen. I have Friday planned hour-by-hour, so let’s hope things can go smoothly.

Dash Attack has a trip to the vet scheduled for Friday morning so that she’ll be all fresh and clean when she enters the new apartment.

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Both she and Puma have been upset by all the changes in the apartment this past month. Dash did find a way to make a bed in a pile of blankets this morning before I wrapped them all up for the day.

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She was surprised when I “discovered” her there for this photo opp.

Listen To: Refinery29’s Dog Days summer mixtape. It includes Discovery (my new faves!), Annie, and Au Revoir Simone.

Article of the Day: How to use the Web for Socially Responsible Shopping [Mashable.com]

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