Budget Lexicon

Tips for living a fabulous life on a budget

Chicken Asparagus with Sesame and Soy Sauce July 29, 2009

Filed under: cooking — budgetlexicon @ 7:24 am

IMG_1225Chicken Asparagus with Sesame and Soy Sauce

My friend Jenna at work always has these amazing lunches that she cooks up in her crock pot.  I have kinda been slacking on packing my lunch lately, but this week I decided to get back on the wagon. Inspired by Jenna, I decided to pull out my crock pot and make one of the dishes that my mom used to make when I was growing up. Here’s the recipe:

Cook a whole chicken in a crock pot for 6 hours on low.  Cook a bundle of asparagus and cut into 1 inch pieces.  Chop 3 green onions.  Combine chicken, asparagus, and green onion in a bowl. Add 1T  sesame oil, 2 T peanut oil and 1/4 C soy sauce to chicken mixture and stir.  My mom serves this with rice, but  I made couscous.


Gift-Giving During A Recession December 5, 2008

banana_bread11Christmas is always a really expensive time of year and this year the economy is not helping. While I have decided that I am only giving family gifts this year, I would still like to do something nice for my friends and co-workers.  Here are some ways that I am saving money on holiday gift-giving:

For my family: I am shopping online for everyone’s gift.  I’ll shop this weekend (to avoid any shipping delays) and have all the gifts shipped to my office (so FedEx doesn’t leave them on my doorstep).  I am definiting planning to comparison shop and take advantage of free shipping deals. 

For my Los Angeles friends/co-workers: I am going to make banana bread, which is yummy and makes my apartment smell good.  It also feels more personal than purchasing gifts in a store.

For my Orange County friends: I am going to plan a date for us all to get together for dinner.  Paying for our portions of the meal will be our “gift” to eachother. We don’t get to see eachother that often.

Photo Cred. – PiesandBass.wordpress.com


White Bean Turkey Chili November 4, 2008

Filed under: cooking — budgetlexicon @ 8:34 pm
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2417074736_668f6845a4I love epicurious.com.  If you have never used this site – you should.  It is a search engine for recipes featured in Gourmet and Bon Appetite magazines.

One of the most helpful things about recipes on this site is the user reviews.  Most of the people who use this site are very experienced cooks so the comments are always really insightful.

The weather was cool (under 70 degrees) in So Cal this weekend, so I decided to make healthy turkey chili for dinner this week.  I have been searching for a signature chili recipe and I have finally found one.  I love the complex favor of this recipe (it calls for coco powder!)

I followed the suggestions in the comments and only used 2C of beef stock, substituted tomato paste for sauce, and did not add the bean liquid.  It turned out to be the perfect consistency.

I love this chili and it made a great dinner on a brisk, but joyful election night. 😉


Caprese Pasta August 26, 2008

Filed under: cooking — budgetlexicon @ 9:41 pm
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2 cloves garlic

1 package fusilli pasta

1 cup grape tomatoes

.5 cup basil

Buffalo Mozzarella

Grated Parmesan cheese

Nothing says summer more than fresh basil and tomatoes.  I love caprese salad, so I decided to try making it into a pasta dish.

First, I cooked the pasta according to the directions on the package. While the pasta was cooking sauteed the garlic with the EVOO for one minute.  Added the basil and tomatoes to the garlic to warm.  Once the tomato mixture was heated through, I added it to the cooked pasta. Then tossed in cubed mozzarella and Parmesan to taste.

It was so good that I ate two huge bowls.  It  does not require a lot of ingredients, making it both tasty and inexpensive. Nice to have my appetite back!


Dinner Wine Review: Brancott 2006 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough July 31, 2008

Filed under: cooking — budgetlexicon @ 1:18 pm
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About a year ago, in effort to get in better shape, I decided to forgo wine with my weeknight dinner. There are definitely some days where that all goes out the window…yesterday was one of those days.

The events of yesterday, in addition to confirming the fact that boys are stupid, helped me reconsider my stance on wine during the week (at least for a day). Upon returning home after a much needed girls happy hour, I decided to try the Brancott 2006 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough I purchased from T-Joes last weekend.

Lately, I have been totally obsessed with New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs from the Marlbarough region and this Brancott did not let me down. Actually, the flavors of this wine were a tasty compliment to my sour and firey mood – bell peppers, green apple, and jalapeno.

While I would normally save an $8.99 dinner wine to share with someone else. I wasn’t really interested in budgeting last night. One of the good things about living a fabulous life on a budget is that when you decide to blow your budget/diet, you can’t really do that muck damage!


Turkey Burgers With Tomato Jam, Olives, And Feta July 28, 2008

Filed under: cooking — budgetlexicon @ 11:27 pm
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I love recipes that utilize things I already have in the fridge. Like a true Greek girl, I had feta, kalamata olives, garlic and all the spices called for in this recipe. For a carb free meal, I omitted the the buns.  

I am really comfortable in kitchen, but I definitely still make mistakes. When I was making this recipe, I misread the measurement on the tomato label and accidently added 4 times the amount of tomatoes.  At least I realized right away and was able to scope out the excess tomatoes.  

I love cooking; it’s always an adventure.


Tasty Budget Dinner: Under $10 and 20 Minutes July 15, 2008

Filed under: cooking — budgetlexicon @ 9:00 am
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Trader Joes Salmon Burgers – $4.99

Non-fat Yogurt – $0.79

Lemon Juice – $0.99

Lettuce – $1.99





Balsamic Vinegar

I love this dinner because I can make it after work without being up all night. It is really simple – making it the perfect dinner for non-cooks and cooks alike.

  1. Spray a skillet with Pam and cook patties on medium high heat until cooked through.
  2. For yogurt sauce, combine yogurt, lemon juice and dill to taste in small bowl.
  3. For salad dressing, combine 2 tablespoons EVOO, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and 1 teaspoon mustard in small cup.
  4. Once patties have cooked. Pour yogurt sauce over patties and toss lettuce with mustard dressing.