Thursday, November 25, 2010

Everything But the Turkey

The 99 Cent Only Stores advertise "everything but the turkey" for the Thanksgiving, and for the most part they do have the fixins'.

You can get cranberry sauce, stuffing mix, onions, celery, margarine, rolls, potatoes, canned yams, green beans, onion soup, chicken stock, olives, pickles, and much more. The 99 Cent Only Store was out of turkey gravy this week, they did have sausage gravy, and chicken gravy mix, but I decided to actually make my own this year.

They always carry a wide array of cooking aids, such as aluminum foil, roasting pans, basters, turkey lifters, stuffing bags . . . the list goes on and on.

This doesn't include all the baking supplies like sugar, eggs, milk, oil, mixes, and spices.

Yes, you really can get everything you need for Thanksgiving -- minus the bird -- at the 99 Cent Only Store.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dollar Store Pumpkin Pie -- no assembly required

The 99 Cent Only Store actually had pumpkin pies . . . fully formed, fully baked, ready to serve. I forgot to take a picture of the one I bought, before I gave it to a co-worker. You see, I don't really like pumpkin pie, and they are giving away free ones today at the casino. A free pumpkin pie beats a dollar pumpkin pie. So if I'm NOT going to eat a pumpkin pie, better to waste a free one, than a dollar one. Twisted logic, I know -- but that's the way I roll.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spicy Black Bean Burgers -- Smells like MEAT!!!

My boss gave me the supreme compliment when he walked in on me eating one of my spicy black bean burgers. He said "smells like meat." Well, I don't mean to pat myself on the back, but these burgers taste better than meat! They are so simple to make, and the ingredients all come from the 99 Cent Only Store.

Garbanzo beans, black beans, corn, bread crumbs, onions, mushrooms, carrots, crushed garlic, a little margarine, picante sauce or salsa, salt and pepper are all you need.

Start by sauteeing your chopped onions and garlic in margarine. Throw in some chopped mushrooms. Mash the garbanzo beans and black beans, then add some corn. Add your sauteed ingredients to that, then add grated carrots, bread crumbs, salsa, and seasonings. That's it. You will be able to tell how much of each you need as the goal is a good patty that holds together, but has a lot of texture and is not too pasty or soggy.

Grill your patties in a skillet until they turn golden brown, and look like regular hamburger patties. Garnish as you wish, and enjoy.

These keep very well in the fridge, so make up a batch and reheat in the microwave for a quick meal.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Dollar Store Diet Goes VEGAN!

Yep, that's right. Starting today I begin my adventure in eating Vegan style. Simply put, no animal product will pass my lips. Sure this is easy to do for celebrities and rich people who have personal chefs, and can eat in fine restaurants, but what about Vegan from the Dollar Store???

Yes, even 'po folk like me can try this diet on a budget. You see, I'm not necessarily going Vegan because I love animals (though I do, and I do think eating them is somewhat hypocritical), or even because I'm on a health kick (though I am trying to improve in that area), and I'm not even following fashion because "all the cool kids are doing it" (though I admit Steve Wynn going Vegan caught my eye). I eat very little meat anyways, had lost craving any foods in particular, and was bored. So why not give Vegan a whirl? Why not?

So, here I am. It is Sunday afternoon, and I am hungry, let's see what I can whip up from my Dollar Store items.

Voila! The Mean Green Bagel. A whole wheat bagel toasted, topped with advocado, cucumber, red onion, and & picante sauce relish, topped with peanuts, and served with microwave potato chips. You will never miss the meat or dairy with this monster.

I didn't have tomatoes, so I used picante sauce to make a variation on a cucumber salad. Basically it is cucumbers, red onions, and tomatoes in a vinaigrette. I use fat free italian dressing and then add white white and balsamic vinegar.

The flavor profile is similiar to guacamole, kicked up and sweetened with the vinegar, while the peanuts and cukes add a nice crunch.

I used to make this bagel with cream cheese, instead of the avocados, but this is just as good.

To make microwave potato chips, simply slice a potato thin, and smear a little vegetable oil based magarine on a plate so the chips don't stick. Sprinkle with garlic salt, and pepper and microwave 6-8 minutes until they just begin to turn golden.

I bought all these ingredients at my local 99 Cent Only Store. The best one is on Decatur near Charleston in Las Vegas -- they have the largest selection of produce and refrigerated items.

That was yummy, I'm stuffed. Now I can skip my trip to the "Chubby Vegan."