Usually on Monday, I catch up on all my blog reading and, gathering inspiration from all of you amazing writers/kitchen connoisseurs, I head to the grocery store after my little weight lifting session at the gym. This is generally the second time I’ve gone to the grocery store in 24 hours, and I will probably spend twice as much, if not three times what I intend to spend. It’s not that I have no concept of money, it’s just that I’m “easily inspired.” I’ll see a deal on a product I wouldn’t normally buy, and I’ll buy it anyway, just for the deal and the promise of a brilliant recipe. Thus, I’ve had 3 cans of Tomato Juice sitting in my fridge since the day I moved into this grand apartment.
Or I’ll spot a deal on something I already have at home, but for some reason I’ll feel I can never have enough. Thus, I usually have 2 bottles of butter spray in my fridge at a all times (hey, 2 for $4 that’s a bargain!).
Alas, all that has changed with my Budget Diet challenge a mere 6 hours ago. I could not in good conscience stop at the grocery store knowing my pantry and fridge were full of items that would soon cross the expiration date of no return.
Because I was extremely hungry and hadn’t prepared a lunch or snacks (I didn’t decide upon my Budget Diet challenge until after I left my apt this morning), I decided to complete my weights workout at home, so that I could eat something without dropping some extra benjamins. On the plus side, this meant I made it home before sunset. This never happens to me!
Or wait a second…are the days just getting longer?? Whatever, it looked beautiful outside
The First and Last time Snookers Inspires Dinner
I completed my weights session while watching Dancing with the Stars, but my mind was not on Kirstie Alley’s jive, it was back in my kitchen. I was thinking about all of the fun wacky food combos I could mash together to make myself some dinner. And then I remembered my Friday Flaw-Day Post where I discussed the ridiculous amounts of pickles sitting in my fridge.
I think any semi-Jersey Shore fan can tell you that the thought of pickles will now forever be linked to that pint-sized, lovable orange meatball, Snooki.
But not just any pickle-fried pickles. Recall it was Snooki that once famously stated, “Eating fried pickles was a life-changing experience.”
Well, that was enough for me. I wanted to share in the life-changing experience of fried pickles right along with Snookers.
But of course I wasn’t going to fry them. That clearly is NOT my style. I’m a “baked not fried” kind of girl. What can I say? I prefer fro-yo to fried. That’s just how I roll.
ANYWAY, here’s what I used to make the fried pickles. I decided to try full dill pickles and hamburger dill chips, since I happened to have them both in stock.
I ending up subbing milk in for the eggs at the last minute, because I was concerned the pickles would taste too “eggy”. I wanted Healthified Fried Pickles NOT Egg Fried Pickles.
Here’s what the assembly line looked like. Take dry pickle, dip in milk, cover in cornflake crumbs/ranch/cheese mixture, place on cookie sheet. Always complicated in a Sometimes Healthy Kitchen.
When it was all done, I had a few leftovers. Those promptly went in my mouth as I waited for the pickles to bake away.
Popped them in the over at 350 degrees, along with some potato cups (frozen shredded potatoes with cheese on top). I let them all bake for 40 minutes.
And while they baked, I threw together a couple of meatballs, a lasagna, some bruschetta and a little homemade marina, while watching the Godfather and listening to some Opera….Now that’s Italian!
JUST KIDDING. Snooki may have inspired the pickle part, but she didn’t light a burning desire for an all-Italian cuisine adventure. I ended up making a couple of veggie burgers (one for lunch) and some mushrooms on my new bff, the Foreman Grill.
After 40 minutes, my pickle experiment was complete. I served a heaping portion of these bite-sized delights with two potato muffins and a cheese-covered veggie burger.
The pickles were an experience to remember! The ranch dressing and cheese added a little kick, and I enjoyed the crunch factor. I also liked dipping them in ketchup. Yummy! Unfortunately, some of the breading slid off as I was consuming the pickles. Overall, I probably had more fun conceiving my Healthified Fried Pickles concept than actually eating them. But that’s okay – food is supposed to be fun! Perhaps I’ll try it again.
If Snooki says fried pickles changed her life, then perhaps I’m missing something ;-). I haven’t given up yet. I trust the Snooks.
Budget Diet Review
Well, day 1 of the budget diet has been a raging success! I’ve spent only $22 and I have breakfast for the rest of the week. Plus, I have a kitchen full of fun, under-used products to experiment with. Good times ahead!
But, a dose of reality here. While the Budget Diet Challenge is a noble venture, it comes from the girl who literally tried seven sports in one year back in the elementary school days. First it was horseback riding…then I fell off. Next, it was gymnastics until flexibility proved to be requirement. Next, a quick stint in the co-ed soccer league, the boys were mean….and so on and so forth.
Now when I find something I’m good at, I stick. However, I tend to dabble in a few different things along the way. I certainly intend to follow through with the Budget Diet until it becomes a lifestyle change. However, I’m a realist – there may be some compromises along the way. We shall see…
Time for bed! Hoping to re-energize the running mojo tomorrow…
How long do you think I can keep up with the budget diet? 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month? I’ll do a check-in after 3 months and the winner will receive a prize package TBD 😉