The Budget Diet Kitchen Raid: Snooki Inspired, Sometimes Healthy Approved

Grocery shopping is my hobby

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.

2 is good, 4 is better butta

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!

Home before sunset - this is my street in NYC

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.

Snooki's paradise

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.

Snooki Hearts Pickels

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.

The pickle magic maker

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.

Pickels, cornflake crumbs and milk. YUM-O

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.

Snooki would be proud

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.

Easy potatoes - slightly processed, Sometimes Healthy

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!

Pasta Baby!


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.

Pretty grill marks

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.

A complete meal - fried pickles are ugly...

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 😉

5 Thoughts on “The Budget Diet Kitchen Raid: Snooki Inspired, Sometimes Healthy Approved

  1. What kind of veggie burgers do you buy?

  2. hahahahahahaha hilarious!!!! but honestly that dinner looks delicious! can’t wait to hear more about the budget diet challenge! xx.christine

  3. I think you’re good for a month or so! That is an interesting meal. I like pickles, and even Snooki sometimes, so I’m intrigued. :)

  4. Strom on 3 May, 2011 at 5:32 pm said:

    Drinks are included???? Depends on how many visitors you have in the upcoming weeks. Can you make exemptions to the budget on special occasions?

    I can’t wait to see what else you come up with. You can use the tomato juice as a soup base, add hot sauce, salt and whatever you want in the soup. Leaves the potential for lots of different combos with the random stuff you have leftover in your pantry!

  5. Pingback: Word Up Wednesday: Kitch-inspiration | The Sometimes Healthy Living Blog

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