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Budget Bytes: Over 100 Easy, Delicious Recipes to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half Paperback – February 4, 2014


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About the Author

Beth Moncel has a B.S. in nutritional science and dietetics and a B.S. in clinical laboratory science from Louisiana State University. She lives in New Orleans.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Easy Pad Thai recipe

Serves 4

I’m probably not supposed to play favorites, but this recipe is definitely my favorite. Pad thai is the epitome of simple ingredients creating dazzling flavor. It’s fresh, light, exotic, and faster than any takeout (unless, of course, you happen to live above a restaurant that delivers). Fresh lime is key to creating the unique flavor, but one lime should be enough for a single or even double batch of this noodle dish. Fish sauce, which you can find in the Asian section of most major grocery stores or at Asian markets, gives this pasta a more authentic flavor, but if you can’t find any, skip it; this dish will still rock your world.

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces pad thai or lo mein noodles

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, minced

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 1 medium lime)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 green onions, sliced

1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves only, roughly chopped

1/4 cup chopped, unsalted peanuts

INSTRUCTIONS

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the noodles and cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until tender. Drain the noodles and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until tender.

Whisk the eggs lightly with a fork. Pour them into the skillet and cook just until they solidify, but are still moist, moving the eggs around the skillet slightly as they cook so that they lightly scramble. When the eggs are cooked, remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, and red pepper flakes. Pour the sauce into the skillet with the scrambled eggs. Add the noodles and toss to coat in the sauce.

Sprinkle the green onions, cilantro, and peanuts over the noodles. Toss lightly to combine. Serve warm.

BUDGET BYTE: Pad thai noodles have a unique flavor and texture, but if you can’t find them in your area, try substituting another flat pasta like linguine.

CHEF’S TIP: To get the most juice from your lime, roll it on your countertop while applying pressure before cutting it open. This causes the juice capsules to burst and release more juice.

Reprinted by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © BETH MONCEL, 2014.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Avery (February 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583335307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583335307
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on February 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I'm a fairly experienced cook, I find myself running into the problem of not knowing what to make for dinner after work that is good, isn't something I've already made a ton of times and am getting tired of, and doesn't take a lot of time to prepare. I also try to be frugal while also liking to experiment with different flavors and cuisines - I don't enjoy feeling limited by the frugality.

I've known about the Budget Bytes blog for a while and have enjoyed Beth's recipes so much that I ordered this book the day it came out. Now that I have it and am looking through it, I'm excited to find that not only are there a bunch of recipes that aren't already on the blog, but so many of them sound tasty, easy, and generally healthy (though there are some not-so-healthy recipes for when you feel like being not-so-healthy) - while also being reasonably priced, as per the theme of the book and blog. I already picked out three recipes I'm going to try over the next few days: lemon-parmesan pasta with peas, hearty vegetable & barley soup, and one-skillet lasagna. And it isn't just recipes; there is a lot of other helpful info included.

While some of these recipes dip into Asian/Mediterranean/Mexican-style flavors, there isn't anything in here you can't pick up at the average American supermarket. And while a lot of the recipes are simple, they often use ingredients in ways I hadn't considered. There are also some more time-consuming recipes for when you're in the mood to chop a lot of vegetables and so on. But I appreciate that they didn't include "prep time" in the book, because in my experience the prep time listed is never accurate!

I think it's safe to say that if you like the blog, you'll like this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Budget Bytes cookbook written by author Beth Moncel is a fun-to-read fact filled book. The author, who has a background in nutrition, used her food management training to create tasty budget recipes. Best of all Moncel includes icons showing the cost of a recipe and whether it can be frozen for later use. She also includes such things as:

*Pan selection
*Bakeware selection
*Kitchen tools selection (knives, measuring cups, etc.)
*Selection of pantry staples
*How to freeze foods and how to safely defrost them. I do disagree with her statement "The microwave is a suitable option for vegetables or other non-meat items..." You can safely defrost meats using a microwave oven and most microwave ovens do include a meat defrost feature. The USDA offers guidelines on how to safely defrost meat in the microwave oven and says to immediately cook the defrosted meat for food safety.

Some of the recipes you will find in her cookbook include:

Breakfast Parfaits
Huevos Rancheros Bowls
Honey-Wheat Biscuits
Soft 'n' Sweet Dinner Rolls
Basic Hummus
Creamy Balsamic Dressing
Lentil & Feta Salad
Southwest Chicken Salad
One-Skillet Lasagna
Pasta with Tuna & Olive
Broccoli & Cheddar Soup
Spicy Beef 'n' Noodles
Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps
Rosemary-Garlic Roasted Chicken & Potatoes
Savory Coconut Rice
Calico Beans
Emerald Rice Salad
Apple Pie Bites
Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti

There is both an interactive table of contents and index making navigation easy.

Recommend.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rachelle on March 11, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a single parent of a small child. Sometime last year, a friend who's a mother of eight sent me a link to a recipe on the Budget Bytes blog. I was hooked. Beth tells you how much each recipe is going to cost you, how much each serving will cost in the end, how long it's going to take to cook, and she gives you pictures of every single step of each recipe (on the website, not in the book). She also teaches you how to stock your pantry, how to shop for big-dollar ingredients when they're on sale, and how to use your freezer (hint: fill it with meat bought on sale and homemade stock!).

Budget Bytes completely changed how I shop and cook. I never come home anymore and wonder what we're going to have for dinner. I don't buy pre-packaged anything - it's all made from scratch, for a fraction of the cost.

It has a ton of recipes that AREN'T on the website, and gives shopping or cooking tips appropriate for each one. The only thing I don't like about the cookbook is that the prep/cooking time isn't listed for each recipe. If you think you don't have time to cook, or if you don't know HOW to cook, this cookbook is for you. I'll be buying a dozen or so copies to give as birthday and Xmas gifts this year.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jess on February 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
We use Beth's wonderful recipes every week in our house. The budget aspect is nice, but even leaving that aside, they are delicious and easy-to-make meals. Her instructions are clear and helpful. I'm very happy to have the book now, too!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By baxter girl on June 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found Beth's blog quite by accident, and I immediately felt that this is the type of cooking I like. Fast, easy, delicious, and budget friendly. I tried a couple of her recipes and knew that I had found what I was looking for. I like to support entrepreneurs who generously share their talents for free on the internet by purchasing items that they have for sale, so I bought Beth's book and am glad I did. She shares her secrets for cutting your grocery bills and provides great recipes that use items most of us have on hand. After reading some of the reviews, I am surprised that people complained that there are not more of the recipes that are on her blog. Why would you want to pay for those recipes that she's already given to you for free? I look forward to making many of the recipes in her book. I own many cookbooks, including those from Culinary Institute of America and America's Test Kitchen, which are terrific, but I think Budget Bytes will get much more use in my kitchen.

Okay, I've now read this book from cover to cover, and here are a few additional comments: The book is divided into sections including Kitchen Basics; Breakfast; Bread;, Dressings, Dips and Sauces; Salads; Pasta; Soups; Meat, Poultry & Seafood; Rice, Beans & Lentils; Vegetables; and Desserts. There are sample menus and a separate appendix with vegetarian and vegan recipes. Another appendix for volume conversions is very handy. There are Budget Bytes (money saving ideas) and Chef's Tips (general cooking knowledge) at the end of many recipes.

Quite a few of the recipes are Asian or Southwest inspired, and some call for specialty spices. I like that most of her recipes use dried spices which are readily available and on hand in most kitchens, as opposed to special fresh herbs.
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