The Cooking for the Recession topic recently came up at NPR's Planet Money blog, so I was compelled to comment, having written on the topic for nearly a year now.
As I typed it out, I realized I should probably do a similar top-ten roundup herein. And so, voila!
Top Ten Tips for Recession-Proof Recipes
1. Roasting makes just about anything taste rich and decadent.
2. Full of vitamins, protein, fiber and flavor, beans are your new best friends.
3. Homemade soup stock is a classic way to use kitchen scraps to make thrifty meals. When I worked at restaurants, we used nearly every vegetable scrap for the stockpot, leaving out only the potato peels, lettuce cores and broccoli stems.
4. Look to the world's peasant foods for delicious inspiration on the cheap. Soups, sandwiches, quiches, casseroles and omelets taste luxe but cost little.
5. Use extenders -- inexpensive ingredients that stretch out the use of other, more expensive ingredients. (Rice, pasta, bread, croutons, etc.)
6. Eat in-season produce. It's generally cheaper and tastier at its peak.
7. Don't pay a labor upcharge. Chop your own single-serving fruit/vegetable finger foods and mix your own workout drinks in reusable containers.
8. Stewing/braising turns cheaper, tougher cuts of meat and uglier vegetables into delicious dishes.
9. Inexpensive, flavorful sauces (peanut sauce, roasted red pepper sauce) can help you bring joy to noodle dishes, entrées and salads.
10. Double your batches of dinner and brown-bag the excess for your workaday lunches.
You'll notice that the recession-proof theme offers up a lot in the way of soup — just in time for soup week! I'll be blogging all about soup this week, so tune in tomorrow for more warm comfort.