Tag Archives: broccoli

Vegetable cheddar soup (with bread): 83 cents/serving

If you’re thinking this “vegetable cheddar soup” looks suspiciously like broccoli cheddar soup, that’s because it is broccoli (and cauliflower and potato) cheddar soup. However, that’s only because broccoli is what I happened to have on hand; the most accurate name for this would actually be Clean Out Your Crisper soup. In fact, it’s almost impossible to go wrong here: Any kind of leftover vegetables + broth (chicken or vegetable, or even water) + cheese = soup. You don’t even need to purée it, especially if you’re using greens, and really, any cheese will do. Odds are you have the ingredients in your house to make this RIGHT NOW, for lunch or dinner, for half the price of a sodium-laden, unsatisfying can of Progresso.

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Pad see ew: $1.68/serving

No matter how well-equipped or competent you think you are, there are some dishes that are just out of the home cook’s reach. Wide, flat Thai noodle dishes—pad see ew, pad kee mao, drunken noodles—are usually a few of them. Without a proper professional wok on a proper professional stove with a proper professional comfort with using ungodly amounts of oil, you’re just not going to create an identical version of what you can get at a restaurant. Obviously this bothers me to no end, as I’m not about to spend $8 on a container of what amounts to stir-fried meat and noodles, but I still do like these dishes. After three rounds of practice I’ve finally been able to make a version that, while not restaurant-perfect, is passable in flavor, texture, and appearance. It requires access to an Asian grocery store, but that’s about it—you can even make it on a crappy electric stove in a cheap nonstick pan.

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