Atlanta Restaurant
Doc Chey's Curry

Eating better is a process that, for me, started with changing my mindset and, ironically, watching cooking shows. When I lived with my parents, I watched my mother prepare meals. She said one day I'd have to cook for myself and urged me to pay attention. I barely did. Thank goodness for Claire Robinson. Her five-ingredient dishes looked delectable. She surely made me believe I could cook sort of from scratch.

Reading ingredient labels became a way to weed out bad stuff masquerading as good. I like to reference the Whole Foods Unacceptable Ingredients List when I'm in doubt. Finally, almost two years ago, I cut out fast food. Still I long for the convenience it offered. I seek out quick and simple recipes using foods that exclude artificial flavors and ingredients whenever possible. I don't flee from butter or red meat or sugar or carbs. Everything in moderation.

Be warned. The recipes you'll come across on See.Save.Savor. might include steps that seem difficult, like making dough. I'll always reference original authors so you can see the steps I followed.
I'll post recipes weekly. Soon, you'll also be able to search the archives. Here's how you too can eat better for less.

Navigate the natural section: I shouldn't tell you this. Now I'll have more competition. I check out these aisles because they generally have less foot traffic. That means all-natural and organic items discounted that stores need to sell before they receive new shipments. Plenty are not even close to expiring. Often, these shelf-stable foods are marked down for less than their counterparts in regular grocery sections. The same goes for health and beauty and household products

Cruise the clearance section: Odds are that even if your store has no natural section it still has a clearance aisle. Inquire about it if you don't see one. They are usually tucked away and packed with discounted overstocks.

Seize seasonal, special event, and holiday deals: Think outside of summer, spring, winter, and fall. Huge deals pop up on other predictable cycles. Leading up to Thanksgiving, for example, spices and flour go on sale. Chocolates around Valentines and Mother's Day. Beer and chips nearing Super Bowl. Markdowns happen simply because it's always National (fill in the blank) Month. Learn when to stock up and when to hold off because better bargains are right around the corner.

Freeze to freeze spending: Some deals are too good to pass up. For perishable food, the freezer can extend shelf life. Consider cooking large batches and putting portions aside to make your own TV dinners. I usually make at least two smoothies or batches of pizza dough in one shot and freeze extra servings. If a recipe calls for using half of something, like juice or zest from a lemon, try freezing the the remainder of the fruit. It'll defrost fine. Remember to separate and freeze ingredient portions based on how you're likely to use them later. For example, pint or cup servings.

Think outside the package:  There will be times when it's cheaper and definitely more convenient to buy prepared products. Recently, I found gigantic cans of Bruce's all-natural sweet potato pie filling for 50 cents. Of course I couldn't pass up the opportunity to escape peeling potatoes! More often than we think though, items are easy to make at home. My sister balked at the idea of making pancake mix. I asked why she wanted to buy an expensive box of quick mix that was full of bad ingredients and costly. One day, after, I thought all hope was lost, she told me about a batch of pancakes she made from scratch and loved. I'm partial to making my own tortillas and muffins and pizza dough. I'll eventually venture into other areas too, like making vanilla extract, curries and sauces.

Experiment: Taste buds need excitement. Try replacing staples and other foods with substitutes. I bought coconut spread because on sale and with a coupon it was cheaper than the oil I intended to buy. I thought it would compliment the flavors in a fried rice dish. I discovered it's also an alternative for butter that adds richness to baked goods. I started implementing rye flour into recipes because I got organic bags for a dollar. Now if I omit it from muffins, I miss the nutty sweetness it lends. Besides experimenting with ingredients, shake up your methods. Using items I had on hand in unexpected ways and following my instincts instead of recipes has led to some of the best meals I've ever cooked.

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Collard Onion and Mango Chutney Grilled Cheese Sandwich 

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Orange Ginger Coconut Smoothie

Apple Maple Chicken Sausage with Coconut Curry

Blood Orange Marinade

Sweet Potato Coconut Muffins

Spinach Lasagna

Shrimp Fried Rice 

Pineapple Pomegranate Smoothie

Rosemary Chicken Sliders

Bacon Cheddar Cornbread

Boozy Brownies

Citrus Marinade

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