How to Make Fried Rice

This post contains simple instructions on how to make fried rice. This recipe is so easy and so laughably cheap that I just have to share it with the world. It dates back to my college days when a friend of mine named Tracy taught it to me. Money was tight back then, so needless to say this recipe instantly entered my heavy rotation--and it's been there going on 17 years now.

But the best thing about this meal is that it costs less than one dollar to make. Seriously.

***********************
Fried Rice

Ingredients:
1 frozen sausage link (either sweet or spicy Italian-style sausage)

Two cups (roughly) of day-old rice (best if made the day before in a rice cooker: here's one to consider)
Soy sauce

1 egg, beaten
Tabasco and/or cayenne pepper to taste
Frozen peas (can also use other frozen green veggies, like broccoli)

Directions:

1) Slice up the sausage link into small chunks and fry on medium heat in a non-stick pan.









2) Add the rice. Be sure you break up any clumps of rice. You can add cayenne pepper to the rice if you want a spicier dish.

3) Crack egg into a glass and beat with a fork. I add a few good splashes of Tabasco to the beaten egg.

4) Add egg/Tabasco mixture to the rice and sausage in the pan. Stir with a spatula until combined evenly.

5) Shake four or five healthy splashes of soy sauce onto the egg/rice
mixture (err on the side of caution here and don't add too much or the dish will be too salty--you can always add more soy sauce later if need be).

6) Turn burner up to medium-high. Continue stirring constantly and be careful not to let the rice burn.

7) Dump in a couple of handfuls of frozen peas. Cook for another 4-5 minutes more on high heat, stirring constantly.

Serves two.




*********************
Related Posts:
Mock Wild Rice: An Insanely Easy To Make Side Dish
Eight Tips to Make Cooking At Home Laughably Cheap: The Economics of Cooking, Part 2
Two Useful Cooking Lessons From Another Cheap and Easy Side Dish
How to Tell if a Recipe is Worth Cooking With Five Easy Questions

I can't end this post without backing up my "less than one dollar" claim. So here it is: you can buy an entire pound bag of frozen peas for $1.50 and you'll use just a handful or two per batch (you can of course use other types of veggies, I just like peas because they're easy to handle and keep well in the freezer). You can buy an entire package of a dozen Italian-style sausage links for $3-4. You're going to use about 5-10c worth of rice. Add in an egg at $2.29 a dozen and a few splashes each of soy sauce and Tabasco, and here's how the math works:

Peas--------------------------15-20c
Sausage, 1 link--------------33c
1 Egg-------------------------19c
Rice--------------------------10c (at most)
Tabasco, Soy Sauce--------10-15c (again, at most)
Total-------------------------87-97c

I knew that MBA would pay off eventually...!

If you're looking for other inexpensive recipes like this one, you can visit here, here and here.




Cooking, Simplified by Wall Street

This is just a brief post about a conversation I had with Laura on a Saturday morning a number of years ago.

Maybe “conversation” is the wrong word to describe it, as you’ll soon find out.

It’s the best single illustration of how my career on Wall Street forced me to simplify my approach to cooking. I guess at that point in my career I was able to handle making only a finite number of choices and decisions over the course of a week. And when I exceeded that finite number, I would start to come a little bit unhinged mentally:

********************
Decisions, Decisions

Laura: Dan, I think I'm going to make a pie today!
Dan: Great! Cool.
L: What kind of pie do you think I should make?
D: I don't know. Whatever pie you want to make.
L: Should I make a blueberry pie?
D: Okay.
L: Or how about a peach pie?
D: Sure that sounds great.
L: Or how about a cherry pie?
D: Okay.
L: Hmmm, maybe a blueberry pie would be better. But a peach pie sounds good too.
D: Uh-huh.
L: Or how about this....a cherry pie, but with peaches in it!
D: Ehhh. I don't know.
L[In an increasingly excited voice]: Hey, how about a peach pie with blueberries in it?
D: Uh... I don't know.
L: Or what do you think about a blueberry pie with peaches in it?
D: Idon'tknowIdon'tknowIdon'tknowIdon'tknow--I DON'T KNOW!!!! [At this point, I either whimpered or let out a little girly scream, I really don't remember which. ]
L: Whoa.
D: Woo. Uh, sorry. I guess I just couldn't handle all those choices there. I've been making a lot of difficult decisions over the past few days.
L: You've gotta get the hell out of Wall Street, you know that?
D: Yeah, wow. I guess you're right.

***********************

I share this "conversation" with you to show why, from this point on, I sought out ways to simplify my cooking--and everything else in my life for that matter.


This is why in this blog you'll see so many examples of simplifying and modifying recipes, and why I’m always on the lookout for different examples of really easy dishes to cook. It also explains why I’m always looking for ways to get faster at cooking and why I look for ways to judge recipes before I cook them.

I sincerely hope you're not the type of person who wigs out on a Saturday morning after one or two too many pie questions. :) But I hope you enjoy and benefit from my advice and suggestions all the same.



Goulash Soup!

I saw another particularly promising recipe the other day in the Wall Street Journal. Again, who would ever guess that the WSJ would be a place for reliable recipes? What happened to all the rich fat cats who are supposed to be running that paper? ;)

I've made a number of changes to the recipe, both to simplify it and eliminate some steps, and I present my adapted version of it to you below. If you want to see another example of recipe modification, be sure to take a look at the original. In my opinion, both versions pass the five easy questions with flying colors.

****************

Goulash Soup
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion diced

3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons sweet paprika
1 Tablespoon ground caraway seeds (NOTE: if you're stuck with plain, unground caraway seeds, you can use a simple spice grinder like
this one, or you can painstakingly smash the seeds with the back of a heavy spoon in a heavy bowl. OR, if you don't have a spice grinder and don't want to have to buy one, you can do the expedient thing and just leave these guys out. The dish is still good without 'em.)
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf

1 pound lean beef chuck or stew meat, in 1/2 inch cubes

1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 Tablespoon red-wine vinegar

1/2 pound potatoes, unpeeled and diced in 1/2 cubes
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Freshly ground black pepper

In a large non-stick pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 4 minutes. Then add the garlic, spices (paprika, carroway seeds, marjoram and thyme) and stew meat. Saute until beef begins to brown, another 4-5 minutes.

Add the tomato paste, vinegar and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the potatoes. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Before serving, add the lemon juice and season to taste with black pepper.

Easily serves four.


**********************


Congrats again to the Journal for putting another great recipe out there for me to adapt and bend to my whims. Enjoy!




Related Posts:
How to Modify a Recipe Part 1: Basics
How to Modify a Recipe Part 2: The Six Rules
How to Modify a Recipe Part 3: Granola Before and After

Goulash Soup, the original version

This is the original version of the Goulash Soup recipe from the Wall Street Journal, 1/20/07. If you are interested in seeing yet another example of recipe modification, you can compare this version to my modified version.

Readers familiar with my modification style will see several expected changes... :)

*****************************

Goulash Soup

Yield:
4 servings
Active preparation time:
15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

2 tablespoons grapeseed or sunflower oil
1 large onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon ground caraway seeds
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 pound lean beef chuck or stew meat, in ½-inch cubes
½ pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, in ½-inch dice
Coarse salt
Juice of ½ lemon
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring slowly and frequently, until onions are fragrant and brown, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
Add the paprika and cook until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, caraway, marjoram, thyme, bay leaf, vinegar, beef and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Add the potatoes and ½ teaspoon salt and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes more. Before serving, add the lemon juice and season to taste with more salt and pepper. This soup stores well for up to 2 days and can be reheated and reseasoned as needed.

Related Posts:
How to Modify a Recipe Part 1: Basics
How to Modify a Recipe Part 2: The Six Rules
How to Modify a Recipe Part 3: Granola Before and After

Corned Beef and Cabbage

My wife and I aren't exactly Irish, but we both have siblings that married Irish people. So technically I guess that makes us Irish-in-laws.

But who's keeping track anyway? Irish or no, there's one dish I look forward to every year more than any other--Laura's corned beef and cabbage in the crockpot.

For most of the year we eat a pretty high-veggie, low-fat diet, and of course you've heard me rail against excess salt over and over again. But at this time of year--and fortunately it's only once a year--we pretty much abandon all restraint regarding both salt AND fat. Ah, sweet gluttony....

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Corned Beef and Cabbage
(The recipe below is a modified version from the recipe book that came with our crockpot)

6 carrots, cut into 3 inch pieces
3-4 lb corned beef brisket (you can trim some of the fat off, but good God, don't cut it all off!)
1 cup water

Put into crockpot and cook on high for 4 1/2 hours.

Then add:
4 potatoes, can be left unpeeled
1/2 head of cabbage cut into large wedges

Cook on high for an additional 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Note: If you're like me, and you want to include extra cabbage (meaning more than will fit into the crockpot itself), not to worry. You can cook it separately in a saucepan. Just wait until maybe 30 minutes before everything is done, take 1 to 1 1/2 cups of broth out of the crockpot, pour it over the remaining cabbage, and simmer in a covered saucepan for 20-30 minutes.



The Deep Fryer: A Crisis of Conscience

I was in Wal-Mart the other day picking up some stuff, and I went through some of their kitchen items looking at baking pans and other things. I was stunned at how cheap everything was--proving once again that cooking at home is laughably cheap.

But then I saw it, teasing me with its placement at the end of the aisle, with the smiley face and the tantalizingly rolled-back price of only $29.99: An electric deep fryer!!

Wow, think of the things I could make with this!

Fried chicken. French fries. And I could really do Paul Prudhomme's fried hush puppies and catfish up right too, rather than my current method risking life and limb by using an open, splattering, non-stick pan. Heck, maybe I can find out once and for all whether deep-fried Oreos are as revolting as they sound!

But then I had a crisis of conscience. How often, really, will I deep fry? I was troubled--and deeply confused--by all the paradoxes that would be involved in making the purchase of this deep fryer "worth it."

Will this be the type of item that I use a lot after buying it to justify why I bought it? And if so, will I, by making the purchase justified, end up needing multiple angioplasties twenty years from now? What exactly does "worth it" mean in this case? By making an economically sound decision, will I merely buy an early and untimely end to my cooking voyages of discovery?

Is this like buying your own do-it-yourself crystal meth kit in order to save money? ;)

So, I dealt with all of these paradoxes and ethical dilemmas the way I always do: I cheated and took the easy way out. I decided to buy it because I thought it would be fun.

I'll keep you posted on what I make and I'll post any new recipes worth passing along.


Index of Posts

In order to help readers navigate the significant amount of content here at Casual Kitchen, I've created an index of all posts, starting with the most recent month and working backward. For posts prior to 2009 click here.

Be sure to take a look at the Top Ten Most Popular Posts, the Best of Casual Kitchen page, and the full Recipe Index page too!
****************************************
May 2015
Survivor Bias: Why "Big Food" Isn't Quite As Evil As You Think It Is
On the Benefits of Part-Time Vegetarianism

April 2015
Hurting the Frugal Consumer with a Narrative
Net Weight 3.0 Pounds
The Best Way To Save Money By Cooking From Your Pantry
Easy Crockpot Jamaican Chicken

March 2015
Why Can't I Find People Who Share My Values on Anti-Consumerism and Frugality?
Branding By Bad Grammar
The Consumer Must Be Protected At All Times
Simple Spicy Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet
Restaurant Spending Now Exceeds In-Home Food Spending. But it Still "Costs Too Much" to Eat Healthy?

February 2015
A False Referent
Minimum Viable Progress
The Return of Scent
Flipping An Over Easy Egg

January 2015
Aspirational Marketing and the Unintended Irony of Pabst Beer
“I Don’t Want to Spend All This Time Thinking About Food.”
Money Sundays: Lessons from the Stock Market Crash
What Recipes Are In Your Heavy Rotation?
Status Competition

December 2014
Things Are Important Before They're Important
Thorstein Veblen and Conspicuous Consumption
Money Sundays: On Making Overconfident Predictions
The Best of Casual Kitchen 2014

November 2014
Waiting Until We Are Hungry Before We Eat
Food Myths
Create Your Own Food Myths for Fun and Profit
Money Sundays: On Hindsight Bias, Misremembering, and Your Investing Journal
Oppositional Literature: The Key Tool For Achieving True Intellectual Honesty

October 2014
Consumer Empowerment: The High Cost of a "Feeling" of Safety
The Taboo Tradeoff
Temporary Austerity
Food Elites: A Taxonomy

September 2014
Book Review: The New Evolution Diet by Arthur De Vany
Recommended Daily Supplements: Do You Take Them?
The Broken Food Pyramid
The Food Pyramid: Industry Conspiracy?
Bringing Partisan Rage to the Grocery Store

August 2014
Toxic Kidney Beans?
Hypermiling: Improve Your Car’s Gas Mileage and Save Money On Gas
The Modern, Oblivious, Restaurant Diner
"Welcome the Disagreement"
Fair Trade: Using Poverty To Sell... More

July 2014
Tips vs Strategy
Meat-Eaters Ordering Vegetarian: Polite? Or Phony?
Recipe: Chipotle Crockpot Chili
MORE! Top 25 Laughably Cheap Recipes at Casual Kitchen
Hilariously Easy Slow Cooker Bean Stew

June 2014
Casual Kitchen’s Core Principles: #1: Avoid Branded and Heavily-Advertised Foods
Casual Kitchen’s Core Principles: #2: Embrace Low-Meat Cooking
Casual Kitchen’s Core Principles: #3: Identify and Exploit Simple, Scalable and Minimalist Recipes
Casual Kitchen’s Core Principles: #4: Focus On First Order Foods
Casual Kitchen’s Core Principles: #5: Understand the True Nature of Consumer Retailing
Casual Kitchen’s Core Principles: #6: Be An Empowered Consumer
The Six Core Principles of Healthy, Inexpensive Cooking [FULL ARCHIVE]
Two Second Sangria

May 2014
Food Is the New Tone Deaf
Consumers: Pay For Your Own Brainwashing! (Or Don't)
Expediency and Treadmill Effects
The Illusion of Control and How It's Used Against You

April 2014
But What If Your Farmer Doesn't Want To Know YOU?
Pop-Tarts: A "Good Source of 7 Vitamins and Minerals"
Money Sundays: High Frequency Trading (HFT) and Why So Many Think the Stock Market Is Rigged
Consumerism and Modern Pseudovalues: Some Thoughts
Money Sundays: Greece, the Media and Bizarro World: Some Thoughts For the Individual Investor
Four Incredibly Useful Books on Fallacy and Cognitive Bias
A Paradox For Locavores
The Tragic Tale of Peat Village: A Natural Resource Fable

March 2014
Recipe: Risotto Primavera with Asparagus and Green Peas
Recipe: Roasted, Toasted Garden Barley Pilaf
What Happens Once You've Cooked a Recipe 100 Times?
30 Grams of Protein Within 30 Minutes of Waking Up

February 2014
On Blogging and Narcissism
Money Sundays: How To Get Balanced, Consistently Useful Expert Advice
The Top 20 Worst Self-Indulgent Quotes From Michael Pollan's "Cooked"
Yoga Mats, Subway, and the Azodicarbonamide Controversy: Chemical Phobia In the Media Age
How to Keep a Fitness Training Journal

January 2014
Interview with Jayson Lusk, Author of "The Food Police"
Interview With Dr. Jayson Lusk, Part 2: Recommended Reading
How To Ask All the Wrong Questions
Plummeting Highway Fatalities: More Cures For Worry Porn
Yet Another Stealth Price Hike: Baker's Chocolate
A Cup of Morning Death? How "Big Coffee" Puts Profits Before People

December 2013
Deep Fried WHAT?
Money Sundays: The "Stoplight Rule" For Creating An Emergency Fund
Thoughts On Recipe Development
Ask CK: More on Emergency Funds
The Very Best of Casual Kitchen 2013
Share YOUR Best Post of 2013!

November 2013
Why "Fat Taxes" Won’t Work
Cookbook Review: Mollie Katzen's The Heart of the Plate
Should I Be Paranoid About Grocery Store Loyalty Cards?
Notes From a Cross Country Road Trip
A Two Book Giveaway! The Food Police and Appetite For Profit
Ask CK: How Do I Find Good Books To Read?

October 2013
The Secret Financial Life of Food
Wait... You Can DRINK An Apple Pie?
Making It a Treat
Money Sundays: Here’s How to Pay High Fees, Be Totally Undiversified, and Own the Same Consensus Stocks as Everybody Else
How To Salvage a Musty-Smelling Towel and Make It Like New
Lessons Learned From a Bathroom Renovation

September 2013
Ask CK: What If I Screwed Up a Big-Ticket Decision?
An Interview with "Appetite For Profit" Author Michele Simon
Money Sundays: Save Money! Create an Emotion vs. Reason List
Banning Food Advertising Won't Do What You Think It Will Do
A 30 Day Voracious Reading Trial
Consumer Empowerment: How To Self-Fund Your Consumer Products Purchases
Ask CK: I Can't Believe You Recommend Investing In Greedy Food, Oil and Pharma Companies!
Money Sundays: Are You Playing the Long Game? Or the Short Game?

August 2013
To Kill a Good Idea, Part 2
What Made You Decide To Make a Change?
Money Sundays: Get Your Big Ticket Purchases Right. The Rest Takes Care of Itself
More On Big Ticket Decisions
Easy Curried Chickpeas and Tofu
When Do You Use Coconut Oil Versus Other Oils?
Rules For Thee, But Not For Me

July 2013
Baking for Beginners: How to Make a Sponge Cake
The Risotto Blogroll: 20 of the Internet's Best, Easiest and Most Delicious Risotto Recipes
The Paradox of Cooking Shows
Why It's REALLY Worth Weaning Yourself Away From Sugar
To Kill A Good Idea
The Cure for Worry Porn

June 2013
Ask CK: How Do You Do Your Friday Links?
Re-Seasoning: How To Never Be Bored With Leftovers
Oatmeal Cookies: How To Never Over- Or Under-Bake Cookies Ever Again
Money Sundays: What Would You Do With An Extra Ten Grand, No Strings Attached?
How To Be Fooled By Expensive Wine

May 2013
Why Do My New Year's Resolutions Always Fail By Mid-May?
Ask CK: Are Your Waffles Supposed To Be This Bland?
Could Toxins Be Good For You?
Finding a Substitute for Google Reader
Easy Beet "Pesto"

April 2013
What's the Link Between Dietary Cholesterol and Blood Cholesterol?
How Do I Add Eggs To My Diet?
What Is An Antifragile Diet?
The Extreme Reach Fallacy
Dispute This! Negative Self-Talk And Better Health
Disputing My Own Negative Self-Talk
Substitute Canned Tomatoes for "Fresh" Tomatoes

March 2013
The Current State of Individual Blogging
Garlic Sundried Tomato Soup
Easy White Bean Spread
The 4-Hour Chef: An Extended Review of a Terrible Book

February 2013
Ethanol Hurts the Poor
Easy Chicken In Tomato Sauce
Recent Reading Here At Casual Kitchen
The Cork Debate: Does Good Wine Really Need a Cork?
The Food Industry Should Only Sell Bad Tasting Food
When It Comes To Banning Soda, Marion Nestle Fights Dirty

January 2013
Did Newark Mayor Cory Booker Really *Try* With His Food Stamp Challenge?
Why Do Cheat Days Work?
Money Sundays: Is All That Insurance Really Worth It To You?
Easy Minestrone Soup
Money Sundays: Two Easy Rules To Value Insurance Coverage
How Do You Eat Tomatoes Ethically?
My Goals For Casual Kitchen For 2013
Easy Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Stew

December 2012
How Can I Give Up Salt?
The Very Best of Casual Kitchen 2012
Share YOUR Best Post of 2012!

November 2012
Eat Less, Exercise More Doesn't Work. Wait, What?
Money Sundays: Cigarette Taxes, Soda Taxes and Income Taxes Are The Same Exact Thing
The Great Consumerism Reset
The "Don't Buy" List For A Low-Budget Kitchen
Is Big Food Just As Bad As Big Tobacco?

October 2012
When The Bill's Wrong In Your Favor, What Do You Do?
Money Sundays: Is Looking For Tax-Efficient Investments Icky? Or Intelligent?
Coconut Curry with Collard Greens and Black Eyed Peas
Does Price Mean Quality To You?
Money Sundays: What Is a Scarcity Mindset? Investing and Living In a Zero Sum Paradigm
An Eight Point Manifesto Against Big Food
Ask CK: The Two-A-Day Workout

September 2012
How Do I Follow the Wheat Belly Diet?
Does Wheat Belly Eating Always Cost More?
Is Organic Food Healthier? Or Just Another Aspirational Product?
Garden Pasta
Giveaway! Rotisserie Grilling
Why Box Wine Is Better
Money Sundays: How To Make the Tax Code Work For YOU

August 2012
Becoming a Knowledgeable and Sophisticated Investor: Six Tips
How to Blind-Taste and Blind-Test Brands
The Official "Your Money Or Your Life" Reading List
And Ghirardelli Was Third: Blind Tasting Dark Chocolate
Your Money Or Your Life: The Ultimate, Final Review
Chickpea and Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil
Three Books In Three Days
Your Money Or Your Life: The Full Archive
Review: Wheat Belly by William Davis
Exclusive: Four Questions for the Author of Wheat Belly, William Davis, MD

July 2012
YMOYL Chapter 7: Redefining Work
The Judgment of Paris: The Blind Wine Tasting That Changed the World
YMOYL Chapter 8: The Crossover Point
Discovering Spicy Food For the First Time
YMOYL Chapter 9, Part 1: The Fatal Problem with Chapter 9
Thoughts On High-End Cookware
YMOYL Chapter 9, Part 2: Here's What To Do With Your Money: Alternatives to Treasury Bonds
I'm Offended!
YMOYL Chapter 9, Part 3: Capital, Cushion and Cache
How To Be Manipulated By a Brand

June 2012
YMOYL Chapter 4: Answering The Three Transformative Questions
More Questions On Fair Trade
Giveaway! The Farmer's Kitchen
YMOYL: Interlude: What We've Done So Far
How to Make Kitchen Cleanup Laughably Easy
A Monster Collection of Fresh Produce Recipes!
YMOYL Chapter 5: Your Wall Chart
How Food Blogs Disempower Their Readers
YMOYL Chapter 6: Valuing Your Life Energy By Minimizing Spending
Two People, Fifteen Days, Thirty Meals. Thirty-Five Bucks!

May 2012
Thanks
YMOYL Chapter 1: The Money Trap
Moroccan-Style Carrots
Spicy Morning Oatmeal
YMOYL Chapter 2, Part 1: Calculating Your Real Hourly Wage
Uninstalling Limiting Beliefs With Healthy Food
YMOYL Chapter 2, Part 2: Keeping Your Daily Money Log
When Martina Navratilova Makes You Mad
YMOYL Chapter 3: Where Is It All Going?
Who Gains From Fair Trade Certified Products?

April 2012
Toxic Easter Egg Dyes?
Thinking Through Pink Slime
Attack of the Cheaps! Eight Great (And Temporary) Ideas to Save $500-$700 a Month
On Timeshares, Beware
Book Review: The Mindful Carnivore
Ask A Mindful Carnivore: Books For Further Reading
Your Money Or Your Life: Intro, Prologue and Preliminaries

March 2012
Knowledge Is Power
Your Money Or Your Life
A Conversation With An Angry Vegetarian
Extreme Savings
On Excuses and Insensitivity

February 2012
Do You Let Yourself Be Manipulated To Buy?
Red, White and Blue Sangria
Laughably Cheap Carrot and Fresh Cabbage Curry
Zombies, Processed Foods and the Advertising-Consumption Cycle

January 2012
A Quick Update For Readers
A Slaughterhouse Catch-22 for Food Regulations
What's "In" And "Out" For The New Recession
Ask CK: Butter Or Margarine? What's a Girl To Do?
Egg on Tata
Anticipated Reproach, And Why Vegetarians Are Such Jerks
Can You "Engineer" a Food To Be Healthier?

December 2011
Ending Overeating: An Interview With Former FDA Commissioner David Kessler
A Thank You To Readers, And the Best of Casual Kitchen 2011
Share YOUR Best Post of 2011!

November 2011
Doing More Harm Than Good
How To Help the World... By NOT Going Local
Ask CK: Okay, So How Are You Adjusting *NOW* to the Economy?
Casual Kitchen's Holiday Reading and Gift Guide
Never From Concentrate? Never Again
Lured By A Prettier Box


October 2011
Still Sixteen Ounces
Welcome, Eating Rules Readers!
The Sad, Quiet Death of Campbell's Low-Sodium Soup
The Tired & Hungry Cook's Companion
Citrus Orzo Salad With Olives and Sundried Tomatoes--And a Cookbook Giveaway!
A Fund For... Who, Exactly? Addressing the "A Fund For Jennie" Controversy

September 2011
What's Your Take On Restaurants Charging Mandatory Gratuity Fees?
Ask CK: Finding Time To Cook... With Small Children
The Tragedy of Ersatz American Restaurant Food
Teriyaki Broiled Salmon
What's Your Take on Cruises?

August 2011
How to Defeat the Retail Industry's Ninja Mind Tricks
Retail Ninja Mind Trick #1: Association
Retail Ninja Mind Trick #2: Hedonic Adjustment
Retail Ninja Mind Trick #3: False Comparisons and False Expertise
Retail Ninja Mind Trick #4: Habituation
Retail Ninja Mind Trick #5: Value and Discounting Biases
Retail Ninja Mind Trick #6: Rationalization and Justification
Retail Ninja Mind Trick #7: False Urgency
Retail Ninja Mind Tricks: Conclusions
Can You Resist $107 Worth of Advertising?

July 2011
Do Cookbooks Go Out of Date?
A Simple Rule To Make Your Life Environmentally Sustainable and Worry Free
The 911 Frittata
The Mysteriously Shrinking Hershey's Bar
Ask CK: How Do You Like Your Prices Raised?


June 2011
Lemon Roasted Cabbage
Five Laughably Easy Timesaving Tips in the Kitchen
A Call For Reader Feedback on Retro Sundays
Feta Walnut Dip
Where Going Generic Works... And Where It Doesn't
Ask CK: What Can I Buy Instead of a Food Processor?

May 2011
The 80-Second Latte
What's Wrong With the Government Limiting Food Marketing to Kids?
In Defense of Big Farms
Fiery Sausage and Split Pea Soup
Three Rules of Thumb for Tinkering with a Recipe

April 2011
Tomato Lentil Soup with Orzo
On Spice Fade, And the Utter Insanity of Throwing Spices Out After Six Months
Garlic Sauteed Cauliflower
Ask CK: The Purpose of Friday Links and Using SEO

March 2011
What's Your Favorite Consumer Empowerment Tip?
Hilariously Easy Chicken Soup
An Easier Way to Crack An Egg: Blunt Force Trauma
Ask CK: The Double-Batch/Too Many Leftovers Problem
Food Militancy, and Food Moderation

February 2011
How to Own the Consumer Products Industry--And I Mean Literally Own It
On the "Value" of Low-Calorie Food
Companies vs. Consumers: A Manifesto
There's Always Somebody On the Other Side of Every Trade
Ask CK: More Cookbook, Less Tofu and Annoying Blog Advertising

January 2011
The Top Lame-Ass Excuses Between You and Better Health
Curried Corn
Ask CK: What To Do With Excess Ingredients
My Three Modest Fantasies For the Consumer Products Industry
Easy Braised Red Cabbage

December 2010
Why Davis Baking Powder Put in a 23% Stealth Price Hike
Roasted Zucchini and Chickpea Soup
How Have Your Tastes Changed Compared to Your Parents?
Eight Things Frugality Taught Me
Share Your Best Post of 2010!
A Thank You To Readers, And the Best of Casual Kitchen 2010

November 2010
A Tale of Two Breakfasts
Indian Mung Bean Stirfry
Ask Casual Kitchen: Going Organic and Bagging Your Groceries
Organic Food, Chemicals, and Worrying About All the Wrong Things
Prices, Zombies and the Advertising-Consumption Cycle
Divorce Yourself from the False Reality of Your Grocery Store
CK's Manifesto For Consumers at Cheap Healthy Good
Follow-Up Thoughts on The Realities of Your Grocery Store
Ten Frugal Things We Do--And a Giveaway

October 2010
Cooking Up Advantages Out of Disadvantages
Ten Thoughts On the True Value of Brands
Casual Kitchen's Feature Post at Eating Rules
The Do-Nothing Brand
Cookbook Review: 5 Ingredients, 10 Minutes by Jules Clancy
What Drives Prices? The Secret to Maximizing Your Consumer Dollar

September 2010
Ask Casual Kitchen: Best Investing Books
Breaking Your Own Frugality Rules
Wasteful Foods 101: Parboiled Rice
Ask Casual Kitchen: Blogging Equipment and Comment Policies
Weight Is Just a Number
Unusual Brews: PiƱon Coffee
Told to Eat Its Vegetables, The New York Times Wrings Its Hands
Understanding the Consumer Products Industry
Price Is Just a Number

August 2010
Avoiding the "Yes, But" Vortex
The Worst "Yes, But" of All
Yes-Butting and You: Answers and Final Thoughts
Road Eats Secrets: How to Find the Best Local Food When You're On the Road
Who Does the Cooking In Your Home? The Results May Surprise You
Casual Kitchen Interview in the South Florida Food and Wine Blog
How to Eat More
The Economics of Wasteful Foods

July 2010
When Do You Throw Out Food?
Death of a Soda Tax
Knowing When Not to Be a Food Snob
Ask Casual Kitchen: Do You Make Money Blogging?
Don't Pay Up For That Cookbook! How to Spend Next to Nothing on a Great Recipe Collection
Best Practices to Raise the Level of Discussion on Your Blog

June 2010
Why Salt Sucks
Three Easy Blender Ready Smoothie Recipes
Why Do Products Go On Sale?
Banana Bread
The Ick Factor: Balancing Cost with Time and Effort in Your Kitchen and Home
A Reader Asks for Help
On the Benefits of Being a Part-Time Vegetarian
Yellow Split Pea Soup: Hearty, Healthy and Laughably Cheap
Why Reducing Food Waste Is Harder Than it Looks

May 2010
Meat Versus Miles: Why Less Meat is Better Than Going Local
Trusting Your Own Taste in Wine and Food
How to Get the Benefits of Organic Foods Without Paying Through the Nose
Porotos Granados, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Squash
How to Master Last-Minute Meal Preparation

April 2010
Food Absolutism
Peanut Pineapple Stew
The Art of Being Minimalist
Mujadarrah: Vegetarian Comfort Food From the Middle East
Let Them Eat Cake! Thoughts About Wealth, Power and the Food Industry
Who Really Holds the Power in Our Food Industry?

March 2010
Thoughts on the Media Coverage of Santiago Earthquake
Diabetes and Hiding Sugar in Plain Sight
The "It's Too Expensive to Eat Healthy Food" Debate
Quick Scalloped Potatoes
The Worst Lie of the Food Blogosphere
Don't Fall Victim to False Logic With the Food Industry
How to Resist Temptation and Increase Your Power Over Food
Hamburger Corn Pone Pie
Eight Myths About Vegetarians and Vegetarian Food

February 2010
Mindful Chewing: How To Cut Your Calorie Intake in Half--Without Feeling Hungry
Shrimp Creole, Paul Prudhomme Style
10 Ways to Rethink Water Use in Your Kitchen and Home
Dumb and Dumber: The Flaws of Measuring Food Costs Using Cost Per Nutrient and Cost Per Calorie
A Few Thoughts on McDonald's and the McItaly Burger
North African Lemon Chicken
On the Earthquake in Santiago

January 2010
Casual Kitchen's Top Five of the Month: December 2009
How to Resist Irresistible Food
How to Feel Less Hungry on Fewer Calories: Hacking the Satiety Factor of Foods
A Few Thoughts on Habits and Food
Vegan Potato Peanut Curry
How to Reheat and Re-Eat a Stale, Dried Out Bagel
Finding Inspiration In an Uncluttered Kitchen

December 2009
Casual Kitchen's Top Five of the Month: November 2009
Spicy Sauteed Beets
How to Whine About "Big Food"
Survivor Bias: Why "Big Food" Isn't Quite As Evil As You Think It Is
Cheap Eats in Honolulu: Nine Inexpensive Restaurants You Should Check Out in Waikiki
A Short Guide to Common Nicaraguan Foods
How to Use Food and Wine Jargon Without Sounding Pretentious
Best of Casual Kitchen 2009

November 2009
Casual Kitchen's Top Five of the Month: October 2009
Overpriced and Overengineered: Kitchen Gadgets for the Non-Frugal
How to Write A Killer Links Post
Speed-Weaning: How to End Your Caffeine Addiction in Just Three Days
The Raw Foods Trial: Introduction
The Seven-Day Raw Foods Trial: Full Archive
Reader Questions and Answers on Raw Foods and My Raw Food Trial
Four Final Conclusions From My Raw Foods Trial
Malcolm Gladwell Was Completely Wrong About Cooking


October 2009
Casual Kitchen's Top Five of the Month: September 2009
Four Steps to Put an End to Overeating
Who's Watching the Watchdogs? Ethical Problems in the "Ten Riskiest Foods" Report By the CSPI
Obesity and the Obama Administration: A Blogger Roundtable Discussion
The 25 Best Laughably Cheap Recipes at Casual Kitchen
Savory Moroccan Chickpeas
The Priming Reflex: How to Control Your Appetite (And Turn Your Back on a Million Years of Evolution)
The Pros and Cons of Restaurant Calorie Labeling Laws
Thai-Style Tofu in Coconut and Lime Sauce

September 2009
Casual Kitchen's Top Five of the Month: August 2009
Keyword Gawking
Scarred For Life By a Food Industry Job
Review: The End of Overeating by David Kessler
On the True Value of a Forgotten Restaurant Meal
Seven Rules On the Value of an Experience
How Food Companies Hide Sugar in Plain Sight
Ask Casual Kitchen: Advice for a New Blogger
How to Give Away Your Power By Being a Biased Consumer
Macadamia Nuts: Hawaii's Signature Food


August 2009
Casual Kitchen's Top Five of the Month: July 2009
Henckels Knife Giveaway
What Percent of Your Budget Do You Spend on Food?
Post 300, And a Thank You to Readers
Giveaway Winner--And Some Intriguing Bread Recipes
A Question of Food Quality
Spreading the New Frugality: A Manifesto
How to Make Creole-Style Coffee
Let That Other Guy Pay! Saving Money in Two-Sided Markets
The Food Spending Poll: Results and Conclusions

Southern Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Collards

July 2009
Casual Kitchen's Top Five of the Month: June 2009
Glossary of Casual Kitchen Memes
Countdown: The Top Ten Best No-Alcohol Drinks
If It's So Cheap to Cook at Home, Then Why is My Grocery Bill So Huge?
POG: The Official Drink of Hawaii
Does Healthy Eating Really Cost Too Much? A Blogger Roundtable
Review: Cooking Green by Kate Heyhoe
Guess What? We Spend Less Than Ever on Food
African Peanut Stew
An Update for Casual Kitchen Readers

June 2009
Casual Kitchen's Top Five of the Month: May 2009
Why Our Food Industry Isn't So Bad After All
Hawaiian Food Porn
How to Use an Ibrik to Make Easy Turkish Coffee
Defeat the Diderot Effect in Your Kitchen and Home
Six Tips to Fight the Diderot Effect in Your Kitchen and Home
The Hummus Blogroll: 17 Easy to Make Hummus Recipes
How Do You Define Truly Great Restaurant Service?

May 2009
Casual Kitchen's Top Five of the Month: April 2009
Easy Recipe Ideas for Cinco de Mayo
Reader Poll: What Are Your RSS Feed Preferences?
Hawaii and its Love Affair with SPAM
What's Your Take on Going Vegetarian? A Poll of Meat-Eating Bloggers
Brand Disloyalty
Cookbook Review: Emeril at the Grill
How to Lie About the Soda Tax
What Have You Given Up That You Don't Miss?
Dealing with Trolls

April 2009
Welcome Chicago Sun-Times Readers!
Casual Kitchen's Top Five of the Month: March 2009...
Make Your Diet Into a Flexible Tool
How to Prepare and Eat a Rambutan Fruit
The Ube
Six Good Things About the Awful Economy
Almost Meatless: Cookbook Review
Li Hing Mui
Just Say No to Overpriced Boxed Cereal
How to Fight Back Against Overpriced Cereal

March 2009
Casual Kitchen's Top Five of the Month
A Pox on Our 2009 Open That Bottle Night
Our New Zealand Travel Blog
How to Start a Casual and Inexpensive Wine Tasting Club
27 Themes and Ideas for Wine Tasting Club Meetings
What to Eat When You're Sick as a Dog
The Problem with Government Food Safety Regulation
Recommended Reading for A Good Wine Education
Cookbook Exploitation Month is Here Again!

February 2009
Casual Kitchen's Top Five of the Month
Smoky Brazilian Black Bean Soup
Baking for Beginners: Beer Bread
11 Really Easy Rice Side Dishes
Greek Pasta with Spinach, Olives, Tomatoes and White Beans
Open That Bottle Night!--February 28, 2009
How to Enjoy Wine On A Budget

January 2009
Casual Kitchen's Top Five of the Month
41 Ways You Can Help the Environment From Your Kitchen
Pasta with Tuna, Olives and Roasted Red Peppers
Mushroom, Barley and Swiss Chard Soup
The Muffin Blogroll: 12 Great Muffin Recipes You'll Love to Bake
Easy Sopa de Lima
Six Cookbooks That Should Be the Foundation of Your Cookbook Collection
Rumbledethumps
Spices Gone Wild: Nutmeg's Surprising Secondary Use


How can I support Casual Kitchen?
Easy. Do all your shopping at Amazon.com via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.