If you can afford fine dining on a regular basis, that's great.
And while pandemic restrictions limit our posh dining opportunities, we can always be thankful for the simpler delights awaiting us in our home pantries.
I can't speak for everyone, but doesn't your palette sometimes prefer something less refined, like instant ramen?
Or how about that box of mac & cheese that comes with a packet of orange cheese powder?
Any of these on the menu sound familiar?
East Meets West
"Fried egg with rice."
"Good for breakfast, lunch or dinner."
Hint: It Has Cheese
"Grill cheese sandwich"
"Grilled cheese is great pretending to be bougie food too. My brother and I used to go to the store together and splurge on fancy-ish cheese (i.e. still the precut stuff in plastic in the dairy section, not the high end stuff in the deli section or the fancy cheese cooler) and see who could come up with the best combination of cheeses and bread from the bakery section."
"I think we settled on sourdough, smoked gouda, havarti, and cream cheese."
All It's Kraft Up To Be
"Boxed mac is definitely my 'if you had to eat one food for the rest of your life' no-brainer."
"I'll one-up that with Indomie specifically. If you haven't heard of it, you're missing out."
"It was so popular in Nigeria it practically replaced the world 'noodle' (despite Indomie being an Indonesian product, 11,688 km away)."
"I brought it to an international summer camp in Finland where all the delegates from other countries pretty much lapped up the serving tray like dogs."
Spoiler Alert: It Involves Cinnamon, Sugar & Toast
"Cinnamon sugar toast"
"My 4 year old and I eat this for breakfast on the weekends. She calls it toast with sprinkles."
"Best cure for a sweet tooth! Reminds me of how my dad and I would hollow out strawberries and fill them with sugar when I was little, we called them sugar bombs!"
"A gas station slushie mixed with gas station wine. Poor man's daiquiri."
Always A Winning Combo
"Smashed potatoes with cheese. Was once my favorite poverty meal and now some kind of soulfood lol"
"I'm a chef. I own a restaurant. I've eaten some of the finest foods on this planet. Very few things taste better than box Mac and cheese with cut up hot dogs."
Worth the Labor
"Pasta aglio olio. Warm some garlic in olive oil, add a sprinkle of red pepper and grate some parm on top. Love this simple, cheap classic."
"Can of sweet corn, can of Ro-Tel (Chile's and tomatoes) mixed together."
Cheap AND Nutritious
"We used to eat squash and eggs growing up. Grew the squash and eggs are cheap enough, or trade with the neighbors. You just cut the squash into thin round and cook in a pan with a little oil until they're just soft. Scramble the eggs with the squash, add a bunch of pepper, some salt. Sometimes we ate it over noodles or rice."
"Grew up poor, but my mom sure knew how to stretch a dollar. She would make steak fingers out of the cheapest cuts she could find. Tenderize, fry them up make gravy out of the drippings and serve with mashed potatoes. The whole meal probably cost less than 5 bucks in 70s dollars, and I'm telling you nothing tasted better. I made it for my kids when they were growing up and they still ask me for it sometimes. She would be 94 today."
"Love you miss you mom."
"I'm Mexican. For us, it's usually quesadillas without meat, rice and black beans as the sides."
"Sh*t on a shingle?" Sausage gravy served over toast."
"I scrolled for 10 minutes to find somebody who also grew up with SOS. My mom made the gravy from scratch, just flour, butter, milk, and pepper, and used sliced corned beef instead. Mmmmmmm!!"
The Ingredient That's A Dish
"Dal. Aside from tumeric you can buy all the ingredients for less than $2 a pound."
"Oh yeah! Dal is magic. Lentils in general deserve more love. They are SO GOOD FOR YOU, and are delicious. They make a great meat substitute if you're broke or just want to go meatless."
Just Add Rice
"Soup boiled down with rice to bulk it up."
"This is a good one, almost like a porridge or congee. When I'm sick I boil rice in chicken stock and just eat it that way, no soy sauce or anything else so its easy on my stomach. Its a really comforting thing to eat."
This Goes Down Easy
"Egg drop soup:
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 inch grated ginger
- whisk in 2 eggs
- green onions sprinkled"