Budgeting Food

Tasty cheap-a$$ eats!

It’s time for another installment of delicious food for not much cash!  (See the last one here.)  Last night, I adapted this thai coconut curry recipe to suit what I had on hand, and I recommend you do the same!  Here’s what I did:


1 package extra firm tofu

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 large or 2 small shallots

2 cloves minced garlic

The chopped stems of 1 bunch of cilantro

Red curry paste to taste (note — curry pastes come in different spicinesses.  I used 3 tbsp of a Thai Kitchen one that was marked “hot,” but was in fact not at all spicy.)

1 14.5-oz can unsweetened coconut milk

2 tsp. fish sauce

Juice and zest of 1 lime

A bunch of fresh or frozen veggies of your choice — I used the end of my giant bag of Costco frozen stir fry vegetables.

Salt to taste

Rice or rice noodles for serving


  1.  Prepare your tofu by draining and placing between paper towels to dry.  You can put a weight on top to press out more water (I used a couple of stone coasters I had sitting on the counter).  Slice tofu into 1-inch cubes.  If you like your tofu chewier/drier (I do!), place on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or to your desired level of golden-brown.  If you don’t already have the oven on for anything, you can do this in a toaster oven.
  2. In the vegetable oil, sautee together over medium heat until softened the shallots, garlic, and cilantro stems (about 5 minutes). Season with salt.
  3. Add the thai red curry paste and cook about 2 minutes, stirring frequently
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and zest, tofu, and veggies); simmer together about 5 minutes until sauce thickens slightly and everything is cooked through (adjust this step depending on whether you’re using fresh or frozen vegetables — fresh may take a little longer to soften up to your liking).
  5. Serve over rice or rice noodles!


This recipe is flavorful, scalable (I think you could use the same amount of sauce for anywhere from 2 to 8 servings’-worth of tofu and veggies), and easy on the wallet and the planet!  It also reheats well.  The most expensive part was the red curry paste, which I did not have on hand; I suspect you can get a nice quantity rather cheaply at an asian grocery.  I was not at the asian grocery this weekend so bought it from the regular store.

Bon appetit!

0 comments on “Tasty cheap-a$$ eats!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: