Shit from My Fridge: Cheap-ass Edition

Like the aftereffects of an unfamiliar gym routine, I think more and more of us are starting to feel the economic crunch in weird places we didn’t know existed. (Dear Honeycrisp apples: Why are you $3 a pound?) This week, Kristy gives us a tasty way to be a cheapskate.

I am feeling a little bit broke these days. Though I don’t really think that my spending habits have changed recently, it seems that the checking account is getting closer to empty at an earlier time each month. I will admit that this might be a delusion brought on by constant economy talk (i.e. “We’re all gonna die!”) on NPR, CNN, etc. The lowering of the funds could also be a result of my attempts to ‘de-bachelor’ our home and create a nest where both man and woman can dwell comfortably. Regardless of why it’s happening, the result is that I have been paying closer attention to what goes in my grocery basket and doing my best to use up leftovers or the half-cans of this and that hanging out in the fridge. (Of course, one could go for all-fresh ingredients for this too, but then it wouldn’t really be a SFMF… more of a SFFM [Shit from the Farmers Market].)

One of the best ways that I have found to do this: Pizza. SFMF pizza is a jam for a number of reasons:

  1. Endless combinations of SFMF ingredients mean that you can be as healthy (or unhealthy… heh) as you want.
  2. It’s a little bit lighter than dumping all of the same ingredients into SFMF pasta.
  3. It makes great, portable leftovers.

Keep a couple of pre-made crusts on hand and the refrigerator is your oyster. My crust of choice is the Whole Paycheck Organic Whole Wheat crust. What I love is that they’re thin enough that you don’t feel like you’re eating only bread but sturdy enough to hold a substantial pile of ingredients without dumping everything onto your plate/lap.

So the other night my pal Michelle and I whooped up one of these creations. Here’s how it went down:

  • Whole Food organic whole wheat crust
  • 1 Whole Foods spicy Italian chicken sausage from the meat counter… casing removed, cooked and drained. (Can we actually talk about this for a minute? [Gra note: Yes, we can. This needs to be said.] Why do they insist on preparing all of their sausages with casings? Am I the only one who wants to use these for something other than a simple toss on the grills? Does a girl really have to go through the TRAUMA of squeezing a sausage out of its casing? Do they realize how disgusting that is? [OooohgraIknow! That is some sick shit. Unpleasant all around. Though I haven’t yet found casing-free chicken sausage, I have found bulk Italian sausage at Trader Ming’s for like $3 a pound. One could also just buy some ground chicken or turkey and season it up while cooking, though that’s slightly more labor-intensive.]
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • About half a can of diced Italian style tomatoes
  • Half a can of artichoke hearts chopped up
  • 6 lovely little mozzarella balls all sliced up
  • Italian seasoning
  • Red pepper flakes

Pre-heat oven to 400 and pile everything nicely onto the crust, mozzarella slices on top (brush that baby with olive oil before the piling begins). If you are interested in making things a bit more interesting you may want to try caramelizing the onions and maybe even cooking down the tomatoes along with them before adding– I was in too big of a hurry and wanted things to be a bit crispier. Let that sucker BAKE for 12ish minutes until things look crispy and the cheese looks bubbly. Add seasoning/pepper flakes to your liking and serve.

Served up with Michelle’s salad of romaine, walnuts, blue cheese and pears (seasonal AND yummy!), this was a perfect Thursday night meal.

Keep in mind that the ingredients in this really don’t matter– use what you have and you may come up with a combination that surprises and delights. That being said, and in order to prevent a culinary seizure, I would advise against any more than 5 ingredients.

One other thing to note is the purposeful absence of sauce- I don’t like using tomato/pizza sauce as I think that it takes over the meal, covers up the flavors of the ingredients, and can make for a potentially soggy pizza.

And the last thing about SFMF pizza? It goes great with your favorite cheap-ass bottle of wine.

Tell me what you think...

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