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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cheap is Chic Chat: Five Fun Foods Under $5

What do you do when you cross a health nut and a junk food junkie? Candy’s Mom. She’s the type of gal who can use nouns like quinoa and chili cheese fries in the same sentence . . . and never bat an eye. What can I say, she’s a Libra; it’s all about a balance diet.

In the land of Candy, here are five things I’ve seen her eat this week that are better than Ramen and cheaper than a frozen pizza:

  1. Moroccan Olive Bread from Kroger: Publix often has its own fresh-baked version, too. It’s a specialty bread that Mom hasn’t seen at Kroger too often, so you may have to ask the baker on duty when the next loaves are sent from Heaven. The bread is embedded with Kalamata olive bits (sans those damn pits) and tastes great for breakfast, slathered with a Light Laughing Cow Gourmet Cheese Bite (also a great value!), as well as sandwich bread for lunch or a soup-sopper with dinner.

  1. Springroll and Chicken and Broccoli from China Inn: So, Mom didn’t resist the urge for cheap Chinese after her Pilates class this week. When she stepped out of Jade Tree Studio last night, she was lured by the wafting wontons, and she didn't fight it. It’s spring, after all, and what goes better than a springroll . . . plus Mom’s had a hard time with her springtime allergies this week. So, she ordered her Chicken and Broccoli “hot and spicy” and loaded up on the packets of horseradish mustard. Did it clear her sinuses? Yep. Did she have stereotypical Chinese leftovers? Nope. For the first time this week, she tasted her food and could not believe it when she scraped her take-out carton clean.

  1. Blood Orange: She’s not sure of the season, but she picked a beauty from the produce bin this week and enjoyed every juicy bite. It's a delicious under-dollar alternative to an orange Orange and quite the delica-Vitamin C . . . bloody hell, that pun was bad.

  1. Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty from Wendy’s: Mom chased her Michael’s on Mulberry Spinach Salad with it, mainly because she liked the way it sounded, five times fast.

  1. Homemade Natural Dog Treats from City Market on the Green: Okay, Mom didn't eat these . . . but she could of! Last Saturday was the first of the season for downtown Macon's open-air City Market on the Green. Mom picked the family up a packet of the funny-shaped pup treats, four for $1.50. She also bought a baby garlic bulb for a buck. It’s grown on an organic farm outside of Milledgeville, where its happy hippy farmers said they can’t keep them in the ground long enough to turn into a full-grown clove because they like its tweenish taste too much. She hasn’t tried it yet because she’s been too busy to cook this week. But it looks like a leek, so Mom went ahead and chopped it up, soaking its bits in cold water to free it of sand and dirt. She also bought a $3 old-fashioned bottle of real deal honey from locally-owned Shamrock Apiaries ( Chump change never tasted so good.

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