Cooking on the cheap shouldn't mean minute rice and buttered pasta every night. With a little creativity and a little planning, you can make the most of a tight budget -- without sacrificing flavor or variety.
Today: Gabriella explains how to make pizza night last all week long.
Here's the thing: pizza can never really be bad.
But when the craving for it strikes, too many of us settle for something that's been sitting on the counter for hours or -- God forbid -- has a delivery tracker.
Making a pizza at home takes just slightly more effort than placing an order online. And if you double the amount of each component that you make, you'll find yourself with ingredients to make meals the rest of the week -- a prospect that's so much more satisfying than a cardboard box of leftovers taking up half your fridge.
I see your $1 slice, and I raise you homemade pizza.
In case you need somewhere to start, a classic Margherita pie is always a good place. If you want something a little greener, this vegan version holds its own, and then some. A good potato pizza makes for a hearty dinner, while one topped with roasted radishes is nice and light. Keep innovating: once you have the dough down, any toppings you have in your fridge (or your garden, or your overflowing CSA box) are fair game.
Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pizza Dough is pretty much made for broke, lazy people -- just remember to make it the night before you intend to use it. This recipe yields four balls of dough, which can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can make pizza all week (we wouldn't blame you!) but if you want to mix things up, there are options. Top the dough with a white bean spread and roasted zucchini for another flatbread dinner. Bake it and spread the surface with jam, then top it with sliced fresh fruit and a sprinkle of sugar and broil it for a few minutes for dessert -- or breakfast. And save a roll for snack time: slice it up after baking it and dip it into hummus, oil and za'atar, or muhammara.
Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter is another easy, hands-off recipe. After using some of it on your pizza, include it in a week's worth of dinners like Brette does. More of a pizza sauce traditionalist? Here's how to make a quick batch of marinara to store in your fridge.
If you're topping your pizza with vegetables, you'll be spending some time rinsing, chopping, and cooking them anyways. So why not make three times the amount you need so that you'll have them at the ready for the rest of the week? Pair the leftovers with quinoa for a hearty lunch or throw them in pasta for dinner on those nights when you come home from work way too late. Roasted vegetables will also make your breakfasts instantly better -- with half the prep work done, what's to stop you from enjoying a weekday omelet or frittata?
You already know how to take care of these leftovers.
Tell us: what are you favorite ways to use pizza ingredients?