Sweet or Savory Pineapple Salad

Hello!

Today, we’re tackling a salad with a split personality. It can be either sweet or savory. (Kind of like some people.)

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Savoury Pineapple Salad
Good, fast, cheap … and remarkably photogenic

You’ll won’t find this recipe in the PDF version of “Good and Cheap” (a free download at leannebrown.com) but it’s on page 30 of the print version.

Ingredient Notes
I made the savory version of the salad and it takes:

  • pineapple
  • cilantro
  • chili pepper
  • salt

I used canned pineapple and a tiny Thai chili.

How Did It Taste?
Let me digress for a moment and talk about a concept called the Iron Triangle, which I learned about when I was taking project management. Imagine three sides of a triangle. One side is GOOD, one side is FAST and one side is CHEAP. According to Iron Triangle theory, any project (and this includes recipes) can have two sides of the triangle, but never three. For example, you can have fast & cheap, but you have to give up good. Or good & cheap, but forget about fast.

I believe that this little salad has smashed the Iron Triangle. It’s delicious, it’s cheap, and it goes together in a jiffy. Take that, oppressive polygon!

Now, about the taste. It’s really good. The salt brings up the flavour of the pineapple and I’m completely biased in favour of cilantro. If you use a Thai chili, you’ll get lots of heat that plays off the sweetness of the pineapple. (I’m not sure that I would recommend that you actually eat uncooked Thai chili, however. They’re pretty fierce. If you want to tone it down, I’ve tried this recipe with a jalapeño too, and it’s still really good.)

Time and Money
The salad goes together in less than ten minutes. I made a full recipe, which would serve two people as a side. (I was really hungry and managed to eat the whole thing myself in one sitting.) The total cost for this was $1.41, which works out to 71 cents per serving.

Let Me Tell You the Story of a Man Named Jim
(No, this is not the theme song of the Beverley Hillbillies. The man in that story is named Jed.)

Jim goes to my church and a few Sundays ago, he asked for a quick meeting after the service to talk about a fundraiser. When I got to the meeting space, Jim was standing behind a table with about a dozen different kinds of canned fruit in front of him and asking some of the ladies how much canned fruit costs. (You can probably imagine the question mark now hovering over my head.)

As it turns out, Jim had gone to a public auction for a grocery store that was shutting down in the small town of Andrew. He bought what he thought was three shelves of fruit, but when he went to claim his winnings, it was more like nine shelves of fruit.

Undaunted, Jim hatched a brilliant scheme. He donated the fruit to my church, and has been selling it at the amazing price of 4 cans for $5.00. His timing is fantastic. The pineapple in today’s recipe was purchased this way, saving me somewhere between 75 cents and a dollar on ingredients. I see it as a win-win all around! I save on canned goods, the church gets some easy fundraising and Jim gets his garage back.

And that’s that. I’m very intrigued by our next recipe, which is a caesar salad made with kale. I’ll admit I’m skeptical. Tune in soon and find out if this really works!

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Whole-Wheat Jalapeño Cheddar Scones

Hello!

For the next two posts, we’re going to do a little bit of baking. But don’t let that make you nervous! No big fat skills are needed.

Whole-Wheat Jalapeño Cheddar Scones

Whole-Wheat Jalapeño Cheddar Scones
Way sexier than what little old British ladies eat with tea

You’ll find this recipe on page 22 of the PDF version of “Good and Cheap” (a free download at leannebrown.com) and on page 15 of the print version.

Ingredient Notes
I used Kraft Cracker Barrel extra old cheddar (it was on sale) and I do recommend that you include the egg wash step at the end of the recipe. It made my finished scones look all spanky and professional. Also, make sure you use whole-wheat flour instead of regular unbleached.

How Did it Taste?
Honestly, I haven’t come across a bad recipe in this cookbook yet. All of them are good but some of them are knock-it-out-of-the-park good. This one belongs in the second category. I loved these scones! They’re dense and hearty and spicy and cheesy … the adjectives could go on and on.

I think there’s a world of possibilities here. I’m going to try a variation with asiago cheese and my new favourite free ingredient, lemon zest.

Old Dog, New Trick
I learned a smart new technique with this one. The recipe uses a half-cup of butter, which you freeze slightly and then grate into the dry ingredients. This is really clever — the butter is more or less uniform and the step where you blend butter and flour goes quickly.

When I was taking Home Economics (back in the Middle Ages) we used a hand tool for this job, called a pastry blender. It was time-consuming, gave uneven results and the blenders were notorious for bending and breaking. This grater idea? It’s a keeper.

Show Me the Money
Start to finish, the scones took 45 minutes to whip up. The total cost was $6.41, or $1.07 per good-sized scone.

The Scone that Saved Lunchtime
Following the advice of Steve and Annette Economides, I’ve been creating a lunch plan for each week, basing it around a variety of sandwiches. Although I’m quite happy about getting my afternoon meal more organized and less costly, I was beginning to become bored with five days a week of sandwiches.

Enter this week’s recipe! Although they appear in the breakfast section of “Good & Cheap”, I’ve tucked two of the scones into my lunches, paired with pepper salami from the deli counter at Save-On Foods. It’s a match made in Heaven. I think I should include a scone-based lunch once in each week’s plan, just to break things up.

And that’s all for today! Our next baking adventure will be muffins that feature both chocolate and zucchini. “How does that work?” you might ask. Well, you’ll have to tune in to find out. Until then, have a great week!
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