Frugal Kitchen @ China

One of my least favorite activities growing up recently became an enjoyable pastime/chore – cooking. Growing up I loved flavorful, festive foods, but not everyone I cooked for enjoyed the same bold tastes. So that limited my cooking somewhat. Later I had even fewer options as a sister found out she was gluten intolerant — then another found she was dairy sensitive. Making dinner became very…complicated. Sometimes three versions of the same dish had to be prepared! 

Then I got married. My husband has no food allergies and is generally very appreciative of whatever I make. It’s bliss! 

You would think that having a much more modest food budget than I was accustomed to would dampen my culinary spirits, but it only heightens them. It’s much easier (in China, at least) to find cheaper substitutes than to find allergen-free ones. And plus, every time I find a way to make a dish that I couldn’t normally afford, I become giddy with accomplishment. (I love a good deal!) There is no down side!

As I share about my life as an expat married abroad, I would like to share some recipes and tips for others like me on how to create your own frugal kitchen without compromising your palate. I’ll post some Western and some Chinese. A few recipes I learned from word-of-mouth, some I came up with, and others I tweaked from offline and will include the link to. 

If you live in a country where it’s difficult to come by butter, chocolate chips, cheese, bacon, etcetera, please use the comments section of my food posts to share your own discoveries. I’d love to hear them! 

So if you enjoy home cooking, keep an eye peeled for future recipes. I hope, whether your in the US or abroad, I can help broaden the borders of your dinner table and cheapen your menu. And if you’re lactose or gluten intolerant, I’ll be noting recipes you can eat with a DF or GF. Some recipes have easy substitutes. 

For those of you living on the side of the world where it’s 6:15 PM instead of AM, I hope you’re having a scrumptious dinner even as I write! Bon appetite!

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