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Oh my god, okay, it just me or has this quarantine caused you to focus 85% of your thoughts on food and eating?

I feel like an incarnation of Caligula during one of his Roman food orgies.

Food! Food! Food! That's all I've been thinking about.

It's gotten so bad that while I'm eating my lunch, I am simultaneously thinking about what I'm going to prepare for dinner.

As you all know, I am a big-time foodie. However, over the past two months I've moved beyond being a big-time foodie and have gone straight to becoming a GARGANTUAN-time foodie.

Lately I've spent a great deal of time online bookmarking food websites, checking out dozens of recipes while staring wide-eyed and muttering to myself, "Ooooo, that looks so delicious...Ooooo, that looks so incredible...Ooooo, that looks so heavenly!"

Thankfully, I was finally able to narrow it down to one specific site that has been so helpful to me because the recipes are easy, nutritious, and gentle on the wallet, all of which are a concern for so many people at the moment.

And for me, I found those three things on the website: BUDGET BYTES -"Eat Well On A Small Budget"

I love this site! It's got a great vibe that is very welcoming and down-to-earth.

Here is an abbreviated overview of the author, Beth Moncel, who hails from Nashville, TN

"I’m a food lover, number cruncher, and meticulous budgeter. I love science and art, and the way they come together when I cook. I love to create, problem solve, and learn new things. I’m not a professional chef or financial expert, but I love learning by doing and sharing my experiences.

I started Budget Bytes in 2009, at a point when I felt like I was losing the battle with adulthood. I had recently graduated from college, my student loans had gone into repayment, but I was working a low wage job and was barely able to make ends meet. I had already cut all discretionary spending from my budget, so the only place left to cut was food. Frustrated and unwilling to eat ramen noodles every day, I started tracking every penny that I spent on food to see if there were any small corners that could be cut. And that’s when everything changed."


Listed below are five dishes that I have already tried. If any of these appeal to you, simply click on the link and it will take you to the website where you'll find the recipe.

With several of these, I added substitute ingredients to suit my own personal taste.

I'm a vegetarian, but they also offer an abundance of recipes on the website that include: chicken, beef, and turkey. Seafood recipes as well.

*please note: these photographs are not mine, I found them on the Budget Bytes website.


Oh, how I love quinoa!


I had a jar of marinated artichoke hearts in the pantry that I hadn't used, which came in handy for this recipe. This dish is minimal, but very tasty; especially if you like artichokes.

As you can tell from my selection of recipes, I am a passionate lover of pasta and beans. So, I was delighted to find this next dish, which combined the two.

This final dish is the most recent one that I tried last Saturday night. And let me tell was so scrumptious that I couldn't stop eating. No lie, I ate two bowls for dinner with a Sorrento side salad, and then put the remainder in the refrigerator so that I could have it for lunch the next day. Well, forget that, it never made it to the next day because around 8 PM that night I poured myself a nice glass of red wine and devoured the remainder. 

I'm surprised that after all the food I've eaten lately, I don't weight 395 lbs. and need a fork lift and an air traffic controller to navigate me across the room.

My saving grace is that I walk a lot and have been exercising daily. Which, come to think of it, is probably why I'm eating so damn much.

Anyway, here is the dish.

Doesn't it look delish?...


Hope you found this post helpful, everyone!
Bon appetit!


  1. Oh Ron, all five of these look so delicious and things that I would enjoy. I especially love the Tuscan White Bean Pasta!!! You are so funny the way you express how you feel. I always find myself laughing at the way you say things, like "need a fork lift and an air traffic controller to navigate me across the room." That cracked me up!

    I will definitely check out this website because I really need to eat healthier and stop spending so much money on ordering food. Ever since this pandemic, I've done so much take-out.

    I'm curious, what type of exercise do you do to stay fit?

    Thanks for sharing, Ron!

  2. Candice, that Tuscan White Bean Pasta was BEYOND delicious! I had never tried pasta and beans together. I love all kinds of beans, but white cannellini beans are my faves.

    Do check out the website because you'll be surprised by how simple and easy the recipes are. For being a foodie, I don't like to spend a ton of time cooking, so if I can do it, you most certainly can.

    I walk a lot. But I also do a lot of stretching and yoga. For cardiovascular, I just put on music and dance around my apartment for a solid 30 minutes. I don't do things, like lifting weights or running. Those don't agree with my body.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, and have an AWESOME week!


  3. Ron, I'm a vegetarian too. I didn't intentionally become one, I lost interest in eating meat. I eat seafood though. That final picture of the pasta salad with broccoli looks really good. It's a recipe that would be ideal for the upcoming summer months. I really enjoy cold pasta salads.

    Yes, I found this post very helpful. Thanks!

  4. Gee thanks, Ron. I have just had breakfast and here you are making me yearn for lunch. However, it won't be a lunch worth writing about; be a pal and shoot some white bean over here, along with handfuls of all the other foods you mentioned.

  5. Omg, ALL of those dishes look like meals I would make! And it's so funny that your top photo is about making pizza crust without yeast because I've been looking at Pinterest recipes for that. We've been craving pizza and last week we made pizza with naan bread I had in the freezer.

    I have been EXACTLY how you describe, looking forward to my next meal!!! And I've been making a lot of comfort food. Sunday I made stuffed shells. Tonight I'm making Hungarian goulash. I did check my weight last week and I haven't gained anything, so it must be the brisk walking I've been doing all over the place.

    Thanks for the yummy website suggestion! Bon Appetit!

  6. Hey there Daniel, great to see you!

    The same thing happened to me, over a period of time I lost interest in meat. And it's ironic because I was raise in a family that LOVED all-things-meat, especially my father. He was obsessed with ham, which was my least favorite meat because it's so salty. When I was a kid, the only meat I really enjoyed was turkey (white meat) on Thanksgiving Day. My mother's turkey stuffing was AMAZING!

    Yes, you're right...that broccoli salad is perfect for summer! And trust me, it's so scrumptious!

    Thanks much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're having a fabulous week so far!

  7. You are so welcome, Valerie!

    "... be a pal and shoot some white bean over here, along with handfuls of all the other foods you mentioned."

    HA! Will do!

    Last night I made some steamed broccoli and basmati rice, sprinkled with steamed raw peanuts was heavenly!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear friend. Wishing you a fantastic rest of your week!

  8. "And it's so funny that your top photo is about making pizza crust without yeast because I've been looking at Pinterest recipes for that. We've been craving pizza and last week we made pizza with naan bread I had in the freezer."

    OMG....meeeeeeeee too! I've been craving pizza, especially Pizza Margherita! And thank you SO MUCH for the idea of using naan bread as pizza crust! Later in the week when I head over to Trader Joe's, I'm going to pick up a package of naan and try that.

    Isn't it something how much we're thinking about FOOD during this quarantine?

    Oh my....stuffed shells sound heavenly!!!

    " I did check my weight last week and I haven't gained anything, so it must be the brisk walking I've been doing all over the place."

    Me as well. In fact, I've gotten back into doing daily exercise in my apartment and my tummy has gotten tighter. My legs as well. Oddly enough, this lock down has made me healthier!

    Thanks much for stopping by and sharing your foodies stories, my friend. Bon appetit!


  9. Ron, your reference to Caligula made me LOL! Have your ever seen the movie, "Caligula", with Malcolm McDowell? I didn't really know much about him until I saw the movie on Netflix several years ago. Wow, he was such a tyrant.

    Thanks so much for sharing this post today because my we're both getting very bored eating the same things lately. We've gotten into a food rut because it's easy. I love artichokes, so I've got to check that one out. You eat very healthy, which is why you're not gaining any weight. And you're exercising as well.

    Thanks for another informative and enjoyable post, dude!

  10. Hiya Matt!

    OMG..yes, yes, yes...I have seen that movie. I saw it eons ago when I was still living in Florida. I've seen both versions too, the censored version and the non-censored version. And you're so right, he was such a tyrant. Talk about power-hungry. But boy, did he get it at the end, didn't he?

    Me too, which is why I started investigating recipe website, just to add some variety in my food consumption. And I love how each dish is penny smart!

    Aren't artichokes the BOMB? I prefer them just steamed, but I also indulge in the marinated ones too. I love them on salads and mixed with pasta. YUM-MY!

    I'm very lucky to have a fast metabolism, so I don't usually gain weight. However, with all I've been eating lately, I decided to focus part of my days exercising, just to stay in shape.

    Thanks much for stopping by, my friend. Have a most excellent rest of your week!

  11. Ron, it must be the Italian coming out in you that's making you think about FOOD all the time -- my mom is doing the very same thing! And I've got to tell you, for somebody like me it's bewildering. I suppose I take after my late dad, who was a firm believer in 'eating to live, not living to eat'!!

    Those dishes look appetizing, though, and I'll be glad to check out the website. If nothing else, perhaps I can steer Domer in that direction -- he's always looking for new things to try in the kitchen and is way more adventurous than I am!

    Happy rest-of-the-week to you! xo

  12. You know, Debbie, I think you're must be the Italian in me coming out! But I have to tell you that I haven't always been this way. I have always enjoyed food, but not nearly as much as I do now. It's as if my sense of smell and taste have been magnified, so all I want to do is enjoy them.

    "I take after my late dad, who was a firm believer in 'eating to live, not living to eat'!!"

    Yes, and that's exactly how I used to be, I used to eating solely to live. Now, however, I live to eat. LOL!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. I think Domer will enjoy the website because they're easy recipes and very economical. And also, a lot of variety

    Have a great rest of your week!

  13. Ron, being of Italian decent, I was just born a FOODIE. My Nana (my mother's mother) was the most amazing cook. She the one who taught me the most about food and cooking. She used to make the most incredible Pasta e fagioli. I still have her recipe and will make it several times a year.

    I too love beans and pasta mixed together. These dishes look so delicious. And I can so see why that final one was scrumptious because it looks it. I'm going to try making that one for dinner one night this week. I think my hubby will love it.

    Thank you very much for sharing this information. I'm always up for trying new things.

    "I'm surprised that after all the food I've eaten lately, I don't weight 395 lbs. and need a fork lift and an air traffic controller to navigate me across the room." LOL! How do you come up with this stuff. That's hilarious!

    Have a great week, neighbor! xo

  14. All the recipes look delicious, Ron! I've bookmarked the Chimichurri Chickpea Salad and plan to make that one soon, because not only does it have some of my favorite ingredients, but it's also really fun to say out loud.

    Chimichurri Chickpea Salad.
    Chimichurri Chickpea Salad.
    Chimichurri Chickpea Salad.

    Let us know if you need somebody to order that forklift, okay?

  15. I suppose we don't have to worry about you starving to death during this time! Those look fantastic. We've found a few restaurants that are offerings curbside pickup "family bundles" at ridiculously low pricing. We can actually eat about four meals on one of them. But, I like to cook, so I have been cooking and baking a lot. And it shows. I need to social distance myself from the pantry and refrigerator as soon as possible. X

  16. You know, Lisa, a lot of people here are doing the same thing. They're ordering and then having it delivered. All the restaurants here offer free bicycle deliveries. In fact, that's all you see now on the streets, food delivery bikes.

    "I need to social distance myself from the pantry and refrigerator as soon as possible."

    OMG...that made me laugh out loud! Too funny! The only thing saving me is that I've been very diligent about exercising daily and trying to take long walks at least every other day.
    Today was beautiful, so I went on a long walk and took tons of pictures.

    Thanks much for stopping by, my friend!

    Bon appetit!

  17. Mark, I KNEW you would enjoy this post because we share the same passion for being big-time foodies!

    OMG, the Chimichurri Chickpea Salad is faaaaaaaabulous! However, I went a little crazy with the feta cheese because I'm such a cheese lover. But what I really like about the salad is that it's actually healthy!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific week!

    Bon appetit!

    X to you and Tara

  18. Helloooooooooooo there Elaine!

    I love the story you shared about your Nana and her Pasta e fagioli because that is one of my all-time favorite Italian soups. Although, I actually think of it as a stew because it's so hearty and plentiful. And I love to put a TON of cheese on it! We used to call my grandmother Nana too!

    That last dish is BEYOND superb. And what I love about it is you can eat it warm or cold. I actually like pasta went it's cold, which is why I enjoy eating pasta on the second day. I think you will really enjoy the website because there is something for everyone's taste.

    I don't know, that's the first thing that came into my mind when I wrote this post. LOL!

    Thanks much for stopping by, neighbor! Have a fantastic rest of your week!

    Bon appetit and ciao!


  19. Ron, I'm in! Holy mother of God, these recipes look mouthwatering! I enjoy quinoa too because it has so many uses. I've used it in salads, soups, and stews. And it's so good for you too. It's a great substitute for rice with beans, although I love rice too! Chickpeas are also good for you and can be used so many different ways. I think that's why I love hummus so much.

    You favorite one (“SWEEP THE KITCHEN” PASTA SALAD) looks to die for! At least you're eating all things that are good for you and not junk food. I do eat meat, but not often. If I do, I like a big fat juicy hamburger with lettuce and tomato. And although I like cheese, I don't like it on my burgers.

    Ron, you always share such good finds. Thank you!

    And have a wonderful week! ox

  20. Hola Denise!

    HA! I know, are these dishes mouthwatering? And these are only FIVE of them. You should see how many mouthwatering recipes are on that website. I swear, one day I spent TWO hours looking though varies categories and bookmarking them.

    I do the same as you with quinoa, I like to use it with many things. And you're right, it is a great substitute for always using rice with beans. OMG...I love hummus more than my own life. I had some this afternoon with my lunch.

    You know it's funny, when I did eat meat, I loved a good burger with steak fries. And me too, I ate my burgers plain, no cheese.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Wishing you a wonderful week too!

    Bon appetit!


  21. You sound just like me, Ron. My body responds better to low impact exercise. I tried running years ago and it killed my knees. What kind of yoga do you do?

  22. OMG me too! I tried running back in the 80's when it was very popular, but it bothered my joints. I even tried a stationary bike and that was very rough on my knees. Thank god I didn't buy the bike, it was a hand me down from someone else. I finally just gave it away.

    I do Hatha yoga because that's the method I studied first and it works very well for me. I've done it for so long that I sometimes just make up my own poses. LOL!

  23. Hi Ron, it's so "nice" to meet you in a social distancing way. I have read your comments on Valerie's blog and always appreciated that they are well done and complimentary, something not always seen in comments. Thanks so much for commenting on my post today and sharing your thoughts on the mask/glove wearing epidemic, necessary in places of course, but way overdone by some folks (only my opinion). yes, on being a foodie and I have been baking various breads, mostly no knead artisan and banana bread. We cook at home and as we love pasta and beans and sun dried tomatoes I will definitely be adapting one of the recipes you linked to in this post.

  24. Hi again Ron, I'm a newbie to using Disqus to comment and wasn't sure whether I accidentally deleted my previous comment or if was awaiting moderation. I'd appreciate if you could let me know when and if you leave a future blog comment. Thanks much. In the event the previous comment wasn't posted I'll thank you (again) for posting links to these recipes. We are also "foodies" and enjoy cooking at home (eating out too, impossible now) and have fun trying new recipes using what's in stock in our apt 😋

  25. Hey there Dorothy (who has never owned a dog named Toto)!

    HA! That made me laugh out loud! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. It was very nice meeting you today and I enjoyed your post.

    "your thoughts on the mask/glove wearing epidemic, necessary in places of course, but way overdone by some folks (only my opinion)."

    Yes, I agree. And I think it all depends on where you live and whether it's a hot spot. As I shared, I'm cautious, but not paranoid and fearful.

    "I have been baking various breads, mostly no knead artisan and banana bread. "

    OMG...that sounds heavenly! I love bread more than my own life. In fact, I love CARBS in general.

    Hope you enjoy the link to the site I suggested. I like it because the recipes are simple and tasty.

    Nice to meet you. I look forward to reading more of your blog!

    Have a grrrreat weekend!


  26. Hello again!

    Yes, I moderate first-time comments just to screen out spam. But I've placed your comment info in approval, so the next time you comment it will be published immediately.

  27. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comFriday, May 01, 2020

    I'll have to check it out, especially the no yeast pizza. My mum says we can use baking powder. I fear we are all going to be a bit larger when this is all over. :-)

  28. Yes, can you believe that Fiona, a no yeast pizza!

    "I fear we are all going to be a bit larger when this is all over. :-)"

    OMG, I know...and that's why I'm staying committed to exercising a little bit daily, and taking a walk as often as I can.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a lovely weekend! Sending you positive vibes for continued healing.


  29. "I feel like an incarnation of Caligula during one of his Roman food orgies."

    Oh, my God, Ron, this is so funny and so true!!

    I've been thinking about food all the time--even more so than before the pandemic started!

    I think part of the problem is that our food supply is being threatened by this outbreak. In addition, you're potentially taking your life in your hands every time you go shopping!

    I've been avoiding the scale lately just because we get enough bad news on TV.

    And thank you so much for telling us about this fabulous site. I feel like I'm spending too much on food without getting particularly good results.

    And I love that line about "losing the battle against adulthood"! Gosh, that sums about my feelings about life at times, though I am working on being more positive. Thank God I have people like you in my life!

    Take care, buddy, stay healthy and mangiare!

  30. Oh my God, every single one of those looks delicious. I am going to have to try them all, so thanks for the links!

    I am like you on this - I think about food and cooking all the time. My husband just made us banana fritters for and we did poached eggs on seafood risotto cakes yesterday morning. And those were just breakfasts! I have a new chicken recipe someone had posted that I'm making tonight. And, since we are earning less these days, the budget aspect is especially appealing so I will visit that site for sure.

  31. OMG, I know, don't they look deeeeeeeelicious? I think you would really enjoy that website because of the variety of dishes she offers. It's all very healthy and tasty food with a budget aspect. I love to eat well, but I'm frugal (even before this pandemic), so that's what really appealed to me.

    Those banana fritters sounded incredible! I love anything "banana!"

    Isn't it something how lately, everyone is thinking about FOOD and EATING?

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Enjoy that new chicken recipe tonight!

    Bon appetit!


  32. Hey there Rob!

    All I could think of was Caligula and how he would have these MASSIVE food orgies. And that's how I've been lately. Food, food, food!

    Me as well. I have always loved food. But since this pandemic, even more so!

    Our food stores here are always fully stocked. I shop at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Mom's Organic Market, and each one of them is rarely out of something I want to buy.

    I don't even own a scale, so I could weigh 395 lbs. and would never know it. HA!

    I feel so blessed to have found this website. I was looking for a pasta dish online and it suddenly popped up on Google. And yes, it's specifically designed with budget recipes, which I love because I'm frugal to begin with.

    "And I love that line about "losing the battle against adulthood"!"

    Yes, isn't that fabulous? Besides being a great cook, she is also very inspirational!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a most excellent week!

    Bon appetit!

  33. Mmm... that all looks delish! I'll have one now while getting caught up, and another for mid-morning snack, and another for lunch, and another for lunch part 2, and .... lol Funny, but also not funny... I've gained a lot of weight this year and am back to that struggle again. *sigh* I should get outside and help with some yard work, that would be good exercise. Let me think on it while after getting a little caught up here in Blogland!

  34. LOL! Aren't they delicious looking, Mary? And they were! But my fave was/is the last one with the pasta and broccoli. OMG...I literally could not stop eating it.

    I know, the only thing saving me from growing to the size of a HOUSE is that I've been walking a lot, and doing some indoor exercising. I think living in a city though, it's easier to get outside and walk because you have to if you want to get anywhere. Even before this pandemic, I was a big-time walker.

    Thanks much for stopping by and catching up on my post, my friend! Appreciate that!

    Stay well!



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