Free Lunch Found

I am a saver. I will try to make whatever I have last as long as possible. I will try to not spend a dime until absolutely necessary. And I am guilty of using 3 week old leftovers to make a dish  in order to prevent me having to spend extra cash at the grocery store. Some would call me stingy…and I am OK with that.

Wild Chives: You can save some green and make meals tastier if you keep your eyes open.

I love free food, but it is very rarely offered in today’s weakened economy. Complimentary bread baskets  are becoming extinct, and restaurants in general seem to be downsizing their servings and offerings. So what is a hungry, stingy, fed-up man to do in these troubled times?!?

Well…I have discovered one solution that may not cut your grocery bill in half, but it will make your life a lot tastier without costing you anything.

While hiking in the mountains of Switzerland, we decided to give our weary limbs a rest by a quite stream. We munched on some of the grub from our packs and decided to take in the beautiful surrounding. That is when we saw it…growing amongst the rocks by the stream were patches of chives. The delicate, grass-like onion is one of my favorite things to top salads with. I immediately picked several handful of the stuff and stashed it in my bag. Not only were these chives free for the taking, but they were going to be far more ‘all-natural,’ ‘organic,’ and ‘environmentally-friendly’ than anything you would pay a small fortune for from Whole Foods.

We spent a few more minutes enjoying the scenery, then some of us filled our bottles with cool water from the stream. I realized that our bottles were freely filled with liquid gold far more ‘pure’ than any of the imported nonsense we purchase from the mega marts  back home (assuming that a cow further up the stream has not decided to pee in the water). Yes, this water may not have had fancy packaging, heavy marketing, or have gone through a complex filtration system…but it tasted damn good.

After some more hiking, we saw tiny little red orbs sticking the in grass. Could it be? YES, it was…Real WILD strawberries. Of course we snacked on a few of the free fruit and managed to satisfy our need for something sweet. The tiny berries were far more enjoyable than anything I have ever purchased from a grocery store. I now see why bears go crazy for these things.

There is food out there…what will Mother Nature provide for your brown-bag-lunch?

At the end of the long day of hiking, we decided to spend the night in a typical Swiss mountain lodge. These tiny hotels have just the basics, but they are comfortable. AND their kitchens almost always produce meals made with fresh ingredients harvested nearby. So for dinner, I was served a salad, which looked great, but became beautiful once I topped it with the chives I had picked earlier.

Take an amazing salad and add FRESH herbs, such as the chives I picked on the hike. Suddenly you have created something gourmet that your friends will be jealous of.

It is a fact that food ALWAYS tastes better after an intense day spent in the mountains. But this simple salad I was presented with in the lodge was one of the best things I had eaten in a VERY long time. While I know the lodge’s cooks were competent and provided a solid base for me to build upon, the mellow taste of the fresh chives that I had picked on the hike, made things just perfect. One food combo the Fed Up team always recommends is adding freshly picked herbs to foods. They are the best condiment you can imagine and really elevate a meal.

Food prices seem to forever be rising, but you can fight back. Plant a garden, harvest the naturally growing stuff around you, pick up road-kill to make a stew (ok, ignore that last one). But seriously, even if you live in a major city, your environment can still provide some tasty freebies.

While there is NO such thing as a ‘free lunch,’ if you look closely you can still get a satisfying drink, a pretty decent snack, and a gourmet condiment for not much but a little effort. So look to nature to nourish you with free foods and dirt-cheap options.


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Categories: Freaking Healthy, Mr. Fed Up Dishes, Recommendations, Unexpected Randomness

Author:Mr. Fed Up

A guy looking for good grub. and YES....I have a website...and I am not going to bore you with one of those personal journal type of blogs. I promise. Check it out;


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13 Comments on “Free Lunch Found”

  1. mzsura
    August 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    I agree. The best tasting water i ever had was from a glacier lake in patagonia argentina 🙂

    • August 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

      Thats sounds amazing. I have been wanting to go to Patagonia for a long time now…if I ever get down there, I will be sure to sample the water.

  2. August 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    I really liked this. I have tomatoes, basil, blueberries, and an orange tree. I need to try planting a raspberry or two and see if I can turn them into a little raspberry bush

    • August 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

      I am jealous of your blueberries. I would love to be able to grow those. So far, peppers and eggplant are what is most successful for me…One day I hope to get thyme growing too, but EACH time I try the plant never makes it. I am glad you enjoyed the post

      • August 13, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

        I found a small blueberry bush at Lowe’s this spring and bought it. I got 10-15 blueberries a day once they started ripening 🙂

      • August 14, 2012 at 6:39 am #

        Ok…I think I know what I am buying at Lowe’s next spring!

  3. Sylvie
    August 19, 2012 at 1:12 am #

    Wild strawberries are so delicious! They were everywhere this year in France. The greatest of course is mushroom picking. It can be frustrating but also really addicting! Awesome free food!

    • August 21, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

      My hope one day is to go mushroom picking. It would make hiking that much better!


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