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Archive for the ‘frugal living’ Category

 

Bowl: Vegetable and Biscuit Bake (Very similar to Chicken and Dumplings)
Plate Clockwise from top: Apples with Gourmet PB (PB, Raisins, Cinnamon), Pumpkin Spice Cake and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies from my neighbor.

We all loved the Vege Bake….I will tweek it again once I can smell and taste properly…but, it was still yummy as is. The cake was good; however, it certainly needed to bake MUCH longer than the 30 minutes that it called for…and it still seemed to be a little underdone…but, it was good!! Continuing the pumpkin and chocolate theme, my neighbor shared some of her homemade cookies!! (http://www.sporkorfoon.com/spork_or_a_foon/2009/09/the-softest-pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies-in-the-history-of-the-world.html!!)  

VEGE & BISCUIT BAKE
from www.fullplateplanet.com

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound potatoes, diced  (I used 5 potatoes)
1/2 pound mushrooms, quartered  (I didn’t use the mushrooms…YUCK!!)
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced onion  (I used 1 onion)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup unbleached flour
3 cups vegetable broth (2 cans of vege broth is approximately 3 cups)
2 bay leaves  (I used 3)
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup green beans, cut into 1/2 to 1″ pieces
1/2 cup frozen, shelled edamame or lima beans (I didn’t use either of these…again, YUCK!!)
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (I didn’t use the parsley)
Spices, to taste: Salt, Pepper, Celery Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Maggi

Biscuits:
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegan margarine
3/4 cup plain almond or soy milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 3 quart (or 9×13) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute the potatoes for several minutes until they just begin to soften on the edges. Add in the mushrooms, celery and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the thyme and flour and cook until the flour is incorporated. Gradually stir in the broth, bay leaves, carrots, green beans, edamame or lima beans, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until carrots and beans are barely tender, about 15 minutes. Add the corn and peas and simmer another 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the parsley.

Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and set aside.

Make the biscuits: In a food processor, place the flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse several times to blend. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Pulse until crumbly. Gradually add the milk and pulse until the mixture clumps together and forms a dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat the dough to about 3/4″ thickness. Using a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, cut shapes of dough and place (sides touching) on top of the vegetable mixture. Bake approximately 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Enjoy!

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**I don’t know that I love menu planning so much as I like to serve my family healthier foods and save money doing so!!

I don’t actually plan our menu for specific days…I plan the menu around when I will be going to town next. This particular menu was for Thursday through Monday. (I will be going to town again on Tuesday.) I usually cook whatever I am in the mood for….or what time dictates.

Thursday: Piegories, Salad, Strawberries 

Bean Burger, Roasted Potatoes, Salad, Fruit

 Vegetable and Biscuit Bake, Salad, Fruit

 Creole Blackeyed Peas, Rice, Cornbread, Fruit

 Friday: Autumn Soup, Sweet Potato Quesadilla, Caramel Apple (Made enough to share with my neighbor!!)

 Black Bean Tacos, Mexican Quinoa Salad, Fruit

 Dessert: Pumpkin Spice Cake

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Clockwise from top-left: Leek and Potato Soup, Cantalope and Apples with Gourmet Peanut Butter (Peanut Butter, Raisins and Cinnamon)

The soup was pretty darn good (recipe below). The fruit was yummy as well. I really missed my vegan meals even if “eating out” was more convenient.


LEEK and POTATO SOUP
5 Potatoes, sliced or diced
5 leeks, trimmed, cleaned, then thinly sliced
Salt, Pepper, Celery Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Maggi…to taste4–6 tbsp. whipping cream
2–3 tbsp. minced fresh parsley or chives

Optional

1. Put potatoes, leeks, salt to taste, and 10 cups of water in a large saucepan over medium heat and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, 40–50 minutes.

 2. Mash vegetables in the soup with a fork, pass the soup through a food mill or blend small amounts at a time.  (I blended the soup.) 

Correct seasonings if necessary.

 3. Off heat, just before serving, stir in the cream by spoonfuls (if using). Pour soup into a tureen or soup bowls and decorate with the herbs. Add a little freshly ground white pepper, if you like.  

Serves 4-6

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Clockwise from top: Salad, Fried Rice, Cantelope and Strawberries with cinnamon.

 This has become a staple meal in our house (and it is one of my easier meals)…I have pretty much perfected the way we like the fried rice (I will add my recipe below). It is an adaptation from the way I was taught to make it by a friend.

As I do use eggs and milk in this recipe, it is vegetarian; however, if you choose to omit the scrambled eggs, it would be a vegan meal.

Fried Rice

Ingredients:
6 eggs
¼ to ½ cup Milk (I haven’t tried with a milk substitute)
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. To ½ t. pepper
4 Tbl. Margarine

6 servings of instant white rice, cooked (You can use whatever rice you want…I just like the speed/texture of the instant white rice.)

½ to 1 C. filtered water
½ bag of frozen petite baby peas*
¼ bag julienned carrots, cut a bit smaller*

3 green onions, sliced small

To taste: curry powder, soy sauce, salt, pepper

Directions:
In a medium pot, cook instant rice according to directions.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt and pepper, stir well. In a large pot, put in the margarine and allow to melt. Add the egg mixture and cook until done. Clean out the mixing bowl. When the eggs are done, return them to the mixing bowl until needed. Rinse out the pot. In the now rinsed pot, put in ¼ C. filtered water and frozen peas, cook on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add carrots (and more water if needed) and cook through about 3 to 5 minutes. Adjust heat to low. Add rice to mixture (continue to add water as needed…you don’t want the mixture to stick to the pot). Add curry powder and soy sauce…there will be a lot added…just keep tasting it until it reaches your desired flavor. Add salt and pepper if you feel it needs it. Add in the cooked egg, stir to combine. You can either add the green onion and stir or you can just add it as a topping once the fried rice is on your plate.

* You can adjust amount of veges to your taste.

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Meal Plans

Typically, when making a “meal plan” people will assign certain meals to certain days; however, I found that for me, this just didn’t work. What HAS worked for me is to plan certain meals between runs to town and then make whatever happens to “trip my trigger” for the day.

I like to have several “types” of meals available: super easy, pretty easy, a little challenging and then a couple absolute new meals (which may be really challenging.) Since we are also on a budget, I tend to shy away from too many desserts; however, I will try to serve at least one per week.

Since my “go to town” trips are typically planned when we either deposit my husband’s check or have doctors appointments, the “plan” can be from 4 or so days to 9 or 10 days. (I do try to shop about once a week, if I can, ’cause I do use quite a bit of fresh ingredients.)

In any case, this is my current plan…..and provided that I remember, I will have photos and recipes to share as the days go by.
I hope this helps some of you who are also vegetarian/vegan, on a budget or just wanting to try something new. If you try something out, let me know how you liked it!! 🙂

Bean Burgers, Roasted Potatoes, Salad, Fruit

Leek and Potato Soup, French Bread, Fruit

Creole Black-Eyed Peas, Rice, Corn Bread, Fruit

Spaghetti with Red Sauce, Salad, Fruit

Black Bean Tacos, Mexican Quinoa Salad, Fruit

Brown Rice Pizza, Salad, Fruit

Fried Rice, Salad, Fruit

Roasted Tomato Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Fruit

Desserts: Brownies (on my son’s birthday, per his request) and Pumpkin Spice Cake

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