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Posts Tagged ‘frugal meal’

Clockwise from top: Salad, Cheesy Bow Tie Pasta, Cantelope and Cranberry nut Dessert.

The cheesy bow tie pasta was good, as usual.  James and the kids really liked the cranberry nut dessert; however, I thought it was too “zippy.”  YOWSA!! 

Cheezy Bowties

2 medium onions, chopped fine
2 tsp garlic, chopped fine
1 box mini bow tie pasta, cooked and salted (cook while preparing everything else)
2 pk spreadable cheese : I used Garlic and Herb Alouette*
1 can vegetable broth
2 Tbl. EVOO (or use just broth for less fat)
Spices, to Taste: Salt, Pepper

Directions
Cook bowtie pasta in salted water for about 8 min. until past al dente

While pasta is cooking:
Dice onions pretty small
Dice other veges you would like to add, if any.

When pasta is done cooking:
Drain pasta and rinse with cold water (to stop cooking process)
Put EVOO (or Broth) in same pot that you used for the pasta
Add onions in and cook until desired crispness.
When almost done, add the garlic and stir so it doesn’t burn
Add vege broth and then add the spreadable cheese and melt.
Add pasta and toss into cheese.
Serve hot.

Cranberry Nut Dessert

1 ¼ C. fresh (or frozen) Cranberries*
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
½ C. Chopped Pecans (or other Nut)**

1 Egg
½ C. Sugar
½ C. Flour
1/3 C. Margarine, melted

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees
Place cranberries in a greased 9” pie plate. Sprinkle with brown sugar and nuts.
In a medium bowl, mix egg. Gradually add sugar (while still mixing), margarine and flour. Mix well (until smooth).
Pour over berries.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. (It took about an hour to cook in my oven.)

*One regular bag of Cranberries will make 2 containers of dessert.
** The larger bag of Pecan Cookie Pieces is much cheaper than the small bags of nuts.

NOTE: The Pasta recipe was an adaptation of a recipe from Mary Ann Thomas.  The Dessert recipe was from a magazine (not sure which one).

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Bowls: Salad and Vege and Biscuit bake
Plate: 65% Chocolate Chips; Peaches and Pears with Cinnamon

The vege and biscuit bake was really very good.  The peaches were almost bad….so we had a pear, too.  🙂

VEGE & BISCUIT BAKE
serves 8

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 to 5 potatoes, diced
1 Turnip, diced

2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried and crushed rosemary
1/4 cup unbleached flour
3 cups vegetable broth (homemade is best)

2 bay leaves
3 carrots, diced
1 cup green beans, cut into 2″ pieces
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas

1 teaspoon salt or salt substitute
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Biscuits:
1
cup unbleached flour
1/2 Tbl. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 Tbl. 
vegan butter
1/3 
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 and turnip for several minutes until they just begin to soften on the edges. Add in the celery and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the thyme, rosemary and flour and cook until the flour is incorporated. Gradually stir in the rest of the ingredients. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until carrots and beans are barely tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
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 on top of the vegetable mixture. Bake approximately 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Enjoy!

Original recipe inspiration from: www.fullplateplanet.com

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Bowl: Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Plate: Cantelope

This soup was really good…and easy.  It didn’t take a whole lot of time to make….and it made a TON…PLUS, it was CHEAP!!

 
Creamy Cauliflower Soup

4 Tbl. Butter (Vegan Margarine)
½ to 1 Onion, diced
1 Carrot, diced
1 Stalk Celery, Diced

1 to 2 Heads Cauliflower, cut in in florets
2 T. Fresh Parsley (I used 1 Tbl. Dried)

2 Quarts Vegetable Stock (I used 4 cans and 2 C. Water)

4 Tbl. Butter (Vegan Margarine)
6 Tbl. Flour
2 C. Whole Milk (Alternative milk source is okay)
1 C. Half and Half (Alternative milk source is okay)

Spices, to taste: Celery Salt, Salt and Pepper

Melt 4 Tbl. Margarine in a large pot. Add onion, carrot and celery. Cook for a couple minutes. Add cauliflower and parsley, stir, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Pour in the stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
In the mean time, whisk flour and milk in a bowl. Melt 4 Tbl. Margarine in a medium saucepan. Add the flour/milk mixture….heat through. Remove from heat and add half and half. Simmer for 15 minutes.

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Clockwise from top: Salad, Grapes and Moroccan Couscous.

The salad was okay….would have been better if it was with the Dorothy Lynch dressing.  The Moroccan couscous was WAY easier than it looks on the recipe….and it was REALLY, REALLY good!!  I used both recipes that my neighbor and my Sister posted….and integrated them into the one below.   🙂

Moroccan Vegetables on Couscous1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 to 2 cloves garlic, to taste

2 cans vegetable broth
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 to 2 stalks celery, diced
1 turnip, peeled and diced
2 zucchini, diced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 can petite diced tomatoes

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp.  ground turmeric
1 pinch saffron
1/2 tsp. curry powder
½ tsp. ground Ginger
½ tsp. Paprika
½ tsp. Ground Cumin
1/8 tsp. ground Cayenne
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 cups uncooked couscous

Directions
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; saute onion until golden, add garlic and cook just a minute longer. Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Stir in veges. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add zucchini and red bell pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in spices. Simmer until heated through about 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings as necessary.
Meanwhile, make couscous according to package directions. Serve with vegetables on top. 

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Bowl: Mashed Potatoes with Chicken Noodle Soup
Plate: Vegan Banana Bread and Apples

Oh, my!  This was really yummy!!  I used two thighs for the chicken…so it wasn’t much…and I know I can do this in a vegetarian version.  The banana bread was DA BOMB…even better than what I normally make!!  🙂

My neighbor sent over some beans as a side dish; however, with everything that we had, I decided to have the beans tomorrow when we have planned leftovers!! 

I used Ree’s recipe (for the most part) for the Chicken Noodle Soup:
http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/01/homemade-chicken-and-noodles/
Of course I used a LOT less chicken (2.5 thighs to be precise)…and about double the seasoning…plus I added liquid maggi and crushed rosemary.  It made about 15 cups….so lots for dinner and leftovers!!

For the Vegan Banana Bread, I used the recipe from:
http://alexamarsden.wordpress.com
Oh my, it was SO good.  I did add about 1/4 of a bag of vegan mini chocolate chips.  Seriously, I think I liked this recipe MORE than the one I use to use.


Vegan Banana Bread

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup margarine
3 over-ripe bananas
1/4 cup soy milk mixed with
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly oil an 8×4″ bread pan. Sift the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and allspice into a large mixing bowl. Separately, cream the sugars and margarine. Add the bananas, milk, and vanilla. Fold into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Pour into the pan and bake for one hour or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

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Clockwise from top: Lentil Soup, French Bread, 65% Cocoa Chocolate Chips and an Apple.

I made the lentil soup that I posted a link to a while back.  Once I did everything according to the directions, I tasted it….uh, yeah, no.  It was seriously lacking in spices.  Once I got it all doctored up, it was okay…but, I will go back to how I make it.  😦  Otherwise, dinner was pretty good.

LENTIL SOUP

2 c. brown lentils
4 c. water
2 med. onions, cut in quarters and sliced
2-3 Tbsp. EVOO
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 Tbsp. cumin
1 to 2 tsp. coriander (dried)
½ to 1 tsp. fennel
2 bay leaf
1 hot pepper, diced very, very small (I used about 1/2 of a pepper)
2 med. carrots, diced (about ½ c.)
2 med. zucchini, diced (about ½ c.) (I used one)
2 green pepper, chopped
2 med. potato, diced (about ½ c.)

Spices (to taste): Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Red Curry, Salt, Pepper, Maggi, Celery Salt

Start with the lentils and water in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to low and simmer until they become crunchy-tender, about 30 to 45 minutes.  You should not need to add any water during this stage, but check on it periodically to make sure.

In a large skillet, heat the oil and caramelize the onions.  Just before they finish, add the garlic, cumin, coriander and fennel and stir until the scent rises.  Remove from heat.

When the lentils are crunchy-tender, add the onions etc. mixture (including the oil) and the rest of the ingredients to the lentils.  Stir well and add just enough water to barely cover everything (about 4 cups).  Bring to a boil again, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables and lentils are tender and the broth is nice and thick.

From: http://theamerarabwife.wordpress.com

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Clockwise from top: Salad with Apples and Maple Vinigrette from (http://fullplateplanet.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/the-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-day/) Brown Rice Pizza (Recipe Below), Apples with Gourmet Peanut Butter and Watermellon.

The salad was good; although I used LOTS more of the maple syrup than it called for….probably wasn’t as good for me as it couls have been…lol.  The Brown Rice Pizza was good, as usual….I think I am getting to be a bit of an expert at it!!  The watermellon sucked….it is just too late in the season, I think.  The apples/PB were good again!!
Brown Rice Pizza

 Crust
2 Cups Brown Rice, Cooked (I used Instant Brown Rice)
2 t. Italian Seasoning
1/2- 1½ T. Olive Oil (Depending on how “sticky” your rice is)
¼ t. Sea Salt
¼ t. Freshly Ground pepper

Veges
1 – 2 Zucchini (I only used one), sliced lengthwise, then thinly sliced
1 Medium Red Bell Pepper (I used the small peppers….2 Yellow peppers, 2 Orange Peppers and 1 Red Pepper), cored and thinly sliced
½ Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
1 Tomato, seeds removed, thinly sliced
1 T. Olive Oil
1 T. Vinegar (Regular, Balsamic or Apple Cider)…I used Apple Cider Vinegar
1/8-1/4 t. Sea Salt

Sauce
½ – ¾ C. Good Quality Pasta Sauce (I used the leftover sauce from yesterday’s Spaghetti Dinner)
1-1½ T. Hoisin Sauce, Optional (You will find this sauce in the Oriential Sauce Section at Wal-Mart)

¼ C. Kalamata Olives, optional
1/4-1/2 C. Vegan Style Cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a baking container, combine all items in the “Vege” section. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Combine all items in the “Crust” section in a large bowl. Mix well. On a lightly greased (with Olive Oil) pizza pan (or other flat baking dish), press rice mixture into a “crust.” (If you are having a hard time keeping your fingers from sticking, use a small piece of parchment paper/wax paper to press the rice down.)

Turn oven down to 375 degrees.

Bake the rice shell for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
In a small bowl, combine the hoisin sauce and pasta sauce. Spread sauce evenly over the rice shell. Distribute roasted veges, olives and cheese on top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Let cool for a couple minutes….divide into 4 parts (it is easy to divide/serve with 4 equal parts.)

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