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Posts Tagged ‘Frugal’

Tonight we had Salad Bar for dinner!! I put out all sorts of salad toppings and we just dug in!!
Not Pictured: Caramel Apple and Vegan Banana Bread with Vegan Chocolate Chips.

I will do the Salad bar thing more often…I’m thinking every other Friday!! We all liked having our favorite toppings on the salad!!

The Hubs said, “Is this your Vegan banana Bread?”
I said, “Yes.”
He said, “This is the best Banana Bread I have ever had….I really like this recipe!.”

As a side note: This plate is my Son’s creation.  He specifically asked that his dinner plate be highlighted tonight!!  🙂

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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: Green Smoothies, Roasted Potatoes, Pear and Pancake Cake.

I had the two casserole dishes ready to go and for some reason, I used the wrong one for the potatoes, which then caused me to use the wrong one for the Pancake Cake.  I think it made the difference, in that it was thinner than it should have been; however, I think it actually turned out okay. 
I made two cakes…one plain and one with blueberries.  Tonight, we ate the plain cake, tomorrow we will eat the blueberry cake for dessert.  It was pretty good; however, it was too much for our family and it wasn’t vegan, so I probably won’t make it again.  The roasted potatoes weren’t quite right today…not sure why.  The smoothie was okay.

Pancake Cake

It’s hard to cook pancakes for a bunch of kids in a timely fashion, so one day we decided to try making an actual cake from it…it’s awesome, cheap and easy! This makes a 9×13 inch pan and a 9inch round pan.

4 cups Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix
1 1/2 cups applesauce
1 1/2 cups water
3 eggs
Sugar, cinnamon, vanilla to taste  (I actually used quite a bit of sugar and cinnamon and still didn’t think it was quite enough….and I didn’t measure.  😦 

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix ingredients together, pour into pans. Bake for about 20-25 minutes (I actually baked this for about 30 minutes…it will vary depending on your stove).  Can add fruit to the mix if you want, blueberries are great….tastes like a coffee cake. Serve with butter and favorite pancake toppings.

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