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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cheap & Cheerful suppers for June

lasagna, made with cottage cheese (frozen from a markdown deal in early spring), spinach and chard leaves, mozzarella cheese, garlic for filling, and a traditional marinara sauce, plus pasta
large salad, with lettuce leaves, chopped, drained canned tomatoes, black olives, one Parmesan cheese packet (from a take-out a long time ago)
lemon cake roll

pumpkin-pinto bean soup (also had red bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, corn, tomato sauce and chicken broth -- found the recipe online, pretty good)
fresh strawberries

turkey-noodle salad -- spaghetti noodles, sliced frozen turkey breast, cabbage, peanuts, snow peas, green onions, orange segments, in a dressing of oil, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes,  all over lettuce leaves
fresh strawberries

"crazy soup" adding canned tomato paste to the crazy soup pot in the freezer
Cheddar Bay biscuits

baked beans (making a sauce of sweet pickle juice, tomato paste, soy sauce and onions browned in saved bacon fat)
seasoned brown rice
carrot sticks
fresh strawberries and banana slices

refried bean, seasoned rice and cabbage burritos (the cabbage was in a dressing of oil, vinegar, chili powder and garlic powder -- it was good)
carrot sticks
fresh strawberries

barbecued chicken legs (using up the very last few charcoal briquettes from 2 years ago), made a rub of chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, then in last 20 minutes of cooking, spooned on a mix of barbecue sauce, soy sauce, tomato paste, and water
oven-roasted cut corn
carrot sticks
rhubarb sauce

Asian-style chicken-noodle salad (like the turkey noodle salad above, but with chicken)
fruit salad leftover from serving at a charity tea (the proceeds from the tea went to the local Fill The Boot campaign)

smoked salmon spread, crackers, peanuts, potato chips (given to us at the tea), carrot sticks, tossed green salad, strawberries, 2 pies (apple, also given to us, and lemon meringue that I made)

bean burgers topped with cheese and quickie ketchup (tomato paste and sweet pickle juice)
brown rice
kale and mustard greens sauteed in bacon drippings
leftover pie

kale, ham and onion quiche
mashed potatoes
steamed carrots in mustard glaze
watermelon pickles
leftover pie

Meals have been heavy on the carrot sticks this week. I bought a 25-lb bag of carrots, and for a busy week, carrot sticks are quicker to do than just about any other veggie.


Live and Learn said...

You list some very tasty sounding, creative use of ingredient suppers.

Anonymous said...

Your menu looks delicious. Let me think of a few frugal things we had this week:
Saturday. cooked 3 small pork cutlets baked and sliced thinly--served to whomever needed a meal so at least 4 single serve meals. Asparagus given to us and served 3 meals for the entire family.
Sunday: hamburgers made with 1/2 lb. ground beef, 1 lb. seasoned ground pork, and 1/2 lb. sausage. Also grilled brats and hotdogs so that was enough for two days of full family meals. Leftover asparagus and red beets.
Monday was cheaters paella with two chicken legs, one length of smoked sausage and lots of veggies-carrots, celery, onion, peppers. Tuesday was one pot roasted red pepper pasta and three baked chicken thighs. Any meal could also have homemade bread with homemade strawberry/rhubarb jam with it.

All of this was made with what I had in the freezer and the pantry. Delicious.

Sometimes I am so tired of cooking making meals but then I know eating "out" would give me the worst stomach ache so I know it is worth it. My hubby decided to buy lunch one day last week--Thai food. He has that tendency to buy something and I haven't quite broken him of that. He began eating it and said it was so awful so this was my opportunity to drill into him that home cooked foods will never be questionable so PACK YOUR LUNCH! He has been packing a lunch everyday. (NO, I don't pack my family's lunch for them--they are adults so pack your own!)
Tonight's meal is still questionable as it depends what is leftover in the refrigerator when I get home from work. I think I may have to make some croutons from a loaf of bread that didn't rise properly and now sits in the freezer but that's not a meal so maybe part of that could become garlic bread with spaghetti. Mom gave me some frozen homemade spaghetti sauce and some frozen green peppers. I just don't have any ground beef so maybe it will be vegetarian tonight.


Lili said...

Good morning, live and learn!
Thank you -- one of those weeks when nothing fancy, but all good.
Have a great day!

Lili said...

Hi Alice,
That all sounds delicious! Can I ask, how do you cook your beets? I make pickled beets and beet pickles (one long-keeping, the other just a quick marinated salad). But have not come up with another way to make them that we all like. And I do grow them, so need to figure out some other options.

I feel the same way about eating out. There is a good chance I'll ingest something that will make my stomach hurt, so not worth it as far as the actual food goes. I think what I like about eating out is that someone else does the work. I just have to keep reminding myself that my own cooking "works" for all of our family. I can tailor recipes to everybody's likes and needs.

With the bread that didn't rise well, you can also use some of it (the ends, maybe) for bread crumbs. Bread pudding might be good, too.

I'm envious of the asparagus. When my garden has been further developed, I'd like to add a long narrow bed of asparagus. I could tailor the soil just to what it needs, and maybe I could get it to grow here.

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...


Your menus always make me hungry! Isn't it a lovely result of all your planning that your meals are so thrifty AND appetizing!?

I ended up with food I bought for family that wasn't here; so although the initial purchases weren't particularly thrifty, I did feel good about keeping anything from going to waste!

I had a gallon of milk to use alone, so finished off some dry cereal I had, and then I used some frozen bananas and blueberries, with a touch of local honey (which we buy bulk) and some chia meal I had in the fridge, for milkshakes in place of a meal once everyday. I also put tomatoes on and in EVERYTHING! LOL And ended by using up a quarter-package of Neuchatel cheese with fresh garlic and thyme for stuffed baked tomatoes.

I also used some home-made chorizo with more tomatoes,some roasted diced potatoes I made and froze earlier, some garlic, onion and some Cajun seasoning for a sort of a "beef bowl" dish, which was tasty. I was planning to put the rest over rice (for sort of a dirty rice) for my husband; but now that he's not going to be home, I think I'll mix just a tiny bit of pasta in it-- so it has a little more volume, but isn't too much for me to eat alone.

Have a great day! Sara

Anonymous said...

Beets--I had some in the freezer so I quickly cooked them and just ate those plain. With the remainder I tried my MIL's recipe where she said she used to use equal parts water, sugar, vinegar and just marinated the pre-cooked beets in. I honestly didn't care for that much but growing up my mom made the BEST pickled beets so I should probably just ask her.


P.S. on a side note, I was at the grocery store last week on June 17 and saw two gallons of fat free milk marked down to .62 cents and the sell by date was June 21. I bought them both and we're nearly done with the second gallon already. I knew you would approve!


Live and Learn said...

I cook beets by just removing the greens, boiling with skin on until tender then removing the skin. Fresh out of the garden and they have enough sweetness and flavor all by themselves that I don't add anything else. However, half of my family loves them and the other half thinks they taste like dirt no matter how they are cooked or pickled. To each their own.

Of course, the greens are less bitter than many and are good cooked or raw.

Kris said...

I cook beets by having my hubby do it--ha! But he uses L&L's method. I've also heard you can roast beets, which brings out more of the natural sugars. Haven't tried it but I bet it would be good. We tend to fight over who gets the beets around here. When my hubby thins them, we eat beet greens and I like those, too.

Lili, we eat a lot of carrot sticks here, as well--cheap, quick, and they are always a hit with my kids. Packable for lunches, too.

Anonymous said...

Nice balanced meals on a small food budget!! If only everyone could learn to prepare meals like that!! Good use of leftovers. I'm taking notes...use drained diced tomatoes in lieu of fresh, some interesting dressing ingredient combinations, and noodle salad using spaghetti...all new ideas to me. Just the barbeque plus tomato sauce or paste and soy sauce sounds very familiar to me...I looked up my recipe book from long ago to look for a pot roast recipe that called for soy sauce, tomato sauce, sugar/vinegar/mustard. This is my go to recipe for Chinese pot roast which I haven't made in years, but remember fondly how much we enjoyed it when we were a young family about 30 years ago.


Lili said...

Thanks, all of you, for tips on cooking beets. I once cooked them, plain, with salt and pepper, but we all thought they tasted like dirt! I'll give it another try, maybe roasting them. We do enjoy them in pickled salads, but looking for alternatives.

Lili said...

Hi Sara,
Your stuffed baked tomatoes sound delicious! I will definitely make some stuffed tomatoes later this summer. This should be a good year for tomatoes, here.

That must have been a challenge, to suddenly find yourself with way more food than needed, when your husband's work called him in unexpectedly. But it sounds like you did an awesome job finding use for everything -- even if it did mean a lot of yummy tomato dishes!

Have a great day, yourself!

Lili said...

If you press the canned tomatoes, gently, to release extra juices, the tomatoes work fine in salads without diluting the dressing.

Your Chinese pot roast recipe sounds absolutely delicious. When beef prices come back down, I'd like to give something like that a try.Thank you for the suggestion!

Hope your week is going well, YHF!

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