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Friday, May 24, 2019

Cheap & Cheerful Meals for Mid to Late May

Friday (cost: about $1.40 for 4)
bean burger patties, made with pinto beans, bread, egg, salt, chili powder, garlic, then fried in ham fat and oil
rice (mix of leftover brown rice and some freshly cooked white rice)
mushroom gravy (from a packet) over the bean burgers and rice
Swiss chard (from the garden), garlic, canned tomatoes

Saturday -- cook-out (cost: about $1.05 for 4)
hot dogs in homemade buns
cole slaw (cabbage from purchase around St. Patrick's Day)

Sunday (cost: about $2.00 for 4)
leftover ham, chard, and cheese quiche plus blueberry coffeecake from brunch
ramen soup with added dehydrated carrots and chives

Monday (cost: about $1.90 for 4)
baked pinto beans with diced ham
asparagus and green beans with cheese sauce (leftover asparagus and cheese sauce from brunch)
roasted potatoes, carrots, and onions
bread pudding (made with a failed batch of muffins), topped with leftover, hardened, homemade caramel sauce

Tuesday (cost: about $1.10 for 4)
Swiss chard quiche
oatmeal, rhubarb, white chocolate bar cookies

Wednesday -- rushed meal prep as I had to leave for an evening meeting (cost: about $1.75 for 4)
brown rice

Thursday (cost: about $1.25 for 4)
carrot soup
ham salad sandwiches on homemade whole wheat bread (ham leftover from Easter)
homemade sugar cookies

Meals from this past week seemed very ordinary to me. Despite that, they did their job and we all were fed. Breakfasts continued to consist of homemade granola, overnight crockpot steel cut oats, yogurt, toast, juice, bananas, rhu-sins, peanut butter, bean spread, and milk. I didn't know until Thursday that I would have a large supply of eggs to work with, so eggs were not a common part of breakfasts. Lunches used leftover baked beans, sandwiches filled with bean spread, peanut butter, or egg salad, ramen, juice, milk, tea, bananas, rhu-sins, carrot sticks, lentil sprouts, cookies, and homemade frozen yogurt.

We had our family gathering for Mother's Day this past Sunday (instead of actual Mother's Day). My preference was for a brunch, as I like brunch foods. So, my 2 daughters put together a nice brunch, using mostly what we had on hand. They did buy asparagus and strawberries, however. The menu was a ham, cheese, and Swiss chard quiche, roasted asparagus with cheese sauce, blueberry coffee cake (using blueberries from the freezer), chocolate-covered strawberries, orange juice, and a large pot of tea. My daughters did an awesome job, making everything from scratch, setting a lovely table, and serving us all.

What was on your menu this past week? Have a lovely weekend!


  1. I really hope you are able to delete my previous comments if they come through Lili. Bit repetitive:)
    Do you follow Under the Median blog?
    Vegan writer, mother of 4 boys, lives very frugally.
    Many delicious vegetarian menus posted. Her cooking reminds me of your meals. You could be sisters:)

    1. Hi Teresa,
      That's funny that you mentioned Under the Median. Melissa also mentioned that blog in comments on another thread. Anyway, yes, I recently checked out her blog and found some good advice and ideas. I'll be checking back there often. It's motivating to read about others who are in similar circumstances.
      Thank you -- meals this week just seemed rather basic, but they did their job. So, that's a plus.

  2. Your menus above sound delicious, filling and frugal. Keep up the good work.

  3. I'm glad I'm not the only one with occasional baking "fails". Making bread pudding out of your muffins is a great idea. I'm not sure I would have thought of it.

    This has been a weird week for us--3 different band concerts for our kids on 3 different nights, plus appointments late in the day, has made it a bit haphazard. My husband made extra enchiladas a grilled pork chops last weekend and the leftovers came in VERY handy.

    Good for your daughters for giving you a lovely Mother's Day brunch. What a great way to celebrate!

    1. Hi Kris,
      It was a week of cooking/baking fails or near fails for me. The bread pudding made the most of some awful muffins. I found a glass jar of what looked like a couple of tablespoons of flour in a cupboard. I should have tasted it first. It turned out to be baking soda and flour mixed, so my muffins came out very strongly soda-y. The bread pudding was the best I could think of. I chopped the muffins into small dices and soaked in an egg/sugar/vanilla/milk batter, then baked. The final product was pretty good.

      What a busy week for you. I remember end of the school year always being filled with recitals, rehearsals, and other special events. This will be my very last spring with end of the year events for my kids. My daughter had her art show, then there will be 2 ceremonies for graduation, and then finally a reception. It is sad, a bit, but the upside is from here on out, we can plan vacations without thought to school calendars!!! Woo hoo!
      Yes, my daughters did an awesome job on the brunch, and it was wonderful to have them take care of everything. It was a very lovely day.

  4. You have taught your daughters well!

    1. Thank you, Shirley. They've worked hard to learn well.

  5. Did you post your bean burger recipe before? I thought so, but I couldn't find it today when I was looking.

    I celebrated Mother's Day a week late, also, because that was when my sons could make it. They helped me with yard work which is what I asked for. Your brunch sounds lovely and it sounds like your daughters have learned a lot from you about putting together a lovely meal.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      what a nice gift to you from your sons.

      Here's one version of bean burgers. It uses cooked barley, which I don't do too much of any more, but instead use about 1 slice of homemade whole wheat bread, crumbled and mixed in with the egg.

      My additional comments on making bean burgers come from the comments' section of another post:

      "I do vary the seasonings, according to my mood, but I like lots of garlic, onion or onion powder, chili powder and herbs, salt and red pepper, for flavoring. The bread is usually 1 slice of homemade (dense) whole wheat, reduced to crumbs. I always use 1 egg as a binder. And if the mixture is too wet, I add a tablespoon or two of whole wheat flour. The texture is not chewy like Garden Burgers, but a softer texture. We enjoy them, and they do keep for several days in the fridge and are good reheated, or in the freezer for a couple of months."

      They're pretty easy to do. Good luck if you try them! I also have a bean ball (bean-based meatballs) recipe. Here's the link to that post:

    2. Thanks for the links and info. I'll check them out. My son and I made some black bean burgers yesterday and grilled them. The taste was okay, but the texture was strange--grilled and dry and mushy at the same time. I think the mixture may have been too wet. However, I'd like to try them again sometime after a bit of research.


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