Gluten-free. Meat-free. Cheese-free. I even made ours sugar-free. Sounds like there’s nothing in it but air, doesn’t it? Nothing but yummy deliciousness, that is!
Debi’s Confetti Salad
- 3 cups cooked rice, cooled (your choice of white, basmati or brown)
- 1 can (16-oz) red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 can (16-oz) black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 can (16-oz) corn (drained)
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1 small or half a large green or red pepper (finely diced)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (if available)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 1 Tbsp sugar (or your choice of sweetener)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp coriander (optional)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Place first set of ingredients into a large mixing bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over salad in large bowl. Toss to coat. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
This goes together really fast once the rice is made. And if you have leftover rice from a previous meal, so much the better (and faster!). This is an easy dish to play around with … add a can of garbanzos … chop up a cucumber … use different beans … add a little freshly squeezed lime juice. Maybe some diced avocado! Yum … I’m getting hungry again.
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Filed under budget, budget meals, cooking, family, food, frugal living, frugality, gluten-free, recipe, recipes, salad, simple living, Vegetarian
by Deborah Taylor-Hough
Groceries are one of the few flexible items in a family budget, but it can sometimes be challenging to find creative ways to save on regular family food costs. The following are some simple tips for reducing your grocery expenses. If you’re an old pro at frugal living, some of these may be old hat, but I’m amazed at how many people still find these types of tips helpful.
Plan ahead. Whether you’re cooking your meals ahead of time to store in the freezer, or just planning your menu and shopping lists in advance, it helps to know what you’re going to eat, and when. With fewer last minute food-related decisions, this also helps keep your family away from developing a first-name relationship with the pizza delivery guy! (And your own home cooking is probably a lot healthier than the pizza guy’s wares, anyway.) Continue reading
by Deborah Taylor-Hough
The following recipe is one I prepare regularly to use up leftovers or clear out the cupboards. I keep a copy of this taped to the inside of my pantry door at all times.
This recipe is adapted from my book, Mix-n-Match Recipes (now out-of-print). I’m always amazed at the meals I can create from these simple, basic formulas. I also save money by choosing ingredients I have on hand. Sometimes I even surprise myself with a delicious nearly-gourmet combination or two!
Also an excellent way to use up leftover turkey or ham from your holiday dinners. 🙂 Continue reading
Filed under budget, budget meals, casseroles, cooking, dinner, food, frugality, ground beef, ham, hamburger, kitchen ideas, leftovers, lunch, meal planning, pasta
by Deborah Taylor-Hough
This is one of those recipes my family can never get enough. I remember my youngest daughter when she was about three, holding out her plate with a huge smile and asking in a sweet little voice, “More yummy noodles, Mommy?” Always a pleasure when the kiddos enjoy an easy meal the grown-up folks love, too. Continue reading
Filed under budget, budget meals, casseroles, cooking, dinner, family, food, freezer, freezer cooking, freezer meals, frugal, frugal living, frugality, ground beef, homemaking, kitchen ideas, make-ahead, meals, OAMC, once a month cooking, pasta, recipe, recipes, saving money
In a hurry for breakfast but have a few minutes to scramble an egg? With no more effort, you can make this simple breakfast sandwich (or substitute the English Muffin for a corn tortilla for a gluten-free burrito option).
This recipe is for a single serving, but simply multiply each ingredient by the number of people you’re feeding. It doesn’t take much longer to scramble one egg for yourself or four for the family.
And making a breakfast sandwich at home is so much cheaper than buying one on the way to work at the local drive-thru. Tastes better, too.
Enjoy! 😀 Continue reading
Filed under breakfast, budget, budget meals, cooking, eggs, family, food, frugal, frugal living, frugality, gluten-free, homemaking, kitchen ideas, meal planning, meals, recipe, recipes, sandwiches, saving money, simple living, tortillas
Not sure how long this special deal/sale will last, but I thought I’d let you all know that the original Frozen Assets book is currently discounted by 42% on Amazon! That’s actually more of a discount than what I get when I order these books myself directly from my publisher. Seriously!
Frozen Assets – 42% off at Amazon.com
So if you’ve been meaning to order your own copy of Frozen Assets, this is definitely the time to do it.
Filed under budget, budget meals, casseroles, entertaining, family, food, freezer, frugality, kitchen ideas, make-ahead, meal planning, meals, saving money
Special recipe request from a college classmate. (Hope this is what you had in mind, Deb!) 🙂
Spice Nut Cake
- 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2/3 cup shortening
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
Sift together first seven (7) ingredients. Add shortening, brown sugar, and buttermilk. Mix till all flour is moistened. Beat two (2) minutes at medium speed on electric mixer. Add eggs; beat two minutes more. Stir in nuts. Bake in 2 greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or till done. Cool ten minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely. Fill and frost with cream cheese frosting, if desired.
The following recipe is not only easy and delicious, it’s also a simple way to use canned, dried, and other easily stored food items in a delicious homemade soup. Excerpted and adapted with permission from Mix and Match Recipes: Creative Ideas for Busy Kitchens by me, Deborah Taylor-Hough (this title is currently out-of-print).
Mix-and-Match Soup (8 generous servings)
Broth (choose one)
- Tomato: One 12-ounce can of tomato paste plus two 16-ounce cans of tomatoes with juice (chopped) plus water to equal 10 cups total
- Chicken/Turkey: 10 cups broth or 4 bouillon cubes dissolved in 10 cups of water
- Beef: 10 cups broth or 4 bouillon cubes dissolved in 10 cups of water
Protein (choose one — 1 pound or 2 cups, cooked)
- Ground beef, browned
- Leftover meatballs or meatloaf, chopped
- Cooked chicken or turkey (cut up)
- Ham (cut up)
- Frankfurters, sliced (or any sausage or Kielbasa)
- Pepperoni, sliced
- Beans, cooked or canned (pintos, kidney, Great Northern, etc.)
Grain (choose 1 or 2 for a total of 2 cups)
- Rice, cooked (any variety)
- Barley, cooked
- Pasta, raw
- Dumplings (add near end of cooking time)
Vegetables (raw, cooked or canned, choose 2 or more for a total of 1 to 2 cups)
- Green beans
- Peas or pea pods
- Bell pepper
- Zucchini (add raw)
Seasonings (choose 2 to 4 spices, 1 to 2 teaspoons each)
- Cayenne (dash)
- Onion powder
To Prepare Soup:
Bring the broth to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add all of the ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer one hour.
Slow Cooker Prep:
Pour the boiling stock and other ingredients into a slow cooker and simmer for 8 to 12 hours or overnight on LOW setting.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deborah Taylor-Hough is the mother of three grown and nearly grown kids still at home, a full-time college student, a displaced homemaker trying to make ends meet on a limited budget, and the author of several older (but still in print) books including the popular Frozen Assets cookbook series. You can visit Debi online at: http://www.SimpleMom.com
- 1 can (12-ounce) frozen apple juice concentrate
- 1 bag fresh cranberries
Heat apple juice in a medium saucepan until boiling (don’t add water, just use the frozen juice straight from the can). Sort out any bad cranberries, then add the entire bag to the boiling apple juice. Stir. Reduce heat to Medium. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until cranberries “pop” and their innards burst out into the juice. Turn off heat. Press any unpopped cranberries against side of saucepan to squeeze out their insides. Stir thoroughly. Place in refrigerator for several hours. The sauce will thicken as it cools. It’s best to make this the day before to make sure it has plenty of time to cool and thicken.
Easy peasy. And so yummy! (And healthy, too!)
Filed under autumn, budget, budget meals, Christmas, cooking, cranberry, dinner, food, frugal, frugal living, frugality, holidays, homemaking, meals, saving money, turkey
Whenever canned pumpkin is called for in a recipe, just substitute this homemade puree that you’ve frozen ahead. It’s almost like having fresh pumpkin anytime of year! And who says you can’t have pumpkin pie in February? 🙂
Make-Ahead Pumpkin Puree
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut pumpkin in to 5-inch square pieces. Remove seeds and stringy pulp. Arrange pieces of pumkin in a single layer (skin side up) on a foil-lined baking pan or cookie sheet.
2) Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour or until tender. Allow to cool.
3) Scrape pumpkin “meat” from rind and place in a large bowl or the food processor. Using a hand mixer or the food processor, beat to a smooth pulp.
4) Transfer to freezer bags. Label and freeze. Thaw in refrigerator to use.
Makes 5 cups pumpkin puree.
Filed under autumn, budget, dessert, family, food, freezer, freezer cooking, frugal, frugal living, frugality, homemaking, kitchen ideas, make-ahead, OAMC, once a month cooking, pumpkin, recipe