Category Archives: Vegetarian

Debi’s Confetti Salad

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

Debi’s Tex-Mex Layered Dip Recipe

Copyright Deborah Taylor-Hough. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Debi’s Tex-Mex Layered Dip Recipe

This is one of my standby recipes that I take to potlucks or serve when we’re hosting a Game Night for friends and family at our house. It’s always a huge hit … and never any leftovers! It might actually be worth making two if you’re expecting a large crowd or want some to snack on the next day. I’ve actually been known to serve this to the four of us at home for a light dinner or lunch. It’s very filling! 8)

When money’s tight (which it usually is these days!), I leave out the avocado layer and don’t add the mayonnaise or packet of taco seasonings. It’s still tasty, though. 😀


  • 3 medium sized ripe avocadoes
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cans (10.5 oz each) plain or jalapeno flavored refried beans
  • 1 large bunch of green onions with tops, chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (10 oz.) sliced black olives
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • a bag or two of tortilla chips


  1. Peel, pit and mash avocadoes with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise and taco seasoning mix.
  3. To assemble layered dip, spread refried beans on a large shallow serving platter or 9″x13″ baking pan.
  4. Spread seasoned avocado mixture over beans, and then spread on a layer of the sour cream mixture.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped green onions, tomatoes, and olives.
  6. Cover with shredded cheese.
  7. Serve chilled or at room temperature with tortilla chips as dippers.


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:


Filed under appetizers, cooking, dip, entertaining, family, food, homemaking, party food, recipe, recipes, simple living, snacks, Vegetarian

Autumn Veggie Chili

It’s that time of year when I start thinking about yummy autumn-inspired soups (I’ll be posting a recipe soon!), but this vegetarian chili recipe is a great way to use up the current crop of harvest-time veggies and still have sort of a summertime feel to the meal.  Enjoy!

Autumn Veggie Chili

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cans (15 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1) In large saucepan (5 quart) heat olive oil until hot.  Add carrots, parsnips and onion.  Cook until veggies are tender and beginning to brown (about 6 to 8 minutes).  Stir occassionally.

2) On large plate, mash 1 cup of the drained beans with the back of a fork or a potato masher.  The mashed beans help to thicken the sauce so it seems more “meatlike.”

3)  Stir chili powder into veggies.  Add tomatoes and their juice, all beans (whole and mashed), and 2 cups of water.  Heat to boiling, breaking up tomatoes with stirring spoon as its heating.  Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes, stirring occassionally.  Stir in cilantro leaves just before serving.

Makes four servings.

Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for more people or for freezing ahead.  Feel free to experiment with other fresh and in-season veggies:  Zucchini, green pepper, potatoes, yams.  Yum!

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Filed under family, food, frugal, homemaking, kitchen ideas, meals, recipe, recipes, saving money, Vegetarian


Before we get to the recipe, here’s a little background story on why I’m posting this right now:

The other weekend, our family saw the movie, Ratatouille.  We all enjoyed the movie, but afterward my kids were all asking, “Mom, what IS Ratatouille, anyway?”

After the movie, I was craving a big steaming bowl of Ratatouille.  It’s been one of my all-time favorite meals for years, but I’d never fixed it at home after my kids were old enough to make “yuck” faces at large pieces of green pepper and cooked onion in their food.  😉

My children are quite a bit more grown up in their food tastes now, so I figured there probably wouldn’t be too many “yuck” faces when they saw eggplant, green/red/yellow peppers, and onion chunks swimming in their bowls.

Much to my surprise, EVERYONE liked it, even my pickiest eater (although she did pick out some of the onions and peppers as I suspected she would). But the flavor was rated “Yummy!” by everyone.

I’m not sure they would’ve been quite so willing to try it if it hadn’t been for the movie. Sometimes introducing children to diverse food items is just a matter of using a little creative timing.  😉



  • 1/2 cup olive oil (more or less)
  • 2 large onions, sliced (or one gigantic one like I used)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium-sized eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4-6 medium sized zucchini (or one humungous one from the garden), thickly sliced
  • 2 green peppers, seeded and cut into chunks (I used 1 green pepper and 1/2 each of a red pepper and yellow pepper .. makes it more colorful)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley (I was out of parsley so didn’t use it … didn’t miss it, either)
  • 4 large tomatoes, cut in chunks


  1. Over high heat, heat olive oil in a large pan or Dutch oven.  Add onions and garlic and cook until softened but not brown.
  2. Stir in eggplant, zucchini, peppers, salt, basil and parsley.  Add a little more oil if needed to keep the veggies from sticking.
  3. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir gently and carefully to retain shape of veggies as they soften.
  4. Add tomatoes.  Stir gently.  Add more oil if sticking.
  5. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This is best if served a day or more after preparation.  It can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature.



Filed under dinner, recipe, Vegetarian