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Stacia Kane
06-02-2008, 09:00 PM
I thought maybe we could have a thread specifically for low-cost, filling types of recipes. Stuff you can stretch to feed several people--surely I'm not the only stay-home Mom who is the exclusive cook/meal planner/food buyer? :)

I made this last night; it's a recipe I've had and used for years (a Scottish dish, called "minced collops" there). Much, much tastier than it sounds, and very filling--it's more than enough to feed my husband and I plus our six-year-old for dinner and have leftovers, which are great in sandwiches or by themselves.

1 pound ground sirloin or ground beef*
1/4 cup -1/2 cup steel-cut oatmeal (I use McCann's. The big can of it was like $8 but it will last a year or so and is yummy on its own too.)
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup beef stock
1 onion or several tbsp onion powder
Several tbsp Worcestershire sauce


Brown the beef well with onion or onion powder, add oatmeal*, stir to mix.

Add stock. (I put various amounts because you can add a bit more oatmeal to stretch it further, it's a very flexible recipe. The recipe itself calls for 3 oz. oatmeal and 1 1/4 cup of stock, but I like more oatmeal in it so I add a little more stock.)

Cover. Simmer gently 30 minutes or so. The oatmeal will absorb the stock and meat juices and soften.

When done, add several tbsp Worcestershire, stir well. Serve over mashed potatoes or baked potatoes, or with toast or fries or really anything.


*If you're using sirloin--which is of course pricier--don't drain it before adding the oatmeal. The recipe book I got this from simply called for sirloin and said not to drain it. But I've found that you can use less expensive ground beef and simply drain off most of the fat, and it's just as tasty. Leave a couple of tbsp or so, because you want the oatmeal to absorb it and help form the unctuous sort of sauce it creates.

Like I said, it might not sound great, but it is quite good, and is one of the cheapest things I make.


I forgot to add: You can of course make this go further by using more oatmeal or more beef, it's very flexible. So if you have six people to feed, for example, you could use 1 1/2 pounds of beef and 3/4 cup oatmeal with 2 cups of stock (or so).

I also do a sort of variation which I call "lazy hamburgers", which is basically browned beef with onion, a little rosemary--whatever spices you like, really--and Worcestershire, mixed after cooking with a little gravy. I serve that one with fries or over baked potatoes, too, and while it may not be elegant and gourmet, the family enjoys it and it's inexpensive and filling.


And really, I know ground beef has a bad reputation health-wise, but if you can afford the pricier sirloin or if you drain ground beef well, I feel confident I'm giving them something good. Because it's filling they're not eating tons of it anyway, and I always make sure there's vegetables and stuff too. We always have some left over from that pound of meat.

slcboston
06-02-2008, 09:02 PM
i'm trying decide whether "sirloin oatmeal" is the best oatmeal combination since raisin/oatmeal cookies, or a really, really bad idea... :)

(But a great idea for a thread! :D )

Shadow_Ferret
06-02-2008, 09:08 PM
Can you substitute Quaker Oats? Does it have to be some expensive steel-cut brand?

Kitrianna
06-02-2008, 09:10 PM
I have a better one. My cousin inlaw dubbed it Monster Mac.

1 box Kraft dinner (or the no name if you like)
1 lb. ground beef
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced

Cook noodles as directed and drain. Set aside. Brown beef, onion and pepper. Add to macaroni. Pour cheese packet and tomatoes and stir. voila! a dinner the kids shouldn't whine about (his didn't).

Stacia Kane
06-02-2008, 09:22 PM
Lol SlcBoston, that's what I thought too. But really, it is good. The oatmeal absorbs the meaty flavor--kind of like breadcrumbs in meatballs. Thanks--it occurred to me we didn't have one, although we do have the one about rising food prices!


ShadowFerret, I've never tried it with Quaker Oats, simply because the steel-cut ones are like small round balls, if you know what I mean. I bought the steel-cut ones the first time I made it because I wanted to try them, and liked it so much I kept them. But I imagine you could try it and the flavor would be the same, so sure! If you try it please let me know! :)

Stacia Kane
06-04-2008, 01:19 AM
Doesn't anyone else have to cook for a family on a tight budget? :(



Okay, well, I have another one, it's a sort of very modified and cheap beef bourgoignonne (or however it's spelled. I have a really authentic delicious recipe that takes forever, too, but this is one I made up as a pasta sauce. It's good if you have any wine left over or if you can get those smaller bottles.)

1 pckg stew beef chunks (they're usually 2 or 3 lbs., and at the Publix where I used to shop one pckg was $3 or 4. Sometimes they'd have sales and I'd buy a couple to freeze.)
2 or 3 slices bacon (I separate this into pckages of 2-3 strips each and freeze.)
Onion
garlic
parsley
oregano
basil
red wine


Saute bacon in a large saucepan until fat renders; remove and put in fridge. Add a tsp or so olive oil, brown beef. Add herbs. (You could add some diced or stewed tomatoes or tomato sauce if you like, too.) Add wine--it should almost cover the meat, usually 1/3 cup or so? If it's not enough you can use water or stock. Add a pinch of salt and a little pepper.

Cover, simmer 2-2 1/2 hours or so until meat is tender.

Add bacon back in, stir until warm. Shred beef using 2 forks. It should be a very thick meaty sauce--almost like a fricassee rather than a sauce. You can always add a splodge of butter to it to make it more velvety-saucy.

Serve over pasta with lots of grated parmesan. Again, there's usually a decent amount of leftovers as a little of this goes far--it's very rich--and it's fantastic the next day as is or on toasted bread, especially if you have some French or Italian bread (which we couldn't always afford, but if we could we would just to make open-faced sandwiches with this.)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
06-04-2008, 01:28 AM
I dunno about that substitution of steel-cut oats for Quaker... I imagine it would definitely affect the texture. The steel-cut oats have a more substantial texture to them - the Quaker oats might turn into something akin to mush. The steel-cut require chewing, IOW, and the Quaker would not.

There are actually some reasonably priced steel-cut oats out there. Look for Bob's Red Mill brand.

icerose
06-04-2008, 02:10 AM
My cheapest, fastest, most loved meal in my family:

Chicken and rice.

You take two chicken breasts, cook them and cut them into small pieces, (more if you're using more than 6 cups of rice). Take rice, however many p eople you need to feed, that's how much rice you need. We'll say four for the standard recipe. This is cooked rice, so go with like four servings.

Then take veggies, my family loves the frozen carrot, broccoli, cauloflower mix and heat those up, stir them all together with a can of cream of whatever you want soup and serve. It takes about 20 minutes and 5 bucks to feed everyone. (Have to account for inflation and all.)

icerose
06-04-2008, 06:19 PM
Here's another one that had slipped my mind.

1 lb of sausage
5-6 potatoes diced
4-6 eggs

Brown your sausage while your potatoes cook on another skillet. After they are both done and the sausage is drained, mix them together, crack the eggs over the top and cook until the eggs are done, if you don't have a big enough cooking dish, wok, or whatever you cook with, then scramble the eggs separately and then combine.

My kids love it with ketchup, my husband prefers it plain. Hamburger can also be used and we've yet to have leftovers.

CatSlave
06-04-2008, 07:06 PM
I love red beans or black beans over rice, or Hoppin' John which is a Southern classic blackeyed peas and rice combination.

Next I want to try a reverse black beans and rice using white cannelli beans over Asian black rice.

Has anyone here cooked black rice before?

.

jennontheisland
06-04-2008, 07:11 PM
I haven't had this since I was a kid, but I loved it back then...

1 lb of burger
1 box of burger helper
1 large tin of diced tomatoes
1/2 bag frozen mixed veggies

Make the burger helper with the burger, as per the package. Add tomatoes, veggies and 1-3 tins of water.

This makes a pretty good hearty soup/stew (depending on the tins of water used). My mom used to make it whenever my cousins came over.

jennontheisland
06-04-2008, 07:12 PM
Has anyone here cooked black rice before?

.

You mean like wild rice?

Yup. yummy. More flavour and more filling than white rice, but takes forever to cook.

Gravity
06-04-2008, 07:15 PM
1) make two boxes of macaroni and cheese
2) brown 1 lb. of gound beef; drain
3) add cooked beef to cooked mac and cheese
4) add 1 cup sliced olives
5) put in buttered casserole dish, add sliced cheese and bread crumbs on top
6) stick under broiler until brown and crispy
7) eat (but blow it off first, or the heat from the lava-like texture will peel the skin from the roof of your mouth like cellophane)

CatSlave
06-04-2008, 07:19 PM
You mean like wild rice?

Yup. yummy. More flavour and more filling than white rice, but takes forever to cook.
No, it's an Asian strain of rice that is dead black.
I've seen recipes for cooking it with coconut milk as a dessert.

icerose
06-04-2008, 07:25 PM
No, it's an Asian strain of rice that is dead black.
I've seen recipes for cooking it with coconut milk as a dessert.

I haven't tried the black rice, but I have tried the Asian dessert where you take the cooked rice (Jasmine is perfect for this) sweetened coconut milk and slice mangos over the top.

Sarpedon
06-04-2008, 07:41 PM
I used to make a recipe my sister gave me called indian omelets.

it consisted of green onions, chopped,
curry powder
egg
red pepper
black pepper
and any other spices you wish
and rice

put some oil in a small saucepan, fry the onions
in a separate bowl, beat 1 egg, and add spices.
pour the bowl over the egg to form a flat, eggy pancake. repeat as many times as necessary.
Take rice, put it in the eggy pancake. Eat.

DeleyanLee
06-04-2008, 07:41 PM
A couple my family's always liked:

1 pkg kielbasa or smoked sausage, chopped into @ 1" long pieces
onions (fresh or dried)
butter for sauteing
@ 1-2 cup water
1 box scalloped or au grautin potatoes (Name or off brand, doesn't really matter)
1 small bag frozen veggies

Saute onions in butter, add sausage, lower heat a tad. Stir around for 2-3 minutes. Add water. Add cheese packet and bring to light boil. Mix in potatoes. Cover and lower heat to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in frozen veggies. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until largest veggies are warmed through, stirring occasionally. Add water as needed.

Quick, easy, filling--and leftovers zap up really well.


My housemate does this sausage and rice dish:

Brown up sausage (figure 3-4 for each serving) with a little chopped onions (we have dried, but it works)
Add a healthy dash of Worchestershire sauce
Add enough water for rice for however many people you're serving
Add rice
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes for rice to cook.

She claims it reheats really well, but I've never had it reheated.

Kitrianna
06-04-2008, 09:05 PM
For those of you that own crock pots, here's some budget stretchers. And for those of you who don't...What the bloody hell is wrong with you? Crockpots are time AND budget stretchers!!!

Crock Pot Bean Casserole

5-6 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, diced
½ lb. Lean ground beef (you can use regular ground beef, but this eliminates having to drain it)
3 cans pork and beans in tomato sauce (you can substitute other beans for 2 of the cans, but drain them first)
¼ cup ketchup
2-3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon liquid smoke (look for this near the barbeque sauce in the grocery store)

Combine beef, bacon and onion in a frying pan. Cook until onions are translucent and beef is no longer pink. Put meat mixture into crock pot and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. I do NOT recommend using high for this recipe as it tends to dry out the beans and can leave some of the casserole burned on the sides.


Crock Pot Stew

1 lb. Stewing beef cut into bite size pieces
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 to 3 medium carrots sliced into rounds
1 large cooking onion diced
3 to 4 cloves garlic minced
½ can water
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Brown beef and onions in a frying pan, but don not fully cook the beef. Add mushrooms and garlic and continue to cook until mushrooms are slightly softened and you can smell the garlic. Combine with remaining ingredients in crock pot, stirring to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5. If gravy is too thin, strain out vegetables and meat. Put gravy into a small sauce pan and whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoon corn starch or gravy mix. Bring to a boil and then add back to meat and veggies. Serve over mashed potatoes.


Green Pepper Casserole

This one is inspired by my love of stuffed peppers, but my dislike of the soggy pepper itself.

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
½ lb. Lean ground beef
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (or 1 can pieces and stems well drained)
4 green onions with tops, sliced (or 1 medium cooking onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup instant rice
½ cup water

Combine beef and onions in a frying pan. Cook until beef is no longer pick. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook for another minute or until you can smell the garlic cooking (do not burn the garlic, it tastes very bad). Pour mixture into crock pot and add tomatoes, stirring well to combine. Add salt and pepper if desired, but I recommend waiting until the end to do this. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5. At the very end, turn crock pot off and add water and instant rice. Stir to combine and recover. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Your rice ends up perfect this way. I serve this over mashed potatoes, the same way my mom used to serve her stuffed peppers

These lovelies are family favos, easy on the grocery bill and my own concoctions (none has died from eating them ...yet :P).

DeleyanLee
06-04-2008, 09:21 PM
For those of you that own crock pots, here's some budget stretchers. And for those of you who don't...What the bloody hell is wrong with you? Crockpots are time AND budget stretchers!!!

I'm the only person who'll eat anything cooked in a crock pot, which is why I don't have one anymore. The general complaint is that it "mushes all the flavors together so it all tastes like sludge." If they won't eat it, I don't waste the food anymore.

Shadow_Ferret
06-04-2008, 09:23 PM
1) make two boxes of macaroni and cheese
2) brown 1 lb. of gound beef; drain
3) add cooked beef to cooked mac and cheese
4) add 1 cup sliced olives
5) put in buttered casserole dish, add sliced cheese and bread crumbs on top
6) stick under broiler until brown and crispy
7) eat (but blow it off first, or the heat from the lava-like texture will peel the skin from the roof of your mouth like cellophane)
Oh yeah. We've made that without the olives. Just the mac and cheese and ground beef with addition help from some Velveeta.


I'm the only person who'll eat anything cooked in a crock pot, which is why I don't have one anymore. The general complaint is that it "mushes all the flavors together so it all tastes like sludge." If they won't eat it, I don't waste the food anymore.Guess I've never gotten that complain. We like the mushed flavor.

CBumpkin
06-04-2008, 09:28 PM
The crockpot is a glorious invention! I enjoy it all year round! Throw ingredients in in the morning and come home from work and, "Welcome Home!" What's not to love?

Yes, you have to learn what you can leave in there all day and what you have to add when you come home and wait an additional hour for it to cook. Mine has a timer that I can set to turn on in the early afternoon if I don't want to leave it on to cook all day.

CBumpkin
06-04-2008, 09:34 PM
My quickest dinner tip (but I don't have a family) is a bowl of cereal. I love cereal.

I also make whole, brown, basmati rice in a rice cooker and dump a can of drained black beans in with it while it's cooking (with only slightly more water) and a few spices. Stir and eat. Can add veggies the last few minutes to steam them.

Here's a quick recipe for egg drop soup that I enjoy. Empty a can of chicken broth into a pot. Fill the can with water and dump half of it in the pot with the broth. Pour the rest in a mug and mix with two heaping teaspoons of cornstarch and mix. Add about four to five tablespoons of soy sauce to the broth and heat to boiling. In a separate mug, crack two or three eggs (yolk optional) and whisk with a fork. Once the broth starts to boil, add the cornstarch mixture and stir. When this just begins to boil, drizzle the mixed egg from the mug with a fork and turn off the stove. (Egg cooks instantly). Stir and serve with cracked pepper to taste. This whole soup takes five to seven minutes to make.

jennontheisland
06-04-2008, 10:08 PM
No, it's an Asian strain of rice that is dead black.
I've seen recipes for cooking it with coconut milk as a dessert.

Nifty! Never heardof it before. I'll have to keep an eye out for it.



Fried Rice is a good cheap meal. Only one pan too.

Beat 1 egg. Fry, breaking into little chunks as it cooks. Remove from pan.
Cook 1 or 2 chicken thighs (chopped into bite sized pieces) in the same pan. Remove from pan.
Fry up whatever veggies you like in the same pan. when chopped small, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, 3 mushrooms, etc can go a long way. Remove from pan.
Fry up all the leftover rice in the fridge in the pan (it has to be leftover rice, fresh stuff will just be mush) with enough soy sauce to colour it.
Add egg, meat and veg. Stir to mix. Top with green onion.
Serve in bowls.

Kitrianna
06-04-2008, 10:16 PM
I'm the only person who'll eat anything cooked in a crock pot, which is why I don't have one anymore. The general complaint is that it "mushes all the flavors together so it all tastes like sludge." If they won't eat it, I don't waste the food anymore.

I was trying to be funny, but that really bites hon. My hubs actually likes a lot of things better cooked in the crockpot and has never commented on the flavors being mushed up. Go figure and I definitely have further proof that I am a lucky woman:D.

DeleyanLee
06-04-2008, 10:45 PM
I also like to do breakfast for dinner. One of the favorites is "breakfast burritos"

Almost cover a likely portion of hash browns (preferrably NOT frozen) with water. Add onions (we still used dried) and simmer, turning occasionally to keep from sticking.

When the water is mostly gone, add eggs (figure 2 per serving) and stir. Add chopped up breakfast meat(s) of your choice (in a pinch, I've used Bac-N-Bits).

Keep stirring until eggs are no longer runny. Smooth out mixture to cover pan fairly evenly.

Add shredded cheese of your choice (We like Colby-Jack mixed) Turn off heat, cover and allow cheese to melt.

Put flour torillas on a plate, cover with slightly damp paper towel or napkin. Microzap for no more than 30 seconds for an entire package of 10. (You could heat them in the oven, I guess, but I've never done that)

When cheese is melted, put a decent dollop of burrito mixture in torilla, roll, serve.

Good with a small salad or chopped up fruit.

Really good for Sunday breakfast too. ;)

Sarpedon
06-04-2008, 11:11 PM
Does anyone have any vegetarian crock pot recipes?

DeleyanLee
06-04-2008, 11:31 PM
Does anyone have any vegetarian crock pot recipes?

Is cheese allowed?

CatSlave
06-04-2008, 11:45 PM
Does anyone have any vegetarian crock pot recipes?
Maybe you can start a "Crock Pot" thread.

Sarpedon
06-05-2008, 12:55 AM
Cheese is allowed. Even some meat. I'm not really a vegetarian, I just have decided to reduce my meat intake of late, so I'm trying to make 3/4 (at least) of my meals vegetarian.

I'm not sure if it warrants its own thread, as the crock pot is a major part of cheap cuisine, and vegetarian meals are often cheaper than meaty ones.

Don Allen
06-05-2008, 01:23 AM
This may sound nasty but its really tasty and real cheap, I call it spampo' and what I do is boil up some red potato's, fry up a can of spam chopped, with a sliced onion salt, pepper and garlic powder. Once the taters are soft I mix everything together with a half stick of butter then poor in a can of corn. Then I add about three heaping tablespoons of sour cream, and mixit all up again, slap it in the oven for 25 minutes at 350, heap some chedder cheese on it, then cook it for another 5 minutes and whalla!!! SPAMPO....... by d.g.allen....

Don Allen
06-05-2008, 01:25 AM
Whoops almost forget,,,total cost for Spampo....10 maybe 12 bucks,, should feed 3 or 4.

Kitrianna
06-05-2008, 01:31 AM
Cheese is allowed. Even some meat. I'm not really a vegetarian, I just have decided to reduce my meat intake of late, so I'm trying to make 3/4 (at least) of my meals vegetarian.

I'm not sure if it warrants its own thread, as the crock pot is a major part of cheap cuisine, and vegetarian meals are often cheaper than meaty ones.

I don't know if it would affect the flavor terribly, but you could try taking the meat out of my crockpot bean casserole. I would definitely add a different type of bean and increase the onion and possibly the liquid smoke by about a teaspoon to make up for the lack of bacon, but I don't think it would hurt anything. Or you could look for a meat substitute and use it in place of the meat. Same thing with the green pepper casserole. Just take out the meat and increase the mushrooms (they have a meaty texture). Let me know if these ideas work out for you if you try them.

TheIT
06-05-2008, 02:26 AM
One of my quick lunch "recipes" (courtesy of my mom):

Rice or noodles with butter and grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
Tuna fish
Spinach (optional)

Mix. Eat with fork or spoon.

My cats like it when I make this because they get the tuna juice and half the can of tuna.

:D

Kitrianna
06-05-2008, 02:31 AM
Sarpedon, I did a bit of research and here are some places where you can find some vegetarian crockpot recipes.
http://chetday.com/crockpotrecipes.htm
http://www.stretcher.com/stories/980702d.cfm
http://www.a-crock-cook.com/
Hope it helps hon

Southern_girl29
06-05-2008, 07:43 PM
Here's my barbecue meatloaf recipe, my smothered pork chops, and oven fried chicken. All of them are really easy.

Barbecue Meatloaf:

1.5 pounds of ground beef or turkey
2 eggs
1 cup of oats oats (it doesn't matter whether its the old fashioned or the quick cook ones; you can also use breadcrumbs)
About half an onion, finely chopped
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce

Beat the eggs and pour them over the ground meat. Add the oats and onion. In a separate bowl, mix the barbecue sauce and the teriyaki sauce. Add about half to the meat mixture. Mix it up with your hands (a spoon doesn't seem to get it mixed as well). Form it into a loaf and put it in a lightly greased loaf pan. Add the rest of the barbecue sauce on top, along with some onion, if desired.

Smothered pork chops

Two onions
Four pork chops, boneless
Pork gravy
Shake 'n Bake (If I don't have Shake 'N Bake, I make my own with some bread crumbs and seasonings that I like)
1 tablespoon of oil (I used olive oil)

Cut the onions like you would for onion rings and toss in oil. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat the pork chops according to the instructions on the box. Layer them in the pan and top with the onions. Bake 30 minutes, then pour gravy over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 15 more minutes. This is excellent. My little girl loved it.

Oven fried chicken:

Four or five chicken breasts (Or however many you need to fix. You can also cut a whole chicken for this)
Two eggs
Cup of flour
Paprika
Chili powder
Salt
Pepper

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Place a little butter or margarine in a casserole dish and place in the oven. Allow it to get hot. Place flour, paprika, chili powder salt and pepper in a plastic baggie. Break eggs over chicken and mix with your hands. Sprinkle the spices over the chicken and egg mixture and mix again. Place the chicken in the baggie. Seal it and mix it up over and over again to coat the chicken in the flour. Put the chicken in the hot pan and allow to cook for 20 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for 20 minutes. This is also really, really good. And, if you want, you can use oil in the dish instead of butter or margarine.

L M Ashton
06-06-2008, 03:19 PM
For those of you that own crock pots, here's some budget stretchers. And for those of you who don't...What the bloody hell is wrong with you? Crockpots are time AND budget stretchers!!!
Crockpots don't exist here. :( If a person can afford a crock pot, then generally, she can afford a house servant to do her cooking for her, so a crockpot would be considered a waste. Alas, we don't fall under that category. As well, crock pots don't go well with the local cuisine, habits, whatever you want to call it. Generally, a typical meal will consist of rice, a protein curry (soy is big here for the Buddhists, chicken, beef, fish, egg, whatever), a couple of vegetable curries, perhaps a sambol or a chutney, maybe a dahl. Meals are generally still very much not a quick thing to make and are very much made from scratch in this culture. Mixes, canned good, frozen foods are still at the beginning stages here, and only those who are wealthy(er) buy them. So, you know, crockpots just wouldn't sell here.

Whew! That was much longer than I'd intended!


I'm not sure if it warrants its own thread, as the crock pot is a major part of cheap cuisine, and vegetarian meals are often cheaper than meaty ones.I vote for a crockpot thread. Yeah, it's a part of cheap meals, or can be, but it's also a category unto itself. :)

Kitrianna
06-06-2008, 05:46 PM
Crockpots don't exist here. :( If a person can afford a crock pot, then generally, she can afford a house servant to do her cooking for her, so a crockpot would be considered a waste. Alas, we don't fall under that category. As well, crock pots don't go well with the local cuisine, habits, whatever you want to call it. Generally, a typical meal will consist of rice, a protein curry (soy is big here for the Buddhists, chicken, beef, fish, egg, whatever), a couple of vegetable curries, perhaps a sambol or a chutney, maybe a dahl. Meals are generally still very much not a quick thing to make and are very much made from scratch in this culture. Mixes, canned good, frozen foods are still at the beginning stages here, and only those who are wealthy(er) buy them. So, you know, crockpots just wouldn't sell here.

Whew! That was much longer than I'd intended!

I vote for a crockpot thread. Yeah, it's a part of cheap meals, or can be, but it's also a category unto itself. :)

Well that just bites! I make some mean curries in my crockpot. Yes I have a varied taste when it comes to cuisine. If you want one, I can send you my spare!

A quick question for everyone, I personally vote for the crockpot thread, but how about a mexican thread too. I have some good mexican recipes, but I want more. It's so hard to find authentic recipes some times and the best dishes are ones passed down from mother to daughter, at least that's what I've found.

L M Ashton
06-06-2008, 06:01 PM
No to the crockpot. Lovely gesture - incredibly lovely - but the electricity requirements here are incompatible. I have, however, been contemplating solar cooking, and that would be a crockpot-equivalent (that is, a slow-cooker), but without the electrical requirements. :)

Yes to a Mexican thread, too. :)

Kitrianna
06-06-2008, 07:13 PM
Hmm, solar cooking...sounds like a great idea, pity for me it's too cold round here for 6 months of the year, but that's when I do wood stove cooking, also similar to crockpot cooking. Pitiful thing is it's the only way that I can make rice turn out properly, save buying instant. Shame on me.

CatSlave
06-06-2008, 07:21 PM
Well that just bites! I make some mean curries in my crockpot. Yes I have a varied taste when it comes to cuisine. If you want one, I can send you my spare!

A quick question for everyone, I personally vote for the crockpot thread, but how about a mexican thread too. I have some good mexican recipes, but I want more. It's so hard to find authentic recipes some times and the best dishes are ones passed down from mother to daughter, at least that's what I've found.
Why don't you start the thread yourself with one of your recipes?
You can do it from the Now We're Cookin' main page, new thread button on upper left.
Sounds like a lot of people here would love to participate. :)

Kitrianna
06-06-2008, 07:32 PM
Hehehe! It's already up with the only recipe that I currently have on me. I'll bring more next week. I promise...

Nakhlasmoke
06-11-2008, 06:29 PM
Okay here's one.

Sort of a cheapo curry, so serve with rice.

I buy dry chickpeas and leave them to soak overnight. A quick boil usually gets them to the right texture.

One peeled, diced sweet potato (dunno what you call them - yams? Sweet potatoes?)

I fry up some onion in curry powder or garam masala, and add the chopped sweet potato and chickpeas and a little water. Cook til tender. Add fresh dhania and ginger and garlic if you've got them.

This is also nice with a bit of chicken cooked in, or maybe some green beans and tomatoes.

brianm
06-11-2008, 08:38 PM
One way to extend your proteins (chicken, pork, beef) and get the most value from them is by pounding them out – technically known as making paillards out of them.

Yesterday, my neighbor called and said she had to work late and would I keep an eye on her four kids, ages 6, 8, 9, and 12. No problem. The little devils enjoy my cooking so naturally they wanted me to make supper. I had one $2.14 package of round steak in the refrigerator. (Well, that’s not all I had but they weren’t getting the expensive lamb chops.) So, I cut it into four pieces and pounded them out, breaded and fried them, and then put them in the oven to stay warm. I added three pieces of bacon to the drippings in the pan and made country gravy. While the country gravy simmered, I whipped up some instant (doctored) mashed potatoes, scrapped the corn off two cobs left over from the night before, and then sautéed the corn with a wee bit of green pepper and onion.

Four nice plates of home cooked supper that cost somewhere around a dollar a piece and took about fifteen minutes to make. Granted, after dinner, they attacked and finished off an expensive cheesecake (also left over from the night before), which raised the bottom line for the meal somewhat, but I didn’t need the extra pounds anyway.

Unfortunately (and stupidly), that's the same explanation I gave my better half when questioned as to why I allowed the kids to devour the cheesecake, which explains why I am in the doghouse today.

Ravenlocks
06-14-2008, 06:05 AM
This is a great thread. My first reaction to the minced collops was "gross!" But then I thought about it, remembered I love oats, and am now curious to try it.

Btw, Trader Joe's has steel-cut oats that are about the same price as their regular quick-cooking oats. I think the steel-cut are a few cents more expensive, but since the packages are the same size but the steel-cut oats cook longer and expand more, you end up getting twice as many bowls of oatmeal out of them, so they end up cheaper. Trader Joe's is a godsend if you live near one.

For fried rice, it's extra delicious if you fry the rice in sesame oil. However, the price of sesame oil probably cuts down on the cheapness factor.

Tika
06-14-2008, 06:32 AM
my favorite spaghetti sauce - (recipe was leaked from our local favorite italian place)


2 large cans crushed tomatoes
1 small can paste
garlic (add a little or add a lot)
olive oil
1 cup grated cheese (romano and parm mixture is great)
1 cup natural applesauce (yes, applesauce is a thickener and sweetener)
1/2 to 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley

Sautee the garlic and paste in a little olive oil on low heat. Dump the rest of ingredients and simmer for about 30 min. FREEZES GREAT!

Of course you can add any meat you like.

L M Ashton
06-14-2008, 03:12 PM
I made a pasta dish today that will probably be considered sacrilegious by purists...

Brown onions and chicken together in some oil until the onions are caramelized. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as a buttload of coconut milk, a couple of chicken bullion cubes. Bring to a boil, then add your pasta and let boil happily away, adding more water as necessary to make sure the pasta has the necessary liquid to cook properly, but not so much that you end up with a soupy mess. At the end, you want a fairly thick sauce, after all. At a couple or three minutes from the end when the sauce is getting thick enough and the pasta's cooked through, add some diced tomatoes. You can also add mushrooms in at the beginning with the onions instead of/in addition to the chicken. You can add some lime juice for a bit of a sour taste. You can add red chilli powder if you're making it for my husband. You could even add a pinch of turmeric with the red chilli powder. You can add bell peppers if you like. It's really flexible. :D

The best part of it is that it's only one pot, which caters very nicely to my lazy side. :D

Jenan Mac
06-23-2008, 08:00 AM
This started out as a pasta recipe from Taste of Home, but then I lost it and had to recreate it, and now I like the recreation better. It's reasonably Weight Watchers friendly if you take it easy on the Parmesan, and really inexpensive when fresh vegetables are in season.

Saute about eight to ten slices of pepperoni per person in a non-stick pan (that way you don't have to use any oil besides what's already in the pepperoni) with some minced garlic. Add thinly sliced onions, red and green peppers, black olives, zucchini, yellow squash, and pretty much any other fairly solid vegetable you feel like adding, and saute a bit more (until the onions are translucent). You may need to add just the tiniest bit of olive oil at this point, depending on how good your pan is. Add your more delicate vegetables (mushrooms, artichoke hearts) and saute another minute. Finally add chopped tomatoes (canned or fresh) and heat through. Toss with cooked pasta and a lot of grated Parmesan.

threedogpeople
06-23-2008, 10:55 AM
1 can of good quality chili with beans
2 cans of diced tomatoes (Tex-Mex seasoning if you can get them but NOT important)
1 can of drained rinsed kidney beans
dash of hot sauce (Tobasco is my favorite)
Garlic Salt to taste

Options:
Serve over rice, corn chips, tortilla chips or corn bread.
Top with: cheese, diced onions, cilantro, sour cream, plain yogurt, avocado, sliced radishes, black olives, and or chopped chili peppers.

OR MAKE A TEX-MEX TYPE LASAGNA:
In an oiled 10 x 12 baking dish, layer the chili mixture with corn tortillas (or tortilla chips) and cheese. Then bake in a 350 degree oven until hot and bubbly. Top with diced onions, sour cream, plain yogurt, avocado, sliced radishes, black olives or chopped chili peppers if you want.

By adding the tomatoes & kidney beans (which are inexpensive) you can stretch the expensive can of chili to feed 4+ adults. I would estimate the base recipe at $1.25 - $1.50 per serving.

Jenny
06-24-2008, 05:04 AM
Eggy bread, or French toast. Beat eggs with a pinch of sugar. Dip the bread in the eggs, fry in butter until golden brown. I'm not saying it's healthy, but it's yum and quick.

Barley and vegie soup. About a cup of barley, onion, carrot, celery and whatever other vegies you like. Beef or vegie stock. Simmer until the barley is soft enough to mash -- yeah, I tend to partially pulverise this soup.

Chick pea patties. (and apologies that I'm bad at quantities). Can of chickpeas, drained. Mash until smooth. Stir in a couple of spoons of flour, and I like a bit of pepper, too. Add frozen peas, diced spring onions, grated cheese and one beaten egg to combine. Should make about eight patties fried in a little olive oil.

threedogpeople
07-15-2008, 11:05 AM
2 cups Shredded zucchini
1/4 cup of parmesian cheese
1 teaspoon dry basil (see **)
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano (see **)
garlic salt to taste (see **)

**If you don't have basil, oregano and garlic salt you can substitute 1.5 teaspoons of dry Italian seasoning (or spaghetti sauce mix) and salt.

1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion
1/4 cup finely diced green, yellow or red pepper (can even use roasted red pepper from a jar)
dash of Tabasco or other hot sauce (more if you like a bite)
1 egg or egg substitute
1/4 cup water
1 T flour
enough bread crumbs (cracker crumbs, quick cook oats, oat bran, crushed corn flakes, or mixture of any/all to bind the zucchini into a patty)

form into thin patties (this will make about 6), chill in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour (they'll hold together better)

preheat skillet on medium heat with 1 T olive oil and 1 T cooking oil.

Cook the patties until golden brown. Serve with your favorite salad dressing (I like Ranch or Blue Cheese) or with a wedge of fresh lemon or some left over spaghetti sauce.

chevbrock
07-15-2008, 05:25 PM
My Pasta Bake (sorry, I don't do quantities - you'll have to guess):

Wholemeal spiral pasta
Onion
Crushed garlic
Eggplant
Mushrooms
Zucchini - all diced
Carrot - shredded
about 400gm beef mince
Bottle of passata or bolognase sauce
Small tin tomato paste
1 cube of frozen spinach
Herbs and seasonings to taste (I include a dash of tabasco to bring out all flavours without making it "hot")
Parmesan cheese

Boil pasta until tender. Drain
Meanwhile, cook onion, eggplant, garlic and mushroom with a good dollop of olive oil. Add zucchini and carrot, passata, tomato paste and spinach, add everything else and simmer until it has thickened up a bit.

Spoon mixture into lasagne dish or baking tray. Sprinkle with cheese, enough so it's enough, but not so much that you can't see what's underneath.

Bake in oven until cheese is nicely melted.

Stacia Kane
08-20-2008, 03:16 AM
Hey, I've got a new one--I think it's the cheapest yet!

It's basically my "lazy hamburgers" recipe, but you honestly only need 1/2 pound of ground beef for 4 adults.

Brown the beef with whatever seasonings you like.

Take a package of brown and serve rolls, or mini-loaves--whatever you like. I use these little french loaves that are about 4 inches long--I get a dozen of them for a pound at my local Tesco and if memory serves they're equally inexpensive in the States.

Cook the rolls according to package direction for about 3/4 of the cooking time. Take them out, cut slits in the top, stuff each with cooked beef. Put back in the oven for the remaining cooking time. Serve with gravy over the top.

These are really, really good, and very easy. And you can feed four people for a couple of dollars total. I serve with fries and veg but you could do mashed potatoes or just vegetables or even on their own for a substantial lunch. They're much more filling than they sound.