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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Brown Sugar Cookies


When my husband brought this recipe to my attention, he swore it was amazing.  So I made it and he was right.  These cookies are delicious and easy to make. 

Brown Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

¨            ¾ cup brown sugar
¨            ¼ sugar
¨            1/3 c butter softened
¨            2 eggs
¨            A splash of vanilla
¨            ½ teaspoon cinnamon
¨            2 cups bisquick
¨            ½ cup chopped nuts

 

Directions

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.   In mixer, combine sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon until mixed well.
3.   Add bisquick  and nuts. 
4.   Scoop tablespoons of batter on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.-Should make about 15 cookies.
5.   Cook for about 18-20 minutes. 


Overall
Very easy cookie to make and delicious.

Frugality
All of the ingredients in this recipe were on-hand in my pantry.  This baker’s dozen was virtually free.

Look Forward To
I still have a broccoli, a cauliflower, some red and green bell peppers, a head of iceberg lettuce, 12 plums and 6 nectarines…




Easy tomato sauce


When you’re “frugal” like me, you don’t like to waste food.  So when I realized I had some tomatoes, onions and bell peppers on hand, that needed to be used up, I decided to make pasta sauce.  This is my first ever homemade pasta sauce recipe and let me just say, I nailed it!  Enjoy this one!

Homemade Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

o   2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
o   1 small onion, chopped
o   1 green bell pepper, chopped
o   3 cloves of garlic, minced
o   ¼ cup white wine (I used Riesling)
o   salt to taste
o   8 ripe roma tomatoes, quartered
o   1 teaspoon dried basil
o   1 tablespoon butter

 

Directions

1.    Heat EVOO in medium saucepan and add onion and bell pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes.
2.   Add garlic, cook for another 3 minutes.  Add white wine, cook to reduce by half the liquid  (a few more minutes).
3.   Add tomatoes, basil and salt, cook for 40 minutes over low-medium bubble.
4.   Use immersion blender or food processor to pulse into sauce of desired consistency.  Add butter, melt and salt to taste.
5.   Serve on pasta, enjoy!

Overall
This is exactly the flavor I was looking for and who knew pasta sauce was so easy?!  This is a great, easy recipe.

Frugality
The onion was probably about $.50, the bell pepper was $.33, and the garlic was $.44 all from Sprouts.  The tomatoes were $1.26 from my produce basket, the butter and wine were on hand.  The total for this sauce comes out to $2.53 and much better than a jar of your usual go-to pasta sauce.

Look Forward To
I still have a broccoli, a cauliflower, some red and green bell peppers, a head of iceburg lettuce, 12 plums and 6 nectarines…



Monday, September 26, 2011

Avgolemono (Greek Vegetarian Lemon Orzo Soup)


So my question today was what do I want for dinner?  Completely uninspired and close to grabbing take-out, I asked a co-worker and he suggested Egg Drop Soup….which got me thinking that I haven’t had Avgolemono (Greek lemon orzo soup) –also has eggs in it- in years.  I’ve been a vegetarian for 13 years so it has been at least that long, as it’s usually made with a whole chicken as the base for the broth.  I started this recipe by looking online at recipes and really didn’t find one I liked.  So, I called my mom and she and I worked out a new recipe while on the phone for a good hour.  Here is what we came up with, enjoy!


Vegetarian Lemon Orzo Soup (Avgolemono)

Ingredients

o   2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
o   1 large onion, chopped
o   3-4 large carrots, chopped
o   A head of celery, chopped
o   8 cups of water
o   1 tablespoon dried dill weed
o   ½ tablespoon dried oregano
o   1 cup orzo
o   3 eggs
o   The juice of 2 lemons
o   Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

1.    Heat EVOO in large soup pot, add veggies and sweat them out for a few minutes.
2.   Add 8 cups of water and bring to slow boil.  The longer you cook this, the better broth you will end up with.
3.   While veggies are cooking, prepare 1 cup of orzo according to directions on the box.
4.   Use immersion blender or food processor to break down big pieces of veggies when broth is ready (broth should cook for at least ½ hour).
5.   Add orzo to prepared vegetable broth.
6.   In separate bowl, whip eggs and add lemon juice.  Slowly add a few tablespoons of the broth to the lemon egg mixture at a time, to avoid curdling the eggs.  Do this until the lemon mixture is hot enough to add to soup pot without cooking the eggs.
7.   Add salt to taste and enjoy!

Overall
At first I wasn’t sure about this recipe, I was going for a very specific taste when I set out to make this.  Once the soup cooled down and I added enough salt to take the place of the missing chicken, it was divine!  I will absolutely make this again.  Next time I might consider roasting the veggies before adding the water for a richer flavor.

Frugality
The onion was probably about $.50, the carrots were $.44, and the celery was $.88 all from Sprouts.  I had the spices and eggs on hand.  The lemons were $.84 and the orzo was $1.50 from Fresh and Easy.  The total for this big pot of soup came out to $4.16.  A great deal!!

Look Forward To
Doing something with all of these plums, nectarines and tomatoes…I’m thinking of plum oat muffins and maybe a homemade tomato sauce but that could change with my mood. 




Sunday, September 25, 2011

Slow Cooker Pear Applesauce


After getting a produce basket this week fromwww.bountifulbaskets.org, I realized I had an abundance of apples and Asian pears.  My executive decision then is to create a delicious slow cooker version of an Asian pear applesauce.  I used very specific produce as it is what came in my produce co-op but you can use other varieties of apples and pears to suit your tastes as well.  Enjoy!


Slow Cooker Asian Pear Applesauce

Ingredients

o   3 medium ginger gold apples, peeled, cored, sliced
o   3 medium red gala apples peeled, cored, sliced
o   5 small Asian pears peeled, cored, sliced
o   1 tablespoon cinnamon
o   ¾ cup packed brown sugar
o   1 tablespoon vanilla extract
o   1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

Directions

1.    Add all ingredients into slow cooker, cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Blend or mash with fork, depending on the texture you are looking for.  The fruit will simply fall apart with a fork.  Enjoy warm or cold, over ice cream or oatmeal or alone. 

Overall
This is a recipe I have made a few times before and the recipe always varies with the produce I have on hand.  The end result is almost like a pie filling.  This dish is best served warm or cold.  It is sweet and delicious with flavors of apples, brown sugar and Asian pears.  Cook it long enough and you don’t even have to blend it as it falls apart from the sugars.  Delicious!

Frugality
The apples were $1.27 and the Asian pears were $1.27, both from my co-op basket this week.  Spices were on hand.  The grand total for this large pot of applesauce was $2.54.  You can hardly buy a jar of applesauce for this price and not nearly as delicious.

Look Forward To
Doing something with all of these plums, nectarines and tomatoes…




Saturday, September 24, 2011

Honey Cornbread Muffins


I can’t sleep so I decided I wanted to bake a quick something.  After reviewing what ingredients I had on hand, I set out to make honey cornbread muffins.


Honey Cornbread Muffins

Ingredients

·  1 cup yellow cornmeal
·  1 cup flour (I used wheat)
·  1 tablespoon baking powder
·  1/2 cup granulated sugar
·  1 teaspoon salt
·  1 cup whole milk
·  2 large eggs
·  4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
·  1/4 cup honey

 

Directions

1.     Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2.     Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, oil, and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.
3.     Place muffin paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Evenly divide the cornbread mixture into the papers. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.

Overall
This is a great, easy recipe for delicious honey cornbread muffins.  I like mine with a bit of extra honey, slightly warmed.  Enjoy!

Frugality
These muffins were virtually free since I had all of the ingredients on hand already…the joys of baking! 

Look Forward To
Doing something with all of these plums, nectarines and tomatoes…




Bountiful Baskets Produce Co-op

This week, I purchased another produce basket from http://www.bountifulbaskets.org/.  For $16.50, I got:  2 cucumbers, 3 green bell peppers, 3 red bell peppers, 5 roma tomatoes, 4 yellow onions, 7 bananas, a head of iceburg lettuce, a pineapple, 7 nectarines, 3 green apples, 5 asian pears, a bunch of green grapes, and 12 plums.  I got 13 types of produce for $16.50 which divides out to be $1.27 for each type of produce.  What a deal.  I am looking forward to finding some new recipes to help me use up all this great food....especially all of those plums! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Marinated Grilled Portabella Mushroom


This is my favorite way to prepare portabella mushrooms.  You can eat them plain, like a steak or on a bun, like a burger.  The end product is a delicious alternative to meat with tons of flavor.


Marinated Grilled Portabella Mushrooms

Ingredients

o   2 large portabella mushrooms
o   2 cloves minced garlic
o   2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
o   2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
o   2 teaspoons oregano
o   salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

1.    Clean mushrooms by taking a moist paper towel and wiping them down.  Do not run under water, as this will make your mushrooms soggy.
2.   Place mushrooms face up in baking dish large enough for both mushrooms to lay flat.
3.   Cover mushrooms with garlic, olive oil, vinegar, oregano and salt and pepper.  Allow time to marinade (at least 15 minutes).
4.   Preheat grill to medium heat.  Add mushrooms face up so the marinade has more time to soak in. 
5.   Cook about 5 minutes on each side, or until desired firmness.
6.   Serve warm either plain or on bun.  Enjoy!

Overall
The end result of this recipe is a very meaty, garlicy delicious addition to your meal.  Serve along side my herbed spaghetti squash http://thefrugalveg.blogspot.com/2011/09/herbed-spaghetti-squash.html.  


Frugality
The mushrooms were $3 and everything else was on hand. 

Look Forward To
I will be picking up my produce basket from my local co-op tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to discovering my new foods to work with next week!



Herbed Spaghetti Squash


This recipe was one I made up.  Usually I make spaghetti squash into either a pasta-like dish with red sauce or mix it with macaroni and create a healthier version of macaroni and cheese.  Since I just made lasagna last night, I’m kind of all-pasta’d out (if that’s even possible).  So I decided to try something a little different.


Herbed Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

o   1 medium spaghetti squash, 2-3 pounds
o   3 Tablespoons butter or margarine
o   ½ tablespoon dried parsley
o   1 tablespoon dried basil
o   1 tablespoon dried oregano
o   1 teaspoon salt
o   1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
o   A small handful of crushed walnuts or pinenuts

 

Directions

1.    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2.   Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise and place, cut side down, in a baking dish. Add enough water to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the baking dish.  Use either a grapefruit spoon or a melon baller to remove seeds and discard.
3.    Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the squash is easily pierced with a paring knife.
4.   Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly (cool enough for you to work with it with your hands). Using a fork, gently pull the strands of squash away from the peel and place the squash strands into a mixing bowl.
5.   Add the butter, herbs, nuts and salt and pepper and toss thoroughly but gently to combine. Serve immediately.

Overall
This recipe is delicious, fresh-tasting and easy to make.  The nuts provide a great texture.  Enjoy!


Frugality
The squash was about $3 from Sprouts and everything else was on hand.  Very cheap and delicious side dish!

Look Forward To
I will be picking up my produce basket from my local co-op tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to discovering my new foods to work with next week!



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kate's Veggie Lasagna


This recipe is one of my favorite ways to use up all the veggies I have in the house.  In this case, I had broccoli, red bell peppers, zucchini and onions.  You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand though.  This recipe fills a 9 X 13 pan to the tippy top.  Enjoy!


Kate’s Veggie Lasagna

Ingredients

o   1 pound of broccoli, cut into small florets
o   3 red bell peppers, diced
o   2 sweet yellow onions, diced
o   2 medium zucchini, sliced
o   2 15 ounce containers of part skim ricotta cheese
o   1 egg
o   2 jars of your favorite pasta sauce
o   Extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat a large pan)
o   1 tablespoon dried basil
o   1 tablespoon dried oregano
o   Salt, to taste
o   1 package of lasagna noodles
o   1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese (I used part-skim)
o   ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
o   4 cloves garlic, minced

 

Directions

1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2.  In a large pan, coat bottom with EVOO, add onion, broccoli, bell peppers, garlic and zucchini.  Cook until the veggies are soft and the onions have a golden color.  Add salt to taste.
3.  In a large bowl combine ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, basil, oregano and egg.  Stir.
4.  Add veggies to cheese mixture, stir.
5.  In 9 X 13 baking pan (I used glass but metal is good too), make layer in this order- uncooked lasagna noodles, ½ cup sauce, 1/3 veggie/cheese mixture, 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese.  Repeat layering until your ingredients are all used up.
6.  Cook for an hour and serve warm.

Overall
This is my go-to recipe for veggie lasagna.  The flavor of the fresh vegetables goes great with the 3 kinds of cheese.  This full pan of lasagna will definitely provide some great leftovers!  Enjoy!


Frugality
This is not my cheapest meal but its worth every penny.  The pasta sauce was on sale 2 for $2 at Fresh and Easy.  The broccoli was $.88, the squash was also $.88 both from Sprouts.  The bell peppers were 3 for $1 at Sprouts, the onions were about a dollar.  The ricotta cheese was $4 from Fresh and Easy, the spices, parm, garlicv and EVOO were on hand.  The lasagna noodles were $2 and the mozz was $2 both from Fresh and Easy.  The grand total for this pan of deliciousness is 13.76 and enough food to feed you for a good few days.

Look Forward To
I still have a spaghetti squash and 2 portobella mushrooms to use and I will be getting a produce basket from my local co-op on Saturday morning.




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