Many of us are feeling the pinch as food prices get higher. Let’s share some delicious budget recipes that can save a few bucks on the grocery bill. I haven’t really ever cooked with rice or potatoes, so ideas involving those ingredients are extra appreciated. I’ll start with two of my current favorites:
Egg fried rice:
Boil rice, chill in fridge overnight. In a frypan, cook assorted frozen vegetables (I prefer carrots and peas myself) for about 5 minutes. Add a good bit of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add about 4-5 eggs. Continue to cook until the eggs are almost done. If you have it, add in some pre-cooked and sliced meat. Add enough chilled rice to the consistency you prefer, and cook another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add soy sauce and enjoy!
Homemade potato slices:
Peel potatoes. Cut into thin slices (mine tend to be about 1/8" each). Heat about 1/2" vegetable or canolla oil in a pan. Fry the potato slices until they are almost crispy. Put these slices on cookie sheets covered in paper towel to soak up the excess oil. Add an excessive amount of seasoned salt and Bacon Salt. Tadaa! Cheap and delicious potato slices.
I’ve just discovered Patak’s incredibly awesome Indian food stuff. Usually I don’t go for “___ in a jar” because it’s more expensive, doesn’t taste as good, and isn’t as healthy, but Patak’s Curry Paste (mild or hot) you use a couple tablespoons each time, it tastes exactly like the best local Indian restaurant, and it isn’t full of gross stuff. I’m about to stock up - a four pack of the mild curry paste is twenty bucks, which is five bucks a jar, and a jar holds several dinners. Add chicken, an onion, and a can of tomatoes and serve on top of rice and it’s an awesome Indian dinner. I know it would be cheaper if I made it myself with spices I got in bulk from the Indian market, but, you know, I work too and this is a great, fairly cheap weeknight menu that fills us up.
Tuned up fish
1 large or 2 small cans of tuna.
1/2 can of water chestnuts.
10 - 13 drops of liquid smoke.
1 rib of celery.
1/2 ts minced ginger.
2 slices of cheese.
3 leafs of lettuce
mayonnaise or salad dressing or Miracle Whip
Drain the tuna (give the drained water to the cats), chop water chestnuts, cut up celery (I like big crunchy pieces, other like smaller pieces - chop to taste), mince ginger,
mix together with salad dressing (however much you like to make tuna salad) and liquid smoke.
Put the cheese over tuna and microwave for 15 seconds
Serve on top of lettuce - Enjoy
The liquid smoke and the ginger change this from tunamelt to wow this is really good.
I’m good at this- I can cook like a poor person very well. Beans, dried peas, and lentils are supercheap and easy in the crockpot. My recipe for split pea soup:
1/2 bag of split peas, sorted and cleaned
2 ham hocks or any kind of sausage, or even leftover roast beef or pork
1 can of chicken broth or 2 bouillon cubes
diced potatoes and/or carrots, optional
chopped onion and garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes (crucial for me- really makes the soup)
water to cover
Slow-cook that sucker for 6-8 hours on low. For a thicker soup, puree a cup or so of the peas when it’s almost done and put them back in.
I love cooking this - costs almost nothing, stores well and tastes great.
1 pound ground beef and or ground pork / sausage meat
A few strips of bacon
One large onion
One generous cup rice parboiled (cooked with equivalent amount of water or stock)
One small head cabbage cut into 1/4" strips
One large can tomato juice
One can diced tomatoes with juice
tarragon, oregano, cumin, whatever other spices you like with tomato and beef
pinch of sugar
Fry meat, onion and garlic to just done. Drain fat.
Add everything to one deep casserole and cover. Liberal with the salt and pepper. Easy with the spices. Stir well. 350 degrees for 1.5 hours, stirring a couple of times and adding liquid if necessary.