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Whats for dinner? That is what is your frugal dinner? - Page 2

post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ediesmom View Post
fried rice. that ONE carrot left, and a tiny bit of broccoli.....whatever....i throw it in. add the egg for protein....one pan super cheap meal
This is me. When we're scraping the bottom of the barrel, it's when we don't have "interesting meat" or fresh veggies or frozen veggies of the kind we like. So my fallback is rice with tamari and whatever veggies we do have and egg or whatever bits of meat we have - a sausage or two will stretch for the whole family this way.

Also when options are low, I make "instant veggie soup" using frozen meat fat and pan drippings (I store it in a jar in the freezer and scrape it out as needed) and frozen veggies or bits of whatever is growing in the garden (kale and chives, this time of year) and rice or potatoes or a bit of pasta. And seasoned salt.

I also make "egg drop soup" for the kids using frozen leftover turkey drippings, seasoned salt, egg, and a veggie or two. They love it.

Or pannukakkua for dinner - that's huffy puffy, swedish pancake, dutch baby, whatever you want to call it - egg with a little flour and sweetener and water baked in cast-iron pans in the oven until it's puffy. Served with frozen berries or cut up apple.

If we have potatoes, latkes are a big hit here.

Also something we call "peasy potatoes" which is basically mashed potatoes with a pile of frozen peas on top, margarine, possibly scrambled eggs on the side.

Lentil soup is definitely a "desperation dinner" that everyone here likes.

In summer we have big salads with hard-boiled egg and a bit of bacon and dressing and maybe some sesame or sunflower seeds if we have them. The salad things are free from the garden. Also summer is free-stirfry-from-the-garden time, too.

The garden and the extra freezer often save my butt at dinnertime. LOL.
post #22 of 42
I like to throw all leftovers either into an omelette or a wrap. The kids always like cooked pasta, hamburger, and tomato soup mixed together. We call it american goulash.
post #23 of 42
Any kind of pasta tossed with garlic, butter/olive oil . Basil or oregano too. I didn't have sauce the other day , and when I looked in the fridge the tomatoes were gross. I salvaged 2 of them and tossed them with a little onion in skillet. I sliced a few little rounds of mozarella onto each plate and put parmesean on the table. Dh said he didn't miss the sauce.

Sometimes I just chop up whatever produce is in the fridge and put it in little bowls on the table ..kinda like a salad bar. I will make what I call relish and mix the remnants Ex; red cabbage, cucumber, and tomatoes with a splash of vinegar, salt, pepper, and cumin.. and put out some tortilla chips. If there are only a few tortillas left in the pkg. I will cut them and fry homemade tortilla chips with kosher salt and whatever they can dip beans, cottage cheese, hummus, chopped olives, cream cheese with herbs or minced jalapeno. We make a lot of tacos..so we usually have tortillas.

My little guy is a corn bread lover..I use to make a big pyrex dish and let them graze over it all day. They will have it with a meal and then later eat it with honey and butter like cake. I just got a mini loaf pan and they are really into breads right now.

I make breakfast for dinner at least once a week. Biscuits, ham, eggs, pancakes, waffles, sausage or oven cooked bacon. If we have a few potatoes I will make breakfast burritos. If I don't have enough meat I make an egg casserole and use it like garnish.

Sometimes we will have leftovers , but not enough to feed everyone the same thing. I will add chicken, steak, or whatever meat I have into a skillet with salsa or chipolte sauce and serve it over rice.

The kids love oven roasted potatoes. I add olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and pepper and roast till crispy in the oven. I will do sweet potatoes with syrup this way too..very filling.
post #24 of 42
Loving this thread. Some of these have been mentioned but this is what we usually do on those frugal nights.

- Honey Baked Lentils
- Quiche to use up little bits of stuff
- Fried Rice
- Breakfast for dinner
- Blackbean & Cheese Quesadilla
- Red Beans & Rice
- Couscous with veggies
- Spaghetti
- Grilled Cheese or Tuna Salad or Egg Salad sandwiches (something we love but for whatever reason we rarely make it)
- Tuna in biscuits, sounds weird but it was actually really good.

Thanks for starting this thread, some great ideas!
post #25 of 42
Thread Starter 
Ahhhhh, the honey baked lentils, this recipe has been floating around mdc for years now.....We make that too!

Tonight, we found lamb meat for kabobs in the freezer, 1/2 a cucumber and a tomato that needs to be eaten. Yay, also a few pitas in the fridge and some plain yogurt. DH is whipping up a middle eastern feast with this. He also found a can of chickpeas. Hummis, YUM!!

Some others:

I make mannicottis, lasagnas etc. Then we freeze and take out and bake as needed. USually I have about 1/2 cup of ricotta left. I par boil a 16 oz bag of pasta like ziti. Pour in a pan, add sauce and 1/2 cup ricotta. Then top w zella shredded. Bake or stick in freezer for later. Or use to give to a friend you need to bring dinner to.
post #26 of 42
It may not be the cheapest meal I cook, but I swear it saves us so much money: home made pizza.

Trader Joe's has pizza dough for $1.29, we top it with Trader Joe's Marinara sauce and whatever cheese and veggies and sometimes meat we have on hand. It only needs to cook for 10 minutes.

It's so much better than any delivery/restaurant pizza we've ever had so now we don't even want to go out
post #27 of 42
- Tuna in biscuits, sounds weird but it was actually really good.


My mom does that one but she puts peas in it and just lays the biscuits on top in a pyrex..I have to admit it is pretty good.
post #28 of 42
Japanese curry was a big hit around here last night. I used a packaged sauce mix but it is not difficult to make from scratch if you want to avoid msg & preservatives. The sauce is thicker, sweeter, and milder than Indian curry, and you can serve it over rice, quinoa, noodles or even toast points. Literally any veggie combination can go in (I put cabbage & carrots in it last night, and I know someone who makes it with sweet potato, bell peppers, and whatever else is in her kitchen at the time)
post #29 of 42
does anyone have a good tried and true lentil recipe (not the honey one)? Maybe a soup?

I tried the Italian dressing chicken and everyone loved it.
post #30 of 42
Our frugal recipe is Mujadarra. It's a lentil-rice recipe. It's very frugal and can be less frugal if you add other ingredients, but its bare bones are oil, onions, rice and lentils.

4 cups water
1 cup lentil
1 cup rice
2-3 medium onions
oil to saute

Boil the water, throw in lentils once boiling, reduce heat, lid and let go for 20 mins. In the meantime slice up and sautee the onions. At the end of 20 minutes, throw rice and onions into the big lentil water pot. Let it go another 20 minutes, then serve.

That's the basic, you can add mediteranean style seasonings, other veggies, can make it brown rice by adding a little more water and putting the rice in there with the lentils.
post #31 of 42
I use the lentil recipe from this book http://www.amazon.com/Vegetarian-Mot.../dp/0679774106
I got this book over 9 years ago when ds 1 was born and I wanted to batch cook his baby food..the whole family would eat his baby food

Very Quick Lentil Soup

8oz red split lentils (they look orange)
2 large onions , peeled and rough sliced
2 garlic cloves minced
juice of half a lemon
salt and fresh pepper
olive oil
1 tsp of cumin ground (optional)

Put 1 onion, lentils, and garlic into laurge saucepan with 4.c of water

bring to boil

then let simmer for 30min

until tender and soft mix till smooth

then add some lemon juice and some salt and pepper to taste

you can spice it up by adding fried onion in oil (kinda crispy and browned)

add cumin and sprinkle the onions on top prior to serving. I put lemon wedges on the table.

Forgot to mention we had to make an African dish for ds's homeschool group last year

I just used reg brown lentils and and you just toss them in a fry pan with a little butter for a few min and then pour broth over it. Let it cook 20 min ..or not until mushy but soft.

Then season with salt n pepper and lemon with some grated ginger.

It is kinda like a side salad dish..the kids ate it and said they liked it...
post #32 of 42
OMG! I had the "vegetarian mother and baby book" when I was a new mom, and I even made and froze a bunch of those dishes for when I came home from the hospital with baby boy #2, way back when!
So yes, I second that book and that lentil soup is very good and nourishing.
post #33 of 42
Rice and dal is our go-to cheap meal.

Red lentils cooked in water with tumeric till nice and soupy, add whatever veggies we have around, add a scoop of coconut oil (if I have it), serve over basmati rice.

My kids love it and don't know that it is a cheap meal.

When I was a kid, my mom would give us each a shovel and we would dig a potato out of the garden. She would bake them, split them and mash in some cheese. We had no idea she was broke and it was government cheese. Just happy memories of digging up our own dinner.
post #34 of 42
Thread Starter 
yummm lentils! I need to make that rice and lentils dish. DH would LOVE!!!
post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsymama2008 View Post
It may not be the cheapest meal I cook, but I swear it saves us so much money: home made pizza.

Trader Joe's has pizza dough for $1.29, we top it with Trader Joe's Marinara sauce and whatever cheese and veggies and sometimes meat we have on hand. It only needs to cook for 10 minutes.

It's so much better than any delivery/restaurant pizza we've ever had so now we don't even want to go out
I agree with you about it not being the cheapest (especially since I use organic cheese) but it is still way cheaper than going out and way better than a cheap frozen pizza.

Pizza dough is super simple to make. Flour, water, salt, yeast and maybe a bit of fat/oil. I usually just use bread dough from my "five minutes a day day bread" in the fridge.

Pho is another cheap favorite in our house. It's good for using up the last of the stock from a chicken. Broth (and any chicken), lime, fish sauce, rice noodles, home sprouted mung bean, and I usually have cilantro and basil from my garden most of the year, and any other random things that sound good. It's good because my bland loving DS1 and my spicy loving DH both get what they want.
post #36 of 42
We do lentils and rice as a taco filling. Just season it like ground beef (cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt), and it tastes very similar.

Breakfast for dinner is always a hit. Our favorites are biscuits and gravy or migas.

I always have tortillas around, so I make a lot of stuff with that. Chilaquiles, enchiladas, breakfast (egg) tacos, quesadillas, tacos, whatever I can find.
post #37 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
We do lentils and rice as a taco filling. Just season it like ground beef (cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt), and it tastes very similar.
Breakfast for dinner is always a hit. Our favorites are biscuits and gravy or migas.

I always have tortillas around, so I make a lot of stuff with that. Chilaquiles, enchiladas, breakfast (egg) tacos, quesadillas, tacos, whatever I can find.
Ohhhhh, that sounds yummy. We are doing a cinco de mayo (well octo since its Saturday LOL) and we should make that for our vegan buddies...
post #38 of 42
beans, can of diced tomatoes, italian seasoning, sauteed garlic and onions served over pasta w/parmesan cheese . I always have these things in the pantry, so it's an easy cheap meal at my house. I also make scrambled eggs a lot for a quick and easy dinner. Serve it with some bread and fruit and the kids love it
post #39 of 42
Pierogi Casserole
2 packs of Instant potatoes
1 onion
1 pack of nickel shaped pastan
1 cup of shredded cheese
layered and baked for 30 min. Yum!
post #40 of 42
Thread Starter 
So we did a big cinco demayo dinner. Since another family also brought spanish rice, we had a TON leftover. So I took the rice, made up a creamy soupy mixture (sort of like a cream of something soup) of onions, peppers and chiptole. Then finely chopped up a container of leftover roasted chicken. Combined it all and added some leftover cheese on top. covered and will store in freezer until we need a take out meal soon. I call it southwestern rice bake.
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