Last night we had vegetable beef soup from the freezer that was made with the end of the garden. I added some rolls I got from the free bread day at a local church and a jar of home canned peaches, and it felt like a free meal.
Tonight we will have French toast with more free bread and eggs from our chickens. I still have some apples we picked this falll that are not the greatest for eating fresh, so I will cook those up to top the toast. I'll do some sausage, too.
Tomorrow will be beef and black bean tacos and the rest of the quart of peaches.
Thursday is spaghetti, garlic bread, and green beans or salad.
I haven't done beans and cornbread in a while, so that may happen this weekend.
I like a lot of the recipes at Hillbilly Housewife. There are lots of good bean recipes there that can be made very healthfully with few adaptations. I like that a lot of the recipes are made from staples, so it is a good place to look when you just need something to eat without shopping.
I made this just the other night at my husband's request. We love it. The dumplings sell it to the kids. I use homemade broth rather than water and bouillon if I have it, or else I like Better Than Bouillon. For us this makes 6 adult servings and 2 preschooler servings.
- 1-1/4 cups dry lentils
- 8 cups water (2 quarts)
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 or 4 celery stalks, peeled and sliced
- 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
- 4 bouillon cubes or 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 egg or 3 tablespoons more milk (see note below)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt & sugar
Begin by making the soup. Rinse the lentils under running water. Then place them in a large pot and cover them with 2-quarts of water. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow it to simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes. The lentils will be almost tender. Add the vegetables, bouillon, garlic and black pepper. Stir gently and allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes more. The vegetables and lentils will both be tender. Taste and add salt if you think it needs it.
Now look over the amount of liquid in the pot. Add enough extra water so that all of the solids are well covered with liquid. They don’t need to be swimming over their heads, but they should be wading up to their waists. Bring the mixture to a slow lazy simmer, not a boil. If the soup boils it will disintegrate the dumplings instead of cooking them up into fluffy, glimmering jewels.
While the soup is simmering, prepare your dumplings. Get out a big bowl. In it combine the oil, egg and milk until they are well blended. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix it up to a stiff batter, like for drop biscuits. Set it aside until you need it.
When the soup is simmering slowly, it is time to drop in the dumplings. Take small rounded scoops of the dough with teaspoon and drop them into the simmering broth, on top of the vegetables. Keep dropping the dough blobs until you have scraped the bowl clean. Now put the lid, or a handy pizza pan over the pot and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Do not peak. Let the dumplings simmer covered for the full 20 minutes. The thing about dumplings is that they cook partly from the boiling soup and partly from the steam. The steam is what makes them fluffy, and the simmering broth is what cooks them all the way through. If you peak while the dumplings are cooking then they will turn into lumpy, doughy rocks. When the time is up, serve the soup and dumplings as soon as possible. The soup will be thickened and the dumplings will be light and fluffy.
Makes between 4 and 6 servings.
NOTE: If you don’t have any extra eggs, then leave out the egg and replace it with 3 tablespoons of milk. The dumplings will still be good.
This is the lentil taco filling we like. 4 bouillon cubes make it too salty for us, so I use 2 or 3 or homemade broth. We all really like it and don't miss the meat. I have done this in the crockpot or on the stove.
- 3/4 cup dry lentils
- 3/4 cup brown rice
- 4 cups tap water
- 4 beef bouillon cubes
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
In a 2-quart saucepan bring the water to a boil. As the water is heating, add the lentils, rice, bouillon, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder. Bring the whole thing to a nice fat boil. Reduce the heat to low. Place a lid on the lentils and allow the mixture to simmer for about 45 to 50 minutes. The water should be mostly absorbed. You may serve this as it, topped with a little cheddar cheese if desired. Or you can use it to fill burritos or tacos instead. Both ways are very tasty. This is one of Tommy’s favorite foods in the whole wide world.
If you have never tried lentils and are looking for a way to make them acceptable to the kids, this one is a good bet. Our favorite way to eat it is as a taco filling. If you are having a busy day and don’t have time to cook this on the stove, it can cook in the crock pot on low for about 6 to 8 hours instead or 4 hours on high.