Saturday, January 22, 2011

Coming Attractions

Provident Living Round Table: what are you doing/have done/want to do to provide for your family's _________ welfare? (physical, emotional, spiritual, fiscal...)

Making it Special: celebrating life's big and small events.

The Panel: women whose children have largely left the nest answer our questions and share their wisdom.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Budget-Friendly Recipes

Here are some tips we discussed at October's meeting for making dinner time less crazy and less expensive:

-When you find meat on sale, buy a bunch and cook it all at once, then put it in smaller portion sizes in baggies in the freezer to pull out and pop into your next dinner dish.

- Keep track of the prices of items in a 'contact info' book that is alphabetized - that way when trying to compare prices and find the best deal, you know what the going rate for the item is at a given place.

- Stretch the meat out by adding beans or lentils.

- You can look at store adds online...all the local stores have their adds posted online and the 'new week' starts on Wednesdays.

- Wal-Mart will price match any items as long as you have the add and it's the same or similar brand/item.

- When milk is on sale, you can buy a large quantity, pour off the top of the milk, and put it in the freezer (depending on the size of your freezer! =).

- Make your own beans/yogurt in the crock-pot (Lorraine has awesome recipes for these)

The following are some recipes that are budget friendly and yummy:

Fusilli with Roasted Tomato Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 large tomatoes (about 3 1/2 pounds), cored, cut in half crosswise, and seeded
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 1/2 cups hot cooked long fusilli (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • Basil sprigs (optional)


Preheat oven to 400°.

Brush a jelly roll pan or shallow roasting pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Arrange tomatoes in a single layer, cut sides down, in pan. Arrange crushed garlic around tomatoes; sprinkle tomatoes with thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Bake at 400° for 30 minutes; drain juices from pan. Bake an additional 30 minutes. Remove tomatoes from pan; cool slightly. Discard juice and crushed garlic. Peel and coarsely chop tomatoes.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add chopped garlic, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chopped tomatoes and basil, and cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add pasta, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese; garnish with basil sprigs, if desired

Morrocan Stew

Cooking spray
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can (15 oz size) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon table salt

Directions:Coat a small skillet with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic; saute for 5 minutes.

Place squash in a 3-quart or larger slow cooker (crockpot). Add sauteed onion and garlic, carrots, tomatoes, broth, cinnamon, cumin and red pepper flakes. Cover and turn on to low heat; simmer for 6 hours.

Playgroup Granola Bars


3 cups rolled Oats

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup wheat germ

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup raisins

3 / 4 tsp salt

Make a well in center and pour:

1/ 2 cup honey

1 egg beaten

1 /2 cup oil ( I used coconut oil)

2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix well using your hands and pat mixture evenly into 9X13 baking dish.

Bake 30-35 minutes in preheated oven 350 degrees.

Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm.

Apricot Cashew Chicken

½ c. apricot preserves (or any other kind of fruit)

2 T. soy sauce

1 T. chicken broth

1 T. vegetable oil

1 T. cornstarch

1 tsp. minced garlic

¼ tsp ground ginger

Combine in large microwaveable bowl. Add chicken, toss to coat. Cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring once.

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips


1 medium green pepper, chopped

½ c. cashews

Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear, stirring once. Let stand for 3 minutes. Serve over rice.

Easy French Bread from Ellen Jackson

3 c. flour

3 T. sugar

2 T. yeast

1 T. salt

2 ½ c. Hot tap water

Mix well together.

1/3 c. oil

Stir well.

3 c. more flour (DO NOT STIR)

Cover and stir every 10 minutes for 50 minutes (5 times). The 5th time, pour out onto floured board, knead and divide in 2. Roll out as for cinnamon rolls and then roll into a long log. Place rolls side by side on a greased cookie sheet. Cut slits in top and let raise for ½ hour. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Italian Macaroni and Cheese

I med. onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

3 T. water

1 14oz can stewed tomatoes

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

1 ½ c. cheddar cheese, grated

8 oz. macaroni pasta, cooked al dente

½ c. milk

2 T. butter, melted

In skillet, brown onion and garlic. Add to slow cooker with water, tomatoes and seasonings. Cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours. Thirty minutes before ending time, add cheese, macaroni, milk and butter. Serves 4.

Homemade Yogurt

8 c. milk

1 pkg unflavored gelatin

1 c. plain yogurt

Turn EMPTY crock pot on low. In saucepan, heat milk and gelatin to 190 F. Place pan in cool water bath until milk reaches 110 F, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture in crockpot. Stir in yogurt. Turn OFF crockpot and let sit for 8-12 hours.

*Can use this yogurt as a healthy substitution for sour cream, other sauces, or oil in baking recipes. Also, can add vanilla extract and sugar to make it vanilla flavored.

Rebecca’s Chicken & Broccoli Pasta

½ box pasta cream of mushroom

¼ C. milk broccoli

2 breasts cooked chicken

½ C. sour cream cheese

1 T. chili powder salt & pepper

Combine, cover and cook at 350 for 30 min.

(Sorry those ingredients are so vague, just throw in however much broccoli, cheese and S & P you'd like!)

Taco Pasta
4 oz. dried penne
1 lb. uncooked ground turkey (or beef)
1/2 C. chopped onion
3/4 C. water
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1 C. corn (frozen or canned, whatever you have)
1 small can of sliced olives, drained ( i never put this in, but I don't like olives. If you like them, go ahead!)
1 C. shredded cheddar
1/2 C. salsa
1 small can of diced green chilies
1-2 roma tomatoes, chopped
tortilla chips (I always use the tostada shells, but again you can use whatever you have on hand)
sour cream

Cook pasta, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, cook meat and onion until done. Stir in water and taco seasoning. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in cooked pasta, corn, olives, half of cheese, salsa and green chilies.
Transfer mixture to a greased 9 x 13 dish. Bake, covered, for 20 min. Remove from over, sprinkle with remaining cheese, then return to over for another 5 min. or so. Place chopped lettuce in bowl, then chips, then taco stuff, then tomatoes and sour cream. (and guac if you have it.) Makes about 3-4 servings.