budgetsmartgirl

It’s Meatless Monday-Stuffed Acorn Squash

In Meatless Mondays on September 15, 2014 at 5:29 pm

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Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is on sale now and while I love to roast it and use it as a side dish, it also makes a pretty good Meatless Monday meal. For this one I used dried sweetened cranberries combined with feta cheese and a pre-packaged Ancient Grain blend although you could use a mix of brown and white rice, or even wild rice.

2 Acorn squashes, washed, seeded, halved lengthwise

1 ½ cups of grain or rice blend, cooked

½ cup crumbled feta cheese (divided)

½ cup sweetened cranberries

Salt and pepper

Oil for roasting

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle the squash with salt and pepper and place cut side down in a large baking pan. Drizzle with oil and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes or until slightly softened.

Remove from the oven and allow the squash to cool and then make the center’s bigger by scooping out some of the flesh.

Add the chopped flesh to a bowl and mix in the grain or rice mix, the cranberries and almost all of the feta cheese, but reserve some for topping when the squash comes out of the oven. Mix well and pile it into each hollowed out squash.

Put the squash back into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until warmed through and then top with more feta cheese.

Serves 4.

Friday Round Up-Two Free Books

In Friday Round Up on September 12, 2014 at 1:28 pm

An earlier than normal Friday round-up but I wanted to post this just in case the two free e-books don’t stay free all day, which is often the case, so if you’re interested, grab these while you can-

The first focuses on ideas for lunchboxes-

http://www.amazon.com/Think-INSIDE-The-Lunchbox-Cookbook-ebook/dp/B00NB6PE0G/ref=zg_bs_digital-text_f_72

This one has some tips for all us coupon clippers out there-

http://www.amazon.com/The-Clever-Couponer-Maximize-Shopping-ebook/dp/B00NG6C7SS/ref=zg_bs_digital-text_f_25

Herb Harvesting

It’s been a cold few days where I live and prompted me to harvest lots of herbs from my garden and either freeze or dry them. For the annual herbs like rosemary and basil, I’m been bringing the whole plant inside, taking off the leaves and using my dehydrator to dry them overnight. and now I’m looking forward to using them recipes this fall and winter.

Make Something Old New Again

Lots of people throw outdoor furniture away when it begins to get rusty and faded looking but this summer I’ve been spray painting everything from the plastic Adirondack chairs to the patio table. Each can of paint cost less than $4, took about 15 minutes of my time, and everything looks new again. So it’s something to think about before you throw away an item and head to the store to buy a replacement.

Food Ideas for the Vegetarian and Budget Minded

Lots of great food related items on the Web lately and here are two worth checking out-

First one is ideas for meals when you’re broke-

http://www.buzzfeed.com/hannahjewell/easy-and-healthy-meals-for-when-youre-completely-broke#la90ps

And this one has lots of ideas for vegetarian dishes that can be made ahead and then frozen…always love those types of recipes-

http://www.buzzfeed.com/deenashanker/vegetarian-freezer-meals#la90ps

 

I’m now off to try out a new recipe for a vegetarian stew which if it turns out okay I’ll sharing with you soon.

Happy saving and have a good weekend.

 

It’s Meatless Monday-Smoky Black Bean Nachos

In Meatless Mondays on September 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm

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One item that’s a staple in my pantry is black beans. I think they have a better consistency and taste than lots of other varieties which makes them perfect for vegetarian recipes. In this Meatless Monday meal I’ve used them as a topping, along with a cheese sauce to make nachos. The smoky flavor comes from a combination of three things, liquid smoke, chipotle pepper, and smoked paprika, all three of which can be found at most grocery stores or online.

About 6-7 ounces of tortilla chips or strips (About half a 13 ounce package)

2 14 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 14 ounce can stewed tomatoes, chop them into smaller pieces

¼ teaspoon liquid smoke

¼ teaspoon chipotle chile pepper, more if you’re brave!

For the cheese sauce

2 cups milk, dairy or non-dairy

3 tablespoon flour

Pinch salt

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saucepan and over medium high heat, add the beans and tomatoes and then stir in the liquid smoke and chipotle chile pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about ten minutes or until the mixture has slightly reduced.

Meanwhile in another large saucepan and over medium high heat, add the milk. Use some of the milk to stir into the flour to make a liquid. Add this to the rest of the milk and gently bring to a boil. Add the salt and smoked paprika, stir and remove from the heat and add about 1 ½ cups of the cheese and stir until melted.

Place the tortilla strips or chips on a large baking sheet and spoon on the bean mixture making sure most of the chips get covered.

Next drizzle on the cheese sauce, making sure most of the bean mixture is covered.

Finally sprinkle with the other ½ cup of cheese.

Bake in the oven for about ten minutes or until the sauce and cheese are bubbling.

Serve immediately with sour cream, salsa and sliced avocadoes.

Serves 6

 

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