budgetsmartgirl

It’s Meatless Monday-Salsa Inspired Mac Salad

In Meatless Mondays on July 21, 2014 at 3:24 pm

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASometimes recipes are created when I’m cleaning out the fridge ready for the following day’s shopping expedition.  This one came about just that way. Red peppers, a jar of jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, and in the pantry, half a box of elbow macaroni.  Throw them all together, add some dressing, load the final result into some lettuce leaves or use a side salad and you have a cheap and easy summer lunch or supper.

4 cups cooked elbow macaroni (I use whole wheat because I think the flavor and texture is better)

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 medium sized tomatoes, cored and chopped

1 small red pepper, deseed and chopped

1 tablespoon of chopped jarred jalapeno peppers plus about a teaspoon of juice from the jar

Pinch of salt

¼ cup sour cream

¼ cup mayonnaise

In a large bowl add macaroni and then fold in the tomatoes, pepper, jalapeno pepper and juice, cilantro and salt. Mix well and then add the sour cream and mayonnaise and make sure everything is well coated. Test taste and add salt if necessary.

Chill for about 30 minutes before serving.

Serves 4

 

Friday Round-Up-The Little Lemon Tree

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2014 at 9:59 pm

Lemon Tree

I’ve always wanted a lemon tree and finally have one. I found a miniature version for $5 at the Home Depot. They did have larger ones too which were tempting but I want to see how the miniature one fares indoors during the winter before I get ahead of myself. I’ve not had much luck brining in plants from outdoors so fingers crossed the little lemon tree survives and even yields some lemons for cooking.

Growing Your Own Food

Speaking of growing your own food, I planted some tomatoes, lettuce and microgreens in my Aerogarden. During the summer lots of these ingredients vanish in a couple of days after buying them so I thought this was an inexpensive way to supplement store brought salad items. And it’s not too late to plant fall vegetables, and don’t forget that things like garlic need planting in fall.

 PricePlunge

Another item I’m now happy to own is a Westbend Pressure Cooker that I purchased from Priceplunge.com It’s the third item I’ve brought from them and if you sign up you get an e-mail featuring the item of the day without having to check daily. I hope to put this pressure cooker to good use because it also slow cooks, browns the food (great feature), and it also steams too.

 Price Book

Food prices seem to be climbing every time I head into the supermarket and I think now more than ever it pays to keep a price book so you can see (and remember) where the best prices are at.

 

I found some interesting articles on the Web, this first one has ideas for low cost dinners-

 

https://shine.yahoo.com/at-home/7-cheap-healthful-dinners-every-day-week-122600430.html

 

No pun intended here but snack foods can take the biggest bite out of your food budget so I’m always looking for recipes and ideas to make my own and stumbled across this one-

http://www.fitsugar.com/Vegan-Protein-Balls-35238685

 

If like me you prefer to make your own natural products, check out these ideas-

http://www.stonyfield.com/blog/4-diy-natural-products

 

Also from Stonyfield, Mason jars seem to be the hot in things and these salads look like something to definitely make on a hot summer day-

http://www.stonyfield.com/blog/mason-jar-salads/

 

Happy savings and have a good weekend.

It’s Meatless Monday-Cool as a Cucumber Soup

In Meatless Mondays on July 14, 2014 at 12:41 pm

The garden’s producing more cucumbers than you know what to do with or they’re 2 for $1 at the store. Both good reasons to try something besides slice them and put them on a salad. This was my first attempt at a cold cucumber soup. Two things you need to consider are, one, cucumbers don’t impart much taste. Two, they’re largely water so adding more isn’t a good idea. You can get rid of a lot of the water content by chopping the cucumbers and putting them into a sieve that you place over the sink or a bowl and sprinkle them with some Kosher salt. Next dilemma is solved by adding stock by not water. I used a stock cube and add just a couple of tablespoons of hot water to it. This is a perfect quick lunch or appetizer for a Meatless Monday supper on a hot summer day.

2 medium sized cucumbers, peeled, deseeded and let to drain with salt as described above. An easy way to get rid of the seeds is to slice them in half and scoop out the middle with a spoon

Kosher salt

Salt and pepper to taste

4 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (two tablespoon dried will work too)

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon coriander

1 veggie stock cube dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water

Place four soup bowls in the freezer to chill while you prepare the soup.

Once the cucumbers have drained for about 30 minutes add them to a food processor and pulse a few times.

Add the dill, sour cream, coriander and stock cube and pulse about five or six times until every is pureed.

Taste test and add salt and pepper and even more dill if you like. If the soup is too thick you can add milk or coconut milk.

Place the mixture in the fridge for about 15 minutes and serve in the iced bowls with a generous sprinkling of dill.

Serves 4.

 

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