Tag Archives: Frugal

On the Menu, Feb 10-13

An abbreviated menu plan this week, due to some Life Stuff that means we won’t be cooking at home.

Sunday: Tortilla soup with heirloom corn meal muffins. We made a roasted chicken on Friday, and the carcass has been in the slow cooker overnight for stock to use in making the soup (we’ll also use the remaining meat from the bird). It’s a great way to stretch the meat budget. I picked up some local, non-GMO, heirloom corn meal the other day, and will be using it to make honey cornbread! I’ll be using this recipe, with some modifications: raw milk instead of soy milk, sucanat instead of sugar, and no dried coconut.

Monday: Venison Mushroom Stroganoff over spaghetti squash. My nephew brought us a bunch of venison from his successful hunting this year, and I have local, dried shitake mushrooms from earlier in the year, too. I’ll combine these with a few meaty portobello caps, for a really hearty dish. Instead of noodles, I serve it over spaghetti squash. Not only is it tasty, but it’s far healthier than pasta.

Tuesday: Japanese Vegetarian Curry. This is a new recipe, so I’ll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday: Salmon patties with sauteed zucchini & squash, with roasted Brussel Sprouts and salad. We love salmon patties, and I wanted to try out this new recipe (sans the cilantro, since Thadd has a sensitivity to it). I always try recipes on us before adding them to my database for clients.  Salmon patties are a great way to include wild-caught salmon, which has he right balance of great Omega Fatty Acids, into a diet on a budget. It’s also loaded with calcium, as most salmon is canned with the bones, which I leave in when making patties (no, you won’t notice the bones, because they break down in cooking).

What are you eating this week?


Cooking for One: Red Lentil & Rice Soup

This is actually green lentil soup, but you get the idea.

Perfect for winter, this hearty soup makes just enough for a great meal for one!


1 tsp. olive oil

1 small carrot, chopped

1 shallot, diced  (shallots can usually be found singly in the produce department)

1 clove garlic, crushed and diced -OR- 1/2 tsp. jarred minced garlic

1/4 cup brown rice

1/4 cup red lentils (you can use green, too, but red is better with this recipe)

1 can chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium

1/3 cup water

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Spices: pepper, salt to taste

Directions:  In medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrot and shallots, and saute until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Shallots should be translucent. Add garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add lentils and rice, stirring to coat with onion mixture. Add all remaining ingredients, and simmer until lentils are soft (about 20 minutes). Additions: you can give this a Middle Eastern flare with some curry, ginger, and coriander (fresh leaves are great!). Or, you can add a Moroccan touch with cinnamon, golden raisins, ginger, and nutmeg.

Cooking for One: Double Duty Black Bean Chicken

Some of my fitness team do a lot of cooking for one person for various reasons. We were talking about how hard it is to find tasty, easy, inexpensive recipes that work for one person, and I told them I’d share some of mine!

The first one is a double-duty recipe, so you get two easy meals with little work. Bonus: it’s a slow cooker recipe! The base recipe is modified from my friend Bethany.

Double Duty Black Bean Chicken

Base Recipe Ingredients

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 can whole kernel corn, drained -OR- 1 cup frozen corn

1 cup salsa (whatever heat preference you like

1.5 cup low-sodium chicken broth (tip: use a larger container, and reserve the rest for meal #2)

Directions: Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray. Add chicken then just dump everything else in on top. Cook on low for 8-12 hours (I do this overnight).  Notes: You can double this recipe easily, and it makes a great topping for nachos. Or, stir in sour cream and cheddar cheese to make a great dip for a party.



Additional Ingredients

2 flour tortillas

Cheddar or mexican cheese blend, if desired. -OR- 1/2 avocado, sliced

1 can green enchilada sauce

Directions: Preheat oven to 375.  Spoon chicken mixture into flour tortillas (about a half cup per tortilla, depending on what size tortilla). Add cheese or avocado. Roll into burritos and place in baking dish, then cover with enchilada sauce. Bake 15-20 minutes until tops are a bit crispy.  Notes: This freezes beautifully, as well as holds in the refrigerator as a lunch.


Meal 2: Tortilla Soup

Additional ingredients

2 cans chicken broth (low-sodium preferred), or remainder of broth from above

1 small can fire roasted green chilis

1/4 cup brown rice

sliced jalapenos (if desired)

1 bunch cilantro (if desired)

Directions: Combine remaining chicken mixture with all chicken broth, chilis, brown rice, and jalapenos (if using).  Allow to simmer until rice is cooked. Alternatively, you can just dump all this right into the crock pot with the remaining chicken mixture, set it on low, and let it cook for about 4 hours. Top with cilantro and serve.

On the Menu: Nov. 12th-16th

This image has nothing to do with this post, I just really want Moroccan Lentil Soup but don’t have time to whip up a batch. Maybe next week…

Monday: Roasted Goat over millet, with baked acorn squash. We have a local goat farmer from whom we buy much of our goat cheese, and he also (unsurprisingly) sells goat meat. I’ve never tried cooking goat meat before, so I looked up a crock pot recipe that seemed simple and straight-forward. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday:  Beef and pinto burritos. Thadd wanted something that gives a lot of leftovers.

Wednesday:  Cannelini Baked Pasta. I know, it’s shocking to see pasta on our menu. We rarely eat it, especially as a planned meal. Why is it on here now? Honestly, because we were tired of thinking. Neither of us have any time the first three days of this week to do much cooking, and we need to keep an eye on our budget.

Thursday:  Catfish with vegetables and quinoa.

Friday: Leftovers.

On the Menu: Oct. 28-Nov. 2


Sunday: Coconut braised chickpeas with kale over sweet potatoes. We love this dish. The flavors are complex and rich, and it’s become a favorite comfort food for those weeks when we’re vegetarian.

Monday: Chana Masala (vegetarian chickpea curry). Another chickpea dish, because I have a plethora of them made up at the moment.  The flavor profile is very different from Sunday’s dish, so we don’t mind eating chickpeas two days in a row.

Tuesday: Black bean & sweet potato burritos. A staple for vegetarian weeks, this dish is fairly quick and easy. We generally make a huge batch, because the burritos freeze so well.

Wednesday: Halloween. We’ll be passing out candy with some friends, and so eating there.

Thursday: Tandoori chicken curry sausage, with curried vegetables.  A quick dinner, because this is a really long night for us both.

Friday: Leftovers. Cleaning out the refrigerator!

On the Menu: Oct 21-27

Yep, I’ve been gone again. Fortunately, nothing tragic. We had more problems with our internet, caused by a storm that messed up a line (it took them weeks to figure out what the problem was, but they finally did so last week). I’ve started a variety of classes for my continuing education credits. My broken thumb has finally (mostly) healed. And, I am back in the saddle of blogging again.

So, what are we eating this week?


Sunday: Black bean & sweet potato burritos. We had tenants here last week, and they like to cook! They’d made some beans and had leftovers, so we decided we’d make these vegetarian and dairy-free favorites together.

Monday: Beef Stroganoff over spaghetti squash. Grass-fed, local beef makes great stroganoff. I was lucky enough to even have locally-grown mushrooms (and, of course, our herd-share cream). Instead of pasta, we like to use spaghetti squash as “noodles.” It’s much healthier for you, and the flavor are great together.

Tuesday: Red lentil & Vegetable Soup. Thadd whipped up a great, hearty red lentil soup with carrots, potatoes, and spices in chicken stock.  On that note, I was talking about lentils the other day, and a friend mentioned that she didn’t care for lentils. She’d only had green lentils, and hadn’t realized that there were different types. To help with this, I”m going to do a primer on the different types of lentils soon!

Wednesday: Vegetarian Lasagna. This is one of my most-requested recipes. Mushrooms, eggplant, spinach, my own cheese & spice mixture, homemade red sauce, and noodles make a huge casserole that gives Thadd a ton of lunch leftovers. It freezes beautifully, so we cut it into portions, freeze the squares individually on a cookie sheet, then vacuum pack them. Easy, great lunches.

Thursday: Roasted chicken thighs with turnips and slaw. Thadd’s popping this into the oven, as I have to work late. Local turnips are in season! If you think you don’t like turnips, try them roasted with olive oil, some black sea salt, and long pepper. You might change your mind.

Friday: Leftovers.

Saturday: Black bean & banana empanadas. We love these, but keep not making them. This week, we’re making a triple batch so we can freeze a bunch for lunches!

Do you have a meal plan? Share it with us!

On the Menu: Sept 1-6th

Because I’ll be gone all weekend at a certification, and Thadd will be working, there’s no set plan for weekend food here. He’ll be eating out of the freezer, and I’ll be doing a cooler with other folks.

On the Menu: Dinners

Sunday: Cajun catfish, with baked garlic fries and sweet corn.

Monday: Thai Coconut Shrimp Curry over Sweet Potatoes.

Tueday: Tofu & Vegetable Szechuan Stir-Fry over Brown Rice.

Wednesday: Anda Masala.

Thursday: Black Bean & Yam Burritos.

What are you eating this week?