Taco Soup

November 2, 2010

1 large onion, chopped

1lb. ground beef or ground turkey

1 packet store-bought or 1/4 cup homemade onion soup mix (optional)

1 packet store-bought or 1/4 cup homemade taco seasoning mix (optional)

Two 14oz. cans chili-style beans (or just plain kidney beans)

2 cups corn kernels (if using canned, don’t drain them – the juice adds nice flavor to the soup)

One 28oz can diced or pureed tomatoes, or 3 cups fresh pureed tomatoes (or 1 can condensed tomato soup plus one can of water)

4 cups beef broth (optional, you can also just add enough water until the soup is the consistency you desire)

Salsa (optional, I add approximately 1/2 cup – 1 cup instead of adding other seasonings)
Taco chips and sour cream for serving

Brown ground beef and onion in a soup pot, breaking it up as it cooks. Stir in onion soup mix and taco seasoning, if using. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, and broth or water and salsa, if using; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 45 minutes. Serve with taco chips and sour cream.

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Pizza Rolls

October 26, 2010

This is a VERY simple and versatile recipe. Great for lunches, after school snacks, or whatever.

Make one recipe of my pizza dough. Divide it in half. Roll out one half to about a 12×6″ size. Spread pizza sauce on it, then top with your favorite pizza toppings (nothing too chunky). Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Roll up as you would for cinnamon rolls. Repeat with second chunk of dough. Place, cut-side down, on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 435*F for 15-20 minutes.

My family is pretty unadventurous when it comes to pizza toppings, so I did one batch of pepperoni with mozzarella cheese, and one batch of ham with cheddar cheese.


Mizu Taki

October 22, 2010

I have found ethnic foods to be a good source of frugal meals. This is a new one we tried just this week and it was good. I used leftover chicken for this dish.

1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 – 3 cups cooked, chopped chicken
5 cups chicken broth
1 head napa or Chinese cabbage, sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice

Cook rice according to package directions.

Place chicken and broth in a pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Add cabbage to broth mixture and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Blend together the soy sauce and lemon juice in a separate bowl or measuring cup.

Serve rice with chicken mixture on top. Individuals can sprinkle their own dish with desired amount of soy sauce mixture.

Serve with:
Cucumber Onion Salad
Orange Slices
Fresh Bread, if desired


Pumpkin Spice Latte – Better than Starbucks!

October 20, 2010

This was my indulgence yesterday. It felt so “fallish” outside and I wanted a good excuse to try my new bag of Starbucks Decaf.

2 cups milk (I used vanilla soy milk – also an indulgence for me)
2 T. canned pumpkin
2 T. sugar
2 T. vanilla
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice OR 1/4 t. cinnamon, 1/8 t. cloves, 1/8 t. nutmeg, and a teeny tiny pinch of ground ginger
1/2 c. brewed espresso or 3/4 c. strong brewed coffee

Garnish with Whipped Cream (optional)

This will make enough for 2 people to have a big mug with a bit left over. If you are having friends over, adjust the recipe accordingly. You can make this in a crockpot as small as a 1.5qt. Or, you can just make it in a pot on the stove.

Add the coffee and milk to the pot. Whisk in the pumpkin, spices, sugar, and vanilla.

If using a crockpot, cover and cook on high for 2 hours if everything is cold. If doing it on the stove, just heat it up until it’s the temperature you want. I had mine heating on very low for a good half hour, then let it sit on low for a good long while during the evening. It was still great. Whisk again.

Ladle into mugs, and garnish with whipped cream and additional cinnamon. To fancy it up a bit, add a cinnamon stick when serving.


Porridge Oats Breakfast Cookies

October 19, 2010

This recipe is taken from the back of the Roger’s Porridge Oats bag. You need the porridge oats for the recipe, so you’ll always have the recipe if you have the main ingredient! These are not quite as filling as my other breakfast cookie, but they are still delicious.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp grated orange rind
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups porridge oats
3/4 cup chopped almonds (I left these out so that I could send them to school (nut-free) for my kids)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (because I left out the almonds, I doubled the sunflower seeds)
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350*F. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, allspice, cinnamon and ginger. Stir well and set aside. Place eggs, oil, applesauce, and brown sugar in a large bowl and beat well together. Add orange rind, vanilla, oats, almonds, seeds and stir until well combined. Add flour mixture and stir well. Add dried cranberries. Stir well. Use 1/4 cup dough per cookie. Place on a greased cookie sheet and press down with fork to approximately 3.5″ diameter. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Makes 20-24 cookies.


Breakfast Cookies

October 3, 2010

My husband is hard to keep fed. He just doesn’t feel full for long. Might have something to do with hypoglycemia. Nonetheless, these cookies are an answer to prayer for me. My husband claims that they keep him full all the way till lunch. That is nothing short of miraculous. (Granted, he does eat two of them, but still….) With a glass of milk, this is a great quick breakfast to feed the family on a busy morning:

1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup mashed banana OR pumpkin OR applesauce OR rhubarb jam OR apricot jam OR marmalade
1/4 cup molasses
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup instant dry milk powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Combine first seven ingredients. (You might need to do this by hand as it’s quite a thick mixture. I use a Bosch mixer.) Mix in the remaining ingredients very well. Scoop dough with a 1/4 cup measure and place several inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. With your fingers or the back of a spoon, shape into 1-inch-thick patties. Bake for 13 to 16 minutes at 350*F. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; transfer to cooling rack.
These freeze well. I wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then store them in a large ziplock freezer bag. You could also just freeze them in a plastic container with wax paper between each layer.
These are very versatile cookies, as you can tell by the all the options on that one ingredient line. You could add in raisins or chocolate chips, coconut, other dried fruit or seeds, etc. Experiment and enjoy!

Free Ebook: Smart School Time Recipes

September 3, 2010

Check out the ebook at this link! Some excellent healthy recipes in here, perfect for packing school lunches!

Smart School Time Recipes