Corn Bean Relish

Corn-Bean Relish with corn chips
Corn Bean Relish with Chips

2 cups corn, canned, fresh or frozen

1/2 red onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

4 cups cooked kidney or black beans, rinsed and drained

3 teaspoons chili powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons balsamic or apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro, optional

Black pepper, to taste

1. Toss together corn, onion, red pepper and beans. Stir in chili powder and allow to sit at room temperature.

2. Whisk hisk together olive oil, garlic powder, salt, vinegar and lemon juice. Heat over stove top or in microwave, just until warmed through. Pour over vegetables. Stir in cilantro and season with black pepper. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Posted in frugal, lunch, salad, vegetarian | Leave a comment

Buckwheat and Vegetables

Oops- if you came here from the Hearth N’ Home link-fest, you want the Pork Subgum recipe here.

Thickening Mixture-
Combine in a bowl:
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrow-root powder
1 tablespoon Bragg’s amino acids (or soy sauce)
1 teaspoon molasses

Set aside.

Finely chop:

1 medium onion
1-2 cloves garlic
Saute over medium heat in 1-2 T of butter

Add to this:

1/2 head cabbage chopped
1-2 carrots chopped or julienne slices
1/2 cup of other veggie of your choice- snow peas, celery, water chestnuts, sprouts, fresh broccoli…
2 T soy sauce (we like Braggs Liquid Aminos)
Cook quickly over medium heat just until brightly colored- add more butter if needed, or add some sesame oil

Add 2 cups cooked Buckwheat and 1 cup of hot water, bring to a boil for just three to five minutes.

Stir in thickening mixture and cook, stirring well, for one minute, or until the liquid clears and thickens.

Serve immediately with chopped almonds on top, crunchy chinese noodles or toasted sesame seeds.

Serves 4-6

Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  Chinese five spice or Furikake (Rice Seasoning) would also be tasty. 

Posted in Asian, frugal, vegetarian | 1 Response

Chinese Chicken Cabbage Salad

Chinese Chicken Cabbage Salad
Serves about six

Dressing (combine in large bowl and whisk well):
2 1/2 T rice vinegar (you can use apple cider vinegar)
2 T sugar (use Splenda for South Beach Diet)
chicken ramen noodle seasoning packet
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
6 Tablespoons oil
– you can adjust seasonings to taste.

Stir in:
4 cups shredded cabbage (I grate it in the food processor)
1/2 cup sliced green onion (I use kitchen shears, but before I had those, I used any pair of paper scissors)


2-4 cups cooked chicken, diced

Toast and then set aside: 3/4 cup slivered almonds and 2 or 3 Tablespoons of sesame seeds, and 1 package of crushed dry ramen noodles-  you can either brown these in a dry skillet, or you can brown them in a tablespoon or so of sesame oil. I prefer the sesame oil version.

You can either use the almond mixture as a topping, served in a separate bowl alongside the chicken and cabbage mixture, or you can mix it into the salad and then serve immediately.

Posted in low-carb, lunch, main dish, salad | 2 Responses

Noodle Fritters

I like recipes that are easy, very adaptable to what’s in my hand, and frugal, and this recipe qualifies.  It’s incredibly frugal, amazingly adaptable, and also super easy.

We can change the ingredients daily and have the same thing in a different flavor several days in a row. 

Here is the original recipe

 Here’s what we do:

2 packets uncooked Ramen Noodles (Healthier alternative: we have also made these with leftover spaghetti noodles, you just have to remember to add extra seasonings.  Would work with buckwheat soba noodles or linguini noodles.  Might work with bean threads, haven’t tried it)

1 1/2 cups of diced or grated vegetables such as carrots, onions, bok choy, sweet potato, homemade lentil sprouts…  We’ve also grated carrots that had frozen in my temperamental refrigerator, and they were just fine, and I’ve used nearly double this amount of vegetables with good results.

1/2 to 1 cup leftover diced, cooked meat.  We’ve used turkey and turkey ham,
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk (once I made these and I was out of milk, so I substituted sour cream and water)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour, plus
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoons baking powder, 
dash salt.
If using uncooked ramen noodles, soak noodles in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes while running the other ingredients through the food processor or under your knife.
Drain noodles and add to bowl (or just put your cold leftover soba or other noodles in a bowl) and add rest of ingredients to the bowl, add the noodle seasoning or other herbs and spices of your choice* and mix it all well with a fork.
Heat oil in a skillet or on a griddle, and spoon some of the noodle mixture onto the griddle.  I spread it just a little, fry a couple of minutes until the bottom is golden, then flip and fry the other side.

This is not the FYB’s favorite, but Blynken and Nod have seconds.  This recently made enough for Blynken, Nod, the FYG, the FYB and me to have a good lunch with enough leftovers for one or two extra servings.  We serve them with fruit, usually, and a glass of milk.

This meal costs approximately 2.50 for five or six people, especially since I can use carrots that accidentally froze and I might otherwise have thrown away.

Suggested spices and herbs if you are not using the ramen noodle packets- onion and garlic powders, lemon pepper, thyme, parsley, sage, salt and pepper in any combination.  Try cooking the noodles in chicken broth for extra oomph.

Posted in frugal, lunch, pasta | Leave a comment

Split Pea and Smoked Turkey Soup

Split Pea and Smoked Turkey Soup
Makes 8 servings

2 cups dry yellow split peas (one pound)
2 cups chopped cooked smoked turkey or sliced cooked turkey sausage.  We are using turkey ham because it’s cheap.
3 medium carrots, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 minced clove of garlic
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup snipped dried tomatoes

1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil crushed
1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

Rinse the split peas very well, drain.
Combine all ingredients in a crockpot except the basil, oregano, and tomatoes.
Cook on low heat 6-8 hours or high heat for 3-4
Stir in snipped dried tomatoes and herbs


I read at least a dozen websites about soaking beans, phytic acid in said legumes, and split peas, and they were about evenly divided over whether or not you HAD to soak split peas. 

If you make the recipe as intended, with cooked, smoked turkey, it will have about 34 grams of carbs, 13 grams of fiber, and 21 grams of protein per serving. You could reduce the carbs by replacing the carrots with shredded cauliflower, broccoli slaw, or diced celery

From the Better Homes and Gardens Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes

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Chocolate Cinnamon Torte

Three years ago, Jenny-Any-Dots made this for her own birthday cake:

Chocolate- Cinnamon Torte

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 butter, very soft
2 eggs
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
I left this out
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
I used freshly ground whole wheat
3 squares semisweet chocolate
I used roughly half a bag of chocolate chips
4 cups heavy whipping cream
I used about 18 oz of Cool Whip and 8 oz of Cream Cheese
3/4 cup cocoa
Increased to 1 cup!

Tear 14 sheets of waxed paper, each about 9 1/2 inches long. On one sheet, trace bottom of 9 inch round cake pan. Evenly stack all with pattern on top. With kitchen shears, cut out circles.
I ended up using only 11 sheets. Oh, I also just traced a pie pan onto all the sheets and didn’t cut out any.
Into large bowl, measure sugar, butter, eggs, cinnamon and 2 cups flour. With mixer at low speed, beat ingredients until well mixed, constantly scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Increase speed to medium; beat mixture 3 minutes or until very light and fluffy, occasionally scraping bowl. With spoon, stir in remaining flour to make a soft dough.
I just mixed everything all together at once on high, and when it looked “light and fluffy” I stopped.
Preheat oven to 375 F. With damp cloth, moisten 1 large or 2 small cookie sheets. Place 2 waxed-paper circles onto large cookie sheet or 1 on each small cookie sheet. With metal spatula, spread a scant 1/3 cup dough in a very thin layer onto each circle. Bake layers 8 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.
It is important to try to make the circles as uniform in size as you can.
Remove cookie sheet to wire rack; cool 5 minutes. With pancake turner, carefully remove cookie still on waxed paper to wire rack to cool completely. (Allow cookie sheet to cool before spreading waxed-paper circles with more dough. The more sheets you have the faster you can bake the cookies.)
Repeat until all dough is baked. Carefully stack cooled cookies on a flat plate; cover with plastic wrap and store in a cool, dry place.
Okay, I started making these about an hour before I wanted to go to bed, I had to think of some ways to get these done in a more timely manner! It is very important to remember to moisten the cookie sheet before putting the paper on; it keeps the sheet from moving around all over the place when you are spreading the dough. When a cookie was done I transfered it to a plate were it could cool. I then sprayed the cookie sheet with cold water, cooling it off in a manner of seconds instead of minutes! (This also means I didn’t have to moisten the cookie sheet with a cloth since it was already wet!)
I also found out that while I was waiting for the pans I could moisten the counter, put a sheet of waxed- paper down on it and spread the dough, then when a cookie was done transfer it the plate and immediately place the prepared cookie on the hot pan and place it in the oven.

Coarsely grate chocolate squares; set aside. In a large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat cream and cocoa until soft peaks form.
Ignore the chocolate square bit. :) Mix Cool Whip, Cream Cheese, Cocoa, oh, and also a bit of powdered sugar and 2 tsp of Vanilla, all together until nice a smooth.
Carefully peel off paper from one cookie; place on flat cake plate; spread with about 1/2 cup whipped mixture. Repeat layering until all cookies are used, ending with whipped mixture on top.
Basically the same, only I think I used less than half a cup of the chocolate cream per layer.
Pile grated chocolate on top of cake; refrigerate until serving time or at least 3 hours before serving so cookies soften for easier cutting.
I melted the chocolate chips and then made chocolate curls. (Spread the melted chocolate thinly on waxed paper and put it in the freezer. When it has hardened take it out and let it sit for a few seconds and soften up a bit. Starting on the edge of the chocolate sheet take a knife and press down into the chocolate and slide under it, the chocolate should start curl.)
The frosting I made using 1/2 cup soft butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, milk, and vanilla. And then using the whipped cream stuff the comes in a pressurized can I made loverly ruffles along the sides of the cake that, as you can see, failed miserably. They just melted!

This did take quite a bit of time but the end result was well worth it!!

(I got this recipe from “The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook.”)

This month, she made it again for my birthday cake:

This time she did add the cinnamon, but instead of cream cheese, she used sour cream, whipped cream and cocoa powder- at least, I think those are the changes she mentioned.

Linked here, at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Posted in dessert | 12 Responses

Bread Pudding, Savory or Sweet

Savory Bread Pudding
2 1/2 c. shredded cheese
6 eggs, slightly beaten
2 c. milk
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
Garlic to taste

Spread a layer of torn pieces of slightly stale french bread (or other breads) in the bottom of a greased 9X13 pan. Sprinkle cheese over the top (you can use more or less than the amount called for. If you buy extra sharp cheddar you can get by with less). Mix remaining ingredients, pour over layers. Cover, chill at least 6 hours or overnight. If you don’t have a large enough pan you can just make several layers of bread and cheese in a smaller pan and adjust the cooking time (the deeper the layer the longer it takes to bake)

Bake at 325 degrees for 30-45 minutes. It’s done when the eggs are cooked and the mixture is no longer jiggly, but is golden brown and a knife inserted comes out clean.

I have learned that this recipe is very forgiving. It doesn’t much matter if you have an egg more or less, a bit less or a bit more milk or cheese. Add left over bits of chopped meat, or veggies like onions, peppers, mushrooms, or leeks- whatever you have on hand.

If you were to freeze this, you would freeze it raw and thaw and defrost it on the day you intend to eat it.

Sweet Bread Pudding
2 cups of raisins or other dried fruit
6 eggs, slightly beaten
2 c. milk
sweetener to taste (this will depend on what sort of bread you are using- if your leftover bread is muffins, banana bread, or doughnuts, you don’t need sweetener, otherwise, add about a cup or less of sugar, jam, syrup, molasses, or other sweetener)
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves or nutmeg
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Make as above.  I like to soak these overnight in the oven with the timer on so it starts baking before I get up. Yes, I know that’s not what you’re supposed to do.

Posted in breakfast, dessert, main dish, vegetarian | Leave a comment

Soba noodles with cabbage and sage

Soba noodles with cabbage and sage

3 T. butter and olive oil, each
2 large onions sliced thin
4 minced garlic cloves
1 1/2 pounds savoy cabbage, shredded
8 minced sage leaves
1 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne
1 /2 cup white wine
2 T salt
1 pound noodles
1/2 cup grated tallegio or fontina cheese (substitute with more parmesan and romano if you don’t have these available)

Heat butter and oil over medium heat, add onions and garlic, reduce to low, cook til onions turn golden, add cabbage, sage, 1 t. salt, cayenne, black pepper, white wine, stir well, cover, cook 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Boil pasta, drain, add to cabbage, add cheese (add brussels sprouts, walnuts, or chestnuts as well)

The One-Dish Vegetarian: 100 Recipes for Quick and Easy Vegetarian Meals

Posted in Asian, frugal, salad, vegetarian | Leave a comment

Chicken in Coconut Milk

2-3 cups of diced raw chicken
2 or 3 Tablespoons of peanut or other oil

Heat oil over medium/high heat in a cast iron skillet. Add one piece of chicken. Heat until a small piece of the chicken sizzles.  Add rest of the chicken.  Fry six to to ten minutes- just until golden brown.  Remove from oil and drain.

Using a good blender or a food processor with S blade, make a paste of the following (if you have neither, just mince well and try a mortar and pestle):

1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 to 2 chili peppers (to taste)
pinch each cloves and cinnamon
pinch laos (optional)
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger root
1 clove garlic
1 yellow onions, diced small
2 indonesian layrel leaves, or bay leaves

Add above paste to the oil in which the chicken was cooked.  Stir well and fry until paste is brown.  Add:

1 Tbspn honey
1 tsp tamarind water OR lemon juice
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt

Stir, and fry for another two minutes.

Slowly add:
1 1/2 cups coconut milk

Bring to a boil.  Add cooked chicken.  Reduce heat and cook another 20 minutes, or until chicken is soft,

Variation with vegetables:

Lightly steam:
1/2 pound green beans or broccoli
OR 3 carrots
Whatever you use, they should be cut into thin, diagonal strips.
Steam for five minutes, and add to above dish about ten minutes before chicken is done.  Serve with rice or noodles (fried yaki tori noodles would be delicious)

from the Thursday Night Feast Book

Posted in Asian, frugal, main dish, poultry | Leave a comment

Pork Subgum

Pork Subgum

1 pound diced pork, or ground pork
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 green pepper cut in thin strips
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
1-2 cups bean sprouts/lentil sprouts
1/2 cup water chestnuts, diced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrow root powder
1 Tablespoon soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid amino acids
Chow mein noodles or toasted almonds

Brown pork, using butter if needed.  Add onion, green pepper strips and mushrooms, cook until tender, another three minutes or so. Add spourts, water chestnuts, broth, , simmer.
Combine cornstarch and soy sauce (or Braggs) stirring until smooth.  Add to meat mixture, season to taste, bring to boil.  Reduce heat, simmer 10 to 15 minutes.  Stirring occasionally.  Done when liquid thickens and clears.

Serve over chow mein noodles or over rice topped with toasted almonds.

Serves 6

May also stirfry diced cabbage and celery and add to mixture to stretch.

Posted in Asian, frugal, meat | 2 Responses