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Low Cost Healthy and Delicious Meals


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#21 Crimsonmistymemory

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:13 PM

crock pot is the way to go! originally invented to cook beans you can do anything you can imagine in it as it is the original set it and forget it kitchen device. Speaking of beans that is a truely cheap and high fiber dish that can be paired with some rice or pasta yumm. you can also use some ground meat and tomato paste to make an awesome chili that can also be paired with rice and pasta. The key is to make sure wat ever fat source you use does not get solid at room temperature. Light olive oil is a perfect example of such.
Here some links that can get your creative juices flowing for slow cooker recepies,
http://www.crock-pot.com/recipes.html
http://allrecipes.co...ker/?mxt=t06dda
but really you can cook just about anything in a crock pot and yumm will follow. When I was single and many times now when it is my turn to cook I can throw everything in the morning and then when I get home dindin done Mmmm I m going to get mine out now :outtahere:

Edited by Crimsonmistymemory, 10 August 2015 - 07:22 PM.


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#22 Janie

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:14 PM

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:27 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:22 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:20 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:17 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 05:15 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:10 PM, said:

Harvest Chicken Stew--really good for the slow cooker.

    Ingredients

10 medium carrots, cut in rounds
2 cups diced parsnips
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
1 red onion, halved and sliced
2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Chopped fresh chives and parsley
4 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley, to serve

    Directions

Layer the carrots and parsnips on the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine the salt, ginger, and pepper; sprinkle half of the mixture over the vegetables.
In a nonstick skillet, sauté the chicken and onions until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker. Top with the apples. Combine the water and balsamic vinegar; pour over the chicken and apples. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning mixture. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7 hours until vegetables are tender and chicken juices run clear. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with chives and parsley, and serve with cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley

That sounds delicious!

We don't have a slow cooker.  Can I just use a big spaghetti pot?  If so, would the same cooking time apply?

you probably could but I have no idea on the cooking time.

You are talking about a crock pot, right?  If so, maybe I can  invest in one.  It would be good for us to have.

yes, the trendy new name is slow cooker :chickendance:

What size slow cooker?  I'll brave Wal-Mart for the first time in years to see if I can get one.  

By the way, I really appreciate this.  :)
Crock Pots... they are ok, at best, in all honesty. They're great to have on hand for those times when you will be gone all day or know that when dinner time comes, you are going to be too tired to put together a big meal. I much prefer a Dutch oven but they can be expensive but are the better option for when you're at home and need something to be in the oven for a really long time. I would buy one from a thrift store, no problem! Don't let one that looks, "dirty inside" scare you. That's actually want you want! One that is well-seasoned. A Crock Pot I would certainly buy new. I would recommend a fully programmable one which is going to be more expensive but they should last a really long time so can easily justify the cost. They come in various sizes but the average size is 5-6 quarts which can make a lot of food if you shove a ton in there but then you get leftovers! Another cost saving option right there. One dish I love to make in the Crock Pot is meatballs. Either make your own or use frozen meatballs. Just throw them in the Crock Pot with a little ketchup, mustard and brown sugar (think classic meatloaf topping) or a combination of chili sauce and cranberry sauce if you want something a little tangy and sweet, and cook for however long which is going to depend on if they're frozen, thawed, etc. Make some mashed potatoes, serve with some green beans and call that an awesome comfort food meal.

Seriously, SO many options out there for you!!!

#23 Lorraine

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:15 PM

Janie, can you give me some staples to buy now (especially spices)?  I am not ready to start cooking yet since the temperatures out here, especially this week, are hot ( :eh: ), but I would like to be somewhat prepared for September.


in the freezer I already have a few ham steaks, two pork roasts and two pounds of chopped meat.

#24 Janie

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:16 PM

View Postblueschica, on 10 August 2015 - 06:30 PM, said:

View Poststone and a hard place, on 10 August 2015 - 05:10 PM, said:

Harvest Chicken Stew--really good for the slow cooker.

    Ingredients

10 medium carrots, cut in rounds
2 cups diced parsnips
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
1 red onion, halved and sliced
2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Chopped fresh chives and parsley
4 cups cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley, to serve

    Directions

Layer the carrots and parsnips on the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine the salt, ginger, and pepper; sprinkle half of the mixture over the vegetables.
In a nonstick skillet, sauté the chicken and onions until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker. Top with the apples. Combine the water and balsamic vinegar; pour over the chicken and apples. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning mixture. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7 hours until vegetables are tender and chicken juices run clear. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with chives and parsley, and serve with cooked quinoa, brown rice, or barley

THANK YOU, this sounds wonderful!  If you have any more easy chicken recipes, please post!  Between my husband refusing to eat red meat for political reasons and my OCD daughter having raw chicken as a trigger, I often end up making 2 dinners, which I hate.  Recipes like this w/o red meat and with the chicken already cooked before dinner time are a huge help! :clap:  (And I love parsnips, my dad always made them for us!)
Do you need to buy cooked chicken or can you buy a raw chicken and cook it yourself, then using the cooked meat in recipes? I will also buy chicken in bulk from Costco, bake them up and shred the meat to store in the fridge or freezer. Cost efficient!

#25 Lorraine

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:20 PM

View PostCrimsonmistymemory, on 10 August 2015 - 07:13 PM, said:

crock pot is the way to go! originally invented to cook beans you can do anything you can imagine in it as it is the original set it and forget it kitchen device. Speaking of beans that is a truely cheap and high fiber dish that can be paired with some rice or pasta yumm. you can also use some ground meat and tomato paste to mke an awsome chili that can also be paired with rice and pasta. The key is to make sure wat ever fat source you use does not get solid at room temperature. Light olive oil is a perfect example of such.
Here is a link that can get your creative juices flowing for slow cooker recepies,
http://www.crock-pot.com/recipes.html
but really you can cook just about anything in a crock pot and yumm will follow. When I was single and many times now when it is my turn to cook I can throw everything in the morning and then when I get home dindin done Mmmm I m going to get mine out now :outtahere:


View PostJanie, on 10 August 2015 - 07:14 PM, said:


Crock Pots... they are ok, at best, in all honesty. They're great to have on hand for those times when you will be gone all day or know that when dinner time comes, you are going to be too tired to put together a big meal. I much prefer a Dutch oven but they can be expensive but are the better option for when you're at home and need something to be in the oven for a really long time. I would buy one from a thrift store, no problem! Don't let one that looks, "dirty inside" scare you. That's actually want you want! One that is well-seasoned. A Crock Pot I would certainly buy new. I would recommend a fully programmable one which is going to be more expensive but they should last a really long time so can easily justify the cost. They come in various sizes but the average size is 5-6 quarts which can make a lot of food if you shove a ton in there but then you get leftovers! Another cost saving option right there. One dish I love to make in the Crock Pot is meatballs. Either make your own or use frozen meatballs. Just throw them in the Crock Pot with a little ketchup, mustard and brown sugar (think classic meatloaf topping) or a combination of chili sauce and cranberry sauce if you want something a little tangy and sweet, and cook for however long which is going to depend on if they're frozen, thawed, etc. Make some mashed potatoes, serve with some green beans and call that an awesome comfort food meal.

Seriously, SO many options out there for you!!!

You put me to shame with your creativity.  Who would ever think of pairing chili and cranberry sauce together, but I bet it is good!

#26 treeduck

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:23 PM

I just eat food and it seems to work for me. For instance I just ate some black grapes from Spain. I just pulled them off the whatsit and ate them one after the other until they were gone. Don't worry I've got more for tomorrow! Midnight Beauty is the variety.

#27 Lorraine

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:23 PM

I'll go by Wal-Mart this week and see what they have, and check on the prices of dutch overs.  Janie, what size?

There's a thrift store a couple of blocks from here going out of business, I could go there and check, but the place is really seedy and I wouldn't buy clothes in it let alone anything to cook out of.  :ph34r:

#28 Lorraine

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:24 PM

View Posttreeduck, on 10 August 2015 - 07:23 PM, said:

I just eat food and it seems to work for me. For instance I just ate some black grapes from Spain. I just pulled them off the whatsit and ate them one after the other until they were gone. Don't worry I've got more for tomorrow! Midnight Beauty is the variety.

Looking forward to it, Treeduck!  :)  It will give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

#29 treeduck

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:25 PM

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 07:23 PM, said:

I'll go by Wal-Mart this week and see what they have, and check on the prices of dutch overs.  Janie, what size?

There's a thrift store a couple of blocks from here going out of business, I could go there and check, but the place is really seedy and I wouldn't buy clothes in it let alone anything to cook out of.  :ph34r:
Can you not steal some drug money from next door? That would set you up nicely for a while. :D-13:

#30 treeduck

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:25 PM

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 07:24 PM, said:

View Posttreeduck, on 10 August 2015 - 07:23 PM, said:

I just eat food and it seems to work for me. For instance I just ate some black grapes from Spain. I just pulled them off the whatsit and ate them one after the other until they were gone. Don't worry I've got more for tomorrow! Midnight Beauty is the variety.

Looking forward to it, Treeduck!  :)  It will give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
I'll feed you a few, don't forget to open your mouth same time tomorrow.

#31 Janie

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:30 PM

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 07:15 PM, said:

Janie, can you give me some staples to buy now (especially spices)?  I am not ready to start cooking yet since the temperatures out here, especially this week, are hot ( :eh: ), but I would like to be somewhat prepared for September.


in the freezer I already have a few ham steaks, two pork roasts and two pounds of chopped meat.
I completely understand about not wanting to eat in the summer! I have a really hard time getting in the kitchen and making a hot meal when it's hot outside. It pains me because I love cooking so much. These days I just pass through my kitchen and stare at it lovingly.

As for spices/herbs to keep on hand... the ones I use most are: garlic powder, onion powder, basil (although I also have a massive pot of planted, fresh basil in the kitchen - I use this herb that much), oregano, red pepper flakes, thyme. I think that would be a good start. Maybe bay leaves too. I use them quite frequently in the fall and winter because I make a lot of soups and stews.

As for other staples, I previously listed some good pantry staples so start with those. Potatoes and onions are ok to buy in bulk and store; however, they can turn on you and then you will need to toss them if they've gone past the point of no return. I store mine in the pantry where it's dark and cool. Let's see, what else do I have in the pantry... lots of bagged, dried beans. They're cost efficient but, yes, it is going to take a while to prepare them to use in a recipe but still, they have a long shelf life and no preservatives and such that you'll find in canned, prepared items.

Edited by Janie, 10 August 2015 - 07:41 PM.


#32 Lorraine

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:31 PM

View Posttreeduck, on 10 August 2015 - 07:25 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 07:23 PM, said:

I'll go by Wal-Mart this week and see what they have, and check on the prices of dutch overs.  Janie, what size?

There's a thrift store a couple of blocks from here going out of business, I could go there and check, but the place is really seedy and I wouldn't buy clothes in it let alone anything to cook out of.  :ph34r:
Can you not steal some drug money from next door? That would set you up nicely for a while. :D-13:

Better late than never.  Thank you for providing my first hearty laugh of the day.  :lol:

#33 Janie

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:33 PM

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 07:20 PM, said:

View PostCrimsonmistymemory, on 10 August 2015 - 07:13 PM, said:

crock pot is the way to go! originally invented to cook beans you can do anything you can imagine in it as it is the original set it and forget it kitchen device. Speaking of beans that is a truely cheap and high fiber dish that can be paired with some rice or pasta yumm. you can also use some ground meat and tomato paste to mke an awsome chili that can also be paired with rice and pasta. The key is to make sure wat ever fat source you use does not get solid at room temperature. Light olive oil is a perfect example of such.
Here is a link that can get your creative juices flowing for slow cooker recepies,
http://www.crock-pot.com/recipes.html
but really you can cook just about anything in a crock pot and yumm will follow. When I was single and many times now when it is my turn to cook I can throw everything in the morning and then when I get home dindin done Mmmm I m going to get mine out now :outtahere:


View PostJanie, on 10 August 2015 - 07:14 PM, said:


Crock Pots... they are ok, at best, in all honesty. They're great to have on hand for those times when you will be gone all day or know that when dinner time comes, you are going to be too tired to put together a big meal. I much prefer a Dutch oven but they can be expensive but are the better option for when you're at home and need something to be in the oven for a really long time. I would buy one from a thrift store, no problem! Don't let one that looks, "dirty inside" scare you. That's actually want you want! One that is well-seasoned. A Crock Pot I would certainly buy new. I would recommend a fully programmable one which is going to be more expensive but they should last a really long time so can easily justify the cost. They come in various sizes but the average size is 5-6 quarts which can make a lot of food if you shove a ton in there but then you get leftovers! Another cost saving option right there. One dish I love to make in the Crock Pot is meatballs. Either make your own or use frozen meatballs. Just throw them in the Crock Pot with a little ketchup, mustard and brown sugar (think classic meatloaf topping) or a combination of chili sauce and cranberry sauce if you want something a little tangy and sweet, and cook for however long which is going to depend on if they're frozen, thawed, etc. Make some mashed potatoes, serve with some green beans and call that an awesome comfort food meal.

Seriously, SO many options out there for you!!!

You put me to shame with your creativity.  Who would ever think of pairing chili and cranberry sauce together, but I bet it is good!
It's actually chili sauce, not regular canned chili... just want to clarify. And I cannot take credit for that recipe at all. I have a cooking club and one time, for one event, a friend brought these meatballs. I loved the recipe, in part because it's so simple. And then when I was buying a jar of chili sauce I saw that the recipe was right there on the jar! For the record, you can easily make your own chili sauce. I'm lazy sometimes. :lol:

#34 treeduck

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:34 PM

Janie Janie show us you're brainy!

[alternately]  Jenny Jenny your brain cells, how many?

#35 treeduck

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:35 PM

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 07:31 PM, said:

View Posttreeduck, on 10 August 2015 - 07:25 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 07:23 PM, said:

I'll go by Wal-Mart this week and see what they have, and check on the prices of dutch overs.  Janie, what size?

There's a thrift store a couple of blocks from here going out of business, I could go there and check, but the place is really seedy and I wouldn't buy clothes in it let alone anything to cook out of.  :ph34r:
Can you not steal some drug money from next door? That would set you up nicely for a while. :D-13:

Better late than never.  Thank you for providing my first hearty laugh of the day.  :lol:
I'm deadly serious, get on your tight black ninja pajamas, and your Nike Air Lorraines and black hoody and be on your way, like a night prowler! :ph34r:

#36 Janie

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:38 PM

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 07:23 PM, said:

I'll go by Wal-Mart this week and see what they have, and check on the prices of dutch overs.  Janie, what size?

There's a thrift store a couple of blocks from here going out of business, I could go there and check, but the place is really seedy and I wouldn't buy clothes in it let alone anything to cook out of.  :ph34r:
As for Dutch oven size, a 5 1/2-6 quart one is best (same size as best Crock Pot). Dutch ovens are highly prized and coveted so it may be hard to find one at a thrift store but keep your eyes open! You never know. It might be easier to score one at a yard sale.

You can also try Bed, Bath and Beyond for a Crock Pot because you can use one of their 20% off coupons. Those things seem to come in the mail quite often.

#37 treeduck

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:40 PM

The only Dutch thing I've got is Dutch courage!

#38 Lorraine

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:44 PM

View Posttreeduck, on 10 August 2015 - 07:35 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 07:31 PM, said:

View Posttreeduck, on 10 August 2015 - 07:25 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 07:23 PM, said:

I'll go by Wal-Mart this week and see what they have, and check on the prices of dutch overs.  Janie, what size?

There's a thrift store a couple of blocks from here going out of business, I could go there and check, but the place is really seedy and I wouldn't buy clothes in it let alone anything to cook out of.  :ph34r:
Can you not steal some drug money from next door? That would set you up nicely for a while. :D-13:

Better late than never.  Thank you for providing my first hearty laugh of the day.  :lol:
I'm deadly serious, get on your tight black ninja pajamas, and your Nike Air Lorraines and black hoody and be on your way, like a night prowler! :ph34r:

That's just how they dress too.  At night, they all walk around with their hoodies' hoods up and down over their faces.  Who the heck can see anything anyway??

But then I'd have to go out and buy the black ninja pjs, and I'd rather buy a dutch oven.

#39 Lorraine

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:44 PM

View PostJanie, on 10 August 2015 - 07:38 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 07:23 PM, said:

I'll go by Wal-Mart this week and see what they have, and check on the prices of dutch overs.  Janie, what size?

There's a thrift store a couple of blocks from here going out of business, I could go there and check, but the place is really seedy and I wouldn't buy clothes in it let alone anything to cook out of.  :ph34r:
As for Dutch oven size, a 5 1/2-6 quart one is best (same size as best Crock Pot). Dutch ovens are highly prized and coveted so it may be hard to find one at a thrift store but keep your eyes open! You never know. It might be easier to score one at a yard sale.

You can also try Bed, Bath and Beyond for a Crock Pot because you can use one of their 20% off coupons. Those things seem to come in the mail quite often.

Janie, thank you.

How long would you cook the delicious chicken recipe Stone provided in a dutch oven?

#40 treeduck

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 07:45 PM

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 07:44 PM, said:

View Posttreeduck, on 10 August 2015 - 07:35 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 07:31 PM, said:

View Posttreeduck, on 10 August 2015 - 07:25 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 10 August 2015 - 07:23 PM, said:

I'll go by Wal-Mart this week and see what they have, and check on the prices of dutch overs.  Janie, what size?

There's a thrift store a couple of blocks from here going out of business, I could go there and check, but the place is really seedy and I wouldn't buy clothes in it let alone anything to cook out of.  :ph34r:
Can you not steal some drug money from next door? That would set you up nicely for a while. :D-13:

Better late than never.  Thank you for providing my first hearty laugh of the day.  :lol:
I'm deadly serious, get on your tight black ninja pajamas, and your Nike Air Lorraines and black hoody and be on your way, like a night prowler! :ph34r:

That's just how they dress too.  At night, they all walk around with their hoodies' hoods up and down over their faces.  Who the heck can see anything anyway??

But then I'd have to go out and buy the black ninja pjs, and I'd rather buy a dutch oven.
Just wear your old black leggings and Keds then!




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