Thursday, September 26, 2013

Garden Crockpot Soup

-2 cans tomatoes (your choice)
-an onion, chopped
-garlic (like 4 cloves)
-2 carrots, chopped
-2 stalks celery, chopped
-2 cans green beans
-6 C chicken broth (or equiv. water/bouillon)
-quarter head of cabbage
-1/2 tsp. thyme
-2 small russet potatoes, cleaned and chopped
-salt & pepper to taste
-evoo (or whatever oil you got)

Now, these are suggestions above, add what you have and leave out what you don't. 

In a large soup pot, heat up a T of evoo and cook onion till soft and add garlic, but don't let it brown.
Add the rest of the veggies and saute a bit to release flavor.

Put all in a crockpot and cook on low 7-9 hours.  Just before serving, mash the potatoes a little bit with a masher. 

Now, this is your basic soup, what can you add to make it what you like?  Try these:

1-Tex Mex: add some canned black beans (rinsed), come cumin, and cilantro. Top with cheese and tortilla chips.  Eat with a quesadilla.

2-Tuscan: Add some canned cannellini beans (white beans) (rinsed), some Italian seasoning, and some chopped kale (kale is AWESOME in soup! just chop it small and add in when almost done).

3-Minestroni: Add some cooked pasta, dried basil, and top with Parmesan.

4-Autumn: Add some diced acorn squash or butternut.  Some brown rice, a little nutmeg and parsley.

These add-ins can be added to each bowl (but squash should be cooked with soup if you choose that) or the whole pot.

The Cooking Whore's Famous Potato Soup

No, this isn't my recipe, and I have no idea where the hell I found it, BUT its been a staple in my house for years.

Get yourself a canister (I used a plastic Folger's can) and keep this as a dry mix to use whenever you want.

-2 1/2 C instant mashed potatoes (or I'd buy a box of flavored mashed tatoes and use the whole box-both packages)
-1 1/4 C powdered coffee creamer or dry milk
-1 packet chicken gravy mix
-2 t chicken bouillon granules
-2 t salt-free seasoning (such as Mrs. Dash)
-2 t dried minced onion
-1/2 t pepper

Throw all into your jar and shake.

Write on your jar: 1/2 C Mix to 1 C boiling water.  Let stand 3 min. until thick.

You can use more or less water, depending on how you like it.

Mayo Muffins

-1 1/4 C self-rising flour
-3 T mayo
-1 C milk

Preheat oven 375°.  Mix all (or double for more muffins as this makes 4-6).  Bake in a muffin tin (greased) for 20 min., or until light brown.

Warm Your Soul Soup

-3 cans chicken broth (or equivalent water/bouillon)
-2 cans Italian stewed tomatoes
-one onion, chopped
-one celery rib, chopped
-1 can chicken (Aldi has some for cheap) or leftover chicken
-8 oz fettuccine
-2 C water

Cook all together, except the noodles until veggies are tender crisp.  Add noodles and cook according to package.  Season with salt and pepper.

I've read some people cook cornbread to eat with this soup. 

Recipe from a cookbook called "4 Ingredient Recipes" or something like that.  I can't remember LOL 

Oatmeal (the breakfast of awesome people)

-oats (your choice: instant, rolled, Scottish, steel cut, etc. all depends on how much money you have to spend)
-water or juice

Now, you can make your oats and top with maple syrup and milk (my favorite!).  OR you can use juice (apple, peach, blueberry, etc.) instead of your water to give a real flavor kick.  Then you can add in real fruit (canned or fresh or thawed) for a nutritious punch!

Here is a recipe I got out of Vegetarian Times back in the day and its gooooood!

Maple Raisin Oatmeal

-1 C rolled oats
-1/2 C raisins
-1/4 C milk
-1/4 maple syrup
-1 t ground cinnamon
-1/2 t ground ginger

Combine all into saucepan with  1 1/2 C water, boil, and reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes.

Sooooooooo goood! 

Recipe from Vegetarian Times

Easy Red Pepper Dip

-plain yogurt
-fresh red pepper
-garlic powder, to taste

Wash your pepper and slice.  Throw all in food processor, and enjoy! 

Easy Spinach Dip

-plain yogurt
-fresh bagged spinach
-garlic powder, to taste

Wash your spinach (even if its prewashed).  Mix all in food processor and enjoy :)  This is great with ruffles or other ridged chips.

Easy Bake (in your oven)


Just take any leftovers you have, throw in some pasta if you want, and top with cheese and bake.  I normally do 350°, for around 15-20 min. 

Brought to you by Carin L.

Pasta Carbonara

-garlic powder (or fresh/bottled)
-chopped onion

Make your noodles, then make a sauce out of the rest.  If you'd like your sauce a little thicker (like biscuits and gravy sauce), then add a little flour (or GF flour) and whisk it in.

Recipe brought to you by Carin L.

Cheap Soups

You can make soup out of anything.  Just have a base (like beef, veggie, or chicken broth--if you can't afford to buy some, get some cheap bouillon cubes), seasonings, and fillers.

Filler Ideas:

-frozen veggies of any kind
-leftover meats

-canned veggies
-bottled/fresh garlic
-canned pumpkin
-fresh veggies
-potatoes (you can even mash them into the soup for more texture and thickness)
-eggs (for an egg drop soup, or scrambled as in Super Ramen)

Base Ideas:

-broth (or bouillon)
-water (with seasonings)
-milk or cream or half & half (added to broth or water)
-thickener if you want more of a chowder (flour, GF flour, cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch)

Seasoning Ideas:
-rosemary (as in Chicken Stew)
- salt and pepper
Use any thing you have, just mix and match.  Look up seasoning ideas online or in cookbooks (Mr. Food has some good ones!)

Topper Ideas:

-green onions
-cheese (usually in chowders)

Some great and cheap soup recipes:

5 Can Soup
Warm Your Soul Soup
Potato Soup
Throw Everything In It Soup

(I am linking these as I add them in, so check back!)

5 Can Soup

-can of chicken broth
-can of sliced carrots
-can of Italian beans (or green beans)
-can of zucchini with tomatoes (you could substitute corn or anything you want)
-can of diced tomatoes with basil and oregano

Combine all and simmer and enjoy :)

Bean Dip

-can of refried beans
-sour cream or plain yogurt

Mix, heat and serve with tortilla chips. 

Potato Waffles/Pancakes

-shredded potatoes
-waffle mix or pancake mix

Mix up your waffle mix or pancake mix (I make my own) and throw some shredded potatoes into them and voila!  Very dense and filling (if you make them GF, they will be VERY dense, which is awesome!)

Make sure you squeeze out any water in them :)

I got this idea from 2 places:

For waffles, from the Everything Nordic Cookbook
For pancakes, from my friend Carin L., who is from Sweden!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Olive Sandwiches

-jar green olives
-cream cheese

Slice green olives and spread cc on bread and top with olives.

Melissa M. says they're scrumptious!

Baked Potatoes

-bag of potatoes (preferably baking, but russets will do)
-condiments (cheese, Bacos, green onions, sour cream, butter, broccoli, etc.)

Poke holes in your potatoes and either bake at 500° for 15 min (check and bake longer if needed, flip if not done--less time if smaller) or throw in your microwave 3-5 min. per side.

Top with any combination of condiments.  Fast, cheap, and easy!

I like to take the insides out and mix with cheese and bacon or whatever I have, and put the insides back in and top with sour cream.  Actually, the neighbor boy asks me for this every time he comes over!

Idea brought to you by Melissa M.

Chicken Leek Stew

-leeks or onions (if you get leeks, slice into circles and then in half, and WASH thoroughly in a strainer to get sand and dirt off)
-cabbage (depending on the time of year, this can be fairly cheap)
-garlic (jarred, fresh, or powdered)
-seasonings (depends on what you have, I have a full cabinet of seasonsings, myself: Mrs. Dash, cumin, salt, pepper, turmeric, rosemary,---salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary are nice together)
-water or veggie broth or chicken broth

Throw all in a crockpot and let simmer until done (all day?) with broth or water (enough to cover).

This recipe was brought to you by Carl V.

Super Mac-N-Cheese

-box mac and cheese
-hamburger or frozen turkey and/or hot dogs
-canned tomatoes

Mix and enjoy!  Throw in what you got :)

Recipe brought to you by Selena H.


-1 C flour 
-2 t baking powder 
-1 t sugar 
-1 T margarine 
-1/2 cup milk
-something to put the dumplings into (like stew, soup, chicken broth, ramen, etc.)

Mix all the dry shit together, and then cut in the margarine till its all crumbly.  Stir in the milk and it will be doughy.   

Drop by teaspoonfuls into boiling whatever to cook.  I made mine GF by adding a teaspoon of xantham gum (or you can substitute gelatin), and by making them in my electric pot with chicken broth and using my GF flour mix (I make my own and keep it on my counter in a canister).  

Very very very good!

Idea brought to you by Melissa M.  
Recipe by All Recipes

Tater Tot Casserole

-hamburger meat or ground turkey
-can of cream of mushroom soup (GF/soy free recipe here)

-tater tots

Grind up your meat and drain it.  Mix in the soup and if too thick, add a little milk.  Mix in the cheese (or top with it).  Throw some tator tots on top.  Bake at 350° for about 35-40 minutes.

You can add sour cream to the top if you feel like it.

This idea brought to you by Carrie E.

Super Ramen

-Ramen noodles
-whatever you have to throw in: like an egg, ham, chicken, veggies, whatever you have

Boil your water and throw in your egg (either whisk it in like egg drop soup or scramble it and put it in when done).  Then throw in your noodles and whatever else you have.  This make the ramen more nutritious.  You can either drain the liquid or keep it as soup (if you drain it, put the seasoning in after you drain).

Recipe given by Chandra G.

Chipped Beef on Toast

-Buddig beef
-3 C milk
-4 T butter
-4 T flour

Chop up your beef.  Use a few packages of beef.  Toast your bread.  Melt your butter and add the flour when melted then add milk until thick.  Throw your chopped up beef in the milk gravy and ladle onto your toasts.  Then salt and pepper them.

This was a staple in my house growing up :)

Idea for this recipe was given to me by Tressa A.  

Snack Pickles

-some Buddhig meat (your choice)
-cream cheese
-dill pickles

Spread cream cheese on your meat slice, then wrap around a pickle spear. 

Melissa M. swears they are DEEELISH! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Chicken Beany Tostadas

-leftover chicken
-can refried beans
-any taco condiments you have on hand
-taco seasoning (or GF homemade)

Shred chicken after cooked and mix with taco seasoning.  Warm up refried beans.

Slap some refried beans on your tostada.  Then throw some chicken on top.  Then top with any condiments you might have (black olives, salsa, sour cream, etc.)

VERY fast, and easy and good. 

Biscuits and Gravy

- 1-2 cans buttermilk biscuits
-1 lb. pork sausage
-3T flour
-1 1/2 C milk

Should have other two on hand.

Bake your biscuits.  Saute your sausage and drain.  Then add in 3T flour to coat meat.  Then pour in 1 1/2 C milk and stir still thick (while on low heat).  You can double this easily for a bigger family, or even triple it.  Doubling it makes barely enough for my family of 4.

And then pepper that shit up when done!

My good friend Melissa M. suggested this :)

Cinncinati Chili

-leftover chili (or canned chili)

Layer on yo plate: noodles, chili (in a can or something you've made), and cheese.  All must be hot for cheese to melt, but duh, you knew that.

Quite good!

Celery Boats

-peanut butter or cream cheese

Celery from Shnucks: $1.49 normally, $1 on sale
Cream cheese, whipped from Aldi: $

We don't use PB in our house, as I am allergic, so I just thought yesterday "What about cream cheese instead?" as I so lovingly looked at a stalk of celery.

And voila, deliciousness was born!

No, I probably did not invent this, but I invented it in my house!  haha

I don't pile it on, I put enough to go in the folds of the celery stick, but dayum its good!

Healthier than chocolate cake! LOL

Sweet N Sour Chicken

This is something we eat a few times a month, cause its goood!

-1 pkg. frozen chicken tenderloins
-1 box instant brown rice (or bagged brown rice you already have)
-2 steamable frozen broccoli's
-little bit of ketchup (opt.)

Chicken tenderloins: $6.99 Aldi (I think?)
Instant brown rice: $1.49 Aldi  (I think)
Frozen broccoli: $.99 Aldi

Everything else you should have on hand.

I thaw half a bag of chicken out in the microwave.....on the 1lb. setting on defrost.  I don't want it completely thawed, its too hard to cut.  Then I slice the partially thawed chickies into bite size pieces.  I either cook the broccoli in a pan or I microwave it (its steamable).  This time I added celery, but you can add anything you want.  Even pineapple (canned).

Cook your rice.  Then boil 1/2 C water and 1/2  C vinegar and 3/4 C sugar (I double this and freeze it).  Once boiling, I remove from heat and mix 1/4 C cornstarch with 1/4 water (whisk that shit so its not lumpy!).  Then add that cornstarch water into the pan, and voila!  Sweet n sour sauce.  I add a teeny bit ketchup for color, but its not needed.

Then I put all the first stuff together (broccoli, chicken, rice, and whatever I have on hand) and drizzle sauce over top. EASIER.  THAN.  PIE.  Way easier, actually!  And tastier!

Well, really now, what's tastier than pie??

Scrambled Eggs

I know, duh.  But being this is a blog about cheap food, I have to add it :)

-a carton of eggs
-whatever is in your fridge: leftover ham, cheese, peppers, mushrooms, bacon, etc.

Scramble that shit up!  Crack open them eggs and throw in some cheese and whatnot, and them put them in your pan and go to town.  DONE.  And if you wanna get fancy, make it into an omelet.

I am allergic to eggs, but make this for my kids.  Cheap.  As.  Shit.  Breakfast.

Whip up some toast while you're at it.

Magical Popcorn a la The Cooking Whore

This recipe assumes you have an air popper (I got mine for 99 cents at the Salvation Army.  Macklemore found it for me!!).

-enough popcorn to fill your well (it says on the popper, usually 2/3 C)
-evoo (or real butter)
-garlic powder
-Italian seasoning
-Parmesan cheese

This is my SPECIAL recipe of the kickassiest popcorn on EARTH!  So feel special you are getting my recipe.

You can add salt, but you don't have to.  And should not if you can go without it.

Melt butter to your liking.  But for another healthy way, use extra virgin olive oil (from CA.....they have strict packaging laws and you'll know you're not getting your evoo cut with a cheaper oil....there is no cost difference in this choice).  Evoo is not cheap, BUT you can get a teeny bottle just for your popcorn snacks each month.  Its a great choice for those with thyroid issues (as my son and I both have), as is butter.  Don't use butter when your Link comes in and freeze it for popcorn only if you have to!  Margarine melts your popcorn and is gross on it!  You will become a popcorn snob after eating this beautimus concoction.  I swear, you will!

Drizzle the evoo or the butter over top, sprinkle on the sprinkling and VOILA!  Total.  Awesomeness.



-1 apple
-a few slices of cheddar or American or whatever you like
-1 pkg. of the cheap lunch meat

Bag of apples on sale at Shnucks: $3.99
Cheddar cheese at Aldi: $1.99
Lunch meat (single serving) at Aldi: $.69

Divide that shit up for your total for one serving.

I wash my apple, slice it up into wedges, and break my cheese into pieces to fit apple and then wrap a piece of lunchmeat around the slice (they are thin).  OMG its soooo good!  Try it before you say its gross LOL  For real, bitches, its goooood!


-1 box of macaroni and cheese
-1 can of tuna

1 box of mac and cheese at Aldi: $.39
1 can tuna in water at Aldi: $.89 (I think)

Make mac-n-cheese according to box with milk and butter.  Then throw a can of tuna up in that bitch!  

My son HATES mac-n-cheese, but LOVES it with tuna, so every once in awhile (usually at the end of the month when the rent is due) this is what they have for lunch (I can't eat gluten items).  And while they don't want it (nor get it) all the time, its cheap enough to have on hand and they enjoy it.  You can add other stuff, like veggies and whatnot, whatever your family will eat. 

Sausagey Potatoey Casseroley

-1 pkg. frozen (or fresh) sausage
-enough potatoes, chopped to fill a 9x13 pan
-2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (here is a recipe for "not-so-cheap" GF cream of mush soup if you need it...again, substitute as you need to make it the price you want)

Sausage at Aldi:
Bag of potatoes: on sale at Schnucks for $2.99
Cream of mushroom soup: less than $1 at Aldi (more if you make it yourself, but probably better)
Onions: $1.99 on sale at Shnucks

I always thaw my sausage in the microwave or if I remember, in the fridge overnight.  Then I cook it up with my onions and drain it.  Then while this is going on, chop those taters.  Fill up your pan....then add in cooked sausage and 2 cans soup.  Then throw this bitch in the oven, covered, for like 30 minutes at 400° or so.  If the potatoes aren't done, then keep adding 10 minutes until done.  This will all depend on how big you cut your potatoes.

So many brands of mushroom soup have soy AND wheat, so if you have allergies, read your labels!

Fries with BBQ Beef

-baking potatoes or bag steak fries
-1 lb. frozen ground beef (or more for more people)
-BBQ sauce
-shredded cheese

Bag of steak fries at  :
Baking potatoes at: price varies on time of year and store
1 lb frozen beef at Aldi:
Shredded cheese: $2.29 on sale at Shnucks

Cut up enough potatoes in long strips, OR bake a bag or two of steak fries.  Then cook up your beef and grind it up.  Then mix in about half of the bottle of BBQ sauce.  Then spread this on your fries and top with cheese of your liking.

Chili Cheese Dog Bowl

1 pkg. hot dogs
3 cans chili with beans
1 pkg. colby jack cheese

1 pkg. hot dogs at Aldi: $.99
1 can chili with beans at Aldi: $1.19
1 pkg. cheese on sale at Schnucks: $2.29

This recipe can be a snack or lunch (using 1 hot dog and a half can chili, with cheese sprinkled on top) or dinner (using whole recipe, with only some cheese).

Total cost: $6.85

Chop up the hot dogs (I hate hot dogs, but when put in this, you can't taste them so much, and you can make them healthier by buying all beef and nitrate-free hot dogs--but you'll pay out the butt for them) and put them in pan with the chili to heat them up (if you're making a lunch/snack) or put them in a layer in a 9x13 pan.  Then cover with chili and topped with cheese and bake at 350° for 15-20 min, until cheese is melted.  If in a bowl, then sprinkle cheese on top.

Also great with tortilla chips (used as dippers)! 

Sloppy Joes

2lbs ground turkey
2 cans Sloppy Joe sauce
2 bags tortilla chips

Aldi has turkey for $1.69 per roll.
Sloppy Joe sauce there is $.85.
Tortilla chips are $1.19 a bag.
So to feed your family of 4 or so, this will cost your ass:  7.46. 

Now instead of using buns, you can put your chips on your plate and use the SJ as a topping OR put half meat, half chips on your plate.

Portions are larger than normal, BUT if you're broke and need to fill your stomach?  This will fill you up.