Guest Post--New Wintry Recipes: Easy, Delicious, Affordable!

>> 1.27.2011

If you've been a long time reader, you might have noticed that I keep it pretty light on recipe posts around here (and by light, I mean a grand total of one). So, after 300+ posts, I think it's time to share a couple more... guest post style (can you tell I'm not the biggest cook?). Take it away, Tara!

One of the hardest places for me to be frugal is in kitchen (or perhaps that’s the grocery store?). Either way, sticking to a budget when it comes to food is my biggest struggle. The largest problem seems to be my cooking, which means the lack thereof. This is particularly odd, since my mom, the most thrifty, frugal mom that ever was, cooked fanatically and gave me the best example I could have asked for. Every meal, snack, dessert, you name it, was home-cooked and done so very frugally. Sadly, during a college career, my idea of a meal quickly became opening up a can of “something” or anything else equally as quick and easy and the concept of a thought-out, budgeted, balanced meal went out the door.
However, now that my budget is requiring me to stick to it a little bit more like super glue than say, flour paste, I’ve been trying to make an attempt to mimic her in all ways possible. I recently asked her for some frugal recipe ideas for the wintry months and am here to share them with you. If you’re seeking some meal ideas that won’t break the bank and that promise leftovers for lunch to save you even more, these are for you. Oh, and did I mention that they’re so delicious that even if you weren’t on a budget, you should still make them?! Ah, well they are! Fast, easy, delicious and affordable. Thanks Mom!
Cabbage and Tomato Mix
1 small cabbage cut into wedges
1 lb. ground beef (I use Boca and Morningstar ground crumbles instead)
1 small onion
1/3 cup rice
2 cups canned tomatoes - use any flavor that sounds good
1 small can green chilies (optional)
1 cup boiling water
Salt and pepper

Brown beef and onion together. Put cabbage wedges in a 2.5 qt. casserole dish. Mix the beef/onion with rice and salt and pepper and distribute around the cabbage wedges. Pour tomatoes, chilies if using, and water over all. Cover and bake at 350º for one hour.

Chili Joes
1 lb. ground beef (or crumbles!)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 15 oz. cans vegetarian chili
1 can tomato soup
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup diced green peppers
1/4 cup diced red peppers

Brown beef with onion. Add rest of ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over whole wheat hamburger buns or your favorite hearty bread (homemade is best!). Top with cheese if desired. (I would also add more veggies: mushrooms, olives, fire roasted crushed tomatoes, etc.)

Eat for dinner and save the rest for tomorrow’s lunch!

Author Tara Alley is a freelance writer from Montana who cherishes living the simple life and sharing it with others. When not baking or finding more ways to “green” up her own life, she also promotes drinking green coffee for Coffee Home Direct. You can reach her at alley.tara[at]gmail[dot]com and follow her on Twitter @hopesiempre.


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