Author Topic: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive  (Read 23835 times)

cbr shadow

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Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« on: October 08, 2012, 12:00:34 PM »
I went to the grocery store last night to get some groceries and realized that I eat mainly the same things every single week.  I would like some simple recipes for things that I can make easily at the house that are generally healthy, and inexpensive. 
One thing I make every week for my lunches that I never seem to get sick of is white chicken chili.  When I get home this evening I'll post the recipe, but it's simple and takes about an hour to make (including cutting veggies, etc) and is enough for me to eat for lunch 5 days/week.

Lets see what you guys eat!
Extra points for high protein :)

jpluncford21

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2012, 12:06:35 PM »
I eat a ton of "mexican style" food. One 65c can of black beans, rice and onions, with some leftover chicken or beef costs me about $2/meal with the salsa and tortillas included! Like you said, chili is always a good low cost bet too!

sideways8

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2012, 12:34:11 PM »
I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE MEXICAN FOOD! I admit that sometimes I go buy a rotisserie chicken and I'll use it to make about a week's worth of lunches/dinners. I stole the basic idea from my boyfriend's burrito mix:

-Meat, if you so desire. I usually use the meat from a rotisserie chicken or leftovers.
-Veggies. Bell peppers, onions, corn, diced tomaters w/chiles make a tasty combintation. I have a lot of the canned tomaters w/chiles because they had a good sale a while ago.
-Mush/binder. My boyfriend used the hash browns I had in my freezer. I used a can of refried beans.

Also, you can stretch it out further by serving it with rice. I make a super easy Mexican rice by using 1.5 cups of rice plus 1 cup of broth and 1 cup of salsa. Stick it in the rice cooker and do something else with that time :). Heck, you could mix the rice in if you want. You could add more of other cheaper ingredients, what ever you think would cut your costs and pleases your taste buds.


Angelfishtitan

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2012, 02:01:17 PM »
I like to cook up a can of chickpeas and a diced up tomato together, with some italian spices and some cayenne pepper to give it some kick. If you want some meat, I like to add a link or two of italian sausage, usually the hot kind. The meat is more for adding some flavor to the rest of it.

Beans in general are a great base for a good dinner. Rice and beans cooked up with other vegetables, lemon juice, and cilantro are a good mexican dish. I also like using lentils, they are actually a great substitute for beef in tacos, and are an easy addition to most meals. They are also one of the highest fiber /protein content foods you can get for the calories.

If you need some heavy carbs, cheesy grits or polenta is also a good cheap meal. If you can find some goat cheese on sale, you can add that to the cooking polenta (it is just 3 cup water and 1 cup cornmeal, cooked on med-high until the water is absorbed) with some spices to get a savory, filling dish. You don't need a lot of goat cheese to get huge flavor.

If you really like vegetables, broiling a medley (peppers, onions, zucchini, anything really) in the oven with a little olive oil drizzled over it is excellent. I usually have it on a thin roll, it tastes like it is so bad for you when it isn't as the roasting really brings out the vegetable juices.

Some of the healthiest and cheapest things for tend to be the easiest and fastest. I am a big propenent of cooking at home and since it is hard to find a lot of time, it is more important to find things that fit my schedule.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 02:02:56 PM by Angelfishtitan »

Nudelkopf

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 03:36:08 PM »
I eat meat + boiled vegetables most nights of the week. And the same leftovers for lunch. (Well, all nights of the week, unless I'm going out or lazy & eat a sandwich.)

cbr shadow

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2012, 03:55:03 PM »
Thanks for the ideas so far. I'll have to try some of those things. So what else do you guys eat?  What would you eat on a normal basis - what're you eating for dinner this week?

maryofdoom

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2012, 03:58:06 PM »
My favorite side dish in the fall/winter is roasted root vegetables. All you need is an assortment of root vegetables - potatoes, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, beets, whatever you got - some olive oil, and some garlic, if you like garlic.

Chop the vegetables into chunks of the same size. Toss them with olive oil. Add as many cloves of garlic as you want. Roast them at 400 degrees for about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring them around about halfway through the cooking time.

Put a seasoned salmon filet in the oven during the last ten minutes of cooking time and you have dinner. :)

(This week, I am on a business trip, so it's per diem for me for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.)

jrhampt

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2012, 04:57:31 PM »
I make tons of salads from whatever I have on hand.  Some recent combos (usually with a simple balsamic dressing):

dried cranberries, toasted almonds, goat cheese crumbles
strawberries/blueberries, walnuts, gorgonzola
grapes, cucumber slices, toasted almonds, goat cheese
bacon, avocado, tomato, shredded cheddar cheese
grilled chicken with bbq sauce, avocado, french fried onions, shredded cheddar cheese
hardboiled eggs diced and mixed with black olives, mayo, celery salt, w/ head of romaine

As long as you have three ingredients, you can do almost any combo of nuts, cheese, and fruit.
Add a glass of red wine and a baguette with some olive oil to dip it in if you want some more filler.

spider1204

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2012, 05:39:13 PM »
I tend to go through phases of eating the same few meals each day until I get bored enough with one of them or excited enough about something new to replace something in the rotation.  So at any given time I'm probably only eating four to five different meals at a time. 

So currently I make enough of this at the start of each week to provide lunch everyday at work, it's great because it actually tastes better room temperature, and requires no preparation at work.  Hint:  Make the sauce all at once, but make the noodles/spaghetti the day before so it doesn't dry out.

For dinner,

Fried rice and lentils with jalapenos, garlic, carrots, turmeric, paprika, and soy sauce.
Deep dish pizza
Grilled cheese with frenched bread.
Alfredo

prosaic

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2012, 06:18:21 PM »
We are eating a cheap meal right now and all my kids are scarfing it down.

Split chicken breasts were on sale last week, so I got 6 HUGE ones and we roasted those the other day and ate 2 of them (they were HUGE! We're a family of 5 with a 13 yo who eats like 3 people) and had 4 left.

I took them off the bone, left the skin on, and simmered them for a few hours with rosemary, salt, pepper and some herbs de provence I got for super cheap on a discount rack at a cheap discount store that sells near-expired food in Northampton, MA.

Once the meat was tender(er), I removed the skins and threw them out. They provide good flavor and a little fat for the stock. Added sliced carrots. Would normally add celery and onions but had neither. Let simmer.

When the carrots started to be tender, I chopped up some potatoes into little cubes and threw them in. When THOSE were tender I made dumplings (any recipe will do -- basically it's flour, baking powder, salt, butter, egg, milk). We're gluten free so I used a gluten free flour mix.

Drained the excess broth from the mixture until the broth was just covering the top of the food. Dropped the dumplings on. Cooked for 10 minutes with cover on, ten off.

Now I have great homemade brother for a future meal, a VERY full 13 year old boy (it's impossible to make them full!) and a happy 10 yo and two adults.

Plus leftovers for lunches tomorrow and possibly beyond that! It's an enormous stockpot full of food.


kkbmustang

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2012, 06:29:32 PM »
Our menu planning for a week tends to look like a combination of this:

1. Taco, Burrito or Tostado Night (ground beef, refried beans, cheese, avocados and salsa)
2. Steamed or broiled fish (tilapia or salmon), roasted or baked potatoes, salad and fresh fruit
3. Pasta night (spaghetti or other type of pasta with marinara sauce) with fresh fruit
4. Grilled chicken, quinoa and a vegetable of some kind (frozen or fresh)
5. Stew (using leftover veggies) or Chili or a hearty soup using whatever is on hand
6. Breakfast for dinner (quiche, frittata, bacon and eggs, pancakes, or cereal)
7. Sandwiches or grilled cheese/quesadillas and fresh fruit or homemade fruit smoothies
8. Homemade pizza
9. Stir fry (shrimp or chicken, leftover veggies and rice)

For a family of four (including an almost 10 year old boy and an almost 8 year old girl), our grocery budget for the month is $450. The Hubs and I eat leftovers 5 days a week and the kids eat hot lunch at their school once per week.

Russ

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2012, 06:43:04 PM »
Most of what I cook is some bastardized version of ethnic/regional foods. They're easy to make, take about 20 minutes from start to finish with a little practice, and are dirt cheap. The way I cook them all is pretty similar across the board:
-start a pot of rice
-saute whatever veggies you want (meat too, optional)
-add beans/lentils (from a can or cooked in a big batch earlier in the week)
-add whatever spices you feel like
--tex-mex = coriander, cumin, chili powder, something hot
--indian = curry powder or garam masala, plus plain yogurt if I want it to be creamy
--chinese = fivespice and soy sauce, maybe also some sugar to take the edge off the soy
--italian = basil and anything else that smells good
--or plain old salt and pepper is always good too
-rice is done by the time everything else is finished
leftovers become tomorrow's breakfast and lunch. I don't have a problem with eating the same thing forever, and the above meal hits all the big nutrients in decent proportions

One of my favorite snacks is rice and oil, so I always make extra rice. For the oil, just use the oil of any real food you'd normally eat. No canola, vegetable blend, or other weird stuff like that. Olive, peanut, and sesame are what I usually keep on hand. The oils all taste totally different, so it's like a different snack with each one. It's very filling, cheap, and good warm or at room temperature.

also these

Worsted Skeins

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2012, 06:55:10 PM »
Bob's Red Mill makes some great bean soup mixes.  Recipes are on the bags or online.  Now that cool weather has arrived, I will make a vat of bean soup weekly.

Another great source for great bean recipes is the Rancho Gordo bean site.  I love their Drunken Beans--serve them with homemade tortillas for an inexpensive meal.

In general we eat loads of seasonal veg. They make their way into quiches, pasta sauces or stir fries. 

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day offers one way of having fresh, homemade bread readily available.

twinge

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2012, 11:00:25 AM »
Most weeks I make a big pot lentil dal with onions, garlic, carrots, lentils, ginger root and a ton of spices (big spoonfuls of turmeric, cardamom, garam masala, cumin, and whatever else I think of--we have kickass indian grocery stores with cheap bulk spices in our neighborhood). I usually add some greens at the end of cooking it.

I then throw whatever additional veggies are in season/on hand each day.  I usually eat it plain or with some plain yogurt or cottage cheese thrown on top.  I sometimes put it over rice, quinoa or on a chapati (from flour from above k.a. indian store).
I usually add hot sauce to my taste after the fact as members of my family differ on degree of spiciness preferred.  I never get sick of this.  If I didn't also like other foods I could eat this 3x a day indefinitely...

KulshanGirl

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2012, 11:19:17 AM »
This is one of my all time favorites, and it is CHEAP to make.  Total yummy comfort food.   :)  Sometimes I put the onion/garlic/tomato sauce in the blender and make it a gorgeous bright orange sauce, sometimes I leave it chunky. 

Koshari

Koshari is very similar to chili. It is made of lentils, rice and tomato sauce and can be spicy. Koshari is a fast food meal in the Middle East, and is offered by street vendors in cities like Cairo. There are many variations, but this recipe is my absolute favorite!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutesIngredients:

•1 cup lentils
•1 cup white rice
•1 cup uncooked macaroni (orzo or elbows)
•1 large onion, diced
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•2 cloves garlic, crushed
•2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
•1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or teaspoon hot sauce

Preparation:

Place lentils in saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer on low for 30 minutes, or until tender.

While lentils are cooking, cook white rice in 2 cups of water, or according to package directions.

Also, cook macaroni noodles in until al dente.

Combine lentils, rice and macaroni in large pot.

Saute onions and garlic in pan in olive oil until browned.

Add tomato sauce to onions and garlic and heat until bubbling. Remove from heat.

Place a serving of lentil mixture on a plate and cover with sauce. Sprinkle red pepper on top and serve.

Rev

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2012, 11:36:00 AM »
My favorite thing to do is mass produce Hum bo (chinese-style steamed buns) about once every two months. Many recipes don't mention this, but you can freeze the buns after the filling is put in, and it still puffs up nice when you steam it. I put in a variety of non-traditional fillings (pbj and taco are my favorite!) and the inside of these guys are often leftovers from other dishes. I have to wave my consumerism flag for a minute, and say my electric steamer is one of my best purchases ever. It has three tiers, cost twenty dollars, and I use it at least three days a week. Its one of the instant-boil types, so dinner is done in about twenty minutes. One more note on the hum bo, it can be easy to go crazy with the fillings and make them all meat. To make it more affordable, I make sure that any meat based bun has at least half veggies- cabbage, spinach, and onions being the ones I use most often.

twinge

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2012, 11:43:23 AM »
Quote
Koshari is a fast food meal in the Middle East, and is offered by street vendors in cities like Cairo

Mmmm...I love this too.  I used to get it from a stand by my apt in NYC and one portion would last me nearly a week.  I would just go to the vegetable market and load fresh veggies on top.

When I make it, I'm too lazy to do the rice and the macaroni (plus I'm not such a big grain fan) so I usually choose one or the other.  Sometimes I just eat it without grains.  Thanks for reminding me kushangirl--I haven't made this in awhile!

caligulala

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2012, 01:45:32 PM »
I'm coming to realize that our meals are much more elaborate than average. But we still have a few simple ones that get put on the meal plan regularly. Mostly pasta dishes - Penne alla Vodka, Spaghetti with Anchovies, Garlic and Lemon & Pasta with Red Pepper and Tuna are the ones that come to mind immediately.

I loved the premise of "Wildly Affordable Organic" which is basically a bunch of recipes and meal plans that cost about $5 per day per person. Lots of great ideas and the recipes were simple and tasty. Cooking is more of a hobby for us, but this is a great book for those looking to get the job done. There is also a website www.cookforgood.com with most of the information, but the book is easier to follow. Worth a check out from the library for sure.

Matt K

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2012, 06:47:14 AM »
I stumbled on this one yesterday: the two -ingredient cookie:
http://www.theburlapbag.com/2012/09/the-autumn-2-ingredient-cookie/

Premise is simple enough, mix equal parts quick oats and pumpkin (or banana in the non autumn version), and bake.

For my first batch I tried 1 cup of each, a handful of dried cranberries, about 1/2 tbsp of brown sugar, and a good helping of cinnamon and nutmeg.

These aren't sweet, and my better half didn't like them (but then, she doesn't like pumpkin pie, so I wasn't expecting much). I found the texture to be much more like power-bars than cookies. And I realised that unlike a cookie which is filled with refined sugar, flour, and lard, these are so simple and healthy you can pretty much eat as much of them as you want (having a huge fibre content between the oatmeal and the pumpkin means you won't be eating that much of them at any time).

My goal is to keep them as an ultimate snack-food while adding a bit more flavour, next batch will replace the craisons with regular raisons, a bit more brown sugar, and some chopped nuts.

Unfortunately, canned pumpkin isn't super cheap, so I may try it with puréed apples or something else inexpensive later.

zinnie

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2012, 07:09:30 AM »
We make a lot of curry dishes, bean chili, braised meat, and other serve-over-rice, couscous, or quinoa types of meals. A big pot on sunday or Monday lasts most of the week for dinner. I'll use a few recipes to get ideas but I don't follow them closely at this point because it's easier to just use what I have or what is fresh from the garden. We have pizza every so often with homemade crust and whatever toppings we have--so delicious and cheap! This crust cooked on a pizza stone has been turning out perfect for me: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/quick-and-easy-pizza-crust/

And tacos! Corn tortillas, meat or beans, and toppings of your choice. Last week we were trying to use up some extras from an Italian baked chicken dish so we put it on tacos with cheese and fresh herbs and it was fabulous. I love chicken tacos, fish tacos, bean tacos, etc. I've done sweet potato tacos even.

PJ

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2012, 08:10:16 AM »
I stumbled on this one yesterday: the two -ingredient cookie:
http://www.theburlapbag.com/2012/09/the-autumn-2-ingredient-cookie/

Unfortunately, canned pumpkin isn't super cheap, so I may try it with puréed apples or something else inexpensive later.
 
That sounds fantastic!  Pureed apples might be a bit challenging to get to a similar water content.  But if you've made the pumpkin version then you know what texture you're aiming for and can add oats until you get there, I suppose.  But then I wonder if apples would be as binding as pumpkin? 
 
Anyway, a suggestion on the canned pumpkin front.  If you have a blender/food processor, it's relatively little work to buy an actual pumpkin, cut in half, bake cut side down on a cookie sheet, allow to cool, peel (I find it easier to peel after than before, but you could peel first, cut up, and roast in a pan).  Then blend it up into a puree, adding a little water.  Portion into containers and freeze.  Pull containers out all winter and just dump frozen into a big pot of chili, or soup, or ... cookies!  (Defrost first for the cookies though!)  Adds a richness to the dishes, and healthy too. 

Russ

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2012, 08:16:49 AM »
This crust cooked on a pizza stone has been turning out perfect for me: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/quick-and-easy-pizza-crust/

I'll second the recommendation for that crust, it's super tasty and super quick. We use it when we want to make pizza for our Bread Club meetings back at school.

bobthetree

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2012, 08:46:44 AM »
This thread is a gold mine!  I'm excited to work on these recipes.  I just made my first loaf of bread in my bread maker, so I need to work on that too :/  Cooking for 1 is not as much fun.  I made some Butter Chicken Curry that turned out really good, but then ate it 7 times.  At least I like eating the same thing for a while.  Probably should move towards freezing individual portions and cooking a bunch of different meals.

kkbmustang

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2012, 09:11:14 AM »
Oooh, butter chicken curry. Please share the recipe!

Matt K

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2012, 09:26:30 AM »
 
Anyway, a suggestion on the canned pumpkin front.  If you have a blender/food processor, it's relatively little work to buy an actual pumpkin, cut in half, bake cut side down on a cookie sheet, allow to cool, peel (I find it easier to peel after than before, but you could peel first, cut up, and roast in a pan).  Then blend it up into a puree, adding a little water.  Portion into containers and freeze.  Pull containers out all winter and just dump frozen into a big pot of chili, or soup, or ... cookies!  (Defrost first for the cookies though!)  Adds a richness to the dishes, and healthy too.

Thanks! I'm curious if fresh pumpkin is actually any cheaper... pie-pumpkings (which I think are what I'm supposed to use, not the jack-o-lantern ones?) cost $2-$3 a pound at the moment, and a can costs $4 for about a pound and a half. I expect that a good local fresh pumpkin would taste better...

mlipps

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2012, 09:46:45 AM »
I'd recommend budgetbytes.blogspot.com for AWESOME recipes with full costs of every ingredient on the page. I've never had something turn out badly and she has new recipes every few days. She also has a cookbook coming out soon.

PJ

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2012, 11:13:45 AM »
Thanks! I'm curious if fresh pumpkin is actually any cheaper... pie-pumpkings (which I think are what I'm supposed to use, not the jack-o-lantern ones?) cost $2-$3 a pound at the moment, and a can costs $4 for about a pound and a half. I expect that a good local fresh pumpkin would taste better...
 
 
I've only done this with regular pumpkins, and don't know, TBH, what exactly the difference is between pie pumpkins and jack o lantern ones.  Are pie pumpkins sweeter?  A different texture?  I think I saw pie pumpkins priced at $1 each last week at No Frills, but wouldn't want to swear to it.  Then of course there is the question of what size they are.  I also think a good local fresh pumpkin would taste better, but would be looking out for good sales, myself.

totoro

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2012, 03:39:37 PM »
Here is a good crockpot yoghurt recipe: http://food52.com/blog/3593_yogurt_at_home

bobthetree

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2012, 03:54:23 PM »
Not 100% sure if this is the recipe I used, but it looks like the list of ingredients I remember! - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-indian-butter-chicken/

totoro

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2012, 03:59:20 PM »
On the pumpkin front - I use sweet potatoes, acorn squash and pumpkins interchangeably in baking and pies.  I often make large batches of premade pie filling and freeze them and cook mini tarts fresh.  I use the puree in muffins and make a nice soup from the acorn squash or sweet potato puree too: http://japanesefood.about.com/od/soup/r/kabochasoup.htm (I use better than boullion stock).

Where I am, pumpkins are far cheaper than canned filling plus we can grown them. 

the fixer

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2012, 09:49:38 AM »
Our strategy is usually to make a large batch of something we can refrigerate and eat as leftovers throughout the week. This usually means chile, beans & rice, or one of a couple Indian dishes. This week it's Winter Curry from the Moosewood New Classics cookbook.

The recipe uses butternut squash, potatoes, and chickpeas as the main ingredients. But cubing the squash and potatoes takes forever, especially when doubling the recipe. It took me about an hour and a half this time around just to cut it all up.

My beans and rice recipe is slightly modified from this: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/beans_rice.html It's a good base to experiment from: try adding cumin, lemon juice, or a fruit chutney to it. I also added Zucchini during that season when we had more than we knew what to do with.

Any good chef needs some "show-stoppers" to pull out for weekends or special occasions. For that we have several basic, relatively easy chicken recipes involving breasts, drumsticks, or thighs that just won't keep well as leftovers.

nofool

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2012, 04:14:37 PM »
Eating cheaply but healthily while on a budget? Sounds like the recipe for one of my favorite food bloggers (pun fully intended). http://www.poorgirleatswell.com/
She breaks down recipes by cost per serving, and has a ton of creativity to go with her limited budget.

carolinakaren

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2012, 04:46:32 PM »
I just spent some time at poor girl eats well.....thanks no fool! 

flyfamily

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #33 on: October 30, 2012, 04:49:52 PM »
One tip that has worked for me with cooking for the family: We save even the smallest amounts of leftovers from serving bowls. At some point in the week, I'm then able to make a soup or contribute to a casserole.

Most recent, we had a serving of rice, a few turkey meatballs, some chicken, broth, a carrot, handful of spinach left.

It's never the same pot.. but I'm always able to work with what I have to either have a lunch soup, a full on casserole for dinner, or at minimum soup as a side at dinner.

Growing up, my mom never saved leftovers. That always bugged me, so I'm glad to have adapted this way of using up.

Husband will also break out the smoker/grill. In fact, he cooked up a chicken while I was preparing a casserole for supper. So, I now can make a few meals out of that, while everyone is at school/work tomorrow.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2012, 05:24:10 PM »
I made 16 containers of Shepherd's Pie today for the freezer.  Each will serve 4 people (or 2 hungry people).

$33 worth of lean ground beef (about 12 pounds or 3 value packs from the grocery store).

$5. 10 pounds of potatoes, cooked and mashed

$2 worth of gravy mix from the bulk store

$4 bag of frozen niblet corn (about 6 cups)

$4 a 3 pound bag of carrots

$3 for 5 pounds of onions

$1 for a bunch of celery

$5 for foil containers and lids

~$60 all together (to account for the spices I used from home, including jarred garlic), so $3.75 per container, or $.94/serving

I cooked up the potatoes in the pressure cooker, leaving the peels on, and mashed them with garlic salt, and some milk (it took 4 batches).

Then I browned the ground beef in 3 batches, draining off the fat, and setting the beef aside.

Then I cooked the onions, celery and carrots in the pot, along with 1/2 cup of jarred garlic, and 1/4 cup of butter.  I have a large canning pot that I use for bulk cooking. 

I made up 2 litres of gravy from the mix (8 cups) and added in some oregano, thyme, pepper, and a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce.  If you like things spicy, you can also add hot sauce or chili flakes.  I also added a few tablespoons of ketchup.

I mixed 1/2 of the veggies, beef and gravy together in the big pot, then dumped in 3 cups of frozen niblet corn.  I then put about 3 cups of the meat mixture into each foil container, and topped with mashed potatoes.  Then I repeated it.  My husband doesn't like peas, so I used corn, but I would have used peas if it were up to me.

I let them cool, and put them into the deep freeze.  When you want to eat one, just take it out in the morning, and let it defrost all day.  Then throw it into the oven at 350 until it's hot and bubbly. 

Mmmm.  Convenient comfort food for the winter! 

gooki

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2012, 05:38:23 PM »
My cheap healthy nachos.

Servers 2-3.

5 tortilla, rub lightly with oil, cut into 8 piece, bung them in the oven until lightly brown.
1 can of diced tomatoes, heat on a stove, add some bell pepper, and a small amount taco seasoning.
150 grams of minced beef, fry with some taco seasoning or if you don't feel like meat use a can of beans instead.

Assemble the above, add a sprinkle of cheese, avocado, sour cream or yoghurt for dipping, and some greens on the side (I like lettuce, and cucumber).

kgm

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2012, 06:22:40 AM »
Gotta give a shout out to my other favorite blog, budgetbytes.blogspot.com
Tried dozens of recipes that all turned out great.  There is a cost break down by ingredient for each meal; many are around a buck a serving. Plus Beth is holding a bottle of sriracha in her cover photo -  because spicy is good. 

frugalcalan

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2012, 08:47:46 AM »
My roommate sometimes buys chicken quarters (under $1 a lb), and I cook them in exchange for some meat.  It's super easy!

1. Pre-heat oven to 400
2. Chop up some veggies (like carrots, onions, potatoes, zuccini)
3. Place veggies on bottom of large cake pan
4. Place chicken quarters on top of veggies
5. I have one of those "mistos" olive oil sprayers; I use it to spray the checken
6. Put a bunch of spices on the chicken.  You don't need to make them all the same.  I do pepper, a little salt, thyme, garlic, and then whatever else sounds good (Last time there were three quarters, and I used a garlic season mix, chipotle powder, and lawrey's Season Salt)
7. Bake for 30-45 minutes. 
8. NOM NOM NOM
9. Freeze the bones for chicken stock later

Additionally, to make it even cheaper and more filling, you can pull the chicken out a bit early, and pull the meat off the bone.  Start cooking up some chicken broth.  Take two cups of chicken broth and put it in the rice cooker, along with a cup of rice.  Put in the chicken and some frozen veggies (you can just save the roasted veggies to eat with the other baked chicken, I don't know how well they would keep their integrity if they get baked twice).  When the flavorful chicken veggie rice is cooked, chow down.

Debbie M

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2012, 09:27:32 AM »
There's taco soup.  Mine is hamburger with taco seasonings plus 3 cans of beans (I'll use black, pinto, and kidney usually), one big can of hominy (can use corn + hominy), one can of diced tomatoes, and one can of tomatoes with diced chiles (e.g. Rotel tomatoes).  Add all the canned goods, including the liquids, to the cooked meat and heat.  Then eat with grated cheddar cheese on top.  I sometimes chop up spinach or grate zucchini or carrots and mix that in for more nutrition.

And there's spring rolls.  Just got this idea, but haven't tried it yet - get the wrappers in an Asian market.  Dip one briefly in hot water and set it on your plate.  Add your fillings and then it will be soft enough to roll up.  (I learned that part at a restaurant.)

There's also peanut butter and jelly.  I use pumpkin butter instead of jelly or jam because it has actual nutrients in it (Vitamin A).  That stuff's expensive to buy (and hard to find), but not so expensive to make.  I finally worked out an easy, delicious recipe:

1 (14-15 ounce) can pumpkin puree, approximately 1.5 cups
3/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

Combine pumpkin, water, sugar, and spices in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir in lemon juice. Cool and store in an airtight container (I use an old peanut butter jar) in the refrigerator.  (If that looks like a lot of sugar, check out a recipe for jam or jelly.)

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #39 on: October 31, 2012, 09:32:05 AM »
For us non-americans, what is hominy?  Rotel I knew though ;)

Debbie M

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #40 on: October 31, 2012, 09:45:22 AM »
For us non-americans, what is hominy?  Rotel I knew though ;)

I'm not sure.  It's a kind of corn.  If you don't find it in your store next to the corn, just substitute corn.  My store has white and yellow, but I've been told that one color is just more processed than the other one, so I just get the one with more nutrients in it--I forget which color.

Frankly, you can substitute anything you want or leave things out--it's a very forgiving recipe.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #41 on: October 31, 2012, 09:59:27 AM »
For us non-americans, what is hominy?  Rotel I knew though ;)

I'm not sure.  It's a kind of corn.  If you don't find it in your store next to the corn, just substitute corn.  My store has white and yellow, but I've been told that one color is just more processed than the other one, so I just get the one with more nutrients in it--I forget which color.

Frankly, you can substitute anything you want or leave things out--it's a very forgiving recipe.

Ok, cool.

I love recipes that can have easy substitutions!

frompa

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #42 on: November 01, 2012, 10:49:42 AM »
My latest favorite has been cream of tomato soup with meatballs.  I started making this after I came across a cheap case of enormous sized-cans of tomato sauce.  I mix about half and half homemade stock (chicken or beef, or whatever you have on hand) with tomato sauce.  Then I brown some meatballs and toss them into the liquid to simmer cook for a while.  Then, I add a healthy dose of heavy cream, stir it in and heat it back up.  Spice it with a little salt, pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary, whatever.  The heavy cream might seem not very frugal, but I gotta tell you, all that fat makes this soup SO SO satisfying, that a little bit really fills you up, and tastes GREAT.  This is also a great soup for lunch at work, warmed up in the microwave.  Hey, it's soup season here in Pennsylvania, so enjoy!

One Day At A Time

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #43 on: November 01, 2012, 11:15:34 AM »
I love every recipe from smittenkitchen.com

Everything I have made of hers has turned out amazing.

noob515

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #44 on: November 05, 2012, 02:26:40 PM »
Ditto on the mexican food!  Luckily my DH loves it too, and I have an easy recipe that's brown rice and pinto beans (yay, complete protein) with some jalapenos and green onion.  plus the recipe makes enough to last for 2-3 days, even with DH's portions.  (he's a large man, 6'5", and on his feet doing heavy lifting all day for work, so he eats a lot).

Or just taco salad is easy, since you can fill up on the lettuce/beans/etc. and use meat more sparingly. 

I did find a garbanzo bean and orzo salad that had some cucumber and red onion which was really good.  Even meat loving DH really liked it. 

jpo

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #45 on: November 05, 2012, 03:10:47 PM »
www.supercook.com has saved us in a pinch.

grantmeaname

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2012, 12:21:13 PM »
A little bit of chorizo goes a really long way in making Mexican food more mexican, and it's just insanely cheap. We get it for like $2 a pound at the mexican grocer and we'll throw like 4 ounces of it into a big recipe like nachos, and the final product comes out much more "Mexican" as a result.

ashem

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Re: Mustachian Cooking Recipes.. Healthy + Inexpensive
« Reply #47 on: November 17, 2012, 09:54:15 AM »
This is one of my all time favorites, and it is CHEAP to make.  Total yummy comfort food.   :)  Sometimes I put the onion/garlic/tomato sauce in the blender and make it a gorgeous bright orange sauce, sometimes I leave it chunky. 

Koshari

Koshari is very similar to chili. It is made of lentils, rice and tomato sauce and can be spicy. Koshari is a fast food meal in the Middle East, and is offered by street vendors in cities like Cairo. There are many variations, but this recipe is my absolute favorite!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutesIngredients:

•1 cup lentils
•1 cup white rice
•1 cup uncooked macaroni (orzo or elbows)
•1 large onion, diced
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•2 cloves garlic, crushed
•2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
•1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or teaspoon hot sauce

Preparation:

Place lentils in saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer on low for 30 minutes, or until tender.

While lentils are cooking, cook white rice in 2 cups of water, or according to package directions.

Also, cook macaroni noodles in until al dente.

Combine lentils, rice and macaroni in large pot.

Saute onions and garlic in pan in olive oil until browned.

Add tomato sauce to onions and garlic and heat until bubbling. Remove from heat.

Place a serving of lentil mixture on a plate and cover with sauce. Sprinkle red pepper on top and serve.

THIS was absolutely delicious!!!! My kids even loved it. For my husband and I, I made the following vinegar/garlic sauce "Da ah" to put on top of the lentil, pasta, rice combination, in addition to the tomato sauce.
 
http://julienjulia.blogspot.com/2011/01/egyptian-koshari.html

Thank you!