Author Topic: Share your peasant food secrets!  (Read 37056 times)

EMP

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #50 on: May 15, 2014, 02:19:31 PM »
I made amazing soup last night

sautee 1 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2-3 carrots cut in coins, 1 chopped sweet potato, 1-2 T curry power, cumin, pepper
add 8 cups broth (made with Better Than Bouillon)
1 bag yellow split peas
cook ~45 min
Add half bunch chopped kale, 1 can coconut milk
Cook another 5-10 min

Makes ~ 7 servings of deliciousness

This sounds amazing.

begood

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2014, 07:38:23 AM »
Almost forgot my morning staple. Steel cut oats.  I read lots of military history and porridge was one of the peasant and battlefield staples. Of course, I have the luxury of cooking it in my fancy pants zojurishi rice cooker and adding raisins and cinnamon.

I made some of this last night in the CrockPot - I call it my "10-cent breakfast":

1 cup steel cut oats
4.5 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Then I added:

1 chopped apple
Cinnamon (bought at Costco, like, 5 years ago - still half full!)
Splash of pure vanilla extract (also from Costco!)

Cooked on high for 3 hours, stirred once. It made 11 generous 1/2 cup servings. I put a couple servings in the fridge, then froze the rest in 1/2 cup portions in sandwich bags. Freezing doesn't seem to affect the texture at all. I usually thaw overnight, throw 'em in a bowl with additional cinnamon sugar and a sliver of butter, and nuke 'em for 2 minutes. YUM.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #52 on: May 17, 2014, 11:22:21 AM »
Also can change over time.  At one point in the US lobster used to be considered a workingman's food, because it was so plentiful and a bottomfeeder.  Now, it's more rare and considered a delicacy.

See also: oysters in Victorian London.

Potatoes and sausages are what I think of when I hear 'peasant food', in a sort of Provence way. For example:

Toad in the hole
Bubble and squeak (mashed up root vegetables fried in little cakes)
Lentils cooked in a rich stock with diced vegetables (usually carrots), served in a soup plate with sausages on top
Mash on top of anything to turn it into a pie

Rezdent

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #53 on: May 17, 2014, 04:28:07 PM »
"What's available bean and grain salad" from Lorna Sass.
It's more of a rule of thumb rather than an actual recipe.  I've modified this over the years - 4 parts of a cooked grain + 1 parts cooked bean, add available chopped veggies, 1 or more flavor punches (capers, olives, pickles, seaweed, fruit, what have you odds-n-ends).
Douse liberally with dressing (for us, oil and vinegar, usually).
Salad can be put on top of greens, tucked into breads, added to broth, etc.  Supposed to last a week but I can't vouch for that.  It never lasts a week at our house.

Sonorous Epithet

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2014, 07:26:24 PM »
This isn't quite peasant food, but I thought I would share my recipe for balsamic vinagrette. This is fun and easy to whip up in single servings. We almost never buy store bought dressing because this is so tasty again and again.

1 part balsamic vinegar (1/2 Tbsp for two people)
2-3 parts extra virgin olive oil (more oil if you have strong vinegar)
a squirt of Dijon or horseradish deli mustard
salt and pepper
a couple cloves fresh minced garlic

Beat until the mustard starts to emulsify a bit.

I plan on trying out adding a healthy dash of paprika in my next batch.

swick

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2014, 07:42:16 PM »
This isn't quite peasant food, but I thought I would share my recipe for balsamic vinagrette. This is fun and easy to whip up in single servings. We almost never buy store bought dressing because this is so tasty again and again.

1 part balsamic vinegar (1/2 Tbsp for two people)
2-3 parts extra virgin olive oil (more oil if you have strong vinegar)
a squirt of Dijon or horseradish deli mustard
salt and pepper
a couple cloves fresh minced garlic

Beat until the mustard starts to emulsify a bit.

I plan on trying out adding a healthy dash of paprika in my next batch.

I make the same dressing! I also add a little splash of Maple syrup to make it a balsamic/mustard/maple dressing.

Sonorous Epithet

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #56 on: May 17, 2014, 11:02:46 PM »
This isn't quite peasant food, but I thought I would share my recipe for balsamic vinagrette. This is fun and easy to whip up in single servings. We almost never buy store bought dressing because this is so tasty again and again.

1 part balsamic vinegar (1/2 Tbsp for two people)
2-3 parts extra virgin olive oil (more oil if you have strong vinegar)
a squirt of Dijon or horseradish deli mustard
salt and pepper
a couple cloves fresh minced garlic

Beat until the mustard starts to emulsify a bit.

I plan on trying out adding a healthy dash of paprika in my next batch.

I make the same dressing! I also add a little splash of Maple syrup to make it a balsamic/mustard/maple dressing.

Ooo, Imma try dat!

DollarBill

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #57 on: May 18, 2014, 08:47:18 AM »
Beans soup and corn bread or red beans and rice

Ramps (wild leeks in WV) itís funny to see these on the menu at fancy restaurants.

Love fried cabbage in sesame oil, sea salt and my favorite spice (S&B Nanami Togarashi). Itís a mix of chili pepper, orange peel, black/white sesame seed, ginger and seaweed.

Hoppin john
-1 whole Large Onion, Diced
-4 cloves Garlic, Minced
-1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Diced
-2 stalks Celery, Diced
-A can of Black-eyed Peas
- Salt And Pepper, to taste
-Red Pepper To Taste or chopped jalapenos
- Box of dirty Rice cook with Chicken Broth
-a bag of collard greens
-hot sausage cut up in bites
Cook everything then toss together

Beardog

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #58 on: May 18, 2014, 05:17:59 PM »
Quote
from : jr1029 on May 14, 2014, 01:01:11 PM

I made amazing soup last night

sautee 1 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2-3 carrots cut in coins, 1 chopped sweet potato, 1-2 T curry power, cumin, pepper
add 8 cups broth (made with Better Than Bouillon)
1 bag yellow split peas
cook ~45 min
Add half bunch chopped kale, 1 can coconut milk
Cook another 5-10 min

Makes ~ 7 servings of deliciousness

I just made this and it's mighty tasty!  Thank you, jr1029,  for sharing.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2014, 05:20:44 PM by Beardog »

dweebyhawkeyes

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #59 on: May 18, 2014, 08:07:13 PM »
This thread has been bookmarked! I eat red and/or sweet potatoes doused with Valentina hot sauce a little too often these days.

Vegetables are by far my favorite food group. Lately I've been experimenting with all the cheapest vegetables available at my grocer. Cabbage, onions, carrots, and celery are old standbys. Nopales, daikon radish, and chayote squash are my new favorites. Does anyone have suggestions for jicama? I tried it raw and steamed but didn't really enjoy it either way.

And hey, cream of wheat for breakfast? I cook it with water and almond milk and throw in some cinnamon, peanut butter, and raisins. About 30 cents a serving.

DollarBill

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #60 on: May 19, 2014, 12:56:32 AM »
This thread has been bookmarked! I eat red and/or sweet potatoes doused with Valentina hot sauce a little too often these days.

Vegetables are by far my favorite food group. Lately I've been experimenting with all the cheapest vegetables available at my grocer. Cabbage, onions, carrots, and celery are old standbys. Nopales, daikon radish, and chayote squash are my new favorites. Does anyone have suggestions for jicama? I tried it raw and steamed but didn't really enjoy it either way.

And hey, cream of wheat for breakfast? I cook it with water and almond milk and throw in some cinnamon, peanut butter, and raisins. About 30 cents a serving.

You should try potato bombs..core out the inside and stuff with food...tasty

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #61 on: May 19, 2014, 07:05:37 AM »
This thread has been bookmarked! I eat red and/or sweet potatoes doused with Valentina hot sauce a little too often these days.

Vegetables are by far my favorite food group. Lately I've been experimenting with all the cheapest vegetables available at my grocer. Cabbage, onions, carrots, and celery are old standbys. Nopales, daikon radish, and chayote squash are my new favorites. Does anyone have suggestions for jicama? I tried it raw and steamed but didn't really enjoy it either way.

ooh, what do you do with the chayote squash? we bought some this weekend because it looked funny, and grilled it up with our normal grilling veggies (summer squash, peppers, onions, etc.), but it ended up being a lot crunchier than everything else which was kinda weird. I repurposed the leftover grilled veggies (and steak, mmmm) for a breakfast hash yesterday, and diced the chayote up smaller and cooked it extra, which kinda helped... do you just leave it crunchy? any other suggestions for what to use it in?

dweebyhawkeyes

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #62 on: May 19, 2014, 09:49:24 AM »
You should try potato bombs..core out the inside and stuff with food...tasty

Do you bake before or after stuffing?

ooh, what do you do with the chayote squash? we bought some this weekend because it looked funny, and grilled it up with our normal grilling veggies (summer squash, peppers, onions, etc.), but it ended up being a lot crunchier than everything else which was kinda weird. I repurposed the leftover grilled veggies (and steak, mmmm) for a breakfast hash yesterday, and diced the chayote up smaller and cooked it extra, which kinda helped... do you just leave it crunchy? any other suggestions for what to use it in?

I like to think of chayote as the vegetable version of an apple. Anything you'd do with an apple- eating it raw, dicing it into a salad, making vegetable pies with it (peasant food: pies, anyone? hundreds and hundreds of pies), or even "chayotesauce". I also tried quick pickling it with the daikon, which was pretty tasty. Minus the chayote, that hash sounds really good too. Never forget the humble hash.

Speaking of pies, has anyone had success with more portable peasant foods? Like samosas, gimbap, onigiri, spring rolls?

DollarBill

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #63 on: May 19, 2014, 10:41:55 AM »
Quote
Do you bake before or after stuffing?

After...here's a link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aUNmtSgB0c

EMP

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #64 on: May 19, 2014, 12:01:26 PM »
Quote
from : jr1029 on May 14, 2014, 01:01:11 PM

I made amazing soup last night

sautee 1 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2-3 carrots cut in coins, 1 chopped sweet potato, 1-2 T curry power, cumin, pepper
add 8 cups broth (made with Better Than Bouillon)
1 bag yellow split peas
cook ~45 min
Add half bunch chopped kale, 1 can coconut milk
Cook another 5-10 min

Makes ~ 7 servings of deliciousness

I just made this and it's mighty tasty!  Thank you, jr1029,  for sharing.

I just made this too.  I don't know.  That was WAY too much coconut milk to my taste.  Next time I'd start with maybe a quarter cup and up it to taste. 

Of course, I also used yam leaves instead of kale.  Perhaps they weren't bitter enough to offset all that coconut milk?

Pangolin

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #65 on: May 19, 2014, 01:22:29 PM »
Southwestern flavor stew:
black beans
corn
broth
cumin
salt & pepper
cooked chicken, beef, tomatoes, or potatoes and/or tofu (all optional)

Awesome alone or served with rice or pasta. I didn't know cumin by itself was so flavorful until I tried this. Also good with the addition of fresh cilantro and/or collard greens.

Edited- forgot to mention tomatoes.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 09:50:14 AM by Pangolin »

CNM

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #66 on: May 19, 2014, 01:51:06 PM »
Does anyone have suggestions for jicama? I tried it raw and steamed but didn't really enjoy it either way.

My favorite way to eat jicama is to cut it into strips (about the size of a french fry) and top with lime juice and sliced mint leaves.  mmmm!

RootofGood

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #67 on: May 19, 2014, 01:54:23 PM »
I didn't know cumin by itself was so flavorful until I tried this. Also good with the addition of fresh cilantro and/or collard greens.

There's something magic about cumin.  It's my secret ingredient to everything. I've even seen meatloaf recipes that call for a healthy does of cumin. 

jimbobjones

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #68 on: May 19, 2014, 07:00:22 PM »
This is our favorite dish and we make it once a week. You need a slow cooker though.

1 large yellow onion
1.5 lbs of chicken breast or thigh
16oz salsa (Pace, El Paso, etc)
1 can of corn
1 pack of taco seasoning (1.25oz / 35g)

slice the onions into pieces and cover the bottom of slow cooker (We do this to avoid the chicken from sticking). wash and pat dry the chicken breasts and place it on top of the onions. pour the salsa all over the chicken. pour the can of corn atop of the salsa. spread the taco seasoning over the corn.

Layering goes like so ---- Bottom of the bowl -> Onions -> Chicken -> Salsa -> Corn -> Taco seasoning

gently mix the salsa, corn and seasoning without disturbing the placement of the chicken breasts. You can also mix those 3 ingredients in a large bowl prior to placement, I just don't have a bowl that large so I mix it in the slow cooker.

Cook for 8 hours on LOW. Around 7 or so hours later, shred the chicken pieces with forks. The chicken will shred like paper. Serve with some shredded cheese (Mexicana by Kraft is my fav), rice and sour cream.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 07:04:28 PM by jimbobjones »

RootofGood

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #69 on: May 19, 2014, 08:37:54 PM »
This is our favorite dish and we make it once a week. You need a slow cooker though.

1 large yellow onion
1.5 lbs of chicken breast or thigh
16oz salsa (Pace, El Paso, etc)
1 can of corn
1 pack of taco seasoning (1.25oz / 35g)

slice the onions into pieces and cover the bottom of slow cooker (We do this to avoid the chicken from sticking). wash and pat dry the chicken breasts and place it on top of the onions. pour the salsa all over the chicken. pour the can of corn atop of the salsa. spread the taco seasoning over the corn.

Layering goes like so ---- Bottom of the bowl -> Onions -> Chicken -> Salsa -> Corn -> Taco seasoning

gently mix the salsa, corn and seasoning without disturbing the placement of the chicken breasts. You can also mix those 3 ingredients in a large bowl prior to placement, I just don't have a bowl that large so I mix it in the slow cooker.

Cook for 8 hours on LOW. Around 7 or so hours later, shred the chicken pieces with forks. The chicken will shred like paper. Serve with some shredded cheese (Mexicana by Kraft is my fav), rice and sour cream.

This is very similar to my shredded taco chicken recipe.  Except I use canned tomatoes with chilis because they are cheaper than salsa (and less sodium).  Turns out just as well in a stockpot on the stovetop.  Maybe 45 min-1 hr cook time (just until the chicken is flaking apart so you can shred).  The chicken also freezes well for use later.  I'll usually do a few pounds of chicken and scale up the recipe accordingly, then freeze half or more for later enjoyment. 

It's great to reheat when random friends or family stop by and need a quick meal.  Instant pop up taco bar anyone?  :) 

DollarBill

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #70 on: May 19, 2014, 09:05:22 PM »
Quote
16oz salsa (Pace, El Paso, etc)

I'm a salsa snob...I refuse to use pace or el paso. I can cut corners on so many things but this is not one.

Shelly

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #71 on: May 19, 2014, 10:26:01 PM »
This is our favorite dish and we make it once a week. You need a slow cooker though.

1 large yellow onion
1.5 lbs of chicken breast or thigh
16oz salsa (Pace, El Paso, etc)
1 can of corn
1 pack of taco seasoning (1.25oz / 35g)

slice the onions into pieces and cover the bottom of slow cooker (We do this to avoid the chicken from sticking). wash and pat dry the chicken breasts and place it on top of the onions. pour the salsa all over the chicken. pour the can of corn atop of the salsa. spread the taco seasoning over the corn.

Layering goes like so ---- Bottom of the bowl -> Onions -> Chicken -> Salsa -> Corn -> Taco seasoning

gently mix the salsa, corn and seasoning without disturbing the placement of the chicken breasts. You can also mix those 3 ingredients in a large bowl prior to placement, I just don't have a bowl that large so I mix it in the slow cooker.

Cook for 8 hours on LOW. Around 7 or so hours later, shred the chicken pieces with forks. The chicken will shred like paper. Serve with some shredded cheese (Mexicana by Kraft is my fav), rice and sour cream.

We make this too, but add a can of kidney beans too, which makes it tastier and bulks it out more

Rural

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #72 on: May 20, 2014, 05:22:12 AM »
This is our favorite dish and we make it once a week. You need a slow cooker though.

1 large yellow onion
1.5 lbs of chicken breast or thigh
16oz salsa (Pace, El Paso, etc)
1 can of corn
1 pack of taco seasoning (1.25oz / 35g)

slice the onions into pieces and cover the bottom of slow cooker (We do this to avoid the chicken from sticking). wash and pat dry the chicken breasts and place it on top of the onions. pour the salsa all over the chicken. pour the can of corn atop of the salsa. spread the taco seasoning over the corn.

Layering goes like so ---- Bottom of the bowl -> Onions -> Chicken -> Salsa -> Corn -> Taco seasoning

gently mix the salsa, corn and seasoning without disturbing the placement of the chicken breasts. You can also mix those 3 ingredients in a large bowl prior to placement, I just don't have a bowl that large so I mix it in the slow cooker.

Cook for 8 hours on LOW. Around 7 or so hours later, shred the chicken pieces with forks. The chicken will shred like paper. Serve with some shredded cheese (Mexicana by Kraft is my fav), rice and sour cream.


I do something very similar, only with three cans of beans and just half a pound of chicken. This bulks it up even though I leave out the corn. There are always enough leftovers that the next day I can add cheese and rice and have a second meal of Mexican dip.

OldDogNewTrick

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #73 on: May 20, 2014, 05:33:32 AM »
This is our favorite dish and we make it once a week. You need a slow cooker though.

1 large yellow onion
1.5 lbs of chicken breast or thigh
16oz salsa (Pace, El Paso, etc)
1 can of corn
1 pack of taco seasoning (1.25oz / 35g)

slice the onions into pieces and cover the bottom of slow cooker (We do this to avoid the chicken from sticking). wash and pat dry the chicken breasts and place it on top of the onions. pour the salsa all over the chicken. pour the can of corn atop of the salsa. spread the taco seasoning over the corn.

Layering goes like so ---- Bottom of the bowl -> Onions -> Chicken -> Salsa -> Corn -> Taco seasoning

gently mix the salsa, corn and seasoning without disturbing the placement of the chicken breasts. You can also mix those 3 ingredients in a large bowl prior to placement, I just don't have a bowl that large so I mix it in the slow cooker.

Cook for 8 hours on LOW. Around 7 or so hours later, shred the chicken pieces with forks. The chicken will shred like paper. Serve with some shredded cheese (Mexicana by Kraft is my fav), rice and sour cream.

We make this too, but add a can of kidney beans too, which makes it tastier and bulks it out more

Instead of salsa try Mojo. Add cilantro and a squeeze of lime if on hand, (excellent way to use up the cilantro that's gone limp).

quilter

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #74 on: May 20, 2014, 06:28:27 AM »
Go to allrecipes.com and you will find tons of recipes to make your own taco sauce. Those little packets are tremendously overpriced. There are way cheaper spices in the Mexican food section, even at walmart. You also might be able to find cheap spices at a farmers market, Mennonite or Amish food store- look around.


rocksinmyhead

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #75 on: May 20, 2014, 07:40:34 AM »
I didn't know cumin by itself was so flavorful until I tried this. Also good with the addition of fresh cilantro and/or collard greens.

There's something magic about cumin.  It's my secret ingredient to everything. I've even seen meatloaf recipes that call for a healthy does of cumin.

agreed! I use it SO much. another good one is smoked paprika... makes ANYTHING taste fucking amazing.

jr1029

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #76 on: May 20, 2014, 07:56:51 AM »
Quote
from : jr1029 on May 14, 2014, 01:01:11 PM

I made amazing soup last night

sautee 1 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2-3 carrots cut in coins, 1 chopped sweet potato, 1-2 T curry power, cumin, pepper
add 8 cups broth (made with Better Than Bouillon)
1 bag yellow split peas
cook ~45 min
Add half bunch chopped kale, 1 can coconut milk
Cook another 5-10 min

Makes ~ 7 servings of deliciousness

I just made this and it's mighty tasty!  Thank you, jr1029,  for sharing.

I just made this too.  I don't know.  That was WAY too much coconut milk to my taste.  Next time I'd start with maybe a quarter cup and up it to taste. 

Of course, I also used yam leaves instead of kale.  Perhaps they weren't bitter enough to offset all that coconut milk?

I should have mentioned, I used light coconut milk. Which would be equal to 1/3 - 1/2 can regular. (plus extra water). sorry!

Pangolin

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #77 on: May 20, 2014, 10:00:24 AM »
Go to allrecipes.com and you will find tons of recipes to make your own taco sauce. Those little packets are tremendously overpriced. There are way cheaper spices in the Mexican food section, even at walmart. You also might be able to find cheap spices at a farmers market, Mennonite or Amish food store- look around.

+1. Mennonite grocery stores are great for inexpensive but good quality bulk spices. When my spousal unit first made the "southwestern stew" that I posted about, I thought it had some kind of "taco seasoning" in it. Turns out it was nothing but cumin. (Now it sounds like I'm obsessed with cumin...)

Another dish if you like coconut milk:
Cook separately-
spinach or collard greens
lentils
bean thread noodles
Mix the cooked lentils with coconut milk. Plate it, then top with spinach, then top that with bean threads.
This would also be good seasoned with lime, chilis, and cilantro.

EMP

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #78 on: May 20, 2014, 12:20:16 PM »
Quote
from : jr1029 on May 14, 2014, 01:01:11 PM

I made amazing soup last night

sautee 1 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2-3 carrots cut in coins, 1 chopped sweet potato, 1-2 T curry power, cumin, pepper
add 8 cups broth (made with Better Than Bouillon)
1 bag yellow split peas
cook ~45 min
Add half bunch chopped kale, 1 can coconut milk
Cook another 5-10 min

Makes ~ 7 servings of deliciousness

I just made this and it's mighty tasty!  Thank you, jr1029,  for sharing.

I just made this too.  I don't know.  That was WAY too much coconut milk to my taste.  Next time I'd start with maybe a quarter cup and up it to taste. 

Of course, I also used yam leaves instead of kale.  Perhaps they weren't bitter enough to offset all that coconut milk?

I should have mentioned, I used light coconut milk. Which would be equal to 1/3 - 1/2 can regular. (plus extra water). sorry!

Good to know!  I'm eating it for lunch this week with steamed rice.  That's helping to temper the sweetness and it tastes better as it ages.  :)

DollarBill

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #79 on: May 20, 2014, 09:26:56 PM »
Quote
Instead of salsa try Mojo. Add cilantro and a squeeze of lime if on hand, (excellent way to use up the cilantro that's gone limp).

Mojo is really good. So is Tiger sauce, S&B - Nanami Togarashi, Maggi, Sazon Goya and
Finadene Sauce
http://www.food.com/recipe/finadene-sauce-38533
I can't believe how many got this wrong and I lived in Guam. It's the basic's from the video but I also add half of lime no lemon, some ginger, garlic, honey. Only white vinegar.

George_PA

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #80 on: May 20, 2014, 09:38:12 PM »
I know a recipe that certainly does NOT work.  I tried taking uncooked wheat bread flour and mixing it with some water in a bowl to make a mush like substance.  It did not taste very good even when I was really hungry, so I knew it had to be pretty bad.  It would certainly qualify as peasant food, something someone in a third world country would eat.

MMM brought up the idea of drinking pure canola oil as a source of cheap low cost calories.  I briefly tried it with olive oil, and the texture is a bit weird to get used to.  I really was only comfortably eating the oil on a piece of bread, I just could not get used to drinking it straight from the bottle.

DollarBill

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #81 on: May 20, 2014, 09:57:03 PM »
I know a recipe that certainly does NOT work.  I tried taking uncooked wheat bread flour and mixing it with some water in a bowl to make a mush like substance.  It did not taste very good even when I was really hungry, so I knew it had to be pretty bad.  It would certainly qualify as peasant food, something someone in a third world country would eat.

MMM brought up the idea of drinking pure canola oil as a source of cheap low cost calories.  I briefly tried it with olive oil, and the texture is a bit weird to get used to.  I really was only comfortably eating the oil on a piece of bread, I just could not get used to drinking it straight from the bottle.
When I was in Spain it would drive me nuts because they would put olive oil on everything. I would order a fish and boom olive oil, soggy French fries with olive oil. 
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 10:25:09 AM by DollarBill »

OldDogNewTrick

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #82 on: May 21, 2014, 07:38:00 AM »
I know a recipe that certainly does NOT work.  I tried taking uncooked wheat bread flour and mixing it with some water in a bowl to make a mush like substance.  It did not taste very good even when I was really hungry, so I knew it had to be pretty bad.  It would certainly qualify as peasant food, something someone in a third world country would eat.

MMM brought up the idea of drinking pure canola oil as a source of cheap low cost calories.  I briefly tried it with olive oil, and the texture is a bit weird to get used to.  I really was only comfortably eating the oil on a piece of bread, I just could not get used to drinking it straight from the bottle.

Bread flour, water, a bit of salt and a heat source and you could make a credible flat bread. Dip it in olive oil. Will sustain life for a while, but ultimately malnourishment will set in.

Drinking oil...too much and it encourages GI distress and rapid loss of fluids.

Pangolin

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #83 on: May 21, 2014, 09:45:22 AM »
I know a recipe that certainly does NOT work.  I tried taking uncooked wheat bread flour and mixing it with some water in a bowl to make a mush like substance.  It did not taste very good even when I was really hungry, so I knew it had to be pretty bad.  It would certainly qualify as peasant food, something someone in a third world country would eat.

It's interesting the difference texture makes- cracked wheat eaten as a hot cereal/porridge with salt, butter, and a little sweetener is tasty peasant food.
Mush made from flour does sound unpalatable.

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #84 on: May 22, 2014, 02:04:37 PM »
Cannellini Bean Pasta - serves one

1 x cup pasta (any kind but try for quality)
1/2 x can of cannellini beans
1/8 x cup of extra virgin olive oil or to taste
1/8 x cup of parmesan cheese or to taste
2-3 x garlic cloves or to taste
1 x Tablespoon of capers (with the jars I get it's easier to pull them out with a fork)
Salt, pepper, favorite Italian spices, hot peppers, meat, misc. vegetables to taste.

Cook the pasta per instructions.  While the pasta water is starting to boil, open, rinse, and drain, the cannellini beans in a collander.  They smell bad coming out of the can but don't taste like it after you rinse them.  Reserve half the beans for a later meal.  Chop the garlic fine and add to skillet with olive oil.  Lightly brown the garlic in th oil on about 1/3 heat for 2-3 minutes then add the drained beans, capers and extra stuff you like and warm for an extra minute or so then set aside.  Drain the pasta and throw it in the skillet and mix it with the beans and oil.  Serve and top with parmesan cheese, pepper, salt to taste.

Top Ramen Deluxe - serves 1
1 x Top Ramen Package (oriental is best IMO)
1 x Teaspoon peanut oil or any other traditional oriental cooking oil
~1/3 cup x Misc. finely chopped vegetables you like- mushrooms, peas, broccolli, etc.  If frozen, defrost first.

Add the oil and vegetables to a small saucepan and stir fry around on high heat a bit till they're semi cooked.  Carefully add ONE cup of water and heat to boiling.  Add the noodles and flavor packet and cook three minutes.  Pour into a bowl to eat at a table or eat out of the pan over the sink bachelor style.

Quasi Authentic Roast Beef Muffuletta sandwich
1 x Authentic Muffuletta roll (if you can get them.  If not just go for a quality french bread)
1 x Beef gravy packet
~1/4 lb Roast Beef

Cook the gravy per the instructions.  Once its ready stir in the roast beef until it's thoroughly warmed.  Pour over the open face of the bread.  Do not expect to eat it without a fork.  Typically no condiments of any kind are used for this type of muffuletta.

Primm

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #85 on: May 22, 2014, 02:06:58 PM »
Not so much a recipe, but I decided to try making my morning porridge (oatmeal) in my rice cooker today.

Winner! Set and forget, no mess, and I now have a week's worth in the fridge ready to microwave each morning. The initial impetus was the fact that the crappy solid element stove in the house we bought has led to me burning the porridge every morning since we've been here, and it was either find another way or budget for new saucepans. I miss my gas. :(

DollarBill

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #86 on: May 22, 2014, 04:47:19 PM »
Top Ramen Deluxe - serves 1
1 x Top Ramen Package (oriental is best IMO)
1 x Teaspoon peanut oil or any other traditional oriental cooking oil
~1/3 cup x Misc. finely chopped vegetables you like- mushrooms, peas, broccolli, etc.  If frozen, defrost first.

Add the oil and vegetables to a small saucepan and stir fry around on high heat a bit till they're semi cooked.  Carefully add ONE cup of water and heat to boiling.  Add the noodles and flavor packet and cook three minutes.  Pour into a bowl to eat at a table or eat out of the pan over the sink bachelor style.

Quasi Authentic Roast Beef Muffuletta sandwich
1 x Authentic Muffuletta roll (if you can get them.  If not just go for a quality french bread)
1 x Beef gravy packet
~1/4 lb Roast Beef

Cook the gravy per the instructions.  Once its ready stir in the roast beef until it's thoroughly warmed.  Pour over the open face of the bread.  Do not expect to eat it without a fork.  Typically no condiments of any kind are used for this type of muffuletta.

Top Ramen Deluxe: Never ate much Ramen until I was stationed in Korea. There was a Korean woman that worked in our shop that would make us ramen. Mostly for breakfast because we were hung over (best hang over remedy) but it did alert supervisors. Ever since then I liked eating it but will add extra veggies. Best ramen I had was "Nissin Cup Noodle Cheese Curry" it ridiculously good.
http://www.theramenrater.com/2014/02/09/1307-nissin-cup-noodles-cheese-curry/

Muffuletta: What about the tapenade?? It's a weekly staple here

OSUBearCub

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #87 on: May 22, 2014, 07:07:10 PM »
I can't tell you how much the humble egg has become part of my diet since buckling down on my budget.  You can almost always find them for about 99 cents a dozen if you follow the Sunday ads (and aren't afraid to do a little light grocery shopping at Walgreens and CVS where the are almost always on sale!)

Yes, you can scramble, boil, fry, poach, all that but I highly suggest learning to make a classic French omelette (Omelette Roulee).  Saute bits and bobs of leftovers - meats, veg, pasta, almost anything - in one pan, and a paper thin omelette in the other.  Once both are done, fold together and voila!

http://chefdruck.com/2012/05/how-to-make-a-french-omelette-roulee-with-the-help-of-julia-child/

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #88 on: May 22, 2014, 07:39:19 PM »
Moujadara (not traditional at all but what we call it since that is what the recipe started out as)

1 cup lentils cooked in chicken broth seasoned with garam masala
1 large onion sliced up and caramelized in butter until golden brown
Mix together and add a dollop of greek yogurt to each bowl as eating.

We actually will go so far as to cook up a 2nd onion as the flavor of the caramelized onion is why we eat this dish. The original recipe uses no garam masala and calls for rice. Takes a long time to make, but worth it.

waynesmate

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #89 on: May 26, 2014, 01:26:56 AM »

Some things I do to get heaps of flavor in relatively inexpensive ways are:

-keeping a small herb garden. Some are perennials and/or grow like weeds (mint is a well-known example). Use whole mint leaves in salad; make sauces; put a little mint and chili powder on a fruit salad... and of course, mint juleps. All things that are classy enough to be found in a very respectable eating and drinking establishment!

-Cooking with heaps of onions and garlic. Especially when reviving leftovers. Ginger and chilies also. (Heaps of health benefits from all these as a bonus)

-I need to make a habit of zesting all the citrus that passes through the kitchen. A small amount will usually make a dish pop, and it freezes... (when there's a glut of the stuff, or it's not the nicest for consumption, it'll go into DIY household products). And in the summer - lemoncillo.

-Cooking meat on the bones, and using bones in soups and stocks. Homemade chicken stock is so flavorful and has so much body that it needs hardly anything to turn it into a meal. (Esp eggs or barley)

-Using fresh spices (buying a little at a time from a bulk section with good turnover; it can be extremely cheap and flavor can fade fast); a little bit can go a long way. Also - a spice kit with a couple spice mixes is awesome when hiking/backpacking/traveling/living on the cheap...

-Having heaps of ways of cooking potatoes. They also take very little to turn into a meal. I bake a bunch at a time, and then we fry the leftovers into really tasty and nicely browned hashes with whatever we have in the fridge. Great way of using up leftovers, super-versatile.

-Ditto cooking eggs heaps of ways. Almost every dish can be topped with a boiled, fried, or poached egg. (I learned this backpacking! Way more common in other countries, to an American.) They're the closest thing to a single perfect food, I reckon, and are awesome at staving off hunger. (Also the perfect cheap snack on the go to eliminate impulse snacks or meals.)
When I need to make breakfast for a small group, I often make a scramble with onions, veggies (bell peppers especially), leftover bits of sausage or bacon... potatoes, avocado, tortillas... good every time.

-Reading cookbooks from all over the world. I get stacks out of the library and flip through them. I might get a few ideas from each one. Also a great way to come up with a totally new way to use up leftovers. Amish and Scandinavian cookbooks are two good examples, as they both make rather simple dishes into feasts.

-No secret here, but loving beans helps ;) I had a perfect meal that was just beans I cooked up with some garlic and onions sauteed in olive oil and butter. With some fresh parsley on top, maybe a squeeze of lemon. Actually, that's pretty much my master recipe for many things I make - onions, garlic, butter, olive oil, lemon, parsley.

-Using a combination of fats for more flavor. Any combo of butter, olive oil, and pork fat is gonna be great. I render schmaltz from the fat off stock bones, and it is awesome for cooking potatoes. Bacon fat is great for cooking so many things - still have yet to try it in warm salad dressing but it sounds good. A little fat can go a long way, and fat is flavor, baby. Have yet to cook with much coconut oil but definitely will give it a go.

-Recently read about carrot-green chimichurri. Good to see that overlooked parts of veggies that usually go into the compost are getting a bit of limelight. Beet greens are pretty common now, for example.

-Fermentation and pickling. Dill pickles, kimchi, pickled onions etc. So much flavor for humble vegetables and vinegar.

- Baking bread on cold days - if only because of how happy it makes people. Doesn't have to be anything flash or made with any expertise. Cooking is how I stay warm.

And on... and on...


On a different note, one thing I see people do is miss the point of "peasant cooking" and end up spending more money on a dish that's meant to be frugal. For example - I know people who regularly throw out bread that's going stale, but then buy fancy loaves of bakery-fresh bread to toast in the oven and make into breadcrumbs or croutons or use in meatloaf or whatever. (And they buy the whole loaf of bread for this purpose, and end up throwing half of it out...) 
I definitely think the overall point is to use what you have or what's easy to overlook... books on kitchen hacks and tricks are great reading and would make MacGuyver proud. Old memoirs are a favorite of mine.


aj_yooper

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #90 on: May 26, 2014, 05:00:38 AM »
waynesmate, that was an awesome post!  Thanks.

waynesmate

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #91 on: May 26, 2014, 04:08:36 PM »
Cheers, I thought of a few more:

-Using parmesan rinds in soups (pasta e fagioli is a good example) for flavor as well as saltiness.

- Similarly, using small amounts of very strongly flavored salty condiments like anchovies, fish sauce, soy sauce, chili sauces, and vegemite (umami bombs, as the foodies say). A little goes such a long way and you get heaps of flavor in addition to the salt. I use vegemite in my beef stews, swedish meatball gravy, chilis, shredded beef... It's very unlikely anyone will be able to identify there's a little vegemite or fish sauce behind the big flavor.

-Condiments in general can be big in peasant food. If you eat a fairly repetitive diet based on staples, pickles, chutneys, hot sauces, etc all go a long way to keeping things interesting and waking up the taste buds, while also preserving the garden harvest. I imagine it was a point of pride for a family to have a variety of pickles and preserves.
The Amish, for example, are known for relatively simple cooking, but also the "seven sour, seven sweet" rule - "seven different kinds of sweet condiments, jams, spreads or preserves, and seven different kinds of pickles, chow-chow or whole spiced vegetables" on the table. (Copied from some website).

-Game would definitely be prominent in peasant foods. Venison, moose, pheasant, duck, rabbit etc.  I'm a huge fan of eating invasive pests myself, so for example, killing a wild boar for food is going to be an environmentally friendly act almost everywhere in the world. During a very frugal time, I shot a squirrel and we ate it. Tasted just fine (a bit stringy cuz it was an old male) and I would definitely eat it again in a pinch.

-In true frugal fashion, many peasant meals are not necessarily what we would consider the most balanced. Fueling up was the priority, so I don't think people fretted too much about going heavy on the fat or carbs. I see a lot of fat-on-starch and starch-on-starch dishes. American farmers used to eat a breakfast that would put Man vs. Food to shame, and then finish it off with homemade pie. A thick layer of fat floating on top of a soup would've often been prized, rather than scooped off.  On the other hand, you might see dishes that are ridiculously healthy gut bombs, combining quite a few different whole grains, legumes, and beans in one bowl, with some herbs, greens, and spices. (I believe this is common in the middle east and north africa?) Meant to fuel a person on for a good long time at low cost.

-On a boozy note, I think sangria fits in perfectly here, as it originated as a way to doll up cheap wine. Now people pay decent money for it at restaurants and such, which is a bit crazy really! As is buying a nice bottle of wine for sangria.
Now that I think of it, sangria is very mustachian!

Primm

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #92 on: May 26, 2014, 05:14:06 PM »
- Similarly, using small amounts of very strongly flavored salty condiments like anchovies, fish sauce, soy sauce, chili sauces, and vegemite (umami bombs, as the foodies say). A little goes such a long way and you get heaps of flavor in addition to the salt. I use vegemite in my beef stews, swedish meatball gravy, chilis, shredded beef... It's very unlikely anyone will be able to identify there's a little vegemite or fish sauce behind the big flavor.


I did this and I absolutely agree! Was making a "throw together whatever I can find" fish stew when we moved house the other week and the salt was in a box. Pick a box, any box, but I couldn't find it. So I used the vegemite.

Will be doing that again absolutely. :)

waynesmate

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #93 on: May 26, 2014, 06:06:04 PM »
- Similarly, using small amounts of very strongly flavored salty condiments like anchovies, fish sauce, soy sauce, chili sauces, and vegemite (umami bombs, as the foodies say). A little goes such a long way and you get heaps of flavor in addition to the salt. I use vegemite in my beef stews, swedish meatball gravy, chilis, shredded beef... It's very unlikely anyone will be able to identify there's a little vegemite or fish sauce behind the big flavor.


I did this and I absolutely agree! Was making a "throw together whatever I can find" fish stew when we moved house the other week and the salt was in a box. Pick a box, any box, but I couldn't find it. So I used the vegemite.

Will be doing that again absolutely. :)

Nice, sounds good! A lot of people are basically afraid to try vegemite/marmite/etc (or were tricked by a cheeky Aussie into eating a heap of it in one bite) which is a shame. It's loaded with B vitamins, so great for vegetarians and has so much flavor. So good for bumping up the beefy flavor in things, especially.

A few cheap recipes with vegemite:
-A quesadilla with vegemite, cheddar, and sliced onion. I've won some people over to vegemite on this one.
-Toast with butter, vegemite, cheddar, tomato, and onion (pickled or not) - broil till cheese is nicely browned. Simple and awesome.
-Vegemite and boiled egg sandwich, with or without lettuce

Yum.

Primm

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #94 on: May 26, 2014, 06:36:49 PM »
Vegemite on toast with a poached egg on top is awesome as well.

okonumiyaki

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #95 on: May 26, 2014, 07:27:24 PM »
My wife is from Indonesia, so plenty of rice, noodles, and small amounts of meat with lots of sauce and sambal.  Egg & tofu omelette with spicy peanut sauce is a mainstay.

I grew up in India, so make dal. rice & yoghurt.  Most curries also give a good cost/ flavour ratio.  Boiled eggs in curry with rice = cheap & healthy.

We also went on a cooking course in Italy for a major wedding anniversary, and picked up these major tips for italian food:

 - cook the vegetables & olive oil together from cold for your base.  (Just slow cooked thinly sliced vegetables (onions/ zucchini/ whatever is fresh) make a great omelette!)
 - Stop cooking the pasta 2 minutes early, drain & finish cooking in the pasta sauce.  Allows the sauce to penetrate into the pasta.
 - Everything goes into the stock/ gravy pot.

Baked custard made from scratch using microwave is fast, cheap, and healthy desert (egg/ milk/ sugar & flavouring to taste)

Argyle

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #96 on: May 27, 2014, 12:59:05 AM »
Can you say more about making baked custard in the microwave?

EricL

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #97 on: May 27, 2014, 08:23:37 AM »
Top Ramen Deluxe - serves 1
1 x Top Ramen Package (oriental is best IMO)
1 x Teaspoon peanut oil or any other traditional oriental cooking oil
~1/3 cup x Misc. finely chopped vegetables you like- mushrooms, peas, broccolli, etc.  If frozen, defrost first.

Add the oil and vegetables to a small saucepan and stir fry around on high heat a bit till they're semi cooked.  Carefully add ONE cup of water and heat to boiling.  Add the noodles and flavor packet and cook three minutes.  Pour into a bowl to eat at a table or eat out of the pan over the sink bachelor style.

Quasi Authentic Roast Beef Muffuletta sandwich
1 x Authentic Muffuletta roll (if you can get them.  If not just go for a quality french bread)
1 x Beef gravy packet
~1/4 lb Roast Beef

Cook the gravy per the instructions.  Once its ready stir in the roast beef until it's thoroughly warmed.  Pour over the open face of the bread.  Do not expect to eat it without a fork.  Typically no condiments of any kind are used for this type of muffuletta.

Top Ramen Deluxe: Never ate much Ramen until I was stationed in Korea. There was a Korean woman that worked in our shop that would make us ramen. Mostly for breakfast because we were hung over (best hang over remedy) but it did alert supervisors. Ever since then I liked eating it but will add extra veggies. Best ramen I had was "Nissin Cup Noodle Cheese Curry" it ridiculously good.
http://www.theramenrater.com/2014/02/09/1307-nissin-cup-noodles-cheese-curry/

Muffuletta: What about the tapenade?? It's a weekly staple here

Tapenade only goes on other types of Muffulettas, like ham.  Those are good but not necessarily easy to make.  Even the roast beef version stretches the thread topic a bit because good and cheap Muffuletta bread is kind of hard to get.  My mom's from New Orleans and she gave me the roast beef recipe.  I don't argue with her about things New Orleans - she gets really sniffy.

blackomen

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #98 on: May 27, 2014, 11:35:22 AM »
I make pork bone broth..  after finishing pork chops, I save the bones and can reboil them a few times to make soup.  Then add pretty much any veggies into it and maybe some noodles.  It's a cheap delicacy in Chinese cooking.

Baked or steamed veggies with butter or olive oil works wonders too.  I lived off of this when I studied abroad in Europe where food prices were insane.  Had to add butter to the veggies in order to somewhat meet my daily caloric requirements (and lost about 20 pounds in my 5 months over there.)
« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 11:38:20 AM by blackomen »

AJDZee

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Re: Share your peasant food secrets!
« Reply #99 on: May 27, 2014, 12:05:06 PM »
Here's one I like...

Servings: 4

1 can chickpea or mixed beans ($1)
1 can corn ($1)
1/2 red bell pepper ($0.50?)
1/2 green bell pepper($0.50?)
1/4 red onion ($0.50?)
tbs olive oil ($0.05)
tsp balsamic vinegar ($0.05)
chopped cilantro ($0.25, or grow your own)
salt & pepper, to taste($0.01)
Bowls of baby spinach, or your favourite leaves of choice. ($2.00?)

Rinse beans/peas and corn.
Chop bell peppers to same size as corn. Dice red onion. Chop cilantro.
Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and mix. Season to taste.
Let sit for at least 20 minutes... this is one of those dishes that gets better over time. The next day is actually ideal - the salt will draw out moisture and you'll have enough vinaigrette at the bottom of the bowl to lightly dress the salad.
Spoon on top of bowl of spinach.

All the nutrients you need in a meal and comes out to about $1.50/serving.