Budget Recipes to Share

Sorry for the blurry image but the image I saved was rather small.  I enlarged it so you could better see the cover.  This book was printed in 1971.  The book is listed on Amazon for prices ranging from $.01 to $12.  There were several listings on eBay ranging from $1 to $15. 

In April, I decided to cook my way through this cookbook, which I purchased at a thrift store.  I confess I am a soft touch for any title with the words 'budget', 'thrift', or 'frugal' and if it's a cookbook as well, just go on and mark it 'Sold'! 

That said, I'll tell you what I like about the book.  It's set up initially with menus and the recipes to go along with the menus.  I like to READ menus, y'all, almost as much as I like to cook.  It's just one of those things that almost always wins me over to a cookbook and I can assure you that almost all of my most favorite cookbooks have menus.

There are pictures for the main menu pages, some photos of recipes that are listed without menus, and on nearly every page either an Economy Tip or a sidebar of just plain good information.  Even the inside covers have handy charts for figuring cost per serving or listing how much of an item is needed to feed 1-4 people, all good useful information.

But the true test of any cookbook is not how interesting the information but how good the recipes are.  The ones we tried were really good, even the more unusual ones (like the Kidney Bean Bowl).  I love that a recipe might call for 'leftover beans or peas', or uses less meat.  Among the breakfast recipes I found a 6-serving sized recipe for our favorite 'Butterscotch Oatmeal' that we eat once or twice each week when mornings are cool.

I thought I'd share the menus and recipes we tried, telling you what I altered when making the recipe, etc.  I will say that each recipe tasted very good and was truly an economical dish to make.  One or two I made a little more economical and I'll share how I did so.

I chose first to make a recipe from "Lunches to Carry", even though we didn't pack it up to go anywhere. 

Chili-Beef-Potato Soup
Carrot Sticks  Lettuce
Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I made the Soup, served with crackers, a salad of lettuce and carrot and  we had apple slices as a side.  We had leftover dessert from our weekend meals and I used that as a substitute for the cupcakes.

Chili-Beef-Potato Soup

1/2 pound hamburger
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 16-ounce can tomatoes, cut up
2 cups diced, peeled potatoes
1 10 1/2-ounce can condensed beef broth
1 soup can water (1 1/3 cups)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup cooked or leftover peas or green beans

Brown meat in large saucepan.  Drain off fat.  Add onion and celery; cook till vegetables are crisp-tender.  Stir in tomatoes, potatoes, beef broth, water, chili powder, salt, and Worcestershire sauce.  Cover and cook till potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.  Stir in peas or beans; heat through.  Makes 6 servings.

I followed measurements EXACTLY, even to the point of measuring the ingredients rather than just eyeball.  I substituted reconstituted stock, Better than Bouillon paste mixed into boiling hot water.  I made the bouillon double strength since the broth in the recipe would have been concentrated and then added the extra water called for in the recipe.  My only other change to the recipe was to add in 1/2 teaspoon of grated garlic because I like garlic and to use 1 cup frozen peas since I didn't have leftover beans or peas. 

This is a thick soup, not a really broth-y sort of soup and was very good.  I had enough for a healthy lunch for us (measured mine out to 1 cup) and we had enough leftovers to serve for supper one night.

Kidney Bean Bowl

1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained (I rinsed, too)
1/2 cup sliced celery
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup diced, unpeeled apple
1/3 cup diced process American Cheese
(I used cheddar from Aldi)

Combine beans, celery, onions, salt, pepper, mayonnaise.  Cover and chill.  Stir in apple and cheese before serving.  Serve in lettuce lined bowls.   Serves 8. 

I will grant you it's an unusual batch of ingredients together, but it's really tasty!

I made this chicken pie from the same book.  It is economical despite the fact that I used my pre-portioned turkey sausage patties.  If you use pork sausage it will be very economical.  I didn't have leftover chicken as the recipe suggests, but had cooked and picked over six backs. That netted me about 2 1/2 cups of chicken meat and rather than find a use for the extra half cup, I dumped it all in. 

Savory Chicken Pie
1/2 pound pork sausage
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 13 3/4 ounce can chicken broth (1 3/4cups){I used the resulting broth after cooking the chicken backs to provide the meat}
2/3 cup reconstituted nonfat dry milk

2 cups leftover chicken, cubed
1 10ounce package frozen peas, thawed

Savory Pastry

In saucepan brown sausage, breaking into pieces; drain on paper toweling.  Pour off fat.  In same saucepan, melt margarine or butter.  Blend in flour, salt, pepper.  Stir in chicken broth and milk.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook 1 minute more.  Add in browned sausage, cubed chicken, and peas; heat through.  Divide among six 1 cup casseroles or ramekins. Top with Savory Pastry.  Place casseroles on a baking sheet.  Bake at 425F for 25-30 minutes. 

Savory Pastry

Combine 1 cup sifted all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon celery seed, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon paprika;  cut in 1/3 cup shortening.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with fork until flour is moistened and clings together.  Gather into a ball.  Roll out 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into 6 circles the size of the casseroles.  Cut slits into center of each circle; place one on top of each filled casserole.

<My take on this recipe>  It's bland.  The turkey sausage I use is well seasoned and tastes very good on it's own but it was lost in this dish.  I added 1/2 teaspoon dried sage and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce to the chicken pie filling with no noticeable budge in flavor.  Next time I'll add onion and perhaps a tiny bit of celery.  If I make it again.  John is on the fence with this one.

I used dried celery flakes for the celery seeds called for in the recipe and didn't realize I had no paprika until I was well into the recipe.  That said, the pastry was excellent, one of my favorite parts of the meal. 

Just because we really like this oatmeal recipe, I'm sharing it here, even though my recipe came from a blog and not from the cookbook. It's all the same ingredients.  My recipe makes 2 servings.  This one uses more of each ingredient and serve 6.

Spicy Oranges 'n Prunes
Butterscotch Oatmeal

Butterscotch Oatmeal

2 beaten eggs
3 1/2 cup reconstituted nonfat dry milk
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats (I often use old fashioned.  It takes the same amount of time to cook)
1/4 cup margarine or butter

In large saucepan, combine eggs, milk, and sugar.  (I add in my oatmeal at this time as well but the recipe calls for the first three ingredients only. I cook for 8-10 minutes.  This variation is noted in the cookbook recipe as well).  Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in oatmeal and cook until mixture just comes to a bubble, about 3 minutes.  Add butter or margarine; cover and remove from heat.  Let sit a few minutes.  Blend in the butter before serving.  You may serve with additional milk.  Makes 4-6 servings.

1 comment:

Lana said...

That soup sounds delicious!

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