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Cheap, easy and tasty recipes to feed a family

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posted on May, 12 2009 @ 03:06 PM
In these economically trying times, it's becoming more important all the time to save what we can, when we can. But we still need to feed the family. And anyone with kids will know that they can be picky eaters. So it needs to be good, too.

Simply put, I'm starting this thread to collect recipes of any and all sorts that are;
  • Cheap to make
  • Quick and easy to prepare
  • Tasty to eat
  • Relatively nutritious

    Doesn't have to be strictly main courses either. If you know a good Dandelion Salad recipe, lets have it. Doesn't get much cheaper than that, does it? Soups, sandwiches, whatever. All are welcome. Cheers.

    *PS; If you think a thread like this is usefull, then please flag it to get it recognized. Thanks in advance.

    [edit on 5/12/2009 by Static Sky]

  • posted on May, 12 2009 @ 03:22 PM
    Shepherds Pie

  • Brown and crumble 1 lb of ground beef.
  • Add 1 package of Brown Gravy Mix and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil to thicken gravy. You want it thick, not soupy.
  • While gravy/beef are thickening together, add about half of a thinly sliced onion and 2-3 tablespoons of HP sauce. (If you have it).
  • Once meat mixture is thick, empty it all into a baking pan. Use a spoon to flatten it out evenly and pack it down a bit. You want a firm bottom layer.
  • Cover in an even layer of veggies. I use 1 can of drained corn, and 1 can of drained/sliced mushrooms. Just enough to thinly cover the meat.
  • The top layer is just mashed potatoes. Should be at least as thick as the meat layer. I leave skins on my mashed potatoes to get the most nutrition value. (Optional) I like to add about 2 teaspoons of cream cheese into the mashed potatoes, if we have it.
  • Level the potato layer and sprinkle a little cheddar on top. (Also optional).
  • Bake at 375-400 for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you've used cheddar on top, it's a perfect way to tell. When the cheese is browned, it's done. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Then enjoy.

    [edit on 5/12/2009 by Static Sky]

  • posted on May, 12 2009 @ 03:30 PM
    Tuna Casserole

  • Boil any type of pasta you like (I like the spiral pasta best). Do not cook it to where you would normally eat it. Leave it slightly undercooked. Drain well and dump into a baking pan.
  • Add 2 cans of well drained tuna. Flaked or chunked are both fine.
  • Add 1 can of drained peas and/or 1 can of drained mushrooms.
  • Add 1 large can of "ready to serve" Cream of Mushroom Soup.
  • Mix it all together well, carefull to get the tuna mixed in and into tiny chunks, but not mush the pasta.
  • Top with a good layer of cheddar cheese.
  • Bake at 375-400 until the cheese is golden brown.
  • Remove it from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes.

    Dig in!

    [edit on 5/12/2009 by Static Sky]

  • posted on May, 12 2009 @ 05:57 PM
    Pita Bread. I learned to make pita bread after Hurricane Paloma ka-bonggged through here. We didn't want to waste water on dishes, and I couldn't find any flatbread -- not even tortillas. Pitas were wonderful and we filled them with all manner of vegies, meats and combinations of both ......and then ate the "dishes". We made a lot of these, and they were very economical, as well as tasty and satisfying.

    Tortillas, especially flour tortillas are pretty easy, as long as person has a press of some sort. I bought a tortilla press, and it lasted a whole four tortillas, and then the [substandard] metal handle broke. blah blah blah.


    1. Take a package of yeast and warm water in an inert bowl big enough for the whole mixing (inert meaning not stainless steel..... wood, clay, glass, etc.) Warm to your touch, which means a little over 98F. Not hot. Stir in a tablespoon of honey [which, BTW, keeps for a very long time without spoiling] and then a package of yeast. Let it sit until it is frothy and yeasty smelling.

    2.Mix one tsp. salt and 3 cups of flour. Add yeastwater. If you use wheat flour, add 1/4 cup of olive oil to augment elasticity. Add another cup or so of warm water to make a nonsticky ball.

    3. Put doughball on a floured surface and knead it for a while, Say at least five minutes. This doesn't have to be vigorous kneading, and it seems better if it's not. Let it sit, covered with a cloth, until it has nearly doubled.

    4. Roll out on floured surface, and make 15 little doughballs.

    5. If you're using a solar cooker, set the cooker out facing south or thereabouts. Oven - Preheat to 500. You need it hot. If your oven smokes at 500, that means you're normal, and haven't cleaned it in a while. Open a window; let it burn.

    6. Use a rolling pin or other tubular object [PVC pipe works well] and roll the balls out to about 1/4 of an inch thick -- a fat .5 cm.

    7. Put in solar oven and leave until at least 2" high and puffy. Turn over and leave for the same amount of time. Oven - bake on ungreased sheet until it rises and then turn over. If you let it rise too far, it will crack on the bottom. This is especially true with wheat and other darker flours, as well as almond and coconut flour.

    Cool, slice open, fill with goodies, sauce, chili or whatever you like.


    1. Take a can of garbanzo beans, drain, and smash up. Some people skim off the skins........ I never do.

    2. Chop up 3 cloves or garlic and an onion. Add this to the garbanzo mash, along with a tsp. of corriander, tsp. of cumin, tsp. of black pepper, and tsp. of salt. If you have any fresh herbs to chop in, do it now (basil, oregano, cilantro). Otherwise, leave it like that.

    3. Stir in one egg. Form into sub-pingpong sized balls, flatten, and smooth the edges by circling the ball with your thumb and forefinger, and and pressing each side with the thumb and fingers of your other hand.

    4. Fry in oil. I like to use olive oil for everything. Fry or sautee until they are light brown, flip and finish. Eat the first one. This is your right as cook, and you can then determine if you like the texture, or want to cook the next ones more.

    5. Chop up vegetables to go inside the pita bread with the falafel patties. Put the patties in first -- usually only three or four. put vegetables in (tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, spinach, mushrooms, bell pepper, avocado, whatever you want). Add a little sauce. yUM.


    I like a simple mixture similiar to Tahini sauce:

    Take a cup of sour cream and mix in a tablespoon of sesame oil. Add some garlic, pepper, chili power to taste.
    SitX recipe: Mix vinegar 1:1 with sesame oil. Herb it up. Shake. drizzle in stuffed pita.


    posted on May, 12 2009 @ 06:33 PM
    reply to post by argentus

    Brilliant! Thanks Argentus and it's good to see you.

    I didn't know how they made Pita bread. That perfect little pocket, and all. That doesn't sound nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I think I'm going to try it out and see how it goes. I have 3 years prior experience as a Cook/Kitchen Manager in a seafood restaurant but I don't know jack about baking. We got a bread-maker for Christmas and still have never used it.

    posted on May, 12 2009 @ 07:57 PM
    reply to post by Static Sky

    Well, USE that dang breadmaker, whilst you still CAN! [portents of doom, implied]

    Pitas need high heat to create the pocket. I have done it with a solar oven, but it takes a degree of finessing that I can't quite articulate. It has to be HOT.

    Good to see you too, matey ;o)

    Tortillas -- skip the yeast steps, and use a homemade tortilla press. The picture tells it all. Mine is made out of cheap piece o' crap NON-pressure treated pine. I dowelled the pieced together with 1/4" dowels and it's still working today.

    p.s. Don't forget that pitas are great for breakfast goodies, lunch, dinner, supper, whatever you call the meals. It's a lil' pocket o' love waiting to be filled and consumed. *

    *awwwwwww, that's sweet

    posted on May, 12 2009 @ 08:54 PM
    reply to post by argentus

    Awesome stuff. I think that besides pizza, my favorite foods are Mexican. I'm a huge fan of tortillas. (Though frankly my wife may not agree. She has to sleep beside me. I guess it's kind of like this.....

    But I like putting cream cheese, baby spinach, tomato, black olives, cucumber and some crumbled up Feta cheese, inside. I used smoked salmon once, too. It was amazing.
    And a bit of ranch dressing is nice.

    This is besides the good old burritos and Quesadillas's that i love so much. Gotta go, I'm getting hungry.

    [edit on 5/12/2009 by Static Sky]

    posted on May, 13 2009 @ 11:52 AM
    All the recipes posted in my thread Cooking With Me are easy, economical and tasty.

    posted on May, 13 2009 @ 12:33 PM
    reply to post by worldwatcher

    Then I thank you very much for the link

    We had Shrimp Curry and Chicken Curry dishes on the menu at our seafood restaurant. We only used Madras Curry and used a basic faux-alfredo sauce (33% Whipping cream, chicken stock, white pepper all boiled to order in hot pan to thicken) some sliced peppers and onions, and half a teaspoon of Madras per serving. Served over rice. They were amongst our most popular dishes. I absolutely love it.

    And Somosas are amongst my very favorite foods. I'll be glad to see that recipe added, too. Also I noticed a very nice sounding dry turkey rub. I wanted to do something like that last Christmas but couldn't find one that looked very good. Yours does though, so I think I'll give it a try on a small 'test run' turkey. Also a great reason to eat turkey in the summer. Cheers for that.

    [edit on 5/13/2009 by Static Sky]

    posted on May, 13 2009 @ 02:25 PM
    reply to post by Static Sky

    no probs

    Your curry with the cream is definitely more India style versus my Caribbean style curry, try both styles and then see which one you like better..

    I cook a lot and am always looking for new ideas to feed my obviously your thread caught my attention.

    Try my dry rub on a whole chicken instead of a turkey and use the leftover chicken to make a chicken salad..

    Samosas... yes yes, I will get to that recipe soon enough, I do have another snack one almost ready to post..

    posted on May, 13 2009 @ 04:01 PM
    reply to post by worldwatcher

    I love curry sauce so I will definitely give it a try. So just add more water to make it extra saucy, right? I can never get enough sauce.

    And the chicken idea is of course more logical, but I'm thinking of maybe making a whole party around a turkey in summer. 'Christmas in June'. All presents should be in liquid form.

    And thank you for taking an interest in my thread. I will keep an eye on yours as well. I'll likely be trying the Samosa recipe within a week of you posting it. Once I'm confident, I'll be making a huge batch. I'd like to have a few dozen in the freezer. 1000x better than pizza pops. Uh-oh. I'm getting hungry.

    posted on Oct, 2 2009 @ 02:46 PM
    This one's from my stepmom. It's terrific, too.

    Ranch Breakfast Scramble

  • 1 lb cubed and boiled potatoes
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups grated cheese (I use marble cheese)
  • 1 cup diced ham (I just use ham slices for sandwiches or cooked bacon)
  • 2 cups (total) chopped onions, peppers, mushrooms, etc.
  • 6 eggs (beat, then mixed with cream and beat again)
  • 1/2 cup Half and Half cream

    -Put hash browns and melted butter in casserole dish/pan, and put it in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
    -Put all veggies and meat on top.
    -Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over the top.
    -Then add eggs and cream mixture. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until egg mixture is firm.
    -Let stand 5 minutes, then enjoy.

  • posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 01:19 PM
    Chicken Tetrazinni (not sure on spelling)

    (for feeding 4)

    2-3 Boneless Chicken Breasts (depending on size)
    2 Cans of Chicken Gravy (not so great by itself, but just wait)
    1 Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
    1 Small Jar of Mushrooms (or fresh)
    1 Small White Onion
    1 Large Bag of Egg Noodles

    Cut chicken into bite sized pieces, sautee until almost cooked.
    Cut the onion and sautee with the Mushrooms

    (while you are doing above, combine the gravy and soup in a large pot and bring to a boil...whisk it until there are no lumps...then after boiling, let it simmer).

    Add the chicken, onion, and mushrooms to the pot with the sauce cooking.

    While it cooks some more (on low), boil the water for the noodles (I add some butter and salt to the water), and prepare the noodles.

    By the time the noodles are done, the Tetrazinni mixture is cooked, with all of the flavors combined. Serve it over the noodles, and bam, fairly cheap dinner...

    posted on Dec, 26 2009 @ 05:27 PM
    Taco Casserole

    1 lb ground beef
    1 can kidney beans
    ca. 4 hardshell tacos
    1 package taco seasoning
    1 tbsp. taco sauce (I use the mild, but you can do medium or hot, as you like)
    1 small can tomato sauce
    1-2 tomatoes
    1/2 bunch green onions
    1 small jar sour cream
    ca. 1-2 cups shredded cheddar or taco cheese
    iceberg lettuce

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown ground beef in skillet, drain. Add can of kidney beans, undrained; add taco seasoning, tomato sauce and taco sauce. Cook for ca. 8 minutes. Break up taco shells and place on the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish. Pour ground beef mixture on top. Cover with thin layer of sour cream. Cube tomatoes and slice green onions and sprinkle evenly over everything. Finish with shredded cheese and bake in oven for ca. 40-45 minutes.

    Wash and cut up iceberg lettuce and serve hot taco casserole on lettuce bed.

    Tastes fantastic -- even to me, and I don't even like Mexican food!

    [edit on 26-12-2009 by sylvie]

    [edit on 26-12-2009 by sylvie]

    posted on Jan, 31 2010 @ 02:18 PM
    if you like tex-mex food like we do but using the tortillas get old... make some cornbread, top with the taco meat, peppers tomatoes, onions, cheese, put back in the oven till cheese is melted, a whole new meal (or just use up your left over tacos stuff) Its also god with shredded chicken.

    This may sound wierd but i try to plan my meals so I can reuse the leftovers ie:

    1st dinner: meatloaf, mashed pot, veggie
    2nd dinner: potatoe soup
    3rd dinner: shepherds pie using all the leftovers from the meatloaf, veggies potatoes and the soup.

    1st dinner: pinto beans (& sausage if we have any) with rice and cornbread
    2nd dinner: tacos, using the beans as refried beans and the white rice to spanish rice with tortillas (homemade or bought)
    3rd dinner: that mexican shepherd pie from above using cornbread, just dump and reheat.


    posted on Jan, 31 2010 @ 02:24 PM
    forgot to add that I REALLY hate to throw out food and the family REALLY hated leftovers... They got over it real quick. Because if after all that and there are still leftovers I refuse to cook until they are eaten. Of course if something has gone bad its gone, but when we had 6-8 people food did not have time to go bad.


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