Eating on a shoestring (again)

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lucy
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Eating on a shoestring (again)

Postby lucy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:46 pm

"So here goes. I will start posting my 'cheap, healthy and easy' recipes for those of us who are tight on cash, and still neat to eat.
This would be a great thread to keep alive and for all of us to contribute to."

Once again, transferring one thread from the old forums to the new. I have managed to add other peoples recipes too, even though they are submitted under my name, I have added their name to the recipe.
Last edited by lucy on Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Eating on a shoestring (again)

Postby lucy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:49 pm

Basic tomato sauce for Pasta (and anything else really)

1 onion, chopped finely
1 can italian style tomatoes (no herbs or anything like that added - just the can of tomatoes)
1 clove garlic, smashed a little with the side of the knife but not chopped up - it needs to be left whole.
Olive oil.

Put a saucepan over a medium heat and add the olive oil the oonion and the garlic cloves.
Saute gently until the onion is soft and add tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 - 10 minutes, or until the oil comes to the surface.
Discard the garlic clove, and you can do any of the following - blend until smooth, put through a mouli or leave as is.
This makes enough sauce to serve four. All you need do is cook up a large pack of pasta and when cooked, strain off the water and tip the pasta sauce over. If you are on your own, you can put the remaining pasta into gladware or tupperware and freeze it. Or you can put it in the fridge for the next day. It will reheat well in the microwave.
or
put individual servings of the sauce in containers and freeze for later use

Basic Tomato and Red Pepper sauce

This requires a little bit more effort, tastes superb. This makes a lot but it freezes well and is a great base for other recipes I will put up later.
1 large, or two small red capsicums (peppers) de seeded and diced
2 cans of toamtoes (italian style are best)
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed with the side of a knife.

Heat some olive oil in a large pan and add the onions, garlic and peppers, Sauté over a low temperature until they are very soft and caramelised. Add the tinned tomatoes, bring to a very gentle simmer, cover and cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Push through a mouli or blend and put through a sieve to remove all the little bits of skin etc.
Place in containers and freeze or use as a pasta sauce or as a sauce for meatballs (recipe later).

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Re: Eating on a shoestring (again)

Postby lucy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:58 pm

Basil Pesto

This only takes about 10 minutes to make and if you make heaps will freeze really well. The quantities are approximate as I have been making this for so many years now I no longer actually follow a recipe. It is that easy. I make a heap of this every summer and freeze it in small containers when we have basil growing in our garden or when it is cheap to buy in season (summer). Jas quite often comes home from work and cooks up some pasta and adds a spoonful
Note: I do this in a mortar and pestle as the results are much better and it keeps its lovely colour. A blender can be used but the metal blades affect the flavours of the basil - I do not know why, but they do. Mortar and pestles are reasonably cheap in any asian grocer and last forever.


Image

2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves washed and dried to remove any bits of dirt, sprays etc.
1/2 clove garlic
a good pich of salt
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 - 2 tspns lemon juice*
1-2 tablespoons Extra virgin Olive oil (EVOO)

Heat a pan over a very low heat, add the pines nuts and swirl them around until they are warmed through - try not to colour them, you just want to warm them through a little. Remove from the heat and put aside to cool.
Place the garlic and the salt in the mortar and pastle and pound until it becomes a paste. Add the basil leaves (you may have to do this bit by bit depending on the size of your mortar) and the lemon juice and keep pounding until the basil is all mushy and pasty.
Add the pine nuts and pound these until they also become a paste. Then add the parmesan cheese and pound gently to amalgamate everything.
Then add the EVOO bit by bit and gently mix it through to make a 'loose' paste. Have a taste and if you need more parmesan, add it, but not too much as the parmesan is meant to enhance the flavour of the basil - not overwhelm it.

At this point you can put it in a container and freeze or place it in the fridge covered with plastic wrap** until later.
To Serve: Boil some water, add some pasta and cook until aldente. Drain off the water reserving a little and put the pasta back in the saucepan - do not put it back on the heat. Add 1- 1 1/2 tablespoons of pesto to 1 packet of pasta and mix through, adding a wee bit of the reserved cooking water if needed to help it coat through pasta.
Eat with much gusto with a salad of mixed leaves that have been dressed with a teeny bit o lemon juice and EVOO.

Image

* this is vitally important, if you do not add it, your pesto will go black and horrible looking. The lemon juice prevents the basil from oxidising and helps it retain its beautiful green colour and adds to the yummy flavour.
** Make sure the plastic wrap touches the surface of the pesto - this stops air from getting to it and tainting the colours.

If you have made a batch and frozen it, all you need to do is throw the pasta on to cook, cut off a chunk of the frozen pesto and mix it through the cooked pasta and voila - a meal in ten minutes.

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Re: Eating on a shoestring (again)

Postby lucy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:02 pm

Jus
"Thanks for the Pesto recipe big Pesto fan here"
Homemade Tuna Pasta Sauce
Ingredients ~ For One Person
1/2 Red Onion chopped
Olive Oil for softening onion
Mixed Herbs
Tomato Puree
Half small tin of tuna (I prefer tuna in sunflower oil)
Paprika (optional)
Garlic (optional)
Pepper sprinkle

Method
Chop red onion, add to saucepan, add olive oil and soften onion over low heat
Remove saucepan from heat
Add tuna, paprika, tomato puree - generous squirt, pepper, mixed herbs, garlic.
Boil kettle, add boiling water to saucepan until level is about 2 inches above ingredients
Place saucepan back on high heat, stir well, once bubbling reduce heat to slow simmer for 10 mins while you are nuking pasta in microwave.
To cook pasta, add quantity required to glass bowl, add boiling water, place in microwave and nuke for 10mins.
Check sauce periodically to ensure doesn't boil dry and stir.
Once sauce has reached desired consistency, I prefer mine with as much water boiled out of it as possible, serve pasta, add sauce to pasta and eat! You can slice up some cheese and place on top, it will melt in heat of sauce or you can use Parmesan

Alternatives
Can substitute Tuna for Bacon, cut bacon up over saucepan using scissors, 1 rasher for each person

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Re: Eating on a shoestring (again)

Postby lucy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:05 pm

"little kitty"
This is something my mom use to make when we were kids-total comfort food for me. I don't know what other names it may exist under but we've always called it...

Cowboy Casserole
It's basically baked beans and hot dogs (i use veggie dogs). slice up the dogs, fry 'em, add a can of beans and heat through and eat with a slice of buttered bread. You can also add chopped bacon if you like, makes it even tastier. Not exactly health food but it's inexpensive and easy.

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Re: Eating on a shoestring (again)

Postby lucy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:09 pm

Alsis40
Don't know if it's a recipe per se, but pinto or black beans over white or brown rice with a generous dollop of hot sauce has always been a winner for me. Maybe a bit of shredded cheese or crumbled faux-bacon bits as budget allows, too.
Beans are cheapest if you soak them and cook them yourself, but canned works too, of course...

cibyll
ALsis - how do you cook these. I have had them, but would love a recipe to make my own.



alsis40 said:
Easy as you please, cibyll:

1 cup of beans, dried. Pour 'em in a strainer and rinse throroughly to remove dirt. Pick out any tiny rocks, etc. and discard.
Place the rinsed beans in a bowl and pour 2-3 cups of cold tap water over them. Cover and let soak at room temperature for at least eight hours, or overnight.
Drain off the water and rinse the beans again if you like. Pour them in a medium-sized saucepan and add enough cold water to cover, plus about one inch. Add a pinch of salt, if desired.
Bring to a near-rolling boil, stir once. Then turn the heat down enough so that they simmer. Cover loosely and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. About 30-45 minutes should do it. If you're unsure about doneness, just taste one. Pintos are bigger and may take a little longer than black.
Drain and enjoy.

As for rice, I don't think there's any special trick for brown rice other than perhaps using a little more water than you do for white. Some folks like it very soft, but I prefer it chewy. I usually do 1 Cup brown rice to 1 1/2 cups water. The only way to know for sure what you like is to try it out and see. Also, some cooks like to do the rice in broth instead of water. The broths will sometimes change the color of the rice, and they always add a nice flavor. If broth's in the budget. Black beans + "tomato" rice (a tomato-based veggie broth) is delicious.
Hope this helps.

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Re: Eating on a shoestring (again)

Postby lucy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:13 pm

The great thing about this recipe is that it can be made the night before and it is a fantastic healthyy and yummy lunch. If you are by yourself halve the recipe as it makes heaps.

This is one I got from October '06 Delicious magazine and is by Chef Bill Granger.

Pearl barley, broccoli & cashew salad with tamari dressing
This is great as a healthy work lunch. Ive teamed barley with nuts for an extra protein hit, and you can use broccoli or any other greens you have to hand.

1 1/4 cups pearl barley
400g broccoli, trimmed, cut into florets*
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves, torn
1/3 cup roasted cashew without salt, roughly chopped**

Tamari Dressing
1 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tb tamari
1 1/2 tb mirin
1 ts finely grated ginger

Cook the barley in a large pan of lightly salted water for 25-30 minutes until al dente. Drain then rinse under cold water.

Meanwhile, blanch broccoli in a pan of boiling water for two minutes until bright green and just tender. Rinse in cold water and drain well. Whisk the dressing ingredients together.

In a large bowl, toss all ingredients except cashews together.
Serve sprinkled with cashews.

*I use broccolini as it is in season and much better. Last time I made this I used chinese broccoli as I forgot to buy broccolini.

**Bill specifies raw cashews toasted, but I found using already toasted unsalted ones better.

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Re: Eating on a shoestring (again)

Postby lucy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:15 pm

The great thing about this recipe is that you can play around with it. If you cannot get mangos then try using sliced fresh yellow peaches. It's just a matter of keeping things fresh and healthy.

Chicken and Mango Rice Noodle Salad
Serves 2-4
If you cannot get fresh Mango, use peaches instead.

Dried Rice noodles, a good handful per person.
1 Mango, peeled and sliced
Cooked chicken shredded, 1/2 cup per person
A good handful of laksa leaf or coriander (cilantro), rough chopped
A good handful mint, rough chopped
1/2 carrot, grated
1 lebanese cucumber chopped into large chunks.

Dressing
1tb hoisin sauce
2tb sesame oil
1tb light soy
1/2ts chilli bean paste (optional)
1/2 ts fish sauce

Method
Soak noodles 8-10 mins in boiling water or according to packet instructions. Drain well, allow to cool and place in a bowl with mango, chicken and chopped herbs. Add 2 ts of the dressing and toss well to coat.

Serve immediately with more of the dressing drizzled over the top.
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Re: Eating on a shoestring (again)

Postby lucy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:21 pm

Fattoush (Lebanese Bread) Salad
Please Note: these are very approximate measures and you can add more or less of whatever you want

2 lebanese flat bread or pocket bread
1-2 lebanese cucumbers (depending on size)
2 - 3 tomatoes,
4 - 5 radishes
2 1/2 cups Parsley
1 1/2 cup mint
1/2 small red onion
lemon juice
olive oil
1 1/2 cups baby Cos (romaine or little gem) leaves, washed and dried*
1/2 teaspoon sumac*

method
Slit the Lebanese bread in half so you now have two thin flatbreads instead of one. Place in a hot oven approx 5 -10 minutes to toast, turning halfway though the process. Allow to cool and then break into bite size pieces. These can be kept in a airtight container for up to a week. So if you like you can make enough for another salad

Halve the cucumber lengthways and scrape out the majority of the seeds, if the cucumbers are large, halve them again and chop into 1cm dice. If they are smaller just chop the into 1/2 cm thick half moons.
Half the tomatoes, remove the seeds and chop roughly.
Halve and thinly slice the radishes.
Finely chop the red onion.
Roughly chop the parsley and mint.
Rip the cos Lettuce into bite sized pieces or slice them roughly (use a lettuce knife).

Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix together. Add a squeeze of lemon juice (approx half a lemon) and a splash of olive oil and mix together and serve.

If making this a couple of hours before eating do not add the dressing or the bread until just before serving or it will be soggy and yuck. This is a salad that should be fresh and crisp.

* Sumac is a citrus flavoured spice, if you cannot get it omit it.
* If you wash, dry and store the leaves in a plastic container in the fridge for and hour or so they will become crisp and delicious.

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Re: Eating on a shoestring (again)

Postby lucy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:24 pm

"BinnieBob"
Gallo Pinto

on rice and beans - this is how i was taught to make gallo pinto - Nicaraguan version. And this is still the best way to cook rice.

Fry onion till brown, add rice (raw\dry) and fry till is turns slightly golden - tho' to be honest it doesn't matter much if you take it a bit over. Then add water and salt. (you should wash the rice first, but I rarely bother here, cos it needs to be dry when it goes in - takes minutes in Nic, hours here - if ever) add water and salt, like alsis about 11/2 - 2 cups water to rice. cover towards end and cook till the water is absorbed.

Beans - kidney beans - In Nic they use really tiny ones which are extra yummy, but I've never seen them elsewhere.
Check, clean and soak if you have time - reduces cooking time, saves fuel. You need to boil kidney beans VIGOROUSLY for 10 mins, then a t least another 45 cos they can poison you. Some people chuck garlic in with the beans. don't salt till towards the end of cooking - makes them tough. Cook until tender.
OK, now you have your rice and beans.

Fry more onion, add beans and keep them going - till you get bored really, add rice, I always add some of the liquid from the beans at this stage cos it looks nicer. It's yummy, but not really low fat - tho' you don't need masses of oil.
you can do it with plain boiled rice and tinned beans, my sister has and thought it was ok, but doesn't seem right to me.

In Nicaragua people always cook huge pots of rice and of beans cos you have them with every meal (together or seperate) - unless you're either very poor or very rich. So it's easy to knock up. Also if you have a way of cooking beans over a wood fire this makes them taste fabulous.


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