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Topic: No shopping allowed--Using what you have Cook-A-Long?  (Read 2668 times)
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shayneblate08
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« on: September 13, 2010 08:35:08 PM »

I know other boards have sew-a-longs and craft-a-longs, etc... but what about a cook-a-long? Instead of one big thing to work towards, how everyone interested posts a dish (pics and description/recipes and all) right before grocery day?

I know that I don't get my food stamps money for another week, so once me and my boyfriend get down to the nitty gritty of our food stash (which means no more cheese usually, no more fresh fruit or veggies usually, etc.) which is usually some frozen meat, canned and frozen veggies/fruits, baking supplies, and pasta. So there is room for experimentation yet not everything you'd want if you were to try a new recipe, depending on how well stocked your kitchen and spice cabinet are..
me, I'm just starting out so I'm very limited on spices and such... I usually buy a couple spices with each paycheck but most of it goes to bills.

So now that I've talked far too much as I always do...

What are the opinions on this idea?


BTW, last night I made one of these kinds of meals... I had lots of chicken broth, elbow macaroni, penne pasta, frozen corn, frozen carrots, frozen peas, and canned cut green beans and combined them all in a soup/stew with cayenne pepper, chipotle powder, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. It tasted delicious! The boyfriend also loved it. We had two bowls each and still had about 6-8 more bowl-fuls left in the pot.
Also, all I did was boil the chicken broth, add the pasta, then the frozen veggies, then the canned veggies last (because they're already quite soft) and then just seasoned to taste... The hardest part was waiting for it to cool because it smelled so good!

I don't have any pics unfortunately, but I can say that it was delicious!

And tomorrow I have some time and a leg of lamb in the freezer... so I think I'm going to try my slow cooker out! Never used it before--got it as a birthday present a couple weeks ago, can't wait to try it.
Don't know what I'll cook it in yet. Have some lovely Tisdale wine so I might use that.
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2010 06:05:54 PM »

Epic!

Today was a rainy day and I was dying for a good bowl of soup. I pulled a litre of veg. stock from the freezer this morning and figured out what I would do with it during class today; faux bortch.

No beets but I had red cabbage... so I suppose it was a cabbage soup.
Anywho, no pics but recipe:
1L vegetable stock
1/4 head red cabbage julienne
1 onion
X g salt (where X is a number which would make the soup taste good)
Y g pepper (where Y is your number of preference)
1 T caraway seeds tied in a cheesecloth
1 oz whiskey (how did this make its way in? Oh well)
1 oz vinnegar

Warmed up my stock to a boil then kept at a simmer. Took the onion diced it, and 1/4 of the julienned cabbage and carmelized it in bacon fat (i had from breakfast but butter is absolutely fine). I put the caraway seeds in some cheesecloth and made a little packet that I tied off with some string and simmered in the stock until i tasted  the caraway in the soup. I then added the cabbage to the soup and brought it to a boil. Here's where I added my vinegar and whiskey (don't worry, the heat cooked it off) simmered it again until the cabbage was al dente. When the onions and cabbage carmelized, I added that to the soup, added s+p and enjoyed it.
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shayneblate08
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2010 06:48:06 PM »

Life got in the way and wasn't able to even start slow cooker meal but BF promised me I can Saturday, as long as I get homework done will its a-cookin. lol

Brunoise, youre soup sounds sooo delicious! I totally want to try it.
Are you sure all the whiskey went in? Are you sure some of it didn't go into your mouth? That always happens to me when I make spiced poached pears, mostly because I use Triple Sec and a nice tawny port... both usually end up half in the dish and half in me, lol.

But the other night, Boyfriend and I were going to watch some football at the neighbors house, so I decided to make a dip to use up some chips we had that were on the verge of going stale (TBH not sure how they lasted this long in the house, we love chips a little too much)
Had a just a small bit of spaghetti sauce in the fridge so i mixed that into a bowl with some melted whipped cream cheese. I would say the cream cheese was about 3:1 ratio with the sauce. Came out a lovely orange color. Then I microwaved a can of corn, a can of french cut green beans, and a can of great northern beans, just what I had in the pantry (besides canned fruit and other things that would not go well).
For spices I added a healthy amount of chipotle powder and cayenne pepper because me and my boys sure love our spicy foods. Then I added some minced onion, Morton's Nature's Seasoning, a little sea salt, and some Sweet N' Tangy BBQ flavoring. Mixed it all together, heated it up some more and it was a huge hit with the boys. I loved it too, even though I didn't get much, haha.

This is a very shoddy picture but its the only one I thought to get. Didn't have my camera with me so dark cell phone pic will have to do.
I'm sure I could make it again if I bought the ingredients, but hey, that defeats the purpose of an impromptu dip.


I love just making up dishes and not following a recipe.
There's a certain satisfaction from just BSing good food. And then consuming it like a wild animal.

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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010 12:51:32 AM »

My impromptu dish would be sauteed corn.

1 can of whole corn kernels in water
butter
dash of salt

Saute corn in butter and add a dash of salt.  That's it.  It's already a meal for me. 

If I have some carrots left, I would add cubed carrots to the corn.  So simple isn't it?  I am not difficult to feed. Grin
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shayneblate08
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2010 06:06:53 PM »

My impromptu dish would be sauteed corn.

1 can of whole corn kernels in water
butter
dash of salt

Saute corn in butter and add a dash of salt.  That's it.  It's already a meal for me. 

If I have some carrots left, I would add cubed carrots to the corn.  So simple isn't it?  I am not difficult to feed. Grin

Hmm, very simple too! I like it!
I tried something like that a couple days ago, but I like very flavorful things, so I added some spices! Tastes really good with a little cayenne pepper and some minced onion!


I made some delicious lamb the other night. In my slow cooker. For 9 hours.
Made lamb with pre-browned onions, carrots, potatoes, and celery in a spicy red wine and beef broth sauce.
Big hit with the boyfriend. The meat was so tender you could shred it with a fork.

The other night I also baked impromptu!
I made red velvet cup cakes, but mixed in cinnamon, vanilla extract, and semi-sweet chocolate chocolate chips.
I used the traditional cream cheese frosting for red velvet cake, but I mixed in frozen raspberries left over from smoothies (heated in a sauce pan so they were saucy and mixed well) cinnamon, and brown sugar.
Also big hit with the boyfriend.

Of course, he loves pretty much everything I make. Every time I make something new he said its the best meal I've ever cooked lol
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2010 04:56:19 AM »

I love this! My mom and I have a huge fully stocked pantry and a second freezer, and I am trying to use more food out of their instead of constantly running to the store for other stuff. I'll definitely follow this thread and add to it as I try to do less grocery shopping.

Does anyone like spicy Indian lentils? I made a fabulous batch the other night and the boyfriend and I gobbled them up. The recipe is ridiculously cheap and easy, I couldn't believe what a nice dinner I made for pennies!
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2010 12:05:18 PM »

Does anyone like spicy Indian lentils? I made a fabulous batch the other night and the boyfriend and I gobbled them up. The recipe is ridiculously cheap and easy, I couldn't believe what a nice dinner I made for pennies!

Yes please!
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shayneblate08
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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2010 03:31:55 PM »

I love this! My mom and I have a huge fully stocked pantry and a second freezer, and I am trying to use more food out of their instead of constantly running to the store for other stuff. I'll definitely follow this thread and add to it as I try to do less grocery shopping.

Does anyone like spicy Indian lentils? I made a fabulous batch the other night and the boyfriend and I gobbled them up. The recipe is ridiculously cheap and easy, I couldn't believe what a nice dinner I made for pennies!

I would love the recipe for this! Already have a bag of lentils in my pantry!


I will be cooking another roast tomorrow in the slow cooker. Boyfriend loves them so much and they last a good week. Have some red onions I need to eat up (because I need the papery onion skins for my papermaking class), and a big almost-frostbitten beef chuck roast in the freezer. First going to brown the onions in a skillet, then going to throw that in with some wine and some spiced beef broth, some cut up red potatoes, carrots, and celery, and serve over a bed of rice.
Side note: to save even more, if you're using a slow cooker like I did, save all the left over juice and repurpose it by pouring it in with the next roast. You'll save a couple bucks on broth and it will add to the flavor.
If you won't be using it in the same week, go ahead and put it in the freezer. then when you want to reuse it, thaw it in the microwave or under the hot tap (lid still on!) and pour it right in again.

By the way, to anyone using a slow cooker (which is a great investment and a time save because you can just throw in a bunch of fresh-or-frozen ingredients in the morning and leave it on all day while you go to work/class, etc. and come home to a great smelling house and dinner ready to eat! Plus you can take out the stone wear insert, cover it and put it right in the fridge if you don't feel like putting the food away. Just don't ever wash the base unit.

Can't wait to make this tomorrow, My boyfriend always melts when he sees the meat shred with a fork. Its very pleasing when he licks the bowl clean too Smiley

Sorry for my tangent there.

But yes, I would love the recipe for spicy Indian lentils!
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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2010 04:26:58 PM »

shayneblate08--haha, I love that you have to eat up some onions to use the skins for a crafty project! That should go in the "you know you're a craftster when..." thread!

This recipe is from the Rice Diet Solution book, which is a low salt diet, so adding salt to this would definitely make it tastier Wink

Also, if anyone watches the new show on food network "Aarti Party" she is Indian and makes fabulous Indian and Indian inspired dishes. She made a very similar dish to this the other day.


Spicy Lentil Dal with Fresh Ginger, Green Chilies, and Cilantro

Lentils
1 cup lentils, pink, uncooked (I used brown since that's what I had on hand)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Tempering Oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 1 /4 teaspoon cumin seeds**
1-2 red chilies, dried, whole
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced (or grated on a microplane)
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1 green chili, hot, minced (I used a jalapeno)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (this made it super hot, maybe scale back a bit and taste first if you don't like things super hot)
1/4 to 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon or lime.

Wash and drain lentils, add to saucepan with 2 cups water and turmeric and bring to boil. Simmer covered until lentils are soft (15-20 minutes) adding just enough water to cover when the level goes down. After cooked, mash some of the lentils with a spoon to make it thicker. Simmer 5 more minutes uncovered to thicken.

For the tempering oil, place the oil and cumin seeds in a small frying pan over medium high heat. Cook 1-2 minutes and then add dried chilies, ginger, garlic, green chile and cook 30 more seconds. Remove from heat and add cayenne pepper and a few drops water to stop the cooking. Stir the tempering oil, half the cilantro, and all of the lemon or lime juice into the lentils. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve over rice.

**A lot of these spices can be found for super cheap in the Mexican foods aisle of your grocery store. A jar of cumin seeds was $4.50 in the regular spice section, in the same grocery store in the Mexican foods aisle a bag of them was $.58.  I also got the dried red chilies, bay leaves and coriander for another recipe, and a few other things that they either didn't have in the bulk spices section or was ridiculously priced in the general jarred spices section.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2010 04:28:45 PM by MareMare » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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shayneblate08
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« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2010 11:43:27 AM »

For breakfast I realized that I had plums  that were getting pretty mushy, so I diced them up, threw them in the skillet with some eggs and a couple of cut up hot dogs and some spices and whipped up a great breakfast for me and my boyfriend. We were really in love!
I add bit of cayenne pepper and chipotle powder, as well as some Nature's seasoning and a little bit of black pepper.
It was delicious!
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