admin / May 23, 2014

Friday Round Up-Free Camping Cookbook


A super quick Friday round up as the holiday weekend gets under way-

If you’re going camping this weekend or anytime over the summer there’s a free recipe cookbook on Amazon today (May 23rd). Looks like lots of recipes you can use at home and on the backyard grill too-

Just saw this article, 5 meals under $5-

5 of the Best Meals You Can Make for Under $5

Five minute ice cream with one ingredient…a banana. Best thing is they’re also inexpensive too-

They’ll be plenty on sale this weekend. I’ve already stocked up on things like mustard and baked beans to replenish my pantry stash.

As it’s a holiday weekend, no Meatless Monday feature next week, but it will be back June 2nd.

Have a relaxing weekend and happy saving.

admin / May 19, 2014

It’s Meatless Monday-Cashew and Quinoa Sliders with Spicy Corn


Quinoa’s been the in thing in both vegetarian and mainstream cooking for several years. I like it but have to admit it’s not something that I cook with a lot. I think less is more when it’s come to this grain, so for this recipe I combined it with some cashews. Nuts have grown steadily more expensive which I’m guessing is because they got taken off the naughty list in regard to healthy fat. Cashews average about $12 a pound but I found a 2 pound bag for $7 during the holidays and been using them for lots of recipes. If you can’t find a good deal on them, switch to walnuts or even peanuts.

I’ve discovered that cottage cheese gives a nice texture and taste to veggie burgers. (Even if you hate the stuff you barely know it’s in them). Plus, it’s often on sale. My final ingredient is McCormick’s Perfect Pinch-Tuscan variety with rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes. I use it to top breads and for pasta and thought I’d try it in this burger recipe. I made them smaller, hence the word sliders, because I’ve found when it comes to veggie burgers keeping them small holds them together better.

They’re combined with a spicy corn side dish that’s a breeze to make.

¾ cup roughly chopped cashews
¼ cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup cottage cheese
1 teaspoon McCormick’s Perfect Pinch-Tuscan (find it in the spice aisle)
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 egg
2 tablespoon flour (I used whole wheat)
Salt and pepper
Oil for sautéing

For the Corn
1 12 ounce bag frozen corn
¼ cup dried peppers reconstituted or use ½ green or red pepper which you’ve chopped and sauté
Good pinch red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon low fat/vegetarian spread

In a bowl combine all the ingredients for the sliders. Mix well and put the mixture into the fridge and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

Remove it and then make 6 small patties and place on a plate. Put the sliders back in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

When you’re ready to cook them, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat in a skillet.

Cook two sliders at a time, about 2 minutes on each side until slightly golden brown and crispy.

Put them on a platter lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
Repeat with the rest of the sliders.

For the corn-
In a large saucepan add the corn, peppers and the water you used to soak the peppers. If you’re using sautéed peppers add them and about ½ cup of water and cook over medium high heat for about 8 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.

Turn off the heat and add the low fat spread and toss with the corn, serve immediately.

Makes about 2 cups and leftovers freeze well.

admin / May 12, 2014

It’s Meatless Monday-Almost Taco Pizza and Leftover Veggie Pizza

Sometimes I open up the fridge and think about what I can make with leftovers. Oftentimes there’s a little of this and a little of that, but not enough to make a full meal. Last week refried beans, salsa, leftover broccoli, carrots, and pasta sauce sat on the shelf. I thought soup, but then decided on pizza. These days I make my own pizza crust and this time around doubled the recipe. The first one, I’ve called Almost Taco pizza because it has lots of things I usually add to tacos. The second one is perfect for using up leftover vegetables and pasta sauce.
Both are ideal for a Meatless Monday, and leftovers are perfect for the following day’s lunch or lunchbox.


Almost Taco Pizza
1 pizza crust
1 ½ cups refried beans
1 cup salsa
1/3 cup chopped olives
¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or any variety of your choosing)

Sour cream, chopped avocado, more salsa for topping. Even shredded lettuce.

Spread the pizza crust with the refried beans.

Next spread the salsa over the beans.

Sprinkle on the chopped olives and then the cheese.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until the crust is cooked and the cheese bubbling.


Bonus recipe-Leftover Veggie Pizza
1 pizza crust
1 cup leftover pasta sauce
1 ½ cups leftover veggies, chopped into bite size pieces
½ cup feta cheese

Spread the crust with the pasta sauce and then evenly distrubte the veggies.

Top with feta cheese and bake for about 15 minutes or until everything’s cooked through and cheese has melted.

Both pizzas serve 4-6

admin / May 5, 2014

It’s Meatless Monday-Baby Bella Mushroom Bhajis with Mango Dipping Sauce


Bhajis are always on the buffet menu at a nearby Indian restaurant. I have to admit when I go back for seconds they’re usually the goodies I pick. Intrigued to know if they were simple to make at home, I did some research. My first batch, made with cauliflower, were great but way too hot for my liking. Now I think I’ve found the right level of spice but if you like things super-hot you can double ingredients like chili powder.

They use chickpea flour and I found mine online at and I keep it in the freezer.

The flour does tend to make them on the dry side even though they’re cooked in oil, so I think a dipping sauce makes the perfect pairing with this dish.

I used baby bell mushrooms for this batch but just about any vegetable, even leftovers ones, would be great too.

They’re perfect as a snack but try pairing them with basmati rice and it’s a Meatless Monday supper.

1 cup chopped baby Bella mushrooms that you’ve sautéed until slightly golden brown
1 cup chickpea flour
Pinch baking soda
1 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon garam masala…you can find this at most supermarkets now or online
¾ teaspoon turmeric…this gives them their nice golden color
¾ teaspoon chili powder
About 4-6 tablespoon water
Oil for sautéing

In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients except the water. Make sure everything is mixed together well.

Slowly add the water until the mixture comes together. It should be slightly sticky.
Let it sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

Over medium high heat, and in a deep skillet, heat about an inch of oil.

Take about two tablespoons of the mixture, either roll it into a ball or an oval shape and add it to the oil.

Cook about four at a time and turn them every few minutes until they’re golden brown.

Remove from the oil and place on a plate that you’ve lined with a paper towel.

Repeat with the rest of the mixture and serve immediately.

Makes 12.

Mango Ginger Dipping Sauce (makes ¼ cup)
4 tablespoons mango chutney
2 teaspoons minced ginger
4 tablespoons soy sauce

Mix everything together and chill for 15 minutes.

admin / May 2, 2014

Friday Round-Up-Substitute Pie Crust

Just a quick Friday round-up.

First up, congrats to Cheryl who won the China Study All Star Collection cookbook.

Lots of strawberries are already in the produce department. I can’t wait to see how my own strawberry plants (and the blueberry plants) do this year. Last year was the first time I planted them so I don’t know if I’ll have enough to make any jam or pies. I’ll probably use them just for snacking.

Speaking of snacking ,one of my favorites is homemade hummus on cucumber slices. It’s filling and keeps the hunger pains away until mealtime. Plus, with cucumbers soon to be in abundance and chickpeas always on sale, it’s a budget priced treat.

By the end of the summer I’ll take a guess that most of us will have more zucchini than we know what to do with, so this year I’ve planned ahead. This week I came up with a substitute for pie crust for things like quiches. It’s low cost and can save you lots of calories too.

I used one green and one yellow zucchini. I shredded them over a sieve and then sprinkled on some salt. I let them sit for about 15 minutes and then squeezed them to get all the water from them.

Next put them on some paper towels and blot them dry with more paper towels.
Add them to a bowl, add some pepper and one well beaten egg and mix well.

Spray a quiche pan or baking dish with non-stick spray and then put the zucchini into the pan. Using the back of a spoon form it into a pie crust.

Bake this at 375 for about 20 minutes or until it’s set and golden brown.

I used mine for the base of a cheese soufflé. It’s a great way to sneak in some extra veggies into meals…especially for children. If you want a deeper crust just use more zucchini.

And finally, I found two money saving articles of interest-

MR900439512Sometimes things we already own are the best for saving the pennies-

If you’re like me and wouldn’t think of traveling without your best buddy, check out this article-

Happy savings.

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