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    Growing Your Own Food-Post One

    If you’ve followed Budget Smart Girl for the last few years you’ll know I’ve made some feeble attempts at growing vegetables in the backyard…well apart from the rhubarb which I’m happy to say is looking great right now. However, this year as you’ve seen in previous posts I’m determined to get it right, and I’m off to a pretty good start. I started lots of seeds indoors in March (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumber, broccoli and Brussels sprouts). Some seeds I’ve direct sown into the raised beds. Veggies like carrots, beets, parsnips, bush beans and yes, even melon. The rest I’ve purchased as plants, zucchini, edamame, peas, and all the herbs I’m growing along with the…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Roasted Root Vegetable and Lentil Salad

     Salads don’t always have to be about lettuce and this one combines slow roasted root vegetables and lentils. I admit I’m a fan of any type of lentil and use them in just about any type of recipe. One thing I hate doing is cooking them. I grew tired of babysitting them while they simmered on the stove and then have them stick to the bottom of the pan and turn into lentil mash. One day I thought why not try cooking them in the oven like I do when I make rice. The amount for this recipe is actually more than you need but they freeze well, and yes,…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Chunky Vegetable and Black Bean Chili

        When the weather turns extra cold there’s nothing better than a bowl of something hot and spicy. Chili always seems to fit the bill this time of year. In my latest venture into the world of the vegetarian variety, I kept the vegetables in large pieces, added some mushrooms for more depth of flavor. Final taste boost was a can of black beans. When you top it with sour cream, cheese, chopped avocado, salsa, and then pair it with brown rice, it’s a quick and easy Meatless Monday supper. Ingredients 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 onion, peeled and chopped into ½ inch pieces 3 carrots…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Nacho Cheese Veggie Slices

    If you’re short on time, here’s something I came up with using just four main ingredients. Puff pastry…purchased while it was on sale during the holidays. Nacho cheese soup, purchased on sale. A bag of mixed vegetables, also purchased on sale. Last ingredient, shredded cheese. Put them together, combine it with a salad and dessert and I think you have the perfect Meatless Monday meal (with even enough leftover mixture for a side dish the next day). 1 slice of puff pastry (The boxes usually have two so you can freeze the other one) 1 10 ounce can of Nacho cheese soup-divided 1 16 ounce bag of mixed vegetables (…

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    Friday Round-Up-A Week of Good Buys

    I didn’t get time to post a round up last Friday because it’s been a hectic two weeks with various projects. However, it’s been a good time for a bargain or two. One of the consignment stores in the neighborhood had a huge sale offering 75% off already marked down merchandise. I couldn’t resist going along to take a look because I was in need of some summer pants and t-shirts. I ended up with buying four pairs of pants and three t-shirts, most of them designer brands, and one pair of pants still had the original label on them. The cashier said okay are you ready for your total…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Veggie Bites with Feta Cheese

    Last week the weather turned hot and humid and when that happens I crave more snack size meals than anything else. I got tired of salads, and after looking through the CSA box contents and other items I had on hand, I came up with this recipe. My first idea was veggie pancakes and a dipping sauce but as I began making this it morphed into something a little different, including the addition of some feta cheese. I sautéed these in a skillet but if you’re not too worried about deep frying foods, I think that it’s probably the best way to cook these. Quick and easy, seals the edges…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Summer Minestrone Soup with Chickpea ‘Croutons’

    The temperature is heating up and while it might seem crazy to be making and eating soup, I always make a batch of minestrone this time of year. Seeing veggies that are sometimes harder to find in winter, or cost more, gives me the motivation to make a batch. Even if you don’t eat it now, it freezes well. For this one I tried two new ingredients, or should I say, for one, a new technique. The first was instead of celery, this one used cutting celery that was in the CSA box two weeks ago. I’d never heard of it and if you haven’t either, it’s not even celery…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Roasted Veggie Shepherd’s Pie

    One of my favorite comfort foods is Shepherd’s pie. Sometimes I make it with tofu but the other day I thought about trying a roasted veggie version. Best thing about this is it’s the ideal way to use up leftover vegetables and other items that might be sitting in the fridge and pantry. You don’t have to roast the vegetables for this but I think it makes the flavor more intense and worth it. 3 carrots, peeled and chopped About one cup of chopped celery 2 medium sized onions, chopped 8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced. I used baby bellas because they were on sale Place the vegetables in a roasting…

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