Inexpensive and simple foods

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JoMoney
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by JoMoney »

I like the El Pollo Loco "Original Pollo Bowl" $5 combo, comes with chips salsa and a drink. Probably my favorite take-out meal.

As far as "simple" cheap things I eat at home, I like carrots. I don't chop, peel, or cook them. Just rinse them off and eat them whole.

I also like "GORP" Good Ol' Raisins and Peanuts.
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mancich
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by mancich »

Eggs. We hard-boil a bunch of them every Sunday. Makes for a good grab-n-go food, high protein and cheap. Quaker Oatmeal in the tube. Very filling, great breakfast in the Fall and Winter especially.
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Michael Patrick
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by Michael Patrick »

Simple pasta with red sauce, using tomatoes, basil, and oregano from my garden. A couple of bucks for a box of pasta, plus minimal cost for a couple of cloves of garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes.
Ivygirl
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by Ivygirl »

With the current inflation in food prices I have been checking my assumptions about what is cheap, because some things are not any more.

Generally though I don't like to analyze the cost of my food too much, it makes me sad and anxious. I don't "deserve" filet mignon but I do deserve to eat without being annoyed by an internal critic. Some of us have very powerful internal critics, who should not be encouraged.

So I try to stay "low on the food chain" with inexpensive base foods that don't go bad, like cabbage, potatoes, sweet potatoes, oranges and apples in their season, beans, frozen ground turkey - and look for ways to make them tasty. Apples unfortunately are not as cheap as they used to be, now the store is stocked with specialty sugary-sweet gigantic varieties; where are my Braeburns? Apples are sold by weight so an apple that is too big for a serving is too expensive.

Everyone has something that is their "jam," that is, that always makes a meal better for them. Mine is pickled pepperoncini peppers, which I am relieved to find, upon checking, are still $2.16 for a 16-ounce jar.

If the price of what is our "jam" goes up too much, we may have decisions to make. :( If the receipt at the grocery store suddenly seems more than it used to be, when you're buying the same things, check it to see what the offender is. Sneaky stuff like too-large apples can run up a bill.
PoppyA
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by PoppyA »

I can get a package of chicken wings on sale buy one get one (bogo)

I keep Tupperware like container in the freezer. All my vegetables scraps go in there as well as cheese rinds. Once the container if full I empty it into a stock pot, add chicken wings (lots of good collagen here) then cover with water. Boil, reduce to a simmer & cook down.

I then fill smaller freezer containers with the broth & stack them on a shelf in the freezer. Label & Date them with a sharpie & painters tape.

Viola bone broth!
teamDE
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by teamDE »

When we want to be healthy, easy, and cheap I just cook a lb of ground turkey and a bag of frozen veggies. Cook the turkey in a pot, add some beef bullion, salt, pepper, then the frozen veggies. It's surprisingly tasty, I even crave it sometimes. hah. We normally eat it like that or I cook quinoa on the side.
Dirghatamas
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by Dirghatamas »

For food, I like the ideas of simple and healthy but not of cheap.

I think saving money on food is being penny wise and pound foolish if it involves unhealthy food choices. US commercial agriculture + large scale animal production allow several questionable practices just to increase efficiency/ reduce costs. Fast food/ processed food is loaded with cheap calories: soybean oil, corn syrup, cheap carbs, questionable preservatives, pesticide residue..

The total cost of healthcare + loss of "health span" if one suffers poor health in later years from a lifetime of this type of food consumption is ORDERS more than the minor saving in food cost. Majority of US adults now suffer from chronic, lifestyle diseases like diabetes/pre diabetes, high-blood pressure, obesity, heart issues and so on. Even if this stuff doesn't reduce your life span (due to extensive medications), it will definitely reduce healthspan.

I am extremely frugal, spending ~18-24K per year on total expenses while living on the VHCOL west coast. I don't indulge in any expensive hobbies, expensive cars, expensive houses, fashion..whatever but one place I make no cuts is on food quality and sources. Good quality food doesn't have to be very expensive and it can certainly be simple but no need to go super cheap. Delicious, nutritious food is one of the great joys of life. Why compromise on that?!

I get eggs and chicken (whole birds) from a local farmer whose large farm/orchard is both organic and has enough land/flora for the chicken and ducks to be truly pasture raised. Chicken are omnivores and need sufficient animal foods: insects, worms etc as part of their diet. I pay $6:50 for a dozen chicken eggs and I think $8 for duck eggs. Duck eggs make creamier omelets. They are delicious.

I get my milk from a local dairy where you can see all the cows grazing in front of you and you can pet them if they feel like it! Milk comes in a glass bottle and goes bad rather quickly compared to the ultra pasteurized stuff from super markets. More expensive, but it tastes better and you can see the cream float to the top.

I get most of my veggies and fruit from local farmers market and also contract CSA for community supported agriculture with 2 local farmers. Peak of season heirloom tomatoes and peppers are to die for. You just don't get those varieties in a super market. I usually buy my meat from another local farmer where again you can see the animals grazing. Yes, it is 100% grass fed and local.

All this local stuff certainly takes more time and expense than store bought but is well worth it IMHO.

Everything doesn't have to be local or fresh. Wild caught fish is another simple, nutritious powerhouse but more difficult to find local. You can get good quality, small fish/ shell fish (low mercury) from Trader Joes: Canned sardines and mussels. Trader Joes also has good, canned salmon (with both skins and bones). Costco is cheaper but theirs has no skins or bones (best nutrition in fish). For filets, Costco has good/cheap Alaskan wild caught frozen Sockeye Salmon. I avoid farmed fish except US based clams (farmed clams at least in US use pretty benign methods). Frozen is fine because true fresh wild caught fish is only available sporadically.

Cheese is another nutritious superfood but may not be great locally. This is NOT a place to go cheap. Good quality Gorgonzola, Parmigiano, Roquefort, Feta, Stilton etc are only a bit more expensive than their American copies but 100X better tasting.

Add good quality extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, good Kalamata olives, grass fed butter and you got a full pantry. Add some organic 100% cacao chocolate, nuts, coffee, tea and you are done.

Once you have these delicious ingredients (not necessarily cheap), the rest is easy. I am a basic cook but pretty much any simple preparation tastes (and smells) great because the ingredients are so good. I hardly ever eat out: not to save money but because my homemade stuff is SO much better tasting.
chrisam314
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by chrisam314 »

runner3081 wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 3:24 pm
jebmke wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 2:24 pm Rice and lentils; I have no idea what it costs but it can't be much.
Came here to say that. Our family eats brown rice every single night. Lentils, probably 5-times per week.

Lentils are about $.72 per pound.
Every single night? Hope that is an exaggeration. There's a lot of concern around brown rice and inorganic arsenic. May want to read into that.
runner3081
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by runner3081 »

Yes, I have eaten rice every night for the past 18 years. I wash the brown rice heavily. Switched to brown rice a few years back, was white rice before.

Aware of what you mention.
AnnetteLouisan
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

Dirghatamas wrote: Tue Oct 05, 2021 5:49 pm For food, I like the ideas of simple and healthy but not of cheap.

I think saving money on food is being penny wise and pound foolish if it involves unhealthy food choices. US commercial agriculture + large scale animal production allow several questionable practices just to increase efficiency/ reduce costs. Fast food/ processed food is loaded with cheap calories: soybean oil, corn syrup, cheap carbs, questionable preservatives, pesticide residue..

The total cost of healthcare + loss of "health span" if one suffers poor health in later years from a lifetime of this type of food consumption is ORDERS more than the minor saving in food cost. Majority of US adults now suffer from chronic, lifestyle diseases like diabetes/pre diabetes, high-blood pressure, obesity, heart issues and so on. Even if this stuff doesn't reduce your life span (due to extensive medications), it will definitely reduce healthspan.

I am extremely frugal, spending ~18-24K per year on total expenses while living on the VHCOL west coast. I don't indulge in any expensive hobbies, expensive cars, expensive houses, fashion..whatever but one place I make no cuts is on food quality and sources. Good quality food doesn't have to be very expensive and it can certainly be simple but no need to go super cheap. Delicious, nutritious food is one of the great joys of life. Why compromise on that?!

I get eggs and chicken (whole birds) from a local farmer whose large farm/orchard is both organic and has enough land/flora for the chicken and ducks to be truly pasture raised. Chicken are omnivores and need sufficient animal foods: insects, worms etc as part of their diet. I pay $6:50 for a dozen chicken eggs and I think $8 for duck eggs. Duck eggs make creamier omelets. They are delicious.

I get my milk from a local dairy where you can see all the cows grazing in front of you and you can pet them if they feel like it! Milk comes in a glass bottle and goes bad rather quickly compared to the ultra pasteurized stuff from super markets. More expensive, but it tastes better and you can see the cream float to the top.

I get most of my veggies and fruit from local farmers market and also contract CSA for community supported agriculture with 2 local farmers. Peak of season heirloom tomatoes and peppers are to die for. You just don't get those varieties in a super market. I usually buy my meat from another local farmer where again you can see the animals grazing. Yes, it is 100% grass fed and local.

All this local stuff certainly takes more time and expense than store bought but is well worth it IMHO.

Everything doesn't have to be local or fresh. Wild caught fish is another simple, nutritious powerhouse but more difficult to find local. You can get good quality, small fish/ shell fish (low mercury) from Trader Joes: Canned sardines and mussels. Trader Joes also has good, canned salmon (with both skins and bones). Costco is cheaper but theirs has no skins or bones (best nutrition in fish). For filets, Costco has good/cheap Alaskan wild caught frozen Sockeye Salmon. I avoid farmed fish except US based clams (farmed clams at least in US use pretty benign methods). Frozen is fine because true fresh wild caught fish is only available sporadically.

Cheese is another nutritious superfood but may not be great locally. This is NOT a place to go cheap. Good quality Gorgonzola, Parmigiano, Roquefort, Feta, Stilton etc are only a bit more expensive than their American copies but 100X better tasting.

Add good quality extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, good Kalamata olives, grass fed butter and you got a full pantry. Add some organic 100% cacao chocolate, nuts, coffee, tea and you are done.

Once you have these delicious ingredients (not necessarily cheap), the rest is easy. I am a basic cook but pretty much any simple preparation tastes (and smells) great because the ingredients are so good. I hardly ever eat out: not to save money but because my homemade stuff is SO much better tasting.
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Dottie57
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by Dottie57 »

AlwaysLearningMore wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:37 pm Red lentil curry is a favorite of ours (we omit the coconut milk).

https://pinchofyum.com/red-curry-lentils/print/37836
Mmmm. Looks really good!
kakemono
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by kakemono »

BBQ Sandwiches.

Pork Butt is cheap, high calorie, and delicious - especially if you smoke the butt yourself. It might take a long time and effort, but you make 8-10lbs at once.
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homebuyer6426
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by homebuyer6426 »

JoMoney wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 4:52 pm I also like "GORP" Good Ol' Raisins and Peanuts.
GORP! Haven't heard that mentioned since my time in wilderness camp. It is indeed one of the best cheap, calorie-dense, no prep foods.
PluckyDucky
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by PluckyDucky »

Huel is pretty cheap.

The cheapest cost for the Huel black powder is $1.72/400kcal
The cheapest cost for Huel original powder is $1.50/400kcal
The cheapest cost for the bars is $3.02/400kcal
The cheapest cost for Huel Hot & Savory is $2.51/400kcal

It comes in many flavors. According to Huel, it's a "complete" food.



https://huel.com/
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ResearchMed
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by ResearchMed »

homebuyer6426 wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 12:22 pm
JoMoney wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 4:52 pm I also like "GORP" Good Ol' Raisins and Peanuts.
GORP! Haven't heard that mentioned since my time in wilderness camp. It is indeed one of the best cheap, calorie-dense, no prep foods.
Brings back many hiking and backpacking memories!

We used to include pumpkin seeds (or sunflower, but those were a bit small), and chocolate (usually easy-to-use chocolate chips to match the sizes of the raisins and nuts).
These days, I would also include dried cranberries.

When we travel, we'd love to bring this type of snack with us, but some borders don't allow certain food items that aren't in "factory sealed" packaging. So we bring pre-packaged snack bars, which are almost always allowed, but that's not really the same.

It's been a few decades, but I can "taste it" even now :happy

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Elsebet
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by Elsebet »

LittleMaggieMae wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 5:05 pm No one's mentioning recipes with Great Northern or Cannellini beans. I always have a couple of cans of them on hand - I get the "Bush" name brand ones on sale for .90 a can. Haven't tried the off brands as I only use a handful of cans of these per year... Canned beans are super convenient (and I can change up what kind I am using often) for me - they go along way as I'm only making meals for one (me).
Could you share some of your favorite recipes with white beans please?
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca
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Picasso
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by Picasso »

Elsebet wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:54 pm
LittleMaggieMae wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 5:05 pm No one's mentioning recipes with Great Northern or Cannellini beans. I always have a couple of cans of them on hand - I get the "Bush" name brand ones on sale for .90 a can. Haven't tried the off brands as I only use a handful of cans of these per year... Canned beans are super convenient (and I can change up what kind I am using often) for me - they go along way as I'm only making meals for one (me).
Could you share some of your favorite recipes with white beans please?
Here is a favorite of ours: baked leeks, rice, lemon, and white beans which we top with fresh basil. So good!

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/102 ... -iOS-share
PVW
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by PVW »

Elsebet wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:54 pm
LittleMaggieMae wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 5:05 pm No one's mentioning recipes with Great Northern or Cannellini beans. I always have a couple of cans of them on hand - I get the "Bush" name brand ones on sale for .90 a can. Haven't tried the off brands as I only use a handful of cans of these per year... Canned beans are super convenient (and I can change up what kind I am using often) for me - they go along way as I'm only making meals for one (me).
Could you share some of your favorite recipes with white beans please?
Here's a ham & bean soup that I make about once a year - typically after a holiday meal that included ham. Not too expensive, especially if the hambone was getting thrown away.

meaty hambone (with about 1 lb meat)
1 lb dry white beans
1/2 cup black barley (optional)
1/2 bunch mustard greens
2 large celery ribs
1/2 large onion
16 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 Tb. celery seed
1 Tb. mustard powder
1/2 Tb. coriander
1 tsp. minced garlic
salt & pepper

Soak beans & barley. Remove ham from bone. Boil bone, beans, barley and spices for about 1 hr. Add vegetables and ham and boil until beans are done - about 1 hour. Salt and pepper to taste.
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VictoriaF
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by VictoriaF »

mancich wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2021 5:02 am Eggs. We hard-boil a bunch of them every Sunday. Makes for a good grab-n-go food, high protein and cheap.
Hard-boiled eggs are one of the most under-appreciated foods. Before COVID, when I traveled internationally, I'd bring with me 8-10 hard boiled eggs to serve as meals while I get settled and find local food. In my experience, the worst country to travel to was Canada, because they don't allow bringing in food. Returning to the U.S. with food is also prohibited, but here I have some reserves and can get fresh food quickly upon return.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by VictoriaF »

Dirghatamas wrote: Tue Oct 05, 2021 5:49 pm Wild caught fish is another simple, nutritious powerhouse but more difficult to find local. You can get good quality, small fish/ shell fish (low mercury) from Trader Joes: Canned sardines and mussels. Trader Joes also has good, canned salmon (with both skins and bones). Costco is cheaper but theirs has no skins or bones (best nutrition in fish). For filets, Costco has good/cheap Alaskan wild caught frozen Sockeye Salmon. I avoid farmed fish except US based clams (farmed clams at least in US use pretty benign methods). Frozen is fine because true fresh wild caught fish is only available sporadically.
I have a similar approach of not trying to save money on high-quality food. However, seeking unique sources of premium food is time-intensive in terms of having multiple accounts and suppliers. I decided that Costco provides me with a 80/20 solution: 80% of quality for 20% of effort. Like you, I buy Alaskan wild caught frozen Sockeye Salmon. As for canned sardines, the Costco web site only shows those without skin and bones, but when I recently visited a Costco store they had some with skin and bones.

I don't have a Trader Joe's too close to me, but you have motivated me to visit one that is a bit farther.

Victoria
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stan1
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by stan1 »

PluckyDucky wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 12:39 pm Huel is pretty cheap.

The cheapest cost for Huel Hot & Savory is $2.51/400kcal

https://huel.com/
I have been eating a serving of hot & savory a few times per week for a few months now, it's quick and easy in an instant oatmeal way but for lunches or dinners. It is on the spicy side for some I'd guess but I'm fine with it. I would not eat it 5 or 10 times per week, but fine for a few times per week especially with the different flavors. Food police may not agree.
MandyLuna
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by MandyLuna »

Overnight steel cut oats

Trader Joes canned sardines, oysters, salmon, tuna, frozen beef patties

Frozen flounder filets

eggs

apples, oranges, berries, most vegetables

nuts, seeds
absolute zero
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by absolute zero »

jebmke wrote: Thu Sep 30, 2021 10:02 am
Pizza dough is quite easy to make; we make up a batch and freeze balls of dough.
I love homemade pizza. Have made pizza dough many times, but I have never frozen it before. Can you elaborate on how you do that? Do you just wait till the dough is fully risen and ready to go, then put it in a ziploc bag and then place in freezer? And then just move it to the fridge to thaw the day before you plan to use it ?
LittleMaggieMae
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by LittleMaggieMae »

Elsebet wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:54 pm
LittleMaggieMae wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 5:05 pm No one's mentioning recipes with Great Northern or Cannellini beans. I always have a couple of cans of them on hand - I get the "Bush" name brand ones on sale for .90 a can. Haven't tried the off brands as I only use a handful of cans of these per year... Canned beans are super convenient (and I can change up what kind I am using often) for me - they go along way as I'm only making meals for one (me).
Could you share some of your favorite recipes with white beans please?
I'm too lazy to type out recipes (my recipe's are printed out and either really old PDFs or Scans that I can't cut and past from).

Google the following recipes and pick out the ones that seem tasty.
I tend to avoid recipes with too many steps (or the need to use more than 1 pot) or that have too many ingredients as well as recipes with ingredients I rarely if ever use. I'm not buying Truffle oil. Or some TV Chef's brand of anything. :) It's not hard to find any of the recipes below that use more or less pantry staples and some fresh veggies. If you don't have curry powder - and aren't familiar with it I'm guessing any name brand you can get at the grocery will do. Go with a yellow mild one. That will get you started.

White Bean a Kale soup. (I like this kind of soup with tomatoes in the recipe. Sometimes I substitute spinach for the kale - try different types of Kale (a farmers market usually has a couple two three different kinds. "Baby Kale" works too.)

White Bean Pasta (or one pot White Bean Pasta) I haven't found a version I didn't like yet.

Since it's fall -
Tuscan White Bean and Butternut Squash Soup
OR a White Bean Ragout with Butternut Squash (served over cheezy polenta).

And for something a little different -
Vegan Kale and White Bean Korma
There are White Bean and Coconut Curry recipes that are tasty too.

I tend to eat vegetarian but I'm really a Flexitarian. :)

Google recipes that use white beans and <insert the meat of your choice here>

Be Brave. Try a new recipe.
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Elsebet
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by Elsebet »

I eat this salad for my first meal (lunch) at least 2-3 times per week:

- Sliced Brussels sprouts (1-2 servings) - I get the bagged ones from Wegman's and steam them in the microwave, could sub chopped cabbage or leafy greens
- 1 serving of a protein (Turkey/Chicken/Tofu/Tuna)
- 1 serving of nuts or seeds (usually almonds, cashews, or sunflower seeds)
- 1 serving of cheese (feta, parmesean, goat, etc)
- 1 fresh tomato, sliced or corn (grilled corn off the cob is especially delicious)
- A little high quality olive oil & vinegar (balsamic or red wine) -or- ranch dressing

Easy to prep, very delicious and super filling
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca
jebmke
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by jebmke »

absolute zero wrote: Sat Oct 09, 2021 8:43 pm
jebmke wrote: Thu Sep 30, 2021 10:02 am
Pizza dough is quite easy to make; we make up a batch and freeze balls of dough.
I love homemade pizza. Have made pizza dough many times, but I have never frozen it before. Can you elaborate on how you do that? Do you just wait till the dough is fully risen and ready to go, then put it in a ziploc bag and then place in freezer? And then just move it to the fridge to thaw the day before you plan to use it ?
That is pretty much it. Make a full batch, cut off blobs. For a long time we just bagged them and froze them but now we use a vaccum sealer which seems to help almost anything frozen. Into the fridge the night before. Then out, roll and then I pop the rolled dough onto the grill for 5 minutes, flip, add toppings, cook for 5-10 minutes more until "done" and that's it.
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by Sandtrap »

Tofu Salad

j :D
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Beensabu
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by Beensabu »

Sandtrap wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:40 am Tofu Salad

j :D
Tofu is a shockingly inexpensive and simply prepared form of protein that's also extremely versatile. Salad, soup, curry, stir fry, scramble, smoothie, "steak"... Cold, hot... Plain, boiled, sautéed, baked, grilled, blended...
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Sandtrap
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by Sandtrap »

Beensabu wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:57 am
Sandtrap wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:40 am Tofu Salad

j :D
Tofu is a shockingly inexpensive and simply prepared form of protein that's also extremely versatile. Salad, soup, curry, stir fry, scramble, smoothie, "steak"... Cold, hot... Plain, boiled, sautéed, baked, grilled, blended...
+1
Tofu is a natural for Asian flavors: Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, etc.
But, not sure if it can be made in a dish with flavors such as; Italian, American (ketchup?), Indian (dal?). . etc.

j :D
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Beensabu
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by Beensabu »

Sandtrap wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:15 pm
Beensabu wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:57 am
Sandtrap wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:40 am Tofu Salad

j :D
Tofu is a shockingly inexpensive and simply prepared form of protein that's also extremely versatile. Salad, soup, curry, stir fry, scramble, smoothie, "steak"... Cold, hot... Plain, boiled, sautéed, baked, grilled, blended...
+1
Tofu is a natural for Asian flavors: Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, etc.
But, not sure if it can be made in a dish with flavors such as; Italian, American (ketchup?), Indian (dal?). . etc.

j :D
It's pretty good at taking on whatever flavor you want it to if you just marinate it long enough and get something acidic in the mix. It won't taste like anything unless you make it taste like something :) It has a similar consistency to paneer, so it could sub for that in Indian recipes. I found a tofu tater tot recipe if you want to dunk it in ketchup. Tofu ricotta is a thing, and then you can put it in lasagna. You can even make "cheese"cake. Love tofu. Love tofu. Lol.
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next." ~Ursula LeGuin
AnnetteLouisan
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

I used to just eat the fresh, dense tofu cakes w a little sel de guerande gray salt and fresh pepper. Excellent as long as the tofu quality is good and fresh.
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by sandan »

bhsince87 wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 4:46 pm
homebuyer6426 wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 3:57 pm
MAKsdad wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 3:46 pm McDonald's triple cheeseburger - $3.30

Way tastier than beans & rice.
Homemade cheeseburger - someone do the math on the price of the economy version. :sharebeer
1/3 pound of hamburger: $1.20
Bun: 0.25
Cheese slice: 0.10

Condiments: 0.5

Total: $1.60

Of course this isn't factoring in energy use, which is probably a bigger factor than condiments, especially in the summer.

Energy use is an even bigger factor with beans and lentils, which take a long time to cook.
That's why my bean eating environmentalist friends use pressure cookers.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by Sandtrap »

Beensabu wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:35 pm
Sandtrap wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:15 pm
Beensabu wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:57 am
Sandtrap wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:40 am Tofu Salad

j :D
Tofu is a shockingly inexpensive and simply prepared form of protein that's also extremely versatile. Salad, soup, curry, stir fry, scramble, smoothie, "steak"... Cold, hot... Plain, boiled, sautéed, baked, grilled, blended...
+1
Tofu is a natural for Asian flavors: Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, etc.
But, not sure if it can be made in a dish with flavors such as; Italian, American (ketchup?), Indian (dal?). . etc.

j :D
It's pretty good at taking on whatever flavor you want it to if you just marinate it long enough and get something acidic in the mix. It won't taste like anything unless you make it taste like something :) It has a similar consistency to paneer, so it could sub for that in Indian recipes. I found a tofu tater tot recipe if you want to dunk it in ketchup. Tofu ricotta is a thing, and then you can put it in lasagna. You can even make "cheese"cake. Love tofu. Love tofu. Lol.
I grew up with grandmas “Jai” (Chinese monks vegetarian forest food) with different types of tofu in it.
Making me hungry!

j🌺
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bligh
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by bligh »

Costco rotisserie chicken.

Shred and use as protein over a salad plus dressing and toppings to taste. Should make quite a few healthy meals with minimal effort.
Misenplace
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by Misenplace »

Picasso wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 2:10 pm
Elsebet wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:54 pm
LittleMaggieMae wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 5:05 pm No one's mentioning recipes with Great Northern or Cannellini beans. I always have a couple of cans of them on hand - I get the "Bush" name brand ones on sale for .90 a can. Haven't tried the off brands as I only use a handful of cans of these per year... Canned beans are super convenient (and I can change up what kind I am using often) for me - they go along way as I'm only making meals for one (me).
Could you share some of your favorite recipes with white beans please?
Here is a favorite of ours: baked leeks, rice, lemon, and white beans which we top with fresh basil. So good!

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/102 ... -iOS-share
More recipes- I haven't made Pizza beans, but they are on my to do list:
https://www.thekitchn.com/rancho-gordo- ... s-22943242

This Marc Samuelsson recipe for black eyed peas can also be used with any white bean, and is easily made vegan:
https://marcussamuelsson.com/recipe/bla ... nd-berbere

When I can get great home-grown tomatoes and basil, I like to make a recipe like this- gigando beans (Royal Corona beans) are a fave, but any high quality white bean will work.
https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/big-b ... inaigrette
mrsbetsy
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by mrsbetsy »

We budget $2 per person per meal so an average of $6/day each - although some of us don't eat breakfast (intermittent fasting) so it's mostly lunch/snack/dinner.

I hear you, Victoria, about those large (honey crisp) apples! Unless someone else is in the mood to share, they are far too large and don't keep well after they are cut up.

I grew up southern poor and we mostly ate beans, greens, potatoes, and cornbread. We only ate meat on Sundays after church. One pound of meat - usually something like a sirloin. Dad would cut it up into dice sized pieces. A pile of those on a plate looked like more than it actually was, but that pound of meat fed 5 of us.

Most people simply overeat and that blows the budget the most.

Who knew after working so hard all my life and can now afford to eat whatever I want, I end up eating beans/lentils, potatoes, and eggs.

We do splurge big time for holidays and celebrations!
LittleMaggieMae
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by LittleMaggieMae »

Sandtrap wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:15 pm
Beensabu wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:57 am
Sandtrap wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:40 am Tofu Salad

j :D
Tofu is a shockingly inexpensive and simply prepared form of protein that's also extremely versatile. Salad, soup, curry, stir fry, scramble, smoothie, "steak"... Cold, hot... Plain, boiled, sautéed, baked, grilled, blended...
+1
Tofu is a natural for Asian flavors: Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, etc.
But, not sure if it can be made in a dish with flavors such as; Italian, American (ketchup?), Indian (dal?). . etc.

j :D
Tofu pretty much takes on the flavor of whatever you season it with.

I have a handful of tofu curry dishes. (google is your friend for reciepes)

As for American (aka ketchup) -

I do a quick tofu, onion, broccoli with BBQ sauce over rice dish. Basically I marinate the cubed/sliced tofu in BBQ sauce and then bake it (you can do it in a saute pan - but I always burn the BBQ sauce. :( maybe you are a better cook than I am. ;) ) Google doing baked tofu - it's not difficult.
I usually make a fresh pot of rice OR more likely I'm using up left over rice.
I usually microwave frozen broccoli or cut up fresh broccoli and steam it in the microwave. I saute a julienned sweet onion (sometimes two), add the broccoli and tofu to heat thru. Add additional BBQ sauce and heat - and then serve over the rice. Sometimes I just prepare all the individual parts and put additional BBQ sauce on the portion I'm eating... I'm single and I usually have 4 portions of this. I portion it out into containers with the BBQ sauce on top - when a portion goes in the microwave to heat I stir in the BBQ sauce or add more as needed.
It sounds like a lot of work - and to just make this is probably is - but if I'm already doing something in the oven (roasting veggies or baking something) it's easy to do a pan of baked tofu. I do sometimes freeze cooked rice. so I may be able to use up some left over rice. cooking onions and brocolli is a no brainer.

I've never done tofu with Italian flavorings....

You can use tofu in place of scrambled eggs, too. I do a vegan huevos rancheros that is pretty darn tasty and has a good "texture" or "mouth feel". It's just a recipe off the internet. (i am not really vegan - and use dairy products like cheese and I do eat eggs - but sometimes you don't have eggs - but you do have tofu.... :) ) You don't have to use faux cheese - I don't. This isn't about being vegatarian or vegan or whatever - it's about eating tasty food and not spending a lot of time or money and trying something new. :)
LittleMaggieMae
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by LittleMaggieMae »

The whole tofu and Italian foods thing - made me think of this:

In addition to tofu there is tempeh - it's a wheat product of some sort - I don't use it often and I use to remember more about it... google is your friend.

I make stuffed peppers with it (and a couple of other things) but I and lots of my carnivore family and friends like the change up that is tempeh stuffed peppers.

First, tempeh does NOT claim to be fake meat. It does have a texture like ground beef in this recipe - but it has a nutty flavor. It works well in stuffed peppers:

This is pretty close to the recipe I use (I have a recipe for 4 peppers and 1 package of tempeh) the ingredient list is pretty much the same.
I use dairy cheese instead of vegan cheese. (I'm a Flexitarian... I am sometimes mistaken for an ovo/lacto Vegetarian. )
https://simple-veganista.com/vegan-stuffed-peppers/

A single block of tempeh - is about $2.00 at Trader Joes (TJs always has it - it's under $3.00 at my local Big Name groceries when they have it -- check the good by date if you buy at a Big Name store - it should have a best by date atleast a couple of weeks into the future - TJ's will have a date 4 to 6 weeks into the future. This means it has a long refriderated shelf life - and if the one at the Big Box is 10 days from it's best by date - that means it's been somewhere for upto 4 or 5 weeks before you are buying it.... just keep that in mind.)

I just bought basic no frills ground beef at $5.00 a pound... :shock:
livelovelaugh00
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by livelovelaugh00 »

I have no problem with gluten. I ate seitan which is made from wheat gluten since I was a kid. It's basically a wheat protein product. It is as traditional as tofu, however it is much more delicious than tofu. It is very easy to make with gluten flour. I usually buy 25lb bag of gluten flour. Very good source of protein.
Ramjet
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by Ramjet »

My wife buys a box of mushroom risotto from Aldi for less than a dollar which I love

We also make breaded/fried eggplant and zucchini a lot which is cheap and good

Some simple desserts: banana bread, pumpkin bread, peanut butter cookies
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jebmke
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Re: Inexpensive and simple foods

Post by jebmke »

bligh wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:08 pm Costco rotisserie chicken.

Shred and use as protein over a salad plus dressing and toppings to taste. Should make quite a few healthy meals with minimal effort.
I always wonder how much salt and other stuff gets added to the rotisserie chickens at stores. Cooking a whole chicken is pretty simple at home. I do it spatchcock method all the time on the grill; takes about 40 minutes of cook time depending on size. Prep is pretty basic. We can usually get three meals (for two) out of one bird.
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