My blog is designed for real home cooks
on a tight budget.
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For 1 in 10 Americans, hunger is an everyday reality. Poverty is forcing millions of Americans into a hunger crisis so, it's critical to use each ingredient wisely. Learn how to pull leftover ingredients from the pantry or fridge and stir up a quick, simple but hearty meal for one or more. I cleverly and originally coined this process; Pantry Tossed Pasta.
You can never go wrong with a leftover that becomes a meal.
How about that?
Chicken, Broccoli and Garlic Pantry Tossed Pasta
A Pantry Tossed Pasta dish has no boundaries. It's simply your favorite cooked pasta, sautéed in White, Red or Garlic sauce, topped with roasted or steamed veggies and finished with or without meat. It's a great way to use up leftovers and create a new meal. To stretch it even more, add a simple side salad and buttered bread. Now that's a full plate. So when you're cleaning out the fridge or doing inventory of your pantry, think about the endless combinations you can stir up.
There is no real recipe for a Pantry Tossed Pasta. In the case of my Saturday creation, I used the follow:
- leftover boneless cooked chicken breast
- bottom of a frozen bag of peppers and onions
- a capful of olive oil,
- the last of the spaghetti
- the last of the steamed broccoli florets
- garlic powder and seasoned black pepper
- grated parmesan cheese
Boil and drain the pasta according to the package instructions. Heat a large frying pan or Wok on medium low and add the oil olive and seasonings. Swirl it around then add the meat and veggies until warm. Add more garlic powder and olive oil if needed, then drop in the spaghetti. Toss with tongs until coated with the oil and seasoning. I plated while hot and sprinkled on a little grated parmesan cheese.
Talk about hurrying up to take this photo! All I want you to do is be creative with your leftovers and pantry ingredients. Create your Pantry Tossed Pasta and share it with me. As always, look good, cook good and entertain in style.
Evaporated Milk - The little can that's frugal, nutritional and convenient
I was recently snubbed for using Evaporated Milk from the can in my Alfredo Sauce recipe here on the blog. I took it on the chin because as a real Frugal Home Cook, I know how to rock a dollar and I refuse to get hung up on marketing labels without doing the homework. Most people are accustom to thinking bottled milk is better than canned milk but I have 10 reasons why you’re pantry should be stocked with canned Evaporated Milk.
1- It Stretches
Canned Milk can be diluted by just adding cold water. Add 1 part canned milk to 2 parts water, stir and chill. Use like regular milk.
Never run out of milk. A trip to the store for even a little milk, will cost you more in time and resources. If the bottled milk is spoiled, no worries. Just reach in the pantry. The little cans take up less space than powdered milk. Just open and use as is. No mixing required.
3- Stores Well
Evaporated canned milk will last up to 6 months in the pantry. No need to refrigerate until opened. Take it on a camping trip for coffee creamer or pour over dry cereal. When the fridge goes on the blitz, or you experience a long electric outage, you’ll be glad you stored up a few cans.
The Harvard School of Medical Health and Spark People have list the nutritional benefits of Evaporated Milk. Nothing’s missing. Vitamins, Protein and Calcium. Strengthens teeth and helps prevent block arteries. http://www.livestrong.com/article/293693-carnation-evaporated-milk-nutritional-facts/
5- Cost Less
Most stores sell Evaporated Milk for around $1.00. Stores like Wal-Mart sell their brand for around $0.71 and Target for around $0.99. You can take advantage of coupons for name brands like Carnation Evaporated Milk and you can pick it up at local Dollar Stores. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Carnation-Vitamin-D-Added-Evaporated-Milk-12-Oz/10291863
6- Great in Recipes
Evaporated Milk can be used just like bottled milk in everything from puddings to smoothies or sauces and hot chocolate.
7- Freezes Well
What you don’t use can be poured in ice cube trays and frozen for future use. Freezing will not change the consistency.
8- Diet Friendly
Trying to watch your caloric intake? 1 cup of Carnation Fat Free Evaporated Milk only has 2 calories, 0 fat and 2grams of carbs. Kiss the cook.
9- Beauty Benefits
Evaporated Milk stimulates hair growth, it’s a natural hair conditioner, improves dry skin and exfoliates skin. Smooth and silky as milk. http://perfectskincareforyou.com/2010/01/keep-your-skin-moisturized-all-day-long.html
10- Tastes Good
Name brands and off brands are as equally delish. My mashed potatoes and my sauces are always creamier when I use Evaporated milk.
No more emergency, late night, last minute trips to the store, when you keep the pantry stocked with little cans of Evaporated Milk. Cooking good and saving money should never be snubbed.
As always, cook good, look good and entertain in style.
Turn your average dishes to outstanding entrees with a sauce you can drizzle over your favorite vegetables, seafood and meats. Learn to make this sauce and I promise you're dishes will be exciting and unpredictable.
Creamy Butter Sauce and Red Skin Potatoes
Smooth, silky and agreeable with even the pickiest palette. The perfect blend of cold milk, salted butter and a traditional pantry binder is all you need to whisk up a Creamy Butter Sauce. Easy cooking to bump up your frugal dishes. Let your creative side run wild with mouth watering spice blends, like garlic powder and parsley flakes or chives and black pepper. Commit this recipe to memory and your menu will never be boring again. This Creamy Butter Sauce recipe was adopted from the Basic Butter Sauce on food.com and you can stretch a bit to make several dishes like Creamed Peas and Rice, Grilled Corn on the Cob, Green Beans with a Butter Sauce, Shrimp, Pasta Carbonara and Potato or Broccoli Soup. The recipe makes enough for two dishes and you can even freeze it.
It's easy to purchase a lot of ingredients and make a fabulous dish one day a week but, it's not how real working folks live. I write directly to those people who are eager to learn how to stretch their groceries and get a full plate on the table.
That's senior citizens on fixed incomes.
That's college students on limited incomes.
That's single parents on assistance and the working class poor.
That's the unemployed with little to spend on food.
I believe that everyone deserves a full plate and my blog is for the budget conscious home cook who needs good tips, or simple and quick recipes. In addition, the photos I post are instructional and I'll show you how to make it all look eye appealing not matter how much you spent.
I've added the 3 Habits of Frugal Home Cooks below. It's printable.
Follow these steps and get that full plate on a tough budget. Not a political promise but real talk. As always, look good, cook good and entertain in style.
Heidi L. Smith