What do you have in your hand? We almost always have potatoes, dried beans, rice, and other whole grains in our pantry. This time of year, we usually have pumpkins in our pantry, too (our compost keeps producing volunteer pumpkin plants).
Most of these recipes use the above ingredients, and can be made for almost pennies a serving. They are our family's favorite go-to budget friendly recipes, especially for the cooler months. While you can add meat to any of them, they don't have to have meat. All can be vegetarian and most of them vegan with very little effort.
Potato Pancakes- this recipe makes two dozen. Although high in carbs, potatoes are also very high in nutrition. We enjoy these with apples or applesauce, and sausage if we have it, although adding meat reduces the budgetary friendliness of this recipe.
Lentil Barley Stew- hearty, filling. You can use any leftover meat you have to add a bit of flavor to it, or you can eat it vegetarian (vegan, really). If you don't have barley, use another grain, including cooked leftover rice, leftover pilaf, buckwheat or kashi.
Pumpkin Corn stew: Although the recipe calls for smaller, pie style pumpkins, you really can use your jack-o-lantern pumpkins, and this is a good time of year to buy them. Here are two other ways to use that inexpensive pumpkin in a meal.
Fried Rice- this version will make a lot, so it's great for a large crowd or a large family, or you know, same-same. I like fried rice so much that I always make extra rice when we have it so I will have enough leftovers for fried rice the next day.
Navy Bean Soup- easy, cheap, nourishing. Also, it freezes well.
Carrot Bean Croquettes: this recipe is for a bulk batch that you freeze, and then you take out just as many as you need for a meal. Check out the comments for an even simpler version (same ingredients, different process).
Stretch any soup or stew meal by adding biscuits or bread.
Irish Soda Bread is a pretty quick and easy quick bread to make- I make it with all whole wheat flour, and you can soak the grains ahead of time, or not.
Biscuit Mix from scratch- make your own baking mix and use it for quick biscuits, pancakes, coffee cake, etc. For a side dish, stir in some snipped green onions and herbs, some grated cheese, make with yogurt and basil instead of milk or water- or just serve them as is with plenty of butter.
I'm working on another month's worth of freezer meals. It should be ready for Kindle early next week. Meanwhile, here are my other ebooks:
Freezer Meals from The Common Kitchen (Cooking in a Common Kitchen)- one months worth of freezer meals, with tips, prep steps, the grocery list, and more.
Ten Low-Carb Snacks and Quick Meals- all of them are extremely low carb, suitable for induction stage if you are familiar with that. Useful for those trying to lose weight, eat gluten free, or diabetics.
4 Moms of 35+ Kids Answer Your Parenting Questions- Four homeschooling mothers, each with seven or more children.
101 Answers to the Summertime, "Mom, I'm Bored" Blues- not just for summer. Old fashioned, creative things for your kids to do.
Free for Kindle books today: