Showing posts with label frugal cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frugal cooking. Show all posts

Friday, September 21, 2012

Stretching Meat, Part 2: Burgers

Make a pound of ground beef go further in these hamburgers stuffed with shredded vegetables, breadcrumbs, and cheese.

For other recipe ideas for a pound of ground beef, please see my Ground Beef Recipe Round Up--106 recipes from food bloggers using my favorite freezer staple. [Because let's be honest, while roasted beets are always in my freezer, they are not my favorite freezer staple.]

When I get an abundance of onions, celery, carrots, bell peppers, and/or summer squash in the farm share, or from my garden, or on super sale at the store, I will fire up my new food processor and make bags of veggies.  I'll finely chop the onions, celery, and peppers, then switch to the fine shred disc and finely shred carrots and summer squash.  Then I'll pack 1/2 to 1 cup of each veggie in zip top bags.

In a perfect seasonal world, the veggies would all be ripe and overabundant at the same time.  Reality for me is that I'll have an excess of squash, peppers and onion one time, or carrots and celery another time.  So I make up bags with what I've got, and use however many bags I need to get the mix I desire.  I store these in my freezer.

Previously I showed how I stretch a pound of ground meat by combining it with an assortment of farm fresh veggies to make taco meat.  But there's more that you can do with a pound of meat and a couple of cups of vegetables.
I recently had a coupon for Fresh Takes* seasoned breadcrumbs and cheese and decided to try making burgers with it.  Here's how it turned out.

Confetti Potato Salad
New photo, same salad!
I know everyone has their own version of potato salad.  I love many kinds--bright yellow with mustard, chock full of hard boiled eggs, hot with bacon and vinegar.  Still trying to make one that tastes like my memories of Octoberfest at the Tobacco Company in Richmond, VA.

This is my version.  I like the color and crunch that the veggies give, balanced with the tang of vinegar and the sharpness of the celery seed.  I prefer it freshly mixed, still warm.  My husband prefers it cold.  The kids gobble it up either way.  It works with new potatoes, old potatoes, really anything but large baking potatoes.
Sometimes I use red onions, sometimes green, sometimes white or yellow.

For other recipes using potatoes, please see my Potato Recipes Collection. While you're at it, the Carrot Recipes Collection, the Celery Recipes Collection, the Radish Recipes Collection . . . heck, you may as well just check out the entire Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. I've got even more ideas from around the web on my Pinterest board for Potatoes
Would you like to better Use this Blog? Click here.

Crock Pot Chicken Adobo with Sauteed Farm Fresh Veggies

An easy overnight marinade and then a day in the slow cooker for this flavorful chicken. The farm share Daikon and Bok Choy side dish comes together quickly.

If you've ever bought a family size pack of chicken breasts marked down at the grocery store,
if you've ever gotten bok choy and daikon radishes in the farm share and wanted recipe ideas,
if you've ever wanted to cook the meat once and repurpose the leftovers into a new meal,
if you've ever wanted to have an entree ready-to-go in the freezer,
if you've ever wanted a new crock pot recipe,
read on

Update:  Somehow I deleted all the original text between the intro and the recipe.  Here's some new thoughts:

During my time on active duty I was fortunate to work with nurses from all over the world.  In addition to learning about different points of view and different cultural aspects of nursing care, I also got to eat the most amazing foods at work functions.  I've never been to the Philippines, but I first tasted Chicken Adobo thanks to a Filipina nurse.  
It's crazy easy to make in the slow cooker using pantry ingredients (start the night before) and results in a bunch of moist, tender, flavorful meat, along with juices suitable for flavoring CSA farm share veggies in a way that entices your kids to eat them.

For other recipes using Bok Choy, please see my Bok Choy Recipes Collection. For other recipes using Daikon, please see my Daikon Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. If you'd like to know how to Use This Blog, click here.

Stretching Meat, Part 1: Tacos

Make a pound of ground beef go further by adding finely chopped and shredded vegetables.

I am always looking for ways to stretch our money while feeding the family the farm fresh produce.  One way, as I've mentioned, is to make 1 pound of ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken) stretch to serve more than 1 meal to our family.  Tacos are one way I've done this recently.

We like to eat tacos, especially when our farm share has salad mix in season (all but the hottest weeks of summer).  One batch of this taco mix can feed us 2 meals if I repurpose the rest into Taco Rice.  Frugal, filling, and a farm fresh feast!

NOTE:  Normally I'd start with uncooked meat, cook it, drain it, set it aside and then toss the veggies in the same pan.  But today I'd tried to make turkey burgers for lunch, using frozen turkey burger patties, and they didn't retain the patty shape so I ended up with a pound of cooked ground turkey and started from there.  Always have a Plan B.

Monday, September 17, 2012

How to Put Up a Pile of Pumpkins

Sometimes the best-laid plans go awry.  Happens to me a lot.  I tend to just go with the flow.
Take my garden plans.

My garden went nuts with pumpkins this year.  I didn't plant them.  My guess is that they came from my compost, from last year's CSA share pie pumpkins.

I'm not one to complain about free food, though.  We (and by we I mean my dear spouse) just mowed around the vines that spread into the yard.

Pumpkins are easy to store for a good while.  A cool dark place would be ideal, though they sat on my kitchen counter under the window until today's Pie Pumpkin Processing Party.

For ideas on what to do with that pumpkin puree, or even an entire sugar pie pumpkin, please see my Pumpkin Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. Want to know how to Use This Blog? Click here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

K.I.S.S. {Beau Monde Dip with Cottage Cheese and Vegetables}

My family doesn't really go for cucumbers.

When we get them in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share my first thoughts are big:
I'll make gyros and use the cucumber to make tzatziki sauce!  
We'll have Indian food and I'll make raita!  We'll have sushi!

This past summer I got into pickling.  The one common burger topping in our house is pickles.  Thanks to Food In Jars, I've discovered how easy and tasty it is to put up a couple of jars of refrigerated kosher dills.  I've expanded that to include pickling several other vegetables.

But sometimes I need to remember the KISS principle.

Keep It Simple, Sillybilly.

For other vegetable appetizers, please see my Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks Pinterest board. For other recipes using cucumbers, please see my Cucumber Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. Want to know how to Use This Blog? Click here.

All About Garlic

Garlic is one of those crops that is ready to harvest all at once.

While it is easy to store for long periods, if you're harvesting your year's supply of garlic in June, you may want to have some put by when you go to grab a clove in November and find nothing but shriveled, dry husks.

In my garden, I use one raised bed for my garlic and pesto harvests.  In the fall, I plant garlic (around the time you'd plant tulips). After harvest in early summer, I plant basil in the same space. I'll use the basil throughout the summer, then pull the plants and put up a pile of pesto (link to my tutorial) for winter. For a full explanation plus more photos, please see my guest post over at She Eats.

All About Garlic | Farm Fresh Feasts

Does a CSA save you money? Is a CSA a good value?

Whenever people hear that we do a farm share, one question I frequently get is "is it cheaper?"
George, showing us around his farm, Patchwork Gardens.
I always hesitate before I answer, because it's complicated.  I mean not rocket science (though our farmer trained as a systems engineer), but it's not an easy answer for me.

Each week, if I were to buy the exact amounts/kinds of produce at the grocery store's organic section or the farmer's market as I get in the CSA box, it would probably be cheaper over the course of the season to do the farm share.

Hello World!

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about "farm fresh" food is the tomato.  Everyone knows that a tomato from your backyard, your neighbor's garden, the farmer's market, or your CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm share tastes AMAZING.  Period.  I look forward to the first BLT as soon as I see the crocus and daffodils and garlic poking their shoots above ground.

But what about in September?

By September, I've eaten my fill of fresh summer tomatoes.  I've had them in BLTs, on toast with lots of mayo and Crazy Jane's salt, in panzanella and caprese salads.

While they are still delicious, I am beyond satiated.

When they keep on coming until frost, I need to have ways to store this deliciousness.  And when that bounty comes in my CSA share, I've already paid for these tomatoes and I don't want my money to go to waste!

So here on Farm Fresh Feasts I will share how I make the most of the local, seasonal produce that I am overwhelmed with in the hope that it will help you put more food on your table and less in the compost bin.  Or trash can, if you're not composting (yet).

Every year I get thrown for a loop by a new-to-me fruit or vegetable.  The first year I did a CSA it was sorrel, and I still don't know what I'd do with it if it showed up in the box.  Please let me know what fruit or vegetable you're having trouble using.  We will all learn something.

To make it easy to find recipes, I've created a Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. Coupled with How to Use This Blog, these tools will help readers make the most of their farmer's efforts. Thank you!