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Posts tagged ‘frugal recipes’

Too Hot to Cook Challenge: Day 2

Tomorrow is CSA day, which means today I’m lucky if I have anything left from it. 😉

Note to self: If your box is 2/3 fruit, 2/3 of your box will be gone on day one.

What I do have left is some jalapenos. And a few peaches. Oh, and like 2 cloves of garlic.

Here’s the plan:

Spiced hummus, w/peaches and cream smoothies to tame the spice.

Here’s the approach:

Make your hummus. If you have never made it before, you will be amazed by how easy it is. 🙂 Here is your basic hummus recipe:

One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans

1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh preferred

1/4 cup tahini

Half of a large garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving (I use Bari)

1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on taste

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 to 3 tablespoons waterDash of ground paprika for serving

Combine all ingredients, minus the paprika, in a blender or food processor. Process until creamy and smooth. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of paprika.

For my *spiced* hummus, add to the basic recipe, before :

1 jalapeno, stem and membrane removed

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Puree until smooth.

Serve with pita, pita chips and/or veggies. And breathmints.

Hummus makes everything ok.

Hummus makes everything ok.


Now, for the smoothies.

In a blender (that has been washed really well and doesn’t smell like hummus), toss in:

4 peaches that have been pitted, halved and frozen. Peel if desired, before freezing, preferrably.

1 cup vanilla greek yogurt

Dash of vanilla

Dash of cinnamon

Puree until creamy. Thin as needed with a milk of your choosing. I thin mine with vanilla flavored kefir. 🙂

Serves two large smoothies or four half sized ones. 🙂

These would be SO good frozen in popsicle molds for the kids this summer!

Quick, easy, fresh and packed with protein…all without the heat of the oven. Sounds great to me!




Too Hot to Cook Challenge: Day 1


The challenge? It’s too hot to cook. Especially in a small space. 108* degrees has a funny way of making you reach for Chinese takeout.

The plan? To post a new recipe each day this week that doesn’t require the oven…and perhaps, very little or no stovetop use.

Yesterday”s approach: Salad Greens+veggies+fruit+herbs (if desired)+protein+ easy homemade dressing=delicious, easy, no heat needed dinner.

My salad was made yesterday out of whatever we had between my CSA box and leftovers in my fridge:

1 head of lettuce, chopped. (CSA)

1 pint of strawberries, sliced. (CSA)

1 cucumber, sliced. (CSA)

Leftover chicken, chopped.

A few random broken pita chips for crunch


This dressing recipe:

In a blender, combine:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar ( I always use Bragg’s)
2 TBSP water
2 TBSP raw, local honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Pulse to combine, then turn blender on, and slowly drizzle in 3/4 cup good quality olive oil.  

Toss w/your fave salad combo, and enjoy. Oh, and tell your oven to enjoy  the vacation. 😉


Spicy Sausage, Potato and Kale Chowder

What’s not to love about a recipe title like that?!

Not only was it delicious, but it came together fast, was full of healthy, organic ingredients and was a perfect fit for what is sure to be one of the few crisp evenings we have left this season. Another bonus? I had four of the required ingredients at my fingertips from my CSA box. 😀

Earlier this week I was given a 50 pound box of potatoes. When I saw the recipe that inspired this variation, the potatoes are what sold me. I made a double batch so that I could freeze some for another day. By another day, I mean a day when it’s so stinking terribly hot that I don’t feel like cooking. Those days aren’t far off.

SUPER easy. For ONE batch, use the following recipe. As I said, I doubled it.

Here goes:

1 pound bulk spicy italian sausage (I found it at Sprouts.)

3 cups cubed potatoes

1 white or yellow onion

2 cups chicken stock

3 cups organic half & half

3 cups kale, ( I used curly), torn into bite size pieces

1/2 tsp fresh oregano

pinch of salt to taste

pinch of crushed red pepper

basil for garnishing (and amazing flavor)


Brown the sausage, drain any fat/grease.

Add onion, cooking until just translucent.

Add potatoes, tossing all ingredients until coated and incorporated.

Add chicken stock, bring to a low boil, then drop to a simmer for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.

Add half & half, kale, oregano.

Simmer for 10-15  minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with a garnish of basil on top.


Considering the free ‘tatoes, the awesome CSA bargains and the Sprouts meat sale, and the fact that our local Grocery Outlet market had organic half & half AND organic, free range chicken stock SUPER cheap, I was able to do a DOUBLE batch of this soup for less than $6.00. That’s all kinds of amazing.

Give it a try!


Chile Verde Anyone?

Oh, Chile Verde, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…


I’ll spare you the ways. I will just say this. I love it. A lot.

I rarely make it, but I’m not sure why. It is such an easy thing to make! I guess, maybe, I just don’t eat pork very often, but when Sprouts had pork roasts on sale last week, I decided it was time. This was affirmed when I looked a the available produce list for my CSA this week. Chilies, tomatillos, onions, garlic…It was like the stars aligned! 😉

Technically, chile verde is made with a mild chili in addition to spicy ones. Chilies like new mexico hatch chilies or poblanos. My CSA didn’t have anything of the sort of the list. I didn’t have any, nor was I deterred by the lack of specific peppers. I just went with it. You can too.

The process is simple, and the results are magnificent. I made a double batch so that I could freeze some…feel free to cut the recipe in half. 🙂

I started with just a few ingredients:


1 onion

4 jalapenos

2 chilies of a less spicy variety (I used santa fe)

If you have poblanos or hatch chilies, add four of those as well. 🙂

6 cloves of garlic

3 pounds of tomatillos, husked removed

High-heat oil, such as refined coconut oil or high-oleic sunflower

sea salt

2 tsp cumin (not pictured, lol)

2 cups of water or broth

2.5-3 lbs boneless pork sirloin roast, cut into 1 inch cubes

**Brown cow yogurt lid on your floor is optional.**

And now, the process:

Puree the onion, or chop fine.

Sautee in the oil.


While onions are cooking, pulse the peppers and garlic in the food processor or blender. You can chop these too, but I prefer not to touch either one. It always results in me screeching in pain because I touched my eyeball or frustrated because I can’t get the garlic smell off of me. 😛

Once they are ready to go, set them aside.

In the oil/onion mix, add the meat. You are not looking to cook the meat at this point, just get things cooking together.

Add the chili/garlic mix. Stir to combine.


While this is cooking (over medium heat) get your tomatillos blended up. 3 pounds of tomatillos was equal to my cuisinart food processor being filled twice.

Once they are  good and pureed, dump that into the pot too.


At this point, add your water or broth, cumin, 2 tsp of salt, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then drop the heat to med/low, cover, and let simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.  I’d like to see you use that many commas in such a short paragraph.

I let mine cook down for about 2 hours, stirring about every 10-15 minutes.

It will thicken up quite a bit!

I served it with “upcycled brown rice”  (and a wooden spoon.)



Good quality, fresh, nutritious food is not an impossible thing to attain. With proper planning, smart shopping, resourcefulness, and aligned stars, you too can eat like a king. 🙂

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