Lunchtime Links: 20 Protein-Packed Black Bean Recipes, tomato-growing tips, and Tarbuj Ka Chutney

Lunchy links. Writing this as I’m eating leftover tabouleh and fish. Yum

20 Protein-Packed Black Bean Recipes | Brit + Co..


 

10 tomato growing tips

Good tomato growing tips for you newbies out there.

 


Tabuj Ka is watermelon rind chutney.
Tarbuj Ka Chutney
4 cups watermelon rind, fruit and outer green skin removed
and cut into 1 /2 “ pieces

1 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sweetener
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

*This chutney pairs well with a spicy main dish.
via here.
Feels like I have ages before watermelon season here.
I haven’t even put mine in the ground.
If you’ve never listened to Leo Kottke, check him out.  He’s one of the most underrated (or maybe just unheard of)  guitar players out there. I love listening to him while I’m getting stuff done around the house.

 

Lunchtime Link: Drying Clothes Without Electricity

Not much to share today. My hubby got hurt yesterday and is out of work until Monday at the very earliest. We’ll see what happens on Monday. Since he’s home, he’s on parenting duty while I work on Etsy & Ebay listings (something that is harder than you might think with a super helpful 4 year old). He didn’t do it AT work, so this is time off without pay, so trying to make up the difference from what will be missing from his paycheck.

We cannot catch a break,I swear.

Just wanted to share these tips today for drying clothes without an electric dryer or when you have the power shut off. This is one of those things people ask for tips on quite often. I think Mom with a Prep covers it well. We didn’t have a dryer for years and last year at tax return time got the old one repaired. In the summer, drying was easy. In the winter (NY) , not so much… and having a big family probably made it trickier. Pretty much if there was a place that could have a rope strung, it became drying space. The thick cloth diapers were hardest to dry inside but I found that the standard wooden drying racks worked best if I placed them really close to the heater and flipped them occasionally.

How to Dry Your Clothes Without Power - Mom with a PREP //  Whether you are existing in a post-disaster situation with no power or you are choosing to rely less on the grid that provides power for your home, finding ways to effectively dry your clothes, in no matter what amount of space that you have, can be daunting if the only option you've seen is the large telephone-like limbers that take up the entire backyard of someone's home.

How To Dry Your Clothes Without Power

Ironically, it’s raining like crazy here today and I just threw a load of laundry in the dryer.
There’s flooding in parts around us. I peeked out into the garden and some parts are underwater. Sigh.

Nick Drake is always my rainy day music…

Ode to Quesadillas

 

I can pretty much put leftovers in a quesadilla and they’re going to be awesome.

We eat a lot of things in tortillas that are quesadilla-ish because 1) tortillas are cheap; 2. versatile; 3. free with WIC (not that we get WIC anymore but it was a perk.

And seriously…get creative. I wasn’t kidding about Leftover Quesadillas.

For anyone new to quesadilla making, here is a great tutorial on how to make them. How To Make Quesadillas

29 Life-Changing Quesadillas You Need To Know About.

 

via b00tiusmaximus

Stupid tips on how to save money…

via Cynical As Hell, ambienne

I had this discussion awhile back with a few people when I mentioned I was running out of actual tips for how to be poor. The “frugal tips that will save you money!” lists are often really not applicable to low income people. Nothing wrong with trying to live within a budget to help keep your financial situation sustainable and stable  but there’s quite a difference between that and being poor.

This coffee tip is on nearly every single list you see about saving money. “Save money by making your coffee at home!”
Yeah, we know this. And some of us don’t even have enough to buy coffee to make at home (or a coffeepot) ,so there’s that.

What are your favorite really not helpful “tips” for how to be poor?

 

Lunchtime Links: 16 ways to eat dandelion greens, homemade ramen?, and impromptu meal “planning”

Everything food related for today…

 

Hell,yes, DANDELIONS. I may have mentioned this already(?) but I’ve been studying to become a certified herbalist. Herbalists love dandelions. They’re great for cleaning toxins from your system (good for your liver)  but also very handy for relieving pains, especially arthritic type. They’re an anti-inflammatory, a good astringent for your skin…. and they can actually be tasty.

My grandma used to just put them in a salad. That was about as fancy as she got but here are 16 Ways To Eat (or drink) Dandelions. Can’t wait to make the jelly. The dandelion root “coffee” is how you also would make a dandelion root tea but if it feels better to call it coffee, go for it .

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Ramen Made From Scratch

Make your own ramen for less than the cost of ramen – All  you need a pasta maker and 30 minutes ….plus the 2-5 waiting time while the dough rests.

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My Love for Local Food Is a Reasonable Defense for Not Planning Meals Ahead – I can relate to this and as someone who is low income, it’s the most practical , especially in the summer time. Garden shares, roadside stands, discounted produce at the grocery store because of abundance, farmer’s market deals… these are all things that I jump at the chance to score and whatever I score, that’s what’s on the menu.

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Slow Cooker Taco Bowls

via  Budget Bytes

If you’ve been reading here for awhile, you already know I’m going to suggest skipping the chicken entirely and either substitute extra black beans or add another kind of bean,too. This shaves even more money from the recipe but also, many readers have mentioned that they wish they could buy more ethical or organic meat but just can’t afford it. Me,too. My way around this is just to not buy it at all and eat a mostly vegetarian diet (which has turned out to save a lot of money. Bonus!)

If you have time, I always recommend using dry beans. A bag of dried beans goes further than a can.

 

Budget Bytes says this recipe works out to be $1.33 per serving. It makes 9 servings, so if you’re not using that all for one meal, freeze the rest for another quick freezer meal.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients
  • 1½ lbs. chicken breasts $2.90
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar salsa $1.99
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained $1.19
  • ½ lb. (8 oz.) frozen corn $0.57
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.15
  • ½ Tbsp cumin $0.07
  • ½ Tbsp minced garlic $0.10
  • ½ tsp dried oregano $0.03
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.02
  • to taste cracked pepper $0.02
  • 2 cups dry rice $0.66
  • 8 oz. shredded cheddar $2.49
  • ½ bunch cilantro (optional) $0.45
Instructions
  1. Add everything except the rice, cheese, and cilantro to the slow cooker along with ¼ cup of water (for good measure). Give everything a good stir and make sure the chicken is covered in the mixture.
  2. Secure the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hrs.
  3. Near the end of the cooking time, cook the two cups of rice according to the package directions (Bring the rice and 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot with a lid in place, as soon as it reaches a boil, reduced the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving).
  4. After 8 hours of cooking, carefully remove the lid of the slow cooker. Stir with a fork to shred the chicken (it should be super tender and will shred easily). Build the taco bowls by placing rice on the bottom, then the taco chicken mix, shredded cheese and fresh cilantro.

Re-grow your salad

 

instead of throwing them away you can plant them into soil and they’re sprouting again

that's the thing we need

first cut it out from the leaves

then cut a little from the edge but not too much

then cut it into a cube-similar - cut as less leaves and material away as possible but leaves do get moldy and then the whole heart will get moldy too and die

put it in wet soil so that just the tip looks out

put on a plastic cup or something similar to get a high humidity around the sprouting meristem

put the pot to a warm location and wait after a few days - 2 weeks the new plant will sprout

 

 

This is via passion4plants  , who also adds to the lovely photo tutorial:

  1. first cut it out from the leaves
  2. then cut a little from the edge but not too much
  3. then cut it into a cube-similar – cut as less leaves and material away as possible but leaves do get moldy and then the whole heart will get moldy too and die
  4. put it in wet soil so that just the tip looks out
  5. put on a plastic cup or something similar to get a high humidity around the sprouting meristem – don’t forget to give it fresh air here and there like every 2-3 days
  6. put the pot to a warm location and wait
  7. after a few days – 2 weeks the new plant will sprout

 

enjoy your new growing salad plants :)
I’ve tried it and it works with iceberg salad, romaine lettuce, butterhead, lollo rosso salad actually with every lettuce/salad with a heart

The nice thing about this is you only need a windowsill (or something near a window ). Even though you’re obviously not going to get high yield and put a major dent in your grocery bill just with this, I feel like it helps my mood to have something edible growing. If you have kids, it’s also a great science activity and if you can’t have any other type of garden space, it’s nice to give kids an opportunity to see how food grows.

Lunchtime Links: Using up potato water and cabbge (2 separate things),making rice cool,and more.

A round-up of today’s food related things…

Ohhh,man…. Chilli Cheese Tater Tots. I probably would use beans instead of the beef.

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Use it Up: Potato Water – How to recycle the water you boiled taters in…use it for other food or water your plants with it.

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How do I make rice more interesting? – This is a reader-submitted question over at The Kitchn but I’m asked this a lot ,too. The editor has some good suggestions but the comments sections is full of ideas. Yes, I’m telling you to read the comments. Might be the only time I ever do that…

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You know how I’m always complaining about the repetitive budget shopping tips lists (that often have some WTF Tips,ya know?) …and “budget meals” that are like my whole budget for a week?  Next-Level Tips for Saving Money on Your Grocery Bill
S
atire,my friends.
(And yes, I still DO advocate foraging and freeganism…. like, if you’re not trespassing or going to get arrested for it. Poor people can’t afford none of that nonsense)

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 28 Recipes to Celebrate Spring – Spring! I am so excited. The best thing about cooking w/ seasonal ingredients is that they are often less expensive when in season.

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I still have some cabbage to use up from that whole Corned Beef & Cabbage affair. Might try the cabbage salad idea ~here~

 

Leftover Makeover: Corned Beef & Cabbage turned into White Bean & Potato Soup

Sometimes leftovers are great for lunch the next day or a Leftover Night. Sometimes they need a makeover. Especially with bigger than average families where what’s leftover isn’t enough to feed everyone.

This week, I was talked into making Corned Beef and Cabbage for dinner because “it’s what we ate on St. Patrick’s Day when I was a kid!”, said my nostalgic and traditionalist husband. It’s kinda my job to hate everything that everyone else seems to love, and St Patrick’s Day is no exception, as much as I love apocalyptic visions. But I love my husband and hate to hear him whimper about missing out on some food thing, so I made his damned beloved Corned Beef and Cabbage.
(seriously, it’s not even Irish….)

There a bunch of things that can be done to recycle braising liquid into a new dish but soup seemed like a good idea (see my past post about my teeth.Whee.)

I tend to go to my pantry first before running out to buy something specific for a recipe, so that day I happened to have a partial bag of potatoes that were looking sad and DSC_0556begging to be used. I also have 22 lbs of assorted dried beans in my pantry (it’s quite possible that food insecurity has made me a paranoid food hoarder, which might explain why I get along so well with the Doomsday Prepper crowd ), so I decided to add some Great Northern Beans.
Good thrifty score on those recently at my local dollar store…. 75¢ per bag, which is half price.

So, here’s what I did: Threw all the liquid and the leftover veggies from the corned beef back into the crockpot, chunked up potatoes, and added the beans after quick soaking them . I added just enough water to cover the beans and everything else, which also helped dilute some of the saltiness. Threw in some typical herbage… oregano,garlic,a little lovage.  Set temp for 6 hours on high. That was it. I didn’t really even have to add cornstarch as a thickener at all.

DSC_0573

Not too much broth in my bowl because I like it that way. It was dee-lish. Fed the whole family plus enough leftover for lunches for the hubby the rest of the week.

#[word of the day] #FAsupportsnutrition #SNAPfood : Homemade @feedingamerica

Feeding America has a Photo A Day Challenge happening for March because it’s National Nutrition Month. I’m a bit behind thanks to techy problems  (and honestly, probably will not be able to do a photo every day) but here’s my contribution for  HOMEMADE.

homemade2

Like my little bowl? The whole set of dishes was FREE on Freecycle. Yay!

The lighting in my kitchen is terrible but this was delicious Sweet Potato & Chick Pea Soup . It was more like stew by the time I got to help myself to a bowl. Little buggers took most of the broth. I got the recipe  from The Sweet Potato Lovers’ Cook Book that I mentioned last week in my Library Loot post. It called for veggie broth but I didn’t have enough scraps to make veggie broth this weekend but I did have a chicken carcass stashed in my freezer, so I made chicken stock instead.

homemade

YUM,amiright? Ok, maybe not at this stage but it does smell amazing while the bones are boiling.

The great thing about the Internet is that there are hundreds of great bloggers out there who have instructions on how to make just about everything , so I will not bother taking you through the steps on making homemade chicken stock. I’ll let this link do that: Make Chicken Stock From Bones

Added bonus : Someone brought over chicken wings. I rescued the celery and added it to my stock.

DSC_0530

Sidenote: I hate styrofoam with a passion.

If you want to participate in this photo challenge, here’s the photo prompts: