To start off, I had one lonely butternut squash and a can of black beans, so in my mind I had the basics and I could wing the rest.
I did not have:
tortillas of any sort
chipotle chilis or adobo sauce
cumin – JUST finished the last of what I had
coriander -HILARIOUS considering the amount I grew last summer. Guess that means I have to grow even more this year
dark chocolate squares
But I DID have:
From the food pantry –
the aforementioned butternut squash
1 can of black beans
1 can of crushed tomatoes
tap water; clean,flowing, and free of contaminates
a packet of “Mexican” spice mix
an assortment of other dried peppers and chili powders
salt & pepa
a partial bag of ghiradelli dark chocolate chips that my daughter’s boyfriend gave to her for her birthday with strawberries. I took a handful that I thought about equaled 2 oz. Shhh. Don’t tell her.
Enchiladas are not really enchiladas if you don’t have tortillas, so while the squash was roasting, I threw together 2 cups flour,3/4 c water,1/2 tsp salt, and 3 tbls oil in to a bowl. My youngest likes to do the kneading part (and he doesn’t even have to be reminded to wash his hands first anymore!). The dough doesn’t need to be kneading too well like yeast bread would. Just about a dozen tosses. After letting it sit for 10-15 minutes, kiddo divided it into 8 little balls. He was my “flattener” ,rolling the balls into something that looked tortilla shaped. I use a cast iron skillet to cook them in a little bit of oil. I’m probably terrible at explaining this but I bet if you go to youtube, someone has a video of how to make them.
Ahhh…like this! Although they use lard in their recipe. And I don’t have a nice tortilla warmer like that. I never even knew I wanted one until right now.
I followed the recipe for the Quick Mole Sauce substituting crushed tomatoes for tomato sauce, garlic powder for cloves (1/8 tsp for every clove), and the seasoning mix & spices in lieu of chipotle chilis. I used peanut butter instead of tahini which I thought was going to be super weird but it turned out awesome. I omitted the soy sauce entirely because my soy-sauce-hater daughter was looking over my shoulder and I knew I wouldnt get away with even a dribble of it in there.
A delicious mess on a plate.
For those who don’t know their squash varieties, this is butternut. One of my kids isn’t a fan of squash but she’ll eat (and like) butternut if it’s in something. It’s versatile and has a pumpkin-ish taste…but different. Sweeter.
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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.
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.
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.
Sidenote: I hate styrofoam with a passion.
If you want to participate in this photo challenge, here’s the photo prompts:
How to stop wasting food in 2014-This list excites me.
On a related note, if I had a video camera and a less chaotic household, I would SO love do a Dumpster Diving Cooking show.
10 Easy Ways to Stay Within Your Grocery Budget |- some tips might help, depending on your situation and resources already available. Reading all the lists around the blogosphere of how to save money makes me realize I need to write one that is specific to people living in technical poverty, since most are written with voluntary simplicity and frugality in mind.
Homemade All Purpose Scouring Scrub -3 ingredients (and two of them you can buy with food stamps.Well, actually…you can make super washing soda with baking soda, so technically all 3 ) …plus essential oil, but that’s optional.
This is a way cheap and easy recipe. It’s one of my daughter’s favorites.
For this recipe, I use:
1 bag of dried split peas- about $1.60
a few potatoes – 50¢? I dunno.
an onion- cents.
a few cloves or garlic – also cents (although mine was free thanks to a gardener friend)
dashes of your fave seasonings. I used lovage,oregano,salt & pepper
That’s pretty much it but I did throw in a handful of spinach,too.Most people add carrots but I hate those things. Unlike most split pea soup recipes, this has no chicken or ham broth ,so it’s totally vegetarian /vegan. You could use veggie stock instead or water,but water is just fine.
I figure it’s roughly $2.50 for a whole pot and serves my family of 8 with leftovers.
Split peas are unlike dried beans that need an overnight soak. You don’t need to soak them.
To make the soup, do this:
Put your split peas in a stock pot and add enough water so that the peas are covered with about an inch of water on top. Bring to a boil, then simmer.
Meanwhile, cook diced potatoes,onions, and garlic in a skillet. When those are done, add to pot with peas & water.
OR …. saute the onions & garlic in the stock pot before adding the peas,water and potatoes. Both ways work just fine. This time I just happened to do it separately. Like this:
3. The total cooking time of the peas should be about 30-40 minutes. When they’re soft and mushy, don’t even bother putting them in a blender or food processor. You should be able to mash them down in to a smooth consistency with a potato masher or a sturdy mixing spoon.
In my opinion, non-pureed split pea soup just looks more appetizing.
Here’s why I love the Internet. I found this nice tutorial for DIY Apple Cider. I had taken pictures of my own so I could do my own tutorial but I have no idea where those pictures went to. And since Real Food Real Deals already did it, I don’t have to retake my own pictures.
When I make apple sauce or do any sort of baking with apples, this is what the cores and peels get used for. Cheap & easy, plus no waste. The math figures out to be about 10¢ per cup. I did even better on my last batch since I used the free apples someone passed along to us.
You can also use other fruits to make vinegar. Pears and peaches work well.
If you’re wondering what to do with apple cider vinegar, here are 50 uses. I use it a lot around the house and for home remedies.