pantry anarchy: yellow squash & white bean not-meat-balls

Because recipes were made to be broken when you’re broke.

 

meatballs

 

My main inspiration for this recipe: Zucchini “Meatballs”

I had on hand:
-2  yellow squash (getting on the verge of being soft)
– 2 cups leftover white beans
– eggs
– salt,pepper,Italian seasoning,garlic
– oat flakes
-tri color rotini from the food pantry
– a jar of spaghetti sauce (pretty sure also from food pantry)
– canola oil

I shredded the squash and let it drain some of the moisture off. I started to mash the beans but it was too chunky so I kinda pureed it with water in the blender. I combined the bean paste with the squash and seasoned HEAVILY (like, really… I put so much garlic and Italian herbs in it). I added an egg to bind it, then added the oat flakes to make it less mushy. I have no idea how much I added. I think it’s just one of those things you have to gauge depending on how moist your mixture is. My goal was to get it solid enough to form balls but not too dry that they crumble.

I coated a baking pan with oil , then formed the bean-squash mix into balls and placed them on the pan. I drizzled oil on top then baked at 375 for about 20 minutes, turning them over about half way.

My super carnivore husband liked them and I think it was thanks to the heavy seasoning. He did describe it as tasting like “falafel in ball form” but he made it sound like a good thing. Maybe I’m onto a new fusion here.


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Pantry Anarchy: Hot Dog & Cabbage Soup (plus how to make veggie stock or broth)

Because recipes were made to be broken when you’re broke.

 

You have no idea how much I hate hot dogs. Ask anyone,especially my boys. When they get to have hot dogs, it’s like a holiday. And of course, they love hot dogs. Lucky for them, the food pantry has hot dogs. Hooray.

One of my favorite soups is Cabbage & Sausage, so I decided to pretend hot dogs are a really lovely chorizo and make soup with them.

For this soup, I only needed onion,cabbage,potatoes,tomatoes,and hot dogs. Oh,and soup stock.

I didn’t have any pre-made broth or stock or even homemade in the freezer, so I had to make a batch of veggie stock. Veggie stock is easy to make but you just have to have a little bit of extra time to make it. I usually make a large batch at once and freeze what I’m not going to use right away. You can also can it with a pressure canner.

Instead of composting all my veggie scraps, I will add them to my veggie scrap bag in the freezer. I try not to add too many brassicas (broccoli,cabbage,etc) because they tend to overwhelm the flavoring but everything else is fair game. Potato skins,carrot peels, stems,leaves…..whatever. When the bag is full, it’s time to make stock. To make stock, you just throw all your scraps into a pot,add enough water to cover the veg, and simmer for about 45 minutes. Honestly, it’s that simple.

If you want to make broth instead of stock, saute onions,carrots,herbs in oil FIRST, and then add your veggies and water.

Broth is seasoned , stock is not. That’s the difference.

Ok, back to my Pretend Chorizo and Cabbage Soup.

To make the soup, I sauteed onions, then put 4 or 5 cups of stock in a pot with the onions. Added ¼ head of cabbage,chopped and 3-4 potatoes,diced and not peeled. Tossed in a can of crushed tomatoes and a smattering of whatever herbs I had on hand . Basil and garlic,mostly. (I am running extremely low on herbs and spices). Next, I added the hot dogs. I boiled them ahead of time to….get the nitrates out? Is this a myth that actually works? I have no idea (and can’t google right this second) but it made me feel better to do it.

And this is why I love making soup. You just throw things in a pot and pretend you know what you’re doing.

All the ingredients I used except herbs were from the food pantry but this would be a low cost meal if you’re buying ingredients. I wish there was an app that told me if I’ve mentioned something multiple times already elsewhere on the blog because I’ve probably said this a million times but during a usual shopping trip, I always buy a cabbage because they’re usually inexpensive and I can stretch it through several meals plus they dont go bad quickly. (obviously,not going to be a good tip for those in food deserts w/ little or expensive produce. Apologies.)


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Pantry Anarchy: Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas

Because recipes were made to be broken when you’re broke.

My inspiration and guidance for this recipe came from Feasting at Home’s recipe for Butternut Mole Enchiladas.

The ingredients for the original recipe are:
Fullscreen capture 1272016 14010 PM

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
  • tomato sauce
  • garlic cloves
  • 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
  • tahini
  • 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
  • an onion
  • peanut butter

On hand-

  • garlic powder
  • colby-jack cheese
  • tap water; clean,flowing, and free of contaminates
  • soy sauce
  • 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.
  • flour
  • oil

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.

End result:

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.

img_1859

 


 

If you like the work I do here at Poor as Folk, please consider being a supporter at Patreon! Your support will keep content on the blog free and available to all on the internet as well as help me develop printed publications.  Donate here:  Poor as Folk on Patreon