Daily Dozen: Dressing up ramen,ways to use beets,applesauce,beans,taters…and more.

12 recipes that almost all have a number in the title. I didn’t aim for that. I aimed for low cost recipes here or things I know are typically found at food pantries.

  1. 6 Ways to Upgrade Instant Ramen – Budget Bytes – these are simple and great ideas for dressing up instant ramen. My husband could write an instant ramen cookbook. He’s done some great things w/ random canned veggies we get from the food pantry.

  2. 10 New and Exciting Uses for Canned Beets – oh,these are all so good. I love beets,though.

  3. Dirt Cheap Easy Sweet and Sour Meatball Stir Fry – Budget101.com – I actually made this awhile ago using all food pantry stuff and didn’t have my act together enough to do a Pantry Anarchy post and now I don’t remember what I did but I know it involved a can of crushed pineapple & the juice in the sauce.

  4. Don’t Toss the Pickle Brine! (And 7 Byproducts as Good as Their Products) -good food recycling

  5. 6 Sweet & Savory Ways to Use Applesauce – we have applesauce in abundance here from the Backpack Program. Can’t wait to try some of these ideas, especially for the boys’ snacks.

  6. Blessed Little Homestead: 30 Days, 30 Meals -a basic meal plan using simple, mostly low cost meals

  7. Native Cooking: Bring Them to the Table With Corn Chowder– my winter days are not done here yet. Can’t wait to make this on a really cold day with some nice bread

  8. warm lentil and potato salad | smitten kitchen – I make a lot of meals with lentils and they are honestly not my kids’ fave but they ate them this way

  9.  14 Recipes that Celebrate the Humble Spud – I need not say more here

  10. 23 Recipes That Celebrate the Humble Bean– Because when beans are poor people food, you have to have as many way to cook them as you can so no one gets sick and tired of eating beans

  11. 10 Must-Make Macaroni Salad Recipes– I honestly don’t see a lot of revolutionary differences between these recipes but I can’t wait for summer and macaroni salad reminds me of summer

  12. 9 Reasons Not to Pour Your Leftover Coffee Down the Drain – more recycling. I always feel weird tossing out leftover coffee, so this is good for me.
    Photo by James Ransom


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Daily Dozen:Fave recent links from The Kitchn

[contents: food,recipes,cooking tips]

The Kitchn has been one of my favorite food sites out there for a long time. I have a lot of favorite food sites and blogs but I have to admit that the longer I do this Poor as Folk thing, the more my lens tends to focus on things I know can be practical and helpful to low income people.  When I’m scrolling through my feedly or other social media feeds, The Kitchn has something daily that fits what I am looking for , both as a low income person who needs to eat and is always interested in learning even more about food,  and as an info maven who likes to pass on that info to others in the same boat.

For today’s daily dozen, I thought I’d share some favorite posts as a sampling.

  1. How To Cook Brown Rice — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn – remember my post about Aldi’s (it wasn’t really about Aldi’s but more about food accessibility issues but whatever)? I know I was underwhelmed in general but the one good buy that others agreed with was brown rice. Maybe it’s because my kids went to school where the school lunch program served brown rice only but my kids prefer brown rice to white. But not gonna lie… I’d rather cook white rice any day. I’ve finally got brown rice mastered so thank, kitchn for helping me level up that cooking skill.
  2.  Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget: Tips from an In-Store Nutritionist – I love this because one of the tips is to fill your cart at least HALFWAY with produce (WAIT….it’s not as bad as you’re thinking!) and then goes on to say that ,yes, frozen veggies totally count as produce that’s less expensive. (does assume everyone has access to an actual grocery store.sorry)
  3. 20 Recipes Where Cabbage Is King — Recipes from The Kitchn – cabbage is always on my grocery list. You can stretch a cabbage through several meals with cost being very little per serving.
  4. 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking with Canned Beans — Cooking Mistakes – People relying on food pantries might find this especially handy info
  5. Why Fried Rice Is What I’m Making for Dinner Tonight (and Tomorrow Night) — Tips from The Kitchn -this is my back up plan when I cant figure out what else to have. Sometimes I don’t have very much to add to it but it always hits the spot. Great way to use leftover rice.
  6. 20 Lentil Recipes for Easy Weeknight Meals — Recipes from The Kitchn – raise your hand if you get “Pappy’s Pantry” dried lentils from your food pantry. Yep. I have a lot of them. I love cooking with lentils (made a fantastic red thai curry lentil dish the other night) but I am always looking out for new things to do with them. I bet you are,too.
  7. Stop Being a Snob About Canned Fish — Strong Opinions – It’s shelf stable,nutrient rich,and cheap. 3 good reasons right there. It’s unfortunate that my feelings about canned salmon are tainted by the awful salmon loaf my Grandma made when I was a kid. I am so glad I have a wide range of good recipes at my fingertips now.
  8. 5 Incredible Ways to Use a Can of Tomatoes — Recipe Templates from The Kitchn – There are so many thing to do with a can of tomatoes and they really are inexpensive. I seem to find a lot of great deals on them in the dented can cart. Why are there so many dented cans of tomatoes? People know they’re supposed to take tomatoes out of the can before throwing them,right?
  9. A Guide to Gardening Indoors During the Winter Months — Apartment Therapy – handy for those who have space to do some indoor gardening and are fortunate enough to not have a jerky cat who thinks planters are special litter boxes (Anyone want a cat?)
  10. Recipe: No-Knead Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls — Recipes from The Kitchn -ok, maybe these aren’t super practical for everyone but I made these for Turkey Day dinner and it’s now one of my staple recipes. Next time I get a bounty of sweet taters cheap, I think I’ll make a large batch of the dough to freeze.
  11. 5 Delicious Uses for Common Kitchen Scraps — Tips from The Kitchn -waste not ,want not?
  12. The Best Foods to Donate to Food Banks During the Holidays — Expert Interview– Yes,yes. We need to eat more than just holiday food but donations to food banks during the holidays can help them for months afterward. Suggestions are not just holiday food,thankfully.

Food bank volunteer

(Image credits: mangostock/Shutterstock; Kelli Foster; Steve Lovegrove/Shutterstock;Zsolt Biczo/Shutterstock)


 

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

 

This post has gone bananas

[content notes: food waste, food rescue, recipes, too many banana songs and references to gorillas]

About a week ago we acquired 80 lbs of bananas. An entire shipment of banana arrived at the store “too ripe”. Optimally, stores want the naners more on the green side. This particular grocery store is one that does the responsible thing and works with food donation organizations that use food “waste” to feed people but this time… toooooooooooooo many bananas.

[Digression: These happens everywhere in America,every day, with a lot more than bananas. When people actually argue against feeding poor people and policing their food choices, I’m like…guys… there is more than enough food for everyone,ok? Good food. Food people can eat. This feeding of people does not have to be this complicated]

So, 80 lbs came into our house on Friday. On Saturday, 40 more lbs joined them.

And now I’m starting to see Grodd’s point of view a little clearer.


I am not really at the banana hating point but it may be awhile until I have a craving for a banana-anything. Also, hard to hate free food.

So, here’s what I did with 120 lbs of bananas:

  • Gave them to friends and people I don’t even really know
  • Sent some with my daughter to take back to college after break
  • Made banana pancakes (had that Jack Johnson song stuck in my head the rest of the day)
  • Made banana chips  (I definitely did not use fresh squeezed lemon juice like the recipe calls for)
  • Made banana muffins & bread while ,totally unplanned, my 5 yr old watched a Richard Scarry’s Busytown dvd with many episodes centered around Bananas Gorilla
  • Froze equivalent to a small boatload of bananas while singing “The Banana Boat Song”. One entire shelf in our upright freezer ($30 at a yard sale many years ago. One of my best buys ever) is just bananas in freezer bags. These will come in handy for quite some time for baking and smoothies. I also read yesterday that bananas are on the brink of extinction, so maybe I should hang on to some for the Bananapocalypse. They could be bartering gold!
  • Kept some out to ripen to make MORE bread & muffins. When my one daughter was little, I used to make her these banana-carrot muffins all the time. I think we’ll venture into those and maybe some banana-peanut butter muffins, even though my boys cant take them to school for snack (Peanut Free classrooms)
  • Stashed a bunch in the pantry to get truly black for Rotten Banana Pie. Should be able to make that for the holllerdays.

 

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My smallest guy practiced writing skills while labelling the freezer bags when he wasn’t peeling  piles of bananas

 

Obviously we had a lot of banana peels to contend with afterward. When we moved in here, I decided my easiest way to set up garden space would be to build a lasagna garden using our empty moving boxes as the base. We don’t have snow on the ground yet so I’m still able to add layers. Instead of composting all the peels in our regular compost, I just added them to the garden to bake.

Special thank to PAF reader Rose who saw me mention on Facebook that I don’t have a blender and offered to send me her old one. Yay, we can have Banana Ice Cream now,too!

 

 

Recipe: Parsnip & Potato Hash

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Parsnips are one of those root veggies people ask me about a lot. As in,”What are these and what do I do with them?”
From what I gather, they are a staple in CSA boxes and also plentiful in the winter months at food banks that are fortunate enough to be able to distribute produce.

Full disclosure here: I am not a huge fan of parsnips. They are a bit too close to a carrot for my liking. Carrots are the only veggie I truly don’t like. I know. I’m a weirdo. BUT… I will still eat both carrots & parsnips, especially if the price is right.

Parsnips do have a lot of  nutritional stuff going on for them. Just half of a large parsnip has 50 units of vitamin A, 541 mgs potassium, 16 mgs of vitamin C , and “healthy increments of phosphorus and iron” (Thanks, Bert Greene for that info ). Way back when, Roman aristocracy were the only ones who ate parsnips, usually highly sweetened and as a dessert. And now, here we are in modern times where the noble parsnip is now “second-class citizens of the vegetable world, ordinary, peasant-like and low in price.”

So, if you’re not a fan of the taste, you can comfort yourself w/ nutritional information and pretend you’re a Roman aristocrat to help get you through.

My trick for food my kids (or myself) aren’t crazy about is to cook it with something that helps mask it. This weekend, this is what I decided to use parsnips for… a simple hash with eggs. Basically, just peel (or don’t ) and dice both potatoes and parsnips.
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The beautiful thing about this (as a non-fan of parsnips) is that you can’t really tell the difference between the taters & snips.

I also added a few cloves of garlic, chopped.

In a skillet, heat oil and throw the veggies in. I seasoned with rosemary, thyme, salt & pepper. You can use whatever herbs you happen to have. My daughter likes to use cumin and hungarian paprika for a bit spicier version.
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Cook until both potatoes and parsnips are tender, about 10 minutes. That’s it!

And you know why I will never be a food blogger? My food is a mess and I don’t care. Look at this unsightly egg.
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Still delicious.

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.

 

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

Lunchtime Links: Growing Cities, Healthy Recipes Database, and Hacked Shakshuka

All the foodie related stuff for today…

I have been so excited to see this since I first saw the trailer last Fall. Now the film is available for community screenings , so check out the showings to see if there are any near you.

 

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The Capital Area Foodbank has a great recipe database…. all healthy, mostly vegetarian,too.

Healthy Recipe Database

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, I didn’t know what Shakshuka was before (it’s basically poached eggs in tomato sauce) but it sounds delicious and with this hack, using cans of ro-tel could make it pretty cheap and easy. I’m all about cheap and easy.

 

Five Ingredient Yum: Shakshuka Hack

 

shakshuka

via Food Riot.