Monday, February 8, 2010

Turkey Tacos Yummy, yummy

I hope everyone had a nice start to the week. This is a tough economy and times are tough for many but things will get better. We just have to keep hope alive. Tonite we will be making turkey tacos.

Turkey Tacos are one of my favorite.

You will need:

One box of non-name brand taco shells (12 in a box I believe)
One bag of non name brand tortillas
1-2lbs of ground turkey meat (For 4 adults and 2 kids we use 2 lbs and 2 adults and kids 1 lb)
Taco seasoning (if you do not have it I have included a recipe for it below)*
One onion
One tomato
Shredded Cheese - I shred around 2 cups or so
tortilla chips (optional)

I start by putting the turkey meat in a frying pan on high. After a few minutes turn to medium. Brown the meat and then, drain it. Then add the seasoning to the meat. Turn the meat to low and let it cook while you open the pinto beans. I pour them directly into a little food processor and blend them together. A blender would also work. It is just easier to scoop beans out of the mini processor. After the beans are blended I put them in a small pot on the stove. If I am lazy I put them in a microwaveable storage bowl. This way I can microwave them (2 minutes) and when we are done put the lid on and put them in the fridge. Easy... While the meat and beans continue to cook I cut the lettuce (just a cup or two),dice a tomato, and dice an onion. Then I shred the cheese. All that is left is to turn off the burners and stuff the tacos. I usually put beans first in the hard shell to hold it together in case it cracks. Then I put everything else. With the tortilla I put beans first also. After I fill the tortilla I microwave it 15-20 seconds and then roll it up while it is hot. Then we eat. Yum.
Enjoy. This meal is very good and under $10.00 for everyone.
Have a great evening.

**Taco Seasoning**

# Add 2 teaspoons of chili powder.
# Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.
# Add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
# Add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.
# Add 1 teaspoon of ground cumin.
# Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or hot paprika.
# Stir to blend.
# Makes the equivalent of a 1 1/4-ounce package of taco seasoning mix.

"Once you choose hope, anything's possible." -Christopher Reeves

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pinto Beans and Rice

Hello everyone. Today I am going to have one of the easiest meals. We are having beans and rice. I am using pinto beans from a bag that were soaked overnight. Usually, I make about three cups of beans. You can used canned beans (any kind that you like) if you prefer. I also LOVE black beans. But , I will save the easy black bean meal for another day. After my beans have soaked I wash them off and then put them in a pot with water to boil for about 2 hours (taste one and stop when they are the consistency you like). I add in some garlic, pepper, and lemon pepper. I would start with a teaspoon of each and then just add more depending on your preference. My husband and I like cayenne but the kids do not so we have it on the side. Then I make 3 cups of rice. I do either minute rice in the microwave or I boil rice on the stove according to package directions. Either way 3 cups is sufficient for 4 adults and two kids. I also dice up two tomatoes, one onion and some shredded cheese ( We get a big block of cheese 5lb for around $10 or so). Then I let every person make their own plate how they like it. I hope that you enjoy it. I love mine with chips and salsa but that is optional.

Have a great day.

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." ~Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Frugal Family Meals

Hi I am Heather. This is my first time blogging. I decided to start this blog to see how it would be to blog and to give other families ideas for frugal meals and feeding a family in general. We are a family of five, but often (4-5 days a week) have my mother in law and sister in law for dinner. I stay at home (homeschool) with the three kids ranging from 6years - 8 months. In today's economy making good meals on a budget has become a real challenge.

Generally, I have been spending around $300-$350 on food a month. The last 2 months seem to be going to around $400-$500. This includes toiletries such as feminine products, diapers, wipes, deodorant... It includes everything we need for that month. I do this by making a list throughout the month of toiletries that we will need. Then I make a menu for a month on the calendar of meals that we will eat. From that menu I make a shopping list. Although I do not have a menu for breakfast and lunch they are included on the list.

This can take a little time. For me it has gotten easier since I have done it for awhile. For instance, I know that we need 2 big bags of cereal and we have pop tarts (special kid weekend treat) for weekends. I know that we always need to stock canned vegetables because we come close to finishing them off every month. I know to always keep peanut butter and jelly and frozen lunchmeat for lunches. We also have hummus for lunches which we buy garbanzo beans and make our own. This save a few dollars. One can is like a dollar compared to a small $3-$4 container of premade hummus. It is very easy to make (see recipe below).


One can garbanzo beans
lemmon pepper seasoning

Take one can of garbanzo beans and blend it in the blender. We put it on puree but if you like texture you can select a different setting. I put the seasonings in kids little medicine cups (save them from Ibuprofen or tylenol...) so that the kids can pour in the ingredients. I probably put about a teaspoon of lemmon pepper, pepper, and garlic. Then I blend the mixture again. If it seems dry I add a little water. Then you are ready to eat. With the seasoning it is really your own preference. We have made it spicier with cayenne or you can add mustard really just whatever you like.

Some other tips would be to buy a small freezer if you have space for one. You might find one on craigslist or in the Iwanna. Then you always have room to store extra meat, bread, cookie dough... We also have 2 shelves one with mainly toiletries and coffee/juice and one with canned goods, chips, rice... It is always great to have extra space to organize food. It is alot to keep up with but if you can do it you can save money. Before I leave you for today I am going to share what we are having tonight with you. It is one of my favorites. I cook this Chicken/tomato soup in a crockpot but a big pot will do if you do not have one. If you cook it in a pot be sure to keep an eye on it.

Chicken Tomato Soup

three - four chicken breasts or precooked cubed chicken
one big can of stewed tomatoes
baby carrots or one-two cans of carrots
can of corn
chicken bullion cubes or can of chicken bullion
garlic powder
italian seasoning
3 cans pinto beans
one can of peas
green pepper

First begin boiling the chicken in a pot for about 20-30 minutes until all meat looks white. While chicken cooks pour the big can of stewed tomatoes into the blender (if you like chunks you can just get diced tomatoes and stir in spices). Heat two bullion cubes in a cup of water in the microwave. After heating the bullion pour it into the blender. Then put in 1 tsp garlic powder, 1tsp italian seasoning, 1tsp pepper, 1tsp basil (or add basil leaves) and then blend in the blender. Once it is blended pour it into the crockpot. Drain the cans of pinto beans, rinse and add them to the pot. Then add the peas undrained. If you have a bag of small carrots you can cut them up or just add them whole (about 3 cups) to the pot. If you have canned carrots just dump them in the pot undrained. Cut up one green peeper in small pieces and add to the pot. Then cut up the cooked chicken into small pieces and put it in the pot. I put mine in the crockpot so after I finish the last step it is kind of on auto pilot (just stir from time to time or add more spice if you desire). Usually I start this meal at lunch and let it go until dinner. If you are cooking it on the stove bring to a boil and then simmer until you are ready to eat. We like ours served over rice.

I hope some of these tips have been helpful. Have a wonderful day.