Posts Tagged ‘food budget’

Food Stamps Cooking: SOUP DAY!

February 4th, 2016
This is perfect for National Soup Day!

This would be great for observing National  Soup Day! Some veg, broth, a bit of meat and it’s done! National Soup Day.

Happy National SOUP DAY!  When The Normanator and I learned that today is a special day, we all but cheered!  We LOVE soup and often joke that we would eat it for breakfast if it were available!

There are jillions of soup recipes.  This post is not about recipes; it is about creating something yummy with whatever you find in your kitchen.  And making a soup supper an experience.

If you aim for convenience (and who does not?) may I suggest that you use cans of veggies?  A can of corn, a can of green beans, a can of tomatoes, and if you are really feeling flush and well supplied, you could throw in some meat. Onions and celery make good additions to soup, too, as does cabbage!  *So do leftover vegetables that may be languishing in your refrigerator.  Cooked rice, barley or any other grain will “beef” up your soup…**Think quinoa, wheat berries, macaroni, lentils or beans.

Sometimes meat is unavailable.  Meat is spendy.  If you have a veggie soup and a cheese sandwich, you are fortunate.  If you are really lucky you might even have the fixings for a salad.  I am thinking Peas and Cheese salad…canned peas, whatever cheese you can grate or chop and some onion or pickle with a dab of mayo will really make your soup meal shine.

Another partner for soup could be a carrot salad and this is a great thing to get kids to eat their vegetables.  Finely grate some carrots, toss in some cranberries or raisins, a dab of mayo and make mounds of salad on shredded cabbage or lettuce leaves, using an ice cream scoop.

When I was a kid my mom would make soup by boiling veggies, draining the water, adding whatever veggies–taters, carrots, onions, celery, for example.  Then she would add milk or broth, depending what she had on hand.  She seasoned the food with salt and pepper and we enjoyed the result of her labor.

When I grew up and found the Food Network I learned that sauteing the onions, carrots, taters or whichever vegetable will be in the soup is a nifty trick for adding flavor.  You can use vegetable oil to keep things moist and then build your soup from there.

SIDEBAR:  The suggestion is made to saute the vegetables. This does not mean that if you do NOT saute them that the Kitchen Police will nab you.  Do what works for YOU in your kitchen!  END SIDEBAR.

Go survey your pantry shelves and your fridge.  Determine what is available.  Do you have foods that are green or yellow or orange or white?  Do you have tomatoes?  How about garlic, if your gang fancies it?  You might have onion powder or cumin or chili powder or some other flavor that could be added.  Taste your concoction, add a pinch of flavor and taste it again. Playing with your food in this way makes for full flavor!

After you have decided what you’ll put into your soup, put some effort into setting an inviting table.  Use mugs for the soup instead of bowls for a change.  If you have place mats, that will make a nice touch.  No mats?  How about paper towels or clean hand towels from your bathroom shelf?  Making a nice table, sharing a meal with your loved ones, engaging in meaningful tabletop conversation can shape your children’s lives in wonderful ways.  Little people love to decorate paper table cloths or paper napkins with crayons and art work…

Many people like crackers in their soup. Some people place a slice of bread in the bottom of their bowl and pour the soup over it. You can also use popped corn to top off any soup.  Kids think this is great fun.

Personally, I love to cook.  Not everybody likes to cook, has the time to cook or the  ingredients on hand to make soup or any other meal.  It’s quite possible you never learned to cook for whatever reasons.  Maybe you need a mentor.  Ask a neighbor or relative or friend to take you under their wing and show you the tips that make their kitchen turn out great food.  People love to help one another. Your local Action Center offers cooking classes, too.  In Southeast Nebraska there is no cost for these lessons.  For those of you who are in the Tecumseh, NE area you can call the office for information about the classes:  402 335 2134 and ask for Terri.

This little corner of the internet aims to help those who depend on Public Assistance for their food dollars and the Club House is always open for people who want to learn to cook.  You are welcome to contact us by emailing foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  Oh, how we love mail!

As you probably know, this blog is dedicated to helping people who use Public Assistance for their food dollars.  You may hold an EBT card for WIC or SNAP…you may be using goods from food commodities or a food pantry.  Maybe you attended a food drop or someone gifted you with some foodstuffs.  In any case, our purpose here is to help you stretch your food budget and let you know that someone cares about your situation, whatever it may be.

Happy National Soup Day, kids!  I hope this post has helped you.  Please consider yourself hugged.

Connie Baum 

PS:  Check out Carol’s blog!  She has a soup recipe you’ll love!  *Her blog is snazzier than this one, too! grin

Food Stamps Cooking: Holidays

November 24th, 2015

 

It's a pity you cannot SMELL this luscious soup!

It’s a pity you cannot SMELL this luscious soup!

When our guys come home for any visit they clamor for this soup! It is only cauliflower and onions but they fancy it is a gourmet offering!

It is a thick, flavorful broth that begs for crusty bread or crackers.  We usually have a green salad with it; sometimes it’s a fruit salad.

If cauliflower is not available you can substitute cabbage.  All I do is steam a head of cauliflower…if I were to use cabbage, I’d chop and steam that…and I saute a couple of large onions.  I work in batches to whirl the ingredients  in the food processor.  *You could use a blender, too.  The idea is to make a smooth, creamy soup.  It would be just as tasty if you simply combine the cooked vegetables without blending or processing.  You’ll have a thinner, soupier consistency but the flavor will be the same: GREAT!

To make it creamy I made a gravy (See the video if gravy is a mystery to you.).  I combined everything, added salt and pepper an stirred it.  When I tasted it, I felt that it needed “something” so I put some chicken stock into the mix.  *If you have bullion cubes you can use that with water.  It boosted the flavor and made it a bit thinner.  When I serve this I will sprinkle some parsley over the top of each bowl.  I am blessed to have fresh parsley but I would not hesitate to use dried herbs.

This takes some doing but it is EASY and very economical.  Often you’ll find onions at special prices.  The thing about soup is that when your family gathers for a meal the clean up is minimal.  That leaves more time for card playing, visiting, and looking through photo albums!

If you are a user of WIC or SNAP’s EBT cards you are likely interested to learn how to s t r e t c h those food dollars.  Maybe you have things from a food pantry, food drop or you get food commodities.  In any case, we are dedicated to serving those of you who use Public Assistance for your food dollars.  We only want to help.  We are not selling a thing.  If you want to become a Member you will receive a little series of cooking tips.

When this little  blog was created, Mother Connie was warned that users of Public Assistance would never find it.  Well, I’m here to tell you that users of Public Assistance are always looking for the best ways to help themselves.  I recently had a message from someone who felt she had benefited immensely from the ideas presented here.  This sort of feedback is what keeps Mother Connie searching for ways to keep on keeping on!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind.

Food Stamps Cooking: Stew

November 19th, 2015
Tummy warming veg and meat with a savory gravy is perfect to serve your family AND your guests!

Tummy warming veg and meat with a savory gravy is perfect to serve your family AND your guests!

We had a guest who came for coffee and stayed for lunch!  The photo above shows you what we served her.  It must have been good, because when she was offered seconds, she readily agreed to have more!

It was a simple dish and food budget friendly.

I took cooked beef-you could use ground beef or poultry or even canned meat-and I made gravy.

SIDEBAR:  You can choose to make brown gravy or white (cream) gravy.  I made brown gravy so I used a bit of oil and added some flour and beef broth.  The video for gravy shows how to make cream gravy.  Both are as easy as can be.  END SIDEBAR.

The vegetables I used were onion, carrot and celery.  Classic trinity. You could use that or you could choose whatever you find in your pantry.  You could augment the trinity with your canned choice.   I sauteed the veggies til they were soft and then added them to the beef and gravy.  Before I served this dish I added dried kale bits and parsley for a bit of color and additional nutrition.

Dessert was strawberries, which were a gift from a dear relative we visited over the weekend!  Mmmmm…such great flavor.

It’s so easy to make tasty dishes, even if you are using an EBT card for WIC or SNAP.  If you have food commodities it’s easy to ‘build’ a stew with those supplies.  Choose your foods wisely, using TLC for your food budget.  You really do have a choice and that would be to pay the grocer or the doctor.  I am living proof that good nutrition makes for robust health.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind.

Food Stamps Cooking: TOMATOES!

October 14th, 2015

 

IMG_20151009_103325049_HDR

The Tomato Fairy has been very kind to us!

The tomato season is winding down…far too fast for this Nebraska girl.  Oh, how we love the plump, juicy beauties during tomato season!  We have been fortunate to be the recipients of  OPG…other people’s gardens.  We made short shrift of every tomato that crossed our threshold!

The lovelies you see here  were prepared very simply.  I washed them, dropped them into a pot of boiling water til the skins popped.  Then I peeled them carefully and quartered them.  The juice just RAN!  After they were snuggled in the bowl I sprinkled some basil over the whole bunch.

SIDEBAR: Dry basil will work just fine if that’s what you have.  I was fortunate to have frozen basil, which is essentially fresh.  Fresh herbs add a brightness that enhances the flavor of the tomatoes.  Whenever you have freshly grown basil, simply put some in each cup of an ice cube tray, add a touch of water to each cup and freeze as if they were simply ice cubes.  When you need a touch of brightness for your spaghetti sauce or other dishes, simply pull out what you need and use as if it were freshly cut!  END SIDEBAR.

These tomatoes were salted a wee bit, peppered liberally, and just a ‘scosh’ of sugar got sprinkled over  the whole works.  ‘Scosh’ is a technical cooking term my dad made up.  It means ‘just a little bit’…grin.  I also dribbled a teeny tiny bit of olive oil over the tomatoes so they’d be more ‘dressed’…can’t serve naked tomatoes, after all.  giggle.

If you have canned whole tomatoes, which can be found in food pantry bundles or food commodities you can season those just as I have described.  Tomatoes is one of those foods that helps keep the food budget intact because tomatoes can be used in a variety of ways.

Do you have an EBT card for WIC or SNAP?  Do you find yourselves living on a dime?  Are you watching your food dollars like a hawk because you receive public assistance?  Or, maybe you just enjoy the ‘game’ of being frugal.  In any case, this little piece of the internet is dedicated to those of you who may not be gourmet cooks but you are feeding your family on a shoestring budget.  We GET it.  We want to help.

If you have signed up to be a Member of this bunch, we welcome you warmly to the Club House.  If you are receiving the little cooking tips we send along we hope you find them helpful.  We love hearing from our members at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind.

 

 

 

 

Food Stamps Cooking Club: DIY

September 7th, 2015
Stirred custard with plums

This dish of goodness began with a DIY mix I made for very little $ and a few ingredients in my very own kitchenIC!

Our South East Nebraska Community Action Center offers Cooking Classes every so once in awhile…At the most recent class we made frozen meals.  We brought the meat and were given all the other ingredients to make the recipes and pop them into our own freezers.  IT WAS FABULOUS.

I want to share one of the recipes with all of you Members!  It is a simple concoction that can be used for casseroles, gravy, stews, whatever your imagination can conjure!  Here you go:

HOME MADE DRY GRAVY MIX

2 cups dry milk powder

3/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 chicken bouillon

2 Tablespoons minced onion flakes

1 teaspoon thyme leaves  (I used powdered thyme cuz that’s what was on my shelf!)

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon pepper

METHOD:

Combine and mix well.  Store dry up to 6 months.  Use 1/3 cup dry mix with 1  1/4 cups water.  Needs 2 or 3 minutes to cook.

*I tossed this into the crock pot with pork chops and it made a lovely gravy.  I cooked potatoes and dumped them into the ‘hot tub’…it smelled divine and it tasted really, really good!  With a crisp cucumber salad and a dish of fruit we ate like royalty and were well nourished!

If you are a user of SNAP or WIC; if you have an EBT card for either program, you might need a bit of help to make those food dollars stretch.  Maybe you have availed yourself of a food pantry or got in on a food drop…any way to make the food dollars go farther is a good thing.  Here at the Food Stamps Cooking Club our mission is to help you eat well for less money.  We are not selling anything; we don’t nag you about anything.  We do have a little series of cooking tips; it’s not fancy and there are no apps.  Just some ideas now and again for those who use public assistance for their food dollars.  Cuz we love people!

If you need to comment or have a question you are welcome to send a message to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Tomatoes!

August 26th, 2015

**A series of unfortunate technical issues prevents Mother Connie from posting photos.  Unless the Blog Fairies come to the aid of the cause, that’s the status of pictures.  Alas.

Now let’s talk about tomatoes.

Nebraska tomatoes are famous for their rich red color and sweet, juicy meat.  Slicers find their way to BLT sammies and we who live in Nebraska seem never to tire of that offering.

There are so many other ways to enjoy this fruit.  I remember that when I was a child my mother used her home canned tomatoes to make what she called “Stewed Tomatoes”.    Some people think of stewed tomatoes as having herbs cooked into them and maybe some end-of-the-garden goodies included.

Mom’s dish was simply tomatoes and bread.  She would leave slices of home made bread on the counter at night, covered with a clean tea towel.  For lunch the next day, she would cut the bread into squares and add the cubes into a pan full of her canned tomatoes, juice and all.  She would add salt and pepper and a generous spoonful of sugar.  When they were warm she would spoon helpings of the red sweetness onto our plates, along with whatever else was on the menu.

One of the things we saw on many lunch or dinner plates over the years were ground beef patties, salmon patties or crisp bacon.  It makes my mouth water now, just to think of those meals!

At this time of year when the tomatoes are slowing down their production one good idea for using them is to include them with other veggies to make “Ratatouie”.  I dunno if that is French for “last of the veggies” or what it means, but by washing, peeling and chopping squashes, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, or anything that is still giving life you can make a terrific meal.  Toss the whole business into a crock pot and let the appliance do your work.  Season the goodness with garlic, onion powder, a pinch of chili powder or whatever seasonings your family clamors to have and you have the makings of a great meal.  If you toast a bit of barley to add to the mix and a few beans (canned are the most convenient and least cost effective) you have complete protein.  A cabbage slaw (if you did not put cabbage into the crock pot) would make a nice side for a nutritious evening meal.  And think how great the house will smell with all that homeyness bubbling in the cooker!

One of the cooking tips I would share with you about tomatoes is this:  To cut the acidity of the tomatoes you might like to add a bit of sugar-not too much-so that the flavor is enhanced.  Sugar seems to brighten the flavor of tomatoes.

And who among us does not love a tomato sammie?  A slice of bread, smeared with  mayo or butter, a slice of red lusciousness, another slice of bread and you have pure luxury in your very own hands!

Does the peeling of tomatoes seem like a bother?  The enzymes are just below the skin but tomato skins can be tough to chew or slice.  Try this:  Using the BACK of your paring knife, use a peeling motion from the stem of the tomato to the bottom, going all the way around the tomato.  Then as you peel that tough skin will pull away from the fruit without “mooshing” it.  You’ll have a pretty, smooth tomato to slice.

Another way to use tomatoes is to cut them into wedges, arrange them on a plate and sprinkle dry sweet basil (if you have fresh basil that’s even better!) and drizzle a bit of French dressing or olive oil over the whole works.  When presented on a platter over a bed of lettuce, this dish looks pretty and even the pickiest children will be more tempted to eat fresh tomatoes.  Remember to use a pinch of sugar over the top, too!

If you use SNAP or WIC to beef up your grocery budget, here’s hoping that these ideas will be helpful for you.  Maybe you depend on a food pantry from time to time or a food drop.  If you have food commodities or garden goods from a generous benefactor this might help you to s t r e t c h your food dollars.  This blog is dedicated to those who depend on Public Assistance.  We are not selling a thing; we just want everyone to feel as valuable as they are and help those who are in need of some food ideas!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind.

 

 

Food Stamps Cooking Club: EOM

July 30th, 2015

Jeepers Creepers!  It is the End of the Month and the WIC or SNAP funds are  pretty much toast.  The family has to eat…what’s a family to DO?

Making the food budget and the month come out even can be tricky, as you surely have experienced.  I have a couple of ideas that may help you get everybody nourished and not have to go to bed hungry.

There was a time when eggs were a bargain.  Today that is no longer true.  You already know that beans and rice are good values but I’m guessing you’ve had your fill of those.

What about lentils?  Have you tried those?  They cook in about 20 minutes, come in a variety of colors, provide great fiber and protein and they are cheap as anything.

If you have some onion or carrot to jazz lentils up a bit to add color and nutrition, that is a plus.  Just throw some rinsed lentils of whatever color you have into a saucepan, cover them with water, put the lid on the pan and bring them to a boil. When they have reached the boiling point, reduce the heat and let them simmer til they are tender.  I like to saute any veggies I add but you don’t need to do that if you are in a rush.

If you are fortunate to have prunes, raisins, canned fruit of any kind, that makes a nutritious dessert and your tummy will thank you.

Another inexpensive go-to is rice and spinach–or any greens you may have access to…turnip greens, kale, chard or cabbage–even beet tops.  Cook the rice, add the chopped greens at the last moment to let them wither.  Season them with salt, pepper and any other seasonings your gang likes.  If you have the luxury of bread, you might like to toast it to offer some crunch to the menu.

If you have other EOM meals that you are famous for, let us know by sending an email to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com .  WE LOVE MAIL.

We love YOU, too.  People who depend on public assistance for their food dollars are not exactly livin’ the dream.  We understand and just want to help a little.

You who have shared this site with others by joining and spreading the word are really doing your part to help others.  We offer a little  series of cooking tips we hope will give you some concrete help.  It would be more fun if we could hang out in your kitchen or go grocery shopping with you … this seems to be the next best thing.

Summer is quickly drawing to a close and we’ll be talking about cooler weather ideas soon.  Be well, people, and know that you are loved.

Connie Baum

PS/Please visit the website for SENCA if you are a resident of South East Nebraska.  You may find resources there that will be helpful to you and yours. For instance, they are hosting a FREE cooking class tomorrow in Tecumseh, NE.  Their motto is “Helping People; Changing Lives”…it is worth a peek! 

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: These Can’t Be Leftovers!

June 26th, 2015

IMG_20150626_113035736This does not LOOK like a pot of leftovers and it did not taste “left over” either!

Do you remember the spinach dish I prepared yesterday?  It was so delicious!  I dumped the meat we did not eat in with the spinach and put it away in the refrigerator.  It sat there all night, marrying all the flavors and getting even yummier.

For lunch today I sauteed carrots, onions and celery in a bit of coconut oil.  While they cooked I poured in a drizzle of beef broth so that would help finish cooking them.  While all this was warming gently, I heated the pot of creamed spinach and ground beef very slowly.  *I did NOT want it to scorch!

When the veggies were tender I added them to the pot which now became the soup pot!  The fragrance wafted through the house and coaxed The Normanator to the kitchen just to see what was cooking!

Since there were more ingredients today it needed more liquid.  I stirred some corn starch with a little water and poured that into the soup pot.  I added a bit more milk till I liked the consistency and I taste tested for quality assurance.  wink/wink

One more thing went in: about 2 cups of sliced mushrooms!  You can see what a pretty dish this made.  The bright green of the spinach, the sunny-ness of the carrots, and the milky liquid was cheerful and inviting!

We enjoyed soup plates full of this goodness and for dessert we had a small dish of strawberries.  We did not carry on scintillating conversation; we were enjoying our gourmet goodness!

Part of the reason this meal was so satisfying is that fresh ingredients were used.  During the summer months, fresh food is more readily available and here’s hoping you have as much fresh food as you need.  If you have enough to share, that’s even better.

Are you a user of an EBT card for WIC or SNAP?  Do you get food from a food pantry or a food bank?  Maybe you get food commodities.  It could be that you just enjoy being frugal or just getting by because you are living on a dime.  In any case, this little corner of the internet is meant for users of Public Assistance.  We dearly hope you find the information we offer you to be useful.

We have closed the comment panel but you are welcome to leave a comment for us at this address:  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

 Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Curry?

April 27th, 2015

The Normanator and I grew up eating liver and loving it. ONE guy at church brings it once a month; he obviously loves it, too.  But hardly anyone likes it, really.

Before you turn away in disgust, just see how we prepare it at our house:

It is rinsed and we make sure the membrane is cut away from the meat.  That membrane is what makes the meat tough…ugh!  As soon as it is rinsed, each piece is laid out on a clean dishtowel.  *You could use paper toweling, if you have it, but that uses up lots of trees.  Just sayin’…

After it has been patted dry, each slice is dunked into an egg mixture…just eggs, beaten slightly.

Next it is drawn through seasoned flour and the flour is seasoned liberally with salt, pepper and curry powder.  Any excess is gently shaken away.

These pieces are set aside on a platter while 2 or 3 onions are peeled and sliced.  Those go into  a bit of oil in a cold oven-worthy skillet or baking pan.  The meat is layered over the onions, a cover is set and the whole thing goes into a COLD oven.  The oven is set at *350 for about 45 minutes to an hour.  That’s when it’s safe to peek into the oven to check the doneness of the meat with a fork.  If the meat is tender and nicely browned and the onions are clear, with juice in the bottom of the pan, your food is ready to serve. If you want the meat to cook longer, just leave it in the oven til it looks the way you like it.

We like to serve this with spinach.  Sometimes I cream it.  If I do this, mashed potatoes are added to the menu, so the creamed veg tops the potatoes like gravy.  Other times we season the spinach with salt and pepper and a few drops of rice vinegar. *Any vinegar will do.  Spinach is beyond delicious when a pinch of nutmeg is added just before it’s served.  Nutmeg can be added to the creamed version; but adding vinegar to that is inadvisable.

This blog is dedicated to users of Public Assistance for their food dollars.  Food budgets that are strengthened by EBT cards and WIC need all the help available.  So do those budgets dependent on food commodities or food drops or food pantries.  We hope our target audience finds help from our offerings.

There is a place in the upper right hand corner for people who might like to get a series of cooking tips.  Just click the button and you are instantly a Member of the Food Stamps Cooking Club!  We cherish each member and value your thoughts and opinions.  If you have ideas to share you are welcome to send us a messsage:

foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

There is nothing to buy; no fancy apps.  Just common sense ideas for frugal food prep!  With a bit of humor, served on the side.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Lunch is Ready!

April 20th, 2015

The weather in our part of the world invites this cook to make soup for lunch!  *The weather most any day does this; we are soup LOVERS.

We are also frugal.  Lunch ‘out’ is way spendy, unless lunch ‘out’ means we are eating on the deck…and today it’s way too windy for THAT !  grin

A good friend will be here to share our lunch. I’m going to make a low cost soup so good she will beg for seconds.

Here’s what I’ll do:

Saute` 1/2 an onion in a bit of oil *I prefer coconut; you use what YOU like best.

I’ll add a couple of carrots, scrubbed and sliced and toss  in a 2 or 3 ribs of chopped celery.  I’ll cook this over a medium heat til they are tender and fragrant.  Just for fun I’ll season the mixture with salt, pepper and a touch of garlic powder.

I’ll set that skillet aside and put 1 cup of rinsed lentils into a saucepan.  I’ll cover those with 2+ cups of broth and bring those to a boil.  As soon as they have come to a boil I will add the veggies I sauteed earlier.  The whole soup will be finished in about 20 minutes!

SIDEBAR: If you do not have broth, or don’t care to use it don’t fret.  Broth only makes the soup richer.  Nobody will croak if you use water.  But you might like to season the water with rosemary or sage or garlic.  Make it taste  the way YOU like it to taste!  Golly, you can season BROTH that way, too! Also, if you have a bigger family you’ll want to use more lentils and more cooking liquid.  END SIDEBAR.

Lentils are a complete protein so there is no reason to add rice or barley or any other grain. But this meal will be more complete if it is accompanied by a veggie salad.

I browsed through the fridge and came up with mushrooms, Romaine lettuce, red onion, celery, cherry tomatoes, red, green, and yellow peppers.  Methinks this collection of goodness will make a bright, crisp companion for the Lentil Soup.

The Normanator likes crackers in his soup.  I think I’ll change things up a bit and pop some corn to use as “croutons”…it’s good fiber, no gluten and makes the house smell yummy.

Lunch is ready.  Won’t you join us?  (I WISH.)

This soup is so easy that children could help.

If you have an EBT card for SNAP or WIC we hope this blog is helpful for you.  If you use food commodities or food from a food drop or food pantry we want to help you s t r e t c h your food budget!

We welcome your comments and we are thrilled to have new members!  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com will get us your comments!

Connie Baum

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PS/Next month SENCA will host a cooking class dealing with seasonings.  We would LOVE to have your ideas about how YOU use spices and herbs…you have our address…just sayin’