Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lentil, Quinoa & Vegetable Stew

Last  year, I came across this wonderful recipe in the March/April 2010 edition of Best Health Magazine, and I have been making it ever since.  At just .53 cents , it can’t be beat!

Lentil, Quinoa & Vegetable Stew

Lentil, Quinoa & Vegetable Stew

Ingredients:                                                                           Cost:

1 cup water                                                                                         free

1 ½ cups dried green lentils                                                         .06

¼  cup quinoa, uncooked                                                              .56

1 796-ml can diced tomatoes                                                     1.08

1 cup diced carrots                                                                            .23

1 cup celery, diced                                                                             .53

½  medium onion, diced                                                                  .17

3-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced (I use 5)                                   .25

2 tsp dried thyme                                                                                .09

2 tsp black pepper (I use 1 ½)                                                      .04

4 cups chicken broth (I use water and bullion)                     .68

Total Cost                                                                                         $ 4.23

Total Cost per serving                                                                       .53

 

Preparation:  Rinse the lentils in a strainer.  Rinse the quinoa.  The quinoa will need a fine sieve.  Tip If you don’t have a fine sieve a use a splatter cover that you put over frying pans to help contain grease or oil.  I found mine at the dollar store.  It is a bit messier than using the sieve so if you really like quinoa I would recommend buying a sieve.    Continue with one of the following methods.

Method One:  Throw all your prepared ingredients into a four quart or larger slow cooker, place the cover on it, then cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours.  That’s it.  Easy peesy!

Method Two:  Saute the onions in a small amount of oil until soft in a large pot then add your remaining ingredients.   Turn up the heat until it is boiling then reduce to a simmer, cover with the lid and allow to simmer for about half an hour.  That’s it!

This recipe makes 8 1 ½ cup servings and I find it very satisfying and delicious.  For lunch I will often serve it with a slice of home-made bread or a corn meal muffin (recipe to follow soon).  For dinner if you want something more substantial to eat,  consider adding a salad or some fruit.

Tip:  This recipe stores very well in the freezer.

Tip:  If you can’t find quinoa in the grocery store, try looking in the organic foods department.  I have had better luck overall going to a health food store.

Tip: If you don’t have a fine sieve a use a splatter cover that you put over frying pans to help contain grease or oil.  I found mine at the dollar store.  It is a bit messier than using the sieve so if you really like quinoa I would recommend buying a sieve.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and please come back soon to see how you can save money by eating centsibly.

Bread Machine Love

Oh how I love my bread machine!  A few simple ingredients, a press of a button and four hours later (if not sooner) I have fresh homemade bread with no preservatives, no additives, and it is considerably less expensive than what I would pay in the grocery store.

Perhaps you are intimidated by thought of learning to use a bread machine, or perhaps you have tried it out and ended up with bread that more resembled bricks than bread at the end of the process, so you have “retired” your machine to the deepest recesses of your cupboards…..or perhaps you have even became so disillusioned that you kicked it to the curb.  I would encourage you to give it another chance. 

Here are some tips that have helped me.

To save time:

Instead of taking the temperature with a thermometer, try using your wrist.  Place the inside of your wrist under running warm water and if the water feels neither, hotter or colder than your wrist, it is a good temperature for making bread.  In other words, the water on your wrist should not have a hot or cold feeling…..just wet.

Bread Machine Mixes

Make your own mixes.  Find a recipe that you know you or your family like and measure out several batches at the same time into zip-lock bags or plastic reusable containers.  To do this……just add all the dry ingredients together.  Don’t worry about the salt and the yeast touching, after all, that is how it is done with bread mixes you buy in the supermarket.  Once measured, shake the ingredients to combine them together.  When it is time to make the bread……just add your liquid ingredients to the bottom of the bread pan.  If you don’t think you will make it that often…..store your mixes in the refrigerator or freezer, just don’t forget to let them come to room temperature before you make your bread otherwise the yeast may not rise  properly.  When done, store your bags in your freezer until you want to make a batch of mixes again.  You could wash the bags first, but I find that to be unnecessary unless you don’t make it very often.

Avoiding the squish factor:

For those of us who make bread machine bread on a regular basis, one of the biggest complaints is squashing the loaf of bread when you use a regular bread knife.  There is no real way around this problem unless you use an electric bread knife.  It only takes a minute and it helps you cut the slices into more uniform pieces.  Just make sure you let the bread cool for about an hour first.    Electric knives also allow you to cut your slices thinner for those who are concerned about the calorie count of your bread.

Finding an inexpensive bread machine:

So you have decided you want to try making your own bread in a bread machine but don’t want to spend a lot of money to do it.  My suggestion is to try garage sales.  I bought my bread machine at a garage sale for $5.00 and I received one for free at a sale that I gave to a friend.  If you are not a garage sale person, try putting in a request at www.freecycle.com  or www.kijiji.com.   Both of these websites list good useable items free for whoever wants one.  Another option is asking your friends, family, or coworkers, if they have one taking up space in their cupboards.  Perhaps they will pass it on to you for a reasonable price or for free.

Now that I have shown you some of the benefits of using a bread machine…here is a recipe I developed that I hope you will enjoy.

Kathleen’s Flax Seed Bread

Makes a 1 1/2 lb. Loaf

Ingredients:                                                                                                       Cost:

1 1/3 cups water……………………………………………………………….  free

2 tbsp. Oil……………………………………………………………………….   .o6

3 tbsp sugar…………………………………………………………………….   .06

1 ½ cups white flour*………………………………………………………..   .20

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour*……………………………………………….   .19

½ cup ground flax-seed………………………………………………………  .11

1 tsp salt…………………………………………………………………………..  .01

1 3/4 tsp yeast**………………………………………………………………..  .15

Total Cost per Loaf:  .78 cents

*If you are a non Canadian and wish to try this recipe, consider adding a tablespoon of gluten.  Canadian flour typically adds gluten in it.

**I buy my yeast at Costco which is considerably cheaper than buying it individually packaged at the grocery store.

Directions,

Add wet ingredients to your machine as well as the salt, unless you are making mixes…then add the salt in with the mix.

Grinding Flax Seed

If necessary, grind the flax-seed.  Tip: Ground flax-seed is usually more expensive than whole flax-seed and the nutritional value declines rapidly once it is ground.  Fresh is best!  To make it easily at home, use a coffee grinder.

 Add the dry ingredients in the order given.  Follow the directions given by your bread machine manufacturer…or select the cycle for basic white bread.

Once your bread is baked, remove it from the bread machine, wrap it in a fresh dish drying cloth and allow it to cool on a rack for one hour before slicing.

On a final note….so is it worth it?  To buy an equivalent loaf of bread in the grocery store will cost from $2.99 to $3.99 per loaf or more.  If your family eats two loaves of bread per week in a year it will cost you $310.96 to $414.96 or more.  To make the bread yourself will cost $81.10.  You will save anywhere from $229.84 to $333.84.  It’s worth it too me!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and please come back soon to see how you can save money by eating centsibly.

Hello world!

My name is Kathleen and I live in Ladysmith, B.C. Canada.

I was inspired to create this blog because of my interest in cooking quick, healthy meals on a budget.  There are many blogs on the internet that cover one or more of these topics extensively, but I find they are typically geared towards American consumers who have different grocery products and different price points than what we Canadians experience in our grocery stores.

So how can we save money while feeding our families quick and healthy meals?   I invite you to come with me as I explore cooking various recipes.  I will give an analysis of what it cost me to prepare it, and along the way, I will share tips and links that I find particularly helpful.

Welcome to my blog.