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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Cooking on a Budget: OAMC, Make Ahead, Freezing & More / Share your cheapie cheap meal
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    Share your cheapie cheap meal

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    anne in apex
    Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:45 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I just made an almost free meal, so I'll start. A couple of days ago I made Simmered Chinese Chicken, and had a lot of the sauce left over. I saved it, maybe 1 1/2 cups worth. Tonight I thinned it back down with maybe another 1 1/2 cups of water, diced in another green onion, about 1/2 c of turkey from the freezer (T'giving leftover) and about 1 c of brown rice from the freezer. Simmered for 10 minutes or so, till the green onion got soft. Baked up a little box of mini eggrolls, and we were good to go. icon_biggrin.gif

    What's your almost free concoction??
    Tish
    Tue Jan 16, 2007 7:23 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I'm thinking...... icon_lol.gif
    Annie H
    Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:32 pm
    Forum Host
    Left over rice, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and 1-2 chicken thighs. Add some pepper and parsely, bake until chicken is cooed through and rice and soup are bubbley. Of you're feeling rich, add a handful of cheese. icon_smile.gif
    Cookin-jo
    Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:43 am
    Food.com Groupie
    My best almost free meal is homemade pizza.

    I start with Bread Machine Whole Wheat Bread (Low Fat) which adds some whole wheat and makes 2 large pizzas, one for kids, one for parents. I make Freezer Pizza Sauce, usually doubled, and freeze what I don't use that day. My kids like only pepperoni, so I buy that on sale and divide it up, vacuum seal and freeze. For me and my husband I throw on whatever mushrooms, peppers, etc I have waiting to be used up.

    I consider anything "bread" to be free...flour and yeast go on sale all the time. I buy canned tomatoes and tomato paste on sale and the pizza sauce goes a long way. The big expense is the cheese...I usually buy pre-shredded "pizza" cheese on sale and use that but add whatever's kicking around for the adult pizza.

    With the price of good pizza delivery I think I'm making it as close to free as it gets. The bonus is that my kids get ticked off when I order in instead of making it.
    3KillerBs
    Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:29 am
    Food.com Groupie
    You know that last serving or so of cold meat that everyone loses interest in and won't eat?

    Periodically I take it all out and make a sandwhich of each kind (you can pull the meat off the BBQ ribs and mix with a little extra sauce for this). I cut those sandwhiches in little triangles and present a platter of assorted 1/4 sandwhiches.

    This is even better than free because the family would have let that meat spoil and that drives me absolutely NUTS!

    But they're glad to see the sandwhiches made from the food they were ignoring before. Go figure. icon_lol.gif
    Tish
    Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:35 am
    Food.com Groupie
    I had one this week. I made Funky Chicken with Sesame Noodles last week and one piece of chicken didn't get eaten. I am planning on putting it in the freezer and along with some vegie scraps and leftover pasta I have in the freezer, make a great soup. These are all "leftovers" that didn't get eaten and might have gone to the dog if I hadn't rescued them!
    Chef #432091
    Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:46 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    The cheapest would be omlets with leftover ham and vegtables.
    Kzim4
    Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:33 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Definitely chicken noodle soup. I make the broth using all my leftover veggie scraps (you know, all the ends that get cut off when chopping them up for other stuff), add a little left over chopped up chicken and some homemade (or even store bought) noodles, and Voila! My dh loves just the broth, too.
    Annie H
    Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:28 pm
    Forum Host
    Kzim4 wrote:
    Definitely chicken noodle soup. I make the broth using all my leftover veggie scraps (you know, all the ends that get cut off when chopping them up for other stuff), add a little left over chopped up chicken and some homemade (or even store bought) noodles, and Voila! My dh loves just the broth, too.
    I've always wondered about this. Do you mean the root ends from onions and carrots and things? Do you strain everything out? I always thought that it would taste a bit like mud, or bitter. Do you wash them or trim the little white root bits? Do you use onion skins? Do you have to freeze your scraps until you have enough?

    Sorry to have so many questions about one simple little thing.
    anne in apex
    Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:43 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I'm glad you asked, because I was going to. Today I used a couple of carrots in soup, but I peeled them because they were sorta dirty/bruised and had roots showing. I guess I could have cleaned them at the sink, but would the peelings have been good for broth? I've heard of using the onion skins, I just never have except in some turkey stock.

    I could do better, but I guess I'm kinda lazy. icon_redface.gif
    Kzim4
    Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:38 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Annie H wrote:
    I've always wondered about this. Do you mean the root ends from onions and carrots and things? Do you strain everything out? I always thought that it would taste a bit like mud, or bitter. Do you wash them or trim the little white root bits? Do you use onion skins? Do you have to freeze your scraps until you have enough?

    Sorry to have so many questions about one simple little thing.

    Yep, all that stuff. I just wash off the outsides of everything. I use the root ends, not trimed, and the peels of the veggies. Sometimes I put in potato peels, washed prior to peeling, of course. I keep a ziploc-type bag in the freezer and just throw in the pieces as I go. I also throw in little pieces of garlic (either ones that were in the center of the bulb and too small to deal with, or the root ends, or the very tops if I roast some). I save them until I have some chicken or turkey bones (usually a carcass after roasting), and then throw it all in a pot with some water. I let it simmer for a few hours and then strain everything out; first through my colander to get the big stuff out, and then through a metal mesh sieve for the small stuff. Then I season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
    Annie H
    Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:46 pm
    Forum Host
    Kzim4 wrote:
    Annie H wrote:
    I've always wondered about this. Do you mean the root ends from onions and carrots and things? Do you strain everything out? I always thought that it would taste a bit like mud, or bitter. Do you wash them or trim the little white root bits? Do you use onion skins? Do you have to freeze your scraps until you have enough?

    Sorry to have so many questions about one simple little thing.

    Yep, all that stuff. I just wash off the outsides of everything. I use the root ends, not trimed, and the peels of the veggies. Sometimes I put in potato peels, washed prior to peeling, of course. I keep a ziploc-type bag in the freezer and just throw in the pieces as I go. I also throw in little pieces of garlic (either ones that were in the center of the bulb and too small to deal with, or the root ends, or the very tops if I roast some). I save them until I have some chicken or turkey bones (usually a carcass after roasting), and then throw it all in a pot with some water. I let it simmer for a few hours and then strain everything out; first through my colander to get the big stuff out, and then through a metal mesh sieve for the small stuff. Then I season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
    This is so cool! I'm glad you brought it up. I'm going to have to start this. I end up throwing out a whole bunch of scraps almost every night and now I know what to do with them! Thank you!
    JillAZ
    Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:20 pm
    Forum Host
    I have made broth this way for a long time. It works great! You can also use up those last odds and ends of veggies left in the crisper drawer. I throw in carrot tops and beet greens as well as peelings and any other greens that need to be used up. Just wash everything really well and toss it in.
    DEEP
    Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:06 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    The broth will be even "tastier", with a new dimension, if roasted before putting in the broth!

    Regards,
    DEEP
    Cookin-jo
    Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:47 am
    Food.com Groupie
    If my kids ever saw me do that they would refuse to eat.

    Great ideas, and I'll have to get sneaky.
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