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Mickey'snewestfan
03-09-2011, 09:00 PM
We like meat in this family, but both for health and budget reasons I'd like to cut back. This week I tried two meals:

A "cabbage pot" with lots of cabbage, onions, carrots, peas and a small amount of sausage.

Lentils with bacon, onions, carrots, and zucchini.

Both were relatively delicious, relatively healthy, and much cheaper than having a slab of meat for dinner.

What similar recipes can you think of? I'd particularly love to find some with fish or lean unprocessed poultry or meat, rather than more sausage or bacon.

Thanks!

sdzman
03-09-2011, 09:11 PM
I make a dish with whole wheat CousCous, peas, carrots and ground turkey. Season well and it's awesome.

Fried rice. Use brown rice, tons of asian vegetables and you can add shrimp, chicken, lean pork or all of them.

marcemc
03-09-2011, 10:27 PM
Picadillos are dishes made with veggies & then just a little bit of meat for flavor.

You can google the recipes & I am sure you will find tons of them.

My favorite is "picadillo de papa" (potato) with ground beef.

-Hope-
03-09-2011, 10:28 PM
About two years ago I started using 1/2 pound of hamburger in recipes I'd previously used a pound in- spaghetti, chili, hamburger soup, etc. No one can even taste the difference so I started doing it with chicken as well. I load up our fajitas, alfredos, etc. with vegetables or pasta and use only two pieces of chicken for our family of four.

java
03-10-2011, 06:02 AM
1 steak sliced thin for beef and broccoli

Last night we had breakfast fried rice, bacon eggs scallions in rice with soy

I make a pasta sauce with small amounts of bacon,four slices chopped sauted in some olive oil add a can or two of chopped tomatoes sprinkle with cayenne. This is the kids favorite.

DisneyAndRedSox
03-10-2011, 06:12 AM
I make this in the crock pot every few weeks- it is copy of Olive Garden's Pasta Fagioli soup. I cook the pasta separately and add a lot more than what the recipe says since we eat it as a meal.

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/day-305.html

TiffanyK
03-10-2011, 06:14 AM
I cook like that quite a bit. Here are a few of my recipes that come to mind:

Vietnam Fried Rice (http://eatathomecooks.com/2009/01/vietnam-fried-rice.html) - actually from More with Less cookbook, a great resource

Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice (http://eatathomecooks.com/2011/01/ham-and-pineapple-fried-rice.html)

Chipotle Lime Chicken Scampi (http://eatathomecooks.com/2011/02/chipotle-lime-chicken-scampi.html)

You can easily decrease the meat in any of these even more, if you like. There are lots more on my site, but I don't have time to link them right now.

TiffanyK
03-10-2011, 06:18 AM
oops, double posting

MickeyMomOfThree
03-10-2011, 07:44 AM
Forgive the directions being kind of childish, my DD11 entered this recipe for a school project and rather then typing it all out I copied it. :) It is so good, her favorite and in fact what I am making tonight.

Ingredients-
1 Chicken Breast, Cooked and Shredded*
1 pound Mushrooms
2 T Butter
2 T flour
2 C Half and Half
2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
1 Bag Egg Noodles
Garlic Salt to taste
*My mom always has cooked, shredded chicken breast frozen in small packs in the freezer, they are about a cup worth and she says that is about one breast. She cooks it up when she has time and then freezes it for busy nights. It can thaw and be thrown into a casserole, pasta, tacos, etc in no time making a homemade meal even faster and healthier and cheaper then take out.


Directions-
In a large pan, cook down a pound of mushrooms washed and sliced. You donít cook them in anything, just let them cook down till the water in them cooks out. It will seem like a lot but they cook way down.

Once they have cooked down and all the water has cooked away put 2 tablespoons of real butter into the pan (butter isnít great for you, but itís not that much.) When it melts add 2 tablespoons of flour and mix to coat the mushrooms in a sticky butter-flour mixture.

Now slowly add 2 cups of half and half. (You can also use cream but they taste about the same, the only difference is cream makes it thicker, but half and half is better for you.) By adding it slow you will get it to thicken up and start the sauce when it mixes with the butter/flour. Let this cook a bit to thicken. While it is cooking put in 2 chicken bouillon cubes and let them cook down till the break apart and stir them in well.

While it is simmering you need to boil up a bag of egg noodles, we use whole wheat ones.

Once the noodles are done, you drain them and mix them with the mushroom sauce and the chicken and you season it with garlic sauce to taste. Not too much, but it makes the meal extra tasty.

MEM
03-10-2011, 07:52 AM
With most crockpot recipes I just use half the amount of meat and twice the vegetables.

scrapquitler
03-10-2011, 08:08 AM
You can use most any pasta dish with small amounts of meat (lasagna with a small amount of meat, macaroni with meat in the sauce), soups are a good way to use just a small amount of meat in the meal, also stir fry with lots of veggies, rice and small bits of meat. Or you can do big salads with meat on it (like grilled chicken pieces) to add the protein.

Pretty much any casserole as well. My Mom always made casseroles with whatever she had around in the house: noodles, rice, potato chunks, some veggies, pieces of meat (usually leftovers, but not always), and often some sort of gravy/broth. The meat was definitely not the main part of the meal because she was always trying to stretch the food budget as much as possible.

Emme
03-10-2011, 08:13 AM
What a great idea for a thread...I am writing some of these down. Thanks!

leadfootlevi
03-10-2011, 08:14 AM
I use 1/2 pound of ground beef/pork/chicken when I make pasta. I will add cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, squash, peppers, etc to make up the difference.

Most casseroles I do the same - 1/2 the meat and extra veggies. A favorite of ours - Shepard's Pie. Yum!

TiffanyK
03-10-2011, 08:58 AM
I found some more recipes. I realized that many of the recipes in this list of 63 Budget Friendly Meals, Meal Stretchers and Desserts (http://eatathomecooks.com/2011/03/63-budget-friendly-meals-meal-stretchers-and-desserts.html) use little to no meat.

Disney845
03-10-2011, 09:12 AM
On tuesday night I browned a pound of ground beef, mixed it with taco seasoning, then split the beef in half.

For dinner that night we had soft tacos with the ground beef, refried beans, salsa, cheese, and sour cream.

Then yesterday (wed) I mixed the remaining ground beef and refried bean with a can of regular tomato sauce. I boiled some rotini pasta then mixed the drained pasta with the tomato sauce/beef/bean mix in a casserole dish and topped with shredded mexi cheese. When it came out of the oven I sprinkled some crushed tortilla chips on the top and added a bit of sour cream. This made enough for 2 meals, so I am getting three night's dinner out of this one pound of ground beef.

Another recipe I have made in the past with left over taco beef and refried beans was a stuffed shell recipe I found online (kraft I think). You boiled the jumbo shell pasta, then stuffed it with meat/beans and put it in a backing pan fully covered in salsa with cheese on top.

Both are quick, easy and yummy.

juliebean
03-10-2011, 09:15 AM
Great recipes and ideas - I've been in such a dinner rut lately!

I always use half the meat and a can of black beans for any mexican dish - tacos, taco salad, chicken & black bean enchiladas. Just have to go light on the cheese and sour cream, or it's kind of bad anyway.

I also buy spiral hams and have one meal and then cube the remainder and freeze it - I use it in hash, corn chowder, split pea soup, omelettes - I swear a couple of pounds will make a dozen meals! Fast, healthy and economical, you can buy the regular ham - but I tend to think the spiral has more flavor and when you are using a small amount, flavor is important.

We also tend to do a lot of pasta dishes with a half a pound of shrimp and veggies or variations or that - they are always good, somehow!

princessmom29
03-10-2011, 10:00 AM
15 bean soup. I used either leftover chopped ham or a 1/2 lb ground beef in mine, and a pot feeds my family of 3 twice with leftovers for DH's lunch. I used chicken tomato bullion form the mexican section instead of the included seasoning.

buckirj1
03-10-2011, 10:20 AM
White beans mixed with greens and a small amount of diced Canadian bacon or ham.

Emme
03-10-2011, 10:39 AM
I found some more recipes. I realized that many of the recipes in this list of 63 Budget Friendly Meals, Meal Stretchers and Desserts (http://eatathomecooks.com/2011/03/63-budget-friendly-meals-meal-stretchers-and-desserts.html) use little to no meat.

Thanks!! Nice site;)

**I also make a yummy mozzarella and white bean pasta. So delicious and so easy and inexpensive...

Melt 4 TBS. of butter and I TBS. of Olive Oil. Add 1 clove of minced garlic and saute over low heat. Cook 1 lb. of pasta.
Add 1 can of rinsed and drained small white beans (they are sweet and mild) to the butter oil and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes over low/med. Before draining pasta carefully add 1 cup of the hot pasta water to the bean mixture. Drain pasta and mix with bean mixture. Add shredded mozzarella (about 8 oz.) and mix thouroughly. It will be stringy and soft.

Really economical and very tasty!

luvmy3
03-10-2011, 10:54 AM
For recipes that call for 1lb of meat, I will use about 1/2 to 3/4 lbs and then add things like beans, chickpeas, extra veggies, potatoes, pasta.
Another way to stretch the budget when it comes to meat, is to buy as large portion when its on sale and use it for multiple things. I buy pot roast when its on sale, and cook it to have as regular pot roast one night, shredded up and rolled into tortillas for enchiladas another. If I'm running low on the beef, I just add some refried beans in there.
I buy large pork roasts on sale and get at least 2-3 meals out of them by throwing them in the crockpot with BBQ sauce and shredding them. Eat it for dinner one night, freeze the leftovers for another night.

teacup princess
03-10-2011, 11:16 AM
I like to save any leftover breakfast meats throughout the week ( ham, bacon, sausage) and then throw it in a quiche with any leftover salad fixins and have it for dinner once a week or so. Almost any meat or veggie works, doesn't take much, and makes a good economical meal.

TiffanyK
03-10-2011, 04:55 PM
Thanks!! Nice site;)

**I also make a yummy mozzarella and white bean pasta. So delicious and so easy and inexpensive...

Melt 4 TBS. of butter and I TBS. of Olive Oil. Add 1 clove of minced garlic and saute over low heat. Cook 1 lb. of pasta.
Add 1 can of rinsed and drained small white beans (they are sweet and mild) to the butter oil and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes over low/med. Before draining pasta carefully add 1 cup of the hot pasta water to the bean mixture. Drain pasta and mix with bean mixture. Add shredded mozzarella (about 8 oz.) and mix thouroughly. It will be stringy and soft.

Really economical and very tasty!

That sounds good and a bit different than the usual fare.

QVCshopper
03-10-2011, 05:25 PM
Quesadillas are easy and don't take much meat. I cooked 1/2 lb chicken, added onions and peppers; season to taste. Meanwhile, heat up four tortilla shells; then pile cheese on two of the shells, top with the chicken mixture, top with cheese and the other shell. Bake until lightly golden brown. So yummy, and not a lot of meat needed.

I often buy a big thing of chicken and cut it up for various meal. Then I freeze the already cut meat and use throughout the month as needed.

Kycha
03-10-2011, 08:36 PM
About two years ago I started using 1/2 pound of hamburger in recipes I'd previously used a pound in- spaghetti, chili, hamburger soup, etc. No one can even taste the difference so I started doing it with chicken as well. I load up our fajitas, alfredos, etc. with vegetables or pasta and use only two pieces of chicken for our family of four.
This is what I do. Another tip, for tacos, if I have leftover rice, I add it to the meat as a filler. Or I'll just add a cup of frozen corn as a filler. This is delicious too. The sweetness of the corn goes well with the saltiness/spiciness of the taco seasoning.