Cottage Pie with Italian Herbs & Baked Collard Green Chips

I’ve enjoyed a different cottage pie every so often since the weather started cooling off, and have made posts here and here about doing so. With the different seasonings I have on hand, and a tweak here-and-there, I can switch things up so making these pies doesn’t get old. The chips I baked the day before. and they were delicious sprinkled over the top.

Something I am trying to do is eat less meat. I’m not ready to give it up, but I’ve been trying to use it more as an ingredient than the main part of a meal. This saves money on the grocery bill. This also means I can use leftovers.

A serving is filling when served with a side salad.

Cottage Pie with Italian Herbs & Baked Collard Green Chips

Ingredients

1/4 to 1/2 pound of ground beef

1/2 a chicken breast

1 large potato

2 small yellow potatoes

6 baby read potatoes

1 medium sweet potato

3/4 to 1 cup of frozen corn

butter or oil

2 Tbsp vegetable stock or reserved sweet potato cooking water.

2 tsp Italian herb mix (dried parsley, basil, and oregano)

2 to 4 baked collard green chips

  1. Rinse the sweet and other potatoes.
  2. Peel sweet potato and chop. Put in a pot and cover with water on medium-high.
  3. Reduce heat when the liquid starts to boil, and cook until fork tender.
  4. Drain the sweet potato, reserving the water, and then mash with a fork.
  5. Pour the water back into the pot and put back on the burner, but do not turn on.
  6. Measure out the frozen corn and add it to the sweet potato water. Do NOT turn the burner on. The hot liquid will warm the corn perfectly.
  7. Chop the other potatoes.
  8. Put in a pot and cover with water, and cook on medium-high.
  9. Reduce heat when the liquid starts to boil, and cook until fork tender.
  10. Drain the potatoes, and then mash with together with a fork.
  11. Drain the other potatoes and mash.
  12. Put oil or butter in a skillet and heat on medium-high until melted.
  13. Add the ground beef.
  14. Brown the ground beef while dicing the chicken.
  15. Drain and rinse the ground beef when cooked through, putting the meat into the bottom of a casserole dish.
  16. Cook the chicken in the same skillet, adding more butter or oil if needed, until cooked through. Drain and rinse, and add the meat to the casserole dish.
  17. Add two tablespoons of vegetable stock or the reserved cooking water from the sweet potato to the baking dish.
  18. Drain the liquid from the corn, spreading the corn over the meat mixture in the dish.
  19. Top with sweet potato and spread out in a this layer.
  20. Top with the other mashed potatoes, spreading it all out evenly over the sweet potato.
  21. Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 25+ minutes, until warmed through.
  22. Remove from oven and crumble baked collard chips over the top. (These could also be added when you add the herbs to the mashed potatoes.)

Tips

  • By using the sweet potato water rather than just regular water, you’re getting those added nutrients.
  • By using that water over store-bought stock, you are saving money.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy!

~ Shannon

 

Sausage & Apples Leftovers with Eggs

My basic Sausage & Apple One-Pan Meal has netted me four meals. Not bad. After the initial meal, I also made stuffed squash that is actually two meals for me, and then I had this meal that makes for a hearty breakfast.

I’ll tell you something. I had a $0.00 budget for groceries this week, so I am extremely grateful that I had the apples, potatoes, and garlic from previous Misfits Market shipments, and the squash from my parents garden. It was so helpful. I also had one last sausage in the freezer. The fact that those items, some oil, and seasonings made such wonderful meals warms my heart. With a few eggs in the refrigerator and the other items I still have available, I didn’t feel deprived at all.

It’s not every week that I have a $0.00 grocery budget, but it’s good to have things on hand when I do.

The leftovers for this recipe include potato, garlic, apple, sausage, and squash. Add an egg, and you have a tasty breakfast!

Ingredients

Serves 1

leftovers from the previous Apple & Sausage recipes

oil, butter, or ghee

1 or 2 eggs

sea salt

pepper

seasonings of choice

  1. Heat oil, ghee, or butter in a skillet.
  2. Add the leftovers from the previous recipes.
  3. Stir and move the contents of the skillet to one side of the pan.
  4. Add more oil, ghee, or butter to the empty area of the skillet if needed, and crack and egg or two into that area.
  5. Allow the egg(s) to cook on one side, then flip.
  6. Stir the leftovers.
  7. Allow the egg(s) to cook on the second side.
  8. Remove eggs and plate them.
  9. Sprinkle seasonings over the leftovers, stir, and remove the skillet from the heat.
  10. Transfer the leftovers to the plate.

Tips

  • This is a versatile recipe, meaning you can use leftovers from other meals.
  • Use sales coupled with coupons to buy the eggs and meat when possible to save money.
  • A windowsill herb garden will save money on the cost of organic herbs.

Serving Suggestions

  • When I have the ingredients on hand, I pair one-pan breakfast meals with a healthy smoothy for added nutrients.

Enjoy the recipe.

~ Shannon

 

 

 

Sausage & Apple Stuffed Squash

I used leftovers from my Sausage & Apples One-Pan Meal to make stuffed squash today, and it was delicious. I often make extras at one meal to use for other meals over the next couple of days. It makes meal prep a little easier.

I’ve done a few different stuffed squashes, and I just love them. I think my favorite was a chili stuffed squash. I’ll try to remember to post it here sometime. But this one was simply delicious. I love the paring of sausage and apples.

There is a long bake time for these, but it’s well worth it, and it gives me time to start a blog post or do something else.

This recipe actually gives me two meals. I’ll usually eat one for lunch and the other for dinner.

Ingredients

Serves 2

leftovers from yesterday’s Sausage & Apple One-Pan Meal

acorn squash

oil

sea salt

pepper

seasonings of choice

  1. Wash the squash and pat dry.
  2. Take the stem off, and cut in half from top to bottom.
  3. Take out the seeds and the stringy stuff, reserving the seeds for roasting.
  4. Drizzle oil over cut sides of squash and smear it to cover. Not too much oil, but just enough to cover.
  5. Grind salt and pepper over top.
  6. Place cut side down on baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 to 60 minutes, until tender enough to scoop out.
  7. Carefully place each squash on your work and scoop out the inside, leaving enough to create a sturdy bowl.
  8. Put the scooped out squash into a medium size bowl, and put the “bowls” back on the baking dish cut side up.
  9. Add 1/2 of the Apple & Squash One-Pan Meal leftovers to the bowl, covering the rest and putting it back into the refrigerator for another meal.
  10. Grind some salt and pepper over the contents of the bowl, and add any seasonings you like.
  11. Scoop into the squash “bowls”. If there are any leftovers, add them to the leftovers already in the refrigerator.
  12. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or so, until heated through.
  13. Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes before placing on a plate or in a bowl to eat.

Tips

  • Use fresh, organic garden produce when available for the best taste.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve this with fresh, raw vegetables and fruit water for added nutrients.
  • If you have access to an oven or a microwave at work, wrap the second stuffed squash and bring it with you.

 

Cucumber-Banana Smoothie

Cucumbers are a great addition to most smoothies. Their water content is high, so you might not need as much milk in this recipe as you do in others. Use what greens are in season. You’ll save money if you grow them yourself. Use organic ingredients whenever you can.

This recipes uses leftover ingredients from other recipes. Another great way to save money and create less waste.

Ingredients

vanilla almond milk

1 handful of greens – kale, chard, baby spinach

10 cucumber slices

1 egg

6 banana slices

5 watermelon chunks

  1. Place everything except the vanilla almond milk into a blender.
  2. Cover and blend until smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla almond milk a little at a time and blend, until the smoothie is at the desired consistency.
  4. Pour into a tall glass.
  5. Add a straw and enjoy!

Tips

  • Save money by using leftovers, and by purchasing produce in season.
  • Switch up ingredients for different flavors.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with breakfast or as a snack.

Enjoy!

Shannon

 

 

Vegetable-Banana Smoothie

Another leftovers type of smoothie for you to try. A lot of times I just use whatever I have on hand. Add more milk if it isn’t smooth enough. Smoothie recipes pack quite the nutritional punch at snack time, or with your breakfast.

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (may need more)

1 egg

small handful of greens – kale, chard, or spinach

a few pieces of broccoli

10 baby carrots

3 chunks watermelon

1 small banana

  • Place everything into a blender.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Add a little more almond milk if needed.
  • Blend again.
  • Pour into a tall glass.
  • Add a straw.
  • Enjoy!

Tips

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with homemade Paleo granola cereal at breakfast.

Happy Days!

Shannon

 

Quick Tip: Using Leftovers to Make Smoothies

I know, it sounds gross. But those aren’t the type of leftovers I’m talking about.

I am talking about using those leftover bits of raw fruits and vegetables. You know, that half of a banana your little one didn’t eat at lunch, or the three pea pods he neglected. The chopped vegetables, such as carrots, cauliflower, celery, and broccoli, from the get-together you had the other day.

It’s also okay to use that hard-boiled egg no one wanted at breakfast, and the last of the fresh parsley or thyme.

Go head. Use stuff up. Doing so will save money on your grocery bill, and add necessary nutrients to a smoothie that your body will love you for. And you wont even notice the taste of those foods, unless they are being used as the main ingredient.

You’ll notice that I implement this tactic often in the smoothies I make.

Shannon

 

Quick Tip: Keep a Few Homemade Single-Serve Meals on Hand

You never know when you may need one. In a hurry and need a meal for work? Grab a container of chili-topped squash or sweet potato from the freezer? Not feeling good and don’t want to cook? Take out a container of chicken noodle soup and heat it in the microwave.

It’s easy to prepare these extra meals without too much extra effort. Simply make a little more than you need at each meal, and freeze a meal or two from that. Here are some recipes that lend themselves well to freezer storage.

Label each container with the meal name and the date it should be eaten by.

Shannon

Invest in Containers for Meal Prep

And don’t worry about spending all outdoors on them. I found the containers I mention in this article at Walmart at reasonable cost. They are BPA free, and will be perfect for my work meals. These containers can go into the freezer, on the top shelf of the dishwasher, and even into the microwave if you have one, and are reusable. There is a place on the covers where you can write the date by which the meal or food items should be used; nifty for freezing. And these containers even have stay-cool handles.

Photograph copyright January 2017 by Shannon L. Buck.

These little containers come six to a package, and are each 4 fluid ounces. They’ll hold dips and sauces, as well as small bits of leftovers. You could also use them for pudding cups or trail mixes. The cost for these was $2.47.

Photograph copyright January 2017 by Shannon L. Buck.

I bought a variety pack as well, which includes two snack size (9.5 fl oz) containers, five entrée (25 fl oz) containers, and five soup and salad (24 fl oz) containers.  The cost for these was $4.47.

Photograph copyright January 2017 by Shannon L. Buck.

I also bought these round containers. They are bigger than the 4 fluid ounce ones, but I cannot seem to find the information for the exact size. They came in a four-pack, and cost $2.17.

I paid just under $10.00 for all of these, and they are going to be perfect for bringing my meals to work with me. I work 40 hours in 4 days every week, and I like to prepare my meals the day before my first shift. When I get everything to work I can put a couple of meals in the freezer to be moved to the refrigerator Saturday morning, put the snacks in the office, and put the other containers straight into the refrigerator. Easy-peasy!

NOTE: For items that may stain plastic container, such as my chili, I use glass canning jars or glass bowls with covers. Glass items are easier to keep clean under these circumstances.

What do you use for meal prepping?

Shannon

Leftover Thanksgiving Fry Pan Meal

This recipe is frugal because it uses leftovers from you Thanksgiving meal. It’s easy enough for an older child to make.

Leftover Potatoes: You will want to make sure that these are warmed when the pan-fried food is done. You can do this in the oven. Sweet potato is a good choice.

Ingredients to put into pan:

coconut oil

turkey, bite size pieces

leftover veggies from the turkey dinner

add-ins you like: sliced onions, crushed garlic cloves, and parsley.

  1. Melt the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the turkey, veggies, and add-ins.
  3. Cook until all is warmed through.
  4. Put on plates.
  5. Take the potatoes out of the oven and spoon them on the plates as well.
  6. Serve.

Tips

  • Try adding roasted squash to the meal as well.

Serving Suggestions

Shannon

Fruit and Chocolate Trail Mix

I don’t eat snacks often but, when I do, I’m trying to make healthy choices. These mixes can be placed in small jars and stored in the pantry, so you can quickly grab one when putting together a meal for work or when you want a snack.

Trail mixes are easy to make, and allow me to use up leftovers from other cooking ventures. The chocolate chips are not Paleo, but they are organic – as are the other ingredients.

Ingredients

( 4 (8 ounce) servings)

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup chocolate chips

2/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds

2/3 cup dried cranberry and blueberry mix

2/3 cup slice almond and dried cranberry mix

  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands.
  2. Divide between four 8 ounce canning jars.
  3. Cover and place in the pantry.

Notes

  • Use different types of seeds, nuts, and dried fruit, for variation.

Serving suggestions

Shannon