This is a simple recipe that can be served spaghetti squash or mashed sweet potato, and is a great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers.
leftover turkey, in bite size pieces
leftover peas, or 1 can drained
prepared spaghetti squash or mashed sweet potato
- Melt oil in a skillet on medium heat.
- Pour the peas and turkey in the skillet, and heat until warmed through.
- Use any type of vegetable you have left over.
- You could also use this to make stuffed squash.
Soups are so easy to make! They are healthy, and you can add just about anything to them. Experiment to see what your favorites will be.
A big pot is best, so you can have plenty of leftovers. Covered and placed in the fridge it’ll last a good 4 or 5 days, and you can freeze some of the soup as well.
I use leftovers first when making a soup, then add to the pot if the need be. If the leftovers are frozen, they don’t really need to be thawed. This process will happen just fine during the cooking period, so no worries.
Here is the basic process of making a soup:
- Go through the refrigerator to see what needs to be used up, leftovers or not. I’m usually looking for meats, broth, stock, and vegetables.
- Go through your freezer. Again, leftover meats and vegetables that have already been chopped and cooked, as well as stock or broth if you didn’t have any (or enough!) in the refrigerator.
- If it looks like there will still be room in the pot, look in your pantry or food cupboards. Is there anything you’d like to add to the soup?
- Start by placing the pot on a big burner, and pouring in about an inch of broth or stock. Turn the heat on high, and allow to warm.
- Add any frozen foods when the stock or broth is warm, then chop fresh vegetables and add to the pot.
- Brown any meat you want to add, unless it was already cooked. If pre-cooked, just add it straight to the pot.
- Add any other leftovers from the refrigerator.
- Add more stock or broth if necessary, to cover the food.
- Once the liquid is boiling, turn the heat to medium-high and continue to cook. Most of the foods will probably be warmed through by now. If not, no worries. Continue cooking. The longer you cook, the more the foods flavors will mingle.
- About 30 minutes before you’re done cooking the soup, add any canned foods you want to use.
- Add and any herbs you like 10 minutes later.
- Cook for 20 minutes and you are done.
There are so many combinations of ingredients that will work. Try using different ones each time you make the soup, mix things up a bit, writing a new recipe out each time.
Try this simple combination for a small pot of soup, following the steps above:
sugar snap peas in pods
chicken or turkey
- An excellent way to add more nutrients to a meal is to serve a side salad. Try a fruit salad with this soup.
There’s nothing quite like Thanksgiving leftovers. How will you use them up this year? By deciding what leftover dishes you want to make now, you’ll know how big a bird to buy.
This soup is easy and affordable to make.
leftover turkey, cut into bite size pieces
leftover green beans
vegetable broth, or turkey broth made from the Thanksgiving turkey
- Place everything in a pot.
- Cook over med-high heat until all is cooked through.
- Use whatever leftover vegetables you have on hand.
- When taking the turkey off the bone, cut a good amount of the leftover turkey into bite-size pieces. Place these in freezer containers by portion sizes, according to the dishes you want to make. Label, and freeze.
Vegetables are such an important part of a healthy diet. They are essential and provide the body with, among other things, vitamins and provitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy carbohydrates.
I used to think I only liked a few: Corn, peas, white potatoes. Raw carrots, celery, and cauliflower. For the most part, that was what I ate for vegetables. Let’s face it, not all of it was truly even healthy.
I just don’t like a lot of things cooked.
Yup. I prefer most of my vegetables raw. I kept trying all these cooked vegetables, and was not impressed. Cooking changes the taste too much for me. It took me years to realize that I just prefer to consume a lot of things without them being cooked.
Carrots, broccoli, pickled beets.
There are others.
How did I find this out?
In an effort to eat healthier, I decided I must start trying new foods. This took place about five or six years back and, each year, I try a few new things. It’s not always easy, but it’s working well for me.
I have learned:
- I do not like many things cooked, but will eat them raw.
- If you mix half white potato and half sweet potato you will get used to the latter two more easily. Then start using 1/3 white to 2/3 sweet. Eventually, that sweet potato will taste fine on its own. I do eat them cooked, and will also eat white potatoes raw. I do not, however, indulge in white potatoes all that often any more. Mainly when I’m very strapped for cash.
- I don’t liked cooked carrots, unless I make a mash of them with white or sweet potato, or squash. The tactic above has not brought me any closer to liking cooked carrots on their own.
- Raw baby spinach tastes wonderful. I despise canned spinach, and have not tried fresh cooked (yet).
- I love tomatoes, cooked or raw, but they do not love me. Sadly, I can only consume a little each week, or I end up with horrible heartburn. Cooked, they mess with my stomach.
- Raw peas and green beans in pods are delicious!
- I like salad mixes. The kind that include chard and kale, even. If I don’t care for a green or two, I know I can add it to a healthy smoothie to derive nutritional value from it. Interestingly enough, if I don’t pack in too much, I will not notice the greens in a smoothie at all.
- Beans are good, and not just the navy ones! However, I only really eat these once in a great while. Maybe two or three times a year. They are a bit of a no-no.
- I used to only eat iceberg lettuce, but now I eat a variety of different types. They are delicious!
- Sometimes it will take a few, or a few more, tries of something to realize you do really like it. If you aren’t sure how you feel about it, try it another way. I have to do this with Brussels sprouts. I have had them once. Steamed, I think, with butter. They did not work for me, but were not horrible tasting. Just not real pleasing. I’ll be trying them another way.
- I love cabbage raw. Hate it cooked. This is why I don’t like boiled dinners.
- I do like zucchini and yellow squash, raw.
- I love celery raw.
- Cucumbers are delicious, and I like them pickled.
So, I have learned a lot. And there are still vegetables I have yet to try.
What about you? How do you like your vegetables?
Vegetable jars are so easy to make. You’re simply filling small canning jars with raw vegetables, covering, and storing in the refrigerator until they are ready to use. The produce will last for most of the week this way. They can easily be grabbed as a component to a work or school lunch.
Some vegetable ideas for jars
- Cucumber rounds
- Celery sticks, broccoli, and carrot sticks
- Cucumber, zucchini, and yellow squash
- Carrots, broccoli, pod beans
- Pod peas, carrots, and cucumber
- Pod peas, pod beans, and yellow squash
- Cherry tomatoes, snow pod peas, and carrots
- Grape tomatoes, broccoli, and cucumber
As you can see, there are plenty of combinations to choose from.
What other vegetable combinations can you come up with? Let us know in the comments.
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Earlier I showed you a typical breakfast. Now I’m showing an example of a budget friendly lunch. This is not necessarily a typical lunch for me, as one usually consists of a salad, a piece of fruit, and some type of protein. But this was an affordable option for me a couple of weeks back. It worked and, while not 100% Paleo, it filled me up for the cost.
The picture shows what I had, except for the beverage.
Orange sections, left over from a pitcher of fruit water I made. (Try this water recipe for something refreshing to go along with this lunch.)
Peas in pods, carrot rounds, celery, broccoli, tomatoes
4 slices of ham
4 slices of cheese
I wasn’t sure if this would keep me full or not, but it held me over just fine. I did have a few cups of water in between lunch and dinner, so that may have helped.
What healthy lunches do you make when your budget is tight? I rarely eat grains and dairy, so I’m always on the look out for Paleo type lunches.
I keep telling people they can eat healthy without spending an exuberant amount on food. This is true to an extent, if you keep it simple. Stick to the basics, and your meal does not have to cost an arm-and-a-leg. Also, watch your serving sizes.
The picture shows a breakfast I had a couple of weeks ago. It is actually pretty typical, for me. (Don’t mind the paper plate! It is a leftover from my daughters’ engagement party.) The most expensive aspect was the smoothie. I could have saved more money by just having a piece of fruit with breakfast, and drinking either water or tea. But I had the coconut milk on hand, and the berries were not badly priced (for berries!)
I do try to always pair vegetables and a protein source with a little healthy fat, in this instance by cooking the sausages and egg in coconut oil. This combination is a healthy way to consume food. I eat a mostly Paleo diet.
The components of the meal consisted of:
Mixed Berry Smoothie
2 sausage links
1 fried egg
peas in pods, carrot rounds, celery, broccoli, and tomatoes
The meal was simple and tasty, and kept me full until not long before lunch. Good deal. Note that I rarely ever eat grains. Usually just when my budget is just too tight to manage. Also note the absence of real dairy. I rarely ever have dairy. These foods are a no-no with my lifestyle change, and I should not be eating them at all. I do, once in a while, consume cheese… I just can’t help myself 😉
What healthy things do you eat for breakfast?
This recipe calls for the use of leftover baked white and sweet potatoes, as well as a few other ingredients. It’s easy to make, and the other ingredients could also be from leftovers if you had enough available. It is a simple recipe that will not take long to make.
3/4 lb ground beef
1 tbsp coconut oil or butter
1 to 1 1/2 cups peas
2 cold baked sweet potatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped squash
- Melt the fat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until done, cutting the beef into small pieces as it browns.
- Drain off the access fat, then put the beef back into the pan.
- Add the vegetables and cook until warmed through, stirring as needed.
- Add seasonings. Cook for a minute, then remove from heat.
- There is no need to buy peas if you have other leftover vegetables that can be substituted. Try carrots or celery.
- Use fresh produce whenever possible to save on the food bill.
- Serve with a fruit salad, such as watermelon and cantaloupe balls with mint.
- Or, serve with a side salad of Romaine lettuce, cucumber and tomato.
Do you have a favorite recipe similar to this? Share with us in the comments below, or message me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The shepherd’s pie recipe I used when the girls were growing up was a favorite of ours and our cousin Ashland. At its most basic, this is what it was:
1 pound browned ground beef, rinsed and drained and spread over the bottom of a baking dish, topped with 1 can of drained whole kernel corn and 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid. This was topped with mashed potato. Sometimes I sprinkled cheese over the top. I might replace the beef with cooked chicken sometimes, and occasionally use peas.
Pretty basic, but maybe not the healthiest way to enjoy this dish. One of the best things about this recipe is that it can be changed to match sales. Each ingredient can be switched out to save money. You can also make it according to what produce you get from the garden.
Play with the recipe. See what you can do.
(Update 2017) While the above method of making shepherd’s pie is a family favorite and is therefore staying on the blog, I wanted to share variations with you.
Here are some healthier variations, that
- Leftover meat medley, thawed, (Diced beef, pork, chicken, and turkey). Top with 1/4 cup of water or vegetable stock, 1 cup cooked carrots, and 1 can of peas, and then add mashed sweet potato as a top layer. See: How to Store Food Odds and Ends for Later Use.
- Use turkey as a base, adding 1/4 cup of vegetable stock or broth, 1 cup chopped, cooked broccoli, and 1 cup cooked carrots. Top this with mashed butternut squash, and top with a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley or cilantro.
- Use a pound of precooked venison, and top with diced tomato and peas. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from the peas (or homemade vegetable stock), and then top with mashed carrot and sweet potato.
Come up with your own variations, and tell us about them in the comments section for this post.
I like to get my salad at Hannaford sometimes because of the choice selection at the salad bar. They used to have a decent melon selection as well, but not so much now. However, I can still make a hearty salad with the given options, and this is far healthier than stopping at a fast food restaurant.
2 hard boiled eggs
By the way, this is NOT frugal. It fills you up when you are on the run, though. To save money, grow the produce at home and make your own salad 🙂