Leftover Turkey and Peas

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.


coconut oil

leftover turkey, in bite size pieces

leftover peas, or 1 can drained

prepared spaghetti squash or mashed sweet potato

  1. Melt oil in a skillet on medium heat.
  2. 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.

Serving Suggestions

Autumn Turkey Soup

This is an easy recipe that can be served on a cold, autumn evening. Served in a pumpkin bowl, this recipe will add a decorative touch to the dinner table.


water and/or vegetable stock or broth

bite size cubes of pumpkin

bite size cubes of two different kinds of squash

bite size cubes of potato

bite size cubes of sweet potato

chunks of leftover turkey

1 or 2 cloves of fresh garlic

fresh or dried parsley

fresh or dried rosemary

  1. Pour the liquid into a pot, and add the pumpkin, squash, and potatoes, as well as the diced garlic.
  2. Allow to cook most of the way, then add the turkey.
  3. Add the parsley and some rosemary to taste.
  4. Pour into pumpkin bowls and serve.


  • Purchase stock or broth on sale, as store brands.
  • Better yet, make your own.  This will save even more money.
  • Use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving to save more money.
  • Use organic herbs and produce from your garden for the ultimate savings.
  • Roast the pumpkin seeds and sprinkle them over the stew once it is poured into the bowls.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve with a fruit salad.

What autumn stews are favorites of your family?


Harvest Salad

My parents had a good harvest this year, and they passed some of their bounty on to me and each of my siblings. I love fresh produce from the garden. Mom was proud they weren’t using anything toxic on the food. Homegrown food tastes so much better than store-bought.

Of course, I had to make a salad. I just couldn’t resist. And it came out so good I wanted to share the recipe with you.

The ingredients from the garden were: Kale, kohlrabi, tomato, cucumber, and zucchini. Having these items on hand cut the cost of the salad significantly.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015

I also used leftover roasted squash and sweet potato to cut costs. I wasn’t sure how it would be with these items, but it turned out well. They had been refrigerated and were cold when I added them.

I started out by roasting 3 small turkey breasts, cutting them into bite size pieces when they were done, and letting them cool in the refrigerator earlier in the day.

The lettuce mix was organic, a find at Walmart. Four different kinds, unspecified. I used the whole thing.

I did’nt really measure things out, but knew I wanted it to last for the better part of the week. I just threw everything in together. As for vegetables, I don’t peel them all. For instance, zucchini and cucumbers are never peeled. I do take the ends off though.


lettuce mix, organic





zucchini, chopped

leftover turkey

dried cranberries

leftover roasted squash and sweet potato

  1. Wash all the produce, patting dry with a clean towel.
  2. Chop the lettuces and kale into bite size pieces and place into a large bowl.
  3. Peel and chop the Kohlrabi, adding it to the bowl.
  4. Dice the tomato and put it over the lettuce mix as well.
  5. Cut the ends off the cucumber and the zucchini. Chop and place in the bowl.
  6. Cut the turkey into bite size pieces, and place in the bowl with the other ingredients.
  7. Sprinkle dried cranberries over everything.
  8. Cut the roasted squash and potatoes into bite size pieces and add to the bowl.
  9. Toss everything with your hands or tongs.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015This made so much that it filled two midsize bowls. There was plenty to eat for five days. I had some with each lunch and dinner, and a small bowl as a snack every couple of days.


  • This is a great recipe in that you can use whatever is harvested at the time you make it. Things that are picked here in Maine may not be ready in your area, so it is okay to switch things up.
  • Depending on what leftovers you have and what items are available in the garden, this recipe might cost next to nothing. Buy what is affordable where you are.
  • Use coupons, if available, when shopping for what you need, but only if doing so will save you money over buying a different brand.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a bowl of Easy Autumn Soup for a nice lunch.
  • This would also be a great side salad with your Mabon or Thanksgiving Meal.


Simple Ways to Eat Healthier While Saving Money

Consuming nutritious food is important to our health, but can also be darn expensive. I could easily spend around $60.00 a week to eat healthy, but can’t really afford to do so very often. There is only one of me! It would be far less expensive to eat Ramen noodles and boxed mac and cheese, with cans of corn and peas, but I want better than that. I want fresh produce at each meal, along with some protein, because I feel better when I’m eating healthy.

So, how do I eat healthy while not spending $60.00 a week on food?

  • I drink water.
  • I drink tea.
  • I make my own iced teas, lemonades, and fruit waters. No sugar, just some raw honey in the lemonade – and not even as much of that as most people seem to use.
  • I have meat most meals, but don’t go overboard on the serving size. I fill in with more vegetables, usually carrots or celery, along with the vegetable servings I’m already consuming.
  • I don’t use a lot of flour and other baking needs. I try to eat more fresh foods, less processed.
  • I drink smoothies, using leftovers of fresh produce. Even vegetables! This way, I don’t waste anything.
  • I try not to stuff myself too full.
  • I use some leftovers in casseroles and meatloaf.
  • I freeze every bit of food left over from meals and snacks, if it’s freezable and I know I wont use it right off. I even have little freezable containers that only hold a couple of tablespoons of food. And then I use them.
  • I bring leftovers home after eating out, and use them to make new meals.
  • I make slow cooker meals almost every week, enjoying the meal for dinner, then packing up the rest to bring to work so I don’t have to order out so much.
  • I buy nut milks, but don’t drink them at every meal or even every day.
  • I accept food items from those who offer. Fresh produce from my parents garden. Fresh eggs from Tam. Samples dropped off at work by local restaurants. Even if it isn’t healthy, it can be paired with very healthy sides. A treat once in a while is okay in my book.

How do you save money on food? Share with us in the comments, or email me directly at shannonlbuck@gmail.com. I respond to all email.



Corned Beef and Potatoes One-Pan Meal

Earlier, I posted the Chicken and Potato One-Pan Meal. This meal is only slightly different, and maybe even more tasty.


1 – 2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 small carrot

1 medium white potato

1 small sweet potato

1/2 to 3/4 cup pre-cooked corned beef

Seasonings to taste: sea salt, pepper, onion powder

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a skillet.
  2. Wash the vegetables and pat dry with a towel.
  3. Cut the end off the carrot and discard. Chop the rest of the carrot and place the pieces into the skillet.
  4. Cut the white potato, skin left on, into small pieces, adding them to the pan.
  5. Cook at medium-high until the vegetables about half done.
  6. Peel the sweet potato and chop, putting the pieces into the skillet with the other vegetables.
  7. Add the corned beef, and cooked until just about done. (I like some of my potatoes to be crispy, while others are still mushy.)
  8. Sprinkle the seasonings (to taste) over the foods in the pan, and cook another minute or two.
  9. Turn the stove off, and serve the meal.


  • Use leftovers from previous meals to save money.
  • Experiment with different vegetable and protein combinations, adjusting the seasonings accordingly.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a side of greens topped with chopped fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve at breakfast with a side of greens topped with a sunny side up egg.
  • Serve for lunch with raw vegetables.
  • Serve at dinner with apple slices sprinkled with organic cinnamon.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015.    Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015.





Simple Chicken Soup + Vegetables

My Nan used to make chicken soup however you wanted it. She knew each person liked specific things, and would make the soup to suit us when we were sick. There are so many ways to make chicken soup, anyone can have a version they like.

I like mine made different ways, depending on the day, my mood, and what I have on hand.

If you made the Simple Chicken Soup, use some of the leftovers to make this one.


Simple Chicken Soup

1 small carrot

6-10 sugar snap peas in pods

  1. Pour some of the Simple Chicken Soup into a saucepan. Heat on medium.
  2. Chop a small carrot, and cut the pea pods into halves or thirds.
  3. Add the vegetables to the pot and cook until food is heated through. (I like my vegetables on the crispier side, so I do not cook this very long.)


  1. Use vegetables that were not needed from other meals to save money.
  2. Try different vegetables, according to what you have on hand. This will also save money.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a side salad of greens.
  • Serve with a side of apple slices.




Toaster Oven Pizza

I love homemade pizza, but I’m trying to eat healthier. My old way of making this delicious treat just wasn’t going to cut it. I had to come up with something different, not using white or wheat flour. Also, I no longer have an oven, because I rent this room, so I had to come up with something for a toaster oven I still don’t always use with great success. I was pleased with how this came out, though I think I need to play with the dough a little to get it just right.

(Update January 2017: I finally bought a new toaster oven and ditched the small ancient one, as well as the microwave. Don’t need those any more. This new one came with an owner’s manual, and I’m pretty darn good at the baking in a toaster oven thing now. Yay! Now, this pizza is even easier to make.)

I started with this dough from Ditch the Wheat, using just two pinches of the sea salt as well as 1/4 cup of parsley.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015After covering the toaster oven pan with aluminum foil, (I know! Please don’t judge!) I used a little EVOO to just cover the foil then pressed the dough into the pan to form a thin crust because the sides of my pan are not very high. Then I added my toppings.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2014Stew beef is what I had on hand, left over from the previous days cooking. Use whatever meat you want, or different toppings all together. Experiment. See what you like best.


Almond flour pizza crust dough


coconut oil, organic

stew beef, about 1/2 to 3/4 pound

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

garlic powder, to taste

1/2 can of crushed pineapple, drained

4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

4 ounces shredded mild cheddar cheese

  1. Melt a little coconut oil in a pan.
  2. Add the stew beef, as well as the salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
  3. Heat until almost cooked through.
  4. Spread a little EVOO over the pan.
  5. Smoosh the dough around until it covers the bottom of the pan, then bake for 10 minutes at 350*.
  6. Sprinkle the cheeses on the crust dough.
  7. Once the pineapple is drained, add it to the pizza covering the cheese.
  8. Spread the seasoned stew beef over the crushed pineapple.
  9. In my very old toaster oven, I baked this on medium dark and 300* for 30 minutes. This may be different for your toaster/regular oven, so watch the pizza. You want the cheese to melt, and the crust to cook through.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015Notes:

  • I think I should have waited a bit to remove the pizza from the pan. The first piece came out more crumbly than I would have liked, but the ones I removed after I was done eating (to place on a plate and into the refrigerator) came out nicely.
  • Pour the pineapple juice into a bowl, along with the other 1/2 can of crushed pineapple. Cover and freeze to use in a smoothie another day.
  • Use leftover ingredients from other meals as toppings to save money.
  • Almond flour is expensive, but I don’t use it every week or even every month. It is for a treat item, like pizza or muffins, not for every day use.
  • Save money on cheese, herbs, and spices by using coupons.
  • Try coupling coupons with sales for even more savings.
  • I don’t actually eat cheese often. It is also considered a treat. I am just too stubborn to give it up completely.

Serving Suggestions

  • I had mine with a side of raw carrots, celery, broccoli, and peas.
  • Serve with a side salad of greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber slices.
  • If using vegetables on the pizza, and not fruit, then serve with a fruit salad.
  • Serve with raw broccoli and cherry tomatoes.



Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Fruit Salad

Salads are great for patriotic holidays, because of the sheer number of color combinations of the different foods that might be added. This salad concentrates on combining reds, whites, and blues, in a tasty way that will make your mouth water. Sweetness, with a bit of tang. Perfect for the Fourth of July or any other patriotic day.

I love fruit salads. Previously, I have made them with whipped topping. Feel free to do so if you prefer, but I am trying to eat healthier. This is a new recipe for me, in that it uses coconut cream instead of whipped, as well as berries.

I am sometimes able to get a couple pints of blueberries at the grocery store for $4.00, or can buy them for $2.00 per pint on the side of the road. Fresh berries are the best to use, and often the most affordable.

There are no measurements for my version, as I usually make a lot and eat what is left over the following few days. I really just guess at everything. I will try to give measurements here though. Use them or not. Change them if you please.

This is a great recipe for kids, but an adult will want to open the cans and cut the fruit.


1 can pineapple chunks in water

1 large banana

1/2 to 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes

1 pint blueberries

1 pint raspberries

1/2 pound strawberries

1 can coconut cream concentrate

1 tsp or more pure vanilla

  1. Drain the pineapple chunks, reserving the juice for later use in a smoothie or another recipe by storing it in a covered canning jar.
  2. Peel the banana, and slice into rounds. Cut the rounds into halves or quarters, whatever you prefer.
  3. Rinse the remaining fruits, and pat dry with a clean towel.
  4. Cut them into slices or chunks.
  5. Place all the fruit in a bowl. Cover with coconut flakes.
  6. Pour the coconut cream into another bowl, and add vanilla to taste. Whisk or beat for a couple of minutes to combine well.
  7. Pour as much of the cream as you think you will need into the bowl with the fruit and coconut flakes. You can always add more if necessary. Combine the cream with the berries, and coconut, using a rubber spatula, until well combined. Add more cream if necessary. If not, store in a covered container in the refrigerator.


  • Try using different types of berries. Whatever is affordable (or free!) at the time.
  • Look into whether it would be more affordable to buy a whole watermelon than canned.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve at barbecues and picnics with burgers, corn on the cob, and other foods.

You may also enjoy these patriotic holiday recipes

Watermelon Stars

A Simple Food Platter

Berries and Cream

Red, White, and Blue Parfait

Berry Parfait

Happy 4th of July!



Ground Beef and Vegetables

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

desired seasonings

  1. 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.
  2. Drain off the access fat, then put the beef back into the pan.
  3. Add the vegetables and cook until warmed through, stirring as needed.
  4. 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.

Serving Suggestions

  • 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 shannonlbuck@gmail.com.



The Frugal Kitchen

There are many ways to keep a frugal kitchen, from smart pantry stocking to using up leftovers. What you do will depend on your style and budget.

Many are trying to live more frugally out of necessity, but others are making a lifestyle choice by cutting back their budgets. No matter the reason you are trying to be more frugal, these tips will help.

  1. One of the best ways to save money is to prepare your meals at home. Eating out, in any semblance of a healthy way, is expensive. If you make easy meals at home, preparing some things ahead, you’ll save a good deal of money over the course of a year.
  2. Stop wasting food. Eat your leftovers. Use them for work or school lunches, for a second dinner, or to create new recipes. Leftover vegetables and meat combined with new ingredients make a great soup or casserole. If you know you wont eat something right off, take the time now to freeze it so it can be used later.
  3. Make a budget, and try to stay within that budget. Have a few dollars each week to dedicate to stocking your pantry as well.
  4. Use coupons coupled with sales when possible, if it will save you money. Sometimes generic/store brand items are still your best bet, so do the math before making your choice.
  5. I learned something important when I started figuring out how to be more frugal. It’s something that not everyone is aware of. A lot of the time, the store brand is simply the name brand with different packaging. So be sure to try a store brand before ruling it out. Be a smart shopper.
  6. Learn how to make homemade cleaners, such as dishwashing detergent, dishwasher detergent, all-purpose cleaner, window cleaner and oven cleaner. NOTE: My favorite window cleaner is straight up rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.
  7. Another way to save money in the kitchen is to buy glass containers for storing leftovers, and reusable baggies for bringing sandwiches and snacks to work or school. While the cost seems higher in the beginning, you’ll save a great amount of money over time. You might even be able to acquire some of these items as gifts for Christmas or your birthday, saving even more money.
  8. Grow a windowsill herb garden to save money. Herbs are expensive to buy, but can be grown organically inside your house year round.

How do you keep a frugal kitchen? Let us know in the comments for this post, or send me an email at shannonlbuck@gmail.com. Your tips will help others to live the frugal lifestyle more easily.