I LOVE TO STRETCH A MEAL ... For our Sunday dinner we had a pressure cooked Cottage Roll with lots of leftover meat. So thinking ahead, I cooked navy beans in with the Cottage Roll and saved them and the broth for a LEFTOVER MAKEOVER HAM & BEAN SOUP. It's soooo good and yummy and just hits the spot on a cold winter's day.
HAM & BEAN SOUP
3 cups cooked navy beans
2-1/2 cups cubed ham (or leftover cottage roll)
1 large chopped onion
5 chopped carrots
3 stalks celery, chopped
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
12 oz can of tomato sauce or vegetable juice
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used my home canned broth)
2 cups of reserved broth from night before meat cooking with beans
2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. chili powder
3 large bay leaves or 1/2 tsp. old bay seasoning
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tbsp. dried parsley
3 tbsp. lemon juice (fresh or concentrated)
Note, if you cook your beans with the cottage roll or ham, you don't need to add much salt as the broth will be plenty salty.
Throw everything into a pan and either slow cook (for 8 hours) or stove-top cook (for 2 hours). Ready to serve & enjoy!
YESTERDAY WAS A SNOW DAY AND I RAN OUT OF RANCH DRESSING ... so what's a girl to do? I wasn't going to shovel out the driveway and drive to the store, so I went to my recipe library and made my own RANCH DRESSING MIX. Simple ingredients that I had on hand that I mixed with mayonnaise and sour cream and just like that I had my own homemade RANCH DRESSING. Tastes so good and best of all I know what's in it and it didn't cost me any additional money. Another product that I will never buy in the store again. Simple, easy and delicious! This mix is also great for making a quick dip by using 1 cup of sour cream and 1 tbsp of the mix. Refrigerate for up to 4 hours before serving with vegetables. For recipe click here.
HAVE YOU EVER COME HOME FROM WORK AND REACHED FOR THE BOX OF "MINUTE" RICE to go with a quick meal so that you can just get dinner on the table as soon as possible? Minute Rice can be expensive and it's OH SO EASY TO MAKE YOUR OWN. All it is is dehydrated cooked long grain rice and you can use your own leftover cooked long grain rice and dehydrate it for several hours. It will store for a very long time in a mason jar or vacuum sealed bag. What's even more convenient is to "save" up your leftover rice and keep it in the freezer and when you get enough to fill a dehydrator, you can dehydrate it all at once. When you're ready to use the dehydrated rice, you cook it just as you would the boxed kind. I will never buy the boxed kind again.
Almond Milk has made it's debut into the grocery stores in a BIG way this past 2 years. I believe it's because of all the food allergies that we humans are experiencing. Why? GMO's, Preservatives and other Chemicals have found their way into our food chain and our bodies are becoming more and more sensitive to dairy, gluten, eggs, peanuts and many more organisms.
The food manufacturers are gaining up on us and taking advantage of our need to change our diets and introduce things that our bodies can tolerate. Almond Milk is on average about $4.39 for a 1.89L carton. If you're lucky, it is sometimes on sale for $2.89. Why not make it yourself?
Here’s how to make it:
1. Soak the almonds. Start with 1 cup of raw, unsalted almonds. Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with at least 1 inch of cool, fresh water (filtered or distilled is best). Make sure your bowl has some space, as the almonds will plump up a bit. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
2. Place a piece of cheesecloth over a jar or other container, securing it with a rubber band.
3. Drain the almonds in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cool water. Toss them in a blender. Add 1 ½ cups of cool water and a pinch of salt (optional). If you want to sweeten the milk, you can add a couple of pitted dried dates to the mix, or a tablespoon or two of maple syrup or honey. Blend at the highest speed for about 2 minutes—you want those almonds thoroughly pulverized. Blend in up to ½ cup more water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin it if desired. Taste the milk and add more sweetener or salt, if needed. You also can blend in some vanilla, if you like.
4. Slowly pour the milk into the jar, through the cheesecloth. Work slowly so it can pass through the cheesecloth and not overflow. When all of the milk is through, gather up the cheesecloth and squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible. Cover the jar and chill. Makes about 2 to 3 cups.
Although almonds can be expensive, it is still much cheaper than buying it pre-made in the grocery store. If you source your almonds in a bulk food store, you can save yourself a lot of money making it yourself.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog where I explain how to make your own HOMEMADE RICE MILK!
I am not a dairy milk drinker - even as a baby, I detested the taste of milk and as I grew into a child, I used to gag and throw up on milk. As an adult and ALWAYS ON A DIET, I learned to use and acquire a taste for Coconut Milk. However, to buy already prepared Coconut Milk in the grocery store, the price is RIDICULOUS to say the least! So, I developed a way to make Coconut Milk myself and I save a ton of money in doing so. Here's how.
Prices range from $5.89 at full price in the organic health food section of a grocery store to $3.99 on sale. Each carton is 2 litres, so the price per litre would be from $2.90 to $2.00. Below are two methods of making it yourself for a fraction of the cost.
Take 2 cups of unsweetened coconut and put it in your blender with 1/2 cup of water and puree it. Then add 7 1/2 cups additional water (note, I used distilled water) and continue blending for another minute. Then I pour into a pitcher. Refrigerate it for 24 hours before using. Before use, strain the liquid. Lasts up to 3 weeks in the fridge. Makes 2 litres. Total cost is $1.69 or $0.85 per litre.
I buy canned coconut milk ALWAYS ON SALE for $0.88 per can. When it is on sale, I buy it by the case load. I use one can and add it to a pitcher and fill up the empty can with water 3 times and add to the coconut milk and refrigerate at least 8 hours before using. Makes 2 litres. Total cost is $0.88 or $0.44 per litre.
Sometimes, when I just have to have something sweet, but I don't want to blow the diet, I make my own hot chocolate using my coconut milk. See recipe here for how I make "Diet" Hot Chocolate using Homemade Coconut Milk.
Stay tuned for future blog on how to make homemade almond milk and homemade rice milk.
ARE YOU ONE who buys those envelope packets to flavour enhance your dishes? DID YOU KNOW they are full of chemicals and additives that could be a detriment to your health? I have sourced some recipes to MAKE YOUR OWN (MYO) that you can store in a mason jar and use whenever you need to. Not only are they HEALTHIER, but they'll SAVE YOU a ton of money too. Click here for recipes.
PART 3 OF 3: AROUND THE HOUSE homemade money savers!
FABRIC SOFTENER - Making your own fabric softener with 3 ingredients you have around the house: water, vinegar and cheap hair conditioner. The recipe makes a lot and lasts much longer than store bought stuff.
LAUNDRY SOAP - make your own laundry soap at a fraction of the cost of store bought soaps.
LIP BALMS - made with beeswax, coconut oil, essence oils. You can source lip balm tubes online - some initial up front costs, but in the long run, much cheaper and healthier than buying elsewhere.
If you're into GARDENING, experiment with SEED SAVING from home grown vegetables. This will give you tremendous satisfaction and save you a lot of money.
PRODUCE WASH: Combine the ingredients below in a large bowl. The concoction will bubble and fizz a lot after mixing, so the bowl needs to be big.
1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 tablespoons lemon
Stir the mixture and then transfer it to a spray bottle.
Spray on fruits and vegetables. Allow the mixture to sit for about five minutes.
Rinse it off with water. Give items a final visual inspection.
ALL-PURPOSE HOUSEHOLD CLEANER - save orange/lemon/lime peels and add vinegar to them. Once soaked for a few weeks, strain into a spray bottle and use it for household cleaning.
PAPER TOWELS, NAPKINS - I’ve replaced with re-purposed old white bed sheets, that have been ripped up and sewn into
t-towels, cloth napkins & aprons. This has saved hundreds of dollars over the last year and a half!
CONTINUING with PART 2 OF 3 in the series of MAKE YOUR OWN & SAVE .....
If you're seriously into the concept of saving money, especially on your grocery bill, you need to take a good hard look around our house and think about your own talents and what can you do or make on your own - things that you wouldn't ever have to buy again. I've done this the last few years, and have come up with a huge list of things that I now make that has SAVED a TON OF MONEY! The list is so long that I'm going to break it up into a 3 part series: