Author Topic: cheap but good, and not too boring?  (Read 34274 times)

lagatta

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cheap but good, and not too boring?
« on: January 23, 2007, 07:49:55 PM »
The shops seem to recognise that most everyone is broke this time of year. Any interesting twists on cheapo (but hopefully nutritious) meals to lively them up a bit?

I bought big tins of salmon (418g) - two of the good red salmon at 2,99$ each, at Pharmaprix of all places, two keta pink salmon at Métro, two for $3.  I want to make a salmon pie with one of the tins of the cheaper kind, but that can be so bland and stodgy. Trying to think what veg to add besides onions, and the best spicing (think fresh ginger will be an ingredient).
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Mandos

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cheap but good, and not too boring?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2007, 08:02:06 PM »
I recently bought and seasoned a wok with this in mind.  I want to be able to chop up some Random Wilting Vegetables and throw in a can of tuna or something and have a Compleat Meal.

Berlynn

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cheap but good, and not too boring?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2007, 08:02:54 PM »
I like salmon patties.  Add an egg, chopped onion and green pepper, zest of lemon (or juice, whatever's available) fresh ground pepper and just enough oatmeal (or leftover rice) to hold a patty together.  Fry or broil for about 2 minutes a side.  Great on a bun with mayo and a salad on the side.  Or, forget the bun and throw it all in a pita and enjoy!
Never retreat, never explain, never apologize--get the thing done and let them howl.  -- Nellie McClung

lagatta

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cheap but good, and not too boring?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2007, 08:18:56 PM »
Yes, oats are a good idea (and nutritious). I cooked up the last of my quinoa - almost 2 cups, because I didn't want to leave a wee bit, and today stir-fried it with some onion, a bit of red pepper, fresh ginger. I think I'll try a pie or patties with that.

I may add a bit of Caribbean curry powder - it is a different mix than the would-be South Asian ones (yes, Mandos, I know they should be ground from distinct spices, and I do that when making a meal from the Subcontinent - so easy to do nowadays with a coffee grinder). The Caribbean mix contains quite a bit of mustard - not very hot per se, think heat is added after in the form of Scotch Bonnet/Habanero chillis...

Another dirt-cheap food that is tasty and relatively nutritious is the Levantine mix of lentils and rice, thrown together with a lot of onions, cumin and other tasty things. It would be VERY nutritious with brown rice, but I can't seem to get the flavour right with it.

All of these can be served with a side of salad or greens.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Mandos

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cheap but good, and not too boring?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2007, 08:22:28 PM »
I am not a spice purist, and I do not grind anything from scratch. Well, almost. Who does that anyway?  I buy bags of spices in ground form, typically.  I am even so bad as to buy those "Shan" or "National Brand" masala mixes from Pakistan where the spices are already correctly mixed and balanced for the recipe.  There's nothing inauthentic about them.

lagatta

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cheap but good, and not too boring?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2007, 09:14:56 PM »
I like those. I can get them within walking distance of chez moi, in Park Extension, and they are very cheap, and I've always found them tasty.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Mandos

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cheap but good, and not too boring?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2007, 09:22:22 PM »
I find the ubiquity of Shan and National brands to be very interesting as both are Pakistani, and there don't seem to be terribly many Indian competitors at that level.  Gits seems to be Indian (it does dosas and idlies), but beyond that...

deBeauxOs

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cheap but good, and not too boring?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2007, 09:27:46 PM »
Quote from: lagatta
... Another dirt-cheap food that is tasty and relatively nutritious is the Levantine mix of lentils and rice, thrown together with a lot of onions, cumin and other tasty things. It would be VERY nutritious with brown rice, but I can't seem to get the flavour right with it. ...
Try brown jasmin - not as strong-tasting as other types.  Whenever I make guacamole, I extend it with raw grated zucchini.  I find Patak's Madras-type curry paste works best with salmon.

skdadl

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cheap but good, and not too boring?
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2007, 07:55:46 AM »
No matter how quietly I do it, no matter where in the place she is, how soundly she was sleeping, how recently she ate, if I start to open a tin of salmon (or anything else, but to her, all tins are tins of salmon), Minerva will appear instantly, squawking loudly for her share. It really has made me a little nervous of opening tins -- I think she now even recognizes the can opener, maybe even the drawer it lives in.

Tinned fish is a godsend, though, for meals in a hurry. I like it just with rice and drizzled with soy sauce -- have never tried the Madras paste, but that sounds good.

My vegetable imagination is getting all late-winter worn and shabby. I've done everything too often. Oh, for the return of the asper-a-grasses.

Debra

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cheap but good, and not too boring?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2007, 11:51:09 AM »
not great pics couldn't get them close enough to the camera but the tabby is Bonnie and the Russian Blue is Pepper, but we call her Fat Toni.





Fat Toni will come running at the sound of a can opening too. And she gives you a very disdainful look when food isn't forthcoming.   :lol:

On to food.

I have some chicken I'm planning to dice, some key limes, some lemons, celery, green pepper, onions, garlic, rice, potatoes, and frozen peas.

Any ideas for putting any of that together for a tasty meal?
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” —  Josephine Hart

deBeauxOs

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cheap but good, and not too boring?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2007, 12:24:09 PM »
Well not quite with the ingredients you have on hand, but this is Mexican lasagna.

Ingredients:
500 gms of chicken thighs, diced and poached/steamed in 200 gms of water.
1 small package of chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large can of cream corn
1 cup of frozen corn, thawed
1 can of condensed cream of onion or mushroom or tomato soup
one package of small whole-wheat flour tortillas
1 cup of chopped onions
2 cup of sliced sweet green and red peppers
3 cups of shredded sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack

In a blender, combine cream corn, canned soup and poaching water from chicken.  Lightly oil the bottom of a lasagna-type pan or a deep casserole.

Pour 1/4 of the 'sauce' from the blender into the bottom of the baking dish and layer 1/2 spinach, then 1/3 of the chicken.  Top with 1/3 of onions, sweet peppers, corn and 1/4 of shredded cheese. Put pieces of tortilla ripped to fit on top of that, no thicker than you would for lasagna noodles.  Another 1/4 sauce, then 1/3 chicken, 1/3 of onions, sweet peppers, corn and 1/4 of shredded cheese. Again, lay pieces of tortilla.  Another 1/4 sauce, the rest of the spinach,  chicken, onions, sweet peppers, corn and 1/4 of shredded cheese. Again, lay pieces of tortilla and top with the last of the sauce and cheese.  Bake covered at 350 for an hour, then uncover and raise heat to 400 for another 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, let sit for 15 minutes.  Serve with a green salad.  

If baking for a group of people who have different spiciness preferences, offer some hot green and red salsa on the side. But if everyone likes heat and spiciness, add some chipotle or mole-style paste to the blender to taste.
Quote from: skdadl
... I have never tried the Madras paste, but that sounds good. ...
It is medium-hot and it's the one that I keep on hand to put in dips, soups and sauces.  It's quite savoury and complex.

Toedancer

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cheap but good, and not too boring?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2007, 12:31:14 PM »
Kisses, just thawed lots of thighs.
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

Debra

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cheap but good, and not too boring?
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2007, 12:32:07 PM »
Quote from: Toedancer
Kisses, just thawed lots of thighs.


Been out walking on the ice again?  :wink:
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” —  Josephine Hart

lagatta

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cheap but good, and not too boring?
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2007, 12:36:10 PM »
Debra, I have a better post-op idea. Get teenagers to cook supper, even if it is fried rice with chicken and veg. Put feet up and drink tea.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Toedancer

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cheap but good, and not too boring?
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2007, 12:36:31 PM »
Ah no. Ozzie's squeak hamburger went rolling way out onto the ice.
She gingerly went forth to get it (with my permision) and I watched carefully.
It started to crack, so she stretched and snagged it with her teeth.
I stood there and thought about it, skeert silly now.  :oops:

Need a January thaw to make it fun. Soon come.
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

 

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