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Frugal Food: Easy Ways to Stretch Recipes
We all need to eat, and eating well is fundamental to good health and happiness. However, chances are you spend far too much on food, which most of us do. Thankfully there are a few tips you can utilize within your cooking and recipes. Following a few simple tips can stretch your meals further and save you money, while keeping you healthier too. Here are some ideas to help you make Frugal Food Easy Ways to Stretch Recipes to Make Them Go Further.
Don’t Make Meat the Focus
Many of us make the mistake of making meat the star of the show in our recipes. Not only is this not ideal from a health perspective (most of us consume too much meat, which can cancel out the great health benefits) but it’s not good from a financial perspective either. Meat is always going to be one of the most expensive ingredients on your plate.
Getting away from the idea that vegetables and starch are ‘sides’ or ‘accompaniments’ is a smart move. Either use smaller portions of meat, or look into completely meatless recipe ideas. If you learn how to cook and use herbs, spices and different ingredients then your food never has to be bland or boring. Meat certainly doesn’t have to feature a rack of lamb, a filet of steak or half a chicken to make it spectacular!
Incorporate Plenty of Vegetables
Incorporating vegetables into your meals doesn’t need to mean boiling up a big pot of stinky cabbage and sprouts and shoving them on your plate. There are so many tasty and incredible ways to get more of the good stuff into your recipes. If you’re making anything with ground meat for example, use a food processor to finely chop onions, mushrooms, carrot, zucchini and celery.
Mix this 50/50 with meat, when it all comes together you’ll hardly be able to tell that a massive amount of what you’re eating is actually the vegetables. If you’re making curry, cook up tomatoes, peppers, onions, chilies and garlic. Cool and then blend into a smooth sauce. Add a few tablespoons of yogurt, lots of herbs and spices, and you have a delicious vegetable based curry sauce.
Ideas like cauliflower ‘rice’ and zucchini ‘noodles’ are also popular and something you could try. Consider buying a vegetable spiral maker. Spiral vegetables are delicious and make adding vegetables to your diet easy.
Add beans and lentils
Finally, adding beans and lentils to dishes enables you to up your protein without the cost of buying meat, plus they’re filling and add substance. Add them beans to ground meat mixtures when you’re making lasagna, shepherds pie or chili con carne. Add them to soups and stews too. You can cook and blend them with other veggies as the base to make vegetable burgers.
You can buy dried black beans, lentils, chickpeas and other legumes super cheap, soak and cook them yourself. Add them to soups or stews and another idea is to mash them and add to meatballs, meatloaf or other ground beef recipes. For added ease, buy them canned and they’re ready to add to any recipe you like. Here are a few recipes to get you started: Pinto Beans and Pork Neck Bones and Smoked Ham Hocks with Black Beans.
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