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Real Food For Busy Moms: Budget Edition!

on December 16 | in Real Food For Busy Moms | by | with 13 Comments

[info_box]Welcome to Part 4 of our series on Real Food for Busy Moms. If this is your first time visiting, you can check out a quick and fabulous egg drop soup, a decadent  Copycat Whole Foods salmon dip, or a creamy and luxurious shrimp bisque. I’m so glad you stopped by and I hope these recipes make your holiday season bright! [/info_box]

When Fat-Free Makes No Sense And Other Paradoxes

Have you ever contemplated the irony of “Fat-Free Sour Cream”? I mean, really, cream without fat??? I’m always curious about how these oddities exist, so I checked the label. Apparently they should be calling it “Low-Fat Guar Gum,” but I’m guessing that wouldn’t fly off the shelves.

My point is, some concepts by definition exclude others. Last summer, after creating only one post in what was supposed to be series about real food on a budget, I started to believe those two terms were mutually exclusive as well. To be more accurate, I knew it could be done, but I was not willing to eat beans and lentils everyday. :)

Fast forward a few months. Trimming our budget has become more of a priority, so beans and lentils it is . . . or so I thought. After reading the Food Stamp Challenge series at Nourished Kitchen, I was inspired. Jenny convinced me that we could save a lot of money and still eat very well. And the best part? I’ve discovered recipes that are cheap and quick. Perfecto. Here are three of my favorites:

Gratin of Mussels

Rich in B12, phosphorus, selenium, manganese and other vitamins and minerals, this simple dish is ironic in it’s own way. It’s brown, muted tones remind me of a peasant meal, but the delicate flavors are decidedly aristocratic. My family loves it, even Daddypotamus although he’s practically declared under oath that he doesn’t like seafood.

The fresh mussels at Whole Foods were a little more than I wanted to spend (maybe they are out of season?), but I found some raw chopped clams in the freezer section for $5/pound.

Throw the ingredients together will take 10 minutes max. Just bake for 40 minutes and voila! To get the recipe, download the Meal Plan at the end of this post.

Hamburger and Barley Stew

This sounded so gross to me I almost didn’t make it, but I figured it had to be better than lentils and I was so . . . right! This hearty stew is comfort food, pure and simple.

It’s also oh-so-simple to make and will be making regular appearances on our dinner table.

And Hannah, if you’re reading this, I like YOUR lentil stew. For some reason I just can’t get the hang of making them myself. :)

To get the recipe, download the Meal Plan at the end of this post.

Sweet Souffléed Omelettes

Kimi at The Nourishing Gourmet won praise from Daniel and Katie for a light, airy take on the classic omelette.

For me, the egg/jam combination wasn’t quite right. I added some butter and that helped, but when I make these again I’m going to top mine with cheese.

On the upside, these were really fun to make and beautiful to serve. Check out the recipe here.

Do you have a recipe that should be featured in this  series??? If so, leave a comment with a link to your recipe or email me!

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13 Responses to Real Food For Busy Moms: Budget Edition!

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Heather Dessinger, Heather Dessinger. Heather Dessinger said: new post: Real Food For Busy Moms: Budget Edition! http://www.mommypotamus.com/real-food-for-busy-moms-budget-edition/ [...]

  2. Stephanie says:

    Since my blog is private, I’ll just leave it in the comments. ;) I recently revamped one of my favorite crockpot recipes (though I usually end up making it on the stove top).

    1 lb dried black bean
    1/3 cup salsa
    2 1/2 tsp sea salt
    1/2 tsn pepper
    2 tbsp garlic, minced
    1 tbsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp oregano
    3 bay leaves
    1-2 cup cooked quinoa

    1. Sort and rinse beans in colander.
    2 Put in a crock pot (or large pot) with 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and enough warm water to cover for 12-24 hours.
    3 Drain and rinse, cover with water plus about 2 inches over top of beans.
    4 Add all ingredients, except rice.
    5 Cook on low in crock pot about 6-8 hours til tender. (Add water if necessary)
    6 Add quinoa and cook until warm.

    We like to eat this with sour cream, avocado and salsa on top, a side of veggies and cornbread. This has become a staple in our house, and my hubs (who normally likes a lot of variety in the menu) always likes eating this.

  3. Miriam says:

    Love these ideas! Thank you, Mommypotamus!

  4. Arden says:

    I think I am going to give that stew a try! Comfort food sounds good right about now :)

  5. Karen says:

    LOVE THIS! Thx for the recipes!

  6. Beth says:

    One of my favorite quick & inexpensive meals, albeit a bit seasonal is eggs poached in tomato sauce. http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/09/eggs-in-tomato-sauce-contest-winners/

    Where I live, pastured eggs start to become hard to find around now (December), and I do have to rely on my pantry for the home-canned summer tomatoes. However, in the late summer and fall when both eggs and tomatoes are plentiful, this is a lovely inexpensive option.

    if you are lucky enough to be able to find good eggs and have home-canned tomatoes in the cooler months, this recipe works really well to shake off winter’s chill and offer a glimmer of hope for sunnier, warmer days.

  7. Heather says:

    Pastured eggs are a staple in our home (Texas is warm enough that hens lay year-round for the most part) so I’m always looking for new ways to serve them. Thanks Beth!

  8. Here here to the full fat sour cream! Full fat also gives me a smaller waste, who knew! I just found your blog while searching for fermented salsa. I am going to try the apple cider too because I just baked some Sourdough and probably will have great results with that.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Natasha – It’s great to “meet” you! Homemade sourdough sounds delicious right now. Wish we could swap some of our wares in real life . . . I have tons of salsa!

  9. [...] couple of months ago I asked for your healthiest budget-friendly recipes. You responded with all kinds of yummy ideas . . . only I didn’t know until last [...]

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