Frugal Meatless Meal Ideas
I know I always start off these posts by mentioning the rising prices of food and goods, but have you seen the price of food? It is really getting hard to feed a family and stay on a tight grocery budget. Now my family loves meat like anybody else but we usually have one or two meatless meals per week to give our bodies a rest and to also save money on buying meat. So the question remains, "Can you feed a carnivorous family meatless meals and fill them up?" The answer is yes. To help save money in our home my husband and I are committing ourselves to a minimum of two meatless dinners per week.
Just tonight we had one of our favorite meatless meals of bean tostadas with all the fixins. I chop up olives and lots of veggies and top with sour cream, avocado and cheese and of course salsa. Everyone makes their own and it is a fun meal. Beans are a wonderful source of protein and are filling as well.
One of our favorite summer dishes is black bean salad. Served with cut up fruit and herb bread, it makes a wonderful light summer supper. The recipe is below. Another Mexican favorite is cheese enchiladas. I will make a pan with chopped sauteed veggies added to the enchiladas and a plain cheese pan for those that don't want the veggies ones.
Soups are a wonderful meatless option. One of our favorites is potato cheese soup. Here is my recipe for how to make is easily with leftover mashed potatoes. Veggies soups are another healthy option.
Pasta dishes are great family fillers. One I like to make is just what my mom used to call Mac Bake. She would boil up any kind of macaroni or noodles she had on hand, mix with spaghetti sauce and top with grated cheese. This was a favorite of mine as a child.
I have recently started experimenting with lentil dishes. Our German relatives make a lentil gravy that is so simple but addictive. I will get the recipe and share it soon. One recipe I will share soon is a lentil and green olive salad.
Here is the recipe for my Corn and Black Bean Salad
1 can black beans rinsed and drained well
1/2 c. chopped cilantro (We love cilantro so I use it generously)
1 c. frozen corn (I love to use fresh corn on the cob from leftovers if I have it)
-Do not cook the frozen corn. Take the frozen corn and let it thaw and drain well.
2 tblsp. finely chopped red onion
1 chopped cucumber
1 diced tomato (add just before serving)
Juice from 2 limes
Drizzle with olive oil
1/4-1/2 tsp. cumin (season to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for at least two hours. Add tomatoes at the end and toss.
You can find more frugal meal ideas on my recipe page.