I've had requests for some of the recipes I've talked about in comments and blog posts. And after some contemplation, I've decided to start a thread on recipe sharing. I'll post a few recipes that are simple, easy to do, and most importantly, inexpensive. I'll include any easy to do changes to make them personal to your own tastes (seasonings, etc) and ways to alter it to make it faster if you can (bread machines, slow cookers) but you don't have to use them if you don't have them.
Feel free to add your comments you have about the ones I've posted (successes, failures, things you added on your own--changes, etc that you thing we'd like to try) believe me, I don't call these my own so feel free to make them your own!
I'm sure we'd also love to have YOUR favourite simple, humble, easy to make recipes as well...share your family favourites, if you're willing to give up your secrets! :)
Indian Naan or Italian Pizza Dough (You decide!) adapted from Paul Hollywood
This can be made as Indian naan--a tradition fry bread for Indian food (or any other food really--sandwiches even) or you can spice it right and make a great pizza dough!
4 cups white flour (or use 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat)
1 TBSP olive oil or any cooking oil
1 pkg yeast or 1 TBSP yeast
1 1/4 c water (usually end up needing more)
necessary seasonings depending on which you're making
For naan: for plain naan just add 1 1/2 tsp salt, you can also add curry powder, cummin, and/or garlic in any combination or by themselves to taste
For pizza dough: add garlic powder, onion powder, italian seasoning, pinch of salt, and red pepper flakes (optional) ....I never measure but would estimate about 1/2 teaspoon each or to taste ...if you don't have certain spices, it's ok, make it anyway
If you have a bread machine, USE IT! Put all the ingredients in EXCEPT WATER and press start...add the water and see if it forms a ball...add more water until it forms a ball...when you have a ball that is slightly tacky, but not gooey, pull it out and put it in a bowl--turn off bread machine and put it away
Otherwise, mix together dry ingredients, add oil and water until you have a bread dough consistency. The dough will be sticky and that's ok.
For naan: heat a skillet on high and add a few tsps oil, divide dough into 6 balls and you can flatten them with your hands into patties or you can roll out on floured board with a rolling pin...fry 1 or 2 at a time until browned on each side---add a bit of oil each time you add more dough to pan
For pizza dough: make as same as above....either in bread machine or by hand. I let my pizza dough stand for awhile, sometimes overnight--it will get a yeasty smell to it that smells like a pizza parlour :) but it's not required, you can use it right away....simply roll it out on a floured board, or right onto a non-stick pan and top with sauce and toppings...if you are using a board and moving it from one space to another, make them small, as they are hard to move once they are topped--i top mine and then move them to a pizza stone already hot in the oven
Mexican-style Refried Beans or Ranch-style Beans
I only know how to make these in a crock pot/slow cooker, so if you don't have one, you'll need to figure out how to make the adjustment to stove top.
Again, I don't measure, but I'd guess I use about 6 cups of dried pinto beans or black beans (are they called black pinto beans?), I basically cover the bottom of my slow cooker about 3 inches in dried beans. You can make more or less, it doesn't matter--judge for you family and your needs.
Cover the beans with water plus about 4 inches and put the lid on and leave them over night.
In the morning, change the water, rinse the beans, and add new water, filling to about 1/2 full. Add about 3 tbsp salt and turn on slow cooker to high. Let the beans cook all day.
After about 4 hours give them a stir and if you want to add some taco seasoning--depending on your tastes, and the salt content.
Keep checking every 2 hours or so and giving them a stir, if there is too much water you can drain some off. Then if you want to add a can of diced tomatoes.
When it comes time to serve, decide if you want refried or ranch--refried you need a handheld blender/stick blender and just blend them while they are in the slow-cooker, otherwise leave them as they are and they are ranch style.
...quick tip...you can cook pretty much all dried beans like this just flavour them however you want to :) once I try "Laura Ingalls baked beans" I'll post the results!
Lentil-Rice Casserole (from The Tightwad Gazette)
this can be cut in 1/2 for a smaller amount--i doubled it so there would be leftovers
1 1/2 c lentils
1 c white or brown rice
3/4 c dried onion flakes or 1 chopped fresh onion
1 1/2 t. italion seasonings (or to taste)
1/2-1 t. garlic powder (or to taste)
6 c chicken stock or vegetable stock (you can use 6 c. water and 6 boulion cubes)
stir with a spoon in crock pot (covered)and cook on HIGH until done--takes about 3-4 hours...the longer they go after "done" the mushier, but that isn't necessarily bad, just a texture preference
I have also added peas and carrots the last 1/2 hour to make a whole meal
You can top with grated cheese
This can also be done in the oven--stir in a casserole dish and bake (covered) in the oven at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours--add cheese the last 20 minutes.
The other flavour option is to change the seasoning from italian/garlic to taco seasoning (keep the onion) and use as burrito filling (keeping the peas and carrots)