Category Archives: recipes

Use-It-Up Quiche (a great way to use up leftovers!)

Basic “Use-It-Up” Quiche Recipe
(6 servings)

You can use almost any leftover vegetable or meat in this recipe. If you have eggs, milk, rice and cheese, you can practically clean out your fridge right into your quiche pan. I always add the cheese last when making this quiche. The cheese makes a beautiful mellow-brown crust on the top. I usually add a bit of chopped onion to my quiches for flavor, and broccoli makes an especially nice vegetable quiche.  And it’s gluten-free, too!

Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rice, cooked (white or brown)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb any leftover vegetable or meat, chopped (single vegetable or a mix)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, or light cream
  • 1 cup cheese, grated (your choice: Swiss, Cheddar, Jack, etc.)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • Dash nutmeg, or ground mace

Crust Directions:

  1. Mix together cooked rice, egg and soy sauce.
  2. Spread evenly to cover well- buttered quiche pan or pie plate.
  3. Bake rice crust at 350 F for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven.

Filling Directions:

  1. Place chopped vegetable/meat onto the bottom of crust.
  2. Mix together: eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over broccoli.
  3. Top with grated cheese. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes, or until set.
  4. Remove from oven, and let sit ten minutes before slicing, if serving fresh; or wrap pie pan, label and freeze.
  5. Quiche can be served cold after thawing for a yummy hot weather treat; or heat the thawed quiche at 350 F for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

~Debi


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Marinated Lime Chicken


Here’s one of my family’s all-time favorite chicken recipes.  The instructions include directions for preparing ahead of time for the freezer. So if you find chicken on sale at a good stock-up price, you can take advantage of the sale prices and have this delicious meal waiting in the freezer for a busy evening later in the month.

If you want to bake without freezing first, be sure to allow at least an hour or two to marinate in the refrigerator. 


MARINATED LIME CHICKEN (from  Frozen Assets Lite & Easy) 

6 servings 

  • 6 chicken breast portions (about 8 ounces each)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 4 limes (or 4 tablespoons bottled lime juice)

  • 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar

  • 9 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons basil

Preparation: 

Squeeze limes into a medium sized bowl. Stir in vinegar, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper. Place chicken breast portions into labeled freezer bags. Pour lime sauce over top; seal and freeze. 

To Serve: 

Thaw completely. Pour marinade into small saucepan. Heat to boiling. Place chicken pieces into shallow oven-proof dish. Pour boiled marinade over chicken. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35 – 40 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Serve hot, sprinkled with fresh basil sprigs, if available. 

I hope your family likes this recipe as much as my family does! 

~Debi


510WdNuthdLAdapted with permission from Frozen Assets Lite & Easy by Deborah Taylor-Hough (SourceBooks).

Why cook every night when you can cook once a week for seven (or more!) delicious, healthy, family-approved meals? Frozen Assets Lite & Easy shows how to be healthy while saving time and money. Includes shopping lists, recipes, and detailed instructions on how to make freezer cooking work for you. Order your copy today!


Using Up Leftovers


Excerpted and adapted with permission from The Original Simple Mom’s Idea Book by Deborah Taylor-Hough (Simple Pleasures Press, 2015).


Lfrgigieftovers. We all have them, don’t we? But what do we do with them? I don’t really like keeping them in my refrigerator until a science project on mold develops, but sometimes it’s hard to know what to use leftovers for without driving the family crazy. I don’t care to hear another chorus of that all-too-familiar song, “What?! Meatloaf… AGAIN?!” 

Probably the most important step with leftovers is making sure to keep them safe. We’re not really saving any money on our family budget if that frugal dinner of leftovers sends everyone to the hospital with food poisoning! To keep leftovers safe, cover and refrigerate within two hours of a meal, freeze to keep more than three days, and thaw frozen leftovers in the refrigerator. 

I try to plan one meal each week to use up leftovers. Often it’s during a lunchtime with just the kids and I, but sometimes there’s enough food to feed the entire family. A complete meal of food that’s been “found” in the refrigerator is like getting an extra meal each week for free. 

It’s a good idea to try and change the way the leftover is served from one meal to the next. Rather than serving leftover fried chicken, you could take the meat off the bone and prepare cold chicken sandwiches for a change of pace. 

Suggestions for Using Leftovers

  • Bread (loaf ends, slices starting to dry).  Use in bread pudding, French toast, meat loaf extender, croutons, stuffing, bread crumbs

  • Egg (hard-cooked).  Use in casseroles, salads, sandwiches.

  • Fruit (fresh, canned or frozen).  Use in smoothies, milk shakes, gelatin desserts, cobblers, fruit bread, muffins, jam, freezer pops.

  • Meat, poultry, or fish (cooked).  Use in soups, stew, salad, quiche, enchiladas, stir fry, sandwiches, pot pies.

  • Potatoes (cooked).  Use in meat pies, salads, soups, stew.

  • Rice or pasta (cooked).  Use in casseroles, soups.

  • Vegetables (cooked).  Use in casseroles, quiche, salads, soups, sprinkled over a baked potato, in pot pies.

Pancakes, French toast, or waffles can just be popped into a sealed bag in your freezer. When you have enough assorted breakfast leftovers to make a meal, each person can have a variety of different items. To reheat, toast in the toaster on the Pastry setting.

Coffee and tea can be frozen in ice cube trays, then transfer the frozen coffee/tea cubes to plastic freezer bags. These work well for iced coffee or tea, and won’t dilute the drink when the cubes melt.

Syrup drained from canned fruits can be mixed with a bit of milk and made into creamy freezer pops for a refreshing hot-weather treat. The leftover fruit syrup can also be frozen into cubes and used in cold summertime drinks.

If you make a lot of pie crusts, put the scraps into a plastic freezer bag. After collecting scraps for awhile, you’ll have enough for an extra crust. 

Party Tray 

One of the things our family does regularly with leftovers is to prepare a meal we call “Party Tray.” I’ll take all the collected leftovers out of the refrigerator and freezer, reheat them, and then divide the food items among our plates. Everyone gets a little dab of this and a little dab of that – maybe only a bite or two of each item, but after the plate is filled with bits and pieces from past meals, it takes on the look of a plate from a party buffet line. I usually add some sliced cheese and crackers, plus a few cut-up fresh veggies, to complete the party theme. 

My kids love this Party Tray meal idea. I hesitated for a long time to serve Party Tray to my husband, but one Saturday I just threw together a Party Tray meal for lunch. I was so surprised — my husband thought it was a great idea and wanted to know why I didn’t do this when he was around. So Party Tray has became a regular event, enjoyed by the whole family.  

Soup and Bread Night 

One night each week we have a Soup and Bread night. I’ll either bake a loaf of fresh bread, a bunch of hearty rolls, or a big pan of cornbread. I keep a covered bucket in the freezer for storing assorted leftovers (meats, vegetables, rice, beans, etc.) to make soup. One woman told me she drew a lady’s face on the soup bucket and called the lady the Freezer Fairy. Her children could hardly wait to feed their leftovers to the Freezer Fairy. 

Each week, they were excited to see what delicious soup she was going to make for their family (by the way, the Freezer Fairy’s magic doesn’t work well on fish, so don’t add leftover fish to your soup bucket in the freezer). 

Happy frugal eating!

~Debi

 


61ghrkhptflThis post is excerpted and adapted with permission from the book, The Original Simple Mom’s Idea Book by Deborah Taylor-Hough, available in both paperback and Kindle ebook formats.  You’ll find more handy hints and simple ideas on topics such as frugal family entertainment, organizing your summer, avoiding mosquito bites, simplified party planning, and lots more!


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Debi’s Lentil Loaf

This is a recipe I sort of threw together one day based on about five different recipes.  I had to take into account all our family’s assorted allergies so it was challenging to find one recipe that would suffice for all of us to eat.

This recipe was super yummy!  We all liked it.  It tasted very meatloaf-like with a good meatloaf-like texture.   I discovered it was best served after it had been in the fridge for awhile and gotten cold.  When it was hot out of the oven, the flavor wasn’t as good and it didn’t really hold together very well.  I’m thinking for future reference that Lentil Loaf sandwiches would be ideal! 🙂

You’ll need to cook enough lentils to make 2 cups of cooked lentils prior to making this meatloaf.

In hot oil, cook until tender:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic

Stir in:

  • 2 tsp vegetable bouillion paste
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup or tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt

In separate bowl, mix together:

  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs

Stir into egg mixture:

  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice

Stir vegetables and spices into lentil/rice/egg mixture. Toss thoroughly. Press firmly into loaf pan. Spread with 1/2 cup ketchup over top. Bake 350 for 1 hour. Cool in fridge for 2 hours. Best served cold.

~Debi


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Mix-n-Match Quiche

Excerpted with permission from Mix-n-Match Recipes by Deborah Taylor-Hough.


I used to call this Use-It-Up Quiche.  You can use almost any leftover vegetable or meat in this recipe. If you have eggs, milk, rice, and cheese, you can practically clean out your fridge right into your quiche pan.

I always add the cheese last when making this quiche. The cheese makes a beautiful mellow-brown crust on the top. I usually add a bit of chopped onion to my quiches for flavor, and broccoli makes an especially nice vegetable quiche. Continue reading