Too Thrifty Chicks

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Too Thrifty Cooks: A thrifty cooking series

Photo Dec 17, 11 10 21 AM

As you all know the Too Thrifty Chicks cook almost everything as part of Operation Do Better. I’m qualifying that “everything” with “almost” because the summer months have us all off kilter. The weather is warmer and we’re often away from home and under prepared to NOT eat out. Sad but true.

We’re trying to pull ourselves back from the eating-out brink by cooking for the week on Sunday because really it’s too hot to fire up the stove more than once or twice during the week. So we’re starting this cooking series to force ourselves to plan what we’re going to eat each week and to hold ourselves accountable for one of the most important things we do — EAT!

The goal is to cook enough food to last through at least three or four meals that we are willing to eat multiple times during the course of the week.

To kick off the first week we’re focusing on a few staple recipes that are not only tasty enough to eat multiple times.

On the menu and our plates this week:

Fish  and Shrimp Tacos: This is a favorite at the thrifty palace. Saute  your fave white fish and shrimp with some creole seasoning until fish flakes and shrimp has that pink/orange hue. I take a package of broccoli slaw (we added some fresh fennel and cilantro) and dress it with whatever concoction I come up with because I never make the dressing the same twice. This last time it was honey, rice wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and some left over Asian dressing from the fridge that likely had ginger and soy sauce in it. Trust me. It works.

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Vegetarian Tamales: We posted this recipe here before, but we found the masa to be tasty, but a little bit bland for our tastebuds. I found this amazing recipe posted by Natalie over at Tasty Kitchen Blog, and decided to pump it up in a few ways. One, I added cumin, chili and garlic powder until I could smell it wafting from the masa. We like things spicy, so if you don’t, you might want to stick to the recipe. Two, I chopped up some frozen corn kernels and added it to the mix. We had corn in our masa last time and really liked it. Three, I added some pepper jack cheese to the mixture too. We really like cheese. Four, I chopped up a bunch of greens we had on hand and actually added that to the masa too. We have a lot of greens from the CSA where we get fresh veggies and needed to use them before they go bad. And five, we used the veggies we had on hand for our filling, which included a lot more greens and jalapenos.

Crock pot Black Beans: We eat so many black beans that we now buy them dry and cook them in our crock pot. We quick boil them and then toss them in the crock pot with a little salt, cumin, garlic and chili powder.

Classic Israeli Salad: This is a new one on us. We love tabbouleh, but when I saw this recipe in my inbox from Vegetarian Times I knew it was right up our alley. We already had the ingredients on hand because we intended to make tabbouleh, but the bulgur wheat we purchased this time came out looking scary, and neither of us wanted to touch the stuff when it was ready.

So that’s what’s on tap for the rest of this week. If we need a quick meal like we did Monday, black beans plus rice is quick enough and if we run out of that there’s always pasta or homemade pizza. What are you eating this week? Got recipe’s we should try? Let us know down in the comments section and maybe we’ll give it a whirl. Better yet, we take dinner invites too. 🙂

Until next time…

— R&R


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Tidbit Tuesday: Cucumber Salsa + Veggie Tamales

The weather is getting hot, and we have been on the hunt for foods that don’t involve us firing up our oven more than is absolutely necessary since we’re still cooking everything. We combed the interwebs looking for recipes and these two became instant hits.

Cucumber Salsa

Ingredients: 2 cups finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber, 1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato, 1/4 cup chopped red onion, 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley, 1 jalepeno pepper (seeded and chopped), 4-1/2 tsp minced fresh cilantro, 1 garlic clove (minced or pressed), 1/4 c reduced-fat sour cream (or greek yogurt), 1-1/2 tsp lemon juice, 1-1/2 tsp lime juice, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp seasoned salt, tortilla chips

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Directions: In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt. Pour over cucumber mixture and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately with chips.

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Veggie Tamales (serving size 12)

Ingredients: 2 cups masa corn flour, 1/2 cup butter (cubed), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 pinch sugar, 1 1/2-2 cups broth (you might need more than this, use your judgment), 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, chili pepper (to taste),  2 1/2 cups corn (fresh or thawed frozen will work), 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (mexican cheese is better, reserve about half for filling), 2 tomatoes, deseeded, pealed and sliced (can immerse in boiling water for 20 seconds, and then ice water to loosen skins), 1-2 jalepenos, parchment paper or corn husk

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Directions:

1. Soak corn husks for about 30 minutes.
2. In a food processor blend corn and cheese until corn is in nearly a meal consistency.
3. Add butter, Masa flour, salt, sugar, pepper and baking powder and process until the mixture is loosely mixed.

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4. Add broth and mix until just smooth
5. Fill with some cheese, jalepenos, and tomatoes.
6. Close parchment paper or corn husk around filling, trying to cover filling with Masa flour mixture. If you have trouble closing or have too much filling try using less in your subsequent tamales (we had a few chubby ones at the beginning)

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7. Roll wrapper closed, roll and fold over ends and set aside.
8. Once they’re done they can be refrigerated or frozen, or placed immediately in steaming tray above boiling water for about 30 minutes, or until Masa flour mixture is set.

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