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October 17, 2010


Go ahead, call me a food on the foodie. I've been reading since your first letter to Dunkin' Donuts.

My suggestion for great cheap eats, featuring your favorite, squash. Butternut Squash Enchiladas with Corn, http://yankeepantry.wordpress.com/2007/01/27/butternut-squash-enchiladas-with-corn/ and Chile Cheddar Pumpkin (or Squash) Souffles http://yankeepantry.wordpress.com/2006/11/22/shrimp-tortilla-soup/


We're poor, but dammit, I refuse to sacrifice my food-on-the-foodie principles. So we eat less meat these days but lots of beans-and-stuff stew. Beans, pumpkin (more squash!) and kale with a Mexican mole is a favorite.

My favorite poor food has to be Salmon Patties, made from canned salmon. It brings back my childhood in every bite! Who says fish shouldn't come from a can? LOL.

Have I ever shared my recipe for stone soup? Next time you host a bunch of villagers (preferably farmers or at least agrarians), remind me to lend you a copy.

Never underestimate the power of squash! I practically survived on the stuff in college. Butternut mashed up with a little butter, black pepper and cinnamon...mmmmm! Always a yummy and cheap side dish; plus you get a good work out cutting 'em up!

My current favorite Poor Girl meal would have to be Baked Spaghetti! Pound of spaghetti (cooked) mixed with stick of butter, tomato soup, cheddar cheese and baked in a 9x13 pan. It's a variation of something my mother made which was a casserole of elbow macaronis, tomato soup and slices of Land o Lakes white american cheese!

i think most of the food i make is "poor" food--i eat lots of beans and vegetables. my favorite meal to make is falafel with homemade pita bread and chopped in-season vegetables for toppings. throw on some parsley, canned olives, and tzatziki sauce and call it gourmet.

I'm working hard to develop my "poor girl gourmet" meals- it seems like I'm either going all out and spending 50 dollars on a meal for our family of four, or we're eating tacos (which are delicious and simple- beans, cheese, sometimes roasted potato or poblano peppers and salsa). My new favorite inexpensive pasta is spaghetti with olive oil, tomatoes, pine nuts, and parmesan. Oh, I could really use this book!

White beans with sauteed onions and garlic (and a little unsalted chicken stock if necessary) and salt and pepper. Mmmmmm....

One of my favorite "value" meals is breakfast for dinner...scrambled eggs with cheese, french toast or ricotta pancakes, oranges or grapefruit and sometimes bacon if it's on sale!

My favorite is taking whatever mixture of veggies I can find in the pantry/fridge and heating it up and putting it inside a tortilla shell with some cheese.

Hmm...it's probably a tie between bean soup or breakfast for dinner. Both are pretty inexpensive. The book looks wonderful! Thanks for the opportunity.

I always feel extra frugal when my husband makes chicken soup from the leftover roast chicken that has already fed us for at least 3 days. Not only do I feel frugal, I feel incredibly pampered and lucky to be married to a soup maker. What he does to the chicken carcass to create such deliciousness, however, remains a mystery to me, as my soup is never quite as good.

Spaghetti is absolutely my favorite "poor girl" food. Makes a TON, and super easy to whip up a quick and easy (and cheap!) sauce.

My favorite poor girl food is leftover rice nuked with whatever kind of cheese isn't moldy in the fridge, mixed with a sprinkle of Goya Sazon Con Culantro Y Achiote. Carbs, protein, salt, and that delightful nuclear orange color. What more could a poor girl ask for?

Count me in--I have lots of squash from my farm share!

I'd say my favorite "poor boy" meal is chili and cheese on rice. My grad school girlfriend liked it so much she married me! We'd probably still be eating it even if we were loaded.

Although it's already been covered, my favorite inexpensive dish is any kind of pasta. I could have it every night because there are so many different kinds of sauce you can add to transform the same noodles into a different dish!

My brother is THE "poor boy" cook. He excels. He lives in New York, shops for everything in Chinatown, and has a protein (tofu, beans, lentils, etc) with a veggie and rice and cooks them up in Indian spices. All the time. Delicious and nutritious!

Favorite poor girl meal is an old hand-me-down recipe from my dear mother in-law called 'Hamburger and Elbows'. Browned ground beef and chopped onion seasoned with Adobo and mixed with cooked elbow macaroni....kind of like a bare bones American Chop Suey.

Our go-to poor couple meals for the week include mujadara (simple lentils, rice and caramelized onion medley with cinammon and cumin)- one of my favorites and probably breaks down to less that $1.00 a serving.

cuban rice and beans are my go-to poor girl meal. they're wicked cheap, the ingredients are simple and easy to find, and i can make a giant batch and bring it for lunch all week. plus, they taste like the rice and beans my grandmother serves with dinner almost every night.

eggs - you can make omelets, egg salad, breakfast sandwiches, creamed eggs, and many more tasty dishes. Eggs are inexpensive in the area we live, local gas station sells them for 77 cents a dozen

My poor girl meal is probably ground beef, some veggies and tomato sauce on pasta. We try to plan and budget and do OK with it but there are some foods that I will not mess with for quality purposes! Would love to check out this book.


My favorite poor girl meal is chipped beef gravy over toast. My husband often requests this for supper during cooler weather.
joosbornenc at yahoo dot com

A big ole' pot O' pinto beans and cornbread!!

I saw this and immediately thought of your passion for the shroom. http://www.seedsofitaly.com/catalogue/12

Inoculated mushroom and truffle hazelnut roots from seeds of italy.

Like Becky above, one of my cheap eats is salmon patties. Usually with frozen peas and scalloped potatoes. It was also one of the first things I ever learned how to make as a pre-teen.

My husband doesn't like salmon though so for him, I make Mexican-style rice and beans- cheap white rice and beans/tomatoes from cans plus loads of spices.

we made ours tonight- our New Mexico roots lead us on this one. Rice, beans, chile and an egg fried on top. Cheap, and fantastic....

Ok, I don't know if this counts, but here goes. I treat myself to small pieces of pancetta (only $2.00!). I dice it up and saute it. I toss in tomatoes (canned or from the garden). Over pasta with cheese, it pretty much hits the spot. Sometimes I add sliced onions or garlic. It lasts for a few meals, but still is rich enough to feel satisfying. Thanks for the chance: the cookbook looks great!

our poor family food is a whole chicken. I poach it, which in turn makes some nice juicy meat that can be used for the next couple days (shredded w/bbq sauce, enchiladas, tacos, sandwiches) the broth, used to make soup-or to freeze for later. One bird, 3-5 meals. Now that we have a little mouth to feed, we're eating at home a lot more and on the cheap! Which oddly enough, is a lot healthier.

Man, the vast majority of stuff I eat is poor girl food, but my favorite is definitely pasta fagioli--any chunky pasta with a thick sauce (pureed if you can swing it) made of beans, tomatoes, onions/garlic, parsley/basil, and whatever other veg is around, plus a scrap of grating cheese. The best kind is white bean/roasted red pepper fagioli, but even if there are no white beans, leftover lentils will totally do the trick. Excellent!

Hey, Eileen beat me to it! I was going to tell you my favorite poor girl food is pasta fagioli too! Nothing like the basics that are staples from my grandmother's kitchen! Love your blog, it always makes me laugh out loud. The food makes me hungry and ambitious in the kitchen. Love the family stories too. Thank you!

This comes from my Indian roots - beans/legumes (cooked as dal, i.e., with spices), couple of vegetables (more spices), a salad, roti (whole wheat bread - the dough is just whole wheat flour and water). Simple, tasty and cheap!

I always make something with lentils when I'm broke.

My favorite low-budget food is tacos! I fry the tortillas to make the shell. They taste much better than buying pre-made shells. I find ground beef or turkey on sale. I boil pinto beans to refry myself. Mexican rice is also inexpensive and simple to make. Very easy and yummy!

I'm continuing a trend here.. but my "poor girl" favorite is two fried eggs and two pieces of toast.
God bless chickens and bakers. They keep me alive.
Sometimes, if I can squeeze orange juice into the budget, there's that. Otherwise, it's black coffee.

It might sound weird - but I like a soft poached egg on a salad of cucumber, peppers, tomatos and some onion. Simple and satisfying.

Totally agree on using one bird for 3+ meals, plus using the carcass for broth, thereby adding in a couple more meals (although my husband would heartily dispute that soup is really a meal). Also just made green tomato soup, which probably doesn't count considering the green tomatoes came to me free from a friend's garden, but the bacon came from an almost forgotten frozen baggie in the back of the freezer. I think one of the best poor gal/guy tips is to combine low-cost ingredients with the nearly forgotten, almost freezer-burnt/rotten/dusty foods I have stashed in the back of the fridge and pantry.

Our low budget meals tend to be vegetarian. Eggplant, canned tomatoes and basil with pasta or an easy curry sauce (red curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, chicken broth) with tofu, whatever fresh veggies are in the fridge and cous cous.

The cookbook looks great! I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I loved reading all the comments and thinking of childhool and college favorites. My mother-in-law taught me her Depression dinner (her childhood memory) of spaghetti, onions, potatoes, a little oil and garlic and parsley and pepper. You could stretch it and stretch it....I had a copy of PGG but already gave it away as a gift--it is that good!

Reverting to "college" meals -- I would cook up a box of frozen lima beans and eat the whole thing with butter, salt and pepper. Quite satisfying. Think I'll add lima beans to my shopping list right now.

A big pot of vegetarian chilli! I can eat it for a week - canned tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, beans and a spice packet.

Alright - I'm also a fan of breakfast for dinner as a "poor girl" meal - but I make Corn Tortillas by hand (Masa is cheap) a dozen or so on the weekend, just pop one or two in the micro all week when I need them. Toss an egg with whatever meat/veggies are in the fridge, and top with salsa, and you have a nice "breakfast taco" dinner.

As for SQUASH - I personally think the best squash is KOBACHA. If you haven't tried this green, pumpkin variation, do it! It's fantastic baked, mashed, cubed in curries, etc. etc. It's much smoother and creamier than most squahes, and sweeter than acorn.

Heat up a can of black beans and some salsa in a pan. Make a few holes in it and crack an egg into each. Cook until the yokes are still slightly runny. Sprinkle with scallions and serve with warm tortillas!

Okay, we're closing up shop here. Winners to be announced soon.

I used an online random number generator to pick the two winning commenters who are:

4. Fish Sauce Hater
18. Erin

Winners, please e-mail me your addresses. Congrats!

darn, just now seeing this mere days too late! must get through my increasingly large list of rss feeds faster!

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