Posts Tagged ‘Garlic’

Vegetarian Artichoke Spinach Pitas

July 15, 2010

Vegetarian Artichoke Spinach Pitas


  • 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used sour cream because I don’t like mayo)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled (or 2 TBSP minced garlic)
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried dill weed (I used instead fresh basil from my garden)
  • 8 oz frozen Spinach

Throw all of the ingredients in your crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. This can be served in Pitas with your favorite veggies, cheese etc… or can be used as a dip with Crackers or Heavy Dipping Bread pieces.

These would be great to send cold in a lunchbox:)


Little Frugalista


Chicken Tortilla Soup

June 9, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup:

1lb chicken, cooked and chopped (I use leftover Chicken I’ve frozen from other dinners)
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 can 28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 can 10.5 oz low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups water
1 can 4.5 oz chopped green chile peppers
1 can 15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed (I cook my own on the stove and freeze them in 1 cup portions in baggies)
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped * I didn’t have this and it turned out fine*

In large saucepan, heat olive oil and saute onion and garlic until soft. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Optional toppings include baked tortilla chips, low-fat sour cream, cheddar cheese, etc.

Nutritional Info per serving (w/o toppings): 278 calories, 4.9 g fat, .5g saturated fat, 46 mg cholesterol, 30 g carbohydrates, 23 g protein, 466 mg sodium.

This is a healthy protein packed meal that is sure to fill you up and is great the next day for lunch.


Little Frugalista

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

May 24, 2010

I have yet to find a Store Bought Spaghetti Sauce that doesn’t contain High Fructose Corn Syrup in it. So as I result I just make ours from scratch.

Here is my recipe. There is room to tweak it to your tastes 😉

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

2 TBSP Olive Oil

1 Medium Onion Chopped

1 TBSP Garlic Powder

2 tsp dried basil

2 tsp dried oregano

1 Can Tomato Sauce (29 ounces)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 packet of Truvia (Stevia) or 1 tsp of Sugar

1 lb Cooked Ground Beef or Ground Turkey

-Place Olive Oil in your skillet (I use my iron skillet) and heat up on medium heat.

-Place Chopped Onion and Garlic Powder in the Olive Oil and cook until the onions are translucent

-Stir in Basil and Oregano. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes.

-Pour in Tomato Sauce and stir

-Next add salt and Truvia (or sugar). Stir very well.

-Add in your cooked ground beef (or ground turkey)

-Cover and cook for 30 minutes (plenty enough time to prepare your noodles)


-Mr. Little Frugalista likes his Spaghetti a little more “zippy” so I add 2 TBSP of my Homemade Taco Seasoning.

-This can also be made with ground Venison and in fact the pictures shown are 1/2 Rocky Ground Beef and 1/2 Venison. I cooked a 2 lb batch of 1/2 and 1/2 last week for Mexican Dinner night and froze the other half to serve with Spaghetti today.

-Various things can be stirred into the sauce to increase the nutrients in it. Various veggies you have on hand  can be chopped and placed in the sauce just as I did with our Super Easy Stromboli or you could puree veggies like carrots and add them to the sauce. Just be creative with what you have on hand 😉

-Cooking acidic things in an iron skillet, like spaghetti sauce, is very beneficial to our bodies because the acid in the food helps to leach the iron out for us to ingest. Just check out the subject on Columbia University\’s Go Ask Alice

-I use Whole Wheat Noodles with this sauce because they are better for you and you can’t taste the difference when they are covered in sauce.

Lastly wanted to add that Spaghetti makes a great next day lunch on the go 🙂


Little Frugalista

Homemade Overnight Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

May 23, 2010

I said in my meal plan for this week that I would share this new recipe if it was any good. Let me tell you it is FANTASTIC!

I prepared this in on Saturday night for us to eat Sunday after church so I used a Crockpot. I am told you can put all of these things in a pot on the stove and cook it quick if you like.

Homemade Overnight Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

1 can  Cream of Chicken Soup

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 can Chicken Broth

2 Carrots Diced

2 Celery Stalks Diced

1/2 of a Medium Onion Diced

Whole Wheat No Yolks Noodles

2 soup cans worth of water

Leftover Chicken (had it leftover from when we had Split Chicken Breast for Dinner)

1 TBSP Garlic Salt

-Place all ingredients except the noodles in the Crock of your Crockpot and turn Heat on High.

-Cook overnight.

-In the Morning Boil the amount of noodles you want to add and throw them in the Crock before you leave for church or about 4 hours before you intend to eat and reduce heat to Warm or Low

And that’s it 🙂 Super simple right? VERY tasty though!


Little Frugalista

Save Money Making Your Own Dumplings

April 21, 2010


Don’t waste money making Dumplings from Mixes like Bisquick when they are so darned easy to make from scratch.

I make a type of Chicken Gravy by picking meat off the bone  and boiling the leftover Rotisserie Chicken we have for dinner the night before (on my meal plan for the week), pull the chicken out of the pot when the water hits a boil, add a can of cream of chicken and thicken with Cornstarch and Milk. Season to taste (for us that means, salt, pepper, garlic and powdered onion).

Once it all comes to a boil again I put the dumpling mixture (below) in the pot by tablespoon full and cook for about 15 minutes until the Dumplings are nice and fluffy. I serve the cooked Dumplings and Gravy over the chicken I removed from the pot and sat aside.

These Dumplings are a nice addition as well to soups 🙂


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Mix together and drop by TBSP into boiling broth, gravy or soup pot.

    *NOTE-My family are such dumpling fans I usually make a double batch to add to the pot*

    Super Easy Stromboli

    April 8, 2010

    From my Meal Plan this week

    I usually cook everything from scratch but on the occasion I need a break and this is a great way to prevent us from going out to eat  because it is soooo easy.

    All you need is: A store bought pizza crust and pizza toppings of your choice

     I found the pizza crust on Manager’s Special for $1 which I couldn’t pass up.

    Spread the pizza crust out like you are going to make a pizza and place toppings in the center of the crust

    My filling included:Pepperoni,Turkey Pepperoni,Ham Cold Cuts Torn Up (got them in a GREAT deal at Kroger but nobody wanted to eat it on sandwiches),Frozen Green Pepper,Chopped Onions,Mozzarella Cheese,Minced Garlic and Pureed Broccoli/Cauliflower leftover from Easter Dinner to add nutrients (Pictured Below).

    -Leave out the Pizza Sauce because you will serve it on the side to dip the Stromboli Slices in.

    My kids think pureed Cauliflower,Broccoli and Spinach are Italian Seasoning ;)……

    Pull the crust together and pinch to close at the top

    Cook at 350 until golden brown on top


    Little Frugalista

    What to do with those leftover Mashed Potatoes

    April 5, 2010

    Got Leftover Mashed Potatoes? We certainly do. This actually comes with a funny story… The night before Easter I went to put Little Miss to bed. She wasn’t feeling well because she had a reaction to some sunscreen I had put on her. I told Mr. Frugalista that I was going to go lay with her and asked him if he would please peel just enough potatoes to put in the fridge covered in water and salt (to keep them from browning), so that I could boil them after church to make Mashed Potatoes to take to my mother’s house for dinner. Well somehow the “just enough” got lost in translation and I came downstairs to find 20 pounds of potatoes peeled and chopped. When I asked him why in the world he’s peeled so many he replied that it did seem like a lot and that his arm hurt from chopping. lol! Needless to say we have tons of mashed potatoes. So I thought this would be an excellent time to post on what to do with those leftover Mashed Potatoes.

    First off they will keep in your fridge for a few days so the easiest thing to do is to serve them as a side with another meal. However if your family is tired of them already you can…..

    Freeze in Family Meal Size portion: When you want to serve them, defrost in the microwave and then place on the stove top with a little milk. Remember the smaller the portion the easier it is to thaw. So 2 small-sized portions  are easier to heat up from the freezer then 1 large portion.

    Make Potato Cakes:


    • 2 cups cold leftover mashed potatoes
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil


    1. Combine the first four ingredients; mix well. In a small skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add potato mixture; press with a spatula to flatten evenly. Cover and cook for 8 minutes or until bottom is crispy. Invert onto a serving plate.

    *Notes: Other seasonings can be added to your taste. If your cakes are not holding together when you are patting them out, add a little flour*

    Make Mashed Potato Soup:

    1 tablespoon butter

    1 large onion, chopped

    6 cups mashed cooked potatoes

    2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth

    1/2 cup milk


    In a medium soup pot melt butter over low heat, and saute onions until tender. Stir in the mashed potatoes, and then slowly add the chicken broth. Stirring, add milk (use more or less to achieve desired creaminess). Cook until heated through and season with salt and pepper to taste.


    Top a Shepherd’s Pie:

    I will be making this one tomorrow and will post a pic here. This recipe couldn’t be any easier….

    Leftover Mashed Potatoes

    1 lb ground beef

    1 medium onion chopped

    garlic powder

    Season Salt

    1 cup Cheddar Cheese

    Cook ground beef with the chopped onion until the ground beef is done and the onions are tender. Season with the garlic and Season Salt. Top with leftover Mashed Potatoes and cover with cheese. Bake in oven at 350 until potatoes are warm and cheese is melted.

    Hopefully this will give you a few great ideas


    Little Frugalista

    Saving Money with a St. Patrick’s Day Tradition

    March 17, 2010

    My kids love peas. I love to see them eat them straight from the vine. Nothing completes my summer quite like watching Little Miss and Little Dude running in the sprinkler then stopping for a small break to run over to the raised garden and getting a handful of homegrown peas. They like to clean them off in the sprinkler and eat them while they play.

    Every St. Patrick’s Day we plant the pea seeds. Peas love colder weather so St. Patricks Day is the perfect day to start them, at least here in the Northeastern United States.`The only thing you really need to know about planting peas is… create rows and sow (plant) them 2″ apart within those rows. Cover them with dirt and wait for them to grow. Just make sure there is enough space between your rows for your pea plants to fully expand. Because it is so wet this time of year there really is no maitenance or upkeep needed. They couldn’t be an easier crop.

    If you don’t have a place in the ground to plant peas, plant them in a container. Just make sure to keep them moist because container plants dry out faster then ones planted in the ground.

    Our first row in our raised bed…

    As you can see from the picture below I paid $1 for this whole pack of seeds and there were enough seeds in the package to do about 3 rows of peas that are 5 feet long.  It doesn’t take a frugal genius to figure out that is a HUGE return on a $1 investment.

    We plant a second set of peas when summer is about to end and fall is approaching because once again they like the cool, wet weather.

    While we were digging in the garden we discovered that the garlic Quiltie had put in there last fall had sprouted 🙂 Just thought I’d add a picture of it since we were so excited to see it….

    Meal Plan for week of March 15

    March 15, 2010

    In no particular order and just a general outline to know what I have to work with:


    -Meatloaf Sandwiches (made from Meatloaf I had leftover and froze),Homemade Mozarella Sticks (this is a tricky healthy recipe I will post a little later),Baked Sweet Potatoes

    -Breakfast (a Favorite of Little Miss) Bacon,Biscuits,Gravy,Eggs,Oatmeal

    -Potato Soup, Cornbread (leftover from the week before) Hotdogs and Green Jello (St. Patrick’s Day)

    -Santa Fe Rice and Beans

    -Chicken Parm (something I made and froze again) with Homemade Marinara and Garlic Bread

    -Steaks (from Rocky),Baked Potatoes,Green Beans

    *Sunday after Church Meal* Veggie Soup in the Crockpot (made with Venison this time)  and Cold Cut Sandwiches(made the night before and put in the Fridge)

    Lunch for Little Miss,Little Dude and Mr. Littlefrugalista….

    Boiled Eggs



    String Cheese


    Lunchmeat sandwiches




    Brownies (homemade)


    Easter Cookies (homemade)






     English Muffin Pizzas






    On the Go Breakfast Cookies (Homemade from a recipe from Quiltie)

    This is a general outline and is the bulk of what we will eat this week



    Using Leftover Vegetables….Easy Pie Crust and Veggie Soup

    March 13, 2010

    Those of you that have read my other posts about food know that I keep a leftover veggie bag in the door of my freezer. In this bag goes all of the leftover veggies that we don’t eat at dinner (I only put in the ones left in the pot, not the ones off of our plates). Once this bag is full (I use a baggie but you could also use a reusable container to further save money) I make these 2 things with them. To call them recipes is a bit of a stretch because you are working with the leftovers you have on hand but they will give you a kind of outline as to what to do 🙂

    Leftover Veggie Soup

    *Note* I make this as a next day meal after I cook Pot Roast AND have my veggie bag full



    Leftover Pot Roast with Veggies from the day before 

    Leftover Veggie bag from your freezer

    Can of V8 Juice

    Seasonings (We like Onion Powder,Salt, Pepper,Garlic Powder and a couple packets of Stevia to make the soup sweet)


    1.Take your leftover Pot Roast with leftover veggies (I always cook potatoes and carrots in with my roasts) from your fridge and cut everything into bite size pieces, removing the fat and disposing of it. If you are lucky and have a good roast there won’t be much fat to remove.

    2.Place these cut up pieces in a pot and cover with V8 Juice

    3.Place leftover frozen veggies in the pot

    4.Cook on Medium until everything is unfrozen (about an hour) The longer you cook the soup, the more intense the flavor. We prefer the soup at around the 3-4 hour mark. Just make sure for longer cooking times to add in water that is lost through cooking.

    5.Season to Taste

    **Footnote: You can also cook this in a Crockpot by placing all of the prepared ingredients in the Crock and cooking on Low for about 6-8 hours.

    Leftover Chicken Pot Pie

    This is also a next day meal, just like the veggie soup. The day before I make the Pot Pie we have Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken. The leftover chicken for that meal can be made into lots of things but for the purpose of this post I will just focus on making Pot Pie out of it.

    EASY Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken

    1 whole roasting chicken
    olive oil
    seasoning salt, to taste

    1-Make 4 or 5 loose balls of aluminum foil and place in bottom of crock pot. (you can also wrap potatoes in foil and set the chicken on top)
    2-Clean chicken inside and out. Rub with olive oil.
    3-Sprinkle generously inside and out with seasoned salt.
    4-Put chicken back-side down in crock pot (on top of foil balls).
    5-Cook on high 4-6 hours

    You will thank me if you try this recipe because it yields the most tender delicious chicken!

    So onto the pot pie….

    Leftover Chicken Pot Pie


    Leftover chicken pulled from the Rotisserie Chicken

    1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup




    Leftover Veggie Bag from your Freezer

    Seasonings (Once again we like Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper  because they are cheap ;))


    1.Place Chicken and Leftover Veggies from Freezer in a pot and cover with water

    2.Cook on Medium Heat until unfrozen and Warm

    3.While Chicken/Veggies Cook begin Crust (recipe below)

    4.Once Chicken/Veggies are Warm put in Cream of Chicken Soup

    5.Thicken with Cornstarch that you’ve mixed with milk in a small bowl. If you put the Cornstarch straight in it will create yucky little starch dumplings, so make sure to mix with the milk

    6.Once you’ve gotten it thick, season to taste

    7.Place filling on top of pie crust that you’ve prepared

    *8.*I like to make double the Pie Crust and place it on top of the Pot Pie because my family’s favorite part is the crust. It’s up to you whether you do this step or not. If you do, just double the recipe in step 3 and save half of it back.

    9.Cook Pot Pie on 400 for about 20-30 minutes, keeping an eye on it to make sure that it doesn’t burn. You want a nice golden brown top.

    Easy Pie Crust


    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 tablespoons milk


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    2. Place all ingredients in 9 inch pie pan. Stir together with fork. Pat mixture into bottom and up the sides of the pan. Poke holes in bottom and side of crust.
    3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light brown. Use as directed in favorite pie recipe.


    I hope this post has made sense to you. I’ve had lots of people ask me for these “recipes” and this is the first time I’ve sat down and tried to write what it is I do to cook these things from leftovers. If you have any questions at all feel free to ask away in the comment section. 🙂