Posts Tagged ‘Lunchbag’

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

July 19, 2010


  • 2/3 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1 cup chocolate chips 



  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine JIF®, honey and cinnamon; heat through. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Place oats in a large, shallow roasting pan or a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan. Pour warm JIF® mixture over oats and stir gently until oats are coated. Spread evenly in pan.
  3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off oven.
  4. Stir in peanuts and return pan to oven and let dry 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Let miture cool and stir in chocolate chips. Store in covered containers.

*My kids love to eat this as a topping for yogurt. This recipe is very easy to change around and “make your own”. *


Little Frugalista


Chocolate Zucchini Bread

July 18, 2010

These taste like brownies but hold together in slices like a bread. A great way to sneak veggies into something that tastes like a dessert 😉


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-1/2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup raisins

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Combine the eggs, oil, butter and extracts; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in zucchini, pecans and raisins. Pour into two greased and floured 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from the pans to wire racks.

*If 2 Loaves are too much to consume for you at one time, freeze the second to eat later.*


Little Frugalista

Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers

July 6, 2010

Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers

  • 1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed  (I cook my own and freeze in 2 cup portions/ if you use the canned ones make sure they are drained very well)
  • 1/2 cup frozen green or red bell pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs or 1/2 cup rolled oats (I use oats to lower insulin reaction. Chop them in your food processor to a fine texture)
  • Directions

    1. If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and lightly oil a baking sheet.
    2. In a food processor chop black beans into a fine texture and transfer to a big bowl. 
    3. In the food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Then stir into mashed beans.
    4. Add to the bowl the eggs, chili powder, cumin, and hot sauce.
    5. Mix in bread crumbs or oats until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into six patties.
    6. If grilling, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.


    In my opinion these are even tastier then the Morning Star or Boca Burgers. Plus they are cheaper to make and you know exactly what’s in them 🙂

    These can be cooked and then frozen to heat up later.


    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

    Make Your Own Peanut Butter and Jelly Uncrustables

    May 5, 2010

    Don’t waste money buying Uncrustables from the store when you can easily make your own in a flash.

    All you need is a wide mouth canning jar ring, bread, peanut butter and jelly 🙂

    Make your sandwich as you normally would. If you plan to freeze these for later use put peanut butter on both pieces of bread and then place jelly on one piece. It will keep the bread from getting soggy. Then place your canning ring on the center of the sandwich.

    Push the lid down and twist so that the circle is cut out. When you have the lid all the way to the plate you may have to take your fingers to remove any bits that are left behind. No worries though because it is super easy to do.

    Take your fingers and gently press on the middle to get the Uncrustable to pop out of the lid.

    If you plan to freeze these make sure to place plastic wrap or wax paper between the layers so that the sandwiches do not freeze together.


    Little Frugalista

    Homemade Granola Bars

    April 27, 2010

    In an effort to stay away from High Fructose Corn Syrup and various other additives I make lots of things that your average person buys already processed and premade. This recipe is no different 🙂

    From my Meal Plan this Week…

    Homemade Granola Bars


    • 4 cups rolled oats
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 2/3 cup of butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or other goodies


    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9×13 inch pan.
    2. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, baking soda, vanilla, butter, honey and brown sugar. Stir in the 2 cups assorted chocolate chips, raisins, nuts etc. (picture shows bars made with 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup peanut butter chips)
    3. Firmly press mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 9 minutes. Pull from oven and press mixture firmly again into the pan. Bake another 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes then cut into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing or serving.

    Lunchbox Idea: Making Sandwiches Fun

    April 17, 2010

    To make sandwiches fun use a cookie cutter to cut the bread (also the meat and cheese if it’s not pb&j). This one I cut in the shape of a flower (got the cookie cutter after Easter for .25) and if I’d had M&Ms I would have placed one in the center of the flower but alas I didn’t have any.

    The crust I cut off goes into my bread bag in the freezer to become some of the dishes I posted before in my Got Stale Bread? Post. On occasion we also take bread from the freezer bag to feed the Geese at a local pond, which is a great free activity for my kids. We begin visiting in early spring when the mama geese lay their eggs and then visit every week to watch the babies grow into full size geese.


    Little Frugalista

    Breakfast for Lunch

    April 15, 2010

    Yet another easy Lunchbox idea… Breakfast for Lunch. Little Miss removes the syrup from the container and puts the waffle,egg and precooked bacon in the microwave to warm up. Add to that a side of cut up Strawberries sprinkled with Truvia and Ihop eat your heart out lol


    Little Frugalista

    Lunchbox Idea: Baked Potato

    April 13, 2010

    Most of the lunch ideas I share are not hard. They usually inspire a “Why didn’t I think of that?” comment. Another great lunch idea on that list…. Cooked Baked Potato with toppings

    Little Miss likes Baked Potatoes with just butter but you could send any of the toppings that you enjoy on the side (sour cream,cheese,butter,chili, etc…)

    I wash and scrub the Potato with a vegetable scrubber to make sure it’s clean. Then I cook the Potato for 6 minutes in the microwave or until done and then place in a reusable container, in the fridge the night before. When Little Miss has lunch at school she heats the Potato up (30-60 seconds) and then tops it with her butter.

    For some reason the butter in the picture below looks HUGE. The container only had 1 TBSP of butter and I’m sure because I measured it. Just didn’t want you to think we were clogging Little Miss’s arteries 😀

    *Nutrition Note: Since Jamie Oliver is filming his Food Revolution VERY close to where I live I thought I would add that this meal option only has 200 calories and TONS of great vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. Not all of us who live around his filming area eat as he’s portraying  😉

    Easy,money saving and nutritious 😉

    Little Frugalista

    Homemade Easy Refried Beans

    April 1, 2010

    Anyone who read my Meal Plan for the week saw that I had Pinto Beans for one night and Taco Dip for another night. I make my Refried Beans that I put in the Taco Dip when I make a big batch of Pinto Beans. You can see from the picture above that we eat them in other things as well, in fact that Quesadilla pictured above  is one of Little Miss’s favorite snacks.

    Not only is it WAY cheaper to make your own refried beans rather then buy the cans in the store but I also like knowing exactly what is in them since I cooked them.

    I have used lots of Recipes to make Refried Beans and by far this is the easiest method. This “recipe” is like alot of the ones I’ve posted and is a general direction since I tend to not measure things.

    Easy Refried Beans

    1.Soak your Pintos overnight in water with a smidge of Baking Soda to help remove the gas. I soak enough to have for dinner the next night AND make refried beans but you could soak just the amount you want for refried beans.

    2.In the morning rinse your beans with fresh water in a strainer.

    3.Place the desired amount you want to turn into Refried Beans into a pot and cover with water (I put the rest of the Beans into the Crockpot for Pinto Bean Soup but I’ll save that for a later post)

    4.Cook on Medium Heat for 2 or 3 hours making sure to replace any water that is lost due to boiling.

    5.When the beans appear soft enough to mash with a hand potato masher add seasonings. I use Onion Powder,Salt,Pepper and a little Garlic Powder but you can tailor your seasonings to your taste.

    6.Add Butter Flavored Shortening so that the Refried Beans will come out smooth (you are looking at aroung 1TBSP of shortening for 4 cups of pinto beans)

    7.Mash with a Potato Masher over Medium heat until enough liquid has evaporated to desired consistency

    And that’s it 🙂 You can put them in the fridge to serve over the next couple of days or portion them out and freeze for later use.

    If you have any questions at all feel free to ask away in the Comments section.