Sunday, March 8, 2009

Thrifty Linkage!

OK, darlins. Lately I've been obsessively trawling Ye Olde Intertoobz for some delicious and frugal recipes, and boy howdy, have I ever found some GREAT ones! Yowza! So instead of keeping these gems all to myself I figured I'd pass the love along. Here are a few of my finds:

1. Brown rice patties from "Beauty that Moves." I can imagine these with a great big crunchy salad, or on top of a big bowl of Cuban red beans, or even as a quickie breakfast on the run! Delicious. Made them today, and they're so simple -- crunchy on the outside and warm and almost creamy inside! You could seriously do a hundred variations on these. Roasted garlic with some finely chopped greens. Minced jalapeno and cumin seeds with some cheddar. Shredded apples with the shredded carrot and onion. And on and on!

2. Black bean burgers from I made these yesterday (a HUGE batch, from dry beans that I cooked in the Crockie, natch) and froze them. Great for lunches. My little tip -- lightly dust with a mix of cornmeal and flour before you fry these up, and you'll avoid the dreaded Disintegrating Veggie Burger Syndrome.

3. Snobby Joes from "Happy Foody." One of my new favorite food blogs -- this is one awesome vegan, dreadlock-sporting, natural-living Christian mama! Snobby Joes are a vegan variation on sloppy joes, obviously -- made of
lentils of all things! This is on the list for this week.

You might notice something about these three recipes. They're all vegetarian! Why? Well, first of all, everyone is feeling the economic pinch these days, and one of the quickest ways to alleviate that pinch is to reduce the amount of meat you consume. Just think of how much money you'd save if you cut out meat, which usually costs between $4 and $10 per pound, from your weeknight meals and substituted whole grains, fresh vegetables, eggs, and legumes, like the recipes above!

Secondly, we in the U.S.just eat way too much meat. We're eating from preference and habit, not need. Did any of y’all ever read the "Little House" books? At one point, Pa says to Ma that one of his goals with farming is to get to the point where they can eat beef once a week. Once a week! And we don’t even have to go back that far to see how much our diets have changed! My grandmother could stretch a pound of hamburger into four meals for four people! But nowadays, most of us eat WAY more (mostly meat-based) protein than we need, while failing to get enough health-boosting fiber, vegetables, and fruit. So, for the sake of health, it would be wise to eat less meat so that we can eat more whole grains, vegetables and fruit, right? Right.

And for the sake of space, I won’t even get into the discussion of how factory farming impacts God’s creation. Suffice it to say, growing plants uses much less of the resources of the land than huge feed lots do. If you’d like more info on this aspect of reducing meat consumption, check out THIS great article, from The Baptist Standard, of all places.

Give it a try, will ya? I'm not saying y'all need to become vegans, like, this week or whatever. But why not replace meat with beans or veggies or whole grains just one meal a week? Wherever you are with meat consumption, take just one step toward a more plant-based diet. Your body, and your wallet, will thank you.


Polly said...

Great meal ideas! I make a black bean burger that is good and binds together perfectly (we eat them every. Friday. night--my husband is addicted--unless we are doing something else on Friday, and then we have to have them Sat or Sun).

1 can black beans
1/2 c. vital wheat gluten
1/2 c. breadcrumbs (I use panko--so fine. literally!)
1/4 c. water (or pickle juice--gives it a little sweet flavor)
a bit of cumin
some finely diced onion, if you wish
a long squirt of ketchup

Smash the beans until they are no longer beans. Add other ingredients, mix (may need to add more water/pickle juice), and knead or mix until the gluten forms some strings. Shape into as many patties in whatever size you like (this gives us about 3-5, I think), fry, eat. Delicious--great texture.

Hooray for vegetable-based meals!

Laura said...

That's awesome, Polly! Thanks so much.