spaghetti pie

This is one of our family favorites and absolutely yummy. Not exactly frugal or low cal, but a definite celebration meal. We actually make a huge pan of this, but I will narrow it down here for  reasonable amount. This would probably serve 4-6.

 

sauce ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper diced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced small
  • 1 t.. Italian spice or fresh
  • large can tomato sauce

filling

  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 C cottage cheese

crust

  • small box of spaghetti, cooked and drained
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 oz parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

topping

  • 2 oz parmesan cheese shredded or grated
  • sliced peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni or anything you like

Start by making your sauce, brown meat and vegetables in a skillet and when well cooked add tomato sauce and let simmer. While that is simmering, make your crust, cook your pasta and drain and then add the butter and beaten eggs and 2 oz of parmesan cheese. Mix well and spread in a buttered baking dish. Then spoon in half of your filling ingredients, spreading well. Then add half of your sauce, spreading well. Repeat filling, repeat sauce. Then top with 2 oz of parmesan cheese and whatever toppings you might like. Bake at 350 until bubbly.

Great with garlic bread and salad.

southern fried okra

Fried okra is a southern favorite! It is very simple to prepare.

  • approximately 2 dozen pieces of okra
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup corn meal mix ( if you can’t buy it, make your own with equal parts flour and corn meal)
  • vegetable oil about 2 T
  • couple shakes of Cajun spice

Cut the ends off the okra and cut the okra into thick slices or chunks about 1 inch thick. Add to beaten egg in mixing bowl. Mix well. Then add Cajun spice and corn meal mix. stir well until evenly coated. Heat a skillet to med hot and add oil, then add okra, let cook for a minute or two then turn with spatula. Turn occasionally until evenly browned.  It cooks pretty fast. Serve and enjoy!

incredible chicken salad sandwiches

These are so tasty we have even served them at showers and luncheons.

  • 4 chicken leg quarters, baked or boiled then deboned and meat diced
  • 1 bunch green onions, diced, use all but the very ends
  • 1/2 bunch celery diced, including the leaves
  • 1/2 sweet red pepper, diced small
  • 2 cups mayo
  • 1 t. Cajun seasoning, or more to taste

 

  • homemade bread or rolls
  • sliced tomatoes
  • lettuce

Mix all of the top ingredients together and serve on roll with lettuce and tomato. Enough to serve a crowd.

meatloaf for a crowd

My Georgia makes incredible meatloaf. It is one of those things of mine that she has taken and greatly improved upon. We like it best with thickly sliced homemade bread. preheat your oven to 350

you will need

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 diced bell pepper
  • 1 diced onion
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Cups uncooked oatmeal, we use thick sliced non- instant
  • 1 T Cajun seasoning
  • 1 large 1 lb can tomatoes sauce

Add everything except the tomato sauce to a large mixing bowl and get your hands in it and mix well. Then put it all in a baking dish and pat down smooth like a loaf. pour the tomato sauce on top and bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes. It will be done when bubbly and you can insert a knife into center and it comes out clean like when you test a cake, leaving a slice in the top. We like to serve ours as sandwiches, but it is also great alongside cooked pasta.

stir fry squash and rice

This is one of those throw it in the pan recipes so there are no amounts. It is more a recipe idea. Don’t be afraid to get creative.

  • diced yellow squash or zucchini
  • diced red peppers
  • sliced mushrooms
  • diced fresh garlic
  • chopped green onions
  • about 2 T. olive oil
  • cooked rice
  • optional ~ pita pockets
  • salt and pepper to taste or a little Cajun seasoning

Sauté all of the vegetables in the olive oil in a med hot skillet until the veggies are soft but not mushy. Serve over a bed of rice, or with rice in pita pocket. Really easy and very yummy.

Italian Pasta bake

This is like a budget version of Spaghetti Pie, I will post that recipe soon. But this is a good one too and lots less expensive. It is very simple and you can just use the amounts for your family size.

  • Cooked pasta, cooked and drained
  • chunky spaghetti sauce
  • grated Italian blend cheese 8 oz or so

Mix your pasta and sauce in a bowl then add to a buttered casserole dish, then place cheese on top and bake until cheese is bubbly. That is all. Super simple but a little better than plain spaghetti.

chicken pasta salad

This is one of our favorite summer dishes and a hit at every pot luck or covered dish supper. You can make it with or without the chicken.

  • 1 box colored spiral pasta and one box macaroni, or two bags of wacky pasta
  • 2 bottles of ranch dressing
  • 1 diced onion
  • diced peppers, any kind you like
  • diced tomatoes, 2 or 3 or how ever much you want
  • 2 chicken leg quarters, boiled or baked and meat taken off bone and diced

Cook your pasta according to the directions. Drain and put in fridge to cool. When cool, in large pot, add all ingredients and stir well.  That is it! Keep cool till you serve. Easy stuff.

ground beef gravy

Since we have all the milk a family could ever use, we do a lot of creamed dishes and gravies. Fresh raw milk is wonderful.

You will need,

  • 1 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion diced
  • diced peppers, bell, or whatever you like, as much as you like
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • milk, about 1/2  gallon

Add your ground beef, onion, and peppers to a skillet and cook on med high until done, stirring often. When done keep over heat and add flour while stirring constantly. when the meat is well coated slowly begin to add milk. Add enough until it is pretty soupy, keep stirring until gravy gets as thick as you desire. You can add more milk if it gets too thick. This can be varied. Add season to taste, we usually add some Cajun spice.

Ground beef gravy is great over boiled potatoes and carrots, or baked potatoes, or thick sliced bread, or rice or even pasta. It is a great frugal meal.

budget ground beef stroganoff

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 sweet red pepper diced
  • 1T chili powder
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 6 cups milk
  • 3   8 oz packages macaroni noodles
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Cook and drain the noodles. While they are cooking, in a skillet on med heat cook ground beef, pepper, and onion, stirring occasionally until well cooked. When the meat is cooked add flour and continue stirring, when meat is well coated with flour, slowly pour in milk while still stirring. Continue on med heat until mixture thickens. About 5-10 minutes, still stirring. It should be like gravy. Then add thickened meat sauce to the noodles. Add sour cream and stir well. It should be slightly soupy. Cover dish and let sit for 15 minutes then serve. The pasta will absorb some of the gravy so it ends up more like a casserole.

serves 8-10