Posted by: amandaleigh1231 | April 1, 2013

Waste Not

I know that I’ve said this tons of times before, but I hate to waste anything.  My attic has neatly organized bins of old curtains, shower curtains, bedding, even clothes that can be put to other uses.  Right now, I am reupholstering my dining room chairs with curtains that once covered my younger brother’s bedroom windows.  I love that this allows me to help family and friends when they need it too!  My hate of waste is even greater when it comes to food.

One of my favorite, frugal meals is a roasted whole chicken.  We usually eat it as it is the first night.  Once it cools, I pick as much meat off of the bones as I can to use for future meals – stir-fry, pasta, tacos, or as a salad topper.  That leaves me with the carcass, some skin, and the bits of meat that just won’t come off of the bone.  This is the makings for a nice chicken stock.

Stock is not hard to make.  I fill a large pot with water, and add the carcass, a few vegetables (usually an onion, one or two carrots, celery, and any veggies that may be on the verge of going bad).  Simmer on low until the bones completely fall apart. Strain and put in the fridge or freezer for future use.  I use this stock for cooking rice, quinoa, or to make soup.  Today, I am making spicy corn and black bean soup, featuring those economical favorites corn and black beans (image from http://www.fitsugar.com/Healthy-Recipe-Corn-Black-Bean-Salad-2037856 )

Image

Spicy Corn and Black Bean Soup:

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large soup pot.  Add:

1 large onion, chopped

2-3 carrots diced

2-3 celery stalks diced

Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently

Add, salt, pepper, garlic, and chili powder to taste, Heat another minute or so.

Add 4 cups chicken stock, 2 cups corn, and 2 cups cooked black beans.

Bring to simmer and cook until veggies are tender.

Add 2 cups cooked brown rice and 1 can diced tomatoes.  Simmer another 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Enjoy with cornbread or quesedillas for a Southwestern style meal.

I love that from such basic ingredients, I can get an amazing meal.  I often store some in single servings in my freezer.  Once I have a few different types of soup in my freezer, I often drop a variety of types off to my brothers or parents.  It feelsso good to share the bounty.

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