December 11, 2011

Our household staple meals

Hello and Happy December!  It sure has been fun around here preparing for Christmas and focusing on the reason for the season - Jesus.  I plan on posting some pictures in a later post this week of what has been happening in our house lately.

Since this is December we have tightened our budget a bit.  Our tightening required me to really focus on inexpensive staple meals that we have around here on a regular basis.  Below I will share our staple meal list with you of dinners that we regularly have.  These dinners usually translate into leftovers for lunch the next day as well.  Since I have two growing boys and a hungry husband the portions around here have to be large.

First, I always have homemade chicken stock in the freezer.  It is so easy to make and I usually take a day that I know I am going to be home most of the day and make it ~ once a month or sometimes twice.  I also usually have homemade (non-fried) refried beans in the freezer.  I just tried making my own chili beans to freeze last week too.  I noticed that I buy quite a few cans of chili beans so I figured, why not make my own?  It was easy and they turned out yummy. I will probably continue to do this regularly.  We always have rice and lentils on hand as well as chicken and ground turkey. 

Before I write the meal list I want you to know that I am one who likes to try cooking one or two new meals a week.  However, when we are on a tight budget I can't venture out too much because sometimes the recipes require ingredients I don't normally have on hand. This list below is the basic list and when we have a little more to spend I get creative and try lots of new meals!

Our household staple meals (this list is not exhaustive):

* Bean and Cheese Burritos ~ I usually make my own Gluten Free Flour tortillas or if I am not feeling that ambitious I eat the beans and cheese with chips, sour cream and salsa.

* Tostadas  ~ we use the Gluten Free Corn tortilla shells

* Enchiladas ~ A family Favorite! Red sauce - only Rosarita brand and rotisserie white meat chicken make these to die for. I serve this with homemade Spanish rice, sometimes beans and a salad.

* Bobby's Goulash ~ Of course I make this Gluten Free by using wheat free tamari or Liquid Aminos and also Gluten Free Brown Rice Macaroni Pasta.  This feeds a lot of people if you make the whole recipe.  I usually only half it. I serve this with a salad.

* Homemade Pizza ~ Using a homemade pizza dough recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring - my favorite GF blog and Cookbook. 

* Benihana's Fried Rice ~ This recipe is from another one of my favorite cookbook series - Top Secret Restaurant Recipes. I add more veggies and peas to it and sometimes chicken if it is a "meat" night.

* Lentils and Rice ~ This is hearty and packed with fiber and protein.  You could always substitute Brown rice too. I serve this with a side of veggies, steamed or roasted.

* Hot Dogs ~ Actually this is not a staple in fact we rarely have hot dogs. It made it to my list this month because we happen to have them in the freezer.  When I make these I will wrap mine in a homemade GF flour tortillas or maybe make my own GF buns. Love having homemade baked beans with this and homemade potato salad.  Who say you can't have that in the winter?  We've even been known to roast them outside over the fire in the winter!

* Gluten Free Spaghetti and Meat Sauce (or just marinara depending on if it is a "meat" night.) ~ This is a quick simple throw together meal usually served with a veggie or side salad.

* Baked Potatoes with chili beans, cheese sauce and veggies (like steamed broccoli)

* Homemade Mac N Cheese ~ I change this up a little and of course make it Gluten Free with different flours and pasta.  This is such comfort food. I crave it! I serve this with some sort of veggie.

* Tacos ~ We love tacos.  They are so quick to make and filling.  They are an easy way to get veggies too. Sometimes if I don't have meat we make lentil tacos instead.  You just cook the lentils and season them with taco seasoning and serve the lentils as if they were the meat.  Yummy!

* Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup ~ during the winter this is so comforting. I crave this when I am sick (but usually I can't make it for myself.)  Now that we have a huge freezer I am going to start making double batches and freezing the extra to have on hand.  I will have to share my recipe sometime on here with you.

* Chili N' Cornbread (GF) ~ another easy meal. The cornbread lasts for a while so sometimes I have it for breakfast the next morning. 

* Spinach Lasagna ~ I spike mine with Alfredo sauce to make it even more irresistible! Of course I use Brown rice Gluten Free lasagna noodles too.

* Grilled Cheese Sandwiches ~ there are a myriad of ways to make these but most of all Steve and I like medium or sharp cheddar with brown deli mustard on ours.  Most people say "yuck" until they try it!  I make mine on my own homemade Gluten Free Sandwich bread.  The bread recipe I got from Gluten Free on a Shoestring

* Szechuan Meatballs with LoMein ~ Homemade and a recipe from GF on a Shoestring again.  This is a bit time consuming so I only do this one when I have more time to cook.  It is nice to have Asian food at home that I know is Gluten Free. Actually we had this tonight and I can't wait for leftovers tomorrow!

*BLTA Sandwiches (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado, ~ We don't always have bacon on hand but when it is on sale I do buy it.  We love avocados here too. Now that I make my own Gluten Free Bread I can enjoy these sandwiches once again.

I am sure there are more to add to the list but this was what I came up with for this month.  I think it is great to live on a budget and tighten the reigns when needed because it forces me to be more creative in how I use the food I have and even the leftovers I have.  Food is a Feast on Joy around here!


  1. great post! and helpful too :-) we tightened up the bootstraps here too since it was Christmas this month, and it is worth it and fun! thanks again for sharing. ~gina

  2. just wanted to let you know that you inspired me to "move" and I made homemade chicken broth today [I was procrastinating, and considering throwing the carcass away, til I read your post!]. plus, i like lentils and have been meaning to look up recipes, so now I'm motivated to look :-) tks again!


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For any and all health advice/suggestions and/or posts on this blog, I do not assume any liability for you. The posts and comments on this blog are not meant to be a substitute for your own practicing physician's care in your life. These posts are based on my experience and research in my own healing journey and are placed here to encourage and help those ailing with their health. We are all individuals and there is not ONE pat answer or resolution that applies to everyone across the board.