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To the soup pot add; chopped or instant minced onion cut up cooked meat or drained canned beans your favorite frozen vegetables a handful of rice barley or pasta and dried herbs like basil thyme rosemary bay and/or marjoram for flavor. Simmer until heated through and the rice or pasta is cooked 20-30 minutes. Just before serving add a splash of balsamic or red wine vinegar and season with freshly ground black pepper. To make a soup extra special top with dumplings serve over a slice of toasted French bread or serve in a purchased bread bowl. Cost: Deli soup $2.59 Homemade $1 per serving. Stir Fries: Stir-fries are a great way to use up odds and ends of leftovers. Heat olive or peanut oil in a skillet. Quickly cook small pieces of chicken beef or shrimp and add cut up vegetables like carrots zucchini broccoli bell pepper and green beans. Make a simple but flavorful sauce by mixing together broth or water and orange or pineapple juice. Add a dash of cayenne pepper your favorite herbs and a little cornstarch. Stir the mixture until the sauce thickens adding more water if necessary. Serve over rice or noodles. Cost: Lunch counter rice bowl: $5.49 Homemade $2.50.
Fish maw is rich in collagen and is particularly popular in the Chinese region as a texture enhancer to other dishes like soups etc. Fish maw as a dried seafood entrée ingredient is better used when older. The older it is the less fishy oil it contains hence less undesirable fishy odor. Dried oyster Dried oysters should be soaked in water for half an hour before cooking. This particular seafood especially the plump ones from Japan and Korea is rich in vitamins and minerals perfect for the health conscious individuals. Dried Scallops Dried scallop or conpoy is a type of dried seafood product that is made from the adductor muscles of scallops. It was originally made to preserve seafood when there is an excess and nowadays conpoy is utilized as an ingredient in congees stews and sauces because of its strong distinctive marine taste. These are but a few of the dried seafood entrees found in the market.
Casseroles: Mom was right. Casseroles are easy to prepare and money saving too! Start with cooked rice pasta or millet. Use brown rice instead of white rice or pasta shells or ziti in place of spaghetti noodles for variety. Stir in cooked chopped meat and your favorite vegetables. Peas carrots and corn are especially good choices in casseroles as they maintain their flavor even when baked at high temperatures. Mix everything together with a thickened broth or a can of low-fat low-sodium cream of celery soup. Add herbs for flavor. Top the casserole with dried bread or cracker crumbs and grated cheese and bake until hot and bubbly. Serve with a tart relish chutney or dill pickles on the side for a complete meal. Cost: Food court baked ziti $3.49 Homemade $1. Sandwiches: Traditionally considered lunch food sandwiches are now a dinnertime favorite too. Keep whole-wheat sandwich rolls or pita bread in the cupboard to make your own Hoagies Grinders or Italian sandwiches. Start with a flavorful mustard (Walla Walla Sweet Onion by AJ s Edible Arts and Seadog Beer Mustard by Raye s Mustards are good choices) and stuff with deli meat and cheese prepared hummus chicken tuna or egg salad. Add slices of bell pepper tomato spinach avocado olives and pickles and top with a splash of olive oil and red wine vinegar. For an even heartier sandwich add marinated artichoke hearts pineapple chunks or grilled eggplant slices. Cost: Sandwich shop grinder $6. Homemade: $2.