Nourishing Frugal Recipes Carnival


Frugality in too many people’s minds is limited to” 100 uses for discarded toilet roll tubes.”  Frugality doesn’t have to be silly or spartan (though toilet roll tubes can come in handy sometimes).  When choosing frugal food, we don’t have to only choose packaged food we coupon to get free. When learning frugal practices we don’t just need to learn creative ways to use discarded milk cartons. Frugal and yes, nourishing, cooking has been going on for hundreds and thousands of years, and they managed it without rebates, milk cartons and even stores.

I have been reading more about how people cooked, thought and survived in the past- there is so much to discover and learn. Many of these historical insights I look forward to sharing with you soon. But meanwhile, we are here in the present. Food is needed, and dinner needs to be put on the table.

Let’s share our tips and recipes for nourishing frugal meals!

Before we get to the guidelines, I’ll just point out a few resources on this blog . On the left hand side you will see “categories”, click on Nourishing Frugal Tips or Nourishing Frugal Recipes for some ideas. Also, check out the first nourishing frugal food carnival I did almost a year ago.  12 Tips for Squeezing the most Nutrient Dense Food out of Your Budget is another post with some ideas for you. Finally, check out some excellent, sage advice from our last panel as they give frugal tips.

A few “rules” to keep in mind for the carnival.

  • Use “real food”.  Because we want these recipes to be nourishing, share recipes that really utilize real food such as meat, legumes, whole grains, butter, broths, coconut oil, natural sweetener, milk, coconut milk etc. Avoid most packaged foods, and all fake food (i.e. margerine, fake meats etc).
  • Link back to this post in your post. Make sure that people can find this carnival so that they will be directed to everyone’s tips and recipes. If you have some old posts you would like to highlight, simply create a new post with links to the recipes and posts you would like to share. Otherwise, write a brand-spanking-new post with a dazzling new recipe to share with us all!

Let’s begin!

Nourishing Frugal Recipes

I’ll start with a soaked oatmeal recipe. It’s easy to make, frugal and nourishing! We have been enjoying this several times a week recently, and our pocketbooks feel heavier because of it.

At Nourishing Days, you will find a creamed Roasted Root Vegetable Soup that sounds fabulous for a cold night.

Kelly the Kitchen Kop shares links to recipes and other resources, including five frugal main dishes, frugal sides/desserts/salads and more.

Carrie at Organic and Thrifty shares a simple and frugal recipe for Tuna Fish Curry. She says it’s an easy meal to make that all of her children love!

At Green in a Pink World, you will find one of our favorites snacks, Fried Mush! This uses leftover oatmeal and really is quite yummy.

Katie, from Kitchen Stewardship, shares a lovely Tuscan Bean Soup recipe.

At Local Nourishment you will find a very cool salad recipe using dandelion leaves foraged from your own yard.

At Mom Must Write, you will find a recipe for soup that uses inexpensive short rib’s! Check out Short Rib Soup.

Laryssa at Heaven in the Home, shares how she makes homemade Mexican rice for a frugal dish, as well as sharing a link for sprouted hummus.

Sarah from Sarah’s Musings shares some wonderful tips for frugal ways to add real food to your diet. Check it out!

Michele, at What Does Your Body Good gives some frugal shopping tips when buying whole, real food. Read Whole Food not Whole Wallet for some shopping inspiration.

At Vergence Range you will find a recipe for Good ol’ Southern Soup Beans.

Alison at Wholesome Goodness shares a delicious recipe for “Poor Man’s Rosemary Beef and Vegetables”. First, I love the name, and secondly, I know I love this recipe because we make something almost exactly the same and enjoy it very much.

If you head to the comment section of this post, you will find a recipe for Lentil Chili shared by Dawn. Thanks Dawn! It looks good.

Megan at Megan’s Musings shares another breakfast option (gluten free!). A traditional breakfast of Kasha (buckwheat) is sure to be a filling and warming start to the day.

Pampered Mom, from Maple Canopy shares a frugal Chicken and Dumplings recipe that uses leftover chicken. Sounds good!

At Vehement Flame, you will find a lovely recipe for homemade pita (with a lovely spiced topping) and hummus.

And finally, from the comment section, you will find two more recipes. Kristen shares a recipe for Split Pea and Barley soup and Rosy shares a recipe for a Warm Spinach Salad.

Thanks everyone for the great recipes and tips!

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. says

    One of my favorite frugal dishes is “Clean Out the Fridge Stew/Cassarole”. You need to be a little flexible, but at the end of the week I take any leftover veggies and meats and combine them (usually in the crock-pot) with some of my kitchen staples. For example if I have a bunch of peppers on the verge of going bad and some corn left over I might combine those with some beans, a jar of tomatoes and a few grated carrots. Add in some chilly and cumin for spice and serve with raw milk cheese and you have chilli night. Veggie Lentil Soup is also a common one. Tonight I mixed the end of some Ratatoulli with canalinii beans and a coarse ground whole wheat pasta.

  2. Dawn says

    I have so enjoyed your blog, so I’m happy to share this tasty main dish that costs less than 50 cents per serving, is kid-friendly and freezes well. It is good with or without meat. I’m still experimenting with soaking the lentils, which reduces the cooking time, so use your judgment. Unsoaked cooking times are given in parentheses:

    Lentil Chili (inspired by Mollie Katzen)
    serves 8+ as main dish

    4 c. (~1.5 lbs.) pardina lentils (I use Goya)
    10 c. water, divided
    28 oz. can diced tomatoes or 3-4 fresh, chopped (skin OK)
    2 tsp. cumin
    1 tsp. paprika
    1 tsp. dried thyme (or 1 Tbsp. fresh)
    1 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic (I used jarred)
    2 c. chopped yellow onion
    2 tsp. sea salt
    6 oz. can tomato paste
    2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (or cider vinegar)
    freshly ground black pepper to taste
    1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste (not spicy at this level)
    Optional toppings: sour cream, shredded cheddar or parmesan, fresh parsely, cilantro or basil
    Optional meat: leftover brats or homemade ground sausage

    Important: Simmer this slowly, or it will cook too quickly and turn to mush. Leftovers get softer and thicker as the excess liquid is absorbed.

    Clean lentils, cover generously with water and soak for about seven hours with a splash of kefir, whey or lemon juice. Rinse lentils and place in 8 qt. soup pot with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, partially cover and simmer for about 20 min. (unsoaked 30 min.) Chop onions. Add tomatoes, cumin, paprika, thyme, garlic, onions and optional meat. Stir, mostly cover and simmer for about 15 min. (unsoaked 30 min.) Add water as needed to prevent dryness. Add sea salt and tomato paste. Stir and continue to simmer slowly, partially covered, until tomato paste is blended in, about 10 min. (unsoaked 10 min.) Stir in the vinegar, black pepper and cayenne pepper, adjusting to taste. Serve hot and garnish with toppings if desired.

  3. says

    This isn’t related to the carnival, but a question about your rss feed. I have had you on my bloglines, and haven’t been able to see your posts on bloglines for almost two months, since January 8th. Do you know if it is a bloglines thing or a feed thing? Thank you!

  4. Rosy says

    Warm Spinach salad 2-4 people

    1-2 bunch spinach leaves, or other greens.
    2-4 slices of bacon
    1 tsp Dijon mustard, organic is better
    1 boiled egg per person
    1 small onion or 1/2 large
    1/8 to 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, organic unfiltered
    1/8 cup water
    1 tbsp honey
    salt to taste

    Fry bacon unit crisp. Crumble and set aside. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease, and save rest for your morning eggs. Boil your eggs, I like bring the pot to a rolling boil, and then cover and turn off heat. I let it sit for 15 min. This keeps the yolks from getting tough. Saute onions in bacon grease until desired done-ness. Add water, vinegar, and honey to pan and mix together. Add cleaned greens and wilt. Make sure you cover the greens with the vinegar mixture. Add bacon and salt to taste. Slice eggs and serve on top of greens. Yummy! Cheap! and Easy! We have buttered bread with this.

  5. Kristen says

    Split pea and Barley Soup

    4 cups chicken stock
    1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
    1/2 cup finely chopped celery
    1/2 cup finely chopped onion
    1/2 cup pearled barley
    1/2 cup split peas
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 to 1 tsp pepper
    1 tsp thyme

    Saute carrots, onions and celery in butter until softened. Add chicken stock, split peas, salt, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for 2 hours. After two hours add one cup of water and pearled barley. Return to a boil, cover and then reduce to a simmer again for two or more hours until barley is cooked and split peas are fully softened. If soup is too thick, add more water or stock.

  6. Heidi M. says


    You don’t need to publish this comment; I would have written you an email but I couldn’t find a place where you have made the address available.

    About a month ago I commented asking if you knew about nixtamalization with corn, and you graciously responded with the intent to give a full answer in your next Q&A post. Could you give me a rough idea of when that might be? I know you have lots to do, so I don’t want to pressure you or anything–I for one am grateful for your example of clearly making your family a high priority–but I thought I mention my request just in case it fell through the cracks. 🙂

    Thank you for working diligently to serve the Lord.


  7. says

    I love what you’re doing with your blog! I have to participate in the next Carnival.
    I wanted to let you know that I selected you for a Kreativ Blogger award. I recently won the award, and the deal is to pass it forward to 10 bloggers. I wanted to include a few new people, and I found you from Hip Organic Mama’s site.

  8. Rosy says

    nixtamalization is when you cook corn with wood ash. It acts much the same way as soaking for grains. If you have ever had real Homminy that is what this is. It is still traditionaly done in Mexico. Although this isn’t the only place this process was used. It was well known all over north and south America by the people who grew and ate corn.

    There is a section about it in Wild Fermentation by Sandour Katz ( I think I spelled that right.) It also has instructions on how to do this at home.

    The basic idea is to cook the corn in water and wood ash unitl the skin will come off the kernels. This is much more easy to digest, and won’t cause B3 difficency.

  9. Loree says

    Believe it or not, but potatos and cheese make a complete protien – maybe that is why there are so many different potato and cheese dishes in Europe (where we live). These meals are quite frugal as well! Our favorite in Luxembourg is Potatos Gratin. Or, even more simply: when in a rush I just boil peeled / washed cubes of potatos in leftover hommade chicken broth and then eat topped with a nice soft raw french cheese – or any nice cheese will do, hard or soft, parmesean is good as well. We are always experimenting with different cheeses and then top off with a sprinkle of parsely. Or just use yogurt instead of cheese (like sour cream) or creme fraiche……

  10. says

    Wow, what a great idea to have a carnival of nourishing yet frugal food ideas – I love it!

    So many of these recipes sound so good…I’ll definitely be trying them this week!

    Its also so nice to see ‘real food’ used in frugal recipes…so much better than cooking out of a box!

    Thanks again,



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