Today I made a big ol’ batch of this soup, some we ate for supper, some I’m going to freeze.  Its both a  super frugal meal, yet very nutritios. It’s filling and everyone in our family likes it. You can top with tortilla chips, salsa, sour cream, cilantro, jalapenos and cheese.

You can switch out the recipe in so many ways depending on what you have on hand, but here’s how I made it:
Ingredients:

  • 2.7 lbs. of chicken thighs – You can use any kinds of chicken parts, but the thighs were on sale, so that’s what I used.
  • 8 cups cooked white beans
  • Veggie scrapsThis is one of the things that makes this so cheap, instead of buying broth for the soup, make your own while cooking up the chicken. I like to keep a bag in the freezer with veggie scraps.
  • 2 stalks of celery chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped – If you wash the carrots before peeling, add the peels to make your broth!
  • butter or oil
  • salt & pepper
  • taco seasoning – I don’t have a particular recipe, but it’s usually a combination of chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cumin. Although there are lots of homemade taco seasonings on the web, if you want exact proportions.

Other options: Diced onions sautéed up with the veggies would be tasty too, I was just out of onions this time. Corn is good in it too.

I had my white beans, soaked and cooked up the day before. So I started my cooking session with putting the chicken, veggie scraps and lots of water in my pressure cooker. I chopped the celery and peeled and chopped the carrots and included their scraps in the pot too. I added some salt and pepper, then cooked up the chicken. I love how I just have to turn the cooker on, let it cook at pressure for about 8 minutes, then turn it off.* It uses a lot less energy than just cooking in a regular pot. But you could also cook it up in a pot, or even use a crock-pot and do this part the day before.

Once your chicken’s cooked (and the pressure has released on the cooker) let the chicken and golden broth cool, then strain out the scraps and chicken. Toss the scraps and cut up the chicken into pieces.

Put the broth, chicken and beans all into a pot and add the sautéed veggies. Cook until every thing is heated through and the flavors have all melded, you can taste to see if you want to add more seasonings.

Cool and put in ziptop bags or containers for the freezer. And maybe enjoy some for supper tonight! :)

Dinner is served!

 

Amy 


*If you use a pressure cooker, make sure to read the instructions in the manual for your own saftey.

I don’t have my grocery totals yet, but I do have my menu planned out!

Breakfasts: Oatmeal, cream of wheat, smoothies, eggs, toast or fruit

Lunches: Sandwiches, wraps or leftovers

 

Suppers:

  • Leftover sloppy joes, corn on the cob
  • Chick-Fil-A – Gracia’s request for her birthday meal
  • Pesto, pasta & chicken & tomato cucumber salad
  • Stir fry – We have lots of yummy veggies from bountiful baskets for this!
  • Stretched taco meat burritos, chips and salsa
  • Chicken, steamed cauliflower and roasted red potatoes
  • Leftovers

Freezer Cooking:

Happy Monday!!

 

 

I don’t usually share links to deals and freebies, simply because there’s already so many of those kinds of blogs, but today I do want to share with you that Money Saving Mom is giving away an e-book about freezer cooking. All you have to do is share about it somewhere (see link for instructions). I already shared about it on my personal facebook page, so I’ll be getting it! But I wanted to share it here too, just to let you all know, I can’t wait to read mine and hopefully do some freezer cooking!

I love the bulk section at HEB!

At HEB this week I spent $70.27 and saved $11.52 by:

  • Saved $2.98 by purchasing generic brand
  • Saved $8.54 by purchasing sale items. All the fresh produce except the lemons, the yogurt and sandwich meat were on sale. We also found some granola bars on the clearance shelf. Only $2 for a pack of 24 bars!! We bought all six boxes, so have plenty of granola bars for a while!

We also went to Sam’s and bought about $65 worth of food. Sorry I don’t have a picture of all my groceries this week. I took one, but somehow ended up deleting it.

Here’s this week’s menu. I’m keeping it pretty easy as 3 days this week I’ll be babysitting all day.

Breakfasts: Toast, eggs, smoothies, oatmeal, granola bars, yogurt and crepes. We had breakfast last Saturday at Ihop and I had this delicious crepe topped with fresh fruit, granola and yogurt, so this Saturday I’m going to try to make some for our breakfast. I hope they turn out as good as Ihop’s. I’ve never made crepes before.

The clearance granola bars!

Lunches: Leftovers, sandwiches,

Suppers:

  • Chicken and rice soup (bumped from last week) with multi-grain saltines
  • Egg salad sandwiches (also bumped from last week), sweet potatoes
  • Chicken quesadillas, chips and salsa
  • Pizza bagels, salad
  • Salad topped with chicken and hard boiled eggs and this salad dressing
  • Bean burritos, fruit and/or veggie sticks, and chips and salsa
  • Leftovers

I’m trying to do more freezer cooking. Last week I made a big batch of chili and now have 3 bags of it in the freezer for future use. What do you like to cook and freeze? I need some ideas!

This morning I made a whole bunch of stretched taco meat. I’m saving some in the fridge for us to eat now  and putting the rest in 3 separate bags in the freezer. I did keep the potatoes out of the meat going in the freezer. One time I froze some roast that had potatoes and when we defrosted it to eat, the potatoes were a really weird consistency, so I decided to play it safe and not freeze any potatoes. But I’m so excited about having this in the freezer for days that are busy and I don’t want to cook. Plus it’ll help us resist the pricey and unhealthy temptation of going out to eat. The meat can be used in burritos, taco salad, quesadillas or on nachos.

I also cooked a bunch of black beans in my crock pot yesterday and I’m freezing them too. It’s cheaper than buying canned beans (check out this post to see how to cook and freeze dried beans). I can use the beans for burritos, black beans and rice, quesadillas, stuffed peppers, soup or to add to more taco meat (although I don’t think I’ll be needing to make any more of that for a while).

If you have a small freezer, like me, freeze in bags. Let the food freeze flat, then once frozen stack them side by side like books. I got this idea from Jonni McCoy’s book Miserly Moms, and it really helps with the space and just looks more organized in the freezer.

I haven’t done a lot of freezer cooking, but I’m wanting to do more. What are some of your favorite things to freeze?

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