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:

  • 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!



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

Taco Meat - My New Favorite Baked Potato Topping

You may have noticed on my menu that I have baked potatoes with taco meat as a meal. Usually when we have baked potatoes we top them with chili, but I decided to try it with some taco meat I froze and cheese, sour cream, and cilantro. So that’s what we had a couple of nights ago, and I really liked it, in fact I think I liked it more than chili. And it makes for a very frugal meal, as potatoes are really cheap and so is my stretched taco meat! :)

What’s your favorite baked potato topping?

And on a different note, you may have noticed the books from Amazon on the right side of the screen. Those are books that I have read and highly recommend. I want to put some more up soon, but I plan on only recommending books that I have actually read and really do like. Here’s a little summary of the books:

  • The Tightwad Gazette – I own the first one, but like borrowing the complete one from our library. It has all kinds of frugal ideas, recipes, and concepts. If you read my blog much, you’ll see I really like Amy Dacyczyn!
  • Miserly Moms – This book is full of money saving tips and I really enjoyed reading it.
  • More with Less Cookbook – This cookbook was put together by the Mennonites. It has lots of great recipes, but also has info on things like eating healthy.
  • Shepherding a Child’s Heart – This isn’t about frugality or anything, but I recommend it to any parent! I’ve read it twice (and I almost never read books more than once). It goes deeper than just getting your kids to act right, but it focuses on the right heart attitude. And it’s very Biblical.


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