Economic Cooking

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    Here is a place to discuss cheaper ways of eating!!

    Some examples:

    Buy blocks of cheese and grate it in a food processor

    Use alternatives to chicken/meat or make dishes where they can be a small portion (like a large pot of soup with a small chunk of meat for some flavor)

    Lets add meals/recipes for cheaper meals, especially meals without meat/chicken!!

    (I’ll add more later)


    Eggs, stuffed potatoes are two examples that come to mind.

    A lot also depends on: what’s on sale. Check reduced produce, e.g.; when mushrooms are on the shelf I go heavy on the mushrooms, lighter on the cheese. (And yes, I buy 5 lg. bricks of chalav Yisrael mozzarella for 5.69/lb. vs. $8 -10 for preshredded.)


    “Eggs, stuffed potatoes are two examples that come to mind.”

    Can you be more specific? What do you do with the eggs and what do you stuff the potatoes with?


    I buy frozen vegetables alot. It tastes really good in soups or stir frys and they NEVER go bad so i dont end up throwing out a half a pepper.


    I use old bread or challah to make bread crumbs. Just put it into the blender/ food processor and I made something out of bread that noone was going to eat anyway. Alternately, you can make old bread into french toast, grilled cheese or croutons.


    Frittatas are an excellent dinner and they can be made in one pan. Its kind of like a big omelet with lots of stuff added to suit your taste. Here is a good recipe:

    Note: You can change the veggies to whatever you like. I also like to add black beans to mine. You dont really need a side dish because this is a meal in itself, but if you like, you can add a nice light salad.


    For those who can’t part with their fleishig meal – using ground beef/turkey/chicken is much more economical than serving reg chicken tops/bottoms. It can stretch really far and there are many, many recipes out there for ground meat etc, so you don’t feel like you’re eating the same thing…


    eggs – you can go simple, sunny side up, scrambled, etc. or you can make omelets (especially if nice veggies like mushrooms go on sale), fritatas, etc. You can go fleishig, e.g. salami or sliced hot dogs and eggs. And if you object to nitrates, you can buy the nitrate free kind; more expensive but a little will go a long way.

    stuffed potatoes – bake potatoes (taste much better oven baked than nuked), cut off tops, scoop out insides, mash (mix with marg/butter, powdered soup mix or spices, milk, your choice), refill potatoes and bake for a few minutes. (This rebaking I do do in the microwave.) You can add all sorts of veg to the potatoes. Broccoli – frozen with a hechsher – may not be cheap but you can add a small amount and make it feel more luxurious without breaking the bank.

    homemade pizza – making your own pizza dough is really easy, and doesn’t always require proofing the yeast, which saves time. Another time saver – prepare the pizza the night before and put in your freezer, to bake when you get home if you work or are out during the day; just add a little extra to the baking time. As has been mentioned, buy the 5 lb. bricks and shred. I bought a good quality hand grater for about $6 – paid itself off in no time, and grating a lb. or two at a time only takes a few minutes. Incidentally, my kids noticed the improved quality of the cheese, much better than pre-shredded so they actually feel spoiled, as if we’re getting the better stuff. (I guess we are 😉


    Isn’t ground meat more expensive?


    intellegent –

    You can stretch it with eggs and breadcrumbs/matzoh meal, and it goes much farthur than a piece of chicken does.


    homemade pizza made out of pita is much easier than making the dough and possibly better. I assume it’s more expensive but still cheaper than the ready made. You just take the pita (can be straight out of the freezer) cover it with pizza sauce (the gefen that comes in a glass jar is yum) and shredded cheese. It’s delicious and very easy! If you want to be more economical on the sauce you can use regular tomato sauce and add spices.

    Bon apetit!


    Some meat substitutes that are just as tasty and much less expensive, not to mention healthier:



    Seitan (warning: not for those with gluten allergies)

    Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)

    Morningstar Farms and Garden Gourmet are two kosher brands that make delicious pseudo-meats. You can find their “schnitzel”, “hamburger”, and “sausage” products etc in the frozen foods section of any supermarket.


    to Jf02, stick to the real meat its better


    shtark bochur

    You sound like a real bachur!


    Just what I was thinking.


    I’m a vegetarian, but I still remember the taste of meat, and I don’t feel that I’m missing out on anything. The Gemara says that for every nonkosher animal, there is a kosher animal that tastes just like it. Well, I think that for every kosher animal, there is a vegetarian food that tastes just like it. Granted, certain brands of “fake” meat are clear losers, but if you know where to look, you can find the right stuff. It does taste like real meat.


    hey, lemaseh everoyone agrees that meat tastes better


    When the vegetables in the fridge start to get soft but not yet rotten, dice it all up along with onions, some canned mushrooms etc and sautee in a pan. You can then freeze it away in containers and eat plain or put into a frying pan and pour beaten eggs over it and add some cheese. It’s very good and you didn’t have to throw out the expensive peppers and tomatoes!


    JF()@2)- The thread is about Economic Cooking, Tempeh, Tofu, are delicious, nutritious and cheap alternatives to eating Fleish and Dairy providing one does not have a Soy Allergy. Morning Star and Garden Gourmet are processed foods, and are expensive because you pay for their labor. A Rice Cooker or a Pressure Cooker are useful cooking pots for preparing legume and whole grain foods. Beans and Whole Grains are not too expensive to purchase (uncooked) from the Super Market, Co-OP, Natural Food Store… Cook Books (which are sold in these places) are useful for getting ideas about preparing recipes.


    Soups are a great way to stretch your budget – they can be made vegetarian or if your spouse is a real die-hard “I need meat at every meal” kind of person, throw in a chunk of meat to the soup. Eat it along with some good bread (you can bake your own really easily). Some soup ides:

    Split pea


    Winter vegetable

    Pumpkin soup

    Tomato soup

    The best way is to experiment – find a basic recipe online (I like to use and vary based on what you have/like.

    Also, but the vegetables that are in season. My mother buys tons of tomatoes when they go on sale and freezes them for cooking. In the fall she buys lots and lots of potatoes and onions – they dont need to be refridgerated and they last long spans of time.


    Another great saving idea is buying fish from grocery freezer instead of from the fish store, i bet u cant taste the difference. The fish comes in packs of 8 (say flounder or sol), I bake it with a topping of ,mayo, ketchup, garlic powder, parsley falkes, and crushed red pepper. Cheap, filling, low fat, healthy and delicious!


    my husband does not like the frozen flounder and sol unless it is fried, but the frozen salmon at costo is very good, I just put it under the broiler after I marinate it in a sesame teriaki sauce.


    Well, another economical supper is starting supper with a soup. This way no one is eating a second shnitzel. If there is a soup for starters u’ll find everyone eating the main course much fuller and not too many asking for doubles. With soups the options are endless…veg, squash, split pea, mushroom….


    Recipe from my sister:

    Vegetarian Fall Chili

    1 tbsp olive oil

    2 med carrots

    2 med parsnip

    1 med onion

    2 cans red kidney beans rinsed and drained

    4 tsp chili powder

    1 can whole tomatoes in juice

    1/4 c packed fresh cilantro chopped

    Heat oil until hot add carrots, parsnip, and onion. Cook 6 to 8min. On large

    plate mash 1 cup drained beans. Stir chili powder into veggies, cook 1

    min, add tomatoes and juice, whole and mashed beans, 2 c water. Heat until

    boiling high, mash tomatoes with spoon. Reduce heat to medium and cook

    uncovered for 10 min. Stir in cilantro to serve. Serve over a bed of rice.


    All frozen fish can be made to taste better if you first soak it in milk (yes, I know some people do not mix fish with dairy, but for anyone who eats a tuna melt, that’s a moot point). Somehow the soaking removes some of the fishy taste. Rinse the fish well after soaking it for an hour in a ziploc bag in the fridge , then cook as usual, and see if it makes any difference.


    oomis I never heard of the no fish and milk thing. Where did that come from?


    The Shulchan Aruch says that eating fish & milk together is a health hazard. Please ask your LOR about it.


    It’s a Lubavitch minhag but not exclusively. I know Litvaks who won’t eat dairy and fish together, but limit it to cooked foods (so no problem with lox and cream cheese).

    anon for this


    If you use the Lubavitch Spice and Spirit cookbook, you may have noticed that the fish recipes in the book do not use dairy, but substitute margarine or pareve milk as needed.


    I didn’t know about the lubavitch thing but I think some people hold that you can’t and some say you could and some say that it came from no meat and fish and became a mixup but I think it has a lot to do with minhag really.


    Thanks all! There are so many minhagim out there that I’ve never heard of. Another one that threw me for a loop was having a seperate pot for fish (not cooking it in meat pots). Does anyone know where that comes from?

    Anon, to be honest I never noticed but will now look 🙂

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