What is the cheapest meal you have and how is it prepared? I need the required ingredients and a description of the taste. I am a Nigerian in Michigan, U.S.A. I arrived 5 weeks ago. Thanks for your urgent response.
By Oluwatosin from MI
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I don't eat meat, and my food budget is very small, my favorite cheap meal is rice and peas. You can make a big pot or a little pot depending on how many you need to feed. You use a serving of peas for every serving of rice, I wish I could be more exact with the amount of ingredients. I cook my rice with a couple of veggie broth cubes, I add onions, garlic, or basically any aromatic vegetable I have. Sometimes I only have garlic, sometimes I have peppers and tomatoes, but you can use whatever you have on hand. I cook everything together and I add some oil or butter and a little more salt or pepper if it needs it. Its so simple, but it fills your body with warm, good food. If that doesn't sound tasty, I find a lot of ideas on this website. http://www.hill category/recipes It contains many low cost and tasty recipes. Welcome to America, :) I used to live in Michigan, it's a beautiful place.
The easiest meal I make is using my crock pot. Put chicken breasts in the pot, pour a can of cream of celery or cream of mushroom on top and let it cook throughout the day on low or high if you want it cooked a bit sooner. The chicken is always fall apart moist and delicious. You can add some onion soup mix in, some vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower and serve over rice or egg noodles. My family loves it with corn muffins.
Peanut butter sandwiches are a cheap source of protein, no cooking needed. Eggs can be made any way you like. Rice and beans make a complete protein. Cook a large pot and eat for days. I don't eat red meat. Chicken is versatile and inexpensive when on sale. What did you eat in Nigeria? Can you make similar things here?
Tuna Noodle Recipe
Cook a bag of noodles in pot of water and drain.
Add two cans cream of mushroom soup to the noodles in pan.
Add three cans tuna drained of liquid.
Add a can of peas drained or half bag of frozen peas.
Add half a jar of mushrooms(no juice) as an option.
Add one half stick of margarine.
Cook until all is hot and stir to mix well.
Serve. Lots of leftovers for other meals.
Description: All soft food and creamy
one bag of mixed frozen vegetables
one can tomato juice
one pound of browned and drained ground beef
one onion diced up
two cans seasoned diced tomatoes
Add hot sauce to broth if desired.
Cook altogether in large pan until onions are clear and soft stirring often to prevent sticking to pan.
Pour into soup bowl and serve with saltines or peanut butter sandwich. Lots of leftovers for other meals.
Description: Can be mild or spicy depending on taste. Full of flavor and good on a wintery day. Healthy eating.
I understand a budget. Here are some ideas I do.
Homemade sushi. The Noris is cheap and you can fill it with whatever you wish. I use brown rice instead of sushi rice (healthier and cheaper. I buy in bulk.) Fill it with shredded carrot, some avocado, cucumber, and fake crab. I also use left overs, shredded chicken, pork, stuff like that. Easy lunches and easy to roll too. Comes out to a couple of bucks per meal and has all the nutrients needed. Make all snacks. Granola bars, etc. You get triple the amount for 1/2 the price of store bought.
http://www.joyf p-in-these-bars/ Buy over ripe bananas on sale at produce market and freeze to make banana bread/muffins. Can control sugar.
I don't use canned soups either for the same reasons. Homemade soups are easy and CHEAP!! Make vats of stocks and freeze, then you have a base. Freeze small ends, and bits of veggies. Collect enough to make a veggie stock. Buy chicken and beef bones from the butcher. Can get lots for very cheap. Healthy soups are easy and very affordable and you can use amount of salt you choose. Spaghetti and chili too can freeze. There are only 2 of us in the house, so make lots and take advantage of the freezer. Just a few ideas.
Hi, and welcome to America. I think it is so brave to move to another country! The first meal I thought of was cabbage and noodles. It's hard to describe the taste. I think it's delicious. The meat is savory (I like to use breakfast sausage, and I like Bob Evans brand, but buy the cheapest) and the cabbage is naturally sweet. The ingredients are all fairly cheap, and it makes a big pot that warms up well. If you need to make it cheaper, you can leave the meat out, and just cook the vegetables and noodles.
The ingredients are:
1 large onion
1 head of cabbage
1-1 pound bag of egg noodles
1 pound of sausage, ground meat, or bacon
peel and chop the onion. Cut the cabbage in quarters, and cut the core out. Then cut it into slices or chunks. Break the meat up and brown it in a large pot. When it is getting brown, add the onion and cabbage, and cook over medium heat, stirring occassionally to keep it from sticking. When the cabbage is starting to get wilted, add a cup of water, and cover the pot with a lid. When the cabbage is nearly done, cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain the noodles, and stir into the cabbage mixture. You can add a hot pepper, if you like things hot.
If you could let us know what kind of foods you like and what your cooking skills are, it would help. Do you have enough pots and pans to cook a few things at the same time? Or just one of two, limiting what you cook and how much. I hope that someone here in the States is helping you with shopping and everything else. Bless you, and much luck to you.
If I were you I would start with food similar to what you are used to cooking in Nigeria. The larger grocery stores would probably carry that. If your budget is really tight I suggest you first look for a "Shop and Save" or "Aldies" type store. You will need salt, pepper and red pepper, sugar, flour, coffee and tea if you drink it and cooking oil. You don't say if you are an accomplished cook or just starting out. These are basic items. Next go to the library near you and get a card, or just look in the cook books section and find one on economical cooking. Eggs are always good and inexpensive and can be fixed many ways. Rice comes in many forms here but your best bet is to buy it in bulk (large bags cheaper than small boxes).
I also welcome you to America! Not knowing what sorts of foods you like makes it difficult to share recipes so if you let us know what you like (like what kind of fruits, veggies meats, pasta, soup, spices, etc.) we can give you oodles of recipe ideas and you won't end up making food you don't like that ends up being thrown away. I have hundreds of really good tested recipes and many of them are really inexpensive and am more than happy to share some with you if you let me know what to look for. :-)
I also know you're going to get homesick at times for your native dishes so here's a link of Nigerian recipes that have been adapted to foods we readily have available here in America:
With all that being said, if you like chicken you might like this simple recipe. It takes awhile for baking but it's really tasty without being overwhelming:
Extra Celery Stuffed Whole Chicken
1 whole chicken, giblets removed
6 cups stale bread, torn in pieces including the crust
6 tbsp butter
3 cups celery, diced
2 tbsp onion, chopped
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp salt
1 cup chicken broth
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in large saucepan and add celery and onion. Cook while stirring until soft and yellow. Add bread and seasonings and toss together until well mixed. Allow to cool. Add the liquid and mix lightly. Stuff in to the dressed chicken and bake for 2 to 2 1/4 hours, or until juices run clear when piercing with a fork.
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