At 7:05am yesterday morning, I got out my beloved Crock-Pot. I had not used it in our new house so I was excited to see it working on my new counters. Crock-Pots are so great because they allow you to have a hot dinner waiting for you to eat while you are off playing! They also have a magical way of creaming delicious ingredients together.
As part of the Foodbuzz’s September 24×24, my goal was to create a cheap, healthy, hearty meal from pantry staples. I like to keep my pantry and kitchen stocked with wholesome foods that I can use to whip up a quick, simple and nutritious meal. I always pair my staples with fresh fruits and veggies for a complete meal. Some of the foods you will find in my pantry on a daily basis are: whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, bulgur, etc), canned tomatoes, canned and dried beans, lentils, nut butters, nuts, frozen veggies, lots of spices, and oats.
When thinking about what to make, I considered soups (cheap, healthy and warm), sandwiches (adaptable, tasty and easy) and I though about quiches (packed with protein, versatile, and filling) but I decided on something totally different. With inspiration from my pantry, fall, my wallet, Mama Pea and Sandra Lee I set to work on my meal.
I put the following ingredients into the slow cooker:
- 1 bag lentils
- 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 2 T. natural peanut butter
- 1 T. tahini
- ½ can pumpkin
- 1 c. brown rice
- 1 can of water
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tbsp. curry
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper
- salt and pepper
Not the most photogenic dish I have ever made…
Once dinner was cooking, we were off to complete our busy Saturday activities filled with out of town company, football, parties and fun. We went for a morning run with Anna in the jogger, then we stopped at Lowes for a few materials we needed for our DIY projects. After errands, we went to a local orchard!
When we were done loading up on apples at a local orchard we came back to watch the Buckeyes beat Colorado. Finally, success in the Shoe. 🙂 Our extended family was over for the game, and at this point we were starting to get pretty hungry. The house smelled fantastic with the savory, nutty aroma.
As soon as the game ended it was time to eat. I layered brown rice for fiber and texture and covered it with the creamy curry mixture.
The dish had a little bite from the red pepper and a sweetness from the coconut milk. The pumpkin made it taste like fall, which I loved. It was fantastic.
One of the best things about this meal is how inexpensive it was to make and how everything in it is a pantry staple. It also feeds a ton of people.
Here is the cost breakdown:
1 bag lentils: .70
1 can diced tomatoes with juice : .85
1 can chickpeas, drained: .85
1 onion, diced: .35
1 can light coconut milk: 1.29
2 T. natural peanut butter: .28
1 T. tahini: .25
½ can pumpkin: .25
1 c. brown rice: .40
spices: cumin, curry, red pepper, salt and pepper
Total for the recipe: $5.19. When I originally planned the meal I figured it would make 6 big servings. After we ate it yesterday, I realize it made at least 8 large servings. With the leftovers you could always add a little water or almond milk and get more from it.
When you do the math, that’s $0.65 a person for dinner!
And everyone loved it!
After dinner, we all headed over to my cousin’s housewarming party to celebrate their house being done with major renovations!
We had a great time with everyone!
This meal was a part of Foodbuzz’s 24×24 program which is helping me to get the Foodbuzz festival in November! Can’t wait!!