Tag Archives: frugal cooking

Turkey bacon frittata – SNAP Meal

 

Frittatas are one of my absolute favorite meals for breakfast. You know I love any meal which is cheap, versatile, and lets me use up bits and scraps of food left in the fridge. This is exactly one of those meals. Frittatas take well to every vegetable, meat, or grain you have sitting around waiting to be eaten. Just mix in it, let the eggs bind everything together, and you have an amazing meal that didn’t end up in the trash!

Since I already had turkey bacon, I looked around to see what else would go well in my frittata. 2 pounds of rice and a pound of lentils makes an awful lot, so I added some to add heft. I have a tiny window garden, so some fresh green onions and spinach were added too.

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Helpful tip: You can grow your own green onions from the store. My grocery store regularly has them on sale, three bundles for $1. Just cut the bottom most inch or two off, leaving roots intact, and plant them! Then you will have your own free green onion garden forever after. You can see I have plants in various times of growth.

Now for the fun part.

Ingredients:

  • 4 strips turkey bacon
  • 5 eggs
  • handful green onions
  • handful spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup cooked lentils
  • 2 tbsp margerine

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Step 1: Cook the turkey bacon about 2-4 minutes on both sides, until crispy. Take off heat and let cool on a plate until you can slice it into bite-sized pieces.

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Step 2: Add the rice, lentils, and vegetables. You could add in here any vegetables you have, onion, potato, celery, the possibilities are endless. Cook in the bacon grease, adding margarine if things still stick.

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I used a cast iron skillet here, because this recipe calls for finishing in an oven. If you don’t have cast iron, or don’t have an oven, this recipe is just as perfect for an omelet. When it says “bake in a 350 degree oven”, simply scramble everything together, let cook, then flip to cook the other side. Viola!

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Step 3: Scramble up the eggs in a small bowl. Simply crack them all in, being careful to not add shells. Then with a fork, whisk them quickly. The longer you whisk the more air bubbles you create, and the lighter and fluffier the eggs will be.

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Step 4: Add the eggs to the pan. Make sure all the ingredients are distributed around the pan. Let cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until the eggs begin to set. You will see the edges becoming more opaque and if you run a spatula through it the bottoms will be cooking through.

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Step 5: Put the whole pan carefully into a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes. Just long enough to thoroughly cook the egg on top. Take it back out and let cool

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This frittata was absolutely delicious! I sprinkled on a little bit of garlic salt, and enjoyed one quarter of it each morning for four days in a row. This can be refrigerated and reheated later. They are quite healthy (unless of course you add four kinds of meat and tons of butter and nothing else) and very frugal. Try it, I bet you’ll love these and make them regularly.

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The cost of the entire frittata was $1.20! Cut into quarters, that is a cost of $0.30 per serving. You can’t do much better than that for this quality meal!

 

 

**UPDATE: The SNAP Challenge is complete, with many lessons learned! All SNAP Meal Recipes listed below:

SNAP Challenge Week Lessons

 

So today (Tuesday) marks one week of the SNAP Challenge for me. (If you don’t know what the SNAP Challenge is or why I’m talking about it, take a peek at my earlier post).

The week went very closely according to plan. I ended up having so much leftover from the soup I made that I did not use the can of tuna. I had coffee 6 out of 7 days, but only one cup. And I only needed an extra boost from green tea on three days.

FOOD BREAKDOWN

Here is a breakdown of all the food purchased and consumed throughout the week:

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If I calculated out the exact costs for the week, it would be quite a bit less than my target, as I still had 2 eggs, 1/2 bag broccoli, all but 4 tbsp margerine, plenty of garlic salt, 6 slices turkey bacon, half a jar of peanut butter, a few slices of bread, some rice, potatoes and lentils, and 6 bags of oatmeal left! Even with the full price added in, I had $2.44 left to spend at the end of the week.

There were only a few cooking-intensive meals, then several meals consisting of leftovers. Peanut butter sandwiches were always a go-to in case I didn’t want leftovers for lunch and dinner, or just needed a hearty snack throughout the day.

SNAP MEAL PLAN

Here is a break-down of all the meals I ate this week:

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This ‘diet’ may actually have been for the better, as I was eating less meat and calories in general, and slowly cutting down on caffeine. I actually felt quite healthy throughout the majority of the week, though energy spikes and troughs as well as a growling tummy was more frequent.

LESSONS LEARNED

Overall, this week was not as difficult as I imagined it being, but I recognized some significant advantages:

1. I have a fully functional kitchen. This includes a microwave, stove-top, oven, refrigerator, and freezer. I have ample containers in which to store excess cooked food to be eaten again later. This all helps in stretching the food you do have.

2. I do not mind the process of cooking, eating leftovers, or the same meal multiple times. In fact I enjoy those things. There are tons of people who do not like one or all three. Being able to cook, even simple methods, is limitlessly helpful in stretching your food dollars versus convenience foods. And being willing to cook large batches and re-eat that meal later is also a huge money saver.

3. I have access to fresh, affordable produce and very reasonably priced staple food items. Many, too many, people do not have access to fresh produce, the ability to stop at four different stores to price-compare, or to pick up 2 cucumbers for $1 just because they’re on sale, they look fresh, and you want a snack.

4. I have been in the practice of planning, shopping, and cooking for myself on a very tight budget for a very long time. Many people who end up on SNAP due to unfortunate circumstances have no practice with coupons, budgeting, or meal planning. They may not know how to stretch a dollar because they never had to before. This just adds to the overall burden.

Over the next few posts I will be posting the recipes of meals I cooked during the challenge, so stay tuned!

 

Final Thoughts

I decided I am going to buy a duplicate of all the foods I had this week, and donate them to a local food pantry so others in my community can be fed. I am also hosting a food drive at my work place until the end of the month.

I hope you took something away from this, and if you’re not inspired to take on the challenge yourself, at least you’re more aware of the daily struggles millions of your fellow Americans face, and know more about how you can help.

 

 

 

**UPDATE: All SNAP Meal Recipes listed below: