Tag Archives: SNAP recipes

Stuffed cabbage casserole – SNAP meal

 

This is the last of my posts of meals I made while doing the SNAP Challenge. You can look back to see recipes for Vegan Stuffed Green Bell Peppers, Turkey BLT, Turkey Frittata, and many more meal ideas. All these meals were made with about $28 for one week.

This is one of my favorite recipes of all time. One grandmother is Slovak & Hungarian and my other is Slovak & Polish, so this is a classic in my family. Usually made with ground beef, they can also be stuffed. I am usually too lazy to take the large amount of time to boil the cabbage until the leaves are soft, cool them down, carefully roll each little package, then cook. I figure you’re just gonna cut them up into mush anyways. And I have still never figured out just what makes my grandmother’s cabbage rolls so mind-blowingly addicting. Maybe with a few decades more practice…

This recipe substitutes lentils for the ground beef, because let’s face it lentils are about $3 cheaper per pound. Everything else is pretty much the same. I also used turkey bacon rather than regular pork bacon because 1. it was on sale, and 2. it is healthier for your heart. All around, this meal is super cheap and also very healthy.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lentils, cooked
  • 1 cup rice, cooked
  • 1/2 small head of green cabbage, sliced
  • 1-2 cans tomato sauce (some people use 1 sauce and 1 paste)
  • 5 slices turkey bacon
  • Garlic salt to taste

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I made this in a crock pot on low for 6 hours, you can use a baking pan in the oven for 1 1/2 hours if you prefer.

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Step 1: Layer the sliced cabbage, lentils, rice, bacon and sauce. Sprinkle in as much garlic salt as you like. Top with some extra sauce and/or water and remaining cabbage.

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Step 2: Bake on low in a slow cooker for 4-6 hours, or at 350 in an oven for 90 minutes.

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This makes a HUGE batch, so be prepared to either freeze individual portions for later or feed a lot of people at once. Or just eat it five days in a row…

This entire pot of casserole, cost $1.76. I kid you not. I ended up with about six servings, making each serving $0.29.  Can’t really beat that.

PBB Sandwich – SNAP meal

 

When it comes to sandwiches, almost anything goes. And your options for frugal lunches is quite expansive. You have all the “salads”: tuna, egg, chicken. Probably more. You have lunchmeat, from bottom of the barrel bologna to the fanciest $20/pound roast beef. Then you have the endless options with peanut butter.

Peanut butter is a frugal food star because it is still pretty cheap per ounce, yet packs a big protein and caloric punch per tablespoon.

Peanut butter is great on its own. Or with jelly. Or with some nutella (brand or store brand ‘chocolate hazelnut spread’). Or mixed with some plain Greek yogurt. But this combo is my favorite: peanut butter and banana. If you have honey too, drizzle a little on for a full-blow “Elvis” sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices bread (or a tortilla)
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 banana, sliced

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Step 1: Spread on the peanut butter.

Step 2: Slice the banana about 1/2 inch thick. One banana can make two sandwiches, or you can put two layers of slices on.

This breakfast, lunch, or snack is quick to make, portable, and costs only $0.38 per sandwich!

Chicken, broccoli and potato dinner – SNAP meal

 

This is a super simple meal you can get together in about 10 minutes for under $1. You’ve got protein from your chicken, starch and carbs in the potato, and a healthy serving of veggies from the broccoli.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken drumstick
  • 1 medium baking potato
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli
  • Garlic salt

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Step 1: In a frying pan, cook the chicken for 10-15 minutes, until no pink at all when poked.

Step 2: Wash the potato and poke some holes in it with a fork. Microwave the potato 8-12 minutes, until soft.

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Step 3: Microwave the broccoli 5-7 minutes, until soft. Serve it all with a dash of salt and enjoy. You can add whatever else you have to top the potato: butter, sour cream, cheese, beans, salsa…

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!

 

Turkey BLT – SNAP Meal

 

The BLT is a classic sandwich, and when turkey bacon goes on sale for $1.99 per pound, you cannot pass it up. With a garden supplying fresh greens and tomatoes, this sandwich is otherwise quite cheap. Even if you don’t have a garden, spinach is often on sale for $1 per pound, and one roma tomato is less than 50 cents.

You can of course use more or less bacon to taste, or omit it entirely if you are vegetarian/vegan. Alternatively, you can use strips of tofu which sometimes go on sale for $1 per pound. Just drain, slice it up, and fry in a pan.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 4 slices of turkey bacon
  • 1/2 roma tomato, sliced
  • 1 small handful baby lettuce/spinach

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Step 1: Cut the bacon strips in half and fry in a pan. This should take 5-7 minutes per side.

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Step 2: On the bread, layer the bacon, tomato slices, and lettuces. Enjoy!

I had my sandwich with a small handful of grapes growing wild behind my house. It actually made enough for two sandwiches, or one thick one.

Without considering the tomato and spinach, the cost is $0.33. If you make it into two sandwiches, the cost is $0.21 each. Even if you add in a few cents for the veggies, it is crazy cheap for a delicious and healthy lunch.

Simple Chicken Soup – SNAP meal

 

This is a super simple soup made from the vegetables I could afford, and a few chicken drumsticks which were on sale. It doesn’t take much to make a delicious, warming pot of soup. It’s healthy, cheap, and keeps you from getting sick (or sicker). It’s science.

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 2 chicken drumsticks
  • About 10 cups water
  • Garlic salt to taste

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You can see here my meals for the day, planned out. Oatmeal with a cut up apple for breakfast, a leftover stuffed pepper for lunch, and soup in the crock pot for dinner.

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Chicken often goes on sale, sometimes for as little as 88 cents per pound. When you find a really great deal, snag some extra to freeze for future use.

Step 1: Cut up all your veggies.

Step 2: Put them in a pot with the water, rice, lentils, and chicken, leave in crock pot on low for 4-8 hours. Or, you can simmer in a pot on the stove for 1-3 hours.

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This whole pot of soup is only $1.25! Plus a negligible amount from the water used and garlic salt. I ended up having about five servings, meaning each huge steaming bowl was only $0.25!

Soup is a great catch-all, you can add in any leftover vegetable odds and ends from the refrigerator. Same goes for odds and ends of meat. Meat with bones will give the broth extra flavor. This is a great use for a whole chicken, enjoy the meat other ways, then use the bones for soup stock. It’s just one more way to squeeze every last penny out of your food dollars.