A few weeks ago, our Weekend Cooking host extraordinaire Beth Fish Reads posted about food items that we make at home versus those bought in the store. I’m on a two-fold quest to pare down our grocery bill as much as possible while trying to eat (and serve the family) less processed foods.
As I write this, I have a vegetarian taco meat mixture in the crockpot (lentils and quinoa) that I’m hoping will be an occasional replacement for Beyond Meat, which our family loves but (like most meat substitutes) is pricey. The recipe also called for taco seasoning, something I don’t typically use, but this recipe seemed like one that might benefit from it. Fortunately, the cookbook I’m using had one with all the spices I had on hand.
When thinking about what I currently make from scratch, I realized the list isn’t very extensive:
Guacamole – Mine isn’t real guac (like Beth Fish’s recipe) but instead just smashed avocado and tomato sprinkled with a pinch of kosher salt. Since I’m the only person in the house who eats it, this works fine.
Vegetable Broth/Stock – I started doing this last winter, saving up scraps of vegetables and freezing them in a big bag. It’s especially easy in the crockpot — just dump in your bag of frozen veggies, add enough water to cover them, toss in a bay leaf or two and maybe some parsley, and cook it on low for the whole day. I think I let mine simmer for at least eight hours. Making broth is on my agenda this weekend so I can get a head start on all the soups awaiting us this fall. (I tend to make a big pot on Sundays in autumn. One of my favorite things about this season is football on TV and a crockpot simmering away in the kitchen.)
Chicken Tenders – For the same price (or less) than a box of chicken tenders, you can make your own. They’re also much less processed. I coat mine with egg and breadcrumbs (with some parmesan cheese sprinkled in) and try to make enough to have leftovers during the week. That never happens because the kids always devour them.
Marinara Sauce – I haven’t made marinara sauce for awhile, but I need to do so more often. This recipe for making marinara sauce in the crockpot was one that we really liked.
Muffins – I’m not much of a baker, but I do like homemade muffins. More importantly, the kids do, too. Banana Chocolate Chip seem to be popular and there was a pumpkin muffin several years ago that was well-received. Our oven hasn’t been preheating properly and I’ve been putting off getting it looked at, especially since we don’t use it much during the summer months. I’ve seen some recipes where you can bake quick breads and such in the crockpot using a small loaf pan, but that makes me nervous. If you’ve tried that with good results, let me know.
Other items I’d like to start making include hummus, pancakes and egg muffins. There are probably many others but those are all I can think of right now. What about you? What do you make from scratch versus buying at the store?
Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page.
This is post #97 of 99 in my 99 Days of Summer Blogging project.