With the way today's economy is, it is becoming increasingly difficult keep to the budget we have set aside for food. When you live on a fixed income, like we do, it doesn't really allow much lee-way in things . . . and when prices keep rising . . . far above what your income is rising, it just gets harder and harder to make things work.
I find these days that I am having to rely more and more on our storecupboard and simple recipes which make good use of what we have stored. One of the principles of our faith is to store food. We have been counselled for years to have at least a one years supply to hand, and if that's not possible then at least 3 months. I've always been very good at food storage, and in these lean financial times, that is a skill that has come in pretty handy.
Of course . . . when it's gone, it's gone. But for now, I've been able to augment our budget with storecupboard meals . . . and then when I see a good deal at the shops on non-perishable items like tinned tomatoes, beans, etc. . . . I re-stock.
When they put cheese on sale, I stock up on that as well and store it in the freezer. It comes in very handy for casseroles and such.
This is a delicious casserole I made up the other night, using some tins of pulses and beans from our store cupboard, along with some tinned tomatoes and cheese from the freezer. All I had to purchase was the corn tortillas.
These simple ingredients were layered into a pie dish and then baked in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, the end result being a rather tasty pie. We didn't miss the meat at all, and it was rather filling. It served the two of us for supper that night, and then the leftovers on the night after. The leftovers were anything if not even MORE delicious! I kid you not!
It is something I will repeat because we both really liked it. Economical, easy to do and deee-licious! It was a "Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner" . . . except there was no chicken, lol. Seriously, it made for some pretty tasty eating. A simple salad on the side is all you would need to go with it, and maybe some fruit for dessert, to round out the meal.
Who says that economy has to taste bad? This is a delicious mix of corn tortillas, tomatoes, pulses and cheese, baked together in a pie. I am sure Little Jack Horner would have loved this pie too!
1 (400g) tin of spicy bean salad, undrained
(this is a tinned mixture of beans and pulses, lightly spiced with
chilies, in a tomato sauce) (about 2 cups)
1 (400g) tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed (2 cups)
1 35g-packet of either taco seasoning, or fajita seasoning mix
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice, undrained (about 2 cups)
1 335g package of soft corn tortillas (8 in package)
90g of strong cheddar cheese, grated (3/4 cup)
90g of jack cheese, grated (3/4 cup)
To serve: (optional)
chopped red or spring onions, raw
chopped black olives
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4. Butter a 9 inch round deep pie tin or plate. Set aside. Mix the cheeses together and set aside.
Combine the bean salad, drained beans, taco seasoning and chopped tomatoes in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer together for about 10 minutes. Cut the tortillas in half.
Spoon about a fourth of the bean mixture into the bottom of the pie dish. Top with two tortillas, cut in half, and layed so that the beans are completely covered. Top with another fourth of the bean mixture and 1/3 of the cheese. Top with another two tortillas, cut and layed in the same as the last layer. Top with another fourth of the beans mixture and 1/3 of the cheese. Top with a finally two tortillas, cut and laid in the same way. (You will have two leftover. Wrap and freeze for another day, or use them to make quesadillas for lunch the next day.) Finish with the remaining bean mixture and cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the filling is bubbling. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 10 minutes so that everything settles in. Cut into four wedges and serve along with the toppings of your choice.