Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Budget Recipes from our Readers

By Winnie Hsia, October 23, 2008  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Winnie Hsia

In our Budget Recipe Challenge, we got some excellent recipes and money-saving tips from a seasoned group of food bloggers.  After going through our comments in The Whole Deal™, it's clear that we've got some creative customers who've come up with their own frugal gourmet creations from the items on our shelves!  From simple, hearty, weeknight friendly recipes to making your own prepackaged foods - there are a ton of ways to save time and money, while still feeding you and your family nutritious and tasty food. We thought we'd share some of our favorites with you this week... From Katrea:

I shop at Whole Foods about once a month to stock my pantry and to get in season fruits and veggies. This year I have found that there are many great soups that can be made from simple fruits and veggies. One can make a few family meals worth of soup and store it in the freezer for later use. Soup makes a great meal in itself and a great side item to perfect a meal. Please see this great recipe for Butternut Squash and Apple Soup!: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons olive oil 1cups chopped yellow onions 1 tablespoons ginger (optional) 2 large butternut squash 1 1/2 pounds sweet apples, such as McIntosh (4 apples) 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 cups chicken broth/stock (about 1 can) 2 cups apple cider or juice 2-4 tbs.turbinado sugar Warm the butter, olive oil, onions, and curry powder in a large stockpot uncovered over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot. Peel the squash, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into chunks. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut into chunks. Add the squash, apples, salt, pepper, and 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash and apples are very soft. Process the soup through a food mill fitted with a large blade, or puree it coarsely in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pour the soup back into the pot. Add the apple cider or juice and enough water to make the soup the consistency you like; it should be slightly sweet and quite thick. Check the salt and pepper and serve hot.
From Elaine:
Frugal Recipe: Shredded Saucy Chicken & Vegggie Healthy Burrito Filling (This recipe makes quite a bit & you will have left overs. ) 4 Bonless Skinless Chicken Breasts, shred them using two forks 1 can black Beans rinsed & drained 1 can kidney beans rinsed and drained 2 green peppers diced 2 red peppers diced 2 yellow or white onions diced 4-6 celery stalks diced (I use 6) 4-6 carrots peeled & diced (I use 6) 1/2 bag frozen corn 1 cup uncooked brown rice 2 1/2 cups chicken stock 3 cans diced tomatotes 1 package of taco seasoning (your choice) Fresh Cilantro to your taste. In a large frying pan, or stock pot, Saute’ onion, celery, carrots red & green pepper in olive oil, for 2 minutes, add diced tomatoes,chicken stock, brown rice, taco seasoning, & chickn broth, stir this mixture well. Bring to a boil & then lower heat & simmer 45 minutes, add shredded chicken kidney beans, black beans & frozen corn, cook until chickn is heated. Add fresh cilantro just before serving. When I make this, I usually get 4 - 2 quart containers of this as left overs. I put the left overs in the 2 quart size food saver bags (I make them), so this will lay flat in the freezer and not take up so much space. This is a hearty but frugal burrito/taco/quesadilla/enchalada filling, since it makes so much.
From Carolyn:
Save money and eat healthier by making your own instant oatmeal packets, hot chocolate powder etc using ingredients from the bulk food department (keeping the salt and sugar content down). My favorite instant oatmeal is apple and cinnamon. I make up a bag of mix at the beginning of the week, then just add water each morning. For two for a week. 7 cups small flake oatmeal 1 cup powdered oats (grind in food processor) 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup diced dried apple 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg scoop 1/2 c of mix into a bowl cover with boiling water. Let sit 5-10 minutes. Enjoy. (for creamier oatmeal, add 1/2 cup dried milk powder to mix)
Category: Value - Whole Deal




Frima Telerant says ...
the recipe for the chicken burrito filling should specify that the breasts are cooked first. This may not be obvious to the novice cook.
10/29/2008 8:49:54 PM CDT
Patricia Mena says ...
I just wanted to comment on Carolyn's recipe for instant oatmeal. I LOVE IT! My mornings are rushed so I purchased reg. instant oatmeal, but I really didn't appreciate all the sugar that is in them. So, I will definitely be making my own from now on (with less sugar) Thanks, Carolyn!
10/29/2008 10:56:57 PM CDT
sarah says ...
I'm looking for some good veggie patty recipes if anyone has one or two. Boca burgers are good but they have a lot of sodium. Eggs and cheese are OK just no meat or chicken. Thank you.
10/30/2008 10:38:23 AM CDT
Janet, Dallas TX says ...
I'm curious if anyone has any recipes/suggestions/comments in regard to living solo, working all day, working out after work, getting home 7-8p wanting a nutrioutous meal something maybe 30min or less?
10/30/2008 11:11:43 AM CDT
Kathleen Leonard says ...
I prefer your old way of giving us recipies.
10/30/2008 12:26:00 PM CDT
hsiaw says ...
@Kathleen What do you mean? We still have recipes available on our website - these are suggestions from some customers who posted to The Whole Deal website.
10/30/2008 12:55:27 PM CDT
Graydon Moss says ...
I prefer the old way of posting recipes. I could see instantly which ones would best serve my family;s taste and or diets. It is more cumbersome now, so I tend to skip them entirely.
10/30/2008 2:39:34 PM CDT
Kathleen Leonard says ...
Dear Winnie----I'll have to look for the other receipies available on your website -- something I'd rather not spend time on. For me, the "old" way was easier. I love your store but the new website in its present form is something I'll probably skip. Best, Daphne
10/30/2008 4:48:11 PM CDT
Sarah D says ...
Dear Winnie, I completely agree with Kathleen. I much prefer the old e-newsletters and the way the recipes were presented. Now it is much too difficult to thumb through the pages upon pages of recipes posted on the new site. I don't get what I used to get out of the old version. Thank you.
10/31/2008 3:07:55 AM CDT
Esther Hausman says ...
I agree with the last two about presenting the recipes the old way. Much easier to access.
10/31/2008 12:55:35 PM CDT
Kathy, Baton Rouge LA says ...
It would be nice to have a way to print out each recipe, as on the website. Best of both worlds?
10/31/2008 2:42:23 PM CDT
vicki says ...
I love the make your own instant oatmeal recipe. Any idea where I can get more recipes like that?
11/01/2008 9:04:06 AM CDT
Joan says ...
I am so happy to find myself not alone: I very much prefer the old format for recipes!!! It was so easy to see and no need to click and load, etc. (BTW Kathy, you could print the recipes easily with the old format---at least on a Mac.) I also think the disclaimer about not being doctors could be once on the site and not after each recipe (an asterisk would suffice)...it sometimes makes me use an extra sheet of paper when printing!
11/07/2008 6:12:35 PM CST