DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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13 August 2013

Two thrifty meals to help with the budget

There will be readers who will gag at these old-fashioned recipes, as well as those who, even though the ingredients are quite cheap, still can't afford to buy them, but there will also be many who are struggling to feed the family each week and if that is you, then I hope these recipes help in some way. I've gone off eating sausages as much as we used to but I do eat them occasionally, mainly because they're tasty and cheap and if I don't think about what I'm eating, I'm fine. I'm sharing this recipe because I remember many times in the past when I was trying to stick to my budget with Hanno and two teenaged boys to feed and another quiche or salad just wasn't going to do it on that particular day. Some men just need to eat meat and I'm not going to go into the whys and wherefores of that, I just know it to be a fact.


This will do a small family of two or three for two meals, just increase the number of sausages if there are more of you. We started with ten sausages. Mine were skinny beef sausages, but they could also be fat ones, pork or chicken sausages. The rest of the ingredients are really dependent on what you have on hand - either in your fridge, pantry, stockpile or garden.


Cook all the sausages in a frying pan on the first night - this will save on the time and electricity/gas to cook them on the second night. Look in your pantry, fridge, stockpile and garden and see what vegetables and herbs you have to use. I think the success of this meal will depend on how many vegies you have because they tend to fill up the plate and provide variety and colour. If you have no fresh vegetables but have tins of beans and tomatoes in the cupboard, you could use those instead. another option would be if you have potatoes and fresh eggs - you could serve the sausages with eggs and potato wedges.




On the first night we had sausages with onion gravy, mashed potatoes with finely chopped onion and parsley, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and carrots. It's winter here so we enjoyed the hot food but if it were summer, a salad, potato salad, coleslaw, homemade pickled beetroot or tomato relish would all be delicious served alongside the sausages.

ONION GRAVY
Pour off some of the dripping in the pan if there is too much there. Add one sliced onion and fry until soft. Add a tablespoon of plain flour, salt and pepper, then stir this until it's brown. If you have paprika, adding a level teaspoon will add a rich colour to the gravy. When the flour mix is coloured, add about a litre/quart of water and stir until the gravy thickens. Allow to simmer on the stove while you serve the sausages and vegetables, then top with hot gravy.

Put the leftover sausages and gravy in a bowl, in the fridge for tomorrow night's dinner.

CURRIED SAUSAGES
The following night, chop the sausages into bite sizes pieces and leave to one side. Add a small amount of oil to the pan and cook one onion until it's slightly browned, then add the vegetables you have on hand, add a tablespoon of curry powder and another of plain flour and stir in. Then add about a litre/quart of water and allow the sauce to thicken. Add the sausage pieces and simmer for 30 minutes to allow the curry flavours to develop. I added ½ cup washed rice to the meal so I didn't have much washing up to do but you could also boil or steam some rice separately to serve with it.

Please note: if you have small children who won't like curry, leave the curry powder out and add paprika instead. You'll still get a good flavour.





I love having a treat after a meal like this - a meal when I feel I've saved money and stayed within my budget. Right now it's strawberry season here so fresh strawberries and cream is the logical (to me) ending to a meal such as this. Just because we're on a budget, it doesn't mean we can't eat the best fruit we can find or create a favourite dessert. Don't be afraid to treat yourself. You deserve it. : - )

Thanks to everyone who suggested radio stations for me to try. I've already listened to Jack Monroe on BBC4. I'll set up NPR and Radio National when I have a chance later in the week.


34 comments:

  1. We're huge NPR listeners here and I think you'll love it. I think these dishes look great; the only thing I'd do differently is to use chicken sausage because that's what we prefer but they both look easy and good to me.

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  2. I love sausage. I know it is not the most healthy food out there, but like you said if you are trying to make food budget go a little further a sausage meal is a good bet.
    Several ways I cook a sausage meal are simple. We love a barbeque meal. I take pound of sausage, cut it into serving size pieces, chop an onion, and about a cup of barbeque sauce. Cook in oven covered about 40 min.
    Another way we love it is in what my family calls sausage hash. With sausage cut into bite size pieces, onions, green and red bell peppers and small red "new" potatoes are cooked on top the stove in a frying pan. (I precook the potatoes before I cut them into bite size pieces to add to the pan of sausage and veggies) I serve with eggs and toast.
    Sausage and bell peppers served on buns is another wonderful meal.

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  3. Simple, but wholesome foods are such a delight.
    My children often had a similar version of your meal. Instead of making a curry sauce I often made a tomato sauce with 2 fresh tomatoes and a little ketchup, then simmered the sausages in that. We also had the sausages placed into a pan cake batter, baked in the oven, served with some cabage and gravy on the side. You can even make a mock stir-fry with sausages added at the end. So many varieties can be made up with the humble sausage.

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  4. Love it. I don't really like sausages but sometimes they just do the job! For vegetarians a 'hash' from leftover roast potatoes and whatever veg you have left in the fridge always goes down well... I've often done a version of 'bubble and squeak' at the end of the week when the veg is getting older and it's just before payday....
    Rebecca

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  5. Both recipes sound delicious to me!

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  6. The first recipe with onion gravy brings back memories of when I was a young mother and was using Delia Smith's "Frugal Food" recipe book. It must have been one of her first books but it's still available.
    She had a chapter about offal, another about mince, and the one about sausages of course. All good hearty stuff for a growing family. And delicious too.

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  7. I was catching up with your blog on the way home from 6 weeks away yesterday and I just wanted to add my radio recommendation as I live on the SC too. I live 612 ABC Brisbane and my favorite session is Conversation hour with Richard Fidler. Richard interviews mostly people who have done extraordinary things or had extraordinary things happen in their lives. I just love listening to these stories as I go about whatever I am doing You can also download the podcasts and Richard even published a book of some of the stories though I love to hear the voices behind the stories. I think you'd love these stories Rhonda.
    Also the lemonade I'd like to make the syrup with just lemon juice and sugar and freeze it and then just add a bit to carbonated water as we want it as we have a soda stream. In my travels I have tried both basil and thyme lemonade and that is lovely too.

    I didn't think I had too much utter until I got home. Oh yes I do!!!

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  8. Thankyou for a reminder of these wonderful old style recipes. Would also taste good made with vegetarian sausages. The strawberries are a wonderful blessing at the moment here , I blend them with other fruit for a delicious breakfast or snack.
    I have just started reading your Down to Earth book again ,after I finally retrieved it from one of my daughter's. It's really good to read again & a source of inspiration for me as I go into my final week of radiotherapy for Breast Cancer. Your blog ever day keeps me connected early in the morning. Many Thanks Rhonda you are a inspiration.

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    1. I hope your therapy is going well. Take care love. xx

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  9. Nothing wrong with 'bangers and mash' in fact at the request of my son that is exactly what we are having for dinner tonight!

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  10. Melinda
    I too am re reading your book, I picked up at my daughters place whilst staying with her in Seattle US. I found it far more interesting than the current book I bought with me to read. A friend from Brisbane (AUST) bought it over for her and am enjoying it and able to read your blogs in the afternoon here. At present we are travelling in Canada and today we saw a black bear cross the road in front of us. From a girl from Brisbane that is pretty exciting and earlier in the week we saw a Mum and her cub cross the road. I know it is off topic but I just had to tell someone.
    Thanks for listening to my news

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    Replies
    1. I'm pleased you told me about the bears. I have always thought that bears roam all over north america and although I'm assured by my north american friends, that it's not the case, you've just confirmed it for me. Enjoy your holiday!

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  11. Julie ... Barossa ValleyAugust 13, 2013 9:26 am

    I was thinking the same Busy mum of 3 :) I also use lambs fry and bacon when cooking sausages ... makes a delicious gravy with the onions :)

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  12. Oh yes, that is an old memory from when the kids were growing up, just make the curry mild and add some sultanas (and sometimes chopped apple) and the kids will eat it with sausages, chicken or prawns, if you can catch them.
    I also remember an old recipe with savoury mince that included chopped cabbage and rice, it made a little mince go a long way.

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  13. Great post today I have some chicken sausages in the freezer and some veggies to use up so I might just make two meals out of one too :) Thanks

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  14. very good. I love onion gravy, but would you not need a bit more than one onion to a quart of water?

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    1. hopflower, by the time the gravy is cooked and served, a lot of the water has evaporated. You could always add more onion but I've never found the need. I'm an onion gravy lover too. :- )

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  15. Those are some of the meals of my childhood - we still have sausages, mashed potatoes and mixed veggies for dinner some nights. My dad always used to make curry with sausages leftover from a barbecue. His version, like most of his recipes, involved sultanas. *laughs*

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  16. I have been sneakily adding the tiniest bit of chilli powder, just enough to give a warm edge, to some of my bolognese type dishes and the kids haven't noticed. Last night I made a 'savoury' mince and flavoured it with Curry powder. My fussy children would never eat something if I told them it was curry, my daughter in particular would be suspicious and resistant. When she asked last night what the yellow stuff on her plate coming from the meat was I told her it was the 'savoury' seasoning. I like the sound of your onion gravy and with give 'savoury' sausages a try sometime too I think. Thanks Rhonda.

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    1. Tammy, I tried that with Jamie too because I thought Sunny was giving him chilli. Well, he took one bite and put his hand in his mouth! LOL When I asked Sunny, she said she hadn't tried chilli in his food yet. Oops. I'll try again. It's a good strategy. You'll have your mob eating curries before they know it. Literally.

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  17. Hi Rhonda, thanks for these recipes. One of my favourite meals is sausages with onion gravy and mashed potato - wonderful comfort food, especially on a cold night. Also just wanted to say that I recently read your book Down to Earth and LOVED it. I usually just get my books from the library (trying to stay on a budget), but I loved your book so much I am going to buy it. Looking forward to your next book too. Thank you for such an informative blog. With best regards Tania

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    Replies
    1. Tania, I'm really pleased you loved the book. That means a lot to me. I feel quite close to you, even though we've never met. We've "spoken" about this before and maybe the book bridges another gap between the two of us. xx

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  18. Because we are pescetarians I use a soy sausage from Tofurky that is very tasty and an excellent substitute for any recipe calling for sausage. One of our favorite quick meals is making it with scrambled eggs and onions and wrap it in a tortilla for a filling breakfast or dinner.

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  19. Mmmm... Curried sausages. That brings back memories! Mum used to add sliced apple to hers. I thought it was delicious as a kid - I wonder whether I'd enjoy it as much now? Maybe I should find out :-)

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    1. I doubt the old curried sausage would ever lose its appeal. ;- ) Dillpickle, I love the little striped cardy on your bio pic. Is that a ravelry pattern?

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  20. Just substitute the sausages with small chicken pieces and it will make a distinctly Indian meal. We love our curry with steamed rice! :)

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  21. Curried sausages are always a hit here. Must try the onion gravy recipe. I love recipes where I know I don't have to go to the shops, but can just use what I have on hand. The simplest meals are often the best, aren't they?

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  22. Dear Rhonda, although I have just gone back to eating vegan, these sausages look so yummy! Especially the first recipe, love that onion gravy... I agree with the comment above: The simplest meals are often the best :-)

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  23. I have to say these are two of my favourite meals, my kids still love curried sausages, not so much the onion gravy though. Shepards pie is a close second, I could go on, savoury mince on toast and ki-see-ming all family favourites.

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  24. Sausages are always a big hit here too I usually make the onion gravy although I also add a tin of tomatoes to mine and call it tomato and onion gravy, so very tasty and simple too. I haven't had curry sausages in years though so I might have to give it a try next time:)

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  25. I'll have to try the curried sausages. They sound good! I often fry up apples and onions together to go with sausage. When the girls were little, I would fry them up separately and they only ate the apples but now I mix them up. Just slice and cook in a bit of butter until soft, then sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar.

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  26. Coincidentally, that's what we had for dinner last night. Sausage, mash and onions. You can't beat some good old fashioned grub. Bangers might not be the most healthy but they will fill you up and they're reasonably priced. Plus ever now and then it's good to eat some comfort food :)

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  27. Just had first course for dinner tonight, leftovers in fridge for tomorrow night. Family loved it. thanks a million.

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  28. I also do a casserole with sausages - I make a sauce with baked beans and tinned crushed tomatoes fried up with an onion. Cut the cooked sausages into pieces and simmer in the sauce for 15 minutes. Serve with green veg and mash or pasta etc...
    Is also really yummy with some feta stirred through and spinach leaves added in the last few minutes of cooking.

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