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Columns October 17, 2017  RSS feed

Cooking Country

Sherry Matney

Here we are at October 17, 2017 and the weather has cooled off a little. Looking at the Weather AP on my phone it looks like we will stay below ninety degrees this week, which means it is time for soup. I have several friend, who are around my age, that is “past the cooking for family stage” unless they really want to do so. However, they find it costs a lot of money to eat out every meal, not to mention the extra calories you consume. One friend cited what she and her husband spends on eating “cheap” every day. The cheapest meal at a fast food restaurant is, at least $5 each, that’s $10 per meal and likely 2 meals per day. You do the math, that is $20 per day for a “sub-standard” diet and that adds up to $600 per month. Ouch!! With $150 dollars per week you can make healthy meals for two that might take off a few pounds and add the extra weight to you pocketbook. Of course, I understand that $150 will not feed a family of four or five, but if you are taking those kids to McDonalds every day you are spending some cash!! So my suggestion is make a pot of soup. You do not need to use everything from scratch, but soup can be very good and extremely nutritious. So here are a couple things to try. What do you have to lose?

Easy Potato Soup

4 to 5 potatoes, peeled
and cubed
10 ¾ oz. can cream of
celery soup
1 ¾ oz. can cream of
chicken soup
1¼ cup water
1 2/3 cup milk
6.6 oz. pkg. instant potato

Combine potatoes, soups and water in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high setting until potatoes are tender, about 2 to 3 hours. Stir in milk; adding potato flakes to desired consistency, stirring constantly. Cover and cook on high setting an additional 2 to 3 hours longer. Spoon into bowls and top with shredded Cheddar cheese, sliced green onion, crumbled bacon. ( If you want to cook this while you are at work, cook just the potatoes on low, then add the rest of the ingredients when you get home.)

Italian Meatball Soup

16-oz. pkg. frozen Italianstyle meatballs
1 14 ½ oz. cans beef
1 14 ½ oz. diced tomatoes
with Italian herbs
1 cup potatoes, peeled
and diced or use canned

½ cup onion, chopped or
use dried onion or onion
¼ tsp. garlic pepper
16 oz. frozen mixed vegetables

In a slow cooker, mix frozen meatballs, broth, tomatoes, potatoes, onion and garlic pepper. Cover and cook on low setting for 9 to 1 hours. Stir in frozen vegetables. Increase setting to high; cover and cook for one additional hour, or until vegetables are tender. ( If you absolutely hate to peel potatoes, buy a can of them and add them when you add the frozen vegetables.)

Taco Soup

( Once you are past the meat and onion everything else is out of a can. You can even skip the chopped onions and use onion powder.)

1 pound ground meat or
use a 12 oz. can of chicken breast
1 small onion, chopped
1 small can green chilies
1 package taco seasoning
1 (1 0z.) package ranch
dressing mix
1 can hominy, undrained
3 cans stewed tomatoes,
1 can kidney beans,
1 can pinto beans,
1 ½ cup water or as much
as you need to make the

Brown meat with onion and green chilies in large stew pot. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 30 minutes. Serve with corn chips.

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