Italian Pasta Salad
Italian Pasta Salad
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This is a base recipe that you can tailor every time you make this so it is never the same. This is a make ahead salad, meaning you make this the day before, then chill it overnight, allowing the flavors to blend. On my to cook list. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 20-30 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 20-30 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Italian Pasta Salad
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This is a base recipe that you can tailor every time you make this so it is never the same. This is a make ahead salad, meaning you make this the day before, then chill it overnight, allowing the flavors to blend. On my to cook list. Link to the shortcut is listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 20-30 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 20-30 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Customize the Salad with:
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling, salted water, until tender. Over cooked by a minute or two is preferred. For pasta salads, just tender pasta is not desired, since the pasta is not being cooked further in a sauce, you want well cooked pasta. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Place the pasta in a large mixing bowl.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, mix together the vinegar and sugar.
  3. Add the vinegar mixture and Italian seasoning to the pasta and mix well to coat all the pasta and distribute the seasoning. Let the pasta cool.
  4. Once the pasta is cooled, mix in the onion and olives and mix well.
  5. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
  6. Now the base recipe is ready. This can be served as is, or dressed up as you desire. Add any of the Customize ingredients as you desire to change this salad each time you make it.
Recipe Notes

The base recipe is low cost, depending on other added items, that will increase the per serving, but certainly not over $1 per serving 🙂

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Cajun Pinto Beans
Cajun Pinto Beans
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This idea comes from a good friend. I love pinto beans as a side dish, in chili and burritos, and as refried beans. This is a side dish and sounds very tasty. All measurements are approximations until I make this and verify the amounts. I am going to pressure the beans but the canned amount will be stated as well. Links to the shortcuts are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Cajun Pinto Beans
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This idea comes from a good friend. I love pinto beans as a side dish, in chili and burritos, and as refried beans. This is a side dish and sounds very tasty. All measurements are approximations until I make this and verify the amounts. I am going to pressure the beans but the canned amount will be stated as well. Links to the shortcuts are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Prepare the beans either by draining and rinsing 2 cans or by cooking from dry beans. From dry, drain after cooking them.
  2. In a large non stick pan on medium high heat, when hot, add the sausage, garlic, and onion. Cook, breaking up the sausage with the spatula, until almost cooked through. Drain off most of the fat, not all, as that is flavor for the beans.
  3. Add the bell pepper, green chilies, tomatoes, and mix together.
  4. Add the beans and Cajun seasoning, mix together.
  5. Simmer until the bell pepper is tender.
  6. Serve as a side dish.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Shortcuts: Pinto Beans, Pork Sausage, Cajun Seasoning.

Inspired by and photo provided by, Mary Jackson.
United States.

Cinnamon Egg Soup
Cinnamon Egg Soup
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This is an off the beaten path Thai soup side dish or with rice for a main dish. If you are not a fan of cinnamon, you may want to give this dish a pass. I loved seasoned or flavored hard boiled eggs so this is on my to cook list for sure.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Cinnamon Egg Soup
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This is an off the beaten path Thai soup side dish or with rice for a main dish. If you are not a fan of cinnamon, you may want to give this dish a pass. I loved seasoned or flavored hard boiled eggs so this is on my to cook list for sure.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, peppercorns, and coriander together.
  2. In a medium small pot, add the water, the 1 cup and the 2 tablespoons, and the chicken stock cube. Turn on the heat to medium high and let the water and stock come to a boil.
  3. While the water is heating, heat a non stick pan with the oil, when hot, add the mixture from the mortar and fry until the garlic is softened.
  4. Add the soy sauces, salt, and sugar and stir into the mixture.
  5. Add the eggs to the pan, and just stir fry for a minute or two to take on some intense flavor and then remove from heat.
  6. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the eggs to the pot of boiling chicken stock, and pour in the contents of the pan.
  7. Cut the tofu into bite size pieces and add to the pot.
  8. Bring to a gentle boil and hold that for 10 minutes, reduce to a low simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool a few minutes.
  9. Serve as a side of 2 eggs and tofu with any Thai dish or as a main when served with rice as a side.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

This recipe for Cinnamon Soup with Egg is adapted from Appon's Thai Food.

Sausage Salad II
Sausage Salad II
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This is a Thai spicy sausage salad based on pork sausage, specifically, Vietnamese sausage, aka, Cha Lue or Cha Hue for the pepper variety. On my to cook list. Keep in mind, the number of Bird's Eye chilies will determine how spicy you would like this.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Sausage Salad II
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This is a Thai spicy sausage salad based on pork sausage, specifically, Vietnamese sausage, aka, Cha Lue or Cha Hue for the pepper variety. On my to cook list. Keep in mind, the number of Bird's Eye chilies will determine how spicy you would like this.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. For the Vietnamese sausage, which is a pork sausage that is already cooked and found in the refrigerator section of grocery stores, the name is Cha Lua for the regular flavor. This is the Moo Dee brand (moo = pig, dee = good). Similar brands will close to what this looks like, grocery stores have all the Vietnamese sausage together as well.
  2. This is the Cha Hue variety, which is heavy with cracked black pepper and garlic. When looking for this in the store, the pepper is clearly seen in the sausage, and more than likely, there is a picture of black pepper on the package. This is also the Moo Dee brand. I prefer this variety due to the pepper.
  3. Unwrap the sausage and slice into about 1/4 inch thick slices, place on a serving plate.
  4. To a mixing bowl, add the garlic, onion, chilies, lemon or lime juice, and the fish sauce and mix together well.
  5. Pour over the sausage and garnish with mint and coriander leaves.
  6. Serve as a side dish to any Thai meal or as an appetizer.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

This recipe for Spicy Home Made Sausage Salad is adapted from Appon's Thai Food.

Okra with Tomatoes
Okra with Tomatoes
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Rating: 5
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Sounds like a good alternative from fried okra. I made this on 16 July 2018 and is perfect as written, with my wife doing the final taste test. She simple added a pinch of chicken stock powder, the in was perfect, and I wrote that step in as well. This is a keeper.
Servings Prep Time
2-3 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-3 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Okra with Tomatoes
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Rating: 5
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Sounds like a good alternative from fried okra. I made this on 16 July 2018 and is perfect as written, with my wife doing the final taste test. She simple added a pinch of chicken stock powder, the in was perfect, and I wrote that step in as well. This is a keeper.
Servings Prep Time
2-3 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-3 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Garlic and okra prepped, I took the photo early before I had the onion prepped.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non stick pan, when hot, add the garlic and stir fry until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the okra and onion and season with salt and pepper as desired. Cook stirring often until the okra is tender and bright green, about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, oyster sauce, and mushroom sauce and cook until tender and nearly bursting, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in a pinch of chicken stock powder and taste, adjust with oyster or mushroom sauce.
  5. Serve as a side dish with any meal.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Variants: 1. Add some sliced fresh mushrooms. 2. Season with additional spices such as ground cumin or garam masala (1/4 teaspoon or so). 3. Add chopped bacon. 4. Add a slice bell pepper.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Hotdog & Spring Onion Chili Salad
Hotdog & Spring Onion Chili Salad
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Thais love hotdogs, they have as many brands of hotdogs as they do brands of canned fish and rice. Now 90% of the Thai hotdogs are pure rubbish, but there is a few very good brands out there. Hotdogs are nothing more than sausages, however with modern processing and the poor choices of fillers and casings, the consistency in taste is quite lacking. For those in Thailand and the rest of the world, use good quality beef or chicken hotdogs. This is a typical side/snack served with beer in the evening. Serve with rice for a complete meal.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
2 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
2 minutes
Hotdog & Spring Onion Chili Salad
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Thais love hotdogs, they have as many brands of hotdogs as they do brands of canned fish and rice. Now 90% of the Thai hotdogs are pure rubbish, but there is a few very good brands out there. Hotdogs are nothing more than sausages, however with modern processing and the poor choices of fillers and casings, the consistency in taste is quite lacking. For those in Thailand and the rest of the world, use good quality beef or chicken hotdogs. This is a typical side/snack served with beer in the evening. Serve with rice for a complete meal.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
2 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
2 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat a medium size pot half full of water to boiling, then add the hotdog slices. Cook for 2 minutes to heat them through, drain, and place in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add to the mixing bowl the onion, spring onion, coriander, and chilies. Mix together.
  3. To the mixing bowl, add the fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar. Toss to combine.
  4. Serve on a large plate (family style) and sprinkle the mint over the top.
  5. Serve as a side dish with evening drinks, or with rice for a complete meal.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

This recipe for Hotdog & Spring Onion Chili Salad is adapted from Appon's Thai Food.

Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad
Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad
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This sounds really good and comes from a very good friend in the US.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings as a side 10 minutes
Passive Time
2-8 hours
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings as a side 10 minutes
Passive Time
2-8 hours
Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad
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This sounds really good and comes from a very good friend in the US.
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings as a side 10 minutes
Passive Time
2-8 hours
Servings Prep Time
4-6 servings as a side 10 minutes
Passive Time
2-8 hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings as a side
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, add everything except the tomatoes, whisk until combined to make the dressing.
  2. Add tomatoes to a large mixing bowl, add the dressing and gently toss to coat. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours before serving.
  3. Serve as a side with your favorite main dish like chicken or fish.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Recipe provided by good friend, Patti Stone, and her recipe is here.
United States.

Mashed Potatoes (Pressure Cooker)
Mashed Potatoes (Pressure Cooker)
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Rating: 5
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This will use either the steamer tray or basket that came with your pressure cooker or any steamer basket or trivet that will keep the potatoes above the water. This process cooks the potatoes with pressure and heat, they cannot get waterlogged or soggy like boiled potatoes. Only takes 6 minutes on high pressure and a natural release. Follow the safety precautions for your model of pressure cooker. I made this on 17 May 2018, and this is what mashed potatoes are supposed to taste like! These are outstanding!
Servings Prep Time
2-6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
6 minutes 10-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
6 minutes 10-15 minutes
Mashed Potatoes (Pressure Cooker)
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Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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This will use either the steamer tray or basket that came with your pressure cooker or any steamer basket or trivet that will keep the potatoes above the water. This process cooks the potatoes with pressure and heat, they cannot get waterlogged or soggy like boiled potatoes. Only takes 6 minutes on high pressure and a natural release. Follow the safety precautions for your model of pressure cooker. I made this on 17 May 2018, and this is what mashed potatoes are supposed to taste like! These are outstanding!
Servings Prep Time
2-6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
6 minutes 10-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
6 minutes 10-15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Wash and scrub your potatoes for unpeeled, or wash and peel, totally your preference. Quarter the potatoes.
  2. Add the water to your pressure cooker, insert the steamer tray or basket, add the potatoes and garlic to the tray or basket.
  3. Place the lid on and lock, add the weight (the jiggler), turn on the heat to high. when the jiggler starts to move and vent pressure, indication full pressure, start your timer for 6 minutes and reduce the heat to low or medium low to maintain full pressure.
  4. When 6 minutes have passed, turn off the heat and move the pressure cooker to an unused burner to cool and release the pressure naturally, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. When the pressure is fully released, open the lid.
  6. Transfer the potatoes to a medium sized pot (you can use a sturdy mixing bowl but I feel that a pot is much easier to work with) and using a potato masher, mash up the potatoes. Add a splash of milk and 2-4 tablespoons of butter and mash that in.
  7. Serve as side dish.
Recipe Notes

Low cost, and an energy and time saver as a bonus.

Inspired by the recipe Mashed Potatoes from Pressure Cooker Diaries.

Russian Beet Salad
Russian Beet Salad
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This sounds really good, and several shortcuts to make sure you have flavorful vegetables. This can be dressed two different ways as well. Links to the shortcuts are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Russian Beet Salad
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This sounds really good, and several shortcuts to make sure you have flavorful vegetables. This can be dressed two different ways as well. Links to the shortcuts are listed in the Recipe Notes section.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
40-50 minutes
Ingredients
Dressings, pick one
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the pickles, carrots, beets, and potatoes and toss together.
  2. Add ONE of the dressings, starting with 4 tablespoons and adjusting as needed, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Chill for a few hours, then when serving, garnish with the fresh dill.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Shortcuts: Pressure Cooked Beets, Pressure Cooked Carrots, Fridge Pickles.

Adapted from an internet recipe.

Rajma – Kidney Bean Curry (Pressure Cooker)
Rajma - Kidney Bean Curry (Pressure Cooker)
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This is a great main or side dish, I made this on 30 April 2018 was truly surprised, excellent flavor! This originates in Northern India and Nepal. This is a modified recipe and not authentic.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Rajma - Kidney Bean Curry (Pressure Cooker)
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Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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This is a great main or side dish, I made this on 30 April 2018 was truly surprised, excellent flavor! This originates in Northern India and Nepal. This is a modified recipe and not authentic.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Rinse the kidney beans and remove and bad ones and any debris, place in a large bowl and cover with 2 inches of water. Cover the bowl and let that sit for 6 to 8 hours.
  2. After 6 to 8 hours, drain and rinse the beans, just leave in the strainer for now.
  3. In your pressure cooking, without using the lid, heat the oil and butter on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until fragrant, then add in the ginger, cloves, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Cook for a few minutes then add the tomatoes and cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the drained beans and water to just cover the beans then add 1 more cup of water. Stir in the sugar and salt to to taste.
  5. Place the lid on the pot and bring the heat up to high. When the jiggler starts moving and releasing pressure, start timing for 8 minutes and turn the heat down to low or medium low to just maintain the jiggler moving and pressure releasing.
  6. At 8 minutes, turn off the heat and move the pressure cooker to an unused burner and allow a natural release of pressure. When the pressure is released, open the lid.
  7. Serve as a side dish or a main dish over rice.
Recipe Notes

Low cost.

Variants: 1. For a non-vegetarian, add in sliced sausage at Step 4 (this is what I do). 2. Add a spoon or two of lime juice and mix that in before serving.

Adapted from an internet recipe.