Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Healthy, Frugal New Year!

I can't believe "Twenty-twelve" is here.  
 It seems like just yesterday that we were decking the house with Christmas decor!
While I love all of the yummy, decadent food that comes with the holidays, there comes a point where you are finally craving to be back to normal life and eating simple, nourishing meals.

Although I didn't plan it this way, our New Year started out not only being frugal, but healthy.

 As I was cleaning out our pantry I came across some random bags of black beans and white beans and so I soaked them overnight and cooked them until tender.

 I also pulled out the UGLY, gross looking ham bone from my freezer that was leftover from my mom's Christmas party dinner and made up a delicious pot of Ham and Bean Chowder. 

 WOW, such a delicious pot of bean soup, that left my hubby and kids begging
to dish up some of the leftovers
so they could take a bowl of these in their lunch for the first day back to work/school after the holidays.

We also enjoyed a simple treat 
of homemade Gingersnaps.  
I decided to post the recipes again...(original posts here and here)

Ginger Snaps (one of Jade's favorite cookies)
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup REAL butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup molasses
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1-1/2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons soda
3-1/2 cups flour

Cream together sugar and butter.  
Add eggs.
Next add molasses, salt and soda and mix well.
Then add flour, and spices.
Refrigerate at least one hour.

Roll into balls and then roll balls in sugar.
Bake 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until crackly on the top.
Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire baking rack.

Ham and Bean Chowder

2 cups dried Great Northern beans (OR, whatever dried beans you have)
1 meaty ham bone (OR, 1 cup chopped ham)
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
3 cloves minced garlic
2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth (OR 2 bouillon cubes in 2 cups water)
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 whole clove

Soak 2 cups of beans overnight—
drain off water and add fresh water and cook until tender. Drain off water.

Then melt 2 Tbsp. butter in sauce pan and add:
Onion, celery and garlic and sautée until tender…
Then add cooked beans, ham bone, water, broth, tomatoes, bay leaf, clove and salt/pepper. 
Bring to a boil, Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours (stirring occasionally).
Remove ham bone, bay leaf and clove. (also remove meat from ham bone, cut into small pieces and add back to soup).
This is very frugal soup that is absolutely delicious!
It is yummy served with homemade bread 
and garnished with a dollop of 
our family's favorite...COTTAGE CHEESE.

Enjoy a healthy, frugal 2012, 
putting your dried beans to use to make 
a nourishing pot of soup for your family!

I hope you find out as well, 
that this is absolutely delicious!
(and don't forget about the cookies...
they are yummo for the tummo delicious)


Britt said...

This soup sounds really good after not eating quite so healthy through the holidays! :) I've even got a ham bone lying around. BTW - your chocolates were so so so good. thanks so much. :)

Garden of Egan said...

You are amazing!
I love beans and bean soup is probably the best. My mom made this all the time.

Perfect for our weather, even though I don't know where our snow is!

Connie said...

I agree about eating healthy after a month ( or more) of eating anything and everything!
The bean soup looks absolutely delicious! I have some ham left over from Christmas too. I'm going to make this soup. Thanks for the recipe. As always, you inspire me in many ways.
Happy New Year!

Ann Marie said...

I received some Ginger snaps dipped 1/2 way in White Chocolate for Christmas.. and they were to. Die. For. I was telling Chad that I need a Gingersnap recipe.

Why didn't I think to come here..
Should have known better!!!

Thanks MUCH!!!

C Smith said...

Mmm. I made ham and bean soup with our ham bone too. We ate it for days.