Frugal Food Carnival: Dinners

I am always on the look out for good nutritious foods to add to our list, especially meatless to incorporate twice a week in our menu plan! I am excited to see Kimi & Stephanie leading the way in collecting recipes to share with others in the way of stretching the food budget and still get the most nutrition out of our dollar. This week the focus is dinners.

Here are a few of my keepers that I have been trying over the last few weeks…black bean wraps & lentil w/rice casserole. Not amazingly exciting…but for a stretcher meal, these work well! I have found fresh herbs are the key to spicing up beans and lentils! Have fun doing some experimenting!

Black Bean Wraps

This is a modification of Michele at Frugal Granola’s recipe, making it more frugal! Chicken may be added if desired.

We made this one night for dinner on tortillas and then I used the leftovers the next day in quesillidas topped with cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Yum!

1 cup cooked black beans (or 1 can, drained)
1 fresh tomato, diced
1 cup fresh corn
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 cup or more chopped cilantro
2 Tbls. lime juice (or lemon!)
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes, salt & pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, to taste
4 tortillas (If using homemade, make sure they are thin enough to roll up!)
Salsa, sour cream and guacamole, if desired

Stir fry the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the beans and remaining ingredients. Head through before laying on tortillas with other toppings, as desired

Lentil & Rice Casserole

Recipe modified from Sue Gregg’s Main Dish Cookbook

This also works well as a main dish for dinner and then using the leftovers as burritos fillings the next day!

I served with fresh parsley on the top with a side Caesar salad. Also good topped with sour cream!

3 cups water or chicken broth
3/4 cup uncooked lentils, washed and soaked as needed
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice, washed and soaked as needed
3-4 Tbsp Liquid Aminos or seasoning salt, to taste
1 small onion, sliced in rings
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
fresh parsley & sour cream, if desired

Soaking Step, if desired for increased nutrition: Combine lentils, rice, and water to cover and juice of 1/2 lemon, whey, or another acid medium. Soak for at least 7 hours. After soaking, rinse the lentils and rice and add the amount specified above in water or broth to cook.

Fry onions and garlic in oil (I use coconut oil) for about 10 minutes until nicely browned. This adds wonderful flavor! Set aside. Combine remaining ingredients (except cheese and parsley) and layer in a casserole dish. Cook for 2 1/2 hours at 300 degrees until tender or the water is absorbed. About 10 minutes before completed, top with cheese and browned onions and cook till melted. Before serving, top with parsley.

Further Recipes:

For a wealth of recipe ideas, check out Marilyn Moll’s blog, founder of the Urban Homemaker. She held a contest a few months back of all sorts of easy healthy vegetarian dishes. Check it out here! I am excited to try the black bean enchiladas, honey baked lentils, taco soup and more!

For some of my other frugal dinners, check out my Recipes section.

For more fun in the frugal food carnival, visit the Nourishing Gourmet.
It’s Frugal Fridays!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

26 Responses to Frugal Food Carnival: Dinners

  1. fridays recipe August 15, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Wow…you are obviously a talented blogger ! Keep up the good work !

  2. Amy November 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Thanks for adding the additional link with more recipes! I’m finding that using more beans and lentils, most of the recipes have a “spanish” flavor. Though I love it, I like a lot of seasoning varieties, and I think there were few more options on the website you sourced! Thanks for all your work!

  3. alyssa September 24, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    You can also just cook this on the stovetop. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Just sprinkle the cheese on, if using, after it’s done. Just thought I’d share, since this works better for me to not have to heat up the house for 2 hours! Now this can actually be enjoyed in the summertime! :)

  4. billie gram May 13, 2010 at 11:45 am #


    Ok, so I got confused about: “3-4 Tbsp Liquid Aminos or seasoning salt, to taste”

    I actually added like 3-4 Tbsp of seasoning salt! NOW I realize it wasn’t really saying: “3-4 Tbsp Liquid Aminos or seasoning salt, to taste” it was ACTUALLY saying: “3-4 Tbsp Liquid Aminos OR seasoning salt, to taste.” Am I right?

    So, I should’ve added seasoning salt to taste NOT 3-4 Tbls, right?!

    I’m new to all this, and I’d never heard of Liquid Aminos, and honestly, I’ve just started cooking home made (I just don’t know what’s happening to me, LOL), so…yeah…

    Well…I’m going to make some more rice and add it to it, maybe that will help? As for now, I ate it, it was good, but I’m sure my ankles will be swelling up at any moment and I’m REALLY thirsty!

    Thanks for all the awesome recipes, I’m fascinated with the soaking and such. I’ve also made your corn bread, chocolate coffee cake, and spagetti sauce (and green smoothies and a few others)…yum! Keep it up! You’re doing great (and teaching me stuff, too)!

    Oh, and your whole wheat torillas are great, also, so satisfying to make good things at home (I don’t like the poison they sell in the stores anymore)! ;)

    So thanks,


    • Lindsay May 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

      Opps…sorry for the confusion. Liquid aminos is the same as soy sauce. If using seasoning salt, just season to taste. Glad you are enjoying all the recipes!

  5. Mindy W January 27, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    I changed this recipe a bit, just to make it simple. I get tons of request for it. We use it for tacos/burritos, stuffed peppers, or just by it’s self with a salad. Enjoy!

    Mindy’s Lentil’s

    6 cups liquid (broth/water combo)I use 4 cups chicken broth,2 cups water
    1 1/2 cups uncooked lentils,washed (sometimes soaked)
    1 cup brown rice,washed
    1/2 to 1 cup taco seasoning(depends on your spice level, I use Azure Standard)
    4 cups cooked ground meat (we use combo goat/beef)
    Grated cheese as topper or side

    Mix all ingredients, except cheese. Cover & bake. 300 degrees for 2 1/2 hours
    Add cheese last 20 mins. Serve with tortillas, tomatoes, onions, and sour cream.

  6. Anna C. November 5, 2009 at 8:20 am #

    I made the Lentil & Rice casserole last night, it was great. I wasn’t expecting that much flavor! I didn’t add the cheese or the cooked onions as I served it over nachos (with homemade corn chips, yummy!). I’m trying very hard to push more lentils on my husband, he is a big fan of meat and I really think that lentils are a great substitution for 2-3 meals a week. He complained a little last night, but he’ll get over it ;)

  7. Emily August 24, 2009 at 6:19 am #

    I made the lentil & rice casserole this past weekend, and it was quite a hit! It has a wonderful Mexican flavor to it and is perfect topped with cheddar cheese and sour cream. I also enjoyed it as a “dip” with corn tortilla chips and sour cream on the side.

  8. Heidi August 18, 2009 at 12:02 pm #

    Thank you for the recipes!! We really love the lentil and rice casserole; such a good source of protein since meat does not appeal to me often with this pregnancy.

  9. Angie September 3, 2008 at 7:02 am #

    Here’s a delicious, easy, cheap, vegetarian dish with lots of vitamin C!

    Sweet Potato Lentil Stew

    (This can be made with red or brown lentils. My hubby complained a bit at first with the “Where’s the meat” argument, but he actually ended up liking the dish! Maybe I’ll use brown lentils next time and it will give more of the impression of “meat”.)

    4 c. vegetable broth
    3 c. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1 1/4 lbs)
    1 1/2 c. lentils, rinsed
    3 medium carrots, cut into 1″ pieces
    1 medium onion, chopped
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    1/4 tsp. ground ginger
    1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or ground red pepper)
    Salt to taste

    In slow cooker, combine first 9 ingredients. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Salt to taste. Serve by itself with a slice of whole wheat bread or over steamed brown rice.

  10. Amy Best July 15, 2008 at 8:41 am #

    One more note- I have substituted millet for the rice in the casserole, and no one could tell much difference once it was in a burrito! Good way to get more varied grains.

  11. Tara July 15, 2008 at 7:34 am #

    I tried the lentil dish last night and my husband and I loved it. I am glad to learn some new ways to prepare lentils since they are so cheap but also good for you. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  12. Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home July 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm #

    We also love the lentil rice casserole! My favorite part is that it takes 5 minutes to whip up and then it just cooks itself!

    We tried Michele’s wraps, and thought they were awesome!

    Thanks for the link to the blog with all the bean recipes! I started looking through and I think I’ll find some good ones to try in there! :)

  13. Cammie July 12, 2008 at 6:39 am #

    Hi…great ideas…

    Also I just wanted to let you know, I put a link to you on my blog. I have been reading for a while and love your ideas and am inspired by your passion.


  14. Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet July 11, 2008 at 2:40 pm #

    Oh, and one more thing, your pictures are beautiful! ;-)

  15. Melissa July 11, 2008 at 11:51 am #

    Yum Yum! These recipes sound great! I am gonna have to give them a try! :)

  16. autumn sager July 11, 2008 at 11:18 am #

    sounds good lindsay, but after you let the lentil, rice, broth or water soak in lemon juice or kefir do you rinse it and then put in the water broth again? probably not????

    • Lindsay July 13, 2008 at 7:43 pm #

      I added more specific directions above. Sorry for the confusion.

  17. Mrs. Mordecai July 11, 2008 at 9:13 am #

    Thanks! Those black bean wraps look great.

  18. Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet July 11, 2008 at 9:00 am #

    I used to make the lentil and rice dish from Sue Gregg’s as well. Now that I can’t have cheese, I haven’t though (it just didn’t seem like it would be the same!), but it is a great recipe. I love how easy it is to make and how cheap! The black bean wraps sounds delish as well. Thanks for sharing some great ideas!

  19. Rachel July 11, 2008 at 8:30 am #

    Lentils and tofu are big in our house on vegetarian nights. Tofu is not expensive if you buy in bulk and freeze it. We have soups, stews, and stirfrys quite a bit to stretch the buck.

    We are having a giveaway on our website if anyone is interested!

  20. Robin July 11, 2008 at 7:58 am #

    My family loves lentils and they are DEFINITELY dollar stretcher! As always, thanks for sharing your recipes. They are always so good.

    Giveaway on my blog today!

  21. Stacey July 11, 2008 at 6:00 am #

    “black bean wraps & lentil casserole. Not very exciting….”
    ON THE CONTRARY! I haven’t made the lentil casserole, but I did make the black bean wraps (w/ the whole wheat tortillas *smile*) and the were DELICIOUS…not to mention gorgeous! I also followed your suggestion and turned them into quesadillas the next day for my parents and again got rave reviews. We are trying to introduce more meals that don’t have meat and this was a real winner! Thank you.

  22. Michele @ Frugal Granola July 10, 2008 at 10:35 pm #

    Hi, Lindsay-
    Yep, that’s exactly how I make the wraps frugally! :) All the other stuff is just for fun. (Except I don’t cook the onions & garlic- we like them raw as a pico de gallo.) I’ve even used powdered/dried onion and cilantro if I don’t have any fresh stuff on hand. :)

    We love putting it on quesadillas, too! It’s also good on “nachos” (usually with homemade corn “chips”).

    Michele :)

  23. Amy Best July 10, 2008 at 9:59 pm #

    I’ve been making that lentil rice casserole for a while now, but it needed some “kick”- I bet sauting the onions and garlic and adding liquid aminos would help. Thanks! Also thanks for the link to Urban Homemaker- I’m excited to try some of those recipes. Justin REALLY isn’t into beans, so it’s a constant quest for me to find recipes he will somewhat enjoy. :-)