Wednesday, February 20, 2013

More With Less

Growing up there was one cookbook on my mom's shelf that you could tell was well loved. It was old, tattered, had burner marks on it and was overall falling apart. This cookbook was called More-with-Less. It is a collection of recipes and suggestions by Mennonites on how to eat better and consume less of the world's limited food resources.

My mom had the original 1976 first edition copy. When I moved out, she gave me my very own copy, a special 25 year anniversary edition.

I added it to a shelf with my other cookbooks and rarely pulled it out. I used a bread recipe from it and that was basically it for the next seven years.

A couple weeks back, I decided to pull it out and try some new recipes. I've been trying to change how we eat and thought that this book would give me some inspiration.

So far I have tried three recipes from it. Easy Curry, Curried Lentils and Honey Baked Lentils. I have enjoyed all three recipes and Dan has heroically eaten them all without complaining. He really doesn't enjoy eating vegetarian meals but he hasn't complained. I appreciate him and his willingness to eat everything I serve him.

Easy Curry
Serves 3-4
Recipe by Marie J. Frantz, North Newton, Kan.

Brown in small amount of fat: 
    1/4-1/2 lb. chicken or other meat (raw or cooked), finely cut.
    2 - 2 1/2 c. water
Chop and add in order according to cooking time needed:
    2 medium carrots
    3 stalks celery
    1 green pepper (I used yellow)
    1/2 medium onion
    1 tsp. salt
    1/8 tsp. pepper
    1 Tbsp. curry powder (I added more to taste)
Blend together and add:
    1 c. tomato sauce
    1/3 c. milk
    2 Tbsp. cornstarch
Simmer 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender and sauce is thick and glossy. Stir frequently. Serve over rice, noodles or biscuits. 


All those above pictures are of the Easy Curry meal. I found that it needed more flavour so feel free to add in extra curry or other spices to help bring it up to your desired taste.

Honey Baked Lentils
Serves 8 
Recipe by Joann Smith, Goshen, Ind. and Larry Gingrish, Monmouth, Ore.

Combine in a dutch oven or saucepan:
    1 lb. (2 1/3 c.) lentils
    1 small bay leaf
    5 c. water
    2 tsp. salt
Bring to boil. Cover tightly and reduce heat. Simmer 30 minutes. Do not drain. Discard bay leaf.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine separately and add to lentils:
    1 tsp. dry mustard
    1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
    1 Tbsp. soy sauce
    1/2 c. chopped onions
    1 c. water
Cut in 1" pieces:
    4 slices bacon
Stir most of the bacon into lentils and sprinkle remainder on top.
Pour over all:
    1/3 c. honey
Cover tightly.  Bake 1 hour. Uncover last 10 minutes to brown bacon. 
Serve over rice with a side of vegetables.
Note: I halved this recipe since it was obviously going to make way too much for two people. I would also recommend doing the full recipe for the spice section. We found the finished product was a little bland.

So there you have it, my beginning adventures in cooking more with less.

P.S. I have no idea why that text up there is blue. I couldn't change it back for the life of me.


  1. Those both look really good! We love lentils and have never thought to put them with bacon, I bet my hubby would love that.

    In today's day and age, we think we need to eat meat with every meal but for hundreds of years meat was a treat and it was common to have meatless meals. It is really a great way to save money.

  2. Erin, I definitely think that Dan appreciated the bacon with the lentils. I bet you Art would too!

    I'm really trying to have at least one vegetarian meal a week but it's hard. Dan loves his meat!

  3. Thanks for posting these recipes Jen! :) I'm going to make some curry tomorrow night.

  4. Jackie, let me know how it turns out! I enjoyed it.

  5. Jackie, I'm glad that you liked it! Did you have to add many more spices?