Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Homemade Chili Cheese Fries {GF} ~ Frugal, Fun, "Fast" Food


We don't eat out. Ever. Though sometimes... a bit of fast-style food sounds sadly good! We picked up this easy recipe idea from my brother and sister-in-law and have been enjoying it ever since. And the best part is... another meal to make with budget friendly beans


To prepare, peel potatoes and cut them into wedges or french fry sizes. Toss with olive oil and sea salt. If you like a bit of spice, add in some cayenne pepper. Place single layer on greased baking sheet (if you line it first with parchment paper or foil, you will have an easy clean up) and roast until golden brown (about 400 degrees for 45 minutes or so, depending on how hot your oven runs). 


Place the roasted potato fries in each person's bowl. Top with hot beans (you can add some chili mix or other spices to the beans based on what your family likes). Finish with shredded cheese.

Homemaking Hints to Make this "Faster Food":

~ Beans are always on hand because we pressure can them in quarts with a few teaspoons of taco seasoning in each jar. You could also purchase high-quality canned beans for your pantry to have on hand or be frugal and make a large batch of pinto beans to place in your freezer in family friendly portions for easy meal preparations.

~ We buy our cheese in large blocks and shred most of it when we bring it home (reserving a small amount to use for slices in sandwiches). We place the cheese in family sized portions in the freezer so they are ready when we need them. To decrease expense, we always buy mozzarella in bulk since it can be used interchangeably in both Mexican and Italian dishes (i.e.: cheddar doesn't go well on pizza while mozzarella works fine in tacos, etc.).

~ We purchase potatoes in bulk so they are always on hand as they store well in the cooler months (keep them out of the light, in a cool, dark place).


Variations: If you are feeling decadent, you can add some ground meat to the beans or use your favorite chili recipe instead. 


You can serve this dish with a nice large, green salad, a creamy coleslaw or colorful cabbage salad. Preparing a large batch of any salad at the beginning of the week is a great way to reduce labor for the next few meals. 


My favorite side dish for chili cheese fries is our avocado salsa (which I like to scoop on top). Of course, your famous salsa recipe would work too!


We cook from scratch in our home but rely on simple meals to accomplish this. Though we don't eat fancy and gourmet, I like to think everything is unprocessed, fresh and tasty. This recipe is one way to keep things easy for meal time while being pleasing to the palette. 

{For more ideas on what to make with beans, visit here.}

"Do not bring disagreeable things to the table in your conversation any more than you would in your dishes." 
Sel., Excerpt from Science in the Kitchen, 1893

25 comments:

  1. This is also a good meal idea for leftover chili. . . or sloppy joe meat. We call this "sloppy taters" in our house when we use sloppy joe meat.

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    1. Oh, that is an excellent idea! Thank you for sharing! :)

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    1. Don't you?!!!

      Hope your week is going well :)

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  3. Now that looks delicious. I'm drooling. We love chili over tortilla chips with tomatoes, onions, sour cream and taco sauce so I think this would be a hit, too. Thank you for sharing this menu idea. Have a great day!

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    1. Yes, the potatoes add a different dimension that is very tasty :) Now I am drooling over your chili menu! :)

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  4. Looks and sounds absolutely scrumptious, Jes, and love the fact that it is so rich in flavours! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week!

    Poppy

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    1. Thanks Poppy for taking the time to visit :)

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  5. JES - This looks delicious and nutritious! Great idea!

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    1. Ah... your stamp of approval means a lot because I know you are very healthy savvy, thank you Angelia :)

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  6. Yum! Putting this on the menu! I love this kind of food!

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    1. Hi there Farmlife Chick! VERY glad to hear from you! :) I hope this makes for an easy and fun meal for your family. We really enjoy it! May your autumn be beautiful!

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  7. Looks delicious! I hope to try this idea soon.

    Sarah

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    1. Let me know how it goes over ;) Thanks for visiting!

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  8. The chili fries look so good and the slaw is so colorful and yummy looking. Now I'm hungry.
    Thanks for the easy ideas.
    Linda

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    1. You are most welcome Linda :) Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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  9. I really enjoyed this post, especially because you gave me something new to can - beans with taco seasoning. That would be great to have on hand, and I will have to try this recipe soon.

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    1. Hi Kristina, It is great to have on hand and very versatile since I don't make it too strong. Make sure to place the taco seasoning first on the bottom of the jar and then ladle in the beans and water. It cooks through perfectly in the pressure canner :) We do 2 tsp. per quart jar for a mild and versatile flavor.

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  10. Thank you for this deliciously quick and simple recipe, JES. I will be making some soon. I just have to decide which sauce to make for my beans : )

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  11. Wow, I was astonished to read that you don't eat out, EVER. (Y'mean like EVER-ever?? :-) ) As a person whose family eats out quite frequently, I just wondered how come. Would you not enjoy a night out in a restaurant now and then?

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    1. Hi Kim, Thanks for taking the time to read here ;) We choose not to eat out EVER like EVER-ever (in your words *smile*) for a VARIETY of reasons with the biggest one being that restaurants aren't a peaceful and hospitable environment to break bread with family in my opinion (too many distractions, disruptive background music, etc.). We prefer our dining room table for our family meals. We do enjoy a "night out" at friends and family's homes when invited there. Call me old fashioned :) Now I do enjoy a cup of coffee at a cafe on occassion if this redeems me! ;) Have a lovely week!

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  12. These look delicious! Thanks for linking up with Home Sweet Home!
    Sherry

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  13. Ooooh this is totally going on the menu plan! My mouth is watering!

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