When Less is More: 3 times 3

Sometimes you just gotta get a really great meal on the table and you have no time and even less money. The following three recipes require just three ingredients each. You heard right, just three ingredients, minus the salt and pepper of course. Each takes an absurdly short amount of time to prepare as well.

Main Course: Shrimp off the Barbee

Method and Ingredients:

2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp which you can frugally buy frozen (which mean you have to thaw it). Watch and wait for specials, it will be worth it.

Three tablespoons honey and two tablespoons soy sauce (dollar store buys) mixed together

Coat the shrimp with the honey/soy mix and stir fry until done, about 3-5 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve over Put the Lime in the Coconut Rice

Side Dish: Lime in the Coconut Rice

Method and Ingredients:

2 cups white rice (also a dollar store buy)

2 large cans coconut water (definitely a dollar store buy)

Zest and juice of three limes (mine come direct from my backyard)

Measure the coconut water and add enough water to make four cups. Add rice to the water-coconut mix and cook according to directions. When done, fluff the rice with a fork and add the zest and lime juice. Serve with Shrimp off the Barbee.

Dessert: Best Ice Cream Ever

Method and Ingredients:

1 small carton heavy cream (your most expensive purchase)

1 small can sweetened, condensed milk (dollar store buy)

2 cups of fresh berries or stone fruit (hopefully off your tree or bartered/traded)

Whip the cream with the condensed milk until there are stiff peaks. Fold in the fruit and freeze for 3-4 hours. Ice cream perfected and you didn’t even need an ice cream maker.

This meal is elegant yet frugal. You can substitute bargain bought chicken for the shrimp to save even more money. I’ve even used Scarlett’s Meatballs in a pinch.  Recipe for those are below. Scarlett is just six years old and already shows signs of being a world class cook. The meatballs are a favorite of my partner, Scarlett and I make them often and Bob (yes, that’s his name) will eat no other.

Scarlett’s Magic Meatballs


2 pounds ground beef (buy in bulk)

1 pound ground pork (this is readily available at my local discount grocery store)

2-3 slices of old bread (from your freezer stash, naturally)

1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon of fresh parsley or dried if you can’t get it

2 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary (dried if you must)

1 large egg

1 heaping tablespoon Italian herb mix (dollar store buy for sure)

1/2 grated parmesan cheese

Method: Soak the bread in the milk until very mushy. Mushy is the correct term by the way. Add in the egg, ground beef and pork and mix with your hands until just incorporated. Add in all the spices and finally, the cheese just mixing until incorporated. Do not over mix or the meatballs will be tough. Shape into golf ball sized rounds and place on a cookie sheet that is covered with parchment paper. Freeze the meatballs for at least two hours. Remove and place in freezer plastic bags.

To use: Place desired number of frozen meatballs in a slow cooker or Instapot. Cover with desired pasta sauce and cook on low for at least four hours. Serve with Italian sausages and pasta. spaghetti-745468_1920 (1).jpg





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