Tuna and Rice Salad with Veggies

This is such a great summer salad. It’s full of veggies, rice and tuna. It’s a perfect example of healthy eating on a budget.

It’s not just for summer though. Enjoy it as a yummy lunch throughout the year. You can make it ahead of time and pack it for lunch. Of course as with most of my recipes, you can easily swap out whatever veggies are in season, sitting in your fridge or growing in your garden.

This is also a great way to use up leftover rice. In fact, I often cook extra when I’m making rice for dinner to have for this, or other recipes calling for leftover rice.

Rice and Tuna Salad Recipe
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped fine
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 fresh Roma tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cucumber, copped
  • 2 cans (5 oz ea) white tuna packed in water, drained well
  • optional: corn, canned and drained
  1. Put the first 5 ingredients in a salad bowl and whisk until frothy.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the salad bowl and gently toss until ingredients are coated well with salad dressing in bowl.
  3. If desired, add in some yellow corn.


Tuna and Rice Salad with lots of colorful Veggies

Fried Rice with Vegetables

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it is so versatile. Serve the veggie fried rice as a main dish or lunch, or as a side when you’re making fish or baked chicken. 

Vary the veggies depending on what you already have at home, what’s on sale at the store or what’s in season to make this even more frugal.

If you’re making this as a main dish, consider scrambling up some eggs and pouring them in once the veggies are pretty close to being done. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until the egg is done to your liking.

Veggie Fried Rice
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup frozen broccoli florets, thawed and drained
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed and drained
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ cup chopped fresh green onions, including tops
  1. Put a large heavy skillet over medium heat, add vegetable oil and heat well, then add rice, stirring until light golden in color.
  2. Add in the broccoli and peas, stir and cook until vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and green onions, stir until ingredients are all hot.
  4. Serve immediately.

Use gluten free soy sauce to make this a gluten-free dish. 

Veggie Fried Rice

Creole Dirty Rice Recipe

This is a traditional dirty rice recipe that calls for liver. You can use either chicken or beef liver for it. Or if that isn’t your thing, replace the liver with a bit of sausage.

This makes a nice one dish meal that’s filling and frugal. It’s also a great way to use up leftover rice. While the veggies used are those that are traditionally in dirty rice (peppers, celery and onion), feel free to replace them with any type of leftover veggies that sound good. Start with the recipe below and then tweak it from there depending on what you have in the fridge that needs to be eaten.

Creole Dirty Rice
  • ½ lb beef or chicken liver, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • ¼ cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely diced celery
  • ¼ cup finely diced onion
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups COOKED rice
  1. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the cooking oil, and when it's hot, add the liver pieces and cook quickly until just browned; remove pieces using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add the green bell pepper, celery, and onion to hot skillet and cook until softened slightly; then turn heat down to low.
  3. Add the liver back into the skillet, then add the crushed tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, stir, cover skillet and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove cover and stir in cooked rice, then serve.


Dirty Creole Rice

Indian Lentil and Rice Bake

Beans and rice are the basis of many a frugal meal. The only problem is that it can get a bit boring if you don’t venture out of your usual cuisine. This Indian food inspired dish is the perfect way to spice things up. Full of brown rice and lentils it will fill you up while the spices, onion, raisins and pine nuts turn it into a delicious meal. Baking this dish give it the great texture. Serve it with some hardy homemade bread for a delicious supper.

Indian Rice and Lentil Bake
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 2½ cup water
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup uncooked lentils
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  1. Put the onion and oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring, until onion softens.
  2. Add the uncooked rice to the skillet, stir, cooking for 2 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the tomato paste, water, cinnamon, and lentils until blended well, then pour into the skillet with the rice.
  4. Bring the mixture in skillet to a gentle boil, turn heat to low, cover skillet and simmer slowly for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil or butter an 8x8 baking dish.
  6. After mixture has simmered for 30 minutes in skillet, uncover the skillet and add the salt, raisins, and pine nuts, stirring to combine.
  7. Now pour mixture into prepared baking dish, cover dish and put in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes or until mixture is bubbling hot and rice and lentils are fully cooked.
  8. Remove and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.


Indian Rice and Lentil Bake

Kidney Beans And Rice

This rice bowl is such a great versatile recipe. You can cook it in big batches and between the rice, the sausage and the kidney beans it really fills you up. If you’re cooking this for young kids, you may want to omit the hot sauce and cayenne pepper while you’re cooking. Adults can add it to their taste later.

Feel free to play around with this recipe. If you don’t have kidney beans in the pantry, fix it with some rinsed black beans or even pintos instead You can use any small bits of leftover chicken, pork, sausage and the likes instead of the smoked sausage the recipe calls for.

Rice Bowl With Kidney Beans and Smoked Sausage
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 2 cans (16 oz ea) red kidney beans, plus 2 cans water
  • 8 oz cooked smoked sausage, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ tsp any Creole seasoning blend
  • ¼ tsp hot sauce
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  1. Get rice cooking according to package directions.
  2. While rice is cooking, put the remaining ingredients in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir together and simmer for about 25 minutes or until rice is done cooking.
  3. Put the cooked rice in the saucepan with the kidney bean sauce, stir, taste and season if needed. Continue to heat over low heat until nice and hot then spoon into large bowls and serve immediately.


A bowl of rice and red beans

Tuna Rice And Veggie Casserole

Unlike most traditional tuna casseroles, this one has rice instead of noodles which I’m liking better these days. The frozen (or leftover) veggies along with the cooked rice stretch one little can of tuna into a nice dinner for 4. It’s a great frugal meal that can easily be modified to make due with what’s in your freezer and pantry. Replace the veggies with a can of corn and a can of green beans (drained), or chop up leftover broccoli to add to the meal. If you don’t have bread crumbs, crumble up a couple of saltine crackers and use them as the topping.

Tuna Rice And Veggie Bake
Serves: 4
  • 1 bag (16 oz) frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • ½ cup diced green pepper
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 2 tsp dried dill
  • 1 can (12 oz) white tuna (canned in water), drained
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup chopped almonds (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly oil a 2 quart baking dish.
  2. Put first 7 ingredients into a large bowl and toss together until blended well.
  3. Add the tuna and toss gently to combine, trying not to break the tuna up too much.
  4. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish.
  5. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, add the bread crumbs and almonds and heat just until combined, then spoon on top of the tuna mixture in baking dish.
  6. Bake (uncovered) in preheated oven at 375 for 30 minutes or until hot and lightly browned on top and around the edges.



Tuna  rice casserole with vegetables

Bacon And Egg Fried Rice

I make fried rice at least once a week for dinner. It’s a quick easy meal and a great way to use up leftover cooked rice. If you feeding more people than you expected, it’s easy to stretch this meal by adding another cup or two of rice, an extra egg and whatever leftover veggies or meats you’re finding in the fridge.

Egg Fried Rice With Bacon
Serves: 4
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 4 eggs, beaten slightly
  • 4 cups COOKED rice
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  1. Fry bacon in skillet until crisp; remove bacon pieces (reserving bacon drippings in skillet) and set bacon pieces aside.
  2. With skillet over medium-low heat, add beaten eggs and cook (lightly scramble); remove and set aside.
  3. Turn heat under skillet up to medium-high, add rice and stir-fry until rice browns slightly, add soy sauce, stir and cook for 1 minute, then add in the onions and frozen peas, cook for 1 minute, then add in the bacon and cooked eggs, stirring and cooking just until everything is hot.
  4. Serve immediately.



Bacon And Egg Fried Rice

Note: You can easily replace any other leftover cooked meat for the bacon. I often use pieces of leftover chicken, ham, pork chop etc. or even just a little bit of cooked sausage or sandwich meat. Of course you can also just as easily leave out the meat and make it a vegetarian dish.

Brown And Wild Rice Fruit Mix – Gifts In A Jar

  • 1/2 cup UNCOOKED long grain brown rice
  • 1 Tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 2 tsp brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp dried crushed thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup UNCOOKED wild rice
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Wash and dry a 1 pint food jar, such as a canning jar, with a good lid. Get out a food-safe plastic storage bag.
Starting with the first ingredient, layer in the jar, with the wild rice being your last ingredient (ending up at the top.)
In the plastic food bag, put the remaining ingredients, shake, and either zip the bag closed or tie it tightly with a piece of butcher twine, or other food-safe string. Trim the top of the bag after tying it closed if necessary to make it look nice.
Carefully place the plastic food bag with the fruit in it on top of the ingredients in the jar, screw on lid tightly.
Cover the top of the lid with pretty fabric if you wish and tie a piece of raffia or yarn or ribbon around for decoration.

Now you’ll want to supply a tag with your gift explaining the preparation steps and the ingredients needed to make the rice dish. Here are the directions to include:

Brown And Wild Rice Fruit Mix - Gift In A Jar
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Gift In A Jar
Serves: 4
  • 1 jar Brown And Wild Rice Fruit Mix
  • 2¼ cups water
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup orange juice
  1. Take the plastic food bag containing dried fruit out of jar and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, put the water, butter, and the dried mix from the jar.
  3. Put on medium-high heat, stir, and bring to a boil.
  4. Cover saucepan with lid, turn heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes or until the rice is almost cooked.
  5. Add the orange juice and the dried fruit from the bag to the rice mixture in saucepan, stir, and continue simmering over low heat (uncovered) for about 15 minutes or until rice is totally cooked.
  6. Fluff with a fork and serve hot.


Perfectly Easy Mexican Rice

To be sure it turns out just right, you must follow these directions verbatim (precisely). Hardest thing is the toasting of the rice, but it’s not too hard. You’ll get better the more you try it.

What you will need:

  • 1 lb. bag white rice
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 Tbsps chicken boullion
  • 1 Tbsp Crisco or equivalent
  • 2 quart saucepan
  • wire whisk

Mix bullion with water till it’s as dissolved; open can of tomato sauce and keep both within arms reach.

Place the pot on stove at “high” heat.
Put Crisco in pan till it melts, coat bottom with grease.

Pour rice in pot and stir with the the whisk.

Keep the rice stirred continuously, do not stop or it will likely burn. Continue mixing rice around, it will lightly coat with the Crisco as you stir it.  After several minutes the rice will turn golden brown. When the rice starts to change color it’s easy to burn it, just keep stirring with the whisk.

Once it gets this color it will be toasted, then pour in the water you pre-prepared, then add the sauce. stir, then turn the burner on low, as low as you can get with a gas range. Put the lid on the pot and leave it to simmer for 25 minutes exactly, do not touch it for 25 minutes.

eat and enjoy perfect Mexican rice.

When you add water it will instantly boil and a huge steam cloud will shoot up, keep your face and hands away from above the pot, or you will likely get burnt.

Homemade Spanish Rice

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp onion (chopped)
  • 1 ½ cups white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup chunky salsa

Get a large frying pan and heat the oil in it first. Next add the onion and
cook until they are fork tender.

Add rice to onions and stir it around
until the rice starts to brown. Pour chicken broth and salsa over the rice.

Cover the pan and let it simmer for about 20 minutes so that is can soak up all of the juices.

*Tip: This always goes well with any
Mexican dish but it also goes well with
grilled chicken, pork or steak!

Fried Rice Blend

The most important thing about this recipe is the rice blend. Because white rice isn’t very nutritious and brown rice can be a little chewy I use the best of both worlds.

Make a rice blend using 2 cups of white rice, 1 cup of brown rice, 1 cup of whole wheat and 1/4 cup of flax seed. Adujest amounts to your personal preference.

Cook the rice blend in a rice cooker set for the white rice time.

In a pan add about a tblspn of cooking oil. Add the rice to pan, stir to lightly coat. Add a bag of thawed frozen veggies like peas and carrots. Season with garilc pwder and salt. In another pan fry 3 to 4 eggs. Chop eggs into bite sized bits add to rice and veggies. Enjoy with soy sauce. :)

Frugal Pork “Fried” Rice

This recipe came from having a bare cupboard. I threw it together and it tastes amazing and makes a lot of food for 7 people.

4 pork chops diced into 1/4″ pieces $1.79
2 cans french -style green beans $.98
3 cups rice (yields about 6 cups)$1.00
3-6 eggs scrambled $.59
Soy sauce to taste $.25

Cook rice as directed while browning pork with a few tablespoons of Soy sauce. Add green beans to pork to heat through. Combine rice, pork, green beans and scrambled eggs, adding more soy sauce to taste as needed. Total cost $4.61 to feed my family of 7!

Almost Rice A Roni

A mom with a lot of mouths to feed and not much money,I created a few trick. My favorite is ALMOST RICE A RONI.

My family loves the stuff. I could buy 1 box but needed more.

1 BOX OF YOUR favorite flavor Rice A Roni
1 additional cup rice or small pasta. Fix according to box instructions adding the additional 2 cups of water for the rice. Also add bullion or the flavoring paste to taste. They will never know!

Homemade Rice-a-roni

3 Tbs. butter or margarine
2 boneless skinless chicken breast
(or any meat that is on sale!)
1 Lg onion, finely chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
2 Garlic clove, crushed
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp. salt
Fresh cilantro or parsley(optional)

Melt butter in a 2 qt. pan over med-high heat. Add onion, carrots and corn. Cook through until onions are soft (about 5 min)Stir in garlic and rice; stirring constantly, continue cooking until rice begins to brown slightly. Add stock ansd salt: cover and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. (about 20 min) Stir in cilantro or parsley if desired.

We eat this at least once a week in one form or another at my house. It is a great recipe because it is so versatile and super cheap to make. If you start with the rice and stock you can change up the veggies or meats and use what ever you have on hand. Get rid of the meat and you have great side dish! Enjoy!

Chicken Supreme

Makes 10 servings

  • 5 pounds chicken nuggets
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf large
  • 2 cups bread fresh crumbs, toasted
  • 2 cups white rice cooked
  • 1 cup celery chopped
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 onion small, chopped
  • 1 4-ounce jar pimiento chopped, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons salt

In a 5-quart Dutch oven over high heat, bring chicken, water, coarsely chopped onion and bay leaf to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken. Strain broth; skim fat from surface and set broth aside. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones; cut into bite-size pieces. You should have about 4 cups of meat. Discard bones and skin.

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, mix chicken, bread crumbs, rice, celery, eggs, remaining chopped onion, pimiento, salt and 3 cups of the reserved chicken broth. Pour into a shallow 3-quart baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until set. Cut into squares. Serve plain or use leftover chicken broth to make your favorite chicken gravy or mushroom sauce.