Poorman's Meal - The Musings of Mo

Poorman’s Meal

A few years ago, I stumbled across this Poorman’s Meal on YouTube. There are a series of videos of a grandmother, Clara, sharing memories and recipes from the Great Depression. This is one of her recipes and is so very simple to make. I have changed the recipe to suit the tastes and needs of my brood (leaving out parmesan cheese/substituting spaghetti sauce for BBQ sauce), but it is worth watching her video just for the education and entertainment value.

Poorman's Meal

Click the picture to watch Clara prepare it!


Start by chopping up 4-6 medium potatoes (yukon gold or russet work well) and put them in a large, cold skillet. Next, quarter a sweet onion, chopping and adding ¼ of it to the pan. (I put the rest of the onion in the fridge to use for other recipes.) Now, pour 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil over the potatoes and onions; giving it a good stir to coat. Start with less, add more if needed.

Turn the heat to medium and stir/turn the mixture every so often so that it will brown, not burn. If it’s taking too long, you can place a lid over the pan to speed up the process. While the potatoes are cooking, slice up 3-4 gluten-free hot dogs (always check the package) and set aside. You can also decide what else you’d like to add to your potato/onion base. Feel free to get creative! You could choose canned corn, peas, carrots…jalapeños, pineapples, sauerkraut…I won’t judge you. Whatever you choose, pull it out and set it aside to add later.

Now that the potatoes have softened and browned, add 2 Tbsp of your favorite gf/df BBQ Sauce. We use Sweet Baby Ray’s Original. Also add the hot dogs and toppings at this time. Give it a stir and heat through (this should only take a few minutes). Congratulations! You now have a hearty meal that will feed a family of 4-6, depending on appetites. Serve with a side salad or all on its own.

The beauty of this recipe is that it can be as cheap or as expensive, as complicated or as simple as you want. Don’t like hot dogs? Throw in some pre-cooked ham or canned chicken. You aren’t allergic to dairy? Top it with your favorite cheese before serving. Someone in your family hates onions, but you like the flavor? Cut the onion in large chunks that you can pull out before adding in the sauce. Easy, easy, easy and yum, yum, yum!



  • Katharine LaNelle Wilson


  • Katharine LaNelle Wilson

    I tried this recipe last night but with some adaptations based on what we had available and our own preferences. I used the chopped potatoes and onion but I added in some minced garlic. Instead of hotdogs I used chopped ham. I used BBQ sauce. Then I placed shredded cheese over top each serving. It was delicious! I will definitely be making this again and again!

    • Mo

      I love that you took this and made it your own! Great job.