Sunday, August 31, 2008

7-Layer Casserole

Casseroles evoke memories of my mom. She was a purveyor of Pyrex, a connoiseur of Corningware. She loved anything that required only one dish to cook and serve in, mostly because she hated doing dishes. This recipe from Jen's Genuine Life would have tickled her pink.

I'm not sure if it's my oven, but the first time I tried this it definitely needed more moisture. I now add 1/4 cup of water with the carrots and potatoes, and I use either pre-cooked rice or instant rice. If you want something with more "sauce" to it, use 2 cans of tomato soup, adding the first one between the carrots and rice. See what works for you!

7-Layer Casserole

note: amount of ingredients depends on size of casserole dish
note: ground beef may be substituted for ground turkey below.


Potaotes, sliced
Carrots, peeled and sliced
Frozen corn
3 tablespoons of rice
Onion, sliced
Ground turkey breast (season with salt and pepper to taste)
1 can condensed tomato soup


In a large casserole dish, layer the above ingredients
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until turkey is thoroughly cooked and fork easily goes through to the bottom of the casserole.

Appx cost (I calcualted based on 4-5 servings)

Potatoes $1.20
Carrots $0.59
Corn $0.65
Onion $0.31
Ground Turkey $2.38
Tomato soup $0.75

Grand Total: $5.88, or $1.17 per serving

Homesteader Cornbread - from

I love hot cornbread and corn muffins, but I hate buying the Jiffy mix. to the rescue! This recipe makes a big batch, and is easy to adapt into muffins, loaves or pans!

Homesteader Cornbread - courtesy of
Makes 15 servings

1 1/2 cups cornmeal
2 1/2 cups milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a small bowl, combine cornmeal and milk; let stand for 5 minutes. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix in the cornmeal mixture, eggs and oil until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean.

Appx cost:
Cornmeal $0.30
Milk $0.50
Flour $0.18
Sugar $0.09
Eggs $0.28
Oil $0.18
Salt, baking powder - negligible

Grand Total: $1.52 (that's $0.10 per serving!)

Bee Rocks, Pizza Dough

This recipe is courtesy of the ladies at Happy to Be At Home - It's basically a Shepherd's Pie hot pocket, and what's not to love about that?? :) I make my own pizza dough anyway, and I found a new version at Tammy's Recipes which I also posted below. This will work well with any ground meat too - so use whatever's handy! I found that the meat mixture was enough to fill 12 pockets, so I made a double batch of pizza dough :)

Bee Rocks
1 Batch pizza dough (2 batches for me!)
1.5 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups shredded cabbage
Salt, pepper, garlic to taste
3 cups runny mashed potatoes (I use instant)

Brown ground beef, when the beef is almost down browning add onions, cabbage, salt, pepper and garlic. While you are cooking the beef make your mashed potatoes. Add a little extra milk so the potatoes are not as thick as normal.

Add potatoes and corn to the mixture and stir in while the stove top is on low.

Remove from heat.Take your dough (I use a basic pizza dough recipe) and roll out into circles the size of a small tortilla.Add a scoop of your beef mixture.Roll up like a burrito and tuck the ends under.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the outside of the dough is golden.
These freeze wonderfully and can be wrapped individually for a quick lunch.

Appx cost:
Pizza dough: $0.64
Ground beef/turkey $3.00
Onion: $0.43
Frozen corn $0.25
Cabbage $0.25
Instant potatoes $0.42

Grand Total: $4.99 (12 servings, or $0.41 per serving! WOW!)

Anne Jisca's Easy Pizza Dough
1 tablespoon yeast
1 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
Pizza toppings of your choice

1. Dissolve yeast in water and oil. Stir in sugar, salt, and flour.

2. Mix until a ball forms. Allow to rise for 5 minutes. Roll flat and place on a greased pizza/cookie sheet. Sprinkle with desired toppings. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Appx cost (dough only):
Yeast $0.05
Oil $0.05
Flour $0.22
Sugar, salt - negligible

Grand Total: $0.32

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sausage and Summer Squash

Sausage and Summer Squash

Another one found on I only buy kielbasa when it's BOGO so this ends up being a really cheap dinner. I use the Naan flatbread and just brush it with the dressing and some italian herbs to give it flavor, I know they carry that at Price Rite and it's cheaper than Boboli.

1/3 to 1/2 cup bottled Italian salad dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz. cooked Polish sausage links, halved lengthwise, sliced diagonally
3 small yellow summer squash and/or zucchini, quartered lengthwise
4 wedges Italian flat bread, split (Naan or homemade flatbread)
1/4 cup sliced green onions Fresh oregano leaves (dried oregano is what I have on hand)
1/4 cup coarsely shredded
Parmesan cheese (optional) (regular grated Parmesan from the can)

1. Preheat broiler. In small bowl combine dressing and garlic. In extra-large skillet cook sausage and squash in 2 tablespoons of the dressing mixture for 8 to 10 minutes or until sausage is heated through and squash is almost tender, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, place bread on broiler pan; brush with 1 tablespoon of the dressing mixture. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until lightly toasted.
3. Serve sausage and squash with toasted bread. Drizzle remaining dressing; sprinkle green onions and oregano. Pass Parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

Appx cost:
Dressing: $0.75
Kielbasa: $1.50
Zucchini: $1.50
Naan $1.50
Green onions: $0.15

Grand total: $5.40 or $1.35 per serving

Zucchini Cakes with Mushroom Ragout

The original recipe for Zucchini Cakes with Mushroom Ragout was on - I'm not a big fan of roasted red peppers so I substitute tomato sauce thickened with tomato paste - it gives it a sweeter taste but still blends well with the kick in the cakes. I also use the larger muffin tins and serve 2 muffins per serving.

This is the original recipe (with notes on my changes - scroll below for substituting Homesteader Cornbread for the muffin mix (including milk and egg)

Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 of a medium zucchini, shredded (1 cup)
1 8-1/2 oz. pkg. corn muffin mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
12 oz. assorted mushrooms, quartered (4-1/2 cups)
1 cup drained bottled roasted red sweet peppers (1/2 cup pasta sauce plus 1 sm can tomato paste)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with cooking spray; set aside.
2. In mixing bowl combine zucchini, muffin mix, cheese, milk, egg, and cayenne pepper; spoon evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 11 to 14 minutes or until golden.
3. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Place roasted peppers in blender. Cover; blend until nearly smooth. (Instead of blending roasted peppers, cook mushrooms in sauce and tomato paste)
4. Arrange 3 cakes on each plate with some of the mushrooms and pepper sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Appx cost:
Zucchini: $0.50
Muffin Mix: $0.99
Cheese: $0.87
Milk: $0.05
Egg: $0.13
Mushrooms $3.00
Pasta sauce $0.25
Tomato paste $0.50

Grand Total: $6.29 or $1.57 per serving

***To make using the Homesteader Cornbread recipe:
Make Homesteader Cornbread according to recipe, adding 2 cups zucchini, 1.5 cups cheddar cheese, and cayenne pepper, and omit 1 egg. Bake for 20 minutes in 1-cup muffin tins. Makes 10-12 muffins - Total cost becomes $6.95, or $1.73 per serving!

Friday, August 29, 2008

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

I adapted this recipe from this quesadilla recipe at based on what I had on hand and the Lloyd's BBQ chicken I had picked up last week. I used 6 inch tortillas instead of the 10 inch, and I sandwiched the filling between 2 tortillas instead of folding. They didn't come out as crisp as I was hoping in the broiler, so next time I think I will try pan-frying them instead. One tub of Lloyds and all other ingredients yielded enough for 5 quesadillas plus enough meat mix to do BBQ nachos the next night :)

1 container Lloyds BBQ chicken
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced into strips
2 med tomatoes, diced
6 ten inch tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large skillet, heat the onions and tomatoes in the vegetable oil (stirring constantly) until onions are translucent. Add BBQ chicken, cook until heated through.
Place the tortillas between two damp paper towels and microwave on high for 1 minute.
Fill half of 1 tortilla with the chicken mixture and cheese, then fold the tortilla over the full half. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
Arrange the quesadillas on a cookie sheet.Bake the quesadillas in the preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until the cheese has melted.
Cut the quesadillas into fours.
Serve with sour cream.

Appx cost:
BBQ chicken: $2.00
Onion: $0.20
Tomatoes: $0.55
Tortillas: $0.75
Cheese: $0.95
Sour cream: $0.50

Grand Total: $4.95