Sunday, October 26, 2008

Caraway Pork Chops

This is what happens when I buy a new spice - I go hunting for fun ways to use it! This is another Recipezaar offering, and it gave me an excuse to use more of the caraway seeds I just bought. I cut down the quantities of apples and onions after reading some of the comments on the recipe, and made this a 4-serving dish to fit the size of our family. But it's easy enough to shrink or expand the recipe to meet your own needs!

Caraway Pork Chops

1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 apples, peeled and sliced
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp caraway seeds
4 pork chops
Salt and pepper
Dijon mustard


1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
2. Layer onions and apples in the bottom of a shallow baking dish.
3. Drizzle honey on top and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon caraway seeds.
4. Prepare chops by sprinkling them with garlic salt and pepper and spreading mustard on them.
5. Place chops on apples and sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon caraway seeds.
6. Cover and bake 1 hour.

Total Cost:
Onion - $0.20
Apples - $0.30
Pork Chops - $3.60
Honey, seasoning, garlic - appx $0.30

Grand Total - $4.40, or $1.10 per serving

Cabbage Roll Casserole

When I first came across this recipe on Recipezaar I was hesitant. I didn't want to make a glorified sauerkraut! But after reading it through, it's much less cabbage roll and much more hearty stew...and what a nice deviation from the usual Italian sausage and peppers! Don't let the long ingredient list scare you - because this is a crockpot recipe, it's very easy! I use homemade chicken stock and just a pound of sausage to help lower the overall cost. I also used canned diced tomatoes to save time. This is great served in a bread bowl!

Cabbage Roll Casserole

serves 6
1-1 1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage
2 large potatoes, peeled
2 onions, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
10 ounces chicken stock
1 large can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Tbsp dried dill, or 2 Tbsps fresh dill
1/2 tsp caraway seed
1/2 tsp celery seed
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 cups cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/4 cup fresh parsley coarsely chopped, or 2 Tbsp dried parsley
1-2 Tbsp minced garlic

  1. Discard the casings from sausage; cut into bite-size pieces.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the sausage over med-high heat; drain off any fat, and transfer sausage to crock pot.
  3. Meanwhile, peel potatoes, grate one potato, and dice the other potato.
  4. Add the potatoes to the crock pot, along with onions, garlic, carrots, chicken stock, tomatoes, dill, caraway seed, celery seeds, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  5. Cover crock pot and cook on LOW heat for 7-1/2 hours.
  6. After the 7 hours of cooking, add in the cabbage, parsley and butter, pushing the cabbage down into the liquid; cook for another 30-60 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.
Total Cost:

Sausage - $1.99
Potatoes - $0.30
Onions - $0.43
Carrots - $0.40
Chicken stock - FREE!
Cabbage - $0.45
Butter - $0.55
Spices and seasonings - appx $0.15

Grand Total: $4.28, or $0.71 per serving!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chipotle Ranch Chicken Fingers

I scored some fancy salad dressing but since we don't do a lot of salad at home, I wanted to try something else - this recipe is a nice deviation from plain old breaded chicken, I like to do it as chicken fingers but you could just as easily marinate other (and larger) cuts of chicken.

Chipotle Ranch Chicken Fingers

Appx 4-6 servings
1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken, cut into tenders
3/4 cup ranch dressing (I used a Chipotle ranch, but any Ranch variety will do)
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

In a large ziploc bag, combine chicken tenders and ranch dressing. Marinate overnight.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper in a shallow dish.
Remove chicken fingers from ziploc bag, making sure they are coated in dressing. Roll in breadcrumb mixture and place in a single layer on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and coating is crispy.

**for drumsticks, bake at 375 for appx 45-50 minutes. for boneless breasts, bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Total Cost
Chicken - $2.99
Ranch dressing - $1.00
Bread crumbs - $0.30
Parmesan Cheese - $0.50
Seasonings - negligible

Grand total - $4.79, or $0.80 per serving

Crockpot Vegetable Curry

This recipe comes from another Menu Plan Monday participant, A Juggling Mum - I've been wanting to try a good curry recipe and this fits perfectly with my plan to include at least 1 vegetarian meal in each week's menu. The title has the original link to her recipe, but the version below includes conversion to American measurement, and a few small changes to things I have on hand regularly.

Crockpot Vegetable Curry

Makes appx 8-10 servings
4 medium potatoes - cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 large onion - chopped
1 red pepper - chopped (if you like spicy, use a chili pepper or other spicy variety)
2 carrots - cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 tomatoes - chopped
2 cups frozen peas
1 6oz can tomato paste
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 cloves garlic - minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium cauliflower - cut in 1″ florets

In crockpot, toss together potatoes, onion, pepper, carrots, frozen vege and tomatoes.
In a large measuring cup, combine tomato paste, water and spices.
Pour over vegetables in crockpot and stir to coat.
Place cauliflower florets on top, cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or until potatoes are tender but still hold their shape.

Serve over Coconut rice (make regular rice, but replace half of the water with coconut milk in the pot)

Total Cost:
Potatoes - appx $0.75
Onion - $0.30
Pepper - $0.50
Carrots - $0.50
Tomatoes - $0.80
Frozen Peas - $0.45
Tomato Paste - $0.60
Cauliflower - 0.95
Rice - $0.46
Coconut milk - $1.00

Grand Total: 7.06, or $o.71 per serving

Leftover Links:
Curried Veggie Flatbread Pizza

Oven Baked Country Ribs

I found this recipe at Heritage Schoolhouse while looking for something to do with the country-style ribs that I find on sale quite often. It's a BBQ-style sauce, but leaves my crockpot open to make some yummy side dishes!

Oven Baked Country Ribs

Appx 4 servings
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 - 2 pounds pork ribs

Combine ketchup, water, brown sugar, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper. Heat a large lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat. Add ribs and sear until browned. Place ribs in a single layer in a baking pan or casserole dish. Pour half of the sauce over the ribs, reserve remainder. Bake ribs at 350° for 2-3 hours. Turn and baste meat every 30 minutes with remaining sauce.

Total Cost
Ketchup - appx $0.45
Brown sugar - $0.10
Vinegar - $0.05
Pork Ribs - $2.60
Other seasonings - $0.05 total

Grand Total - $3.25, or $0.82 per serving!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Applesauce Bread

This recipe is courtesy of HeavenlyHomeMakers - I adore this recipe because it's a nice break from my usual muffins, it's healthy, and I ALWAYS have applesauce on hand :) I like to do this recipe as mini-loaves, but it's tasty in ANY shape!

Applesauce Bread

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup rapadura or 1/2 cup honey
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. sea salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
3/4 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted

Mix dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add applesauce, eggs and butter. Stir well. Pour into a buttered bread pan or stone. Bake for 45-55 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Total Cost;
Wheat flour - $0.60
Honey - $0.75
Applesauce - $0.24
Eggs - $0.28
Butter - $0.27
Spices, baking powder, baking soda, salt - negotiable

Grand Total - $2.14

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Turkey Meatball Subs

I tend to keep a lot of ground turkey in the house, but this recipe can be made with any ground meat of choice. I wrote this recipe to make them and serve the same day, but if you brown the meatballs ahead of time you can freeze them, when you're ready to serve just toss them in the crockpot with some red sauce and cook for about 4 hours on high!

Turkey Meatball Subs

1 pound (or slightly more) ground turkey
1 egg
1-2 stalks celery, chopped fine
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Seasonings to taste (I use Mrs Dash or Italian Seasoning with some garlic powder)
1 jar pasta sauce

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, mix very well (I use my hands!). Shape into 1 inch meatballs and place in a lightly greased crockpot. Cook on low for 4 hours. Add 1 jar pasta sauce, cook an additional 2 hours.

*To freeze, remove from crockpot before adding the sauce - allow to cool, then store in gallon freezer bags. To reheat, thaw and then cook in the crockpot for 2 hrs on low with the pasta sauce.

Total Cost for Meatballs - about 4 sandwiches
Ground Turkey - $1.50
Egg - $0.14
Celery - $0.08
Onion - $0.20
Bread crumbs - $0.15
Pasta Sauce - $1.00

Grand Total - $3.11

For Meatball Subs:

I use this dough recipe and instead of making small rolls I make about 6 hoagie-sized rolls. But you can use whatever you have on hand!

Portion out meatballs on your rolls. Top with Mozzarella cheese. Broil under low heat broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese melts and the edges of the bread start to brown. Enjoy!

Total Cost for Meatball Subs:
Meatballs - $3.11
Hoagie rolls - $0.59
Cheese - appx $1.50

Grand, Grand total - $5.20, or $1.30 per serving

Alaina's Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

This is an original recipe from Alaina's Favorite Recipes - I love how simple it is and I am ALWAYS looking for good soups to add to the repertoire...they store well and serve a crowd!

Alaina's Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 Tbsp + 3 Tbsp butter, divided
1 Med onion, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock (I use homemade so that it's free!)
8-9 cups broccoli, chopped, including some stems
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (use any cheese you like)
salt and pepper to taste


Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a saute pan. Add onion, celery and garlic, saute together until starting to tenderize.
Add chicken stock and broccoli, bring to a boil. Boil until broccoli is tender, about 10-15 minutes. The puree all (or part) in a blender or with an immersion blender.
In a separate saucepan, combine 3 Tbsp butter and flour, cook for 1-2 minutes then slowly add milk. Whisk together and add cheese. Cook until thickened and cheese is melted.
Add broccoli mixture to the pot, season to taste

Total cost - appx 10-12 servings

Butter - $0.35
Onion - $0.20
Celery - $0.15
Chicken stock - FREE!
Broccoli - $3.20
Milk - $0.40
Cheese - $2.00
flour, garlic, seasonings - negligible

Grand Total = $6.30, or $0.53 per serving!!!

Crockpot Thai Chicken Thighs

Another great recipe from Recipezaar - I love anything in the crockpot, and the salsa in the sauce give this a really nice tang - I use regular salsa since I'm not a huge fan of cilantro, and if I don't have lime juice on hand, any citrus fruit will work (we usually have oranges so that's what I use)

Crockpot Thai Chicken Thighs

  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar cilantro salsa (or any salsa you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  1. Put all ingredients in crock pot on low for 6-8 hours. (does it GET any easier??)
  2. Garnish with cilantro, scallions, and peanuts. (optional)
  3. Serve over rice

Total Cost (4 servings):
Chicken Thighs - Appx $4.00
Salsa - $0.80 (store brand, nothing fancy!)
Peanut Butter - $1.60
Ginger, soy sauce, lime - negligible
Rice - $0.30

Grand Total - $6.70, or $1.68 per serving!

Baked Squash and Apple Casserole

Food just seems to get heartier come fall. While I crave the light sweetness of watermelon in the summer, fall stirs up richer tastes of squash, hot apple cider, warm loaves of bread....if summer food is a pair of flip flops, fall food is a pair of fuzzy slippers by the fireplace! This recipe from Recipezaar has the best fruits of fall and is incredibly easy to make!

Baked Squash and Apple Casserole


  • 1 small butternut squash (2 lbs. or less)
  • 2 medium apples, or 4 small apples (cored, peeled, and sliced)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pare, seed, and cut squash into small slices.
Place squash and apple slices in oblong baking dish (7x11-inch).
Blend rest of ingredients with fork, fingers, or pastry cutte
r until crumbly; distribute over squash and apple.
Cover and bake for 45-50 minutes.

Total Cost (6-8 servings)

Squash - appx $1.80
Apples - appx $1.20
Brown Sugar - $0.05
Flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg - negotiable

Grand Total: $3.05, or $0.38 per serving!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sausage Oven Omelette

I put this recipe together while trying to come up for something to do with some Cheddarwurst sausage that I had bought on sale - it's a great breakfast-for-dinner or brunch dish and you can use just about any type of sausage you have on hand. Try it with breakfast sausage, regular kielbasa, or sweet italian sausage!

Sausage Oven Omelette

1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb sausage, cut into bite sized pieces
8 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 cup grated cheese (any type)
1 small chopped onion
1/2 bag frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
salt and pepper (to taste)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9x9 pan or casserole dish
Heat oil in skillet, brown sausage until almost cooked through.
While sausage is browning, whisk together eggs and milk until blended well. Add cayenne pepper if desired.
Add onion and broccoli to skillet, cover and cook for appx 3 minutes, remove from heat.
Stir sausage and vegetables, and 1/2 cup of cheese into egg mixture. Salt and pepper to taste
Pour into prepared casserole or dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until eggs have set and top is lightly browned.

Total Cost:
Cheddarwurst sausage - $2.00
Eggs - $1.12
Cheddar cheese - $0.95
Milk - $0.06
Broccoli - $0.50
Onion - $0.20
seasonings - negotiable

Grand Total: - $4.83 for 6 servings - $0.81 per serving!