Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Crockpot Hot & Spicy Sloppy Joes

I have fond memories of sloppy joes as a kid - they're the perfect kid food, messy and full of ketchup! This recipe came from Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes (Better Homes & Gardens Cooking) and is a slightly more mature take on the traditional Joe :) So that it's not too spicy for the kids, I used cayenne pepper instead of the Scotch Belle chile pepper - cooking in the crockpot tends to mellow powdered spices and this kept it edible for the younger palates.

Hot & Spicy Sloppy Joes

2 lbs ground beef (or turkey)
4 medium onions, cut into strips
3 large-ish green peppers, cut into strips
2 medium sweet red peppers, cut into strips
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or 1 Scotch bonnet chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

-In a large skillet, cook ground meat and onions until the meat is browned and onions are tender. Drain off fat.
-In a 5-6 quart crockpot, combine ground meat and onions and all other ingredients. Stir to blend.
-Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours, or on high heat for 4-5 hours. Serve in rolls or on buns.

Total cost
Ground beef - $3.60
Onions - $1.20
Green peppers - $1.35
Red peppers - $1.86
Ketchup - $0.40
Cider vinegar - $0.05
Seasonings - $0.20

Grand Total: $8.66 for 12-14 sandwiches!

Leftover links:
Use as an add-in for Stovetop Mac & Cheese

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sweet Potato Apple Muffins

Another great recipe that grew out of my need to get rid of some mashed sweet potato leftovers from Thanksgiving - these muffins bake up nice and soft, and anytime I can get both a fruit AND a veggie into my kiddo is a good time :)

Sweet potato Apple Muffins

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 small apples, peeled and diced
1 cup leftover mashed sweet potato
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

-Preheat oven to 400 Degrees
-In a medium bowl, whisk oatmeal, flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
-In another small bowl, combine sweet potato, brown sugar, oil, egg, milk and vanilla, whisking to blend well. Pour over dry ingredients and stir to combine.
-Add apple dices, stir to combine.
-Scoop into muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Total Cost:
Oats: $0.12
Flour: $0.09
Apples: $0.40
Sweet potato: Free! (leftovers)
Brown Sugar: $0.15
Oil: $0.20
Milk: $0.04
Egg: $0.12
Vanilla: $0.04
Other ingredients: appx $0.15

Grand Total: $1.31 for 12 small muffins or 6 large muffins!

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Curried Veggie Flatbread Pizza

I found the suggestion for this at Project Foodie while looking for creative ways to use up the large amount of leftover Crockpot Vegetable Curry we were contending with! The end result was a funky, fast dish that everyone loved!

Curried Veggie Flatbread Pizza

4 Naan flatbreads
2 cups leftover Crockpot Vegetable Curry
8 oz feta cheese


-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Line two baking sheets with foil. Place the 4 flatbreads on the baking sheets, top each with 1/2 cup of the vegetable curry and 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled.
-Bake for 7-10 minutes at 400 degrees, or until the cheese is browned and the edges of the bread are crisped.

Total Cost:
Naan (2 packages) - $3.00
Vegetable Curry - free!
Feta Cheese - $3.99

Grand Total: $6.99 for 4 servings

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Honey Ginger Pork Chops

I found this on, while searching for simple recipes that wouldn't require anything that wasn't already in my pantry. This recipe will serve well as either an overnight marinade, or as an OAMC dish!

Honey Ginger Pork Chops

4 pork chops
1 tsp ginger
2 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp butter, melted

-Prick pork chops with a fork and rub the ginger and garlic on both sides of each chop.
-Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then add the soy sauce and honey and cook for 1-2 minutes on low or until blended.
-Pour over chops and marinate in the fridge overnight.

(**if making for OAMC, allow the marinade to cool, then place chops in a gallon freezer bag and pour marinade over them. Seal and keep frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw completely and cook as directed below)

-When ready to cook, remove chops and discard marinade. Grill 8-10 minutes per side, turning several times.

(These can also be baked in a shallow baking dish at 375 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chops)

Total Cost
Pork Chops: $4.00
Honey - $0.55
Butter - $0.14
Seasonings - $0.15

Grand Total: $4.84 for 4 servings

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Butternut Mac

This recipe showed up in my November '09 issue of Parents Magazine, and I just happened to have some mini-pasta and squash on hand to give it a try! The result - creamy, cheesy mac with a little fall flair! The original recipe was for 6 small servings baked in ramekins - I doubled everything and made a 9X13 pan. The recipe below reflects my adjustments.

The recipe calls for white cheddar cheese, but you can use any hard or semi-soft cheese - try a fontina, farmer cheese, or cheddar jack to mix up the flavor!

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

1 butternut squash (about 2-3 pounds), peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 lb box elbow pasta (or other small pasta)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
3 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-Toss squash with oil and salt on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender, set aside.
-Cook pasta for 2 minutes less than recommended time. While pasta is cooking, melt butter on low heat in a medium saucepan. Whisk in flour, cook for about 2 minutes.
-Slowly whisk in milk. (add about a half cup at a time to avoid scalding the milk) Increase to medium heat and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer. Cook for 3 minutes, whisking occasionally.
-Add 3 cups of cheese, whisk until melted.
-Combine drained pasta and baked squash in a 9X13 baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and squash, fold to combine and spread evenly (I used a slotted spoon)
-Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top of the pasta. Bake 10 minutes.

Total Cost:
Squash - $1.80
Pasta - $0.75
Olive Oil - $0.12
Butter - $0.20
Flour - $0.02
Milk - $0.42
Cheese - $1.75

Grand Total: $5.06 for 8 servings!

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Chicken Bombay

This recipe comes from the OAMC annals of - it has a great flavor and the sauce caramelizes nicely in the oven! You can bake a batch and then freeze it to reheat later but I made just the sauce, let it cool, then put into gallon freezer bags with the raw chicken and froze it that way - it works great with either method!

Chicken Bombay

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3 lbs chicken (I use boneless chicken breast cut into big pieces, but you can use any chicken parts!)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Combine all ingredients except the chicken in a sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until smooth and slightly warmed.

***(if you want to freeze at this stage, let the sauce cool, place chicken in a gallon freezer bag and then pour in the sauce. Seal the bag and freeze up to 2 months. To serve, thaw and then bake in a greased baking dish at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, turning chicken about halfway through and basting with the sauce)

Roll each piece of chicken in the sauce, and place in a greased 9X13 baking dish. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Spread remaining sauce over chicken and bake an additional half hour or until chicken is done.

***Freeze baked chicken for up to 4 months. To serve, thaw and bake at 375 for half an hour or until heated through.

Total cost
Chicken - $6.00
Butter - $0.27
Mustard - $0.15
Honey - $0.88
Seasonings - appx $0.25

GRAND TOTAL: $7.55 for 6 servings

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Pizza Roll Ups

I was introduced to this recipe courtesy of Once A Month Mom and I was immediately hooked! We are BIG pizza eaters in this house, and these make great meals or snacks - AND they freeze wonderfully! We use pepperoni, the original calls for ground meat, but you can really use any pizza topping for your filler! The original recipe is linked below and can be found on

Pizza Roll Ups

1 batch pizza crust
5-6 oz Pepperoni slices (appx 2/3 of an 8-oz bag)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare pizza dough as directed, but allow to rise 45 minutes to an hour. Punch down dough, transfer to a floured surface, and roll out until it is appx 14 X 24 inches.

Lay pepperoni slices in a single layer, covering the entire surface

Cover with mozzarella cheese, sprinkle with seasonings.

Beginning at one long end, SLOWLY roll into a jelly roll. Slice into 1-inch slices, place them on a greased cookie sheet as you go. Let them sit for about 10 minutes (this allows the dough to rise a little more and tightens up the rolls)

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until browned. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping!

**To freeze - I individually wrap each roll in a little plastic wrap, then store in gallon freezer bags. To reheat, place frozen in the microwave and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Total Cost
Pizza dough - $0.94
Pepperoni - $2.00
Cheese - $1.50
Seasoning - appx $0.05

GRAND TOTAL: $4.49 for 8-10 servings!

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Stuffed Zucchini

This one comes straight from my recipe hero, Erin at $5 Dinners. She offered this up in a guest post at Debt Proof Living, and I had to add it to my recipe stash! Zucchini are inexpensive and healthy veggies, and this is a great way to make them the center of attention instead of just a side dish!

Stuffed Zucchini

4 medium zucchinis, about 2 pounds
1 pound ground beef
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut off stem and bottom of each zucchini. Slice zucchinis in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and middle flesh, leaving about 1/8 inch of flesh in the zucchini.

In skillet, brown the ground beef with chopped onion and crushed garlic. Drain and return to skillet. Add diced tomatoes, salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Scoop meat mixture into the zucchini shells. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and place into a lightly greased glass baking dish. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Total Cost
Zucchini - $1.98
Ground beef - $1.99
Onion - $0.15
Diced Tomatoes - $0.89
Cheese - $0.75
Garlic - $0.05

GRAND TOTAL: $5.81 for 4 servings

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Black Beans and Rice

I can't even remember where I first saw this recipe, it was in my old roommate's cookbook collection and I copied it down without noting the source. I believe it was originally referred to as "Moors and Christians" rice. At any rate, it's a great and super-easy use for the black beans my hubby has become so fond of! I have been known to toss in some mexican shredded cheese, mostly because we are cheeseheads :)

Black Beans & Rice

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 med onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp thyme
1 can black beans (or 1 1/2 cups cooked dried beans)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups water (can also substitute chicken or vegetable stock if you like)
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp white pepper


- Saute the onion and pepper in the olive oil with garlic, cumin and thyme just until the onions are translucent.
- Stir in beans, rice, tomatoes, water, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.

Total Cost:
Olive Oil - $0.08
Onion - $0.30
Pepper - $0.30
Garlic - $0.03
Black Beans - $0.25 (from dried)
Diced Tomatoes - $0.85
Rice - $0.20
Seasonings - appx $0.15

Grand Total: $2.16 for 4 servings!

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Basic Pancake Mix

I found this on and I will never buy another boxed mix again. I had to make a few small adjustments to the original recipe, since we like our pancakes a little thicker, but you can easily adjust the milk or flour amounts to your liking. I find it lends itself VERY easily to add-ins as well!

The original author also mentioned that you can pre-mix the dry ingredients and either store or give away as jarred mix gifts...another great and frugal gift idea :)

Basic Pancake Mix


1 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar (white or brown)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk (increase to 1 1/4-1 1/2 cups if you like thinner pancakes)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp vegetable oil


In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.

Make a well in the center, and add the milk. Stir with a whisk until well blended and slightly thicker than your desired consistency.

Add eggs, vanilla, oil and any add-ins you like. Stir to combine well - you can add extra milk or flour at this point if you want to change the consistency at all.

Pour in 1/4 cup measures onto a hot griddle or pan. Cook until bubbly across the surface. Turn over and cook for an additional 45 seconds-1 minute. DO NOT TURN THEM AGAIN! (this makes pancakes rubbery!)

Total Cost:
Flour: $0.14
Sugar: $0.02
Baking Powder: $0.04
Salt: less than a penny
Milk: $0.12
Eggs: $0.24
Vanilla: $0.02
Oil: $0.06

Grand Total: $0.64 for about 8-10 large pancakes!

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Italian Sausage Hawaiian

I love sweet italian sausages, but I get tired of using them in the same old pasta based dishes. I found this recipe on, and it instantly appealed - I love the mix of sweet and savory flavors! And since I often find canned pineapple on sale, this will be easy to mix up from the pantry.

Italian Sausage Hawaiian

1 lb fresh sweet Italian sausage link
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks
1 green pepper, julienned
1 onion, julienned
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 lb very thin spaghetti, or 1 cup rice

- Remove sausage from casing, break into small pieces and saute until meat is done.
- Saute peppers and onions.
- Add tomatoes, can of pineapple to peppers, onions and meat.
- Cook for 15 minutes.
- Mix cornstarch with a little cold water and add to mixture.
- Meanwhile cook spaghetti or rice until done.
- Serve meat sauce over spaghetti or rice.

Total Cost:
Sausage - $2.00
Pineapple - $1.00
Pepper - $0.40
Onion - $0.30
Diced Tomatoes - $0.80
Rice - $0.40

Grand Total - $4.90 for 4 servings!

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cheesy Kielbasa Bake

I came across this recipe on Stumbling Along Faithfully, it originally comes from and is a FANTASTIC recipe for OAMC cooking! I regularly pick up Kielbasa at BOGO sales and I'm always looking for new ways to serve it. This is a nice, hearty dish that can be frozen in two 9X13 or four 8X8 pans depending on how many mouths you need to feed at a sitting.

Cheesy Kielbasa Bake

1 box uncooked elbow macaroni
2 pounds kielbasa (Polish) sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onion, chopped
2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
2 medium carrots, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 green onions, chopped (optional)

- Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, brown the sausage in oil over medium heat. Add the onions, zucchini, carrots and garlic; cook and stir for 5-6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
- In each of two greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dishes, layer a fourth of the macaroni and meat sauce. Combine the egg and ricotta cheese; spoon a fourth over sauce. Sprinkle with a fourth of the cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Repeat the layers once more.
(I actually combined the macaroni and meat sauce together in a big bowl, and squished things down as I layered them)
- Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Serve one casserole. Cool second casserole; cover and freeze for up to 2 months. To bake after freezing, thaw overnight in the fridge, then bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Total Cost:
Macaroni - $1.00
Kielbasa - $4.20
Olive Oil - $0.30
Onions - $0.50
Zucchini - $1.00
Carrots - $0.30
Spaghetti Sauce - $1.00
Garlic - $0.15
Tomatoes - $0.80
Egg - $0.14
Ricotta cheese - $1.35
Cheddar cheese - $1.50
Mozzarella cheese - $1.50

Grand Total - $13.74 for 12-16 servings, $6.87 per 9X13 pan!

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Pizza Braid

I came across this recipe thanks to Laura over at I'm an Organizing Junkie, awesome host of Menu Plan Monday! She gave this recipe a try and since we make pizza just about every week I was prompted to add it to my arsenal too.

The original recipe comes from Amy at The Finer Things in Life, and like many great recipes the filling can be adjusted to your own family's preferences! I love one of her reader's suggestions to make a Tex-Mex style braid and have included my ingredients list for that option as well. Don't be afraid to experiment! My adjustments are below, the original can be found at the title link.

Pizza Braid


Filling (pizza option):
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 chopped onion
1/2 chopped green bell pepper
1 small can mushrooms
8 oz. tomato sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Filling (Taco-style option):
1/2 lb ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can drained diced tomatoes, or 1 cup salsa
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 chopped green pepper
1/2 chopped red or yellow pepper
Can diced chiles (optional)
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Pizza dough (or use your favorite recipe!)


{repare dough according to recipe. Place in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. While dough is rising, brown ground beef in skillet; add veggies and other meats, then add seasonings and tomato sauce. Mix well. Set aside. Punch down risen dough. Roll dough into a rectangle on a greased cookie sheet. Spoon meat filling down the center of the dough. Top with cheese.

Cut 8 even slits from the filling out to the edge of the dough. (I use my pizza cutter to do this. Hint: for even strips, slice your middle strip first. Then slice the middle of the halves, then the middle of the quarters.)

Start at one end and criss cross the dough strips. Tuck the last strip under. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Total cost, Pizza option:
Pizza Dough - $0.94
Beef - $1.00
Onion - $0.15
Pepper - $0.30
Mushrooms: $0.40
Sauce: $0.25
Cheese - $1.50
Seasonings - $0.10

Total Cost, Mexican option:
Pizza Dough - $0.94
Beef - $1.00
Taco Seasoning - $0.25
Diced Tomatoes - $0.75
Corn - $0.25
Peppers - $0.60
Cheese - $1.50

Grand Total: Pizza, $4.64 Mexican: $5.29 for 6-8 servings!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crockpot Beef Stew

Beef stew is one of those great, versatile recipes that you can make almost completely on the fly - as long as you have beef, broth and veggies on hand you can make it with whatever's already in the pantry! I like the subtle flavor that coffee adds to the broth but feel free to experiment with whatever tempts your tastebuds!

This stew tends to have a slightly thinner broth to it - if you prefer something a little thicker just add some cornstarch dissolved in water at the end of the cooking process!


2-3 lbs cubed beef
1/4 cup flour
1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 Tbsp ground pepper
1-2 cloves chopped garlic
1 Tbsp paprika
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
3-4 good sized carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 to 1 cup chopped onion
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup brewed coffee (old coffee if possible)
1.5 cups beef broth

- Combine flour, salt and pepper with beef in a bowl, coat beef thoroughly and transfer everything to the crockpot.
- Add all remaining ingredients to the crockpot
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-6 hours

Total Cost:
Beef: $4.00
Potatoes: $2.00
Carrots: $0.30
Onion - $0.30
Celery - $0.10
Beef broth - Free! (homemade!)
Coffee - Free!
Seasonings - $0.50

Grand total: $7.20 for 8-10 servings!

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Orange-Apricot Pork Chops

This was another great find on Once a Month Mom - the original recipe hails from one of my personal favorites, A Year of Crockpotting and it translates well as either a fresh cooked meal or OAMC freezer stash.

You can find the pumped-up OAMC version (4 meals worth) in the April Printable Menu from Once a Month Mom...the individual recipes are in a scrollbar at the bottom of the document.

Orange-Apricot Pork Chops

6 pork chops
1 cup apricot jam
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges (and juice!)


In a small bowl, combine jam, sugar, salt and spices.

For fresh cooking:
Place pork chops in the crockpot, spoon jam mixture over the chops. Pour entire contents of mandarin oranges can (juice and all) over the top. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4 hours.

For OAMC/Freezer prep:
Place pork chops and contents of mandarin oranges can together in a gallon freezer bag. Pour jam mixture into the bag. Seal and Freeze. To cook: thaw, then follow regular cooking directions as for fresh cooked.

Total Cost:
Pork Chops - $4.50
Jam - $1.00
Oranges - $0.50
Sugar - $0.20
Spices - $0.20

Grand Total - $6.40 for 6 servings - or $1.07 per serving!

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Monday, May 4, 2009

No Fuss Chicken Cordon Bleu

This recipe is originally from Freezer Friendly Cooking, but I came across it on Once a Month Mom when I started delving into OAMC! I love Cordon Bleu but had never seen it in casserole form! This recipe makes one 9X13 or two 8X8 pans, but can easily be multiplied to feed a big crowd or stock up your freezer!

**a note - when I made this and cooked it right away, the carrots were pretty underdone - if you cook this fresh you may want to try using frozen sliced carrots instead. That, or my oven is just possessed!

6-8 chicken breasts, cut into tenders
2 cup sliced carrots
2 cans Cream of Chicken
1 cup Sour Cream
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsps Paprika
1 1/4 cup of Swiss cheese, grated (or 3-4 slices deli cheese, cut into strips)
1/3 cup of Ham slices cut into strips (about 3 ham slices)
1 Egg
1 cup of bread crumbs

1. Put sliced carrots in bottom of 9x13 pan (or two 8 inch pans).
2. Combine Cream of Chicken soup, sour cream, paprika and lemon juice in bowl. Mix well and pour over the carrots.
3. Crack an egg on a plate and beat well. Place bread crumbs on additional plate and coat chicken tenders with egg and coat with bread crumbs.
4. Arrange coated chicken breasts over the top of sauce in the pan. Place ham strips over the top of the chicken. Top with swiss cheese.

Freeze: Use Saran wrap or press and seal over the top of the pan and then Foil it all the way around to ensure air tight. Store in the freezer up to 2 months (or more depending on your druthers).

Baking: Defrost and use within 2 days. Preheat oven on 375 and bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes until cheese is bubbly and chicken juices run clear. Serve over egg noodles.

Total Cost:
Chicken - $6.00
Carrots - $0.10
Cream soup - $1.20
Sour Cream - $1.00
Swiss cheese - $2.50
Ham - $1.25
Egg - $0.14
Bread Crumbs - $0.30

Grand Total - $12.49 for 12 servings, or 2 pans that serve 6 each!

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Black Bean Quesadillas

I am always looking for good vegetarian options and this fits the bill nicely! Found at Taste of Home, it is easy, healthy, delicious AND straight from the pantry, so it's perfect for fast meals or snacks. Add extra veggies to your tastes and serve with fresh avocado for a really healthy meal.

Black Bean Quesadillas

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 2/3 cup salsa, divided
10 8" flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese
2/3 cup sour cream

1. In a bowl, mash the beans; add 1 cup salsa and mix.
2. Place 5 tortillas on ungreased baking sheets; spread with bean mixture. Sprinkle with cheese, top with remaining tortillas
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until crisp and heated through.
4. Cut each quesadilla into six wedges - serve with sour cream and remaining salsa.

Total Cost:
Beans - $1.32
Salsa - $1.00
Tortillas - $2.30
Cheese - $1.50
Sour Cream - $0.50

Grand Total: $6.62 for 4-6 servings ($1.10-1.65 per serving!)

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Golden Sweet Cornbread

I gave this cornbread recipe a try, and I don't think I will use another recipe again. Found it on when I was looking for a version that could be done in smaller batches than the one I usually use - this one bakes up fluffy and crumbly in an 8X8 or a 9" round pan, and is MOIST and SWEET! I forgot to cover the leftovers before bed, and found them to still be soft the next I heated them up with butter for breakfast!

I prefer to soak my cornmeal in the milk before mixing it, but if you prefer not to just combine all dry ingredients first, then add the wet ingredients.

Golden Sweet Cornbread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan or 8X8 square pan. Combine cornmeal and milk, let soak for about 3-5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk mixture and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Total Cost:
Flour - $0.09
Cornmeal - $0.20
Sugar - $0.l0
Egg - $0.14
Milk - $0.17
Oil - $0.15
Salt, Baking powder - $0.10

Grand Total: $0.95 for 8-9 servings!

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Country Chicken Cobbler

Another great recipe from Delish! The recipe calls for chicken but you can easily substsitute turkey or pork leftovers! You can substitute any cream soup you have on hand as well...I use cream of chicken or cream of mushroom!

Country Chicken Cobbler

1 bag (16-ounce) frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, cauliflower and broccoli)
1 can (10 3/4-ounce) condensed cream of potato soup
3/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups (1/2-inch pieces) chicken meat
1 package (10- to 12-ounce) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, each cut into quarters


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In nonstick 12-inch skillet, combine frozen vegetables, undiluted soup, milk, and pepper; cover and cook over medium-high heat until vegetables are thawed, stirring once. Stir in chicken.

2. Transfer chicken mixture to shallow 3 1/2- to 4-quart casserole or 13" by 9" ceramic or glass baking dish. Top with biscuit quarters, leaving space between pieces. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until biscuits are browned and mixture is heated through.

Total Cost:
Frozen Veggies - $1.00
Cream soup - $0.75
Milk - $0.12
Leftover meat - FREE!
Biscuits - $0.40

Grand Total - $2.27 for 6-8 servings!

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Ginger Chicken and Sweet Potato Bake

This recipe is from another of my go-to sites, 5 Dollar Dinners - if you haven't been to her site yet, it is a frugal mom's paradise! Not only are her dinners inexpensive and delicious, she is cooking for kids with strict dietary restrictions and STILL makes it work!

I love the combination of flavors in this dish - serve with rice or couscous!

Ginger Sweet Potato Chicken Bake

2 large chicken breasts, about 1.25 lb
2 large sweet potatoes, about 1.5 lb
1 15 oz can of pineapple pieces, in 100% pineapple juice
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Dice chicken breasts into 1/2 - 1 inch cubes. Helpful Hint: It's easiest to cut chicken breasts while they are still partially frozen.

3. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes.

4. Drain pineapple juice, (reserve about 1/2 cup to use when cooking rice if you are using that as your side dish).

5. In large bowl, toss diced chicken breast, sweet potato pieces and pineapple piece. Add extra virgin olive oil, ground ginger, garlic powder, ground cinnamon and salt and pepper. Toss well. Transfer mixture to 9x13 baking dish.

6. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes uncovered. Remove and cover with foil, and then bake another 30-40 minutes. (This will prevent the sweet potatoes from drying out.)

Total Cost:
Chicken - $2.50
Sweet Potatoes - $1.50
Pineapple - $0.80
Olive Oil - $0.08
Seasonings - $0.20

Grand Total - $5.08 for 6 servings!

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Turkey and Veggie Lasagna

I came across this recipe on Delish when searching for something to make with turkey leftovers - this is great to have in the arsenal because it is easy to assemble more than one at a time and keep one in the freezer for future dinners!

My version below includes some personal adjustments, and I doubled recipe to make TWO 8X8 pans of lasagna. I used Hefty EZ Foil pans and turned the edges up (to make them a little deeper) but you can also use deep 8X8 baking pans or casseroles. Click on the link to view the original recipe!

Turkey and Veggie Lasagna

8 Tbsp margarine or butter
2 packages (8-ounce) whole mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 Tbsp minced garlic
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups milk, warmed
2 cans (14- to 14.5-ounce) chicken broth (or 3 cups homemade!)
16 lasagna noodles, parboiled
2 packages (10-ounce) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 cups leftover cooked turkey, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups canned grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


1. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons margarine on medium. Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic, and cook about 8 minutes or until mushrooms are lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or dutch oven, melt remaining margarine on medium. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and broth until well blended; cook until sauce thickens and boils, stirring frequently. Boil 2 minutes. Set sauce aside.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 8" by 8" baking pans with nonstick cooking spray. Pour 1/2 cup sauce in bottom of each baking dish; arrange 2 noodles over sauce, overlapping to fit. (I used kitchen shears to cut the noodles to size and then layered the leftover pieces in the empty space). Top evenly with a quarter of the spinach, 1 cup of turkey, then 1/2 cup sauce; sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Top with 2 noodles, mushroom mixture, 3/4 cup mozzarella, then 1/2 cup sauce. Top with 2 noodles, a quarter of the spinach and 1 cup turkey, then 3/4 cup sauce, and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Arrange remaining noodles on top; spoon remaining sauce over noodles to cover (about 1/2 cup - I poured just enough to lightly coat the noodles and spread the sauce with a spoon to make it even). Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Repeat all steps for 2nd pan of lasagna.

4. Spray sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray (or use nonstick foil); cover baking dish, sprayed (or nonstick) side down. Bake lasagna 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes longer or until hot and bubbly in the center and lightly browned on top. Let stand 15 minutes for easier serving. If you are freezing, move to freezer with foil cover in place - allow to freeze overnight and then cover with an additional, larger piece of foil to get a good seal. Store up to 3 months.

(for frozen, either thaw overnight and bake as directed above, or place directly in oven and bake for 1.5 hours or until heated through)

Total Cost:
Butter - $0.56
Mushrooms - $3.00
Onion - $0.25
Flour - $0.06
Milk - $0.59
Chicken broth - FREE!
Noodles - $1.00
Spinach - $2.00
Turkey - FREE!
Parmesan Cheese - $2.50
Mozzarella cheese - $2.60

Grand Total - $11.56 for 12 servings OR one for now and one for later!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Tomato and Chickpea Soup

I found this recipe on Delish, MSN's food corner. I like it because it could easily be done either in the crockpot or stovetop, but even on the stove it's a quick study! The chickpeas add extra heartiness, and you can easily substitute rice for the pasta to make this a complete protein-rich dish. You can also substitute vegetable broth to make this a Vegetarian treat! They recommend to use good-quality whole plum tomatoes for the best flavor. I found that this made a lot more than the 4 servings noted in the original recipe too...

Spices not in your rack? I substituted the sage, salt and pepper with about 1 tbsp of Mrs Dash, and it was yum :)

Tomato and Chickpea Soup

7 cup(s) canned tomatoes with their juice (two 28-ounce cans)
2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cup(s) canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock (or veggie stock)
2 cup(s) water
1/2 teaspoon(s) dried sage
1 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
3/4 cup(s) ditalini or other small pasta
2 cans (15 oz) drained and rinsed canned chickpeas
1/3 cup(s) chopped fresh parsley (or 2-3 Tbsp dried parsley)
1/4 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground black pepper
1/3 cup(s) grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1. In a food processor or blender, puree the tomatoes with their juice. Set aside.
2. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic.
3. Add the pureed tomatoes, the sage (and parsely if you use dried), broth, water and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta and chickpeas. Bring the soup back to a boil, then reduce the heat. Cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the parsley, pepper and the 1/3 cup grated Parmesan. Serve topped with additional Parmesan.
Total Cost:
Canned Tomatoes - $1.78
Olive Oil - $0.16
Onion - $0.30
Garlic - $0.10
Spices - $0.15
Chicken Broth - Free!
Pasta - $0.15
Chickpeas - $1.05
Parmesan - $0.40

Grand Total - $4.09 for 8-10 servings

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Leftover Pot Pie

Pot pie is such a great outlet for leftovers - you can stretch a little meat a LOOOOONG way! You can use fresh chicken or turkey to make this dish, but using leftover meat from a roast bird makes this an easy AND frugal meal.

Leftover Pot Pie

2 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken (turkey also works!)
1/2-2/3 bag frozen mixed veggies, partially thawed
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup water or broth
1 Tbsp Mrs Dash, or season to taste with salt, pepper, and any other flavors you like!
1 package refrigerator pie crust (top and bottom)


-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Line bottom of a deep pie dish with one pie crust
-In a separate bowl, combine chicken, veggies, cream soup, water/broth and spices. Mix well.
-Pour into pie dish, top with second pie crust layers. Be sure to pinch and seal the edges well to avoid spilling. Cut 4 slits in the top of the crust.
-Bake at 400 degrees for appx 35 minutes (45-50 minutes if you are using raw chicken)
-Let stand 5 minutes before serving

Total Cost:
Chicken - Free! (leftovers)
Frozen vegetables - $1.20
Cream soup - $1.20
Spices - $0.05
Pie Crust - $1.60

Grand Total - $4.00 for 6 servings!

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chicken (or beef, or turkey) Biscuit Wraps

I found this recipe over at when I was looking for something new to do with shredded chicken. I tend to find the family-sized packs of chicken leg quarters on sale and you can only roast them so many times!! You can easily substitute chicken with shredded/ground turkey, beef or pork - or anything you have leftover from another meal!

Chicken Biscuit Wraps

3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup diced white onion
1 large red pepper, stemmed & chopped
1/2 cup finely sliced celery
1/2 carrot, shredded
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 (17 1/3 ounce) can Pillsbury Grands refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
Pam cooking spray

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-In large mixing bowl, add 3 cups meat, egg, water, mayonnaise, onions, pepper, celery and grated carrot. (If it is bland, add salt and pepper or other spices to taste.) Cover and refrigerate.
-Slice biscuits horizontally, into 16 rounds. Use a serrated blade to slice through dough. Roll each half in flour on both sides.
-Take a floured glass or rolling pin and flatten and widen each round to 5 or 6 inches or wider.
-Spray Pam on a baking sheet.
-Proportion the filling between the 16 rounds. Use a slotted spoon when filling, so liquid drains.
-Take one half of biscuit round and fold over to cover and seal only the edges after folding.
-Carefully lift with spatula to baking tray.
-Bake about 17 to 18 minutes. Watch the top of the rounds, tops should be lightly browned and dry.

Serve with your choice of sauce, gravy, or dressing (like pot stickers!)

Total Cost:
Chicken: $2.98
Egg: $0.14
Onion: $0.15
Pepper: $0.30
Celery: $0.10
Carrot: $0.10
Mayonnaise: $0.10
Biscuits: $0.75

Grand Total: $4.62 for 8 servings, or $0.57 per serving!!

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Crockpot BBQ with cornbread topping

Another great find from my Crockpot hero, A Year of Crockpotting - her original recipe called for chicken and bbq sauce, but this can also be done using leftover beef roast which will shred nicely in the bbq sauce.

Crockpot BBQ Chicken and Cornbread casserole

1 pound of cooked, or practically cooked chicken, cubed or shredded (or leftover beef or pork!)
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks (optional.)
1 red onion, diced
1 cup frozen corn
1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (18 oz)
1/4 cup hot water

cornbread topping:

use a mix and follow the directions on the box (minus the oil or butter), or mix together the following:

--3/4 cup corn meal
--1 1/4 cups of flour (I used a Bob Red's Mill GF mix--we were out of Pamela's)
--1 cup milk
--1/4 cup sugar
--1 egg
--1 tsp baking powder (only if using regular all-purpose flour)
Spray the inside of your stoneware with cooking spray. Cut up the chicken and sweet potato, and add to the crock. Add the corn. Empty the contents of the barbecue sauce bottle, and then add 1/4 cup of hot water to the bottle, shake, and pour that out, too. Mix well with a spoon.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cornbread topping. You don't need to mix well, I just used a fork. Spread the topping on to the chicken mixture.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Ours cooked on low for exactly 6. If you are planning on being out of the house, cook for the shorter amount of time. You can always switch to high to brown the top when you get home.

Total Cost:
Meat: $1.99
Sweet potato: $0.50
Onion: $0.30
Corn: $0.30
BBQ sauce: $1.50
Corn Meal: $0.30
Flour: $0.14
Milk: $0.17
Sugar: $0.04
Egg: $0.14
Baking Powder: $0.02

Grand Total: $5.40 for 4-6 servings

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Crockpot Meatloaf

I love my crockpot! My guys love meatloaf! That makes this recipe from a perfect marriage for dinnertime at my house :) If I don't feel like breaking out a mixing bowl, I combine the ingredients right in the crockpot, and just remove half to add the "filling"...less dishes works for me any time!

I reduced the amount of meat a bit since I usually freeze ground meat in 1.3 pound bullets - I also had to reduce the cook time because the meat is not quite as thick in the crockpot so it cooks fast. Any type of ground meat can be used, and as with any meatloaf you can change the flavors around by changing the seasonings (chili powder or italian seasoning mix) and topping (salsa or pasta sauce)!

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

1.3 pounds ground beef (or other ground meat)
2 eggs, beaten
6 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons dry onion soup mix
3 tablespoons steak seasoning or worcestershire sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Combine beef, eggs, 3 tbsp ketchup, soup mix, steak seasoning, bread crumbs and cheese - mix well (works best with your hands!) Top with the remaining 3 tbsp ketchup - add some cheese on top if you like!.
Cover, and cook for 4-6 hrs on low, or 2-3 hrs on high.

Total Cost:
Ground beef: $2.60
Eggs: $0.28
Ketchup: $0.15
Soup mix: $0.30
Seasoning: $0.05
Cheese: $0.90
Bread Crumbs: $0.15

Grand Total: $4.13 for 4-6 servings

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Easy Garlic Pork Chops

Another great find from - not only is it fast but there are only two steps :) Great meal for a work night when time is short and mouths are hungry!

Garlic Pork Chops

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 boneless pork chops
1 clove minced garlic
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk

1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. add the pork and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, or until the chops are well browned on both sides. Remove the chops and set aside.
2. Stir the soup and milk into the skillet. Heat to a boil. Return the chops to the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the chops are done. Serve with couscous or rice.

Total Cost:
Oil - $0.03
Pork chops - $4.00
Garlic - $0.05
Soup - $0.50
Milk - $0.08

Grand Total: $4.66 for 4 servings

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Crunchy Sweet Potato Fries

I found this little gem on - I wanted another alternative to a starchy side dish that would please my french fry-loving husband :) I like the Rice Krispy crust, it gives me a reason to use up the cereal other than making marshmallow treats! The recipe calls for garlic powder and cayenne pepper, but you could easily omit those if you prefer a more straightforward flavor.

Savoury Sweet Potato Sticks

3 medium sweet potatoes
3 cups crushed Rice Krispies
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup flour
4 egg whites
4 Tbsp water

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wash potatoes (or peel). Cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices, then cut slices into 1/2 inch sticks
3. In a shallow dish, mix cereal and seasonings. Place flour in a second dish. In a medium bowl, mix egg whites and water.
4. Coat potatoes with flour, dredge in egg mixture, then coat with cereal mixture. Place in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned and tender when tested with a sharp knife.

Total Cost:
Sweet potatoes - $1.20
Rice Krispies - $0.50
Flour - $0.05
Egg whites - $0.56

Grand Total: $2.31 for 4-6 servings!

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Chicken Broccoli Casserole

This recipe was posted on - it's hearty, fast, and easy to make with leftovers or fresh ingredients! I priced this out two ways - with all new ingredients, and with mostly leftovers.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

2 cans broccoli cheese soup (or leftover homemade soup!)
2 cups cooked rice (or leftover rice)
2 boneless chicken breasts (or leftover roast chicken)
2 cups frozen broccoli
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Brown chicken in a skillet (skip this step if you use leftover roast chicken)
3. Prepare rice and broccoli according to their packages. Drain the broccoli of excess water.
4. Mix soup, chicken, rice, broccoli and 1 cup of cheddar cheese together in a 9X13 casserole pan. Season with salt & pepper to taste
5. Sprinkle remaining cup of cheddar cheese over the top
6. Bake until cheese is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes

Total Cost (all new ingredients):
Soup - $1.00
Rice - $0.40
Chicken - $2.50
Broccoli - $0.50
Cheese -$1.60

Grand Total: $6.00 for 6-8 servings

Total Cost (leftovers!)
Soup - free!
Rice - Free!
Chicken - free!
Broccoli - $0.50
Cheese - $1.60

Grand Total: $2.10 for leftover casserole!

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Unbelievable Chicken & Pasta

This recipe turned up on on a night when I wanted to try something new without having to get anything from the store. I lucked out when I found this gem, using things I had readily available AND only taking half an hour to prepare!

I made a few adjustments based on what I keep around regularly, and added a little seasoning to suit the tastebuds of my brood. The title link goes back to the original recipe, here's my take on it!

Laura's Unbelievable Chicken and Pasta

1 pound boneless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups chicken broth (homemade, or 1 can store-bought)
1 (10 oz) package either fresh or frozen spinach
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, cubed
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 box penne pasta

1. Boil a large pot of water, and cook the pasta.

2. In a large skillet, cook the chicken in the chicken broth, simmering until done, about 10 minutes. (If you are using fresh spinach, add it with the chicken).

3. Add cubed cream cheese (and frozen spinach if you are using that), stir until it melts with the broth. Add pepper, salt and garli powder. Return it to a simmer, and cook another 5-7 minutes.

4. Add diced tomatoes, and cook about 3 minutes more, until sauce thickens slightly.

5. In a large bowl, mix the drained pasta with the chicken mixture, toss well and let stand a few minutes before serving!

Total Cost:
Chicken - $1.99
Chicken broth - Free!! (I make my own and freeze it!)
Spinach - $1.50 (fresh)
Cream Cheese - $0.99
Diced Tomatoes (1/2 a 28 oz can) - $0.45
Pasta - $1.00
Seasonings - $0.05

Grand Total - $5.98 for 6-8 servings - that's $0.75-$1.00 per serving!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Crockpot "Fried" Rice

This recipe comes from one of my all time favorite recipe resources, A Year of Crockpotting - if you haven't been to her site you MUST stop by...especially if you have a crockpot that you've been neglecting. How does 365 tested recipes sound? :)

I liked this recipe because I too am always looking for ways to use up either leftover cooked veggies, or the remnants of not-quite-used-up bags of frozen veg in the freezer. The meat is totally optional, I priced it out as meat-free because I usually have specific plans for those leftovers's the veggies that get me!

Crockpot Fried Rice

-2 cups leftover rice/quinoa
--3 T butter
--2 T soy sauce
--2 t worcestershire sauce
--1/2 t black pepper
--1/4 t kosher salt
--1/2 diced yellow onion
--1 cup of whatever frozen or fresh vegetables you have on hand.
--leftover meat (optional)
--1 egg
--sesame seeds for garnish (optional)


Plop everything on in there together. Mix it around, and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or on low for 3-4. You are only heating everything up and cooking the egg.

Total cost:
Rice - $0.40
Butter - $0.21
Onion - $0.10
Veggies - appx $0.25
Egg - $0.14
Seasonings - appx $0.15

Grand Total - $1.25 for 4 meatless servings! (under $3 with leftover meat!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ole! Enchiladas!

This is another adaptation of a recipe from Betty Crocker's New Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Cook (8th ed). I use my Crockpot Taco Chicken and Betty's homemade enchilada sauce for a fast and yummy dish! You could very easily adapt this to use taco seasoned beef, or make it a vegetarian dish by omitting the chicken and increasing the beans!

Enchilada ingredients:
1 cup Crockpot Taco Chicken
1 to 1-1/2 cup prepared or leftover rice
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 package 6" tortillas
Homemade Enchilada sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
2/3 cup water
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/4 tsp cumin
2 whole green chiles (optional)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes

Heat all ingredients to boiling, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to low.
Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

To make enchiladas:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Combine 1 to 1-1/2 cups leftover (or prepared) rice, 1 cup Crockpot Taco Chicken, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed).
-Spoon about 1/4 cup of the filling into a tortilla, roll tightly and place in an ungreased baking dish. Repeat until the enchiladas fill the baking dish (usually takes 8-10 tortillas).
-Pour Homemade Enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, then top with remaining shredded cheddar.
-Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Total Cost:
Enchilada sauce: $1.10
Taco Chicken: $1.30
Black Beans: $0.69
Rice: $0.20
Cheese: $1.60
Tortillas: $0.99

Grand Total: $5.88 for 4-5 servings (1.47-1.18 per serving)

Easy Meatloaf

I use this recipe from Betty Crocker's New Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Cook (8th ed) with a few very minor changes. Meatloaf is a great comfort food, and is very inexpensive to put together! This is just one method to meatloaf....try making it Mexican (with taco seasoning and salsa) or Italian (with parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and pasta sauce)!


1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry ground mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup ketchup, chili sauce or BBQ sauce

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Mix all ingredients together except ketchup/sauce. Use your fingers! Smooshing is fun :)
-Spread mixture into an ungreased loaf pan
-Spread ketchup/sauce over the top
-Bake uncovered for 1 to 1-1/4 hours, or until meat is no longer pink inside
-Let stand 5 minutes, slice and serve!

Total Cost:
Ground beef: $1.99
Milk: $0.08
Egg: $0.14
Breadcrumbs: $0.20
Seasonings: appx $0.30

Grand Total: $2.71 for 4-6 servings - that's 0.68 per serving!