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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