Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Garden Linguini

Simple. Delicious. Quick. Easy. And yes, under $5.00 (depending upon produce sales).

On a baking sheet, place 2 large zucchini, chopped, and 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes. Toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast in oven at 425 for 25-30 minutes, until tomatoes burst.

Cook a package of whole wheat linguini according to package directions. Drain and toss with zucchini and tomatoes. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and easy homemade whole wheat bread (which comes in at around $0.50 a loaf).

BAM. I almost feel guilty, it's so simple.


Ham Casserole over Biscuits

I was on a mission this week. My mission: to make every meal for my family under $5.00 in total cost. Assignment #1: Ham Casserole over Biscuits.

This mission was almost a fail before I even left the grocery store. Why? Because the deli counter at an unnamed grocery store that rhymes with Stroger cleverly pushed their store-brand deli meats to an inconspicuous corner while showcasing the premier deli meat, leading me to believe that the only ham I could buy was the high-class brand that will remain nameless but rhymes with Doar's Fed. Which means that the 2 slices of ham I budgeted at less than $2.00 rang up for $4.54. WHAT??? After deliberating for the rest of my shopping trip...should I hide the meat in the canned foods section? should I bite the bullet and buy it anyway, producing an epic fail in my $5.00 meals week?...I finally gathered my courage and went back to the sweet lady at the counter, returning my ham with chagrin. To which the lady responded, "Oh! Well, maybe you'd be interested in our store brand meat..." So the kind deli lady saved the day and my meal did in fact come in at under $5.00

In a large pot, melt 1 Tablespoon coconut oil or butter and then add 2 Tablespoons flour. Cook out for a minute and then stir in 1 cup chicken broth and 1 cup milk. Once the liquids start to simmer, add 1 bag frozen green beans and 1 bag frozen corn. Chop up 2 thick slices of deli ham and add to the pot; pour into a glass baking dish, top with crushed crackers or breadcrumbs and put in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

For the biscuits: Add 1 Tablespoon vinegar to 3/4 cup milk; set aside. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 Tablespoon sugar. Cut in 3 Tablespoons coconut oil with 2 knives or a pastry cutter. Stir in the milk, flatten out dough and cut biscuits (I just use a measuring cup to do this.) Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes.

Spoon ham casserole over biscuits...

And enjoy!

Vegan Baked Oatmeal

Here's a fun and easy and mmm mmm good recipe I've been making at least once (or four times) a week for my family (or me) lately. It is vegan, not because I am vegan, but because my daughter is allergic to everything (or dairy).

In a very small bowl, mix:
1 Tablespoon flax meal
3 Tablespoons water
(This is homemade egg substitute.)

In a large bowl, mix:
2 cups oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinammon
1/2 tsp salt

In a small bowl, mix:
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup applesauce OR pumpkin puree (I have tried both with success)
2 Tablespoons melted butter (optional)
Gooey flax meal egg substitute (or, if you must, one large egg)

Pour into a sprayed 8 x 8 baking dish and bake at 375 for 25 or so minutes.

And then, enjoy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Enchilada Pizza

This was an unintentional two-for-one meal. It started with chicken tacos on Monday night and ended with chicken enchilada pizza tonight. Who knew?

For the chicken tacos I made the following mixture:
2 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups rice
1 pack frozen corn
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
Salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin

I heated that mixture to boil and then simmered for an hour, covered; I also made a big pot of pinto beans. We stuffed whole wheat tortillas with all that goodness and went to town.

It was great...but we had tons of food leftover and I wanted to think of something different to do with them. I almost turned the leftovers into chicken tortilla soup but it is way too hot in the south for soup right now. Finally I thought, why not pizza? Pizza is only my favorite food ever, and anything slapped on top of cheese and bread has to be good.

So to make the pizza, just start with either store bought or homemade pizza dough, roll out, top with store-bought or homemade enchilada sauce, cheese, the chicken/rice/corn mixture, and pinto beans. Sprinkle with extra cheese if desired (always desired in my heart) and cook in 500 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.