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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Comfort food when you don't feel well!! Teriyaki Chicken noodle bowls

Toddler Serving

Mommy Serving, Daddy's working late!!

Teriyaki Chicken noodle bowls

I haven't been getting much sleep lately and as a result I have a cold.  Sore throat and a cold sore.  Also I ate some fruit that I occasionally have a allergic reaction to and now I have little canker sores in my mouth.  So eating?? Not fun!!
But I have a 19 month old toddler to feed and she doesn't get that mommy is tired and doesn't feel like cooking, and because we are watching our finances, ordering out is well.... OUT!!   So I am making up a recipe tonight.   I often make up recipes, its how I cook!!

2 chicken breasts- $1.66
enough water to cover chicken breasts in pan
1 onion diced.13 cents
2 carrots diced. .10 cents
2 TBS butter-.50 cents
1/2 TBS oil- .25 cents
Dash of soy sauce- .05 cents
Dash of Worcestershire sauce.05 cents
1 bag of frozen stir fry vegetables- (broccoli, red bell peppers, onions and mushrooms).99 cents
1/2 cup water
2 pkg of Knorr Asian  sides Teriyaki noodles (Lo mein noodles in a sweet teriyaki sauce) $1.76
3 cups water
2 TBS butter-.50 cents
and a dash of Agave-.50 cents

Put your frozen or fresh chicken breasts in sauce pan or deep fry pan.  Cover with water, and add dash of Soy sauce and Dash of Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil and cook till done.  10 to 15 minutes.  Meanwhile saute onions and carrots in melted butter in another frying pan.  After about 5 to 8 minutes, add 1/2 cup of water and cover.  Steam carrots and onions for about 5 to 8 minutes.  Add frozen veg.  Cover again, adding more water if needed.  ( I just used a ladle or two of the water I was boiling chicken in.) Remove chicken from sauce pan and dice into cubes or strips.  Put on top of veggie mixture in frying pan and cover.  In saucepan you cooked the chicken in, remove any excess water and cook noodles as directed except a dash of agave.

Mix it all together and serve in bowls.
Total cost $6.49, servings- (6) so $1.08 a person

Monday, January 12, 2015

Chicken and vegetable gravy over biscuits

3 chicken boneless breasts- $2.50
1 onion diced-.13 cents
3 stalks of celery diced-.15 cents
3 TBS butter- $1.00
1 bag of California blend vegetables-.99 cents
1/4 cup frozen corn- .25 cents
1 can of cream chicken soup-.88 cents
3/4 of the soup can of milk.75 cents
Poultry seasoning to taste.. 1 to 2 tsp.- .25 cents
Salt and pepper to taste- .20 cents
1 can of refrigerator biscuits-.65 cents
serves 3 adults and 1 hungry toddler- $1.93 each serving
In large saucepan, boil chicken breasts and California Blend vegetables in water for about 10 to 15 minutes. In another frying pan saute onion and celery in melted butter till tender. Dice your chicken and drain vegetables.  Add to frying pan along with soup, milk and seasoning.  Add corn and heat on medium/low till warmed through.  Bake biscuits according to directions.  Split biscuits and serve chicken mixture over biscuits.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ways to stretch meat

I don't claim to be a expert on this subject, I just know what works for me!  I often buy ground turkey instead of hamburger unless its on sale.   If I am making a casserole or one pot meal like spaghetti, I try to use 1 pound versus 2 pounds of meat.  Tonight for instance I am making "Grandpa's Spanish rice" and I browned hamburger with some onion, and grated carrot.  I added a can of corn that was drained as well, because canned corn tastes better if you let it caramelize a bit with the other vegetables and meat.  I also stretch my Rice mixes, by adding a handful of broken spaghetti noodles.  My goal is to make dinner for my family and have enough leftover for a couple of lunches.  My hubby is not big on leftovers.

I also add beef broth to ground turkey sometimes to make it taste beefier.   If I am using chicken breasts, I try to serve 1/2 a breast to each adult with enough sides to fill in the cracks.  If you use meat sparingly, for texture and flavor you can use less.  I know other people add beans to their meals, but I have a hard time digesting beans.  I occasionally add a can of chili to taco meat, or to my Spanish rice.   I have used potatoes that were cubed and fried in taco's with meat.

So these are some of my tips or tricks:
Meat as an ingredient, not the main feature. Instead of serving a chicken breast with veggies and rice, why not make fried rice, stir fry or a curry? I generally use 2-3 chicken breasts in these dishes, we get plenty of meat but use half of what we would if the chicken was the main feature.  Another bonus is that you can make fried rice and stir fry in one pot, bonus!!
 Buy cheap cuts and use them wisely. Stir fry and fried rice are excellent ways to use cheap cuts of beef, but so is stew and curry. I love cutting cheap cuts of skirt or flank steak against the grain, brown them in oil and spices, and serve them in a tortilla with onions and peppers.                                                                 
Use meat in casseroles. You can use more vegetables, pasta or rice and only half the meat.

Substitute other meats. Sometimes ground turkey is cheaper, I can still find it frozen for $1/lb. No, it doesn’t taste quite the same but generally we find it an acceptable alternative. If you don’t like the taste you can try using ½ lb beef and ½ lb turkey, or ground chicken or pork.  You can add chicken or beef broth or stock for added flavor, and don't be afraid to use other spices!

Leftover meat?  What can you do with it?
Leftover roast beef or steak can become a“planned over” beef quesadillas

Convert the flavors of roasted beef to Asian beef stir-fry flavored with 
fresh ginger, julienne bell
peppers, scallions with orange zest and segments
Transform leftover cooked roast beef into creamy beef stroganoff with 
mushrooms and served over egg noodles.
Utilize leftover hamburgers by crumbling the cooked patties 
into spaghetti and lasagna sauces.
Disguise Sunday’s leftover roast beef in colorful fajitas for a quick 
evening supper. Sprinkle fajita seasonings on sliced onions and
 peppers. Saute the vegetables until tender, then add thinly sliced 
cooked roast beef to the vegetables and heat until warm.

Prepare Asian lettuce wraps with leftover cooked 
pork loin or roast.
Offer enchiladas with second-night cooked pork mixed
 with salsa, cilantro and Jack cheese.
Transform leftover pork chops into a quick entree of 
pork fried rice with the addition of cooked rice,
ginger, scallions, vegetables and eggs.
Invent a new version of the grilled Monte Cristo sandwich 
by tucking thin slices of cooked pork
with Swiss cheese between bread slices.
Enhance a package or homemade potato soup with 
the addition of cooked pork cubes.