Saturday, January 30, 2010

Monday: Chili Mac with Garlic Bread

Yum, Yum, YUM! This is definitely a favorite for our family. Super easy, too!

Here is what you need:

This recipe is for 4 people- if you have more than 4 people, double each ingredient.
1 can beanless chili (chili w/ beans works too!), 3/4 can ketchup, 1 tbs. worchestershire sauce, 1 box of spaghetti, parmesan cheese or other toppings. Garlic Bread (not pictured)

Step 1: (Not pictured) Cook your spaghetti and preheat your oven for your garlic bread.

Step 2:
Pour beanless chili into pan turned on medium heat.
Step 3: Fill the empty chili can 3/4 full with ketchup and then pour and mix w/chili in pan.

Step 4: Add 1 Tb. worchestershire sauce and stir. (At this point, taste your chili mac. Some people like to add more ketchup or worchestershire sauce.)

Step 5: Cook your garlic bread, let your pasta drain and your sauce heat up.

Step 6: Add it all together! We like to shred some cheese (whatever we have on hand!) on top as well. This dish is also great with crumbled saltines on top, beans and onions.

Pair this meal with a salad and veggie and you have a great meal your family will love!

Meal serves 4

Cost of Meal: $4.00
Per person: $1.00

Excellent, Frugal, Tasty Meal! This is a great recipe to use when you have company over as well. Yummy!

The Frugal Table: Meal Plan

This week at the Frugal Table we have a great mix of dinners for your family. When I am making a meal plan, I try to plan one night that is meatless (for health and frugal reasons), one night that is fish (health reasons), one pizza night (husband reasons), and a pasta night (I love pasta and so do my girls!).

So if you haven't made your meal plan for your family this week, print out our meal planner, grocery list and get to it! Your family will thank you!

Monday- Chili Mac, Steamed Veggies and Corn Bread

Tuesday- Upside Down Pizza and Spring Salad

Wednesday- Sweet and Sour Chicken with rice and steamed Broccoli

Thursday-Fish w/ Steamed Veggies

Friday-Taco Pie


Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday: Lentil Soup

You are probably wondering if people actually eat lentils or if we are just supposed to use them for kindergarten craft projects, but I promise you they are not only edible they are actually good for you. So, put away the glue stick and try this Lentil soup. It is easy to throw together and makes for a hearty dinner.

Thanks again to former Wondertime Magazine (I wish you were still being published!)for this meal idea. As usual I modified it just a little to fit our family.

Cast of Characters:
Olive Oil
2 Stalks Celery
2 Carrots
1 cup of tomato's (crushed or puree)
2 cups of lentils
4 cups of chicken broth
2 extra cups of water
1 bay leaf
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
*Kielbasa (leftover from yesterday's meal)

What to do:

1. After peeling and washing your onion, carrots, and celery put them into a food processor. You can hand chop them if you like. I process them so that they are very small and my husband won't complain about eating vegetables.

2. Put the above into a pan and saute with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Saute until the vegetables are softened a bit, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the garlic and then saute about 5 minutes more.

4. In a soup pan add the following: tomato sauce/puree, chicken broth, lentils, bay leaf, thyme, and 2 extra cups of water. Stir together and put on low heat.

5. Add the vegetable mixture to the soup pot and simmer for an hour and a half.

6. Add the keilbasa and the balsamic vinegar just a few minutes before serving. The balsamic vinegar is really important for this soup, it gives it the kick it needs.

We ate this with cornbread and although we found it very unique, it was a hit.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday: Chicken Packets

Ok, dur. I do not have pictures for you. But I will describe these as best I can. Trust me, they are super easy. A couple of months ago when I was waddling all pregnant around my kitchen I did a HUGE baking day. We are still eating those meals and loving the ease and conveience of homemade meals that were made ahead.

Here is what you need for Chicken Packets:
Can of Cresent Rolls
Package of Cream Cheese
Chives (to taste)
Chicken Breast

Here is what you do:

1. Cut up your chicken into bites, cubes, or shred it. Doesn't matter! Then, cook it. We cook it in a frying pan with a hint of olive oil.

2. After your chicken is cooked through, add it to a mixing bowl with the CREAM CHEESE and some cut up chives. Be careful with the chives it is easy to add too many making this really chivey. (Is chivey a word?)

3. Open up your can of cresent rolls. Instead of tearing them into the usual cresent roll pattern you are going to make rectangles with them. You will need a TOP and a BOTTOM. Most cresent have perferated lines. You will be able to do this easily!

4. Place a good sized scoop of the cream cheese mixture onto the bottom cresent. Then, add the top cresent and seal the edges. You have made a chicken packet!

5. For an added bonus, roll this in some bread crumbs.

NOW~ either freeze or bake!

If baking, bake for 20 minutes at 350 or until the cresent is browned and the inside hot!

We ate this with mashed potatoes and green beans!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday: Pinto Beans and Cornbread

We love this meal. It is simple, SMELLS amazing while cooking, is packed full of fiber, and well....its beans...can't go wrong!

You will need:
Bag of Pinto Beans
Bacon (only two-four slices)
Salt and Pepper

If you have time go ahead and make home made corn bread. It is the best.

The Simple Steps to Delicious:

Step 1: Put 4 cups of pinto beans into a collinder, rinse and drain.
Step 2: Put beans in pot of a water. Make sure the water is a few inches above the beans.
Step 3: Slice up the bacon and add to the beans.
Step 4: Place on stove and cook for about two hours. Check on the beans and stir occasionally. The beans will start to get a gravy like sauce around them. This means they are almost finished!
Step 5: Add salt and pepper to taste.

Make your cornbread, from scratch or out of a box baby!

Serve hot and with a delicious sweet treat. We enjoyed blackberry cobbler to go along side this dish. YUM!

For the cobbler, first be prepared to be blown away at how easy it is. Second do the following:

Melt 1 stick of butter in the microwave
In a big bowl, add the melted butter to~
One cup milk
One cup flour
One cup sugar
Stir and pour into a pan
Add your blackberries (or peaches)
Sprinkle a little extra sugar on top.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
It is a perfect desert for this meal.

The recipe for the cobbler came from my favorite pioneer woman. Check her out!

Cooking Playlist: Amos Lee, Last Days at the Lodge CD

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday: Homemade Pizza and Salad

My husband makes the best homemade pizza. It all started when my dad and stepmother gave us a make-your-own pizza cut for a fun wedding present. We lived in this tiny apartment where our night time entertainment was watching the cops show up at nearby homes for all sorts of raids and busts and crime patrol. It was exciting! Hey, we were young and in love and poor as could be! I worked very late into the evening. Jason would make home made pizza's several times a week and that is what we would dine on as we watched the action out of window. Good memories.

Seven years later we are still making the pizzas. Now, they are better than ever. My hubby has experimented with different crusts and sauces until he finally outdid himself tonight. A couple of years ago he served my dad home made pizza except he used powdered sugar instead of flour. Also, a fun memory!

Grocery List:
2 Jiffy Mix Pizza Crusts
Can of Pizza Sauce
Taco Sauce (secret ingredient)
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Toppings of your choice

What to do:

1. Follow the instructions for the jiffy pizza crust. However, add a bit more water and actual flour. Keep adding until the consistency is just right. This simply takes practice. We usually add just a bit of flax seed for fiber. It does not effect the taste one bit.

2. Roll out the dough after it has risen according to the directions. Brush some olive oil and seasonings onto it. My husband adds cheese onto the edges, rolls them up and makes our pizza a stuffed crust. Tonight he used pepper jack and it was great!

3. Take your can of sauce and add a bit of taco sauce to it. Now, add just a bit of sugar. Taste and add more according to what you like.

4. Bake your crust for about 10 minutes. Remove and add sauce, toppings and cheese.

5. Serve hot and with a salad!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday~ Hubbies Turkey Sandwich Delight!

Oh, my husband has a few tricks up his sleeves. He does not do it very often, but when the man enters the kitchen he bring something mighty tasty to the table. It is never fine cuisine, more local deli type fare...and God bless him I LOVE IT!

His newest creation is a Parmesan Grilled Turkey Sandwich loaded with taste.

Grocery list:
Whole Wheat bread
Turkey Deli Meat
Pepper jack Cheese
Parmesan (Shake) Cheese

What to do:

1.Kiss your hubby for making dinner. :)
2. Set a pan on your stove top and heat it up. Add a bit of olive oil and then your turkey. You are actually going to heat up the turkey and brown it a bit in the pan. Flavor it with a bit of salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, butter the outside of your bread. Shake Parmesan cheese onto the outside of the bread. Using a knife spread the cheese all around so that it sticks to the butter.
4. Layer the turkey, avocado and sliced pepper jack cheese onto the bread.
5. Grill to perfection and enjoy!
6. Give that man just one more kiss!

We ate this meal with strawberry yogurt and fresh spinach salad.
(Both which were free last week at Meijer!)

Cooking Playlist: Never Going Back Again by Fleetwood Mac

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday: Chicken Alfredo Bake

Ah, Sundays!
Church is over and our entire family has put on pajamas.
I love Sundays. I love pajamas. I love snap peas.

Here is a picture of the snap peas we ate. I like this because it looks like they are floating...heavenly snap green and good and perfect. Eat some!

And, now for the main course: Chicken Alfredo Bake (the easy way)

Grocery List~
Two Jars of Alfredo Sauce
Chicken Breast
Mozzarella Cheese
Milk/Chicken Broth (optional)
Veggie~ Snap Peas
Bread~ Garlic Bread (frozen)

What to do:
1. Boil your noodles until soft or al dente. Drain them and set aside.
2. Cut up your chicken (We used 3 breasts) into cubes. Add your chicken, with a little salt and pepper, into a bit of olive oil and cook in a frying pan until beautifully brown.
(Some people boil their chicken. That works too!)
3. Mix your chicken, noodles, two jars of Alfredo together with a bit of milk/broth. I like to add the milk/broth to help keep this from getting dry. There is not a specific amount..simply to taste. I used about 1/2 cup.
4. Put into a baking dish. Sprinkle your mozzarella cheese on top.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, when sauce is bubbling and the cheese is slightly brown it is ready!

ps...this makes a lot. Too much for us. It actually freezes great and can be reheated. When you reheat it add a bit more broth/milk to keep it from being too dry.

Cooking Playlist: Kind Hearted Woman by Eric Clapton
Call Me Up in DreamLand by Van Morrison
Is this Love by Bob Marley

Meal Plan January 24-29

Hi Friends!

Both of my children are the same time! Can I get a WHOOP WHOOP?!

Here is our family meal plan for this week. It is simple as we are continuing to save money in order to make a donation to towards helping the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. As Sarah did last week, we are using things we already have in order to make meals. This means very little grocery shopping. Honestly, this is a good habit to begin. It is amazing how much we already had that was being overlooked.

Sunday~ Chicken Alfredo Bake, Snap peas, and Garlic bread
Monday~ My hubby's delicious Turkey, Avocado, and Pepper Jack Grilled Sandwiches
Tuesday~ Home made Pizza's and Salad
Wednesday~ Pinto Beans and Corn Bread
Thursday~ Chicken Packets, Mashed Potatoes, and Peas
Friday~ Lentil Soup, Fresh baked Whole Wheat Bread

We also have ice cream in the freezer and a few bits of candy. We decided on Friday to make our own version of "cold stone" ice cream rather than buying it out at full price. Looking forward to Friday! YUM!