Vegan Meals

My oldest son has decided to become a vegan. He rarely ate meat before and never dairy so we thought it might be a good idea.  Boy, was it hard to find budget friendly meals for him!

Here is a great recipe he found on his own and we tweaked to make sure it was cheap and would fit his tastes.

Ingredients

2 avocados, pitted and diced – 4/$5 (Anahiem or Hass are in season)
1 clove garlic, minced – $1.98 can
Juice of 1/2 lemon – $0.99 bottle
1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk – $2.99
1/4 cup water
Salt, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
4 halved cherry tomatoes as garnish (optional) – 2/$5 clamshell
2 cups cooked pasta – $1.00

Total – $11.96 – Makes 3 servings – $3.99 per serving!

Instructions

  • Combine the avocados, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor. As the mixture is blending, add the soy milk and then the water. Add more or less water depending on your desired consistency.
  • Add salt and red pepper, to taste.
  • Toss with your favorite cooked pasta and serve. Add tomatoes for garnish if desired.

Enchiladas

I’ve been trying to find a delicious enchilada recipe that won’t cost much to replace the old one I had that just takes too much money for one thing.

I found a great blog called Broke Ass Gourmet that has a LOT of budget recipes that my kids and I would love, so I tweaked a recipe from them into something I knew my kids would eat.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained $0.79
  • 10 corn tortillas $1.19 OR 10 Flour Tortillas $1.39
  • 2 cups shredded jack cheese $1.99
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped–1 tbsp reserved for garnish $1.00
  • 1 10-oz bottle salsa verde $2.00
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped $1.00
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $1.98
  • salt and pepper to taste Pantry
  • olive oil Pantry

Total $10.59 – servings 10 – $1 per serving!

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 6″x8″ rectangular pan with olive oil and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine beans, onion, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper, half of the salsa and 1 cup of the cheese.
  2. Fill the tortillas one by one with about 1/4 cup of the filling each. Lay them seam-side down in the pan, arranging them as necessary to fit them all. Pour the remaining salsa over the rolled tortillas and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of the salsa. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes with the foil removed until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
  3. Serve garnished with additional cilantro.

 

Quick Chicken Fajitas

Chicken is on sale at Hy-Vee the last few days, ($3.99 for 2.5 lbs of Buckley’s Frozen chicken) so I’ve been coming up with easy, quick, cheap meals to make my pounds and pounds of chicken in my freezer.  MY favorite type of food is Mexican food so, of course, I’ve got to have fajitas in the mix!

This meal takes 5-10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook. It is a one pot meal so not a lot to clean up. And it makes around 6 (7 or 8 if you are frugal with your chicken, but I like mine PACKED) servings.

2-3 Tbsp oil of any sort

1 pound of chicken breast, cut into strips (the bags are 2.5 lbs so about half) $2.00

1 Vidalia onion (Aldi sells bags of onions for $0.99) $0.25

1 red bell pepper, cut in strips

1 yellow bell pepper, cut in strips (Aldi sells a package of 3 red, yellow, green for $1.99) $1.99

1 green bell pepper, cut into strips

1/4 cup water

1-ounce package of fajita seasoning (Aldi has kits but Hy-Vee brand makes a seasoning that I really love!) $0.69

1 package of tortillas (at least 8 count) (Aldi sells Casa Mamita Flour Tortillas – 8 count) $0.69

any toppings you desire, guacamole, cheese, sour cream

I’m pretty bland and, while I might add cheese, I don’t usually add extras.

Technically, it’s $0.70 a serving on these!  Of course, adding guac and cheese would jump the price but unless you are adding A LOT of extras, the price per serving will stay under $2.00

Instructions

  1. Heat up the oil then add chicken over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes until browned. Remove chicken but keep the oil and juices.
  2. Add onions and saute until soft and caramelized; about 6 minutes
  3. Add peppers to the pan with the onions and saute for 5 more minutes.
  4. Add the chicken back into the pan.
  5. Add water and seasonings and cook for about 3 minutes. Place mixture in tortillas and serve. Top with extras.

YUM!

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs!

Eggs are an amazing source of protein and can be made so many different ways. Along with protein, they are rich in many vitamins like A, B, and even Iron.

This week, Dillon’s (Kroger stores) has a great sale on eggs. A dozen for $0.79 and no limits!

In honor of the sale and the 6 dozen eggs I now have in my fridge, here are some great budget friendly meals you can make with ingredients bought while picking up the eggs.

Dillon’s ad 2/15/17 to 2/21/17

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[Source: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252328/hilarys-heavenly-eggs/]

Heavenly Eggs

Delicious eggs in a rich tomato sauce served on toasted bread for breakfast or delicate angel hair pasta for a light lunch.

2 Tbsp Cooking Oil – $1.59

1 Medium Onion – 2 for $5 (ad price)

2 Cloves Garlic, minced – whole garlic $0.89, minced in a jar $1.99

2 Cups Marinara Sauce – $1.29 (ad price)

4 Large Eggs – $0.79

1 Tsp Basil -$2.19

1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese – $2.24

1/4 Tsp Black Pepper – $1.99

4 Slices Bread (any choice), toasted (Breakfast) – Wheat Bread $1 (ad price)

2 Servings of Angel Hair Pasta, cooked (Dinner) – $1.94

2 Slices of Bacon, crumbled – Black Label Hormel, 1 pound package $3.99 (ad price)

Total – $20.41 – Serving 2 eggs – $3.40

A lot of these prices are for more than what is needed and some of the items are staples that will already be bought. Most blogs don’t include the pantry. This makes it seem like the meal costs less than it actually does. If buying everything mentioned here, this recipe can make 3 times the amount of eggs mentioned. Making it 6 servings for just under $20.

 

  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onion, garlic and bacon. Cook 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low. Add marinara simmer.
  • Crack an egg into a small bowl, making sure not to break the yolk. Make a well in the sauce roughly large enough to hold the egg and pour it in so that the yolk and most of the white is contained. Repeat with the remaining eggs, evenly spacing them around the pan.
  • Sprinkle the sauce with basil; cover and cook 6 to 8 minutes for medium-set.
  • Remove from the heat and sprinkle with Parmesan and pepper.
  • To serve, top each slice of toasted bread with an egg and sauce. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

Delicious Chocolate Cake

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Sometimes, we really need something sweet and decadent to make our days better. After scouring the internet for something delicious and cheap, poke cakes really stood out as something yummy and not nearly as expensive as a store-bought cake.

To keep the cost down, skip the condensed milk and stick with some delicious, creamy instant pudding.

  • 1 box Baker’s Corner, Devil’s Food Cake Mix 18.5 Ounce – $0.69
  • 1/2 cup Carlini Vegetable Oil 48 Oz. – $1.59
  • 2 Gold Hen Grade A Eggs – $0.69
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Friendly Farms Sour Cream 16 Oz. – $0.99
  • 1 box Mr. Pudding Instant Pudding Mix, Chocolate – $0.29
  • 1 1/2 Cup Almond Milk original, vanilla or unsweetened 64 oz. – $2.49
  • 1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream – $1.39
  • 1/2 Cup Baker’s Corner Baking Cocoa 18.6 Oz – $1.49
  • Chocolate Syrup to Drizzle – $0.99
  • 1/2 Cup of Baker’s Corner Chocolate Chips 12 Oz. – $0.99

Total – $11.60 – 12 servings – $0.97 per slice

Of course, several of these items should be a staple in the pantry and that should also off-set the cost.

Instructions:

Combine cake mix, eggs, water, oil, and sour cream in a bowl and mix until combined. Bake cake in the oven according to the directions on the box. (350 degrees for 25-28 minutes). Once completely baked, use the back of a wooden spoon or dowel rod to poke holes in the cake. Add milk to pudding mix and pour on the cake once it is cool. Put the cake in the refrigerator for 1 hours to chill. Once the pudding has set, whip heavy cream wit a mixer for several minutes. Once it starts to set, add the baking cocoa and continue to whip until it firmly sets up. Spread on the cake and drizzle with chocolate syrup and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Add a scoop of ice cream and dig in!

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Breakfast of Champions

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Mornings can be hectic for most families. Trying to get kids off to school and people to work can be a hassle. While cereal and cold milk can work for a while, it turns into a dreaded meal after several months. A great decadent alternative to cereal is overnight oats. They are quick, easy to prepare the evening before, and delicious. Overnight oats are exactly what the title says, oats soaked overnight. They usually consist of oats, yogurt, and milk with an endless supply of toppings available.

Our family enjoys berries as a topping more than anything else, but berries can be expensive so it is important to buy them during sales and while in the season. Since these yummy treats can be made many days ahead of time (as long as they are stored in an air tight container), we make ours 2 weeks at a time.

To make 2 weeks’ worth, you will need:

  • 2 plain Fit and Active 32 oz. yogurt tubs – $1.99 apiece
  • 1 container rolled oats 42 oz. – $2.49
  • 1 Almond Milk original, vanilla or unsweetened 64 oz. – $2.49
  • Blueberries 6 oz. – $2.99
  • Strawberries, 16 oz. pkg. – $1.75
  • Raspberries, 1 pint – $1.99
  • Blackberries, 1 pint – $1.99

Total – $17.68 for 2 full weeks (14 servings) of breakfast and/or snacks – $1.26 per serving

 The recipe is really fantastic and easy.  It is equal parts yogurt, milk, and oats (1/2 cup to 3/4 depending on the size of the container) mixed together. The milk can be substituted with whatever milk you like. Layer the yogurt and fruit into an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Some people enjoy adding 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to the yogurt mixture, also.

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