Friday, September 24, 2010

Fajita-Style Burrito's

3/4 lb. pork roast, cooked and sliced thin ($.89)
3 small onions, sliced thin ($.11)
1 ancient red pepper, chopped small ($.17)
1 red bell pepper, chopped small ($.29)
1 tsp. canola oil ($.05)
1 tsp. salt ($.05)
3/4 tsp. black pepper ($.05)
1 C. shredded monterey jack or quesadilla cheese ($.69)
2 large flour tortillas ($.50)
1 T. chopped cilantro ($.05)
1/2 C. refried beans ($.25)

Heat oil in a nonstick pan over medium high heat, add onions, reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 5-8 minutes, until the onions are tender and translucent. Add pork and cook over medium heat until the meat is browned. Add peppers and heat through.

Warm flour tortilla until warm and pliable. On one half of the tortilla, line meat mixture, cheese, cilantro, and beans. Fold ends opposite the filling strip towards filling, then fold onto unused portion of tortilla.

Place on griddle pan, heat over high heat, placing folded down. Turn over once, grilling for about 2-3 minutes per side.

Serve with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, chopped tomato, or your favorite Mexican sides.

Yields = 2 large burritos
Cost: $3.10
Cost per burrito: $1.55

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Provolone and Apple Melt

I love bright, bold flavors for my sandwiches, and this is a great alternative melt for those that are trying to cut back or eliminate meat from their diets. With the full flavor crunch of a sweet snack apple, kids are sure to love this twist on a classic melt.

8 slices pre-sliced Italian bread ($.50 - bread outlet store)
8 slices provolone cheese ($.99 - 30 slices for $2.99 at deli)
3 small Gala apples, cored and peeled ($.71)
2 tsp. light margarine or canola oil ($.15)

Lightly brush one side of each bread slice with margarine or canola oil. Lay 4 slices of bread on a hot grill or griddle pan, top with 1 slice of provolone, 4 slices of apple, another slice of cheese, and remaining slice of bread - buttered side up. Grill over medium heat until cheese melts and bread is golden brown and firm.

Yields = 4 sammies
Cost: $2.35
Cost per sammie: $.59

Penne Alla Arrabbiata

1 lb. penne rigate ($.69)
2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes ($2.30)
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper ($.05)
1 medium red bell pepper, roasted, skin removed, and finely chopped ($.25)
1 medium dry yellow onion, minced ($.10)
5 cloves garlic, minced (or 1-2 T. minced garlic) ($.15)
2 tsp. olive oil ($.20)
1 tsp. salt ($.05)
3 T. parsley, chopped fine ($.10)
1/8 C. parmesan, grated or shredded ($.25)

Cook pasta according to directions on package, until pasta is al dente.

In a large, nonstick skillet, add olive oil, onion, and chopped pepper. Cook over medium-low until onions are soft and translucent. Add garlic, cook 2 additional minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, season with salt if necessary. Bring to a simmer, cook 10-15 minutes. Sauce should thicken slightly.

Toss pasta with sauce, top with parmesan and parsley.

Yields = 8 servings
Cost: $4.14
Cost per serving: $.52

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chicken Sausage & Peppers

An easy meal to grill, this twist on the classic sausage and peppers is just as easy on the wallet but much leaner - and has lots of bright, colorful veggies to fill you up. Look for chicken sausage - usually right alongside pork sausage in most grocery stores. I used Hillshire Farms Hardwood smoked chicken sausage, but your favorite brand and variety will do nicely in this recipe.

1 lb. HillShire Farms Hardwood Smoked Chicken Sausage (free after coupons)
2 red bell peppers ($.35 - on sale $.49/lb.!!)
1 yellow bell pepper ($.45)
2 medium onions (I used dry yellow) ($.24)
6 4" firm sub rolls ($1.99)

Cut sausage into 4-6 chunks and grill over a medium-high heat. Since chicken sausage is fully cooked, grill 6-10 minutes (turning over as needed), until heated through and meat has grill marks on each side.

Add whole peppers to grill and grill until they start to blister. Remove from heat and set aside. Cut onions into large rings, grill 4-6 minutes, or until firm but tender and heat through with grill marks on them.

Rub off the skin of the peppers, remove stem and seeds and cut into strips.
Split sausage down the middle, place into sub rolls. Top with peppers and onion rings - serve with your favorite condiments (as desired).

Yields = 6 sammies
Cost: $3.23
Cost per sammie: $.54

Pork Taco Filling

Looking for an alternative to ground beef tacos - perhaps something a little leaner, a little less expensive? Try slow cooking a pork roast (bone in works great) until it just starts to pull away from the bone, and 15 minutes later - you'll be ready to eat. I use a few simple pantry staples to pull this meal together, you'd be amazed at how easy it can be.

4 lb. pork roast ($3.89)
1 envelope onion soup mix ($.05)
1 clove garlic, cut into slivers ($.05)
2 C. water (free)

2 small onions, sliced paper thin ($.14)
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp. minced garlic) ($.10)
1 tsp. oregano (or to taste) ($.05)
pinch of cumin

In a slow cooker, add water. Cut slits into the roast, fill with slivers of garlic - this allows the flavor to penetrate deeper into the meat. Rub with onion soup mix and cook on high 2 hours and reduce to low, cook an additional 4-5 hours. Meat should be just pulling away from the bone and be cooked through.

Cool meat 15 minutes, then finely slice and chop half of the meat. (Use remaining meat as pork roast with potatoes and gravy, or turn into pulled pork for sandwiches.) In a nonstick skillet, add meat, onions, garlic, and 1/2 tsp. oregano. Cook on medium-high heat, until meat is browned and lightly crispy. Add cumin and additional oregano if desired.

Serve in warmed tortillas with cilantro, cheese, roasted bell pepper strips, lettuce, and tomato.

Yields = 12 servings (or 24-28 tacos)
Cost: $4.28
Cost per taco: $.18

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kansas City-Style Pulled Pork Sammies

12 slices honey wheat bread ($.45)
1 1/2 lbs. pulled pork ($.72 - meat markdown)
1 small onion, finely chopped ($.08)
1 C. Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce - Sweet Vidalia Onion ($.35)
3 T. Lawry's Steakhouse marinade (free after coupons)
2 T. brown sugar ($.10)
1 tsp. onion powder ($.10)
1 T. molasses ($.10)
pinch of cumin ($.05)
1 tsp. white whine vinegar, optional (free after coupons)

In a small sauce pan, whisk together all ingredients except bread and pork. Simmer until mxiture is heated through and well combined.

In a small nonstick fry pan, heat pork with chopped onion. Cook until onion is tender and pork is heated through.

Toast bread and top with pork. Drizzle with BBQ sauce, top with another slice of toast and serve hot.

For a variation: serve topped with a dry coleslaw mix for some added crunch.

Cost: $1.95
Yields = 6 sammies
Cost per sammie: $.33

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Peach Pie

This is the best pie I've never tasted. Yes, that's right...I didn't even get a slice. Looks like I'm going to make another one to see what all the fuzz was about! I made this for our Labor Day Weekend BBQ and with 8 people, the pie simply disappeared. I did, however, eat the pan scrapings (after everyone went home) and must admit, it was rather tasty.

1 premade pie crust $1.05
12-14 fresh peaches, peeled and pitted ($1.85)
1 C. brown sugar ($.45)
1 tsp. cinnamon ($.10)
3/4 C. flour ($.15)

Slice peaches. In a large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Toss peaches in flour mixture and bag in resealable freezer bags. Freeze.

Remove from freezer 2 quart-sized bags of peach pie filling. Let thaw completely.
Add peawches to pie crust, bake at 400 for 35-40 minutes, until filling is bubbly and thick.

Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or plain.
Yields = 8 servings

Cost: $3.60
Cost per slice: $.45

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Steakhouse Roasted Potatoes

I was too lazy to make mashed potatoes tonight, so I opted for this easy replacement. I had the oven on to roast the chicken drummies (thunderstorms wiped out our plans for grilling).

6 size "b" red potatoes ($1.20)
2 tsp. olive oil ($.25)
1 T. steak spice ($.15)
1/2 tsp. black pepper ($.05)
1/8 C. parmesan cheese ($.20)
1 T. parsley ($.10)

Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces. Toss potatoes with all remaining ingredients.
Coat a 8x8" baking dish with cooking spray. Add potatoes to the prepared baking dish.

Roast at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

Serve with sour cream.

Yields = 2 servings
Cost: $1.85
Cost per serving: $.93

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Oatmeal Pecan Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks margarine ($.25)
1 heaping C. dark brown sugar ($.15)
1/2 C. granulated sugar ($.10)
2 eggs ($.15)
2 tsp. vanilla extract ($.10)
1 tsp. butter extract ($.10)
1 3/4 C. flour ($.20)
pinch of nutmeg ($.05)
1 tsp. baking soda ($.10)
3 2/3 C. oats ($.75)
1 C. chopped pecans ($.75)
3/4 C. dark chocolate chips or chunks ($.45)

Heat oven to 350.

In large mixing bow, beat margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and extracts - mix until well blended. In separate bowl, mix together flour, nutmeg, and baking soda.

Slowly add dry ingredients to the large mixing bowl - stirring until well blended. Stir in oats (I do this by the cupful), stir in pecans and chocolate chips.

Drop cookies by spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9-10 minutes for soft cookie.

Yields - 4 1/2 dozen small cookies
Cost: $3.15
Cost per cookie: $.06 per cookie